Now that the Chrsitmas countdown is in the final stretch, we’ve got one thing and one thing only on our minds: dessert! Celebrate the holiday season with a handful of our favorite festive cakes from across the Web.
No-bake Caramel Cake
by Gosia Kwiatkowska of Sweet Art proves it’s hip to be square. Butter cookie crumbs divide layers of dulce de leche and pudding flavored with almond oil and rum. Fresh whipped cream and shaved chocolate finish the dish, which would be a spectacular addition to any Thanksgiving table.
We’ve all been there before: you ring the bell; the relatives open the door. “Happy Thanksgiving!” they cry, as all eyes turn toward the pumpkin pie you offer with outstretched arms. Faces fall, and you just know your hosts are thinking, Not another one! They graciously receive your pumpkin pie and place it among four others.
No one wants to be the fifth-pumpkin-pie guy. That’s why this year I’m reworking my Thanksgiving dessert repertoire. From straightforward to show-stopper, there are plenty of alternative desserts that taste just as sweet. For example, there’s Cranberry Walnut Tart, a trusty little number that comes together much like a pecan pie. Just press the crust into a fluted tart pan with removable bottom, pre-bake, and plop in the filling, a heady mix of brown sugar, corn syrup, cranberries and walnuts. The cranberries and nuts rise to the top during baking, offering tart and earthy counterpoints to the sticky sweet filling. For a more vibrant variation, try Cranberry Eggnog Tart (above), topped with slick cranberry jam. The truly ambitious can make a candied-orange and cranberry compote accompaniment.
What about chocolate? It’s often crowded out of a holiday pie lineup. Bring it back to the table in Twelve-Layer Mocha Cake. This cake is like an elegant cousin of tiramisù, dressed up for the holiday in its coffee and mocha buttercream best. With a chocolate curl on top, when it’s good it’s very, very good—and it can never be bad.
In my cookbook, a trifle is no simple thing. Why wait for Santa’s sleigh when you can enjoy a stunning Almond Sherry Christmas Trifle right away? The best part is you’ll be enjoying an apéritif on the couch while the turkey tenders run around like you-know-whats. This trifle is always best when made ahead, which gives the cake layers (and you) time to soak up the Sherry.
What are you bringing for Thanksgiving dessert?
Photo: Kimberly Sentner
Today is Gourmet Live‘s 2nd Birthday and we’re celebrating with cocktails, snacks, and a great big slice of birthday cake.
What is your favorite thing to eat on your birthday?
Photo: Romulo Yanes
People around the world will be indulging in their favorite cocoa-based foods to celebrate this sweet occasion. With chocolate-filled favorites like truffles, cookies, candy bars, cake, chocolate chips, ice cream, pudding, fudge, and brownies, there is no shortage of ways to satisfy a sweet tooth.
What’s your favorite chocolaty treat?
Photo: CN Digital Studio
Wedding season is upon us, and from bridal showers to the big day, cakes are a staple for all nuptial celebrations. It’s hard to have just one slice, with delectable choices like red velvet, angel food, coffee cake, lemon chiffon, devil’s food, pound cake, black forest, pineapple upside-down, German chocolate, carrot cake, molten chocolate, and cheesecake. But we want you to tell us:
What is your favorite kind of cake?
Some foods are just simply comforting. Take, for example, Buttered Up’s Double Blueberry Cake bursting with lush, textured blueberries and topped with a deep violet blueberry sauce that turns to a soft magenta at the edges. This cake, baked in a loaf pan, is more like a sweet, dense quick-bread, while the drizzle of sauce has the concentrated blueberry flavor of pie filling. It’s enough to evoke nostalgia for Grandmother’s old cookbooks or rainy days in spring that will give way to luscious fruits.
Photo Credit: Fairchild Archive
It seems the whole world is abuzz with what’s surely to be one of the most memorable weddings of the century—the royal nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton. And while we don’t have a front seat to the festivities (who does?), we have been keeping a keen eye on the day-to-day developments related to the can’t-miss confection—the royal wedding cake. But that got us thinking … when did cake become such an essential element of exchanging vows? Read on for the sweet history (and a few surprising facts) about why we’ve come to cut cake on every couples’ big day.
Back in the era of the Roman Empire, the wedding cake was a messy affair. It was customary for a groom to break the cake over his bride’s head (to symbolize breaking her virginal state). Luckily, back then the wedding “cake” was usually a dry piece of oatcake or barley bread. In medieval England, other accounts describe the custom of guests stacking sweet buns in front of the newlyweds who would attempt to kiss over the pile.