Archives for Dessert

From Gourmet via epicurious


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses (not robust or blackstrap)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated peeled ginger
  • at least 2 Bosc pears maybe 3 or 4
  • Accompaniment: whipped cream


Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan, knocking out excess.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt.

Melt butter with water.

Beat together brown sugar and molasses with an electric mixer until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well. Beat in flour mixture at low speed until just combined. Add butter mixture and ginger, beating just until smooth. Pour into cake pan.

Peel pear and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Scatter over batter. Put most of them closer to the edges so the center of the cake cooks through. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes and then raise to 350 for 10. until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool slightly.

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apple cakeThis is a slightly modified version of Teddie’s Apple Cake from The Essential New York Times Cookbook via epicurious


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks butter (I’ll keep experimenting with a little less)
  • 2 cups sugar (all white or 1 c white and 1 c brown)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • at least 3 cups peeled, cored, and thickly sliced apples, 5 is probably better
  • 1 cup raisins or cranberries
  • you could try adding 3/4 cup of apple butter
  • Vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)


1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan. Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.

2. Beat the oil and sugar together in a mixer with a paddle (or in a bowl with a hand mixer) for 5 minutes. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is creamy. Stir in the dry ingredients. Add the vanilla, apples, and raisins and stir until combined.

3. Turn the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before turning out.

4. Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Cooking notes: 
If mixing the batter in a mixer, use a paddle attachment and turn the speed to low once you add the flour mixture, or the texture of the cake will be tough. Even better, mix the rest by hand.

The recipe called for Red Delicious or McIntosh apples, but I’d recommend a variety that’s brighter in flavor and firmer in texture, such as a Honeycrisp, Macoun, or Granny Smith.

The apple slices can be halved if you want a more uniform texture.

This cake can be eaten at any time of day, including breakfast. If you serve it for dessert, the recipe suggested a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. I prefer to whip 1/2 cup of heavy cream to soft peaks, then fold in crème fraîche to taste.

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Pop asked for this for his birthday. I took parts from some different recipes so we ended up with the right cake. Mostly it is from a site called

The cake has a few parts. The cake, rum syrup, a chocolate pastry cream layer, a vanilla pastry cream layer, a ricotta layer, and a whipped cream frosting.


Italian Sponge Cake:
5 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind

Rum Syrup:
1/4 cup light or dark rum
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Italian Pastry Cream Pasticciera Cream:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
large pinch of kosher salt
1 tablespoon butter

Chocolate Pasticciera Cream:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
large pinch of kosher salt
1 tablespoon butter

Cannoli Cream:
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup confectionary sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Stabilized Whip Cream:
3 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons granulated sugar

For Decoration:
1 cup toasted sliced almonds

The order of these steps is very important.
1. Whisk together 3 egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the whole milk.
2. Sift 3 tablespoons of flour into the egg mixture and whisk to combine taking care to eliminate any lumps.
3. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and a large pinch of kosher salt into the mixture and stir to combine. 4. Scald (aka bring just to a boil and then cut the heat) 1 1/2 cups of whole milk in a small saucepan.
5. While whisking continuously, add the scalded milk into the egg mixture.
6. Pour all this back into the pan and bring slowly bring to a low simmer, whisking the whole time. 7. Whisk while simmering for 2 minutes.
8.Remove from the heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
9. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap that touches the surface of the liquid (to avoid a skin) and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

The process for the chocolate cream is the same, except that I used 1/4 cup of
sugar and added 2 ounces of finely chopped unsweetened chocolate with the vanilla and the unsalted butter at the end.

NOTE: Both pastry creams are not particularly sweet, but have no fear. Once they
are combined with the sweet cake soaked in rum syrup, their flavors balance nicely.

1. Beat together (using the whip attachment): 1 cup of ricotta cheese, 1/2 tsp. of vanilla, and 1/2 cup confectionary sugar
2. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use as a filling between cake layers.

Mix together the water, sugar, and rum in a small pot. Bring to a boil, and stir
until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool before using.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter two 8-inch cake pans then line the bottom of each with parchment. Butter again and then flour the entire interior.

Note: Its totally worth it to go through all these steps. Your cake will never stick. Set aside.

Place egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until lemon colored. They will be quite thick.

Add the vanilla

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into the egg yolk mixture.

