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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Recipes

DIY Lunch Bag

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© Quentin Bacon

In the prime upper-right-hand quadrant of New York magazine's always awesome Approval Matrix this week: A super-adorable do-it-yourself lunch bag from Design*Sponge. Full details of the project, including a template and easy-to-follow instructions, can be found here. Here, F&W provides 10 great ideas on how to fill it, including Indian pulled-chicken sandwiches, meat loaf club sandwiches and nutty apple pie bars (pictured).

Recipes

10 Dishes that Make the Most of Apples

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© Tina Rupp

In our October issue, we preview new baking books out this fall that celebrate easy American desserts. Here, we offer 10 new ideas for the all-American apple pie, like a double-crust version, flaky apple crostatas (pictured), and crispy apple dumplings made with frozen puff-pastry sheets. More Excellent Desserts: 10 superb American desserts, like minty baked Alaska and red velvet cake with caramel-coated pecans

Wine

Pairing Wine with Cupcakes

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If you've ever wondered what wine would be best with red velvet or chocolate cupcakes, James Roth of the wine shop Red, White & Bleu in Falls Church, Virginia, is your man. His motto is, "If you can eat it, you can pair it." So the Falls Church News-Press put him up to the challenge of pairing eight different flavored cupcakes with wines. The results were fascinating-for example, a dark-chocolate ganache with an Argentinean Malbec. Try some cupcake pairings yourself with some of my favorite F&W recipes:

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
Devil's Food Cupcakes with Espresso Meringue
Angel Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Swirl
Double Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Filling


News

Are Mini Bundt Cakes the New Cupcakes?

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Andrew Sessa, senior editor at F&W's sister magazine Departures, is adamant that the mini Bundt cake is going to steal the cupcake's role as the darling of the dessert world. "People like cupcakes because they're cute, and individual sized, and, maybe most importantly, vaguely nostalgic," says Sessa. "They're a throwback to mom's kitchen, and mid-century Donna Reed Americana. Mini bundts hit all the same notes, and I think, are even cuter and certainly have an even stronger sense of that nostalgia."T he recreational baker adores the adorable round cakes so much that he has started his own company— Bundt, a Bakery  — which debuted last weekend at Brooklyn’s new Greenpoint Food Market. Sessa will be selling a rotating selection of seasonally inspired mini Bundt cakes, like Guinness Ginger Spice and Oatmeal Cranberry Crunch, for $4 each. The best-seller over the weekend was the zingy Caipirinha Sling. I couldn’t get enough of the supermoist Carrot Cake Bundt, which can be ordered with an extra shot of white chocolate–cream cheese buttercream frosting for $1 more.

Bundt

© Peter Picasa
Mini Bundts baked by Andrew Sessa.

 


 

Recipes

London Pop-Up Cake Shop

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For F&W’s September issue, I wrote about an incredible dinner party that London-based ceramicist Peter Ting hosted at the country house he shares with his partner, Brian Kennedy, and his friend Rachel Lamb. Ting gave F&W an exclusive look at his new Hachi tabletop collection for Royal Crown Derby and also shared some of his best recipes. Though he is an excellent cook, Ting's true passion is baking. He recently launched a London-based group called the Cake Committee that meets every other month (Oct. 18 and Dec. 13 will be the next dates) in Pullens Yards. A minimum of 10 amateur and professional bakers bring at least one cake, pie, tart or brioche to sell by the slice to raise money for charity. I sent Peter my favorite F&W recipe for red velvet cake, which he made for the committee’s inaugural meeting.

 

cake

Chefs

The Ultimate Cake-Off

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© Eric Biermann
Tariq Hanna and his blue cake

As one of the few people in the world not caught up in the saga of Jon & Kate Plus 8, I don’t usually watch TLC on Monday nights. Tonight, though, and for the rest of the season, I’ll tune in to TLC—and that’s because the network is airing a sneak peek of an addictive new show, the Ultimate Cake-Off. As addictive as Jon & Kate, which is on right before it? Definitely, if you’re obsessed with wedding cakes that look like a replica of the gazebo where he proposed. Contestants, who run the gamut from housewives to professionals, have nine hours, a bunch of power tools, and every food coloring in the rainbow at their disposal to make a cake that’s a minimum of five feet tall. At the end of each episode, a client picks the winning cake, with input from a panel of star judges. My friend, the extraordinary cake designer Margaret Braun, is one of those star judges, and she says the show is amazing. “You see cakes that run the gamut from really scary to great,” she says. So far, all I’ve seen is the bright turquoise blue cake from Tariq Hanna and I can’t wait to see which category—scary or great—it falls into.

