The ultimate July 4th meal is eaten outside. It doesn’t matter where — sitting on your front porch, on a picnic blanket in the park, on a city roof, beachside — so long as you’re enjoying a warm summer night under the stars (and, if you’re lucky, watching fireworks). There is just something about the patriotic holiday that makes it best enjoyed in the company of a celebratory crowd (friends, family, neighbors, strangers). These red-white-and-blue cakes are the perfect ending for your festive meal. In addition to having the star-spangled palette, the cakes’ brown butter icing will hold up well at your alfresco gathering.
July 4th Red, White and Blue Berry Cake
Continue Reading Red, White and Blue July 4th Berry Cake
At this time of year, when juicy ripe peaches are plentiful, I try to come up with creative ways to make use of the sweet fruit. This month, my local co-op had a bin of the most beautiful, fragrant peaches — I think maybe the best crop I’ve had in years — and I couldn’t wait to put them to good use. I cooked them with just a touch of honey and a vanilla bean. This light-as-air angel food (great for these hot end-of-summer days) has a healthy dose of citrus zest, which nicely balances the sweet peaches.
Citrus Angel Food Cake with Peaches
Continue Reading Citrus Angel Food Cake with Peaches
This is a very tossed-together Black Forest Cake, or, as I like to say when I am too lazy to bring out the piping bag and tips, it’s “rustic.” It has all the components of the classic German torte, but without the fuss. Layers of dark chocolate cake are sandwiched with fresh whipped cream and sweet cherries spiked with kirschwasser (“cherry water,” or clear sour cherry brandy). These flavors are among the most celebrated combinations in the history of pastry making — and for good reason. This swoon-worthy homemade version of the cake is super-fast and easy to put together.
Rustic Black Forest Cake Recipe (aka Cherry Chocolate Cake)
Continue Reading Rustic Black Forest Cake
The best part of this Valentine’s Day dessert? It requires only four ingredients: chocolate, butter, eggs and sugar. Tyler Florence’s Flourless Chocolate Cake is not for the timid — it’s an intensely rich chocolate experience. Top with confectioners’ sugar for a romantic presentation and serve with freshly whipped cream to balance the flavors. Your sweetie will thank you.
Here’s how it’s done:
Continue Reading Valentine’s Day Four-Ingredient Dessert
The color of this cake alone is enough to bring me great joy on a dreary day. The ruby top is a mixture of tart cranberries and sweet raspberries. Raspberries both sweeten the cake and also create a luscious texture. I personally love the tartness of cranberries alone, but they have so much natural pectin that the consistency was more like tight jam then I wanted. The cake underneath is rich with butter and almond flour. Serve with ice cream for dessert, and then enjoy it for breakfast the next morning with coffee.
Cranberry-Raspberry Upside Down Cake Recipe
Makes: 8-inch cake
Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Continue Reading An Upside Down Cake Brightened Up for the Holidays
As the weather gets chillier, at least here in the upper Midwest, we turn our attention over to apples and pears. The summer fruits and berries are no longer available, with the exception of Italian plums. They have a short season, so ACT NOW; they won’t last long. These little gems are good to eat, but even better to bake with. They aren’t quite as juicy or sweet as their American cousins, but they keep their shape well and their skin adds a gorgeous purple color to tarts and cakes.
The brown sugar cake batter and sweet crumb topping are a perfect compliment to the not-too-sweet fruit. It is great for breakfast with a cup of tea and/or with ice cream after dinner. This is a cake that also seems to get better the second day, if there is any left.
Continue Reading Make This Plum Cake Before It’s Too Late
Flipping through Julie Richardson’s new cookbook, Vintage Cakes, brings me back to my grandmother’s flour-dusted, sweet-smelling kitchen. Grandma made a cake from scratch for every birthday, and their moist layers and buttercream never disappointed — even when I turned seven and all I wanted was the Little Mermaid cake I spotted at the grocery store.
Like Grandma’s, Julie’s cakes steer clear of fancy pastry chef tricks in favor of classic American combinations. A bakery owner and collector of vintage cookbooks and recipe cards, she folds in interesting tidbits of history. Who knew that the Stack Cake, pictured above, was once a traditional wedding cake for settlers in southern Appalachia? Julie notes that wedding guests would each bring a layer for the bride’s family to assemble. Though timeless, the recipes in Vintage Cakes are all updated for today’s home baker, so go ahead and break out that stand mixer.
Continue Reading Cookbook Giveaway: Vintage Cakes
- Adventures in Cooking’s Hazelnut Buttermilk Cake with Maple Pecan Glaze
5 Hot Links We’re Loving:
- Adventures in Cooking’s hazelnut cake with maple pecan glaze is just as striking as it is delicious. If you like German chocolate cake, you’ll love this.
- Morning buns are flaky, buttery and fluffy all at once. Sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and orange zest, Cennella Vita’s recipe is fit for any special occasion.
- Leave it to a New Yorker to master the art of bagel bombs! Mostly Food Stuffs alters the Momofuku Milk Bar original recipe to make perfect “hot, crusty cream cheese explosions.”
- Amy’s Pretzel Fried Chicken featured on the Dramatic Pancake makes the indulgent classic healthier while maintaining all the essential crunchiness (and deliciousness).
- It’s hot dog season, and The Weekend Chef is optimizing the dog’s grilling potential with spiral cuts. Is this a trick to try at your next cookout?
Cue the candles and the bubbly pairing for that barbecue–Cooking Channel turns 2 this weekend. Ready yourself; here come the proud-mama clichés: So big, so fast! So young still, but so smart! It seems like just yesterday we were brand-new on air and just a wee blog online. As much as maturing, we’re still by Food People for Food People.
Remember that first blog post? Okay, you prolly don’t (again that parental pride). Anyhow, as we launched, Cooking Channel General Manager Michael Smith touted our game plan: “Together we’re going to find more ways to explore food and cooking, including the unconventional, how-to, global cuisines, wines and spirits, international travel, history and hidden gems, and even some classic favorites.” Over a couple dozen months we’ve been spinning the globe and peeking and poking and pondering and powering our way from cook to cook, cuisine by cuisine, city by city. We’re becoming the food destination to watch, finding what to eat and drink here on our site, on Facebook, on Twitter and on Pinterest and discovering the best of what to watch, whether it’s on television or with fun (and funny) original series here on our site—Trend Alert, anyone? Fodder for thought…
Stay tuned for even more hot shows this summer.
Continue Reading Twice as Nice: Happy 2nd Birthday, Cooking Channel!