Peaches and Cream Cake

2/3 cup white sugar (scant 2/3 cup)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
6 Tbsp whole milk at room temperature
6-7 fresh peaches

Grease an 8 or 9-inch springform pan (if you don’t have a springform, use a regular round 8 or 9-inch cake pan, but note that you will not be able to remove in one piece from this type of pan). If you’d like to later remove the cake from the base, be sure to line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Sprinkle the inside of the greased pan with a bit of brown sugar. Wrap the outside of the springform pan in a piece of aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 355° F.

Peel peaches and cut flesh off sides, then cut in to chunks (don’t have to be too small). Set aside.

Melt the butter and let it cool. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.

In the meantime, whisk the eggs with the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the vanilla and (coolemelted butter until combined. Add the milk and then the flour sifted with baking powder. Gently fold peaches into the batter.

Pour in to the prepared pan. (*You’ll know you have enough peaches if they poke above the batter when you pour it in the pan. If not, maybe add another). If you like, you can sprinkle the top with white sugar before baking for a sweet top crust.

Bake in preheated 355° oven for 50-55 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely in the pan. Once cooled, refrigerate in the pan if you are making ahead. To eat right away, run a knife around the outside and remove the outer ring. Slice and serve cool, at room temperature or slightly re-warmed, garnished with a dusting of icing sugar or dress it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.

Peaches and Cream Crumble Cake

For the cake:
2 cups cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter cold and cut into 6-8 pieces
3 medium peaches peeled and cut into thin slices
2 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream 35%, table cream (18%) or half and half cream (10%)
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch salt

For the crumble topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
Icing/Confectioner’s Sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 360° F. and grease an 8-inch springform pan. If you want to easily remove the cake from the base to a serving platter easily, line the bottom with a round of parchment paper, as well. Set on a baking sheet and set aside.

Make the cake: In a food processor, add the flour, sugar and baking powder. Pulse a couple of times to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse until the butter is combined with the flour. You’ll end up with a very dry mixture, like sand almost.

Sprinkle about 3/4 of this mixture over the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Don’t press it down at all, but move it around a bit so it goes up the sides just a bit. Scatter the prepared peach slices over the crumbs (avoiding the sides), then sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture evenly over the top. Again, do not press down. Leave it as is. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, sour cream, brown sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

When cake base has baked 20 minutes, remove from oven and carefully pour the egg mixture over the top. Return cake to oven and cook for a further 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the crumble topping. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Add melted butter to the mixture, just until the dry ingredients are moistened and the mixture comes together in large clumps. Place the bowl into the freezer until needed.

When the cake has baked for a further 25 minutes, remove from oven. (The egg mixture should have set somewhat so that the crumbs won’t sink into the cake. If it is too liquidy still, return to the oven for a few more minutes.) Evenly sprinkle the crumb mixture over the top. Return to the oven and bake a further 25-30 minutes. Note that the cake will be sunken in the middle, even when it’s “done”. As long as it’s not jiggly and a tester inserted in the centre comes out with just crumbs (not liquid), it’s ready to take out of the oven. It should have bake about 70-75 total, including all 3 steps.

Allow to cool in the pan, on a cooling rack, for 10-15 minutes. Run a knife around the outside and carefully remove the outer ring of the springform pan. Allow to cool more before removing from the base.

Dust with powdered/icing sugar, if desired.

Skillet Peach and Blueberry Cake (with other fruit variations)

For the cake batter:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch nutmeg
1/2 cup butter softened
3/4 cup brown sugar packed
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup sour cream
1 peach peeled, pitted and cut into large chunks
1/2 cup fresh blueberries or a bit more, if you like
For the top of the cake:
2 peaches unpeeled and cut into thin slices
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
Turbinado white or brown sugar, for sprinkling over-top

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the brown sugar until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and sour cream and mix in. Scrape down side of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture and mix until smooth and well combined.

Fold chunks of peach and 1/2 cup blueberries in to the batter, then spread the batter into a greased skillet (10-inch top diameter works well) or a 9-inch cake or springform pan. Arrange peach slices in a circular pattern on top of the batter, around the outside of the cake. Fill the centre with a mound of blueberries.

Bake in pre-heated 350 F. oven for 45-50 minutes, or until deep golden and a tester inserted near the centre comes out clean.

Peach Raspberry Almond Cake

Cake:
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups + 1 1/2 Tbsp self-raising flour
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp ground almonds
1/4 tsp salt omit if you used salted butter
2 ripe but firm peaches cut into 12 large wedges (peeled or not, as you like)
3 1/2 oz. fresh raspberries
1/4 cup flaked almonds

Garnish:
Icing/Confectioners’ sugar

Line a 7×11-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. (Alternately, you could use a 9×9-inch baking pan. As cake will be a bit thinner, expect baking time to be a bit less, so adjust accordingly.)

