Results tagged cake from David Lebovitz

What On Earth?…

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Or I guess I should say—what in the sea?

I recently came across this cake pan online, a unique piece of baking equipment that effectively combines my most favorite thing in the world (cake) with my least favorite thing: heinous beasts from the deep with tentacles.

Look. I can understand making a cake that looks like a castle, a clown, or a toy car. Barbie is cool, and so is Winnie the Pooh. Or even a turkey with red lipstick. (Er, sorry Noodlr, I take it back about the turkey with lipstick.) But I don’t understand what kind of event where a cake in the shape of an octopus would be appropriate.

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Dave T’s Spinach Cake

spinach cake & ham

I don’t know when it took hold, it was well before I got here, but le Brunch is somewhat popular with a certain segment of the population in Paris. Unlike the Bloody Mary and Mimosa-fueled repasts I have fond memories of back in San Francisco, here, I don’t know if the concept really works. For one thing, Sundays are blissfully “sacred” and no one seems to want to wake up and go anywhere until—well, Monday. And the places that do serve brunch are pretty crowded with misfits who probably didn’t get to bed the previous evening, as well as the clad-in-black, chain-smoking bobo crowd.

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do on Sunday morning is wait outside in the freezing cold, breathing second-hand smoke from a bunch of bleary party-goers, both of us desperate for coffee, while waiting for a table.

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Noël

bûche de noël

I couldn’t let the year end without a little reportage about Christmas this year. You heard about my last-minute scramble to find the World’s Most Expensive Pastry Bag, which is now safely stored away in my Safe Deposit Box for next year.

cheese Christmas dinner

There’s a joke that the only bad thing about Paris is that it’s full of Parisians. I’m not going to comment on that, but Paris pretty much empties out, and is glorious time to stay in town. Also Christmas is taken pretty seriously around here. It’s considered a close, family holiday and even though the big department stores have spectacular window displays, Christmas hasn’t been overtly commercialized and kids are content when la grande-mère hands them a bag of fresh clementines, and don’t throw tantrums if they don’t get the latest version of the impossible-to-get video game. At least in my French famille.

The only tantrums being thrown were by me, making my Bûche de Noël, which I’ll get to in a bit.

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Ma Bûche is In the Weeds

There’s a phrase that’s used in restaurant kitchens, in the weeds, which means that basically, you’re sunk. It’s when the orders are coming up too fast and you’re behind, or that you’ve taken on more work than you can chew and you can’t keep up.

dishes

A few weeks ago I volunteered to make a Bûche de Noël for the Christmas dessert. At the time, it seemed like a good idea, but this morning, I’m not so sure.

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Warm Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe

spooning toffee

In my high school locker room, when the jocks congregated after winning a big game, they’d all jump around, yelling the word, “Sah-weet! Sah-weet! adding a big, tight, thumbs-up for emphasis, while jumping all over each other celebrating their victory.

While not as exciting as a group of sweaty, nearly-naked high school athletes jumping all over each other, I don’t know about you, but what turns me on these days is Sticky Toffee Pudding.

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An American Wedding Cake…in Paris?

wedding cake

This weekend, I’m going to my first-ever French wedding. I don’t know if the Bridezilla phenomenon has taken root in Paris, but my friend insisted, nicely, that her gâteau de marriage be one flavor in particular: carrot.

I’ve written about a carrot cake before, but she wanted a nice and tall one – with lots of billowy cream cheese frosting, bien sûr!

chocolate wedding cake carrot cake

Normally when couples in France tie le nœud, a croquembouche serves as the wedding cake, which is a towering cone of sticky cream puffs filled with Bavarian or pastry cream, then drizzled with wispy caramel strands, tying whole damn thing together.

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Pistachio and Chorizo Cake Recipe

cake & suze

I’m now used to sitting down for dinner at 8 or 8:30pm…or 9…or 9:30pm…or 10:30pm…or whenever…but when I first moved to Paris, those first few months were a bit rough and I wasn’t quite sure me, or my stomach, would be able to adjust.

My tummy would start a-grumblin’ around 5 o’clock and I’d start wandering around my apartment, lopping of pieces of bread and cheese, gnawing on radishes, or raiding the chocolate bin—which usually I started in on a bit earlier, I’ll confess, than the other choices.

I am always hungry and the interminable wait between lunch and dinner spans a terrifying seven-plus hours here.

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Warm Spiced Chocolate Cake Recipe

xocopili

Earlier this year I was sent some of the new chocolates from Valrhona to play around with. While I made quick work of the rest of them, one stood out in particular: Xocopili, smooth balls of chocolate flavored with a myriad of spices, including a heavy dose of cumin.

Frédéric Bau, a professor and head chocolatier at the fantastic Ecole de Grand Chocolat Valrhona, developed this blend. Except for the life of me, I had no idea what to do with it.

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