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Jul 1, 2008 10:17 AM

Hall of Fame Desserts?

I'm putting together a collection of favorite recipes for my friend's wedding. Does anyone have any all-time favorite desserts to recommend?

Some of my favorites, to be made over and over again:

Dorie's Creamy Lemon Tart
Amanda Hesser's Almond Cake
Claudia Roden's Orange Almond Cake
Lee Bailey's Peach Cake (my ideal summer dessert)
World Peace Cookies
Pichet Ong's Kabocha Squash Pie (that pie crust is amazing)
Gordon Hamersley's Pear and Apple Crumble
Bon Appetit's Chocolate Stout Cake


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  1. A great list! That stout cake is one of my favorites.

    Others, from epicurious:

    Molten chocolate cakes with mint fudge:

    Coconut layer cake:

    Black-bottom peanut butter mousse pie:

    La Bete Noire:

    Gramercy tavern gingerbread:

    I'm still thinking...

    4 Replies
    1. re: kirkie

      I'd also add Nigella's honey semifreddo with pine nuts -- it's perfect for this weather.

      1. re: kirkie

        I second the epicurious coconut cake - if you're a coconut cake fan, and I know not everyone is, is the best of the many recipes I've tried.

        1. re: kirkie

          add jfood to the molten mint cake

          1. re: jfood

            That would require a really large cake pan, even if you're just a chihuahua.

        2. Would you be so kind as to post the peach cake recipe? It sounds like something I need to make, now that it's getting to be peach season again. Thanks!

          1 Reply
          1. re: GSDlove

            Sure! It's from Lee Bailey's Country Desserts:

            I replace the margarine with butter.

            2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
            5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon corn starch
            2 teaspoons baking powder
            ¾ teaspoon salt
            6 tablespoons margarine, softened
            6 tablespoons butter, softened
            1¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
            ¾ cup milk
            1½ teaspoons vanilla
            9 large egg whites, stiffly beaten

            For the cream filling:
            2 cups heavy cream
            ½ cup sugar
            1½ teaspoon vanilla
            1-2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)

            For the peaches:
            5-6 large peaches
            Juice of ½ lemon
            1½ teaspoon vanilla

            1. for the cream filling, combine cream, sugar, and vanilla. Cover /chill, at least 2 hr.

            2. preheat oven to 350. grease three 8-inch round pans; line bottoms with wax paper. grease the paper.

            3. sift together flour, corn starch, salt, and baking powder.

            4. cream together sugar, margarine, and butter. add the dry mixture in four parts, alternating with milk and ending with flour. add vanilla.

            5. fold in egg whites. (don't overmix)

            6. divide the batter btw. cake pans and bake on middle rack for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto cooling racks and cool completely.

            7. dip peaches in hot water for about 10 seconds, then run cold water over them. remove skins and cut each into about a dozen slices. toss slices with lemon juice and sugar.

            8. whip the chilled cream filling until stiff; add vanilla.

            9. the peaches will have given off some of their juices; pour some of it over the bottom cake layer, a little at a time to give it a chance to soak in. place a third of the peach slices on this layer and cover with whipped cream. repeat with the remaining layers. keep refrigerated, loosely covered, until ready to serve.

          2. My favorite go-to desserts, in the summer at least, are Blueberry Buttermilk Tart:
            and Upside-down Cherry Cake:

            3 Replies
            1. re: ScarletB

              Thanks for the reminder about the BBtart, every year I say I'm going to make it and I never get around to it...this will be the year!!! AND I love cherries, this recipe sounds great!!!

              1. re: 4chowpups

                Neither of those recipes have ever failed me! I even made the blueberry tart at midnight on a day that was over 100 degrees and the crust was melting, and the next day when we ate it, it was perfect. Hope you enjoy them.

              2. re: ScarletB

                After reading this post the other day (and receiving some blueberries from my neighbor), I made this blueberry tart yesterday for a 4th of July cookout. Wow!! So good!!! Everyone loved it and I'll be making it again for sure. Thanks for the link!

              3. Peanut Butter and Fudge Brownies with Salted Peanuts:

                Ina Garten's Coconut Cupcakes:

                Chocolate Fallen Souffle Cake:

                3 Replies
                1. re: seconds

                  I checked out Ina's Coconut Cupcakes recipe wow! How many cupcakes does it make?

                  TIA :)

                  1. re: maplesugar

                    The recipe says 18-20, but I was able to get 24 cupcakes when I made them this weekend (with enough batter left over to satisfy my batter-loving husband, who tells me whenever I put any baked goods into the oven that I'm ruining it). The recipe makes way too much frosting - I cut the recipe in half and still have a little left over. These cupcakes are what I make for parties and I always have people comment on how good they are (my neighbor, who has a major sweet tooth, said they were the best cupcakes he has ever had!)

                    1. re: seconds

                      They are very good made them last year i beleive they made about 20 or so.

                2. Love this thread.

                  I'd add spoon cookies and the almond praline cake with mascarpone frosting and chocolate bark, both from the epicurious site.

                  The cookies (made without the filling as I do it) have great taste and texture. And a whimsical but simple shape.

                  And the cake is a standout showstopper celebration cake, much of which can be done ahead.

                  Both are favorites.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: karykat

                    Have you tried the spoon cookies with different kinds of preserves? What are your favorites? Thanks

                    1. re: kirkie

                      Actually, I've never made them with the preserves. I think they would distract from the flavor of the cookie. It has browned butter which really makes the flavor kind of indescribable. People ask if all kinds of things are in them. I think they are tasting the browned butter and can't pin it down.

                      But definitely people do make them with the preserves.

                      I saw on the comments to the recipe that someone has made them in a mini-madeleine pan. I have one of those that has been languishing in storage, and may try that.