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.

Magic Cake

What You Need
Ingredients
Cooking spray
4 large egg yolks
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cold water
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
2 cups whole milk, half-and-half, or light cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Powdered sugar

Equipment
8-inch square pan (2 inches deep)
Parchment paper
2 large bowls
Handheld electric mixer
Whisk
Large spoon
Plastic wrap

Prepare the pan: Coat an 8-inch square pan that is 2 inches deep with cooking spray. Cut 2 (8- by 12- to 16-inch) sheets of parchment paper. Lay one sheet in the pan, leaving an overhang of at least 2 inches on each side. Lay the second piece on top, across the first, leaving an overhang on the other sides. These will be your “handles” when you take the cake out of the pan; set aside.

Heat the oven: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 325°F.

Mix the yolk, sugar, and water until pale and fluffy: In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer or a whisk (and plenty of arm power), mix the egg yolks, sugar, and water and mix until the sugar is dissolved, very fluffy, light in texture, and the mixture is a very pale yellow, 5 to 6 minutes. Do not undermix.
Drizzle in the melted butter: While continuing to mix, drizzle the melted butter into the egg yolk mixture, and mix until it is well-incorporated. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Stir in the flour and salt: Add in the flour and salt and mix until fully combined, scraping down the bottom and side of the bowl as needed. Add the milk or cream and vanilla and mix them in gently and on a slow to medium speed until fully incorporated.

Whisk the egg whites: If you are using a handheld mixer or whisk, pour the egg whites into a large, clean, dry mixing bowl. If you are using a stand mixer, wash and dry the bowl and whisk attachment and pour the whites into it. Whisk on high speed until the egg whites hold stiff peaks, about 2 minutes.
Add the egg whites to the yolk mixture: Add the whipped egg whites to the egg yolk and flour mixture and mix gently with a large spoon or a whisk only, about a dozen stirs, making sure to leave a distinct layer of fluffy lumps and clumps remaining at the top. Do not overstir or overmix.

Bake: Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the edges are set, the top is a warm to deep brown, and the center still wobbles and wiggles when the pan is jiggled, 50 to 55 minutes.

Cool, then chill the cake: Let the cake sit in the pan at room temperature until completely cooled. Loosely cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours before serving.

Recipe Notes
Storage: This cake can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Versunkener Apfelkuchen (Sunken Apple Cake)

For the cake:
3 medium apples
1/2 lemon
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
9 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 to 2 tablespoons demerara (raw) sugar

For the schlagsahne (whipped cream):
2 cups cold heavy cream
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper; set aside.

Peel, core, and quarter the apples. Thinly slice each quarter lengthwise without cutting all the way through to the core side, leaving the quarter hinged together. Finely grate the zest of the lemon into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and set aside; save the lemon half.

Place the sugar and butter in the bowl with the lemon zest and beat until light and fluffy. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides; add the vanilla extract and 1 of the eggs. Beat until combined before adding the second egg. Beat until combined and then add the third egg. Scrape down the sides. Beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour mixture until just combined, and beat in the juice from the reserved lemon half. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and give the batter one last mix by hand.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Gently press the apple quarters into the batter, core-side down, leaving only a bit of space between each quarter. If you have any apple left over, break off slices and insert them into any open space available. Sprinkle the top evenly with the demerara sugar.

Bake, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the cake is golden-brown and a tester inserted into the cake (not apple) comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.

Place the pan on a rack to cool for 5 minutes before running a knife around the edge and removing the springform ring. Let cool to room temperature.

When ready to serve, make the whipped cream: place the cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (Alternatively, use a large bowl and hand mixer.) Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Serve the cake at room temperature with a spoonful of the whipped cream.

Recipe Notes
Make ahead: The whipped cream can be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour.
Storage: The cake will keep at room temperature, wrapped lightly in plastic wrap, for 2 days.

Italian Lemon-Ricotta Cake

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 quart whole milk
1 3/4 cups semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large or 2 small lemons
4 large eggs
1 pound (2 cups) fresh ricotta cheese, strained
Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling
Raspberry sauce (see recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 325. Butter an 11-inch round cake pan.
Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until simmering, then whisk in the semolina and salt. Boil, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in the sugar and butter until combined. Transfer the batter to a bowl to cool it down to warm, stirring frequently to prevent a skin from forming.

Zest the lemons, using only the yellow part, and stir into the batter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Beat in the ricotta.

Pour the batter into the pan, and bake until set and golden in places, about 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool, and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar while still hot. Once the cake has cooled, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar once more, then serve.

Raspberry Sauce

1 cup raspberry jam
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Heat the jam and juice together in a small heavy saucepan until melted and combined. Strain the sauce, discarding any seeds if desired, then serve with migliaccio.

Torta Caprese (Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake)

125 grams (4.4 oz) blanched almonds (or almond meal)
125 grams (4.4 oz) good quality dark chocolate (I use 70% cocoa)
125 grams (4.4 oz or 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, chopped
125 grams (4.4 oz or 1/2 cup) sugar
3 large eggs, separated and left to come to room temperature
Powdered sugar for dusting

Grease and line a 20 cm or 8 inch round cake tin with baking paper (a springform tin or one with a removable base is best for this delicate cake) and preheat oven to 160ºC or 320ºF.

If using whole blanched almonds, blitz them to a very fine, sandy texture in a food processor. Set aside.

Place the chocolate, broken up, in a metal or glass bowl set over a bain marie (double broiler, or a pot of simmering water). When melted, remove the bowl from the heat and add the butter, stirring with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula to help it melt. Then add the sugar and the almond meal.

