Walnut Brownies with Cocoa Nibs and Dry Cherries

Walnut Brownies with Cocoa Nibs and Dry Cherries

David Lebovitz claims them like absolutely the best. And I’m not going to argue with him; the brownies are very, very good.

David emphasizes the importance of beating the batter before baking which is unusual for brownies in general, but necessary in this particular recipe.

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Chocolate and Grand Marnier Banana Cake

Chocolate and Grand Marnier Banana Cake

That’s what I’ve come up with after several attempts to produce a banana bread completely opposite in texture and flavor to the “traditional” banana bread – wet and sticking to your teeth, which is available, unfortunately, in almost every coffee shop throughout North America. My version is moist (don’t confuse with wet), fragrant, and chocolaty.

My close friend, who spent most of her life in Budapest and Zurich and has very sophisticated taste as well as her own conception of what a dessert should be like, approved this cake.

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Torta al Vino with Grapes

Torta al Vino with Grapes

Continuing the theme of traditional Italian cakes… This one is wonderful with tiny Champagne grapes available in autumn. But small red grapes still produce a very good result. The recipe is Lidia Bastianich’s which speaks for itself. Although I found that following the method exactly, all the grapes end up sunk to the bottom. Now I scatter half of the grapes on top of the batter before sliding a pan into the oven, and add another half after 25 minutes of baking – at this point, the top of the cake is set and the grapes stay on the surface.

The cake is great, I highly recommend it.

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Café Volcano Cookies

Café Volcano Cookies

These cookies are bumpy, and nutty, and ugly, and … so good! Despite a generous amount of nuts, they are as light as feathers. And may be because of this lightness (not to mention-flavor), I can finish a half of batch effortlessly.

I can’t think of anything pairing better with a cup of espresso.

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Honey-Drizzled Chocolate Ricotta Fritters

Honey-Drizzled Chocolate Ricotta Fritters

These are wonderful and irresistible. I’m not promoting fried food here, but it won’t hurt to treat yourself once (or several times) in a while.

The recipe is from “Chocolate Holidays”.

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Citrus Olive Oil Cake with Rhubarb Compote and Sour Cream Ice Cream

Citrus Olive Oil Cake with Rhubarb Compote and Sour Cream Ice Cream

The recipe for this bright yellow, zest studded cake is from my newest bargain, “Dolce Italiano” by Gina De Palma. The texture of the cake, due to a good amount of extra virgin olive oil and cornmeal, is soft and a bit crunchy at the same time. There is grated zest of orange, lime and lemon inside, providing the cake with pronounced aroma.

The rhubarb compote recipe belongs to Scott Peacock, it was published in the last issue of “Bon Appetite”.

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