Can you imagine how thrilled I was when Food and Wine magazine voted Apricot Berry Crumble “Best of the Best” shortly after Baking in America was published? Thrilled and surprised, actually, because the dessert is so simple and uncomplicated. So, what exactly is a “crumble?” According to Richard Sax’s Classic Home Desserts, it’s a fruit dessert baked with a topping containing oats, essentially an English version of American “crisps”. What both these types of desserts share is a crumbly topping of flour, sugar, and butter that bakes crisp on top as the underside sinks into the fruit to flavor and thicken it. They go way back in our history. [...Read More]
Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, but we treat it as a fruit. For many people it’s an acquired taste, and it is only through my wife’s gentle cajoling over many years of recipe trials that finally won me over. Now we grow our own rhubarb and I can barely wait each year for the plant’s red stalks to signal their presence. If you don’t grow your own rhubarb, many farmers and supermarkets offer it through the summer months. One of rhubarb’s best uses is in pies, and in old cookbooks rhubarb is affectionately referred to as “pie plant.” I’ve made many rhubarb pies over the years, and the recipe here is one of the best and easiest I know.
I have a baking pen pal in Nigeria whose name is Olawale Taiwo .We’ve been in touch by email for a few years and I learned he’s an avid baker of specialty cakes. He is also very curious how about how baking works and likes to vary the ingredients in a recipe to see what happens. Wale had tried to get a copy of my book, Baking in America, by mail but the book never arrived. So I offered to send him a copy. But what I found was that the cost of sending the book was much more than the original retail price of the book. What to do? [...Read More]
Our dear Hungarian friend, Robert Pal, loves to cook and eat. For his recent birthday, we split the cooking duties for a Chinese dinner, and for dessert, I baked him a classic 7-layer Dobosh Torte. I went online to learn how to write Happy Birthday in Hungarian.
Here’s Robert about to blow out the single candle on his cake.
And here’s what the inside of the cake looks like.
Each layer (a special sponge cake batter) is baked on a sheet of buttered and floured parchment paper. A luscious chocolate frosting fills and frosts the cake. It is one of the world’s greatest cakes. The recipe I use comes from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Desserts.
And here’s a single serving of the cake. On his Facebook page Robert said: THE BEST DOBOS TORT I EVER HAD!!!!
Boldog szulinapot, Robert! You’re a wonderful friend.