Once the mixture is no longer hot, add the egg yolks and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. If adding any further ingredients (orange zest, rum, etc), stir them in now.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with beaters to soft, fluffy peaks. Fold the whites gently through the chocolate and almond batter.

Pour the batter into the cake tin, smooth over the top and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the top appears dry and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs attached (not wet batter). It is important not to overcook this cake so that it retains its wonderful moist consistency.

Let cool completely in the tin before handling. Dust with powdered sugar and, if desired, some lightly whipped cream. This cake keeps well for several days and is even better the next day.

Classic Plum Torte (and 5 Variations)

3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt (optional)
2 eggs
24 halves pitted purple plums
Sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon, for topping

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.

Spoon the batter into a springform pan of 8, 9 or 10 inches. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter.

Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon.

Bake 1 hour, approximately. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired. Or cool to lukewarm and serve plain or with whipped cream.

To freeze, double-wrap the torte in foil, place in a plastic bag and seal. To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.

Variations:

1. Replace the plums with almost any seasonal fruit: apricots, halved and pitted; cranberries or any summer berry; sliced apples, nectarines, peaches and pears. Canned and frozen fruit can stand in for fresh. Reader comments:
–Made this for the first time using 4 cups of blueberries and raspberries (mixed). It was perfect!

–I’ve been using a version of this for years as a cranberry holiday bread.

–I have made this with about a quart of drained canned fruit of any type, as well as frozen. I can plums, peaches and pears in season, and if a jar fails to seal, you can bake this cake with it rather than reprocess the jar.

2. Experiment with spices, herbs and extracts: vanilla extract, almond extract, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, rosemary, orange or lemon zest. Reader comments:

–I add about a half teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract to the batter. This cake is so easy and good. I even memorized the recipe — except my memorization was imperfect and I baked the cake with the fruit on the bottom by accident. It still was delicious!

–I added a teaspoon of finely minced fresh rosemary to the batter… nice, subtle flavor.

3. Play with the flours. You can add almond or cornmeal flour to the all-purpose flour, or swap in gluten-free flour blends, with excellent results. (Melissa Clark made a version with whole wheat flour.) Reader comments:

Made this with gluten-free flour and it turned out Perfectly! Everyone loved it.

I substituted 1/2 cup almond meal and 1/2 cup brown rice flour for 1 cup of wheat flour. I also added parchment paper over the greased bottom of the spring pan. It was delicious served warm.

Made this last night after tasting the one made by our daughter. Used raspberries and blackberries, one basket each, instead of plums, and 1/3 cup cornmeal and 2/3 cup flour. Fantastic!!! The cornmeal adds a very sophisticated “Italian” character to it, very slight crunch, and amazing flavor.

4. Double, triple, even quadruple it. The batter scales up like a dream, and the baked cake freezes well. Reader comments:

This is one of my favorite recipes and has been for many years. In addition to plums, I’ve used blueberries, peaches, apples and various combinations of more than one fruit. It also freezes great. I line the baking dish with aluminum foil and once baked and cooled slightly, turn the baking dish upside down on a plate, peel off the foil, then turn it right-side up on another plate.

Double the recipe and it fits nicely in 13-by-9-inch disposable aluminum pans.

5. Change up the pan. The torte can be baked in any dish provided it’s approximately 8 to 10 inches in diameter and oven-safe.

Make it in any Pyrex, casserole, anything.

Used my pie plate because my springform pan was nowhere to be found.

A 9-inch pan gives greater height and moisture to the tart than a 10-inch pan.

Peaches and Cream Crumble Cake

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

For the crumble topping:
120 g / 1 cup all-purpose flour
140 g / 2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch salt
80 g / 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 360° F./180° C. and grease an 8-inch/20 cm 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.

Icing/Confectioner’s Sugar, for garnish

Pan-Baked Lemon-Almond Tart

4 eggs
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (according to personal taste)
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup sliced almonds, more for garnish
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tablespoons butter
Powdered sugar, for garnish

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine eggs, sugar, salt, ground almonds, cream, sliced almonds, lemon zest and juice.

Melt butter in an 8-inch ovenproof skillet over low heat; when foam has subsided, add almond mixture to pan, tilting pan to distribute batter evenly. Continue to cook tart on stovetop until edges just begin to set, then put pan in oven and finish cooking, about 10 to 15 minutes more.

When tart is done, put it in broiler for about a minute or until just golden on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and sliced almonds. Serve.

Apple Pudding Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour (125g)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar (66g)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup milk (118ml)
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup thinly sliced apples (177ml)

Sauce:
1 cup packed brown sugar (200g)
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups boiling water (400ml)
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
Generous pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Make the pudding batter: In a medium bowl, mix together the the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a small bowl, mix together the milk, melted butter and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir to combine well.

Spread batter in to the bottom of an 8-cup baking dish or divide between 4-6 individual baking dishes. (*If using individual dishes, you may want to place dishes on a baking sheet, for easy transport to the oven, and to catch any splatters.) Arrange a layer of apple slices on top of batter.

Prepare the sauce: In a medium bowl or a 4 cup measuring cup, mix together the brown sugar and flour. Add the boiling water, the butter,vanilla and salt. Stir to combine and until butter melts. Gently pour over batter, being sure to leave 3/4-1 inch of room at the top of the baking dish.

Bake in pre-heated 350° F. oven for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick in centre comes out clean when inserted in the top cake part. Pudding will have formed a cake-like top with lots of sauce underneath. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy warm. Lovely as is, or top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.