An Italian Winter: Orange Walnut Cake

Orange Walnut Cake

A delight of layers, this cake has enough personality to please every texture nerd. I line the pan with caramelized walnuts, then pour the batter on top for baking. Once the cake is out of the oven and cool, I plaster the top with an easy chocolate mousse. Though it may look complicated, fret not- this is a cake you can throw together with minutes on the clock and look like a winner when the buzzer sounds.

Practice Date: Red Wine Brownies

Though I'd love to take credit for these brownies, I must bow my head to the inimitable David Lebovitz. He published this recipe for brownies in 2011 and I've been making them ever since. The batter is drop-dead simple with one caveat: you must beat it for at least a minute (as he states). The structural alchemy that occurs during your fervent whisking is what makes these brownies irresistible. They normally emerge from the oven with a crisp top but this time I've taken them for a ride with red wine and raspberry jam, baking a sticky-sweet layer on top of the bitter chocolate. 

Get the full recipe...