Preheat oven to 355 F.

Prepare your peach wedges by cutting 6 generous wedges from each peach and set aside.

On the stovetop, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla and eggs and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in the flour, ground almonds and salt.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Lay the peach slices on top 3 wide and 4 long, so that each finished piece of cake with have a full peach slice on top. Scatter the raspberries over-top, then sprinkle with flaked almonds.

Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, then loosely cover top with a piece of aluminum foil. Bake a further 15-20 minutes, or until a tested comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then lift out onto a cooling rack.
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When mostly cooled, cut into 12 squares, dividing the cake into thirds from the short end and quarters along the longer side.

Enjoy slightly warm or allow to cool completely. Serve dusted with icing sugar.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake (Variations with Other Fruits)

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt 1/4 tsp less if you using salted butter
6 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb strawberries hulled and halved
Confectioners’/icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 F. with rack in middle of oven. Grease a 9-inch deep dish pie pan, 9-inch round baking pan or a 10-inch top diameter cast iron skillet. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes. Add the egg, buttermilk and vanilla and mix until blended, about 1 minute. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined.

Remove bowl from mixer and use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl well, mixing in any stray flour. Spoon the batter in to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Arrange the strawberries in a randomly in a single layer on top, with the cut side down.

Bake the cake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 F. and continue baking for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool slightly, then serve warm, with a dusting of confectioners/icing sugar and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you like.

Notes: Change it up with other fruits as they come in to season.

No buttermilk? Make your own by adding 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice to a scant 1/2 cup regular milk. Let stand for 10 minutes and use in this recipe.

3-Layer Magic Cake

4 eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
8 tbsp butter unsalted and melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk lukewarm *
powdered sugar for dusting cake

Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper so that it’s easier to get the cake out.

Separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy.

Add butter and vanilla extract and continue beating for another minute or two after which you can add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.

Slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed together.

Add the egg whites to a mixer and mix until stiff peaks form.

Add the egg whites to the cake batter and gently fold them in. Another variation to folding in the egg whites would be to whisk them in to the cake batter, this is a lot faster and easier. Make sure you don’t fold the egg whites in completely, you still want to see some of the white bits floating at the top.

Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 40 to 70 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. The baking time could vary greatly depending on the oven, so take a peek at around 40 minutes and see how it looks.

Sprinkle some powdered sugar after cake has cooled.

Orange Bundt Cake

2 sticks (225g) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
1 1/4 cups (250g) sugar
3 large eggs
2 oranges (about 1 pound/450g), ends trimmed, then cut into chunks and seeds removed
2 1/2 cups (315g) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups (185g) confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed orange juice, from half an orange

Heat the oven to 325°F (165°C) with a rack positioned in the center. Butter a 10-cup (2.37L) Bundt pan.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.

Beat in the eggs one by one.?

Pulse orange chunks in a food processor until mostly smooth but not completely puréed. Spoon out 1 1/2 cups (355ml) of the pulpy orange mixture and add to the batter, then beat until blended.

Add the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and beat just until smooth. Scrapte the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake until the cake is risen and firm to the touch, and a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out with just crumbs clinging, about 55 minutes.

Cool the pan on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet for 10 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely.?

Whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice in a small bowl. Once the cake is cool, spoon the glaze over the top. Let the glaze set, then slice cake and serve. Store any leftovers airtight at room temperature.

Swedish Almond Layer Cake

6 egg whites (reserve the yolks for the frosting)
200 grams superfine (caster) sugar, divided
200 grams almond flour
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the frosting

200 milliliters heavy whipping cream
75 grams superfine (caster) sugar
6 egg yolks (from above)
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
150 grams unsalted butter, softened

First, make the custard for the frosting (it needs to cool fully): Whisk together the cream and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until just barely simmering.

In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and vanilla extract.

Slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly so as to not cook the eggs.

Once combined, transfer the custard back into the pot and cook over medium-low heat (whisking constantly) until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. This will take about 5 minutes, or more depending on the heat level.

Once thickened, transfer the custard back to the heatproof bowl, place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface (so a skin doesn’t form), and let cool fully in the fridge.

While the custard cools, make the cake. Preheat the oven to 350? and grease and flour (or line with parchment) two 8″ round cake pans.

In a clean bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff.

Scatter half of the sugar over the egg whites and whisk to combine.

Whisk in half of the almond flour (the mixture will deflate slightly at this point; that’s fine).

