"Bake" covers all things sweet, in or out of the oven.

Next Photo »
Previous Photo «

The One Pie Dough to Rule Them All

495latticetopprebake
Is it hubris to call this a perfect pie dough recipe?  Well, it is perfect.  And do you know what’s perfect about it?  You can do it too.  Yes, YOU.  I don’t care what kind of sordid, tragic past you’ve had with other pie dough recipes.  You can forget it all and start anew with this one.  It will become your One Pie Dough to Rule Them All: pies, tarts, galettes, pop-tarts, you name it.  It will be the easiest and most forgiving dough you’ve ever handled.  It will be flaky and tender, yet somehow possess the strength of character not to crumble under pressure like other wimpy doughs.  Your slice of pie or galette will stay beautifully in tact to serve, only to surrender into tender, flaky, buttery, delicious crumbs as you bite into it.

Forget all the pernickety details everyone tells you about how to make a pie dough.  You won’t need to keep all the ingredients at precisely five degrees below zero.  You need not coddle it like a new born kitten.  You’ll put on your fiercest dominatrix attitude and you shall beat this dough into submission.  And, yes, it will like it too. Read more »

Delicious Digg Facebook LinkedIn reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Email Print Friendly

Cheesecake baked in little jars with roasted nectarines

IMG_4913

Here’s an easy, delicious and totally adorable dessert to do this weekend, fromage blanc cheesecake, baked into cute little jars.  You can make it even lovelier by topping with roasted fruits.  In this case I use tangy sweet nectarines scented with lemon verbena.  Nothing stops you from making this your own by using a combination of fruits, herbs, and even nuts of your choice.  What makes this cheesecake truly special, besides its oh-my-god-this-is-adorableness quality, is the luscious texture, like caressing you with satin, and the fact that you can make it by pretty much dumping all the ingredients in your food processor.

Read more »

Delicious Digg Facebook LinkedIn reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Email Print Friendly

The Morning-after Banana Bread – or how I can’t leave a perfectly good recipe alone

Perfectbananabread

Just like my friend The Amateur Gourmet Adam, who posted about his recipe-tweaking habit recently, I’m not one to leave a perfect good recipe alone.  Even when it comes to something so simple, and so seemingly perfect, I rarely could stop myself from tweaking it a little.  At times the results my tinkering are disastrous – Dorie Greenspan’s perfectly innocent French Yogurt Cake recipe I played with yesterday was one, but that story’s for another time.  At other times, however, I ended up with something like this Banana Bread, which I think – rather ungrammatically I might add – is a more perfect version of an already perfect recipe.

I first saw the recipe at Deb’s delicious blog Smitten Kitchen. On it she said she got the recipe from our mutual friend Elise at Simply Recipes. Elise, in turn, got it from her friend Heidi’s ski friend’s mother Mrs. Hockmeyer.  The recipe was alarmingly simple.  First you mash up your banana, then stir in butter, egg, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  Oh, yes, and flour.  By hand.  No fancy kitchen implements required.  That simple.

Read more »

Delicious Digg Facebook LinkedIn reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Email Print Friendly

Chocolate-covered peanut & sesame caramel bars

IMG_4456-2
I guess I should just come out and admit it.  My name is Pim, and I just made a vegan an almost-vegan dessert – peanuts/sesame/rice puffs/palm sugar caramel bars, to be precise.  And I dipped them in chocolate – Valrhona Araguani 72%, because there’s nothing good that’s not made better by a dip in Valrhona Chocolate.  The results?  They are totally crack.  I tell you, they are.

Like many great discoveries in this world – Columbus discovering “India” par example – I came upon these morsels of unworldly deliciousness entirely by accident.  Last weekend being Chinese New Year and Valentines day all rolled into one, I was looking some kind of traditional, celebratory sweets to make for the parties I was attending.  For the New Year celebration in Thailand, we make a sort of caramel we learned from the Portuguese, probably in the 16th century.  We call it ga-la-mae, a telling bastardization of the word caramel.  Galamae was, however, not my favorite dessert, but it got me thinking about another celebratory sweets that is also a caramel base, but this one, called Grayasat in Thai, has added nuts, puffed rices, and sesame seeds.  Crisp, chewy, nutty, darkly sweet, and ever-so-slightly salty, all at the same time, now this would be the perfect dessert to celebrate with this weekend.

Read more »

Delicious Digg Facebook LinkedIn reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Email Print Friendly

Bergamot Madeleines

Bergamotjuiceetmadeleines

Let me start this post by saying I’m a madeleine snob.  A bona fide, unrepentant madeleine snob.  Don’t talk to me about those nasty little packets of “madeleine” by the cash register at your Starbucks.  They’re awful, with texture seemingly composed, somehow, of paraffin.  Those buckets of shell-shaped stuff masquerading as madeleines at Costco are not much better.  They taste as though they’re made of Twinkies – oddly spongy, overtly sweet and redolent of fake vanilla.  I don’t know what those pretenders are exactly, but I assure you they are *not* madeleines.

The perfect madeleine is elusive.  It’s hard to find even in Paris.  The problem is not that it’s hard to make.  As you will see after this post (and a little time in your own kitchen playing with the recipe) it is not the case.  Madeleines, even the perfect ones, are really quite simple to do.  The problem, rather, is that its perfection is fleeting.  It’s one of those things that are perfect minutes out of the oven, and then the quality erodes as the minutes tick by.  The nearest specimen to a perfect madeleine I’ve had was a plain madeleine, the classic, baked to order and served warm and crisp at the edges with coffee to finish a hearty meal at Alain Ducasse’s Aux Lyonais in Paris.  It’s been years, but it could’ve easily been yesterday.

Read more »

Delicious Digg Facebook LinkedIn reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Email Print Friendly