Meyer lemon tart with almond olive oil crust, blackberries. Adapted from Gourmet, May 2008.

Milk chocolate soufflé with nougat cream. Adapted from Bon Appétit, Feb. 2010.

Coconut macaroons, with & without milk chocolate ganache. Adapted from David Lebovitz, June 2005.

Final February baking projects: standby lemon tart, for impromptu Film potluck. Behold a neon curd known to induce marriage proposals.

This was my first soufflé. Successfully halved the recipe from the original 8 servings. Had some egg-incorporating anxiety (do I stop folding, to preserve airiness? or continue, to avoid eventual egg white chunks?), which resulted in stooped soufflés, but the flavor was pleasant if mild -- the full creaminess of the milk chocolate couldn't stand up to the heat -- and the nougat cream, surprisingly delicious. Like a Toblerone.

I had eight egg whites in the fridge for a week after yolking for this lemon poppyseed cake, which I ended up tossing after one sample slice. Total milquetoast; still looking for a bundt recipe worthy of my Heritage pan. Anyway: after comparison shopping macaroon recipes, I'm satisfied with this one. Used Whole Foods' very fine-grated unsweetened coconut, and just-moist hands to roll the chilled, pre-cooked "dough." Slightly crisp outside, dense and chewy inside.

And finally: I just started working at Dozen Cupcakes. Short term, this means I'll be pocketing a steady stream of expired baked gooderie and saying ganache more times a day than anyone should. Long term, I can now meet the food service requirement for admission to CIA. More school! Just kidding. Sort of.



Chiffon cake soaked with rum and coffee simple syrup, quick fudge frosting. Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, Aug. 2009.

Sour cream chocolate cake with peanut butter cream cheese frosting & chocolate peanut butter ganache. Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, August 2008.

Clementine almond cake. Adapted from Nigella c/o Smitten Kitchen, Jan. 2009.

Nothing keeps an old house warm like constantly preheating the oven.

Notes: Brought the chiffon as a social lubricant to my poetry workshop's weekend retreat in Bedford, PA. The rum/coffee syrup smelled delicious and kept the (very thin, by the way) layers moist, but the "quick" fudge frosting - it comes together in ten seconds in the food processor - is forgettable. Probably wouldn't make this again.

The chocolate peanut butter cake, however, is already a second-run. I haven't tasted this incarnation yet, but know from the last that the cake is box-mix-moist, the frosting tangy and heavy on peanut flavor, and the ganache is more chocolate (semisweet) than saccharine. A must-try if you know someone who appreciates this combination.

Clementines and almonds: it's a winter cake. Gluten-free, it's just whole clems (processed or chopped very fine, after two hours boiling), ground almonds (or almond meal/flour), eggs, sugar, a hit of baking powder, poof! Cake. I added vanilla and almond extracts and a very thin glaze (confectioners sugar and clem juice). Result: wet-moist, deep citrus flavor. Suited to breakfast. Definitely butter and line and re-butter a pan, as reviews caution that this is hard to extract. I'm not usually one for restriction-recipes (or baking by Nigella, following the Guinness cake disaster of 2008), but this is unusual and adaptable to whatever citrus you like (e.g. Meyer lemons, satsuma mandarins).