Tag: cake

Easy Chocolate Cake

Every one should have an easy chocolate cake recipe that they can “whip” together on the spur of the moment with simple ingredients (and one simple enough to memorize). This one is it. Why? Because it’s 5 common ingredients, 4 of them with the same 

Beet & Chocolate

Beet & Chocolate

I am firmly in the beet lover camp: a well grown garden beetroot  tastes of clean sweet earth. And that’s a good taste, intense, earthy, crunchy when raw, silky when cooked, deep garnet. But I know that the beet is as fervently disliked as it 

End of Summer Cake

Nectarine & Almond Cake cooling on the window sill












You only need to know a few cake formulas to be able to look smart in the kitchen. Because once you understand the recipe, you can tweak it ad infinitum to vary the result: change the fruit, change the flour, change the flavoring or spice, change the filling, change the icing, change the pan shape… and suddenly the three or four basic cake recipes that you can do (almost) in your sleep become 40 different desserts. That’s why I call them “formulas”.

Witness this recipe for Italian plum cake.

In the spring, use cherries or apricots. In summer, replace the plums with slices of yellow peaches or nectarine. Or slices of sauteed apples or roasted quince or pears in early fall. Or a mixture of fruit. In winter, use rehydrated dry fruit or halved bananas. I more and more use less refined flours like whole wheat or spelt – they accentuate the rustic aspect of the cake. I bet any flour would work! When using stone fruit like peach, I also like to add a little cornmeal (or corn flour) as well as a few nuts. Almonds are great but so are pine nuts if you have them or chopped pecans. Or whatever you’ve got! (or none if you don’t have any).

It’s not a sophisticated looking cake, like, oh say, a Reine de Saba, but is a satisfying not-too-filling dessert, moist, with a little crunch and lots of fruit – great for breakfast too. Best of all,  it’s an easy recipe to memorize, and by playing with it, it will look like you know 10 different recipes!

End of Summer Cake (with nectarine & almonds) Continue reading End of Summer Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake for 150

Note: Recipe has been updated on February 11, 2009 to clarify some instructions and correct a typo. When we moved to the country, we decided to join the local Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company. It took us a while to actually do it, but both