November 17, 2011

Carrot Layer Cake

I preface this post by saying it's basically a teaser.  Why?  Because I can't share the recipe for this delicious carrot layer cake with you....just yet!  It's one I'm testing for Cook's Illustrated and they're still tweaking it a bit.  

But I can share with you the technique used to make the cake.  Instead of baking the cake in two round pans it's baked in a half-sheet pan.  Once cooled completely the cake is sliced in to four equal rectangles then layered and frosted.  Pretty cool, huh?  It really does cut your prep time in half.  Now why didn't I think of that?

UPDATE: The recipe for this cake can now be found in Cook's Illustrated May/June 2012 issue.

November 10, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Cake

My friend Jesse's birthday was last month and my gift to her was a cake of her choosing.  What did she request?  Flourless chocolate cake.  

It's a super-easy but very elegant dessert you can make that uses ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen:  eggs, chocolate and butter.   That's it!  If you want to go a bit over the top you can even add some espresso.  I won't tell if you won't.    

An added bonus?  It's the perfect choice for any gluten-free folks in your life. 

November 3, 2011


I'm lucky enough to be a recipe tester for Cook's Illustrated, the ne plus ultra cooking authorities, so when a Paris-Brest recipe landed in my Inbox many, many, many months ago I was super excited.  I had every intention of making it straight away until procrastination and summer vacation distracted me.  When I saw that the recipe was published in the current issue of the magazine (November/December 2011) I figured it was about time to make it.

If you're not familiar with this classic French dessert it's a large ring of pâte à choux filled with a praline-infused pastry cream.  They say the Paris-Brest was the brainchild of a very ingenious baker to commemorate the famous bicycle race between the two cities.  Leave it to a Frenchie to think of something like it!

I'm sending this cake across cyberspace to my dear friend Mimi who is celebrating her birthday today.  Joyeux anniversaire mon amie!  

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