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Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan Brownies

Sometimes I want a sweet baked treat but I don’t know what it is specifically. A cookie? Cake maybe?  Often a flavor or texture or both might pop into my mind and soon clarity sets in. A few days ago I found myself in this pleasant quandary when I suddenly remembered a brownie recipe I [...]

Kulebyaka: King of Russian Salmon Pies

I am completely smitten with a smashing new cookbook on Russian cooking, “T-Bone Whacks and Caviar Snacks” (2018, University of North Texas Press), written by Sharon Hudgins, a Russian scholar and former University of Maryland professor. Sharon and I have known each other for many years, and I was thrilled when she sent me a [...]

Peachy Topsy-Turvy Cake

Greg Patent upside down peach cake

There’s really nothing like an absolutely ripe peach. When I bite into one—peeled or not, the taste I get as the juices run into my mouth make me moan with delight. Does this happen to you, too? Peaches are at their peak right now, and instead of just eating all of them fresh or making [...]

Strawberry Cream Cake

Here’s  a wonderful dessert to make now, during local strawberry season, where you’ll find farmers markets to be gold mines of succulent and perfectly ripe strawberries. Local berries are so tender and sweet and red all the way through with no crunchy cores. They also tend to be a lot smaller than commercial berries and [...]

Spicy Cheese Cornbread

Greg Patent the baking wizard

Years ago, when I was young, Carl and Shirley Sontheimer, then owners of Cuisinarts, Inc., hired me to travel all over the country to teach people how to use the food processor. One of the many recipes I created was, “Yogurt and Jalapeño Corn Bread.” I demonstrated it all over the country and people raved [...]

Maida Heatter’s Queen Mother’s Cake

Greg Patent. The Baking Wizard.

So here’s Maida Heatter’s most popular recipe, according to Saveur magazine: Queen Mother’s Cake. It’s a moist, light-textured, flourless chocolate cake made with finely ground almonds, butter, sugar, eggs, and semi- or bittersweet chocolate and glazed with a bittersweet chocolate ganache.  Maida published the recipe in her first cookbook, “Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts,” [...]

A Paste that Puffs

Here’s another baking miracle that performs its magic due to air alone—choux paste or pâte à choux.  It translates literally as “the pastry for making little cabbages.” Cream puffs are, hands down, the most well-known choux paste descendant.  You make the dough by beating flour into boiling water and butter to make a paste—called a [...]

Granny’s Passover Sponge Cake

Greg Patent the baking wizard

Substituting fine cake matzoh meal, potato and tapioca starch for cake flour will make an airy, light Passover sponge cake. Turning on the oven after the cake is placed in it insures it will rise evenly.

The Egg Conundrum and Chocolate Mousse Torte

Greg Patent the baking wizard egg conundrum

Sizes of egg yolks and egg whites can vary widely. Too large a difference may cause recipes to fail. For best results weigh whites and yolks and multiply by the number called for in the recipe.

Bakewell Slice from Australia

Greg Patent The Baking Wizard Bakewell Slie Serving

Greg Patent shows you how to bake a classic Australian almond and jam pastry, Bakewell Slice.