Wicked Wednesday: Your Dessert Masterpiece

dessertsBy Julie, decking the halls in Somerville

I am a huge fan of the Great British Baking Show, and am determined to try and make something challenging with meringue this month. I am also taking out an old recipe for Buche de Noel–I haven’t made it in years, but am going to take a day (it takes that long) and give it a whirl. The question of the week, Wickeds–is there a dessert you only make once a year because it is so complicated, or special? Anyone else tempted to make
frangipane tart?

Edith: I made a Buche a couple of years ago, Julie. Maybe it was the recipe, mimg_2697aybe my
execution, but I have to say it was not worth the effort. This year it’s going to take all my energy just to make my usual rounds of Christmas cookies – five kinds. They are both labor- and butter-intensive, so I only make them at the holidays.

Sherry: Poor, sad Buche, Edith! If I ever find the recipe I used which was easy and delicious, I’ll send it to you. I make a layered Strawberry Cake some years for Bob’s birthday. It’s my mom’s recipe and is delicious. It’s not particularly hard but it is time consuming. And I made Baklava once — again not hard just a lot of steps.

Jessie: For years I made gingerbread houses for a decorating party I threw for my kids. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun. I would bake and asemble all the plain houses and then set the table with royal icing and all sorts of candy. The kids would arrive and within an hour or so they’d each have a masterpiece to take home. Now tht my kids are older we sometimes make one large house that we all help to assemble and to decorate.

Liz: Since I changed the way I eat, desserts have typically been very different. Gluten and dairy free offerings can be tricky, and I admit sometimes I’m too lazy to bake them myself and prefer to find a good bakery to buy from! That said, I refer to Kris Carr’s recipes a lot – they’re raw, vegan and usually gluten free, and super easy. I’ve got my eye on peanut butter pomegranate cups right now…

cookiesforhenhouseBarb: I’m not much of a baker. My usual is seasonal pies. However, I do six kinds of cookies every Christmas, the same ones my mother did. Her mother did five of the six, and the recipes I use are from a book in her handwriting. My granddaughter recently started making the cookies with me, bringing us to at least the sixth generation. Very satisfying work, I must say.

Readers: What’s your dessert masterpiece? The one your mom or son or other family member always makes? Or the one you’d really like to make but don’t dare?



21 Thoughts

  1. I bake potica, a traditional Slovenian sweet yeast roll filled with ground walnuts for Christmas. Christmas morning isn’t the same without it! And for the last five years, I’ve helped a friend make Christmas stollen, German traditional bake. I’m with you on the Great British Baking Show. Love the variety of things baked and fascinated by some of the flavor combinations the bakers present.

  2. I used to make a Queen’s Pudding (sometimes known as Queen of Puddings), oh and a LOT of mince pies! but now I am disabled and my wonderful hubby is diabetic we don’t bother any more 🙁

  3. The recipe that has the longest “legs” (i.e., gets requested most often) in my family is Apple Cake, which I borrowed from James Beard, who admitted himself that he borrowed it from a friend before him. But I had a roommate when I first lived in Cambridge, before I was married, who made stollen every Christmas, in a cramped dark windowless kitchen. I still have her recipe and use it now and then.

    1. And then there’s your famous red velvet cake, which you brought to a Sisters in Crime New England holiday meeting – complete with knife and apparent blood!

  4. I’m not much of a baker despite my last name, but I have had some success with recipes from Joanne Fluke’s books. I’ve even made her cheesecake and peach cobbler for family holiday dinners over the years. Plus I won the “made entire by a guy” category with her key lime pie receipe once.

    Sadly, it’s been years since I made anything. But I buy so much junk that I still always have sweets in the house to tempt me.

  5. I make this to die for caramel corn as snacks. I got the recipe from a friend and now I make gallons of it every year. It wouldn’t be the holidays with out it. I too am a no wheat person so this is something I can actually eat though I try to nibble only.

  6. My trailer kitchen is too small to bake in (no room to do the prep), so I am at the local library waiting to make a gingerbread house.

  7. I love to bake, but have been trying to make more recipes without using a lot of regular flour. Many people don’t like fruitcake (I do), so instead, I make an almond stollen (German recipe with currants, raisins and dried apricots) to give out as gifts. The city where I went to university (Waterloo, ON) has a big German community, and I also enjoyed eating stollen in my frequent trips to Germany and Austria.

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