desserts


I’m a little late on this recipe, which I made for a Labor Day cookout, er, a while ago. With luck, it’s not yet too late in the season to contemplate a summery recipe like this creamy, tart, and delightful pie.

Indian summer, anyone?

I hope you’re not mad at me for my seasonal impropriety. Can I make it up to you with a cute kitten?

Delicious.

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In addition to the frequently-mentioned-here Smitten Kitchen, another of my favorite bloggers is Orangette, who has been responsible for plenty of my favorite recipes. This exquisite chocolate cake is among them—I swear it will be the best all-but-flourless chocolate cake you’ve ever had.

Choc.O.Late.

Even more impressive is the fact that Molly of Orangette baked a bajillion of these—which a friend of hers dubbed cakes to win hearts and minds—to be her own wedding cakes. That speaks volumes about (a) how delicious this cake is, (b) how easy it is to make, and (c) how bonkers it is to bake your own wedding cakes. I had the good fortune to only be baking one—although it was for a bachelorette party, because rumor had it the bride was a fan of chocolate.

But that this is a cake fit for either weddings or wedding-related shenanigans does not mean that it should not be made all the darn time. Because it most certainly should.

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Flan is so delicious that I thought it had to be hard to make.

It’s not. At all.

The end.

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I am a sucker for a good tiramisu. There’s just something about the creaminess of the mascarpone, combined with coffee and booze and the lushness of the soaked ladyfingers, that just kills me.

Yes, I will pick you up.

I also love tiramisu miscellania—like the origin myth that it was invented by Italian prostitutes who needed a “pick me up” between appointments. And then there’s the line from Sleepless in Seattle where a friend tells Tom Hanks, new to the dating scene in the early 1990s, that women love tiramisu. But the friend refuses to elaborate, leaving poor Tom to freak out that “Some woman is gonna want me to do it to her and I’m not gonna know what it is!”

All these racy anecdotes notwithstanding, I made tiramisu for my friends, and it was superb. It’s much easier to make than I expected, but, I should note, also much more expensive. Rum, mascarpone, and ladyfingers add up—but are worth every penny. I’m sure Tom and the prostitutes would agree.

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There are many opinions to be had about the new New York Times paywall—it’s a disaster, it’s the future of journalism, etc. I fully intended to curtail my NYT habit rather than pony up the $15 per month. I can get my new content elsewhere, I thought.

But I had forgotten about  the recipes. More specifically, I had forgotten about all the recipes I had bookmarked over the years but not yet tried—and which I could no longer access if I’d hit my 20-article limit. That simply would not do, because I had to make this cake.

All this can be yours, for just $15 per month!

And now, with my full NYT access restored, I can confess that I missed it during the weeks that I was, cheaply, holding out. So thank you, cake. Also, thank you for being tart and unusual and delicious.

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At approximately the same time that my cooking hero, Smitten Kitchen, was beset by a bout of francophilia, I—independently, I swear—had a similar one of my own. It resulted in a number of lovely things, but the most notable was, go figure, a Smitten recipe.

Chocolate, butter, eggs, cream. Fin.

It is unclear to me where this chocolate mousse has been my whole life. It is, as she says, silky, decadent, and old-school; it is also appallingly easy to make. The only hard part is washing the mixer. The rest is cake. Er, mousse.

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I blame the oatmeal scotchies: I’m on a butterscotch kick these days. And—big surprise—it turns out that homemade butterscotch is even better than artificially flavored butterscotch chips. Which, as I’ve discussed, are pretty amazing.

I couldn't bear to take a picture until I'd tasted it.

In case you wondered, which I did, how butterscotch is different from caramel: butterscotch is a type of caramel that is made with brown sugar, rather than white, and has more vanilla and salt. Googling this question brought me to Smitten Kitchen’s butterscotch sauce, which I think I have to make immediately. When the topic is butterscotch, googling is dangerous.

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