Tuesday, April 26, 2016

MOTHER'S DAY FRAISIER



It snowed today.  In case you don't have access to a calendar, you should know that it's almost May.  Just before it really got ugly, before the ducks and Mama started running around in a honking frenzy to warn me that the sky was falling, it was raining.  Rain mixed with ice shards but still rain. I heard the mail truck pull up to the house and I ran out to save our kind mail woman a trip onto our slippery walkway.


"Vermont fertilizer," she said, gesturing to the icy deluge.  "It's supposed to make the grass green."

Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day, sweet people!



I send you greetings from my little spot of green in Vermont, where making Cake Magic is my great joy and there's no better reason to make a cake than to celebrate our Big Blue Marble.



I also wanted to share a recipe for CHURROS, that crispy fried sweet dough miracle that make me thank goodness I'm alive on this spinning orb.  You an get the recipe and watch my churro segment from this week on Today Show.  Click HERE to get all the sweetness.



Happy weekend!

Monday, March 21, 2016

STRAWBERRY-LEMON YOGURT CAKE





As much as I love going over the top when it comes to baking, shoving dozens of steps into the creation of a solitary dessert, there are days when only simple will do.  No mixer, loaf pan kinda simple.  Today's that day.

But let's get one thing straight, I didn't skimp on delicious.  All the delicious is there in this dump and stir wonder of a supple and moist (ugh) cake.  I've not been entirely true to the origins of the French staple upon which this is based, either. I messed with a few ratios and added a few things.  Even then, it's dead simple.  And delicious.  Let's not forget about the delicious.

video

And in case you've ever wondered what to do with hulled strawberry tops, my top three choices are:  (1)  freeze them for smoothies, (2) put them in the compost pile or, the last and best option, (3) give them to your chickens.  There's nothing better than watching a chicken's goofy run when you tell it they're getting a strawberry snack.

Friday, March 18, 2016

EASTER BUNNY CAKE


If you garden, you know full well that it's not the carrots you have to look out for when you've got rampaging bunnies in your  yard.  It's the lettuce and cabbage.  Carrots are tucked in the earth, their frondy heads just peaking above the surface.  All the juicy stuff is well hidden.  But those tender leaves of the cabbage, they are easy pickins for a hungry bunny.  And boy, those rascally rabbits sure like their cabbage.


Knowing this, when I was developing this year's Easter dessert, I thought it only right to give my marzipan bunny the things she likes most:  carrots AND cabbage.  I think you'll enjoy them just as much as she does.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

DOUBLE RAINBOW CAKE


At the risk of offending my Irish friends who find the manner in which we Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day a tad offensive (leprechauns!  rainbows!  green beer!), I'm going to suffer their wrath and give you my contribution to our March 17th festivities:  A Double Rainbow Cake, dammit.

I have a smooth, round bundt pan, which makes this process rather simple but you can use a more sculptural bundt if that's all you've got lying around the house.

You may ask, where's the double in this rainbow.  Well, the second one is on the inside because that's where it really counts.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, sweet people!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

LIGHT AS A FEATHER STRAWBERRY-ORANGE CHEESECAKE




Come springtime, there's nothing I want more than something fruity.  As long as the fruit comes with cheesecake.  On most occasions, I'm a New York cheesecake kinda gal.  But cheesecake needn't be dense, as damn good as dense can be.  Sometimes it can and should be light.  Feather light, in fact.



Today, a weightless cheesecake, one that melts in your mouth called to me.  By whisking the egg whites into a meringue and gently folding the meringue into the base, you'll create as much of a soufflé as a cheesecake...and you'll be happier for it.  Adding a small amount of strawberry purée  to about 1/4 of the batter leaves you in no doubt that spring is almost here.



Friday, March 4, 2016

STRAWBERRY-LEMON THYME CHIFFON BIRTHDAY CAKE



To know me is to know that I'm going to make my own birthday cake.  The outside consensus is that I shouldn't, that I deserve to take a break and have someone else do the baking for once.

"BUT BAKING'S THE BEST PART!" I whine.  "Don't take that away from me."

What others don't understand, what only fellow bakers comprehend, is that we find the greatest joy in the process.  Happiness is planning the cake, baking the layers, allowing the filling to set and then putting everything together with precision.  It's a meditation and a pleasure.  It's a gift.


It's my birthday and I'll bake if I want to.