Anniversary Champagne Cake

My parents celebrated 41 years of marriage on Monday, and on that bright day in 1976, they served champagne cake to their guests in Portland, OR, my mother’s favorite. Mom recently came to New Orleans for a visit, and in addition to entertaining the chickens, restructuring my patio and filling raised beds made chicken-proof by […]

Guinness anti-Gravity Cake for St. Patrick’s Day

Let’s have a moment to consider fondant. This was my first time experimenting with the substance, prompted by the fabulous and inspiring cookbook Gravity Cakes by Jakki Friedman and Francesca Librae (who, consequently, I imagine would be just the sort of kindred spirits I like to befriend, based purely on their silly taste and body […]

Torta Caprese for My Birthday Cake

What a fabulous birthday. Surprise after surprise after surprise! Bright flowers from KP. A dozen eggs (thank you magnificent seven!) Presents and cards and several evenings out this week with friends and loved ones. And the Italian Baker, by Melissa Forti. Literally the most beautiful baking book I’ve yet seen. Full of mouth-watering photography featuring […]

Juicy Wine Cakes for my Favorite Dunce

“When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.” -Jonathan Swift, from “Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting” Happy 7th Birthday, Izzy, bulldog of mine. You and Ignatius Jacques Reilly, the fat buffoon protagonist of Jonathan Kennedy Toole’s Confederacy […]

King Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling

The Mardi Gras season is here! For this week’s chocolate dish, I have elected to bake a king cake with chocolate filling, a traditional Mardi Gras dessert. For most of the rest of the country, the seasonal party-energy build up is around the Christmas and New Year holiday, but for New Orleans, Yuletide is but […]

Fudge Nut Cake for National Brownie Day

Who decides today is National Brownie Day? The internet in its intrusive way alerted me to this today. I mean, of course I am grateful and all too eager to celebrate brownies, any day. But does this mean that any person can up and decide that any day is a national holiday? What if I […]

Ezra Pound Cake for the Edible Book Festival

“Please, Ma’am, tell me about your Edible Book project.” “Well I chose Chocolat, after which I fashioned a chocolate ginger bread house decorated like a French chocolaterie.” “Beautiful. And yours?” “My book is The Color Purple by Alice Walker, and so I decorated a cake with all things purple! Radicchio, purple grapes, dark carrots, tinted cauliflower, and […]