Archive | Desserts

Brown Rice Sponge Cake with Three Milks


58_Brown-Rice-Sponge-Cake_photo-by-Leigh-Beisch-(1)Excerpted from Flavor Flours by Alice Medrich
(Artisan Books). Copyright © 2014.
Photographs by Leigh Beisch.

Of course you could serve this buttery sponge cake plain (or splashed with a little sweetened espresso or coffee liqueur) and topped with strawberries and whipped cream. But the brown rice flour adds a delicate caramel flavor to the cake, so why not run with it? This riff on the traditional Latin American tres leches—sponge cake drenched in a combo of heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk—is less sweet and less drenched than the authentic version, but a terrific variation nonetheless. The warm or cooled cake is poked with a chopstick or the not-too-thick handle of a wooden spoon and then soaked with a sauce of dulce de leche and evaporated milk. The third “milk” is whipped cream on top. More sauce is passed separately at table. What could be more delicious?

Serves 10 to 12

For the cake
6 tablespoons (85 grams) clarified butter or ghee
¾ cup (100 grams) brown rice flour, preferably superfine
⅔ cup (130 grams) sugar
4 large eggs
⅛ teaspoon salt

For the sauce
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 generous cup (350 grams) purchased dulce de leche or cajeta
⅛ teaspoon salt
Whipped cream, unsweetened or very lightly sweetened

8-by-2-inch round cake pan
Stand mixer with whisk attachment
Sifter or medium-mesh strainer

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°.… Read More

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Recipes Featuring Three Trees Nutmilk

Three Trees founder Jenny Eu offers two recipes using different varieties of her crowd-pleasing almondmilk. 

Carrot “Cake” with Creamy Citrus Frosting

For Frosting:
1 1/4 cups raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours
1/2 cup Three Trees Unsweetened Original Almondmilk
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup virgin unrefined coconut oil (melted)
Zest of 1/2 orange

For Cake:
1 cup pitted dates
2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup virgin unrefined coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of sea salt
Zest of 1/2 orange
1 cup finely grated carrots

Drain the soaked cashews and combine in a blender (ideally a powerful one like a Vitamix) along with the Three Trees Almondmilk, honey, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Blend on high until you have a smooth consistency. Slowly drizzle in the coconut oil. When you get a homogenous mixture, pour frosting into a bowl and fold the orange zest into it. Cover the frosting and place in refrigerator to firm up (can be left overnight).

Chop dates into a paste (if you like your carrot cake “chunky,” then dates can be more coarsely chopped).… Read More

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Anna’s Apricot Amaretti

Photo  by Anna Buss

Photo by Anna Buss

By Anna Buss, Culinary Coordinator at Frog Hollow Farm

Makes 20 cookies

For the apricots
¾ cup finely chopped dried apricots
1 lemon
1 teaspoon sugar
For the batter
2 cups almond flour
¾ cup sugar
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg whites (room temperature)
For dusting
½ cup sugar
½ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place the chopped dried apricots in a small mixing bowl. Zest the lemon onto a cutting board. (You should have about 1 tablespoon zest.) Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar and mince zest, then scatter it over the apricots. Juice the lemon over the apricots. (You should get about 2 tablespoons juice from the lemon.) Stir together and set aside. (This can be done the day before to left to sit overnight.)

Combine almond flour, sugar, and powdered sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add the almond and vanilla extracts and then add the egg whites slowly as you pulse for about 1 minute. Scrape the batter into a mixing bowl and fold in the prepared apricots.

Place the sugars for dusting in two separate saucers. Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, scoop up 1 tablespoon of dough, then push it off the scoop into the granulated sugar and roll to coat.Then roll that cookie in the powdered sugar.… Read More

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Market Hall Bakery Fruitcake

market-hall-bakery-fruitcakeMarket Hall is known for exquisite foods, so when staff there swear that this fruitcake is the best they’ve ever tasted, you have to take note. Chef Sandy Sonnenfelt brought the recipe to Market Hall when she joined the company more than 19 years ago. Sonnenfelt, who grew up in South Africa, says the cake was a tradition in her family: “My mother made the fruitcake for my father’s patients. She would start making the cakes in October for Christmas. They would be given to families when he did house calls and it was also served in his waiting room. The cakes were covered in muslin and doused with brandy a few times while they sat. They were covered in marzipan and then iced.”

This may look like a long recipe, but it’s worth the effort, since it’s as chock-full of wonderful flavor as it is with ingredients. In the end, you’ll be rewarded with enough cake to enjoy some at home and give a few as gifts. The cake is a showcase for high-quality candied fruits, such as the dried Blenheim apricots and candied orange and citron peel from Agrimontana, available at the Market Hall shops in Rockridge and on Fourth Street.Read More

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Benchmark Pizzeria Olive Oil Cake

Olive oil cake, served here with strawberries and cream rather than citrus. It's delicious either way.   Photo courtesy of Benchmark Pizzeria.