Using a spatula, fold in the remaining sugar, almond flour, almond extract, and all-purpose flour.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Finish the frosting by beating the softened butter until very light and fluffy.

Slowly add the cooled custard with a pinch of salt and beat until spreadable. If it seems too soft, chill in the fridge for 20 minutes then try beating it again.

To assemble the cake, spread a layer of frosting over the first cake layer, top with the second cake layer, then frost the tops and sides.

Almond Snowflake Cake

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup ground almonds
3/4 cup milk
powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour snowflake pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs one at a time; stir in almond and vanilla extracts.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt and ground almonds.

Beat in the flour mixture alternately with milk, mixing just until incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in pan, then invert cake onto a wire rack. Cool completely.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

Pistachio Cake

8 ounces butter
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup finely ground unsalted pistachios
1 cup finely ground blanched almonds
Juice and finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon rosewater
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8-inch nonstick cake pan with parchment paper.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle, cream together the butter and superfine sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, then add the ground pistachios and almonds.

Add the orange juice, orange zest and rosewater, and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour; do not overmix.

Scoop the mixture into the cake pan, and bake until the top is firm and a light golden brown, about 40 minutes. Lightly cover the top of the cake with foil and continue baking until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry, about 10 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for several minutes, then remove and cool on a rack.

When the cake is cool, make the icing: mix the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl, and pour over the cake. If desired, decorate with crystallized rose petals and pistachios. Allow the icing to set for 30 minutes before serving.

Pound Cake with Poached Apricots

Cake:
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 cups superfine sugar
6 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Apricots:

2/3 cup Grand Marnier
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups dried apricots (about 8 oz.)
1 1½-piece peeled ginger, sliced
Lightly sweetened whipped cream (for serving)

Lemon Icebox Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup prepared lemon curd
Kosher salt
About 20 whole graham crackers
Blueberries, for serving

Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing 4 inches of overhang. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone with the heavy cream at medium speed until smooth and just firm; do not overbeat. Fold in the lemon curd and a pinch of salt.

Spread a 1/4-inch-thick layer of the lemon cream on the bottom of the pan. Arrange a single layer of graham crackers on top, breaking them to fit. Repeat the layering with the remaining lemon cream and crackers, finishing with a final layer of cream. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Uncover and invert the cheesecake onto a platter. Remove the plastic wrap. Serve with blueberries.

No-Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake with Strawberries

CRUST
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (7 ounces)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of fine sea salt

FILLING
7 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons strawberry jam mixed with 1 teaspoon hot water
Quartered strawberries, for garnish

MAKE THE CRUST
In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until evenly moistened. Press the crumbs over the ?bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan. Freeze until firm, about 20 minutes.

MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING
In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the white chocolate on high power in 10-second intervals until just melted. Let cool slightly.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the cream cheese with the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla bean paste and orange and lemon zests until smooth. Gradually beat in the white chocolate. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl.

Wipe out the bowl of the stand mixer and add the cream to it. Attach the whisk and beat the cream at high speed until firm peaks form. Stir one-third of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the remaining whipped cream until no streaks remain. Spread the cheesecake filling over the chilled crust in an even layer. Cover with foil and refrigerate for at least ?3 hours or overnight.

Unmold the cheesecake. Top with the strawberry jam and garnish with quartered strawberries. Cut the cake into wedges and serve.

MAKE AHEAD
The cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Top with the jam and strawberries before serving.

No-Bake Triple Cheesecake with Amaretti Crust

AMARETTI CRUST
3 ounces amaretti cookies (about 20)
2 ounces honey graham crackers (about 4 whole crackers), coarsely crushed
Pinch of kosher salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

CHEESECAKE
1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese or sour cream
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

HONEYED APRICOTS
3/4 cup honey
Three 3-inch rosemary sprigs
6 ounces dried California apricots

MAKE THE CRUST
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a food processor, pulse the amaretti with the graham crackers and salt until finely ground. Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and stir in the butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and halfway up the side of an 8-inch springform pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the crust is set. Cool on a rack.

MAKE THE CHEESECAKE
In a microwave-safe dish, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of cold water; let stand until the gelatin is softened, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form; refrigerate.

MAKE THE CHEESECAKE
In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, ricotta, sugar and salt with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the mascarpone and lemon juice.

MAKE THE CHEESECAKE
Microwave the gelatin until melted, 5 seconds; scrape into the cream cheese mixture and beat until incorporated. Fold in the whipped cream. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and smooth the surface. Refrigerate the cake until firm and set, 3 hours.