Recipes

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cake

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© Andrew Sessa

My good friend Andrew Sessa, senior editor at F&W's sister magazine Departures, has a sweet tooth that rivals my own. A brilliant baker, he recently decided to make a cake for a colleague’s birthday: a s’mores cake combining chocolate cake, a graham cracker crust and crumble and a marshmallow frosting he planned to char with a mini blowtorch. But when he discovered his colleague’s favorite childhood cereal was Cinnamon Toast Crunch, he channeled cereal-obsessed pastry chef Christina Tosi of NYC's Momofuku Milk Bar and used Cinnamon Toast Crunch instead of graham crackers. Definitely Milk Bar worthy!

Recipes

Delicious Dishes To Help You Live Longer

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© Stephanie Foley

The New York Times has just reported that a 20-year study of rhesus monkeys suggests a restricted-calorie diet may ward off the usual diseases of old age—primarily diabetes, cancer, heart disease and brain disease. Here's some great advice from the pros on how to limit calories without sacrificing any taste:

Tim Cushman: “Really spicy salsas give me a ‘chile buzz,’ almost an endorphin rush, so I tend to eat less,” says Cushman, an F&W Best New Chef 2008 at O Ya in Boston. His tangy tomatillo-cumin salsa can be either mild or fiery—leave the jalapeño seeds in if you prefer extra heat.

Marisa Churchill: The Top Chef Season Two contestant offers innovative tricks to cut fat and sugar out of her recipes—for instance, she uses thick and creamy fat-free Greek-style yogurt in her honey-topped panna cottas (pictured).

Pam Anderson: “Diets are like Band-Aids—just a quick fix,” says the cookbook author. Instead, Anderson relies on smart techniques like using low-fat evaporated milk to gives sauces and desserts creaminess, as in her brown-sugar custard with orange zest.

 

Ingredients

Best Ice Cream Shops

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The best part about researching F&W’s August ice cream roundup was tasting stellar ice creams and sorbets from shops across the country. Here, four of our favorite regional producers: 

Carmela Ice Cream: Los Angeles–based Carmela makes bright, fresh-flavored Lavender Honey ice cream and Lemon Basil sorbet with fruit and herbs from Silver Lake Farms, a local organic farm. A three-ounce “taster” is the perfect summer pick-me-up.

Morelli’s Ice Cream: Some of Donald Sargent’s best ideas have come from his customers at this Atlanta shop, including a spiced East Indian Mango Kulfi. His motto: “If it’s a cake or pie, we’ll throw it into ice cream.” Don’t miss Sargent’s Sweet Potato pie ice cream, made with his mother’s top-secret pie recipe.

Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream: Molly Moon Neitzel recently opened Seattle’s second Molly Moon’s, where her ice creams—made with locally sourced milk and beet sugar—await a mess of house-made toppings: double-fudge chocolate sauce, balsamic reduction and seasonal fruit compotes like rhubarb-grapefruit.

Cool Moon Ice Cream: Memories of family gatherings around a hand-crank White Mountain ice cream maker inspired Eva Bernhard to open her Portland, Oregon, shop. Flavors like Buttermilk Marionberry Swirl, made with local blackberries, and Willamette Valley Hazelnut celebrate iconic Oregon ingredients. 

Farms

The Brief, Wondrous Strawberry Season

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In my home state of New Jersey, the strawberry season is short—from the last week in May through early June. With this in mind, I decided that the only berries worthy of Mark Bittman’s almond crème anglaise in the New York Times last week were those that I could pick myself. My sister and I drove to Terhune Orchards, a 200-acre pick-your-own farm in Princeton that I’d found on LocalHarvest, a website with nationwide directories for small farms and farmer's markets. A week of rain had left the plants a bit droopy, but there was fruit galore and scrambling children competing to see who found the biggest strawberry. I chose only the darkest, most petite berries, which tended to be the ripest, while my sister preferred anything big and bright as a fire truck. I know my berries will be fabulous in a Melon-and-Strawberry Salad with Spicy Lemongrass Syrup or in a Warm Strawberry Crumb Cake from one of my favorite chefs, Gerard Craft of Niche in St. Louis. Or I might go the super-simple route and just top the berries with barely-whipped cream.

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