My initial attraction to persimmons is always immediate, as I love their rich coral orange color. Although several varieties are widely available in most markets in the U.S from October through February, they are not used in baking nearly as much as many other winter fruits. They have a delightfully sweet and slightly astringent taste. We’ve added dates for some added sweetness and texture, along with fresh ginger and allspice to add a little complexity to the flavor. These bars are addictive, with a unique flavor that always leaves you wanting more….
It isn’t too often that I use ‘pre-made’ ingredients in the desserts we make, as I like making most everything from scratch. This dessert includes not one, but two ‘pre-made’ ingredients, Nutella and Biscoff cookies, both delightfully delicious on their own. Paired with an espresso mousse, this dessert becomes shamefully sublime and a top contender in the surreptitious world of guilty pleasures….
The strawberry season always seems to come and go so quickly every year. Perhaps it’s a bit of gluttony on my part and the fact that I can never get enough of this plump little berry. This cake is the perfect partner for strawberries or any glazed fruit or coulis. It has the rich, fine crumb of a pound cake but the lighter texture of an angel food cake. The delightful surprise factor when first biting into it is its crusty, melt-in-your-mouth top layer. We paired it with cooked balsamic strawberries, spiking them with a little black pepper, which played beautifully with the hint of lemon in the cake. …
Although many parts of the world today have year-round access to a variety of seasonal foods, we still feel there is no match in flavor to a season ripened fruit, vegetable or flower. Each season rings in with the anticipation of foods that will become abundant for a brief period of time and are perfectly matched to quenching the body’s seasonal cravings. Second in flavor to fresh, are the preserved versions of these seasonal foods, made at the height of ripeness. Fortunately, both lilacs and berries come into season at the same time, so we are busy creating dishes, both old and new, that incorporate both the lilacs and the berries. This nectarous combination of thin cakes, blackberry sauce, lilac syrup and lilac cream is visually opulent and outrageously delicious….
When we serve friends this chocolate potato cake, we often get a puzzled look as they try to wrap their brain around how this dowdy vegetable and the elitist, gourmet chocolate come together in a cake. A kind of culinary tale of the prince and the pauper. Any dubious hesitation when first tasting it is transformed by the delight of a divinely moist crumb, the soothing richness of deep, dark chocolate and the spirited buzz of the Bailey’s Irish Cream filling. Perfect for St. Patrick’s holiday, this cake is a salute to the Irish and their long, historic affair with the humble potato….
Petite, feminine, enticing, deliriously delectable and so very French! Or is it? History hints its origins to be in Italy, but like so many things culinary, it was the French who chose to own it, run with it and perfect it. Rivaled, perhaps, only by a deep, rich chocolate, no other sweet oozes love and sensuality more than the macaron. Not only a colorful visual treat, the two pistachio meringue cookies are joined with a nectarous filling of Swiss buttercream infused with pomegranate molasses. But the journey doesn’t stop there. Quite the contrary, following the subtle crunch of the meringue shell, the macaron melts into a chewy center, bursting with the tangy sweetness of pomegranate. …
Holidays are the perfect time for baking ‘projects’ that take several steps and more than a couple hours to complete. These cookies are always fun for family members, especially pre-teens and teens, to make together. When making these with kids, I usually make the cookies, icing and do the outlining and top coating one day ahead, decorating the cookies the next day with the kids. There are numerous bakers and bloggers who have mastered the different Royal Icing techniques to an art form, inspiring the creativity in anyone who views their work. One of my personal favorites are the creations of Julia Usher. That doesn’t mean those of us who are creative, but not as skilled or artistically inclined, can’t enjoy making these cookies. The kids were proud of their creations, each hoarding a few favorites for themselves….
It’s birthday time in our family! Every year, we celebrate each family member’s birthday with their favorite sweet treat. Basically, this means I prepare whatever they choose, which is almost always the same confection every year. I usually only prepare their favorite one time each year to make it a little more special. My son, Kaijah, loves all things sweet and always chooses his favorite cake, which is Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing….