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Chocolate Mousse Tart

Every so often I get a certain dessert idea into my head and start scribbling down possibilities on a piece of paper. No, I don’t run to my computer to type. I find that writing things down on paper takes longer and gives me enough of a window that specifics start to gel allowing the [...]

Double Boiler aka Bain Marie

Have you ever been confused by the term double boiler? Or its French equivalent, Bain-marie? According to cited references in Wikipedia, Bains-marie were originally used in alchemy as a way to heat substances slowly and gently. The name derives from medieval Latin balneum Mariae, literally Mary’s bath. And what’s its purpose in cooking and baking? [...]

Apple Pie with Kate McDermott

Duncan, Kate, and Robin. Duncan McDermott Graham (Kate’s son), Kate McDermott, and Robin Jacobs, the three musketeers of The Art of the Pie workshop. It’s rare that I get to take classes from a professional baker because I’m the one who usually gives the classes. All that changed recently when my wife, Dorothy, and I, [...]

Cornish Spamwich

Two stories today. One about the power of yeast and the other about a gift of food during World War II. Both come together in a sandwich. But first, something pretty to look at. When I first wrote about Cornish Splitters in 2011, I found them to be a quick and tasty yeast bread anyone [...]

Olive Oil Citrus Cake

One of my favorite recipes using extra-virgin Italian olive oil is in this citrus olive oil cake that I adapted from a recipe by Anne Quatrano in Food & Wine Magazine. I have always made this cake with a Ligurian olive oil, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I went to the market [...]

Cheese Soufflé

Cheese Soufflé Serves 4 Tall and majestic, with a crusty exterior and a super creamy interior, this is the quintessential French cheese soufflé. You make it the classic way with a thick béchamel, whisked in egg yolks, stiffly beaten whites folded in along with shredded cheese. You have several options for the cheese depending on [...]

Unplugged No-Knead Brioche

I recently came across a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen for no-knead brioche. How could that be, I wondered? Brioche, a classic French dough, gets its especially light and airy texture by vigorously beating and kneading softened butter into an eggy yeast dough. Since I’m staying in a condo with no fancy electric gadgets, I [...]

Amaretti Sour Cherry Pie

I think summer wouldn’t be summer without the promise of sour cherries. When I first wrote about them a few years ago, I forgot to tell you the story of where I get these rubies of the fruit world, so tart and full of sunshine. Sour cherries have a fleeting life span of only two [...]

Italian Prune Galette

Last week I was thrilled to find Italian prunes at our farmers’ market, and I thought I’d repost my recipe for baking them in a galette. I’d always called these succulent fall fruits Italian Prune Plums. But I now have learned, thanks to my friend, John Keegan, that I have been wrong. Here’s what he wrote when I made my original post on October 14, 2013.

Topsy Turvy Caramel Apple Cake

This cake makes a fine change of pace dessert for a Thanksgiving dinner. The key to the success of this cake is a preliminary cooking of the apples on top of the stove. Apples in an upside-down cake should be tender and completely cooked. No crunch, please. Firm-sweet apples, such as Cameo or Braeburn, are excellent in this cake because they hold their shape and deliver a sweetness that complements the buttery brown sugar topping. Browning the butter before combining it with brown sugar and cinnamon adds a nutty caramel flavor. This cake is best when very fresh, and it reheats beautifully the next day in a warm oven for 5 to 10 minutes.