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Dessert, the Sweet Spot


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I've been gobbling up Concord grapes from the greenmarkets like crazy this season. So I was intrigued when I saw an RLB Pie/Pastry Bible recipe for Concord grape pie, which I made this weekend. I was afraid it would taste just like Welch's in a pie shell, but it was very good-- much better than Welch's. Not far from blueberry pie.

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I thought I should create a thread for desserts, sweets, confection-making, etc. For selfish reasons, of course. I made a clafouti the other night. Not just a clafouti; a heaven-sent, got-religion,

Thanks to Pingarina for spreading the love. I made a plum clafouti for dessert last night (using the batter recipe Omni posted). We enjoyed it enormously.

What did Ali serve last night - was it sauteed pears?

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Lovely "This I believe" piece on baking, incl. Thanksgiving desserts.

 

These things are always such tear-jerkers that the "This I believe" opening music has become a Pavlovian trigger to just start tearing up.

 

read or listen

 

 

For those who missed it:

 

link, with recipes

 

I think Joan Tower was supposed to be on this feature next week.

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Passover may not be the best time to start this kind of thread. But I'd like to see some more baking discussion around here.

 

So I'll start.

 

A few days ago I made some lemon pound cakes, from Dorie Greenspan's book Baking: From My Home to Yours. (A version of these cakes is also included in her earlier book Paris Sweets.)

 

It's a pretty standard pound cake, made with eggs, flour, melted butter, sugar and heavy cream. And vanilla. You rub lemon zest into the sugar before mixing in the eggs.

 

And after you bake the cakes Dorie has you do the Frenchie thing--- you poke holes all over the cakes and soak them with a syrup. I went for the full lemon version of the syrup, including a quarter cup of lemon juice along with the sugar and water, and the results were great. Nice fresh lemon flavor and a moist cake even after sitting for a day and a half.

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Oops :blink: ...I said lemon, they are almond bars (sorry, I was watching the basketball :D ). And they are really tasty. Here is the recipe anyway.

 

Fantasty's Almond Bars:

 

2 cups almond flour

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 lb melted butter

4 egg yolks

 

Mix together and bake at 350 for an hour. After 1/2 an hour I cover the baking pan with foil.

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I made Nigella Lawson's chocolate honey bee cake.

The cake itself is rich and moist and deeply chocolate-y.

I should mention though that I used 70% chocolate and doubled the amount of cocoa powder. The cake and it's glaze call for honey-quite a lot really-but it was lost to the chocolate. I'm wondering if I had splurged and used my Tasmanian leatherwood honey I might have had a more intensely honey flavour....and maybe coffee instead of water....

still the best bit was the garnish of small marzipan bees, with chocolate glaze stripes & eyes and almond slice wings, all "stuck" into the cake. ADORABLE. Even the 'oh no none for me' types couldn't resist.

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I baked the almond macaroons, from the recipe that was in the NY Times last week and, if you can call it baking, Marcy Goldman's matzah butter crunch to accompany lemon mousse for Seder dessert. It's nice to have a macaroon recipe that really works. Both taste and texture were superb, intensely almondy yet without any almond extract, pillowy inside and just a tiny bit crunchy on the outside, thanks to the roll in sugar crystals before baking.

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Spring concert at pre=school on Thursday morning and I've promised my sky-high Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake, from a recipe from Cafe Zenon in Eugene OR. Layered into the sour cream-laden cake are layers of walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon and cocoa. The cocoa makes it zing.

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the husband is going up to his family for one bil's birthday this weekend(i can't go since, as a librarian, i tend

to work weekends). so far i have made a banana walnut cake i'll frost with some cream cheese frosting,

a set of portugese sweet bread for my mother-in-law and probably on friday try out a recipe i just found for a

grated parsnip cake - kinda like a carrot cake - and i do so love to sneak veg into anything i serve

my inlaws :blink:

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grated parsnip cake

 

That sounds like a great idea to me. I adore parsnips. If you don't tell people what's in it, do they have trouble figuring it out? Do you frost it? If so, what kind of frosting do you use?

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I've been on a major cookie bender. I made a batch of chewy gingerbread cookie dough and my trick is to bake the cookies on demand so that I have piping hot cookies for dessert. I'm so good to myself.

Next up, chocolate chip cookies.

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