Date and Almond Torte with Salted Caramel Sauce

This is a torte so it doesn’t have much height, but what it lacks in height, it makes up in taste. Something magical happens when you use dates in cooking or baking. Sometime they dissolve into a beautiful paste that invisibly adds immense flavor and texture to foods, other times they provide the sweet to offset the savory. This recipe is one of my favorites and is sometimes included on my menus at the various schools I teach in. It comes together nicely and is great to present with the sauce. While I sometimes experiment (meaning it may not work […]

Lemon Zucchini Loaf

Yes my friends, it’s that time of the year again! Neighbors are gathering – in large baskets, zucchini of all sizes, shapes and colors. People you don’t even know are stopping by and knocking on your door to unload – I mean share, the bounty of this most glorious of fall vegetables. So here is my take on the humble zucchini loaf. This time I’m using yellow zucchini but that’s not really the twist. Although I must admit using yellow zucchini does give it a lighter color and a more cake like appearance. So of course I want to change […]

French Cheesecake

When I first became a Chef, I must have spent many months going through various culinary websites for inspiration, ideas and direction. One of the sites I came across belonged to David Lebovitz. I guess he intrigued me because he also made a change in his life moving from the US to France. I liked the way he poked fun at his handicaps in speaking the language, understanding the customs etc. But he always ended up with a great recipe. So much so that he put together a book – My Paris Kitchen, of which I am the proud owner. […]

Ricotta and Praline Cake

  Here’s another keeper cake recipe. I had some ricotta in the fridge. My friend Maria makes all kinds of delicious Italian treats (which I am sometimes the grateful beneficiary of – ahem, #shehasn’tmadesomethingformeinawhile) with ricotta. I wanted a recipe that was easy to come together and taste good. I ran across a recipe a while back and decided to try it out on the weekend. The original called for frozen berries but I’m not a big fan of frozen berries – unless I’m making a smoothie or something with vodka in it :)! I had just finished making a […]

Toasted Almond and Coconut Blondies

You know you have a hit when “everyone” who tries this says “OMG (insert something biblical or not), so good!” This is a variation on a standard Blondie recipe which combines two of my favorite ingredients – almonds and coconut. It’s a one pot dish – no really, and you know how I hate to wash dishes. Couple of things make this recipe special and give it unique flavors. The fragrance and flavor of the toasted coconut and almonds. I recommend toasting the almond slices and the coconut separately. I also suggest toasting the coconut first, emptying the pan once […]

Rhubarb and Custard Tarts

The first time I had rhubarb, I thought it was stringy and sour (I was 9 or so), I didn’t like it at all. Over the years (many of them), I have had a chance to try rhubarb in different ways – tarts, pies, with other fruit, compotes etc. That’s when I discovered what a wonderful vegetable (yes it really is a vegetable but quite often referred to as a fruit) it is.  These Rhubarb and Custard Tarts are a must make and very worthy of being added to your fast and easy dessert recipe repertoire.   First off, if […]

Halvah and Chocolate Scone Loaf

Tasty, not too sweet, not a cake and definitely not a loaf. My wife will love this for Mother’s Day!  It is a nice recipe for a scone style treat baked in a loaf tin. Yes, I said scone in a loaf tin. It comes from the good folks at Food 52 and this is an adaptation of their recipe. It’s an interesting recipe, and that’s sometimes more appealing to me than the tried and true. Again, I do a lot of these appealing recipes, but only submit to you the ones that I like (or work out). Point in […]

Ambrosia Cake

  If you follow my blog or have attended my classes you know I like to give you recipes that you will actually make.  They usually don’t contain a log of ingredients and come together fairly well.  But every once in a while, you just need a cake that has that “wow” factor. It could be for a special occasion like Easter and/or Christmas and/or a birthday. In this case, my niece Rochelle’s birthday and Easter. A few years ago, she said I “upped the ante” for cakes when I made a crepe cake. So every year, I look forward […]

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Guinness Brownies

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Yes there will be much green flowing today. I think we’ll all have our fair share of food and things that are green today. Here’s a recipe to celebrate the most (well almost most) famous creation from Ireland – Guinness Brownies. Yes, there is Guinness in these brownies, along with some good dark Lindt chocolate and Ghirardelli cocoa and chocolate chips. A nice combination of tastes in every bite. To boost it over the edge, a heaping tablespoon of espresso powder thrown into the mix at the last few turns. Really dark chocolate, Guinness and coffee […]

“Caffins” – March Break Baking Activity!

    It is March break and all the kids are off – but you know that. If you didn’t go away, you probably have them all with you in the house. So keep them busy by getting them to make their own batches of these “caffins” (cake + muffins). I couldn’t think of what else to call these rich and delicious treats. I made them small enough that you could eat one or more and not feel guilty, but deliciously satisfied Blueberries and lemons, they make me look forward to the next season. Spring is after all, only a […]