Ok, I know, I know, it’s been way too long since my last post. But believe me, this recipe should (somewhat) make up for it and it’s just in time for your holiday parties, dinners, etc.! I came across this recipe from Martha Stewart a few years ago and love to make it for guests. Love or hate Martha, you’ve got to agree that it’s an ingenious idea to invert a cupcake and pour some ganache over it. It takes it from average, everyday cupcake to a beautiful, elegant individual dessert. Ok, well, you don’t have to agree that it’s ingenious, but I sure think it’s pretty cool. And it makes it look so much more complicated than it actually is.
I first made these cakes on a fall night a few years ago when Joseph, my sister, Jessica, and her future husband, Adam, were all meeting up at my parents’ house to watch a Redskins game. I think it was an important game. I don’t remember, I wasn’t all that interested. I had decided that I would pass at least part of the time by baking something for dessert and I had gotten Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook recently and really wanted to try these. I asked my sister if it would be weird if I made a fancyish dessert when we were just watching the game (or at least some of us were) and having a simple dinner. She was thrilled and seemed to think the fancier the better. Her enthusiasm made more sense when she and Adam announced just before dessert that they were engaged! Continue reading
As much as I love pumpkiny foods, I’ve never really been a big fan of pumpkin pie. I guess it’s the texture (so mushy). But it such a classic Thanksgiving dessert that I figured I should make one. I was also inspired when I found this recipe when flipping through Joanne Chang’s new cookbook at the bookstore. I’m a big fan of Joanne Chang from her bakery, Flour Bakery and apparently this pie has gotten all kinds of accolades, so I figured, hey, why not? I went home and quickly found the recipe on the Food Network website.
The funny thing is that when I got in the car the day before Thanksgiving, there was a woman explaining a pumpkin pie recipe on the radio and I kept thinking, wow, that sounds exactly like the pie I made the night before. And indeed it was because it was Joanne Chang on the radio! It’s a little embarrassing how much I enjoyed listening to her on the radio. I’m so clueless when it comes to pop culture, so food people end up being my celebrities. Continue reading
I don’t know exactly how old I was (10ish?), but I still remember standing at the kitchen counter trying to roll out my pie dough and my grandmother guiding me through this process that was proving to be so much more complicated than I had thought it would be. I’ve made an apple pie every Thanksgiving since.
In fact, every Thanksgiving I made the exact same recipe, an apple pie loaded with spices from the 18th century in Recipes from the Raleigh Tavern Bake Shop. It’s a unique recipe (the only reason I have mace in my spice cabinet), and it’s good, but I got tired of making it. More than that, I got tired of making a lattice top pie (pretty though they are) and wanted to try a crumb pie. So last year I made a new recipe and I wish I could remember where I got it because it was the worst apple pie I’ve ever made and I want to be sure that I never make it again. It’s funny because none of my family members remember it being that bad, but when I cut into it, all I really got were some soggy apples swimming in their juices. I mean, it was edible, but it was definitely nothing to be proud of. Continue reading
When a coworker’s going away dinner became Mexican-themed (all because another coworker said she was bringing tequila and no one could argue with margaritas), I figured I should make a tres leches cake. I had never made one before and a few people mentioned that they had heard they were difficult to make, though they had never tried it themselves. Let me assure you, it wasn’t hard at all and that’s a very good thing because you’re going to want to try this.
So the time had finally come for me to make my own macarons, which Joseph was reminding me on a regular basis. He had seen a recipe for cinnamon apple macarons on Dessert for Breakfast that look absolutely amazing. I kept pleading with him, saying that we should probably start with something
a little much more basic. When he finally relented and said, “Yeah, you’re right, we should probably start with something easier” I was suddenly determined that I would not start small. No, I was going to make the cinnamon apple macarons if it killed me. And it nearly did.
Ok, that’s a complete exaggeration. But if you’ve never tried to make macarons, or talked with anyone who has, or read anything about them, you may not know that they are difficult to make because of the very temperamental meringue cookies that make the sandwich. This particular macaron has many elements, and well, it just didn’t work. At all. It completely flopped. I didn’t get the macaron “foot” (the little bottom that each of the cookies is supposed to have), they were dense instead of airy, and each top was completely covered in little cracks. Continue reading