Presenting the souffle cheesecake with a Wine Country garnish.
Japanese pancakes and cheesecake are having a lofty moment.
Their poofy, airy stature, as if they’ve just been inflated with a pump of helium, can’t help but be attention grabbers.
I’ve fallen under their spell, too. So how could I resist trying my hand at the recipe for “Cheesecake Souffle with Roasted Grape & Vanilla Gastrique”?
It’s from the lush, coffee-table-sized cookbook by Jackson Family Wines: “Season: Wine Country Food, Farming, & Friends” (Cameron & Company, 2018), of which I received a review copy.
The cookbook, which recently won a “Cookbook of the Year” award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, was written by Justin Wranger, executive chef of Jackson Family Wines; and Tracey Shepos Cenami, chef de cuisine of the wine company; with Tucker Taylor, director of culinary gardens at Jackson Family Wines (whom if you follow on Facebook or Instagram know posts some of the most beautifully vivid photos of fruits, vegetables and herbs that you’ll ever see).
Jackson Family Wines is one of the largest wine producers in the world, with a portfolio of 40 brands in California, Oregon and across the world.
A honey-buttermilk cake with a filling of honey whipped cream.
If there is such a thing as a man’s man or a woman’s woman, well then, this is a cake’s cake.
“Love, Set, Match Milk & Honey Cake” is from the new cookbook, “Simple Cake: All You Need to Keep Your Friends and Family in Cake” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Odette Williams, a native Australian who now makes her home in Brooklyn, where she’s an apron designer.
The genius of this book is not only that the recipes are definitely simple, but encourages you to mix and match cakes with your choice of various frostings and fillings.
There are 10 basic cake recipes — all that you really need, Williams declares. That’s because each cake recipe provides suggestions on flavor variations and topping choices, not to mention baking directions for turning the recipe into cupcakes or mini Bundts or a square or rectangular cake instead of a round one.
Buttery, toasting tasting kinako shortbread cookies.
Vancouver, BC has always captivated me. It reminds me so much of San Francisco with its compact size, distinct neighborhoods, cultural diversity, and great eats. Plus, let’s face it — it’s way cleaner than The City By the Bay, and the exchange rate is usually quite favorable to visitors from the States.
I mean, what’s not to like?
Get to know this wonderful city even more in “Vancouver Eats: Signature Recipes from the City’s Best Restaurants” (Figure 1, 2018) by Vancouver food writer Joanne Sasvari, of which I received a review copy.
The cookbook includes 80 recipes that are sure to whet your appetite, from “AnnaLena Chicken Skins” (dipped in chocolate, no less) from AnnaLeana restaurant named for Chef-Owner Michael Robbins’ grandmother, and “Poached Lamb Shoulder with Butternut Squash-Ricotta Gnocchi” from The Dirty Apron Cooking School to “Morel Mushroom and Stinging Nettle Tart with Brie” from Forage and “Vikram’s Bone-In Goat Curry” by celebrated Chef-Restaurateur Vikram Vij’s new My Shanti.
Since I’ve been on a kick baking and cooking with Japanese soy flour, I had to try my hand at “Kinako Brown Butter Shortbread.” The recipe is from Betty Hung, owner and head baker of Beaucoup Bakery, a Parisian-inspired patisserie.
Half a stick of melted butter gets brushed on top before this banana bread gets a shower of sugar, too.
I often kid myself that pumpkin bread, zucchini bread, carrot cake and banana bread verge on being healthy because they contain fruit and veggies.
But who’s kidding who?
Clearly, that con won’t even get off the ground when you’re confronted with “Butter-Topped Banana Bread.”
Yes, two loaves with intense banana flavor, a mountain of walnuts and 1/2 a stick of melted butter drizzled abundantly on top of each one of them.
Uh, there is calcium in butter, right?
This lavish rendition of a staple baked good comes from “Bestia: Italian Recipes Created in the Heart of L.A.” (Ten Speed Press, 2018), of which I received a review copy.
It’s by husband-and-wife chef team, Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis of Bestia in Los Angeles; and Lesley Suter, the former deputy editor for Los Angeles magazine.
Menashe (executive chef) and Gergis (pastry chef) opened their wildly popular Italian restaurant in the LA Arts District in 2012 long before that area became a destination. They hit a home-run with that first restaurant. That was followed in 2018 by Bavel, their Middle Eastern restaurant that hit it out of the park.
Blink twice — because this cake is indeed green.
The first thing my husband said when he spied this cake cooling on the kitchen counter was: “WTH!?!”
Yes, this is cake.
And parsley. Loads of it.
All of which gets minced until it resembles churned up grass clippings. Then, it’s folded into a batter that ends up looking quite a lot like pesto.
Meet “Parsley Cake” from Katy Peetz, former pastry chef of Roberta’s in Brooklyn.
It’s from the cookbook, “Food52 Genius Desserts: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake (Food52 Works)” (Ten Speed Press, 2018) by Kristen Miglore, creative director at Food52.
The batter goes into a rimmed baking sheet so it bakes quickly.
When I first spied this recipe, I knew I had to make it in time for St. Patrick’s Day. I mean, a cake the vivid color of moss clinging to an ancient castle couldn’t be more perfect for that holiday, could it?