Sift flour over that and continue to fold, very gently, until just incorporated.

Pour cake batter into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for 22-24 minutes (NOT the 4o minutes in the original recipe], or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove cakes from oven and turn out of pans onto wire racks to cool completely.

Soak plain gelatin in cold water for 5 minutes. Dissolve by placing it in a container over a small pot of simmering water (or in the microwave on low), stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool before using.

In a large well chilled bowl, with well chilled beaters, beat cream with electric mixer. Just before it becomes soft and billowy, slowly add the sugar and vanilla to the whipped cream at the sides of the bowl, continue to whip as you do. Whip the cream until barely stiff.

Add melted and cooled gelatin all at once to cream during whipping. Stop whipping when cream forms soft peaks. Finish beating with whisk to adjust consistency to stiff peaks.

Use or serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed. If peaks have softened during refrigeration, re-whip by hand using a whisk.

Beware the weight of all that cream and cake can make the vanilla pastry cream start to squeeze out of the sides of the cake.
Place an 8-inch cake ring over the finished cake and then put the cake in the freezer 20 minutes to get a hold of itself.
If you have a cake ring or an 8-inch springform pan, I recommend assembling the cake within the ring. Alternatively, you could refrigerate the cake for 30-40 minutes halfway through the assembly process to allow the pastry cream to firm up again.

Ideally, this is how the assembly should go:

Slice sponge cakes in half (horizontally) to form two layers. Using a long, thin bladed knife, cut/split each layer in half lengthwise making four thin layers (each of my 4 layers was about 1/2-inch thick.

Place bottom sponge layer on platter cut side up, sprinkle/brush with about 1/4 of
the rum (be careful not to get the cake too wet, or layers will become soggy).

Spread a layer of vanilla pastry cream on the first sponge layer.

Top the vanilla cream layer with another layer of sponge cake, cut side up.

Sprinkle with another 1/4 of the rum syrup.

Spread a layer of stabilized whipped cream on the second sponge layer.

Top the whipped cream layer with another layer of sponge cake, cut side up, sprinkle with another 1/4 of the syrup.

Note: You may want to refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes at this point…or live dangerously and press on.

Spread a layer of chocolate pastry cream on the third sponge layer.

Sprinkle the remaining rum on the cut side of the last layer of sponge.

Top the chocolate layer with the last layer of sponge cake, right side up (aka cut,rum syrup soaked side down)

Frost the top sponge cake layer and sides of cake with stabilized whipped cream, and if desired, decorate top of cake by piping rosettes using whipped cream and cover sides of cake with sliced almonds, or decorate as desired. Place cake in refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.

Store any uneaten cake in the refrigerator. The slice that I ate the second day was
even more moist than the first day.



1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 tablespoons milk


Whip butter and cocoa together until smooth in large bowl. Stir in vanilla and powdered sugar. Slowly stream in milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Scrape sides and whip again until light, fluffy and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Frosts 1-9 or 8 inch round layered cake or 24 cupcakes.

I got this from a blog called that seems to have some good recipes. I think mom used a bit more chocolate and I know she never measured anything, but these are the ingredients she would use.

This one is from Gourmet. My first try had too much cinnamon. But it was super easy.


1 pie crust
15-oz can canned solid-pack pumpkin (about 2 cups). I used 2 cups of real pumpkin
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt


Make pastry dough as directed. Roll out dough into a 14-inch round on a lightly floured surface and fit into a 9-inch glass pie plate (4-cup capacity). Crimp edge decoratively and prick bottom all over. Chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°°F.

Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake in middle of oven 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil and bake shell until pale golden, 6 to 10 minutes more. Cool in pan on a rack. Whisk together pumpkin, cream, milk, eggs, brown sugar, spices, and salt, then pour into shell.

Bake pie in middle of oven 45 to 50 minutes, or until filling is set but center still trembles slightly. (Filling will continue to set as pie cools.) Transfer to rack and cool completely


  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon Juice
  • grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 cups milk


    1. put everything together
    2. put it in the freezer

There are no directions on the scrap of paper mom wrote this on for me. I know when we were little she would freeze this in a metal bread pan and then scrap it with a spoon as it froze, I guess to keep it from freezing solid.

I have also made it with strawberries and peaches with almond extract, and it was great, but don’t tell mom because she said it would only work with lemons.