Meringue Cake with Roasted Pears

Meringue Cake with Roasted Pears

I started the Zoë Bakes blog in 2007 as a way to stay connected to pastry while I was raising my boys and working on the Breadin5 bread books. I quickly found my community of online peers and Aran Goyoaga and her blog, Cannelle et Vanille, was at the center of it. Her recipes and photography stood out and became the bar the rest of us tried to reach. All these years later I am still striving to create the beauty she seems to produce with such immense grace and ease as if pastry is an innate talent. She grew up in a baking family and so, perhaps she was born with a touch of magic in her hand.

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8 Delicious Apple Desserts

Host Zoe Francois picks apples at Sweetland Orchard, as seen on Zoe Bakes.

Apple desserts are a staple of fall and winter baking. And if you have the opportunity, go pick your own apples! I happen to be very lucky because I live in Minnesota where the state fruit is the Honeycrisp apple, a delicious variety developed by the University of Minnesota, and where 29 other varieties have been released by the U of M since 1888 when the apple breeding program began.

It’s a wonderful feeling to learn about different types of apples, pick your own and then head home to make some apple desserts with your bounty.

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Desserts For A Crowd

Banana Pudding | ZoeBakes by Zoë François

From Memorial Day to the Fourth of July to Labor Day, summer is all about weekend gatherings with friends and family. A good meal should always accompany a get-together, which means you’ll need some tasty desserts for a crowd. I put together a list of some of my favorite cookies, cupcakes, and bars that are sure to please everyone at your party.

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Vegan Mango Mousse

Vegan Mango Mousse | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I made the delicious Mango Pudding and Passion Fruit Caramel recipes from Hetty McKinnon’s newest book, To Asia, With Love! I layered them together and wanted a little something light and airy on top, like meringue or whipped cream, but her recipes are vegan, so I needed it to be plant-based. I have always read about whipping aquafaba into a frothy topping for desserts, but had never tried it myself, until now. What’s aquafaba, you ask? Well, I know this is going to sound odd to anyone who isn’t familiar with vegan baking, but it is made with the water from a can of garbanzo beans. Yep, you drain off the water from chickpeas and it whips into a frothy topping that looks just like whipped egg whites. I promise you, sweetened and folded into pureed mango, you will never know its origins are so humble. I fooled my husband and his reaction was “this is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted! That’s a high bar too!” Then I told him what it was and he couldn’t take back what he’d said! Hahahahaha

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