August 28th, 2008

ginger cheesecake

ginger cheesecake 1

let’s talk about cheesecake. it’s so rich and decadent that i usually can’t resist cutting myself pieces that are way too big for one person. you’ll have a tough time too with this cake, since it has ginger in the crust and in the cheese filling. i know it sounds crazy, but it works! the result is a creamy, tangy and soothing dessert (or breakfast or lunch or dinner or snack) that you’ll want to tell your friends about. don’t be afraid: embrace the ginger cheesecake.

ginger root

are you one of those people who likes the crust more than the actual cake? it can be a tough balance. with every bite, i’m torn between wanting more of both. for those of you who prefer the cheese, this crust just may turn you to the other (crusty?) side. it’s a mixture of ginger snaps and pecans, a combination so beautiful you should buy enough for two crusts in case you just eat the first before you can get it in the oven.

ginger cheesecake 2

i used several common tricks to reduce the likelihood that my cheesecake would crack, including putting a bowl of water in the oven to keep it moist and cooling the cake very slowly by not immediately turning off the heat. despite my efforts, the cake cracked like the grand canyon, and to be honest, i’m ok with it, because i think it actually gives it a lot of character.

ginger cheesecake 4

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August 25th, 2008

david eyre’s baked pancake with homemade apple syrup

pancake 1

i first saw david eyre’s pancake when it cropped up in the new york times last year and although i had it bookmarked for some time, i never got around to actually making it at home. this weekend i was in the mood for dessert for breakfast (i actually remember eating birthday cake for breakfast several times growing up so it’s nothing new for me), so i fired up the oven and whipped up one of these bad boys. it’s so light that it’s almost like eating a crepe, and the wow factor of an inflated pancake coming out of the oven just seals the deal. i will be making more of these in the very near future. and although it looks very delicate, it’s pretty idiot-proof.

applesapple syrup

traditionally, the pancakes are doused in lemon juice and sprinkled with a generous amount of confectioner’s sugar before serving. i upped the ante with a simple apple syrup that i first created on one cold morning a few years ago. i was looking for something that would warm me up, and i was bored with maple syrup. basically, you cook down apples until you have a sticky, sweet, bubbly mess in a saucepan, and pour it over anything you want to taste delicious.

pancake 2

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August 19th, 2008

zucchini bread

zucchini 1

remember my banana bread recipe? chock full of warm-your-belly-and-soul-cinnamon-banana deliciousness? well, here we go again, except this time it’s savory zucchini-y goodness. this is one of those recipes that takes me back to my childhood kitchen, and it’s now become one of my 3-year-old nephew’s favorites (he calls it “kini bread”). and again, like the banana bread recipe, this is one you’ll be able to knock out in your sleep once you master it.

zucchini bread 1

and now that i’ve told you how easy it is, i have a confession. i followed the recipe exactly, but my loaves somehow came up, well…short. literally. they didn’t collapse, but just came out about 1/2 the size they should have. i’m not sure if it had something to do with my baking powder or baking soda, but they didn’t hit more than 2 inches at their highest point.

zucchini 4

luckily, the size did not affect the taste at all. the bread is still soft and moist, crumbly in just the right way, and surprisingly not too dense. now that i think about it, i may have been misled about how big these loaves should be. being a little shorter, they are much easier to handle, slice up and take on the go, which is great because i plan on eating a few slices while walking to work in the morning (as well as a few more for each meal of the day).

zucchini bread 3

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