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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

Restaurant Intel

Cheez-It Cake, PB&J Pies and More at Stephanie Izard’s New Bakery

Stephanie Izard's new bakery offers nostalgia-inspired confections. 

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How to Turn Carrots into a Luscious Flourless Cake

Dense, moist carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is an American classic that was invented in the 1970s and remains popular forty years later.

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Where to Go Next

Five Days of Art, Cake and Wine in Le Marche

If you're aching to visit Italy and wouldn't mind cooking classes, a porchetta tasting and an intensive, hands-on class on cake design, this is the tour for you.

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America's Best Gluten-Free Bakeries

Colorado's Amazing Gluten-Free Vindaloo Spice Cake

Husband and wife Kim and Jake Rosenbarger opened their Colorado bakery in 2010 “to make the best cakes in Boulder,” as their Twitter bio reads.

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Make This Now

10 Decadent Cakes for Easter

No, they're not bunny cakes, but here are 10 incredible desserts that will sweeten Easter Sunday.

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The Edible Table

Sri Lankan Love Cake to Win a Suitor

Three Little Halves blogger and illustrator Aleksandra Mojsilovic reimagines party prep with affordable, edible table displays.

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Food History

A Brief History of the Birthday Cake

When was the last time you thanked the Romans for brithday cake?

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Mad Genius Tips

The Secret to Perfect Layer Cake

Never waste frosting trying to cover up mangled or lopsided cake layers again!

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Most Wanted Recipe

Gale Gand's Chocolate Blackout Cake

Gale Gand's Chocolate Blackout Cake
Chocolate Blackout Cake

Photo © Ryan Liebe.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of F&W’s Best New Chef awards, one of our biggest stars shares one of her most requested recipes.

Gale Gand was named a Best New Chef 1994 while at Trio in Evanston, Illinois. She is now a chef-in-residence at Elawa Farm in nearby Lake Forest, as well as a partner at Tru in Chicago.

Over the course of her memorable baking career, Gale Gand has fielded requests for hundreds of recipes. But the most persistent pleas are for her chocolate blackout cake. She made it for the first time in 1996, when a customer asked her to re-create the recipe from the iconic Brooklyn bakery Ebinger’s, which went out of business in the ’70s. But Gand had never tasted the cake, and the recipe was a secret. So she began researching descriptions. “This was pre-Google; it wasn’t easy,” she says. After multiple tests, Gand arrived at a version she was happy with—layers of tender chocolate cake stuffed with chocolaty filling. “Now, it’s almost an underground thing. Someone will call and say, ‘I hear you do a blackout cake,’ and I’ll say, ‘Who sent you?’” RECIPE: Chocolate Blackout Cake

Related: 50 Chocolate Desserts
22 Chocolate Cakes
Best Hot Chocolate in the U.S.

Staff Favorites

The Incredible Forgiving Bundt

Matt Lewis of Baked

Baker Matt Lewis; © Chris Court

In our December issue, baker Matt Lewis, co-owner of Brooklyn’s amazing Baked, talks about his Bundt cake obsession, and why the dessert is an excellent fit for the holidays. Bundts are versatile, essentially self-decorating (they require little adornment other than a dusting of confectioners’ sugar) and much easier to transport than frosting-covered cakes. They are also incredibly forgiving, something we learned in the F&W Test Kitchen while trying to troubleshoot a cake recipe for a different story. When we attempted to bake a Bundt recipe using loaf pans, the results—while delicious—had sunken tops that were just too sad-looking to serve.

But why would the different shape affect the final result? For guidance, we turned to Shirley O. Corriher’s indispensible and brilliant baking reference, BakeWise. Corriher writes, “With cakes, many times an overleavened recipe is baked in a Bundt or tube pan.… It doesn’t matter if the top of the [cake] in a Bundt or tube pan is slightly sunken, you’re going to turn it upside down. No one will ever know!”

Of course: Cakes baked in Bundt pans are served bottom-up, with the decorative molding from the pan on display. In our case, the recipe in question had too much baking soda, causing the cake to rise too quickly in the hot oven and then deflate as the fast-rising bubbles popped. We corrected the leavening to produce lovely little loaf cakes, but we also gained some admiration for the humble Bundt: From now on it’s our go-to pan for any delicious-but-cosmetically-challenged cake recipes.

Related: The Beauty of Bundt Cakes
Best Cake Recipes
Gorgeous Christmas Desserts

The Dish
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