Emerald Forest Cake

At this time of year, a trip to the farmers market yields slim pickings for the seasonal cake baker, and for a time, this seasonal cake-recipe writer was similarly lacking in inspiration, until I turned my attention to all the wonderful local products in our store cupboards and freezers. As thoughts of hand-crafted chocolate and succulent frozen cherries came to mind, I started mulling a Pacific Northwest version of a traditional Black Forest Cake. After some local and seasonal substitutions, the result was a take on the cake that might be better than the original....

Proven Pearings

I speak from experience when I say that a pastry chef’s palette of seasonal ingredients is crowded with caramel and chocolate browns when winter rolls around. But if you look closely, there are plenty of local options for satisfying your sweet tooth. From the sweet, creamy yellow flesh of a Seckel pear, to the papery mahogany skin of the hazelnut, to the deep, dark brown of extra-dark, bittersweet chocolate, what winter’s offerings lack in bright color and flavor are made up for in richness and texture....

Bananas Foster

Recipe makes four servings. Preparation time is 15 minutes. Recipe 8 tablespoons salted butter 3/4 cup lightly packed light-brown sugar 1/4 cup crème de banana liquor 4 medium-size ripe bananas, sliced in half lengthwise 1.5 ounces of brandy to flame 4 to 8 scoops vanilla bean ice cream (frozen yogurt and non-dairy ice cream substitutes work, too. Try a berry sorbet for a twist on the traditional.) Four chilled serving bowls Instructions In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir until golden brown, add banana liqueur and sugar, and mix well. Lay bananas, flat side down, in pan. Heat for three minutes or until banana is tender. Add brandy around the edge of the pan. If cooking over gas, tip the pan into the flame to ignite the...

Creamy Parsnip Tart

Parsnips may be unexpected in the pastry kitchen, but their natural sweetness and creamy quality when cooked recommend them for the job. The inspiration for this elegant dessert came from a similar treatment of carrots, which got me thinking … if parsnips can stand in for carrots in a classic favorite like carrot cake, why not a tart? Makes one 10-inch tart, to serve 8 to 10 Start to finish: about 5 hours, including baking and chilling Recipe: 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 tablespoons light brown sugar 2 tablespoons honey 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 10 ounces parsnips, peeled and sliced in 1/4-inch thick coins (about 1 1/2 cups) 2/3 cup heavy cream 3 cloves 1...

Dark-Chocolate Panna Cotta with Candied Blood-Orange Slices

Serves 6 | 30 minutes active time, 6 hours to refrigerate A decadent finish to your holiday dinner, this creamy luscious dark-chocolate dessert is rich and satisfying, yet not overly sweet. Simple to make, this make-ahead dessert can be brought out right after dinner, already dished up, with no hassle (but with lots of applause). Panna Cotta 2 cups heavy whipping cream 1 cup half-and-half 1/8–1/4 cup sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla or Kahlua liqueur generous pinch salt 1 cup quality bittersweet chocolate chips 1 package gelatin 1/4 cup fresh blood-orange juice (or regular orange works too) Candied Blood-Orange Slices 1 blood orange, thinly sliced (or use a regular orange) 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup water Steps In a medium pot, gently heat whipping cream and half-and-half over medium heat. Add sugar, vanilla, and salt. Stir often...

Roasted Black Plum Balsamic Ice Cream

Egg-free ice cream is a traditional American-style method that is less complex to make than custard-based ice cream, especially since you don’t have to worry about properly tempering eggs to prevent curdling....

Honeyed Huckleberry Trifle with Mascarpone and Rosemary

Despite its name — with its alternate meaning of having little value — trifle is a dessert that delights the eye and the mouth. Constructed by layering cake, cream, and bright fresh fruit, trifle is dramatic and striking, ideally suited as the conclusion to any festive meal. A traditional, layered English sweet, trifle has come to mean different things to different cooks. Not only is it infinitely customizable, it’s a smart way to celebrate a small amount of a precious ingredient like huckleberries....

Paulsen’s Pharmacy Ice Cream Soda

This is the recipe, verbatim, from the instructions printed from the soda jerks at the pre-InboundRx Paulsen's Pharmacy soda fountain....