Olive oil cake, served here with strawberries and cream rather than citrus. It’s delicious either way.
Photo courtesy of Benchmark Pizzeria.

Makes 8 servings
Need: 1 9-inch round springform pan
Kitchen scale

100 grams citrus juice
Zest of 6–7 lemons/oranges
8 grams baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
200 grams sugar
219 grams cake flour
3 eggs
150 grams Séka Hills EVOO
110 grams whole milk yogurt (plain)

Preheat oven to 350˚. Spray springform with nonstick baking spray. Mix together wet and dry ingredients separately. Combine until smooth, then pour into sprayed springform pan. Bake 25 minutes, then rotate cake 180˚and bake another 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 1 hour. Serve with segmented citrus and whipped cream.

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Budín de Zanahoria (Mexican Carrot Custard)

This rich vegetable pudding combines sweet, savory, and tangy with a creamy texture that kids love. (My 3½-year-old gobbles it up!) And it works with many different harvest-season vegetables. You might want to make budín de camote (sweet potato), budín de maíz (fresh corn), or budín de calabaza (squash or pumpkin), depending on what you have handy.

  • 2 pounds or 2 bunches fresh carrots
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped piloncillo (Mexican raw sugar) or substitute brown sugar, Sucanat, rapadura, granulated palm sugar, or maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream (plus extra for garnish)
  • ¾ cup rice flour (can substitute white flour)
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375º.

Cut carrots into big chunks and steam until completely tender, almost falling apart. Transfer into another pot or bowl and mash with a potato masher, fork, or whisk.

Combine melted butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until sugar is dissolved or incorporated (I recommend using an electric hand mixer if you have one. You could also use a food processor or a whisk). Add the eggs and beat until thoroughly incorporated. … Read More

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Iced summer berry pudding

Courtesy of Bernice Tzong, pastry chef at Café Rouge. Stop by the café this summer to try her berry ice creams and sorbets.

For the glaze:
4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons strawberry jam
4 tablespoons crème de cassis (optional)
2 cups fresh strawberries, thinly sliced

Line a 2½–3 quart pudding mold or a glass bowl with plastic wrap. Heat the water with sugar over stove until all the sugar is dissolved. Mix 1 tablespoon of this sugar syrup with

2 tablespoons strawberry jam in a bowl. Brush the mixture over the plastic wrap and then line with sliced strawberries.

Mix remaining sugar syrup with the remaining strawberry jam and all the crème de cassis. Set aside.

For the sponge cake
(can be made in advance):
4 eggs
4½ ounces sugar
4½ ounces cake flour

Preheat oven to 350˚. Line a half-sheet cake pan (11 x 18 inches) with parchment paper. (If you don’t have a half-sheet cake pan, you could try two layer cake pans.)

Whip the eggs with sugar until light and fluffy (about triple in volume). Sift cake flour over the eggs and sugar and then fold it in. Pour into the prepared pan, spreading the batter evenly
in a thin layer.… Read More

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6-7 gingersnap cookies
2 tablespoons melted butter

Crush cookies in a food processor until fine. Stir in melted butter. Press mixture into bottom and sides of 9-inch tart pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside.


4 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Zest of Meyer lemons

Whisk together eggs and egg yolks in a stainless steel bowl. Add lemon juice and sugar, stirring until smooth. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly until it thickens. Remove from heat and immediately submerge the bowl in an ice water bath just enough to cool the outside of the bowl-about 10 seconds. Remove from the ice bath. Add butter piece by piece. Add lemon zest and stir lightly to combine. Pour the lemon filling into prepared tart pan. Bake about 10 minutes until filling has set. Take it out of the oven and let it cool.


½ cup egg whites (about 4), warm
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar

Place egg whites in mixing bowl. Place the bowl in a warm water bath to heat the bowl.Read More

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Siew-Chinn’s Chocolate Candied Orange Biscotti

Siew-Chinn’s Chocolate Candied Orange Biscotti

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup sugar

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

¼ cup candied orange peel, coarsely chopped

1 cup pecans, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped

6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, chopped


Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°. Then line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in a large bowl until blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then Grand Marnier and candied orange. Add flour mixture and beat until blended. Stir in pecans and chocolate.

Gather dough together and divide in half. Making sure hands and work surface are well floured, form each dough piece into a log 2 ½ inches wide by 14 inches long. Transfer logs to the prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer parchment with logs to a rack and cool for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°.

Place 1 log on a cutting board, and using a serrated knife, cut on the diagonal into ½-inch-thick slices.… Read More

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