Valerie cake

The best chocolate cake ever A few years back, I went to a Christmas party at a friend’s house, and everybody brought something. Our French friend Valerie brought this French chocolate cake, and it was so extremely delicious that after that party practically every single woman asked Valerie privately for the recipe. So every time …

Sweet potato pie

White girls can’t make no sweet potato pie… One year, I made this sweet potato pie for my office Christmas party. On the light-rail train on the way home that evening, I had the remains of the pie under my seat. One stop before mine, I stood up and moved over to the door, and …

Sponge cake with pineapple

With Pineapple! In the winter, pineapple is good when no other kind of fruit is, and this sponge cake makes it into a delicious dessert! How to make sponge cake: Preheat oven to 350. Put the springform pan together, or use a cake pan, and grease the pan. Separate 6 eggs and mix the yolks …

Raspberry meringues

Eggs for dessert! Spring is the season for eggs, and meringues are eggs for dessert. Try to use the freshest eggs possible – which means getting them from your farmer’s market, if not from your own chickens or your neighbor’s chickens. How to make meringues: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Separate five eggs, putting …

Pumpkin pie

Don’t use canned filling! Honestly, it only takes a few minutes longer (plus cooking time) to make pumpkin pie from scratch, and it will taste so much better and be cheaper too. But don’t use carving pumpkins The pumpkins they sell at Halloween for jack o’lanterns are bred to make good jack o’lanterns and not …

Creme caramel

Creme Caramel Together with chocolate mousse, creme caramel is the standard dessert in cheaper restaurants in France: it seems fancy because it’s hard to make, but the ingredients are cheap – milk, sugar, eggs – and it can be made ahead and brought out during the dinner rush without reheating or anything. These same qualities make …

Chocolate mousse

Every day for two weeks… I’ve tried many chocolate mousse recipes over the years, and they’re good, but most of them are unreliable. Sometimes you get a great chocolate mousse, and sometimes it’s all runny and won’t set up. How can you make an unreliable dessert when there’s people coming to dinner? So I decided …

Cheesecake

Alpha House cheesecake In Ithaca, drug addicts were frequently remanded to a place called Alpha House where they were supposed to be rehabilitated. The addicts were supposed to support themselves during the process, and learn to work a steady job, by baking lots of cheesecakes. Alpha House cheesecake was ubiquitous all over town, and it …

Corn pudding

Great with turkey, venison, or duck – or with sauteed mushrooms, or squash Cut the sweetness of this pudding with something strong-tasting. Add cranberries, applesauce, or zucchini for a great dinner. How to make corn pudding: In a medium-sized saucepan, boil four cups of water. Preheat the oven to 425. Slowly add one cup of …

Bread stuffing

The only use for Wonder Bread? My mother made this sweet bread stuffing with a loaf of Wonder Bread, because it becomes so soft when it gets wet. Sometimes I still use regular store-bought white bread to make this stuffing, but you can also do it perfectly well with whole-wheat bread, or with¬†bread you baked¬†yourself. …