Mini Chocolate Pavlovas

Pavlovas are meringues baked (or more accurately “dried out”) until the outside hardens, but the inside remains soft. They are traditionally relatively large (about 8 to 10 inches in diameter) and served with whipped cream and berries. I like to make mini pavlovas (as I hate sharing) and in this instance, have flavored them with chocolate. 
Mini chocolate pavlovas have so many attributes going for them, I hardly know where to begin. First, I love the textural contrast of the crispy exteriors and soft, marshmallow-y, slightly chewy interiors. They are deeply chocolate-y which is just a win-win (obvs). They use up extra egg whites which (because I am so fond of adding yolks to cakes for extra richness) I always have a stash of in my fridge. And only call for a minimum of ingredients which you likely have lying around (egg whites, sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, vanilla, cocoa powder).
Finally, if you are into some kind of low-carb/low-fat thing, they can check those boxes for you, too (I’m not for the record, but I like to please the health-conscious masses, when possible). Here’s what I don’t love about making pavlovas – they take a lot of time – both a long bake time and a long rest post bake, so plan accordingly. The recipe for these tasty treats can be found here. read more

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream with Hot Fudge Sauce

Who knows how this crazy holiday tradition even began, but for the past several years, on Christmas Eve night, I have been making peppermint stick ice cream (made with crushed candy canes, no less) and homemade hot fudge sauce for my husband and boys.  Peppermint and chocolate is probably my favorite flavor combo (and the favorite of my 12 year old, as well) and it is a perfect combo for the holidays, no doubt. read more

Chocolate Eggnog Icebox Cake (and an Icebox Cake Tutorial)

This cake came to be in the name of collaboration. Here’s the story: after admiring Stefani Pollack’s instagram feed for kind of a while, I one day ventured over to her website and noticed that she was looking for peeps to contribute to her blog with baking tutorials or baking science posts. Always looking for opportunities to write about sweets (my second favorite activity after eating them), I contacted her. I wasn’t exactly sure what I would write about and – of course – Stef had the genius idea that I write about icebox cakes (in light of the fact I co-wrote a book about them). read more

Banana Upside Down Cake

I’m relatively new to the world of upside down cakes (preferably baked in cast iron skillets) and I am desperately trying to make up for loss time. I started the fall with a pear upside down cake, and now have moved on to one of the banana variety from Naomi Robinson’s gorgeous new book, Baker’s Royale: 75 Twists on All Your Favorite Sweets. Not sure what my next one will be, but I’m open to suggestions. read more