Category Archives: Recipes (Sweet)

The Cake That Hides A Dramatic Surprise

Put some green in your life in a different way this St. Patrick's Day.
Put some green in your life in a different way this St. Patrick’s Day.

There are cakes, which when cut, tumble out a hidden torrent of rainbow sprinkles or M&Ms.

This cake also boasts a surprise center, but a far more sophisticated one.

Cut into it with a fork, and a gush of melty, brilliant-green, matcha-chocolate will flow out instead.

This genius recipe for “Matcha Chocolate Lava Cakes” is from “The Honeysuckle Cookbook” (Rodale, 2020) by Dzung Lewis, a former Bay Area financial analyst who moved to Los Angeles to pursue her passion for cooking with her YouTube channel “Honeysuckle.”

There are several techniques to create the molten center of lava cakes. This one relies on freezing matcha ganache — melted white chocolate mixed with matcha and a little oil — in an ice cube tray until solid. The frozen cube then gets set into the cake batter, so that during baking, the frozen ganache slowly liquifies within the set cake.

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A Cake That Will Make Your Mouth “Open Sesame”

Luscious tahini goes into both the batter and buttercream in this delectable one-pan cake.
Luscious tahini goes into both the batter and buttercream in this delectable one-pan cake.

One-pan cakes are simple and satisfying.

But sometimes — just sometimes — they can leap-frog over plain basic into the realm of attention-grabbing exceptional.

“Tahini Sheet Cake” is such a creation.

Like any sheet cake, it’s all of one layer baked easy-peasy in a rectangular pan that gets slathered with sweet frosting to finish.

But what sets this one apart is the tahini in both the batter and the fluffy buttercream that gives this cake the marvelously distinctive, sweetly nutty taste of sesame.

Gotta love the ease of a sheet cake.
Gotta love the ease of a sheet cake.

The recipe is from Eating Out Loud: Bold Middle Eastern Flavors for All Day, Every Day” (Clarkson Potter, 2020) by Eden Grinshpan, a Cooking Channel star and host of “Top Chef Canada,” whose Israeli heritage plays into the Middle Eastern-inflected recipes showcased.

Although you probably know tahini as an essential ingredient in hummus, it also does wonders for baked goods. It combines here with butter, grapeseed oil, whole milk, and sour cream for a batter that results in a moist, rich tasting cake.

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The Perfect Cake For One (Or Two)

A from-scratch chocolate cake that's gluten-free, paleo, and ready in about 2 minutes.
A from-scratch chocolate cake that’s gluten-free, paleo, and ready in about 2 minutes.

This recipe is dangerous. With a capital “D.”

Because it allows you to make a cake in about 2 minutes.

Just imagine being able to indulge in a warm, tender cake anytime you feel like it. And an individual one at that, which you don’t have to share — well, unless you’re feeling exceedingly generous.

What’s more, “Chocolate Mug Cake” is gluten-free and paleo.

The recipe comes from paleo pro Michelle Tam, whose newest cookbook, “Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go!” (Andrews McMeel), of which I received a review copy, just hit the shelves.

If you’re familiar with Tam, the former Stanford Hospital pharmacist who has taken the paleo universe by storm, you know that it takes her and her husband Henry Fong about five years to write each of their cookbooks. That’s because they do it all — the recipes, design, photography, and whimsical illustrations. So, when one drops, it’s definitely a reason to rejoice.

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You’ll “Heart” White Chocolate-Pretzel Cookies

Put a twist on Valentine's Day with pretzel cookies.
Put a twist on Valentine’s Day with pretzel cookies.

When it comes to romance, my husband is all about the art of subtlety.

When he proposed to me at the French Laundry, it wasn’t in the dining room, in the midst of a throng of well-heeled diners. It was in the restaurant’s parking lot as just the two of us sat in our car, and he pulled the ring out of his pocket.

When he buys me flowers, it’s not because it’s some Hallmark holiday. It’s because he just spies a pretty bouquet that he knows will unexpectedly make my day.

And when he wants to express his love these days, his favorite way is to flash the Korean finger heart symbol at me, because, yes, in the pandemic, he’s become addicted to Korean dramas like so many others.

That’s why these “White Chocolate-Pretzel Cookies” are right up his alley.

This is how you make the Korean finger heart.
This is how you make the Korean finger heart.

First, they feature white chocolate, which can be polarizing to some, but which he actually likes.

Second, they get fortified with and crowned whimsically with mini pretzels, whose classic looped knot shape slyly resembles a heart.

This cute cookie is from “Maman: The Cookbook: All-Day Recipes to Warm Your Heart” (Clarkson Potter, 2021), of which I received a review copy, by Elisa Marshall and Benjamin Sormonte. The couple are the founders and co-owners of Maman, the bakery-cafe with locations throughout New York, as well as in Montreal, and Toronto. The book was written with food writer and recipe developer Lauren Salkeld.

The couple named the cafe for the word “mother” in French to evoke the cozy, homespun environment they wanted to create.

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Sponsored Post: Crunchy, Delicious Pazazz Apple Pickles

You'll wonder how you ever lived without these pickled apples topping a sandwich.
You’ll wonder how you ever lived without these pickled apples topping a sandwich.

Sure, back in the day, Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

But today’s more learned Peter Piper would surely pick a peck of pickled apples instead.

Especially in the form of these additive “Quick Bread-And-Butter Apple Pickles” that are made with Pazazz apples, that brilliantly ruby red variety with flashes of yellow-green, an arresting crunch, and a burst of sweet, tangy juiciness.

This snappy, late-season apple that’s descended from the popular Honeycrisp, is at its flavor peak now through June. Lucky for you, Pazazz apples are easy to find at Albertsons, Safeway, and Vons.

February is an especially appropriate time to indulge in them, too, because it’s National Cancer Prevention Month. Pazazz has partnered with the American Institute of Cancer Research to promote the benefits of a diet rich in foods high in fiber and antioxidants such as fresh apples that are thought to reduce the risk of certain cancers.

When enjoying apples, don’t toss the peel, a valuable prebiotic that induces the growth of good-for-you microorganisms to ensure a healthy gut.

Late-season Pazazz apples to enjoy now.
Late-season Pazazz apples to enjoy now.

Indeed, the flesh and peel star in this easy-as-it-gets pickled apple recipe. When I received a sample of Pazazz, I wouldn’t wait to highlight them in this genius recipe by Amy Traverso, food editor of Yankee Magazine.

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