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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thanksgiving Desserts Ahead!

Happy Friday all! My FAVORITE holiday is coming up in just 7 short days and on top of our family meal, I've got 6 other pies to make! I'm a busy bee here at the bakery! Let's talk about a few unusual ideas for your Thanksgiving table - get your pad and pen ready and start shopping tomorrow!

Sweet Potato Hummingbird Cake
Margaux Laskey

  • 8 large bananas
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 4 ½ cups/563 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 cups/400 grams sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 cups/473 milliliters neutral vegetable oil
  • 28 ounces/794 grams canned pineapple chunks, drained and chopped (3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup/160 grams dried black currants
  • 2 cups/300 grams green peanuts (or use roasted, unsalted peanuts)
  • 2 pounds/907 grams sweet potatoes, peeled (about 3 medium)
  • 2 (8-ounce/227 gram) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 sticks/452 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 ¾ cups/454 grams confectioners’ sugar (one 1-pound box)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups/300 grams roasted, salted peanuts (such as cocktail peanuts), roughly chopped, for garnish
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees (or 400 degrees convection). Arrange bananas (in their peels) on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven until they are soft and black, about 25 minutes. Let bananas cool to room temperature. Remove and discard peels, and transfer banana flesh and any juices that collected on the pan to a food processor. Process until smooth. Measure 2 cups of the purée and set aside (reserve any extra purée for another use).
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees (325 degrees convection). Spray three 9-inch cake pans with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment. In an extra-large bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, sugar and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and banana purée until well combined. Fold in pineapple, vanilla, currants and peanuts.
  4. Grate sweet potatoes on the large holes of a box grater or with the grater attachment of a food processor. Fold grated potatoes into the wet mixture.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just incorporated. Divide batter equally among the three pans and bake until firm and golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pans on wire racks, then turn out onto the racks, peel off parchment, and let cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, make the icing: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add butter and mix on low speed, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer running on low speed, add sugar by the 1/2 cup until it’s fully incorporated. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine.
  7. To assemble the cake, use a serrated knife to trim the top of each layer to make sure it’s flat.
  8. Place a cake layer on a platter or cake stand. Using an offset spatula, spread 1 1/2 cups icing over the first layer. Top with a second layer and repeat with 1 1/2 cups icing. Top with the third layer and use remaining icing to frost the top and sides of the cake. Press roasted peanuts on the sides of the cake for garnish. The cake, once assembled, can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, but it’s best the day it’s made. Serve at room temperature.

Gingerbread with Quark Cheesecake
Nancy Olson


  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 ounces quark or Greek-style whole-milk yogurt (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon Cointreau or other orange brandy
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Candied kumquats in syrup, sliced, for garnish

  1. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar at medium speed until smooth. Add the quark and beat just until blended. Add the egg and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the Cointreau. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  2. Add enough hot water to the roasting pan to reach halfway up the side of the springform pan. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the cheesecake is slightly jiggly in the center and set around the edge. Remove it from the water bath and run a knife around the edge of the cake to allow it to settle in the pan as it cools. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 6-inch cake pan. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, ground spices and salt. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar with the egg and egg yolk at medium-high speed until light and fluffy. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the milk. Stir in the molasses, fresh ginger and vanilla. In 3 alternating additions, beat the dry and wet ingredients into the egg mixture.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the lower third of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until springy. Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn the cake out onto a rack. Turn it right side up and let cool completely.
  5. Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the rounded top off of the gingerbread cake to make it level. Invert the cake (cut side down) onto the cheesecake. Place a plate over the cake pan. Holding both the plate and pan, invert the entire cake onto the plate. Remove the ring, then carefully lift off the pan bottom. Garnish with the candied kumquat slices and serve chilled.
Notes: The finished cake can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Bouchon's Apple Pie
Bouchon Bakery

  • 5 tbsp. confectioners' sugar
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1⁄4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1⁄4 tsp. dark rum
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tbsp. almond flour
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 3⁄4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup unsweetened apple cider
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 large semisweet apples, such as Fuji, cored, and cut into 8 wedges each
Topping and Baking:
  • 1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄3 cup almond flour
  • 5 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
  • Bouchon's Pâte Sucrée
  • 1⁄2 cup Bouchon's Apple Butter, or substitute store-bought
  • Confectioners' sugar and ground cinnamon, for dusting
  1. Make the almond cream: Using the stand mixer with a clean bowl and paddle, cream confectioners' sugar and 2 tbsp. butter until fluffy, 1–2 minutes. Add extracts, rum, and egg; mix until combined. With the motor running, slowly add flours until cream is smooth. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; chill until ready to use.
  2. Make the caramelized apples: Heat granulated sugar in a 12" nonstick skillet over medium-high; cook, without stirring, until sugar is melted and light amber in color, 8–10 minutes. Carefully stir in cider and ½ cup water (mixture will bubble up); pour caramel into a bowl and set aside. Wipe skillet clean and melt 3 tbsp. butter over high heat. Cook apples until golden, 8–10 minutes. Add reserved caramel; cook until apples are just softened, 10–12 minutes. Let apples cool, then drain; discard caramel.
  3. Make the topping: Pulse flours, sugar, butter, and salt in a food processor until mixture resembles fine sand; set aside.
  4. Assemble and bake the pie: Heat oven to 325°. On a lightly floured surface, roll Bouchon's Pâte Sucrée into a 15" circle, about ⅙" thick. Fit into a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom; trim edges. Using a fork, prick the dough all over. Line dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans; bake until golden, 25–30 minutes. Remove paper and weights and let cool.
  5. Spread reserved almond cream over dough; arrange caramelized apples over top. Spoon Bouchon's Apple Butter over apples. Sprinkle the reserved topping over entire surface of pie; bake until topping is golden, about 45 minutes. Let pie cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar and cinnamon before serving.
Happy baking!

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