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Blog 2016-11-07T13:36:55+00:00

Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake

3 Ways to Jazz up a Bundt Cake: Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake - Of course, you can drizzle a simple glaze onto a Bundt Cake and make it look beautiful, or just dust it with powdered sugar, but in this post, I’m going to show you how you can make them even more special with my “three ways to jazz up a Bundt Cake”: 1) A Cascade of Fresh Raspberries    2) A Handful of Edible Flowers    3) An Inverted Rose.....

Banana Brown Bread

Cooling on the kitchen counter: Banana Brown Bread - The Inspiration for Banana Brown Bread: When I first started my blog, my son sent me an email with recollections of a few items that he remembered me baking when he was growing up. One of those things was this Banana Brown Bread. In the email, he reminisced about banana bread “cooling on the kitchen counter”. I knew immediately which.....

Lemon Chiffon Mousse Cake

A Cake for Mom: Lemon Chiffon Mousse Cake - I can see this day so plainly even though it happened many years ago when I was in high school: my mother (I always called her “Mother”) is driving and I am hemming my red dress, which has a voluminous full circle skirt−a “ballerina” skirt. I am not looking at the road or the scenery; with thimble, needle and matching red thread, I am totally focused on the.....

Chocolate Fondue

Easy-to-make Warm Chocolate Dessert: Chocolate Fondue - Chocolate Fondue is a fun dessert, as well as an easy-to-make dessert, where your family or friends can gather around the fondue pot and dip all kinds of goodies into warm melted chocolate and no one worries about the drips. Or, it can be an intimate dessert for just two people. The goodies might start with fresh fruit and berries and then swing off.....

Chocolate Praline Palet D’Or Cake

How to make a Palet d’Or Cake: Chocolate Praline Palet d’Or - What is a Palet d’Or? Before I jump into showing you how to make this Chocolate Praline Palet d’Or, I thought I should answer this question: what exactly is a Palet d’Or? The answer is: #chocolate #chocolatecake #chocolatemousse #chocolatemoussecake #chocolateglaze #gateau #fancyfrenchchocolategateau #goldleaf #paletdor.....

Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcakes

Last-Minute Valentine Cupcake Tray: Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcakes - I know it’s getting to be “last-minute”, with Valentine’s Day just a couple of days away, but if you need a tray of beautiful Valentine cupcakes, try these Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcakes. Of course, they are delicious anytime, not just on Valentine’s Day. With just a few components, you can put together a pretty presentation.....

Shirl’s Brooklyn Blackout Cake

Blog……Interrupted: Shirl’s Brooklyn Blackout Cake - It’s been awhile since I posted to my website, but today I am re-posting a recipe that I originally posted almost a year ago (March 2016): Shirl’s Brooklyn Blackout Cake. My life was interrupted, so too was my blog. I lost my voice; for months, I’ve simply had nothing to say. A year ago I could look out my kitchen window at a snow-covered.....

Strawberry Tarts with Diplomat Cream

A Visit to Fauchon in Paris: Strawberry Tarts with Diplomat Cream - Since cooking school, I had always been told that if you ever go to Paris, you have to go to Fauchon. I finally got my chance a few years ago, but I was not prepared for what I would see there. A visit to Fauchon was like heaven on earth for a passionate pastry person like me. It was amazing with the most beautiful foods you will ever see.....

Biscuit-Style Strawberry Shortcakes

An Old-Fashioned Shortcake: Biscuit-Style Strawberry Shortcakes - This is the best strawberry shortcake you will ever have. It is a follow-up to my last post: Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pudding (6.24.16) because both recipes were inspired by the same book, authored by Chef Larry Forgione, whose New York restaurant, An American Place, was getting a lot of buzz in the mid-1990’s.....

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pudding

My secret tip for a silky-smooth pudding: Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pudding - I had this pudding for dessert at lunch about twenty years ago and never forgot it. The lunch was at a restaurant called "An American Place" in New York City, owned by Larry Forgione. His cookbook, by the same name, had just been published and I bought a copy that day at the restaurant. The chef signed my book.....

Raspberry Almond Frangipane Tart

What you need to know about Frangipane: Raspberry Almond Frangipane Tart - If you like to bake, you definitely want to know about Frangipane because it is such a versatile and delicious filling, which is also easy to make. It is a creamy almond filling with a base of ground almonds and sugar, called TPT (tant pour tant−so much X for so much−or equal parts) in the French pastry lexicon.....

Lemon Chiffon Roulade

Mother’s Day Menu: Lemon Chiffon Roulade - One of my favorite tasks when I was a restaurant pastry chef was writing menus; this dessert−Lemon Chiffon Roulade−is lifted right from the Mother’s Day Menu 2011 at The Old Inn On The Green (New Marlborough, MA). Each year, my Mother’s Day Menu would have three dessert choices: definitely something chocolate, probably something fruit-y.....

