Dense Walnut Cake

Dense Walnut Cake with blood orange

Go ahead, bake this Dense Walnut Cake today and “Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!” The checkout line at the grocery store was so long that I simply shopped from the line yesterday, so I can tell snowpocalypse or snowmagedon must be upon us. We’re cozied in and ready to enjoy? a massive Philly snow storm, so we’ll definitely need a satisfying treat of some sort to warm up the house and our cold wintery hearts. And when I think about the most wonderful of winter cakes, one of my first thoughts is of this bon appetit recipe, but since it’s about as rich as it gets, I’ve modified the recipe to make it smaller. A full 9×13″ pan of this cake is just a little too much to have around the house unless you have a large party on the way over. Just a little square of this Dense Walnut Cake will perfectly revive you after a winter ski or skate. The cake is not all that sweet, which cements its status securely in Scandinavian baking; we Scandinavians often tend towards fat rather than sugar when it comes to winter treats and this cake certainly follows … Continue reading

Stone Fruit Crostada with Rye Crust

Stone Fruit Crostada with Rye Almond Crust lemon verbena ice cream

This Stone Fruit Crostada with Rye Crust is born of many different influences. I love stone fruit season and have been waiting all Summer to do a Peach and Plum dessert. Initially, I thought you might be getting a crisp of some sort, but then I read a really lovely recipe that called for a crust with rye flour in the mix. I loved the dark color and the idea of a more savory and substantially flavored crust. Color me intrigued, right? And as a seasoned lover of rye breads (hello, Swedish Limpa anyone?) I figured I ought to add some almond flour in the mix just to up the Scandinavian ante. The dough was very forgiving and easy to work with and this endeavor definitely turned me on to working with rye flour again in the future with desserts. I’m already scheming on all sorts of citrusy combinations for winter. But I digress. Back to the stone fruits. I have been making tons of refrigerator jam this Summer, and I had some plums at the perfect stage of going bad. Sweetening fruits with jams has long been a favorite sweetening strategy of mine and you get that double whammy … Continue reading

Double Almond Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin bread cross section

Some recipes are an essential part of acknowledging the change of seasons for me and Double Almond Pumpkin Bread is definitely one of them for me. For passionate pumpkin lovers, there’s no such thing as too many pumpkin bread recipes and I’ve tried a lot of great ones of the years both in my kitchen, that friends have made and shared, and at coffee shops all over. And I frequently like them. But for me, Double Almond Pumpkin Bread, which my mother made in the fall, with its almonds and almond extract is my favorite; perhaps because it’s quite unique. The orange and almond extracts fill out the pumpkiny flavor and make it more complex. But all of this flavor comes at quite the price. Beware! Double Almond Pumpkin Bread is really a delicious coffee cake calorically. It’s definitely dessert. That said, the recipe is quite flexible and you should feel free to reduce the butter and sugar drastically (I cut butter down to ½ cup and leave out the granulated sugar altogether and then remove 2 tablespoons of flour as well) and it still tastes great, but I’ll give you the recipe as I learned it. I also tend to … Continue reading