"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Birthday Brunch II--Pumpkin Apple Bread and Warm Chocolate-Raspberry Pudding Cake

You don't think the food stopped there, do you? Foolish child.

In addition to the afore-mentioned delicacies, in addition to the fruit/yogurt/granola my sister brought, the bagels/lox/cream cheese my brother brought, and the bacon my parents brought, in addition to the mimosas and coffee and tea, we had Pumpkin Apple Bread.

This was Don's contribution, although I actually made it because he was out shoveling snow--a worthy trade, I thought. This is everything you'd want in a quick bread--moist, flavorful and aromatic. Wow, did the house smell good. Although the recipe calls for two loaves, I made one loaf and a bunch of muffins, having only one bread pan. I'd go with the loaves in the future--the moist bread to crunchy streusel topping ratio is greater, although if you're a crunchy streusel topping fan, please ignore my counsel.

After that, can you imagine that we'd have room for dessert? Well we didn't, but we are nothing if not determined.

The Warm Chocolate-Raspberry Pudding Cake was spectacular--rich, goopy, intense. I actually baked it yesterday as the recipe suggested I might, and reheated it in a 350 oven for 15 minutes. My only disappointment was that it was not, as the recipe said, "bathed with a rich, creamy, oozy frosting." I think that's because it sat overnight, and the liquid from that lovely raspberry jam ganache was absorbed into the body of the cake. So the ganache sat in a well-behaved way on top of the cake (turned upside-down from the baking pan) and we ate it with chocolate caramel ice cream.

If I make this cake in the future (and I probably will), I think I will garnish it with creme fraiche and fresh raspberries, or Cream Cheese Ice Cream (from the Gourmet Cookbook), or maybe whipped cream with Chambourd (Armagnac? Grand Marnier?) and sliced strawberries.

And now...should I work out? Or take a nap? Or just lie on the couch groaning?

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