with Greg Patent, Award Winning Cookbook Author

Cakes

Gâteau Breton. A fabulous Butter Cake from France.

Gâteau Breton. A fabulous Butter Cake from France.

I went wild over this cake when I tasted it for the first time at Bell’s, a French bistro in Los Alamos, California. Its butteriness and shortbread-like texture are what made me an instant fan. How can a cake with only four ingredients be so […]

Maida Heatter’s Queen Mother’s Cake

Maida Heatter’s Queen Mother’s Cake

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 […]

Granny’s Passover Sponge Cake

Granny’s Passover Sponge Cake

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.

Christmas Apple Loaf

Christmas Apple Loaf

This terrific mildly spiced loaf cake, loaded with dried fruits and toasted nuts, gets its special taste and texture from a very thick homemade apple purée. Because it keeps really well at room temperature, this loaf is something you’ll want to have on hand for […]

The Great Plum Torte Story

The Great Plum Torte Story

This classic plum torte recipe, the most requested New York Times recipe, is superb. It’s everything a European fruit torte should be: Tender, buttery, sweet, and packed with fruit.

Maida Heatter and the Half-Blood Prince

Maida Heatter and the Half-Blood Prince

In the sixth Harry Potter book, the boy wizard uses a notebook in his potions class inscribed as being the property of someone called the half-blood prince. The formula instructions have been altered with hand-written notes, and Harry decides to follow them instead of the […]

Topsy Turvy Caramel Apple Cake

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.

Gateau Basque

Gateau Basque

Gateau Basque is one of the most famous desserts from French Basque country. And with good reason. A tender, sweet, cookie-like dough encloses a thick pastry cream flavored with vanilla and orange zest. A special cherry jam is often spread over the pastry cream before the top crust goes on. It is exquisite. I learned how to make Gateau Basque from Bernadette Irribarren, a native of the area, who has been baking the cake regularly for decades. At the time I was collecting recipes from immigrant bakers for my cookbook, “A Baker’s Odyssey.” Bernadette invited me to her home so that I could learn first-hand how she makes this special dessert.

Chocolate Olive Oil Fudge Cake

Chocolate Olive Oil Fudge Cake

On a recent trip to Italy, courtesy of the Italian Trade Agency, I was introduced to the wonderful world of Italian olive oils and their many uses in cooking and eating. The point of the trip was to learn how to taste and evaluate extra-virgin […]

Fresh Peach Torte

Fresh Peach Torte

Peach season is at its peak where I live, so make sure to bake this scrumptious torte now. About thirty years ago I made a recipe for Plum Torte, a New York Times classic that became that paper’s most popular recipe ever. I’ve baked it […]