May 5, 2016

The Perfect Seasonal Dessert: Strawberry Tart {3-Step Recipe}

In the repertoire of French pâtisserie, the tarte aux fraises is considered a basic dessert. In fact, this was one of the first recipes taught in my Cordon Bleu pâtisserie diploma course in Paris. Yet sometimes the simplest of preparations are the very best. This is especially true of strawberry tart if made in season when the fruit is at peak ripeness. In France during May and June, beautiful berry tarts are displayed in the windows of pâtisserie boutiques, often enticing passersby to enter the shop. 

December 18, 2015

Gâteau de Pommes Grand-Mère {Grandma's Apple Cake Recipe}

Every year in autumn when barrels of apples fill up produce stands, I begin to think about the various desserts that I will bake with the different varieties. I have several favorite apple recipes on my list: classic apple tart, Tarte Tatin and Ina Garten's Apple Crostata. But this French grandmother's-style apple-spice cake is unique and special. It's especially satisfying served with coffee or tea on a chilly December day. 

November 12, 2015

Artisan Par Excellence: Barlovento Chocolates in Oakland, CA

Barlovento Chocolates (638 2nd Street, Oakland) 

Have you ever dreamed of quitting your day job and seeking an occupation filled with pure joy? Take inspiration from the story of Peter Brydon, master chocolatier of Barlovento Chocolates. After 28 years in the printing business, he decided on a whim to become a chocolate maker!