This marble cake is proportioned with more of the white element than the dark: rather than dividing the base batter in half, I like to remove about a third of it and add the chocolate.
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This big free-standing pastry partially encloses a cinnamon and brown sugar-scented cooked apple filling. It's great for a crowd—in fact, it's perfect for Thanksgiving if you have a lot of people over. Best of all, it's baked on a big round pizza pan or cookie sheet, so you don't need any special equipment.
The tart is a baked ganache (a simple mixture of chocolate and cream), scented with orange zest and rum, topped with chopped hazelnuts, in a sweet hazelnut pastry crust. A final drizzle of chocolate makes a simple decoration.
Although fig bars are standard American fare, fig-filled cookies are also very traditional in Sicily, where they are called cucidati. I've decided to merge the two and make a fig bar that is shaped like the industrially-made one, but has some typical Sicilian seasonings in it for extra flavor.
This is a great dessert to make if you're expecting a crowd; it makes 2 cakes with one batter that's easily mixed. The best part is that they can be made days in advance, wrapped, and frozen, so you don't have to fuss any more than defrosting the cakes and making some whipped cream before you serve them.
Pairing buckwheat with chocolate may seem odd until you try it. Both are smoky, earthy, velvety and strong, making them perfectly suited for the others' company. I like to have a gluten-free chocolate option in my repertoire that's not the clichéd torte, which can be too heavy for a lot of occasions. This cake is also great for laid-back Passover Seders. (But don't make the mistake I did of trying it out on the more Orthodox side of my family.)
Even if you despise cheesecake, as I tend to, I beg of you to try this version. Be warned—it's barely sweet. Feel free to alter that if you like.
Lemon seed cake will keep, wrapped well, refrigerated for up to 10 days. I like it best the next day because its flavors tend to marry and the cake moistens, but who can say no to a slice of just-baked cake with sticky glaze?
It seems odd to say that one of my favorite aspects of this ice cream is its bitterness—its 1-2 punch of double bitterness created by the burning of the honey and the long steeping of a tannic roasted tea—but it's true.
Serve these hot from the oven for breakfast or for a little snack before dinner.
We mold this tasty peanut butter dessert in baba au rhum-shaped flexible molds which unmold very easily when frozen solid, and have the perfect built-in spot to hold hot fudge or caramel.
The grated zucchini keeps these cupcakes from getting dry.
If you cannot find fresh lemon verbena you could substitute fresh lemon balm or lemon thyme for the lemon verbena. (I would not suggest using dried lemon verbena. It doesn't have the same bright, fresh flavor.)