Sally Lunn Cinnamon Buns

Seriously Cinnamon: Sally Lunn Cinnamon Buns - I’ve been in love with Sally Lunn dough for a while now. Although it is a brioche-like yeast dough, it is a little easier to make because the butter in this recipe is melted and added to the liquids instead of being thrown into the mixer in chunks at the end of mixing like a classic brioche. You can read more about Sally Lunn, the dough and the story.....

Ginger Lemon Scone Thins

Wonderful Crust: Ginger Lemon Scone Thins - #breakfastcookie #coffeebreak #coffeeklatch #teatime - I love the concept of thin scones, which was inspired by Rose Levy Beranbaum. What’s so great about these is all the crust and crunchiness; when you bite into one, it’s truly a mouthful of crust. Regular scones have a soft center with crust on the top and bottom. With Scone Thins, you get just.....

Sally Lunn Bread Pudding

Reaching into my Memory Pool: Sally Lunn Bread Pudding - Ok, so far I’ve made five batches of Sally Lunn Buns (2.01.16 Post) trying to get the recipe just right. I wanted the flavor to grab you, I wanted the texture to be just right, and I wanted it to be baked as perfectly as possible. Having done all that to the best of my ability, I’ve hopefully created a memorable recipe. But now, I have a situation.....

Chocolate Glazed Fudge Brownies

Party Dress: Chocolate Glazed Fudge Brownies - This is a follow-up to my post “The Brownie Lesson: Triple-Chocolate Nut Brownies” (1.25.16), where the brownies are very home-y and kid-friendly. In this post, the brownies are glazed and garnished: all dressed up for a party. When deciding how to decorate a dessert or batch of brownies for a party, it’s an easy leap for me to think of the project.....

Sally Lunn Buns

The Legend of Sally Lunn: Sally Lunn Buns - Close your eyes and imagine a scene in Bath, England over three hundred years ago. In the scene, a young woman is carrying a big basket of “buns” and selling her wares in the lanes around Bath Abbey, near the pastry shop where she works, in Lilliput Alley. If you peek into her basket underneath the big white napkin, you will see large round loaves with the.....

Triple-Chocolate Nut Brownies

The Brownie Lesson: Triple-Chocolate Nut Brownies - When I was a little girl, I learned how to make brownies from my mother, who had a well-worn paperback cookbook called New Recipes for Good Eating (1949), published by the Proctor & Gamble Company, and featuring their vegetable shortening: Crisco. Mother loved that little cookbook and she always used Crisco.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Scone Thins

Inspired by Rose: Cranberry Cream Cheese Scone Thins - I became a big fan of Rose Levy Beranbaum when her first cookbook, The Cake Bible, came out in 1988; since then it has become a classic. As each of her many cookbooks were released, I kept buying them and continued to be an avid fan. I have baked many of Rose’s recipes, always with great success. Besides giving you great recipes, one .....

Bite-Size Almond Cakes (Amandinas)

The Visual Language of Pastry: Bite-Size Almond Cakes (Amandinas) - Early in my pastry career, I had the chance to combine a week of classes at Lenôtre with a vacation in France. The vacation was very memorable but the highlight was the Petits Fours (literal translation: small oven−or tiny pastries also known as mignardises) class, held at the Lenôtre professional pastry school in Plaisir, located.....

French Apple Pie

Not Your Mom’s Apple Pie: French Apple Pie - I couldn’t decide how to describe this pie. I knew it was a little unorthodox, a little nonconformist and somewhat unconventional by American standards of what defines an apple pie. My inspiration for this reconfigured apple pie comes from François Payard, one of my all-time favorite pastry chefs, who I once took a plated dessert class with at the French.....

Caramel Popcorn with Cashews & Cranberries

A Big Bowl of Hospitality: Caramel Popcorn with Cashews & Cranberries - As I was thinking about a story that would illustrate this recipe, I thought of a long ago and far away food memory involving my Great Aunt Jen.........When I was growing up, our family was always taking road trips. There were five of us, Mother and Daddy, and the three kids: my younger brother Dan Jr., my little sister Kay, and.....

Financier Batter

Classic French: Financier Batter - You will recognize Financiers as those little brick-shaped mini cakes known as petits-fours in the classic French pastry lexicon. If you are ever wondering about the definition of French pastries or other foods, I love this blog/website for its French-to-English Food Glossary: Clotilde Dusoulier’s Chocolate & Zucchini. Her definition: “a small almond cake shaped.....

Chunky Apple Filling

Cook it or Bake it: Chunky Apple Filling - This filling was designed to be used as an all-purpose apple filling that can be used for pies, tarts breakfast pastries, or anything else that you might think of. It can either be cooked in a skillet on top of the stove or baked in the oven, depending on your mood. Either way is easy. The flavorings include honey and Calvados. Although there is no cinnamon, there’s.....

Pie Dough Express

Easy as Pie: Pie Dough Express - Sometimes when you are in a hurry and a little stressed, you think of ways to cut corners just to save a little time. This was my frame of mind when, without really thinking about it too much, I put a disk of soft freshly-made pie dough on a Silpat mat, covered it with a sheet of plastic wrap, rolled out the dough quickly, rolled the whole thing up on the rolling pin and stuck it.....