MAKE THE HONEYED APRICOTS
In a medium saucepan, combine the honey with 3 cups of water and the rosemary. Bring to a boil and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the honey is dissolved. Add the apricots and simmer until tender, 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the apricots to a bowl. Boil the rosemary syrup until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Strain the syrup over the apricots and let cool.

MAKE THE HONEYED APRICOTS
Unmold the cheesecake and serve with the honeyed apricots.

No-Bake Ricotta Cheesecake with Strawberries

CRUST
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cups packed graham cracker crumbs (10 to 12 whole crackers)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of cinnamon

FILLING
1 pound fresh ricotta cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of ground ginger

TOPPINGS
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup honey

MAKE THE CRUST
In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar over moderately low heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. In a medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the salt, ginger and cinnamon. Stir in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the side of a 9-inch fluted tart pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.

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MAKE THE FILLING
In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the ricotta with the cream cheese, agave nectar, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and ginger just until smooth. Using a spatula, spread the filling in the chilled crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.

MEANWHILE, PREPARE THE TOPPINGS
In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar and lemon juice. Let stand at room temperature, stirring once or twice, until the berries are juicy and slightly softened, about 30 minutes.

MEANWHILE, PREPARE THE TOPPINGS
Warm the honey over moderately low heat for 10 minutes. Strain the honey into a bowl, discarding the seeds; let cool.

MEANWHILE, PREPARE THE TOPPINGS
Cut the cheesecake into wedges, top with the strawberries and honey and serve.

MAKE AHEAD
The cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. The honey can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Icebox Chocolate Cheesecake

70 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (from 2 packages)
Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup chocolate syrup, such as Hershey’s

Put 20 of the chocolate cookies (reserving 50 whole cookies) into a zippered plastic bag and, using a rolling pin, crush them to fine crumbs. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with enough plastic wrap to extend by 4 inches all around.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the chocolate syrup and 1/4 cup of water and beat the chocolate cream for 2 minutes.

Arrange 9 cookies in an overlapping ring on the bottom of the prepared cake pan and place 1 cookie in the center. Spoon one-fourth of the chocolate cream (about 1 1/4 cups) over the cookies, being careful not to disturb them. Repeat with the remaining cookies and chocolate cream, ending with a layer of 10 cookies on top. Fold the plastic wrap over the top of the cake. Lightly tap the pan once or twice on a work surface. Refrigerate the cake for at least 8 hours and preferably overnight.

Peel back the plastic wrap and invert the cake onto a serving plate. Carefully peel off the plastic wrap. Press the cookie crumbs onto the side of the cake to coat evenly. Cut into wedges and serve.

MAKE AHEAD
The plastic-wrapped cake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Sponge Cake

MAKES ONE 13X9″ CAKE. This recipe can also be used to make a 9″ round cake; cook time is the same. If you like, double the recipe for a two-layer cake. It’s great with fruits, jams, and any fillings that are a little bit wet and can be soaked into the cake (…like a sponge!).

Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Arrange a rack in center of oven; preheat to 350?. Lightly coat a 13×9″ baking dish with nonstick spray, then line with parchment paper, leaving a 2″ overhang on long sides. Lightly coat parchment with nonstick spray.

Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium, stirring, until butter is melted. Let cool.

Whisk flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Sift through a fine-mesh sieve onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper.
Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat eggs in a large bowl, gradually increasing speed to medium-high, until combined. Add salt and continue to beat until mixture begins to foam, about 1 minute. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add sugar; increase speed to high and beat until very light and pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low again and gradually add dry ingredients, using parchment to help guide it into bowl, and beat on medium speed until no lumps remain and batter is very thick. Beat in vanilla and cooled milk mixture just until combined. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula, give batter a good stir with spatula, then scrape into prepared pan.

Bake cake until top is golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 15–25 minutes. Let cool.

Do Ahead: Cake can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap with plastic and store at room temperature.

Drop Strawberry Shortcakes

SHORTCAKES

2 1/4 cups (295 grams) all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons (40 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams or 3 ounces) unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (205 ml) heavy cream
3 tablespoons (35 grams) raw or turbinado sugar

TO FINISH

1 pound (455 grams) strawberries or mixed berries, hulled and halved if large
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar, or more to taste
1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice (optional)
1 cup (235 ml) heavy or whipping cream

Make shortcakes: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and salt until thoroughly combined. Add butter and using your fingertips or a pastry blender, break it into small bits, the largest should be no bigger than a small pea.

In a small bowl, whisk yolks with a splash of cream, then pour rest of cream in and whisk to combine. Pour into butter-flour mixture and use a rubber spatula to mix and mash it together into one cohesive dough.

