In the early days of shelter-in-place, I felt as if I was living through a “Seinfeld” episode.
Specifically, the one where Elaine is beside herself when she learns her favorite contraceptive sponge is being discontinued. Guarding her precious remaining supply tightly, she’d pick apart any new suitor to determine if they were indeed “sponge-worthy.”
I did the same — only with yeast. Because it was scarce at supermarkets and I had only three packets left, I found myself loathe to try any new recipes using yeast lest they turn out to be disappointing failures.
After all, I simply couldn’t afford to waste those few precious packets. So, I made only tried-and-true recipes that I knew were absolutely, without a doubt, yeast-worthy.
Until now. Three weeks ago, my husband miraculously scored yeast at Whole Foods. Hallelujah!
Now, restocked and raring to go, I couldn’t wait to try some new recipes that used yeast. The first one to catch my eye was “Sweet Tahini Rolls” from the new cookbook, “Falastin: A Cookbook” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.
The book is by Sami Tamimi, executive chef and founding partner of the Ottolenghi restaurant group, and Tara Wigley, a long-time Ottolenghi recipe writer. They titled the cookbook, “Falastin,” after the Palestinian newspaper that brought diverse people together.
This collection of nearly 100 chocolate-centric recipes features everything from “Sour Cherry Chocolate Torte” and “Hungarian Seven-Layer Cake” to “Key West Chocolate Treasures,” “Viennese Chocolate Ice Box Cookies,” and “Chocolate-Chip-Cognac-Coffee Ice Cream.”
This particular cake will bake up to the very top of a regular Bundt pan, so be sure to use a large-sized classic one, not one of the smaller, more fancifully designed ones.
When my mom suffered a stroke years ago, the only thing she wanted to eat for a long time was — inexplicably — lemon meringue pie.
When my elderly aunt was hospitalized last year, the only food that could comfort her was — surprisingly — madeleines.
Say what you will about the women in my family, but there’s no denying they like their sweets.
I readily admit I take after them, too.
When I would visit my aunt in the hospital, I’d pick up madeleines from a French bakery to take to her for a real treat. Because believe it or not, even though I bake up a storm at home on a regular basis, madeleines were not something I’d ever made.
Wanting to surprise my aunt, I bought madeleine pans this year. I was going to bake her some fresh to deliver in person. But then COVID-19 crushed those plans mercilessly.
As I wait out shelter-in-place until it’s permissible to drive an hour to visit someone her age again, I decided to break in my pans with a madeleine test-run.
Glossy little cherries have an undeniable appeal at this time of year.
They’re even harder to resist when spotlighted in sweet treats like these “Cherry Upside-Down Cakelets.”
This Food52 recipe is by VVVanessa. When I received my first cherries of the season last week in a bountiful Farm Box, I knew I wanted to do something special with them.
Farm Box is a new start-up by the digital design company, 409 + Co, which was founded by Andreas Winsberg, whose father owns the Bay Area’s Happy Quail Farms, famous for growing the first coveted pimientos de Padron peppers in California.
The cookbook is by Margarita Manzke, co-owner of Republique restaurant and bakery in Los Angeles. The book, written with former Los Angeles Times food writer Betty Hallock, features all the favorite pastries, cookies, cakes and pies from this fabulous bakery that’s a must-stop whenever my husband and I drive to Los Angeles.