I’ve been learning about all sorts of things tea lately; did you know that matcha derives from the words mo cha, to grind tea, in Chinese, and that doing so was customary during the Song dynasty? The practice fell out of fashion in China afterwards, but has continued in Japan, where tea drinkers can whisk up a frothy cup of jade-green matcha from the finely milled powder of green tea leaves. And thanks to its being so refined, bakers and … Read More
A simple conceit, and a refreshing new dessert. This ice cream flavor takes its inspiration from the combo we often see in baked goods. But this whole category of sweet treats simply doesn’t weigh up to ice cream (or gelato) in my humble opinion. Here, the custard base is lemony and luscious. The poppy seeds add specks of surprising texture that pop, and get stuck in your teeth. And it all goes down cool and smooth, perfect for summer.
I had an I-Can’t-Believe-I-Made-That moment when this cake slipped out of the new bundt pan. Its surface was like a helmet of crisp, melted sugar; it hit its final destination of a plate with a slight spring. A wave of warm, buttery caramel, with citrus and spruce filled my nostrils. It looked like an Art Deco sculpture of sorts. It was a real moment of victory. And I can’t wait for it to happen to you, hopefully, too.
I love Asian ice cream, milkshake and flavored tea flavors, but so often they’re sad, powdered relics of the real stuff. The pale green “honeydew” makes me miss the juicy, floral freshness of the real fruit, slushed up, that I’d get in Taiwan. Bright lilac “taro” flavor just plain is not. Although I may never have enough sun to grow fresh, tropical fruit and coconuts here, one flavor I don’t see the need to place in artificial form, anywhere, is … Read More
When a purchased food becomes such a habit that I can’t fathom a day without this item, it’s usually when I decide to make something like it at home. This winter, it’s been cookies… boxes, and boxes of cookies. All kinds of cookies. Chewy, grainy, nutty ones; flat, crispy sugary ones. It’s an awful way to start off the new year, I suppose.
Holidays are all about traditions — making them, keeping them. I’ve got a tradition in the works of coming up with seasonal ice cream flavors. I don’t necessarily think this hobby needs a holiday attached to it, but it is a good excuse to make lots of ice cream. Previous holiday seasons have been responsible for creating some of my favorites, like chai, orange spice, cranberry, peppermint, chocolate and five-star anise, and curry-carrot-coconut ice cream. If I could capture the … Read More
It’s always exciting to cook with an ingredient for the first time. With all the interesting seasonal produce that can be found, this will surely never end. Food surprises are one of the main draws of joining a CSA for me, too: you never really know what you’re going to get in a given week. Last week, my fruit share from Red Jacket Orchards included quince. Only I thought they were Bartlett pears at first, and then, more outrageously, kumquats.
You know, I have never actually owned a cake pan. I’ve never particularly wanted to use one, either. The spring clasp makes me skeptical. And I guess I don’t see why any food should have to be such a perfect cylinder of foam. As you can probably guess, I don’t have any cake decorating gadgets, and I’ve gotten by improvising them every time I’ve taken on a cupcake task. (Is it a sign of the awesome popularity of the cupcake … Read More
It’s a simple conceit: peanut butter and jelly, America’s favorite sandwich combination, in America’s favorite dessert, pie. You could approach this in many ways, and one other person at the pie contest that I baked this for actually did, layering a peanut butter mousse with concord grape mousse in a thin crust. But the way I went about it was more in keeping with pie tradition than pb&j: I made a fresh fruit filling, and instead of just butter in … Read More