makes one 10” cake
(You will need a 10” angel food cake/tube pan with removable bottom. Do not grease the pan; grease prevents the egg white stabilized cake batter to climb up the walls of the pan.)
Remove the eggs from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for an hour.
Adjust the oven racks to accommodate your cake pan. It’s best to bake the cake on the middle rack of your oven.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
12 large eggs, separated
1½ cups sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
grated zest of 1 orange
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
½ cup finely chopped walnuts (these are optional if you prefer a nut-free cake)
¼ cup potato starch
1 cup matzoh cake flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Separate the eggs and measure out the remaining ingredients. Place the egg yolks in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the yolks until frothy and lemon colored. Gradually add the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. Add the lemon and orange zests. The yolks should be very thick. Transfer the yolk mixture to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle in the orange juice and the vanilla extract. Gently fold in the nuts, if you are using them.
Thoroughly wash the bowl and the whisk attachment from the standing mixer.
Sift together the potato starch and the matzoh cake flour. Fold these into the egg yolks a little at a time, being careful not to overbeat the batter. Place the egg whites in the clean bowl from the standing mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment. (It’s important that both the bowl and the whisk are grease-free and dry.)
Beat the egg whites until frothy. Add a pinch of salt and beat until stiff and shiny but not dry, being careful not to overbeat. (It’s a delicate dance- the whites should form glossy peaks.) Fold the whites into the yolk/flour mixture, being careful not to deflate the mixture.
Gently pour the batter into the ungreased 10” angel food cake pan. Bake the cake on the middle rack of the pre-heated oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, place a cooling rack on top of the cake pan and carefully/slowly invert the pan on the cooling rack. Let the cake cool completely before removing the cake from the pan. It is easiest to slice this cake using a cake divider or a serrated knife. Cover and wrap any leftovers.
Makes one 8" x 7" cobbler, serving 8
adapted from The Taste of Country Cooking by Edna Lewis
(Note: I opted for 1/2 cup of unsalted butter instead of lard and used a total of 1 cup granulated sugar, (eliminating the crushed sugar cubes) to a generous 5 cups of fresh blackberries. This time of year, blackberries can run on the tart side- taste them and adjust the sugar accordingly; you may wish to add an additional tablespoon of sugar, or if they're sweet, cut back on the sugar a bit. Miss Lewis suggests a double crust topping, I wove a lattice instead. This is more of a spoonable dessert rather than a sliceable one. I used a Pyrex baking dish that measures 8" x 7" x 2" deep. My oven time leaned closer to 60 minutes. )
· 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 cup lard (1/4 pound)
· 1/3 cup cold water
· 1 cup sugar cubes, crushed (see note above)
· 5 cups blackberries
· 4 thin slices butter
· 3/4 cups granulated sugar (see note above)
· 2 tablespoons cornstarch
· 1/4 cup light cream
· 1 cup Vanilla-Flavored Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
1. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Blend in the lard with a pastry blender or with your fingers. When it is well blended and fine-grained, sprinkle in the water all at once, and draw the dough together quickly, shaping it into a ball. Divide in half and let rest a few minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll out the dough and line an 8-inch baking pan. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of the crushed sugar over the dough. fill with the berries, adding the pieces of butter and sprinkling with the granulated sugar mixed with the cornstarch. Wet the rim of the bottom crust and place the top pastry over it, pressing down to seal. Trim away the excess. With the handle of a dinner knife, make a decorative edge and then cut a few slits in the center to allow steam to escape. Brush the top with a thick brush of cream and sprinkle on the remaining crushed cube sugar. Place in a the preheated oven, shut the door, and reduce the heat to 375 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes. If the top starts to get too brown, place a piece of foil (or parchment) over it. Remove from the oven and set on a rack to cool slightly before serving. Serve with a dollop of Vanilla-Flavored Whipped Cream on top.
Vanilla-Flavored Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a chilled bowl, whip the cream until nearly stiff. Add the sugar and vanilla and keep beating until the cream is stiff. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
1½ cups flour
½ cup cornmeal
⅓ cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 oz.) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
⅔ cup buttermilk
3 cups fresh blackberries, lightly rinsed and dried on paper towels
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a bench scraper or your fingertips, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles fine meal. Stir in the buttermilk and add the blackberries, turning just to combine. Do not over mix. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. Dust the top of the dough with a little bit of flour and use your fingers to gently pat the dough into a circle roughly 8”in diameter and about 1” thick. Use a round biscuit cutter (mine measures 2¾”) to cut out 9 biscuits. Place the scones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper then set this on another baking sheet (called double panning) to prevent the bottoms from getting too dark.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, just until golden and firm to the touch. Prepare the glaze by whisking together the sugar and lemon juice. Let the biscuits cool slightly on a rack and then spoon glaze over the top of each.
(from Saveur Magazine, slightly adjusted for spring)
makes one 9"x 13” cake
(Note: I used white-whole wheat flour in the crumb and pistachios because that’s what I had on hand. I also used rhubarb and raspberries in the cake, but the original recipe calls for well drained cranberries)
For the crumb-
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup rolled oats
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons, cool unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (cut the butter and let it sit out to soften slightly)
⅔ cup sliced almonds (or the nuts of your choice)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Add the butter pieces, rubbing the mixture together with your fingers until it becomes crumbly with some large chunks. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least half an hour. (I was short on time and placed it in the freezer while I prepared the cake.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the cake-
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. kosher salt
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (7 oz.) unsalted butter, softened, plus addtl. for greasing
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup full-fat sour cream
* * * * * *
10 oz. fresh or thawed frozen fruit (it is key to drain the fruit in a strainer and then drain it once again on a double layer of paper towels)
1-2 Tablespoons sugar to toss with the fruit (I used a combination of rhubarb and raspberries which warranted 2 Tablespoons of sugar)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl, then add the eggs, the vanilla and the almond extract. Beat on low until incorporated. With the mixer on low, alternate adding the flour mixture (in three batches) with the sour cream (in two batches), beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and beating just until incorporated.
In a medium bowl, toss the well-drained fruit with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar.
Lightly butter a 9"x 13” baking pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, (I like to line the sides with strips of parchment, as well) and retrieve the crumb topping from the fridge. Add the nuts to the crumb, tossing to combine.
Place the batter in the baking pan, using an offset spatula to spread it evenly; make sure to fill the corners. Sprinkle the fruit (leave any moisture behind) evenly over the batter. (Don’t be tempted to add additional fruit; it will add too much moisture to the cake.) Crumble the topping evenly over the fruit.
Bake on the middle rack of the oven until a cake tester or small paring knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out mostly clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. For generous servings, cut the cake in 3¼” x 3½” slices. Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap.
(adapted from All About Home Baking)
makes one 8” cake (fills a Nordicware 6 cup bundt pan)
For the cake-
4 oz. dark chocolate (I use Trader Joe’s Pound Plus)
½ teaspoon Medaglia D’Oro instant espresso powder
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 oz. (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar
1½ eggs (for the half- break 1 egg into a small dish, beat with a fork, measure half)
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream OR 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 6 cup bundt pan.
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat, whisk in the instant espresso powder and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and a half, mixing on low to incorporate. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber scraper. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla extract and the sour cream (or yogurt) then gradually add the flour mixture.
Remove about ½ cup of the vanilla cake batter and add it to the melted chocolate, stirring to combine. Place half of the remaining vanilla batter into the bundt pan, top with half of the chocolate batter, then add the remaining vanilla batter, followed by the last of the chocolate batter. Marbleize the batters using a kitchen knife; don’t overdo it.
Bake the cake on a parchment lined baking sheet on the middle rack of the preheated 325 degree F oven for 40-45 minutes, just until the cake tests clean. Let the cake cool on a rack, turn the cake out of the pan onto a rack set over a baking sheet, and glaze with the ganache.
For the ganache-
8 oz. dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 oz. heavy cream
Scald the cream in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the chopped chocolate, let it sit for a few minutes then whisk until smooth. Pour the ganache over the cooled cake, letting it run down the sides. Wrap any leftover cake in plastic wrap; it will keep well on the counter for several days. (Any leftover ganache can be covered and refrigerated.)