Category Archives: Dessert

I Believe This Might Just Be My Masterpiece: Birthday Cake 2014

Who makes the best cakes?  Momofuku Milk Bar makes the best cakes.  I am not being paid or otherwise compensated to say this.  It’s just the damn truth. Here’s the logic: the best food texture is, obviously, crunchy.  Obviously. What makes a good salad better?  Crunchy croutons (or crunchy bits of bacon). Want your mac […]

Birthday Cake: Anise and Pineapple (and Crème Fraîche and Maple and Walnuts Too)

This is overdue, but who cares?  Cake is cake. I made a birthday cake late last year, for my lovely sous-chef, editor, and boyfriend.  (One of those roles came before the other two, not vice versa.  I’m not that kind of girl.) I demand inspiration each year for this cake.  You may remember last year’s […]

The Birthday Cake

In case anyone was wondering – and you were all wondering, right? – this is the birthday cake I made for my boyfriend this year. It’s a tradition that I ask him every year what kind of cake he wants, and in return he gives me not a flavor, but a fairly broad category that […]

Almond Milk Panna Cotta; Or, Vegan Dessert Win

We recently invited a dear friend over for dinner, a dear friend who is going a-courtin’ with a sweet new fellow.  This fellow happens to be vegan, which isn’t an issue until you invite him over for your annual Kentucky Derby party and realize three hours and a few mint juleps into the party that […]

Corn Cookies, à la Momofuku Milk Bar

On our recent trip to New York City, we stopped in at Momofuku Milk Bar.  Christina Tosi, head Pastry Chef of David Chang’s Momofuku empire, has lately become a darling of the food world.  With my training in Baking and Pastry Arts, I mostly wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I’ve already […]

Valentine’s Day, Round 3: Smoked Tangerine Panna Cotta

And finally, we come to this. I was well pleased with myself for figuring this one out, I must say.  When I decided to cook a special Valentine’s Day dinner for my Special Lady, Ruth Bourdain, there was one ingredient I simply had to include: smoked tangerine zest.  (She kinda has a thing for it.) […]

Apple Cider and Walnut Birthday Cake

Every year, I ask my boyfriend not if he wants an elaborate, ridiculous, complicated, over-the-top birthday cake, but what kind. As I was trained as a pastry chef, the chance for me to flex my pâtissière muscles once a year is irresistible.  I dive into the research stage like a student studying for final exams, […]

How To Get the Christmas Spirit

Oh, it’s one of my favorite times of year.  I’ll admit it, I just love Christmas.  The weather isn’t too bad yet, there’s sparkly lights everywhere, and the Chicago Transit Authority runs a holiday train with a Santa and tinsel and candy canes and everything!  Everybody – but everybody – on that train has a […]

Alfajores; Or, The Best Sandwich Cookies You’ve Never Had

To explain how I discovered the Best Sandwich Cookie Probably Ever, I must begin with soccer. For those of you who aren’t big into soccer, allow me to explain: it’s World Cup time.  To put it in more familiarly American terms, imagine if the Super Bowl were held only once every four years.  And imagine […]

Savory and Sweet: Hand Pies

(This is part three of a three-part collaboration with Cybelle Codish and Taryn Bickley.  For part one, click here.  For part two, click here.) As soon as Spring breaks here in Chicago, something amazing happens.  Aside from the trees greening themselves overnight, and the frenzied blooming of flowers, there’s a sea change of a decidedly more human […]