Spring has sprung, and it was brilliantly evidenced by the batch of Meyer lemon sunshine sitting on my kitchen counter silently begging to be transformed into this creamy, dreamy, luscious, airy, lovingly sweet with a bit of a sour kiss kind of cheesecake.
There are two kinds of people in life: ones that love ripe bananas, and everyone else that cannot bear the sight of even a fleck of a brown spot, or a bit of a bruise. Our family falls into that second set, and so we often have bananas that are immediately rejected and shunned at the first hint of over-ripening. So when life hands you over-ripe bananas, you of course make…banana chocolate chip cake!
I created this recipe to use up our ripe banana for a low sugar, low-fat breakfast for the children, and with school back in session, it’s the perfect back to school bake!
I am not from the South, so I never knew there were varying degrees of nakeness! A few years after moving to my adopted home state of Tennessee, a kind and sweet as back porch iced tea, Southern, young-at-heart friend explained that there most certainly are.
“Now dear, there’s “naked” and then there’s “nekked,” she explained with an oh so lovely drawl that toggled on that line between sincerity and syrupy sweet Southern sarcasm. There was no mistaking here, she was down right serious. She continued, “naked is when you don’t have clothes on, and nekked, well…nekked, is when you don’t have clothes on and you’re doin’ something you’re not supposed to be doin’!” I am not exactly sure when the snorting laughter ensued, but at one point I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard and distinctly remember thinking that her explanation made perfect sense. That is the moment my friends, I knew I was a Southerner at heart.
The moment I began thinking of making this recipe for you all, I thought of this story and knew this cake had to be the perfect combination of “naked” and “nekked.” Classic enough to be presentable, but with just a bit of sass to make you wonder! A cake where you can see all of the beautiful baked cake layers, stacked high with perfect pillowing frosting peeking through and crowned with an indecent amount of seasonal fruit.
Just imagine a dreamy, luscious, tangy-sweet cream cheese frosting, but in ice cream form. Now add moist, decadent, flavorful chunks of carrot cake, and finish with a drizzle of the best caramel sauce your two hands can make or wallet can afford. Mine is a magical carrot caramel, which I realized wasn’t a thing until I created it! I promise, this ice cream will blow your taste buds away. They will then regroup, join forces, and scream for another spoonful.
Ya’ll it is cold in Nashville. Like, really, really, really cold. As in, with a wind chill of -14°F this is the coldest it has been since we have moved here! So, what’s one to do when you’re iced in with stir-crazy little ones to entertain and a kitchen full of seasonal fruits and veggies? You bake, of course! This moist voluptuous carrot coconut cake uses half the oil and sugar of a traditional recipe and is paired with a luxurious Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting. It is a lovely twist on the traditional, but yet it is still as comforting as grandma’s knit woolen throw when freezing cold blankets the world outside and ice covers EVERYTHING in sight!
Ahhh, blood orange. This sweet, sour, tangy and unbelievably bright citrus fruit is bursting with juicy flavor that is reminiscent of an orange, tangerine and lemon, all they while drenched in its own crimson uniqueness.
Cake is often treated as a vehicle for frosting. Not here. Not this bake. Not this cake. This Candied Blood Orange Olive Oil Yogurt Cake is one of the most deeply flavorful and gratifying cakes I have ever created. The fruity intense flavor of the extra virgin oil, with the tang of the yogurt and sweet sour bite of the blood orange is an incredible symphony when married together.
If there is any goodness, kindness, love, sacrifice and service in me, it comes from my mother. I stand in awe of all that she is and everything she has done to give me a better life at the expense of hers. She is my first and most influential culinary mentor and I look forward to sharing her story through the bakes I have learned at her side, from my first childhood memories to today. This is one of the first things I remember her baking, a rich, buttery, moist and comforting pound cake. It’s neither glamorous nor flashy, but it’s delectable old fashion charm will never go out of style. Every baker should have a perfect pound cake recipe in their arsenal and I hope this one becomes yours.
It’s my fault. I realize this. My family is used to, and have come to expect an elaborate dessert for weekend dinners. This is a ritual that brings me immeasurable joy. Doing something I love for people I adore. However, this weekend, I greeted the Saturday thoroughly exhausted from a seemingly endless work week and a looming To Do list thats appears to grow exponentially. Needless to say, I would not have the luxury of an idle baking day today, nor time for a leisurely trip to the market. Needing a showstopper dessert, with ingredients that I had on hand and requiring little time, I immediately thought of a classic dessert that elicits a chorus of oooohs and aaaaaahs, the Molten Lava Cake, with a peanut butter twist and sour cherry reduction!
Sweet. Savory. Seasonal. These are three of my favorite themes when it comes to pastry and these beguiling little almond cakes epitomize this trio in the most delectably charming way imaginable. This diminutive delight is a lightly sweetened buttery almond cake, scented with a hint of fresh rosemary, brightened by freshly grated lemon zest and crowned with a sun ripen blackberry picked at its peak.
Our family loves Halloween. The kids are especially fond of the trick or treat bit, and for me, it is the perfect excuse to bake up treats for a dessert bar for family and friends to enjoy. Check this one out and maybe you will be inspired to whip up a Halloween treat of your own!