Savarin Cake

Savarin filled with tipsy fruit
Photo by Caroline West

If you like your cakes boozy and moist, this yeast cake is sure to become a favourite. Once the cake is baked, it is saturated with warm cherry brandy (Kirsch) or rum-spiked syrup. The cake soaks up the booze like a drunken sponge and swells in a happy stupor. You can, of course, omit the […]

Berry Good Ice Cream

Photo by Caroline West

Strawberries are so sweet and perfect on their own, I hate to mess with them.  Unless there’s an ice cream maker handy, in which case I don’t hesitate to pulverize them beyond recognition for a greater cause: strawberry ice cream. If you’ve never made homemade ice cream, you’re missing out on one of summer’s greatest […]

Lemon Sorbet

Photo by Caroline West

For special occasions, I’ll serve these refreshing sorbets in their lemony containers. More often though, I’ll make a jugful of sorbet and serve it in clunky glasses with big straws.  Depending on the crowd, I’ll add a splash of vodka. Sorbets are made in an ice cream maker but if you don’t have one, you […]

Cranberry Jelly

Photo by Caroline West

My holiday mantra this year is “keep it simple” and these sparkling jellies are simplicity in a glass. Made of cranberry juice and a splash of Grand Marnier, these grown-up jellies are both sweet and tart. I’ve dusted the rims of sherry glasses with fine sugar before pouring in the fortified juice. Once the gelatin […]

14 Layer Birthday Cake

Photo by Caroline West

When my twin daughters turned three, I baked them a very special three layer cake, one layer for each precious year. This year’s birthday cake has 14 layers, one layer for each wonderful, tumultuous, year. I love traditions, no matter how precarious. This is my take on the classic French Opera cake, traditionally made with […]

Coffee Ice Cream

Photo by Caroline West

I  don’t like cream in my coffee but I love coffee in my ice cream. Whether or not you enjoy a cuppa, this ice cream transcends coffee by taming its bitter edge. Start with a basic ice cream recipe and then add a potent coffee syrup.  I’ve tried a rich concentrate of freshly ground expresso […]

Meringue

Photo by Caroline West

I learned to make meringue at culinary school and soon forgot all about them – until a home exchange in Bordeaux and Paris a summer ago.  Everywhere I looked, meringue were piled high in bakery windows as if they were something special.   My twin daughters begged me to buy them.   “Girls, they’re only […]

Raspberry Charlotte

Photo by Caroline West

Just in time for Easter, this delicate Charlotte is perfect for ushering in the spring. If you’ve the stamina to create a layered cake, then you’ve got what it takes to make a Charlotte. With a little patience, and a pastry bag, you can create a dessert worthy of a French Patisserie.  And, if you’re […]

Sugar Straws

Photo by Caroline West

Years ago, I made the mistake of bringing homemade puff pastry straws to a local charity event. I had a booth set up for my cooking school and I displayed the pastry straws in vases as you would long-stem roses.   Once people got wind of my booth, there was a bit of a frenzy […]

Baked Apples

Photo by Caroline West

Fragrant. Comforting. Simple. So simple, they hardly merit a recipe — especially when the filling depends on what’s handy in the pantry.  Consider this not a recipe, but a nudge to find inspiration in your own pantry. Crystalized ginger, pecans, dried cherries, raisins, apricots, macadamia nuts … they’ve all been baked into apples at one […]