View all posts filed under 'Recipes (Sweet)'

Baked’s Pumpkin Almond Cake

Tuesday, 13. November 2012 5:25

Moist pumpkin cake slathered with thick almond butter frosting.

At this time of year, we go gaga for pumpkin.

Me, included. But just not in pie.

Those of you who have read me long enough know that I love all things pumpkin — just not pie.

As a result, it’s always a challenge to find something pumpkin-y for Thanksgiving that is not the typical pie. Something special enough to serve guests. Something grand enough to be the memorable sweet finale to such a meaningful holiday that we wait for all year-long.

Thank goodness for the guys at Baked bakery in Brooklyn, who have come up with “Pumpkin Almond Cake with Almond Butter Frosting.” It’s from the newest cookbook, “Baked Elements” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang), by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, who gave up their jobs in advertising to open their much-praised bakery known for its homey and ridiculously satisfying cookies, cakes and pastries.

This cookbook, their third, includes 75 recipes that highlight their 10 favorite ingredients — everything from peanut butter to malted milk powder to cheese, and of course, pumpkin.

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Category:Bakeries, General, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (20) | Author:

Best Apple Cake EVER — Courtesy of Pastry Chef Joanne Chang

Tuesday, 6. November 2012 5:25

The apple cake to end all apple cakes. Sheer perfection.

Throw out all those other apple cake recipes. Even the ones handed down to you by relatives (Sacrilege, I know. But you’ll get over the guilt.)

Because the only one you need is this one.

How incredible is this apple cake?

My husband, who doesn’t even like apples (Is there such a person?), took one bite and mid-chew mumbled, “This IS good! And you know, I don’t even like apples.” (Uh, yup, duly noted.)

The name, “Apple Snacking Spice Cake,” doesn’t even do it justice. That moniker conjures up a simple after-school cake baked in a square pan, and cut up to eat out of hand.

That is not this cake.

Rather, this cake is round, tall and the color of dark caramel. It is jam-packed with fruit, too. The batter is quite thick. In fact, it’s almost more apples than actual batter. If that weren’t enough, there’s also a full cup of toasted pecans in it, too. For good measure, there’s also a big handful of raisins. I actually used dried mulberries instead because I love their date-like taste.

A profusion of apples and pecans in every slice.

The result is a cake, in which every bite is a riot of apples and nuts, as well as warm spices of ginger, cloves and cinnamon. But don’t think this cake is too moist like a dreaded fruitcake. Nope, it’s tender and its moistness level is just right. What’s more, when it bakes up, the top of the cake gets that heavenly crisp, crackly texture we all can’t resist.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, Fruit, General, Great Finds, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (29) | Author:

The Beauty of Roasted Grapes

Friday, 2. November 2012 5:26

See those lovely roasted grapes? They make this salad something special.

What happens when you roast grapes?

Magical things.

They stay intact, and shrivel just a little. Their natural sugars concentrate and caramelize, creating an explosion of wine-y, sweet juice when you pop one into your mouth and bite down.

They’ll spoil you, because eating a fresh grape just won’t be the same anymore.

Here, try for yourself in this easy dish of “Arugula Salad with Roasted Grapes.”

It’s from “Seriously Simple Parties” (Chronicle Books) by veteran cookbook author Diane Rossen Worthington, of which I received a review copy.

And who couldn’t use more seriously simple entertaining ideas with the holidays upon us?

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Category:Fruit, General, Recipes (Savory), Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (16) | Author:

Thumbprint Scones

Tuesday, 9. October 2012 5:25

Thumbprint scones filled with sweet-tart, creamy lemon curd.

Imagine your favorite thumbprint cookie, but blown up to the size of a tender, crumbly scone.

That’s what these pastries basically are. They also boast the unlikely name of “Thugs-’n'-Harmony.”

They’re from the new cookbook, “The Sugar Cube” (Chronicle Books), of which I recently received a review copy.

Author and baker Kir Jensen gave up her fine-dining career path to sell her handmade treats out of a food truck called the Sugar Cube in Portland, Ore. instead.

Jensen, who worked at Trio in Chicago and Florio Bakery in Portland, offers up 50 recipes for cupcakes, cookies, tarts, muffins and candies. Her treats are homespun meets kick-ass. They’re familiar, but given newfangled spins, as well as playful names such as “Twisted Toll House” cookies and “Beta Believe It” smoothie.

You can make these scones as simple wedges. But why, when you can make over-sized thumbprints instead? Fill them with your favorite jam or lemon curd, as I did.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, General, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (11) | Author:

Secret Ingredient Brownies & A Food Gal Podcast

Thursday, 27. September 2012 5:25

Fudgy brownies with a sudsy ingredient.

Monday night, as the featured speaker at the Sunnyvale Public Library, I thought I’d have some fun with the audience members.

After all, if you’re going to talk about food writing, people are bound to get hungry, right?

So, I baked home-made fudge brownies for everyone, using a new recipe I recently came across. As folks nibbled away, I asked if anyone could guess the secret ingredient in these brownies.

Don’t even think it was some kind of controlled substance, though one guy did venture that guess. Other folks struck out with guesses of avocado, tofu, prunes, vinegar, black beans, red bean paste and even soy sauce.

In the end, after giving folks a hint that it was a “liquid” ingredient, one woman finally guessed the correct answer to win one of my very snazzy Food Gal aprons.

Of course, you guys reading this post have it easy. The photo above is a complete giveaway. The secret ingredient in these brownies? Guinness Stout.

“Guinness Brownies” is a recipe from the new cookbook, “Tate’s Bake Shop: Baking for Friends” (self-published), of which I recently received a review copy.  The cookbook, which features more than 120 recipes, is by Kathleen King, the owner of Tate’s Bake Shop in Southhampton, NY.

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Category:Chocolate, General, More Food Gal -- In Other Publications, Recipes (Sweet), Videos & Podcasts | Comments (12) | Author: