Kugelhopf

One thing that seems to cross international lines with success is baking. I never visit a country without sampling their baking. I visit bakeries, and enjoy everything from French croissants and hearty German breads, to Indian naan breads and bagels in Brooklyn, Montreal, and Jerusalem. Here in France, just after the new year, the windows of pastry shops are lined with all sizes of Galettes des Rois,…

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I recently came across this spot-on video by chef Jacques Pépin, which hit the nail squarely on the head regarding cooking and following recipes. I was particularly impressed by how he was able to explain what can go wrong when you do so. Most people who write recipes for a living spend a lot of time writing them as clearly and accurately as possible. Still, even the best recipe isn’t…

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Over the holidays, we were in the U.S. to spend time with my family (and – gulp – to see my editor…), and I made brisket for Romain. He doesn’t like bœuf bourguignon, because it he says it’s always “dry,” so decided for a treat, I’d make brisket, a beef dish that is anything but. Because I’m such a champ, I actually made it a few different times,…

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Many people tell me this is one of their favorite recipes from my cookbook, Ready For Dessert. In addition to these fantastic Coconut-Dipped Chocolate Macaroons in it, you’ll find the much-loved recipe for Fresh Ginger Cake, which makes a fantastic dessert served with sliced, juicy peaches or flavorful strawberries and raspberries in the summer, or tangy lemon cream in the winter, as well as my other most frequently…

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Sbrisolona

Like the recent recipe for Caramelized Almond Cake, I’ve been anxious to make Sbirolona, a crunchy Italian torta that sort of defies description. I don’t know any other dessert or pastry like it. The first time I had it, it was already broken into pieces, piled in a covered glass jar at a bakery. I didn’t know what to make of the craggy pieces I was nibbling…

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A few years ago, a favorite bakery in Paris near where I lived was offering brownies. The baker gave me one to taste and although I was happy they were expanding their repertoire outside of their borders (actually, many French pastries are influenced from other cultures), the plain, somewhat dry brownies weren’t doing it for me. They didn’t understand that a brownie is best when…

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I’ve seen (and eaten!) cakes topped with caramelized almonds in several countries in the world, but never took a try at one myself. I love anything covered with crunchy, nutty, caramel (Including the famed Chez Panisse almond tart), and after dreaming about the many variations of this that I’ve tried, the time seemed right to finally tackle making one myself. I tried a few similar…

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Before getting ready to fly back to France after the recent holiday, friends invited me to join them on a trip to Havana. I couldn’t make it, but the next best thing is taking the bus to Philadelphia, I’m also juggling urgings to go to Los Angeles, New Caledonia, Mexico City, Vietnam, Florence, Honolulu, Miami, Florence, Oaxaca, Bulgaria, Iran, Gascony, Lyon, Rome, Chicago, Chiang Mai, Sicily, Toronto,…

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From the outside, Compagnie Générale de Biscuiterie is a low-slung place, resembling a workshop of some sort, rather than a pâtisserie, located on the way up to Sacré Cœur, in Montmartre. I made the trek up there to check it out because I was interested in the one thing the low-key place makes: cookies. The French use the word “cookies” primarily to refer to chocolate…

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