Peach Upside-down Cake

There is nothing sexier than a perfectly ripe peach and nothing more disappointing than one that is subpar. I find the former more difficult to lay my hands on than the latter, but it is worth the hunt and the wait to get one. It seems that peaches have good seasons and bad ones, it is the entire crop that is either smooth, juicy, sweet and floral or they are mealy and have no discernible taste or smell. Folks, this seems, at first examination, to be one of those prized peach years. I admit mine were not local, just a seductive flat from costco. I even bought it when the peaches were still too firm to know what they would amount to. After a couple of days on the counter I could smell them from across the room and they begged to be eaten. My son dove in first and I immediately sent him out the back door to finish up the slurping in the yard because my kitchen floor was getting sticky from peach juice. Eureka, it is going to be a good summer! The entire case ripened at once and we were eating them as fast as we could. I put them in cereal, in salads, in yogurt, on ice cream and sliced them up and tossed them in this ginger spiked upside-down cake. I’ve made 3 of these cakes since the first one came out of the oven, it is THAT good! (more…)

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Sneak Peek: Tilia’s Summer Dessert Menu!

Strawberry Fool with Frambois Lambic Foam

The moment has come to switch from the cool weather comfort-food dessert menu and embrace the heat of summer with some cool treats. Here is a teaser of what we’re working on, which we hope to launch next weekend! There will be a few flourishes (not captured in these photos), so you will have to come taste the final unveiling at Tilia! (more…)

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Berry Cobbler – A Happy Accident with Cheddar Biscuits!

I have to admit this recipe was an accident, a happy one, but a mistake nonetheless. I was going to post on shortcakes, with balsamic roasted strawberries. I was mixing up the biscuits and got distracted, probably by something I read on Twitter. I added way too much buttermilk to the dough and they were no longer useful as biscuits. How disappointing to have a recipe in mind and then blow it. These weren’t just any biscuits, they were made with cheddar cheese, so they would have a slight sharpness to them, which I find a perfect compliment to the sweet berry filling. What to do, there was no way I was tossing these beauties, but they were too soft to work with in the traditional way. Then it hit me, COBBLER. All the same ingredients, but baked together at one time, even better. I added blueberries, fresh ginger and lemon zest to the strawberries and topped it with my sticky biscuit dough. Thanks to my inability to focus yesterday, I have a new favorite dessert! (more…)

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Chocolate-Ginger Marbled Cheesecake “Bars”

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

Here I am, screeching in at the very last moment, with the Daring Baker’s Challenge. I adore cheesecake and this was a great challenge presented by Jenny. Basically she told us to come up with any variety of cheesecake we wanted. I have to admit that I went to my culinary muses and asked them what they thought. My husband came up with a combination of ginger and chocolate, he was also very insistent that they be bars and not a big cake. Here, in the Midwest, any sweet cut into a square is called a “bar.” It changes this rather sophisticated flavor combination into an after school treat instead of a plated dessert. My sons Henri and Charlie whole-heartedly agreed, and then ran outside to skateboard as quickly as possible. It is very helpful to have opinionated muses.

I have to say he came up with a real winner! The rich chocolate ganache mixed with the ginger cheesecake batter sits on top of a dark chocolate and crystallized ginger crust. Marbling the two flavors and cutting them into bars makes them pure fun! I shared them with several neighbors to keep me from eating the entire batch.

The winner of the Le Creuset baking dish is announced below.

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Happy New Year! Chocolate, Candied Ginger and Grapefruit Biscotti!

What a year it has been. It started with the launch of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. A project that I knew was a great concept, but had no idea that so many people would embrace it. Thank you all for the fabulous support and wonderful emails, pictures and thought provoking questions you’ve sent! Due to those inquiries and suggestions Jeff and I have embarked on our second book. This time we are focusing on breads made with whole grains and really healthy ingredients, that are still fast, easy and tasty! Even some gluten free breads. The book is due at the publisher in TWO days and we are working like crazy to get it in on time. It should be available next fall.

Of course, I need something to nibble on as I work on the book so I made my favorite biscotti. This is the one cookie that I can not keep my hands off of. I force myself to give some of them away so that I don’t eat the entire batch all by myself! 😉 (more…)

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