You all know my Italian roots, so it may come as a surprise that as an Italian family, none of us bakers in the family ever made Panettone at home. We all knew that baking this at home was time consuming and even my paternal nonna, who was a very serious baker, would leave it to the pros. Every holiday, she would simply place an order with our local Italian bakery and “voila” fresh, delicious Panettone would magically appear at our home in time for us to polish it off before it even left the pretty wrapping it came in.
Men love Pie.
It’s a fact. Out of all the desserts that I have made in the past 6 years, Pie is by far my husband favorite dessert. I don’t make it as often as he likes, because well, you know, cooked fruit!
The funny part of it his, is that when I do make pie, it has never failed me (keep this in mind for later) – not once. Every single time, the pie is a success – I make my husband happy, he gets to stuff his face with a dessert that he is likes and I get to say that I made pie - in marriage is the little things. Then, I go into hibernation for months before I make another one.
This cake was never going to be made. I was to busy this past weekend, I was hosting my annual Hot Chocolate Party for my girlfriend and I was cooking up a storm and figure that Hot Chocolate + Chocolate cake was NOT a match made in heaven, so I put it on my list to skip it.
But then on Monday, actually late Sunday, the posts from my fellow bakers started to trickle in and words like “light as a feather and as soft as a whisper”, “EPIC”, “Everything a cake should be”, “the caramel whip cream is to die for”…were written all over the place, and the praises continue in our Baker Facebook group, where it seem this cake was the talk of the town. I was sucked in and posted that I was on my way to the kitchen to see if this cake was going to be the belle of the ball in Casa P.
This tart almost did not get made. There were so many issues that at one point I told myself to forget it and to move to the next recipe in the line up.
Beside the Key Lime pie, a Pecan pie is the only other pie that I would take the time to eat. The only issue I have with them, is that most of the pecan pies out there are a sugary mess. I usually cannot get pass the first bite, before I have my fill and the rest is forgotten and ends up in the trash.
Our new rental home has everything that I wanted in a kitchen – lots of storage spaces, tons of counter space, brand new appliances – We are the first tenant to be using the stove, dishwasher and the refrigerator.
The awful, uncomfortable refrigerator - the most hated item in my kitchen right now. It’s a side-by-side, stainless steel and it’s the most difficult appliance that I have ever used. And trust me, my old refrigerator was a top freezer, small thing and sometimes I wish I had that one instead of this beast.
Well, it’s that time of the year, where you are bombarded by holiday music, packed malls, bad drivers on the road and the cookie overload.
So, it was no surprise that Marie chose a cookie recipe for the bake along – and hold-on to your hats, because next week is ANOTHER cookie – she is two for two.
Almost everyone has a strong opinion about fruitcake. It is one of those desserts that there is no in-between, you will find the “love them” group and “hate them” group in every bunch. For the love them group, it as much a traditional part of the holidays as the tree, the holly and Santa Claus.
Many cultures have a rich, fruit-filled cake that is baked only on special holidays. The Germans have their “Stollen,” the Italians their Christmas “pannetone.” In Russia it’s “kulich,” the Czechs make “vanochka,” to name only a few. Some are breads, with a yeast base; others are cakes. Some have lots of candied fruits, raisins and nuts, others not so much.
Not too long ago, most people didn’t know what a kouign amann was, let alone how delicious this sweet bread is. If you were familiar with the pastry—a buttery Breton specialty that’s somewhere between a croissant and brioche, with a layer of crispy caramelized sugar on top—you probably couldn’t shut up about it, and you probably moaned the fact that they were, up until recently, rather difficult to find outside of the coastal region of Brittany, in the northwest corner of France. Make them at home? Sure, you can try, but it’s not a casual undertaking… as I learned when it was part of Rose’s beta test list.
So, this came yesterday in the mail….
Which means that my new kitchen will go into over time starting December 1st. I had the pleasure of participating in the “making” of this book. Rose was gracious to reached out to some of the bakers bloggers who participated in the very succesful Rose’s Heavenly Cakes bake-along in order to help her beta test some of the recipes she was creating, which are now included in this beautiful cookbook (her 10th!).