Usually found playing second fiddle as an accompaniment or garnish, whipped cream has an incomparable texture and flavor that make it a great - if often overlooked - basis for dessert.
In 2004, I checked out of my life in Boston and decamped to Paris for a year of food shopping, cooking, eating, and traveling.... [My apartment] came "equipped" with two tiny saucepans and a cheap skillet that appeared to date from the French Revolution. Clearly, I needed cookware reinforcements....
No matter where in the world you are, a steaming mug of hot chocolate can always warm the soul and smooth out the day's rough edges. But depending on where in the world you are, hot chocolate may deliver its pleasures in slightly different formats.
I love holiday parties with swanky, stylish hors d'oeuvres, but after a season's worth of dapper outfits, polite conversation, and mini duck quesadillas with pepita chutney, a quiet evening in front of the TV with a hearty sandwich begins to look pretty good. Better yet, in the role of the sandwich, how about hot panini?
By this time, you have probably baked all manner of apple pies, cakes, crumbles, and crisps. Heck, you may even have fried fritters, simmered sauce, and candy-coated a few. Keep those goodies coming, but don't overlook apples' savory potential.
When the food-minded among us think about autumn in New England, apples probably leap to mind. That was true for me, too, until my first autumn expedition to Sakonnet Vineyards in Little Compton, Rhode Island. Now I think about grapes.
I've never met a biscuit I didn't like, but sweet potato biscuits are among my favorites. Made well, they possess a cheerful, sunny hue, a tender, moist texture (think butter cake with a little more muscle), and the earthy essence of the sweet potatoes themselves.
I first encountered this dense, moist loaf -- more cake than bread, in my mind – in Hawaii, where people sometimes have more mangoes than they know what to do with. Golden raisins or nuts (macadamias are a natural) are a common addition; if you choose to use them, fold about ¾ cup into the batter at the end. Thawed frozen mango is a great shortcut here, but the chunks are usually big so you should cut them smaller.
- Set the oven rack in the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray an 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan with nonstick baking spray, and set aside.
- In a food processor, puree half the mango. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk the mango puree, eggs, oil, vanilla, and lemon juice to blend completely.
- In a large bowl, stir the sugar and orange zest together until sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and ginger and whisk to combine. Add the mango-egg mixture and with a flexible spatula, fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined and smooth (do not over-mix).
- Fold in the remaining chopped mango (and raisins or nuts, if using).
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, use the spatula to smooth the top, and bake until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes (tent loosely with foil if it’s browning too much).
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack, cool for 10 minutes, turn out the loaf, and return it to the rack right side up.
- Cool to room temperature, slice, and serve.