Cassata Cake

My cassata cake is like an Italian trifle without the bowl. Lady fingers brushed with rum syrup, layered with sweet cannoli cream that’s studded with chocolate, and then topped with chocolate shavings and pistachios. Getting the whole thing together is a three day process, but each step is very simple and well worth the wait. On the first day, make the cream. On the second day, assemble the cake. On the third day, eat 🙂

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Cannoli Cream Gelato

This gelato tastes just like my grandmother’s cannoli filling. Sweet vanilla ice cream studded with tiny bits of chocolate and flavored with just the right amount of canella. I like to top it off with chopped pistachios and then the only thing missing is a cannolo shell 🙂

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Breakfast Bread Pudding: French Toast Baked in the Oven

Dense, crusty bread is soaked in a custard bath, drizzled with sweet syrup and baked in the oven so that it’s crisp and sugary on the outside, soft on the inside, and oh-so very satisfying. Put everything together the night before, pop it in the oven in the morning, put your feet up on the couch and, when the rest of the family’s finally emerged, you’ll have a wonderful, leisurely breakfast. And before you know it, the entire dish will be gone.
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Brussels Waffles

These waffles are light and airy inside and crisp on the outside with beautiful deep pockets to hold whatever topping you like, be it simple maple syrup or fresh fruit with ice cream and whipped cream.

The texture of these waffles comes from using a yeast batter, which must rise for half an hour, and folding it with beaten egg whites. So, start the batter first thing in the morning and then relax while the magic happens.

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Berries and Cream Trifle

This trifle is sweet, yet very light and refreshing. And with only five ingredients (lady fingers, fruit liqueur, whipping cream, sugar, and fresh fruit) and no cooking, it’s a breeze to put together. Everything here is done to taste. Use as much liqueur, whipped cream, or berries as you like! For a truly eye-catching dessert, make it in a springform pan or, for even more simplicity, just use a clear glass trifle bowl.

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Lemon Polenta Shortbread Cookies

My Dad and Aunt Ann’s birthdays are coming up this week and, as always, I’m making a dish for my aunt. The tradition started a few years ago when my mother and I came up with the ingenious idea to make a really gruesome cake for her birthday, since it’s during the wondrous month of Halloween and our family is just the type to be into that sort of thing 😉 Not to say that we’re gruesome, but…our sense of humor certainly can be! Every Easter, we have a lamb cake or two and, by lamb cake, I mean a chocolate or yellow cake in the shape of a lamb. So, our idea was to make a chocolate lamb cake…corpse. I deemed it The Silence of the Lambs Cake and, I must say…it was the most amazing cake I’ve ever made, decoration-wise.

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Fig and Raspberry Clafoutis

My very first clafoutis, made with figs and raspberries.

I got the recipe from my mom’s copy of The Best of Gourmet: 1988 Edition…which she just bought for a dollar, by the way…When I saw the dish had figs in it, a fruit you rarely see in recipes anymore, I just couldn’t pass! It was so incredibly easy to make too. All I had to do was slice the figs in half, arrange them in a dish with the berries, mix up some batter, and pour it in! 

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