Olive Oil Citrus Cake

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…

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.

Apple Cheesecake Bars

Apple Cheesecake Bars

I found this recipe years ago in a publication whose name I do not remember. I had torn the recipe out and zipped it into my briefcase and I said to myself: “I’ve gotta make this.” Finally, this past Thanksgiving, I kept my promise. Normally our Thanksgiving gatherings are fairly small affairs, but Thanksgiving 2015 was special because our entire family got together. This recipe makes a huge yield. The bars are rich, rich rich, and one bar will definitely satisfy, especially after a big meal and a sampling of a few pies. I followed the recipe as written but I omitted the caramel sauce because I felt that was overkill. Here it is. I measured the flour by spooning it into the measuring cups and leveling off.

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…

Foam Cakes: Sunshine Cake

Foam Cakes: Sunshine Cake

Are you fascinated by how cakes rise, especially cakes made without the help of baking powder or baking soda? Ever since I was a kid, angel food cake and sponge cake, both rising to magnificent heights solely by the air beaten into them, held a special magic for me. But how does the magic happen?

Treasure State Tropical Bundt® Cake

Treasure State Tropical Bundt® Cake

I am wild about this cake, a buttery, eggy, not-too-sweet pound cake loaded with citrus flavor. Montana is known as the Treasure State, and western Montana, where we live and where the climate is strongly influenced by Pacific coastal weather systems, tends to have milder…

Spanish Buns

Spanish Buns

Just why this heavenly, light-textured and spiced sweet cake baked in a sheet pan has this name was clarified by food historian, William Woys Weaver. He says it was called “Spanish” because its concept was derived from a cake made in Latin America. And “buns”…

Chocolate Doughnuts

Chocolate Doughnuts

These are very chocolaty doughnuts, and the recipe comes from my book, Baking in America. I received an email from two avid bakers who had baked several yeast breads from the book with great success and then moved on to this recipe.  They said that…