Divide dough into 6 (for large, 3 1/2 to 3 3/4-inch wide and up to 2-inch tall) shortcakes or 8 smaller ones. Do this by pressing the dough somewhat flat into the bottom of the bowl (to form a circle) and using a knife to divide it into pie-like wedges.

Place raw or turbinado sugar in a small bowl. Roll each wedge of shortcake into a ball in your hands and roll it through the raw/turbinado sugar, coating it in all but a small area that you should leave bare. (The sugar underneath the shortcakes will burn, so better to leave it off.)

Place it, bare spot down, on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wedges of dough. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden all over. Let cool completely on tray or on a cooling rack.

While cooling, prepare fruit and cream: Mix berries, 2 tablespoons sugar (more or less to taste), and lemon juice, if desired, in a bowl and let macerate so that the juices run out.

In a larger bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar to taste, or leave unsweetened, if that’s your preference.

To serve: Carefully split each cooled shortcake with a serrated knife. Spoon berries and their juices over bottom half. Heap generously with whipped cream. Place shortcake “lid” on top. Eat immediately and don’t forget to share.

Do ahead: Shortcakes keep well for a day at room temperature. I prefer to keep them uncovered. I found on the second day, they were a little more firm but not half-bad, but they’re definitely “best” on day one.

Rosemary, Olive Oil, and Orange Cake

FOR THE CRYSTALLIZED ROSEMARY:
10 small rosemary sprigs, no more than 1 inch/3 centimeters each in size (see note)
1 egg white, lightly whisked
2 teaspoons granulated or superfine sugar (caster sugar)

FOR THE CAKE:
About 2 tablespoons/30 grams unsalted butter, softened, for greasing the pan
2 cups/240 grams all-purpose flour (plain flour), more to flour the pan
3/4 cup/160 milliliters extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon/120 grams superfine sugar (caster sugar)
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (from about 1 1/2 oranges)
1 1/2 tablespoons/7 grams packed finely chopped rosemary leaves
2 large eggs
1/2 cup/130 grams sour cream
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

FOR THE ORANGE ICING:
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 3/4 cups/175 grams sifted confectioners’ sugar, or 1 1/2 cups/150 grams sifted icing sugar

At least 6 hours before you plan to ice the cake, prepare the crystallized rosemary: Brush rosemary on all sides with a little of the egg white and then dip it in the sugar, so the needles are lightly coated on all sides. Set aside on a wire rack to dry. Repeat with remaining rosemary.

Make the cake: Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit/160 degrees Celsius. Generously grease a 9-inch/23-centimeter Bundt pan with half the butter and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Butter again, generously, and then flour it, tapping away the excess.

Put olive oil, superfine sugar, orange zest and chopped rosemary leaves in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until combined, then add eggs, one at a time. Whisk for another minute, until thick, then add sour cream and mix until combined on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the whisk.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together into a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the olive oil mixture and mix until combined. Increase speed to high and whisk for 1 minute.

Scrape batter into the Bundt pan and smooth the top with a small spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cake is cooked and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. (You may want to trim the cake at this stage, if it rises unevenly, to allow it to sit flat on the plate.)

Prepare the icing: In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. When the cake has cooled, drizzle icing on top, allowing it to drip down the sides of the cake, then top with the crystallized rosemary and serve.

Lemon Curd and Almond Cake

FOR THE LEMON CURD:
Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
4 extra-large eggs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

FOR THE CAKE:
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
1 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup ground toasted almonds
2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds

About 1/2 cup heavy cream for garnish
1 tablespoon almond liqueur (optional)

For the curd, combine zest, juice, sugar and eggs in a heatproof bowl, and beat well. Add butter, and place over a saucepan full of simmering water. Cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, until mixture thickens into curd, about 5 minutes. Strain into a bowl, and press plastic wrap onto surface to keep skin from forming. Refrigerate until cool, at least 1 1/2 hours.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-inch spring-form pan with 1 tablespoon butter, and dust with 1 tablespoon flour, shaking out excess.

With an electric mixer, cream the remaining butter and 1 cup sugar together until light and fluffy. Sift together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt, and stir in. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs until they start to foam. Do not overbeat or the cake will be tough. Add eggs and ground almonds to batter, and mix well.

Scrape batter into the prepared pan. Drop 8 individual tablespoons lemon curd around perimeter of batter, leaving a 1-inch border, and taking care to space drops evenly. Drop 3 to 4 tablespoons curd into center of batter. Refrigerate remaining curd for another use. Sprinkle cake with toasted almonds and 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar, depending on taste.

Bake until cake is toasty brown on top and a toothpick inserted into cake (not curd) comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let cool on rack 10 minutes, then remove sides of pan, and cool completely.

Whip cream with almond liqueur. Present cake at table, and offer whipped cream on the side.