fig and orange honey mini cakes

Fig and Orange Honey Mini Cakes

While re-organizing the huge mess in the cabinet which houses all of my muffin tins, pie, tart, and assorted sheet pans, I came across a mini-popover pan, wrapped in plastic with the receipt taped on it, from the year 2000.  I must have meant to return it, but obviously, I never did. Instead,  I packed it and  moved it from our condo in Orange County, CA to our apartment in downtown Seattle, to our house in Bellevue, WA, and back to Southern California, first to an apartment and then to our current house, still wrapped in its original packaging. Continue reading

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pistachio-cranberry chiffon cupcakes with chocolate ganache

According to legend, the chiffon cake was invented in Los Angeles in the 1920s by Harry Baker (how appropriate!), an insurance salesman. The cake has a wonderfully light and airy texture, much like angel food cake, due to the stiffly-beaten egg whites which acts as a leavening agent.  However, unlike the angel food, the chiffon cake also contains egg yolks and vegetable oil which keeps the cake moist and tender. Baking powder is added to the recipe because the vegetable oil is heavy and needs the extra boost to ensure that the cake will rise properly.  The chiffon cake is typically baked in a tube pan to enable the hot air to circulate and bake the center of the cake.  Once baked, the chiffon cake is inverted until cool to keep the cake from shrinking and deflating. Continue reading