An intensely chocolate flourless cake that bakes up tall and puffy then collapses as it bakes into the fudgiest cake you will ever taste! It's naturally gluten free and grain free making it great for serving to guests or bringing to a potluck or party.
A plate of fluffy couscous is lavished with meatballs, lamb chops, chicken skewers, merguez sausage, and a saffron-scented chickpea stew in this celebratory dish, a staple at Moroccan restaurants in Paris. See the recipe »
THE miniature meringue carrots nestled in among the radish sprout foliage look almost too good to eat. But the tiny bottle of “drink me” potion comes with a label urging tea party guests to do exactly that.
Everybody in France seems to eat croissants daily, especially pain au chocolat. Some prefer a thin slice of chocolate folded into the dough—me, I like a big bar. No matter how much you put inside, it should be very good quality. —François Payard, pastry chef and owner of FP Patisserie
In between my break away from physics and finding a job in an established bakery, I worked in a small cake shop selling special order cakes and thousands of cake and cookie decorating equipment. Though my job title was "baker," it was a far stretch from my actual job description. I spent one or two mornings a week baking up boxed cake mixes; my employer hovering over my shoulder convinced I was going to mess them up.
It was frustrating in many aspects. Though my boss was truly a lovely woman who went out on a limb to give me a chance, the job wasn't quite what I had dreamed of. I spent my hours daydreaming of a bakery where I had freedom of ingredients and the trust to make something delicious (it would eventually happen, but not today). The cake shop didn't even have a stick of butter buried in the back of the fridge. I looked.
When I wasn't in the back of the store baking, I was out front helping customers and keeping the shelves stocked. The store was never terribly busy. Most of my time was spent languidly lining the food colors in stick straight lines, the sound of my breathing and the shuffling of paper in the back the only noises in the stilled shop. Among the quiet activities, attending to The Wall of Sprinkles became the most time consuming. The wall held at least a hundred different packages of sprinkles of every imaginable shape and color—jimmies, nonpareils, dragees, sanding sugar, crystal sugar, holiday sprinkles, and so forth. It was, in essence, a sprinkle lover's mecca.
Rather than "baker," my job title really should have read "sprinkle curator." I attentively filled the sprinkle containers by weight, tapped them shut tightly, and priced them with love. I arranged them by color, type, and holiday on the shelves—five containers in back and four in front. I never meant to get irrationally obsessed with The Wall of Sprinkles, but it was beyond my control. As soon as a customer bought one of the sprinkles off the shelf, I would run to the back to grab another to make my sprinkle-lined shelves even.
Looking back, I think I was looking for validation. Validation in my decision to switch careers and validation to pursue baking. If I couldn't prove to my employer that I could bake, perhaps my devout attention to The Wall of Sprinkles would, in some small way, redeem me. It took a couple months of hard work before she allowed me to frost the cakes for her to decorate. It was the smallest of steps for me, but for her it was as large as the Grand Canyon. Though I set out to learn to bake, the true skill I came away with was patience. Honestly, I think it was more valuable in the end.
Well, that and I have an unusual fondness for sprinkles.
Note: I'll be vacationing in warm and tropical Hawaii this week so I'll be taking the week off from blogging to soak up the sun and get sand between my toes. Don't worry, I'll pack as many photographs and anecdotes as can fit in my suitcase on my return. Have a lovely week! I'll be certain to have a Mai Tai and think of you.
These S'more Cupcakes are delightful, irresistible, and impossible to ignore. The cupcakes have a crunchy graham cracker base, topped with a sweet chocolate cupcake, rich chocolate glaze, and toasted marshmallow meringue. I love the texture of these cupcakes—crunchy, light, soft, sticky, and gooey. It truly is a s'more in cupcake form. These are perfect for birthday parties, long summer nights, and when you want a special treat just for you.
The owner of Le Cirque set out to make two pasta dishes for his friends while on vacation, one with vegetables, one Alfredo style. But in the end he mixed the vegetables with spaghetti and cream together, and Spaghetti Alla Primavera soon became a regularly-requested item at the restaurant. See the recipe »
From SAVEUR issue no. 165 At the London takeaway restaurant Leon, lamb meatballs are simmered in a harissa-spiked tomato sauce, served over peppery arugula, and drizzled with bright yogurt-thickened aïoli.
I grew up in the Midwestern corn belt, where once the weather warmed up, the shoes came off and my sisters and I only came inside for meals. Even then, we'd often just grab whatever my mother had set out for lunch and immediately head back outside, eating as we went. Niceties like plates and utensils were blatantly ignored; food that traveled well reigned supreme.
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