What makes a better gift than DIY cocktail supplies? This kind of gift is cute, unique, and way more useful than another pair of hand-knit socks. Best of all, it’s surprisingly easy to make the components of one of my favorite cocktails, the Manhattan. Well, all of the components except for the rye whiskey. That one, I’ll leave to the experts.
This is officially my new favorite coffee/breakfast/snack/anytime cake. It has a comforting heft to it. It will remind you of apple picking and old fashioned donut shops. The cake on its own is wonderful, but the crumb topping makes it swoon-worthy. You will eat every last crumb. Promise.
A pretty Southern belle of a pie, with little flair: classic golden graham cracker crust coated with dark chocolate ganache, sweet bananas, thick vanilla-specked pastry cream, and pillows of soft whipped cream swirled with salted caramel.
Now, I like to sip a fine measure of Irish whiskey, for sure, but when you need to make a whole tableful of people happy with just one glass, nothing beats this Chocolate Whiskey Cake. Serving it at a recent birthday potluck, the question everyone asked after one bite was, “How much whiskey is in this??” Only a cup’s worth for the entire generously-sized cake, but a liberal sprinkling after baking gives a potent warmth to every forkful.
Now that you can’t swing a puggle in this town without landing it face-first in someone’s salted-caramel-gingerbread-bacon cupcake, what’s the future of dessert? Four of the city’s most innovative confectionaries got together last week to discuss the current State of Pastry in SF.
I’ve been spending entirely too much time watching episodes of The French Chef with Julia Child that my friend Craig gave me.
I find Mrs. Child oddly hypnotic. There is something about her uniquely-accented voice and the not-entirely graceful movement of her formerly 6′ 2″ body that compels me to watch her.
And watch her I do. Over and over again.
This week, I’ve been enjoying an early, black and white episode wherein she gives a champagne and coffee party in honor of:
“…the Queen of Sheba, which turns out to be this dark beauty, made of chocolate, and almonds, and rum, and butter!”
She then invites us into her kitchen where she promises we’ll make:
“the best chocolate cake you ever put in your mouth.”
That’s one heavy promise, but I love her enthusiasm.
I decided to put my money where Mrs. Child’s mouth is and examine this cake and the woman behind it, however superficially.