Chocolate Chip Cake

CC cake 15

I’m proud of this cake for two reasons.

First: It’s probably the prettiest cake I’ve ever made, up to and including that time I tried to craft one shaped like a football. With… mixed results. (But hey, it tasted great, I swear!)

Second: It represents what may be the greatest challenge I’ve ever faced: 40 days without cheese. Continue reading

Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Cake 16

It’s Valentine’s Day. It’s 9 degrees (in New York City, at least). It’s Day 2 of a three-day weekend. Do you need any more excuses to spend the afternoon inside, doing nothing in particular besides mixing, baking, frosting, and consuming a chocolate cake that you may or may not decide to share with someone else?  Continue reading

Carrot Pudding

Carrot Pudding 3

Sweet potatoes don’t make an appearance at my family’s Thanksgiving table — and haven’t for as far back as I can remember. (Although the one year my mom hosted, they were present — and topped with mini marshmallows to boot.)

Instead, the buffet’s “orange food” requirement is filled by my Aunt Maureen’s specialty, which is called either carrot pudding or carrot soufflé depending on who’s speaking. It’s soft and rich and decadent, unabashedly sweet but still substantial enough to fit in on a plate filled with turkey and stuffing. It’s certainly not an everyday food, unless you’re cultivating gout — but for the biggest eating day of the year, it works perfectly.

This… is not that carrot pudding. Continue reading

Apple Cake

Apple Cake 2

After two months of experimenting with Nonnie’s busted binder of recipes, I’ve discovered two things to be true.

The first: Nonnie’s savory recipes are hit or miss. For every deliciously browned, crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside oven-roasted potato, there’s a nasty onion parade or questionable amalgamation of boxed mac and cheese, tomatoes, and canned tuna. (Not that we didn’t eat the whole pan of the latter anyway.)

The second: When it comes to pastries, though, Nonnie knew her shit. Continue reading

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake 4One of the best and weirdest parts about working in media is the sheer number of perfect strangers who line up to give you stuff for free.

Case in point: This spring, for reasons I still don’t totally understand, I was invited to a party celebrating the various different types of flours manufactured by Bob’s Red Mill. (Seriously, the invite was a total mystery; I hadn’t even started my incredibly well-trafficked food blog yet.)

Because I figured (rightly) that such a party would involve not only the standard open bar but also a variety of professionally made baked goods, I jumped at the chance to attend. Continue reading