Like sour cherries or ramps, Concord grapes, which hit markets in September, have an all-too-brief season that begs for you to eat as many as you can before they’re gone. They have a showy, intense flavor that’s more grape lollipop than grape. [Read more…]
In the world of cake, I’m accepting of a wide range of crumbs. I love the slightest bit of crackle on the outer edge of a 1-2-3-4 cake. I love slicing into the silky fudge of a flourless one. Dense, moist, or spongy, I’m into it. Fake vanilla pudding cake with grocery store buttercream? Same.
Despite my egalitarian approach, there are a few favorites I turn to again and again. And this simple vegan chocolate cake might just be my most go-to of go-to cake recipes. Its light, springy crumb makes it a cake you can count on. And, with a simple list of pantry ingredients – flour, cocoa, baking soda, oil, and vinegar – it’s a cake you can easily make. Like, right now. [Read more…]
I have a list of beloved recipes for fall, the holidays, and beyond, and pretty much stick to them, especially when things get busy. Also, I don’t like change. Even so, sometimes an idea or book comes along that changes my ways and pushes me to re-imagine even my very favorite things. Samantha Seneviratne‘s The New Sugar and Spice: A Recipe for Bolder Baking is just that kind of thing. In it, Sam moves beautifully between engaging family stories and insights into baking, spices, and the history of how such far flung ingredients made their way into our kitchens. It’s also overflowing with perfect recipes. Just enough sugar to be delicious and with an admirable restraint – rather than the typical cinnamon/clove/nutmeg/ground ginger wall of flavor, Sam achieves culinary splendor by thoughtfully highlighting just a few ingredients in each dish. Think of it as the anti-pumpkin pie spice. [Read more…]