FOCACCIA ALLA PUGLIESE

This rich and satisfying focaccia is thicker than the typical Ligurian type and baked in a round pan. Toppings are usually simple and pushed into the dough when applied. This photo is from Easter, when I served the focaccia with a savory tart and marinated olives.

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Alfajores - Crisp Argentine Sandwich Cookies Filled With Milk Caramel

This recipe comes from my Argentine connection, Ana Rambaldi. They are crunchy cookies sandwiched with a filling of dulce de leche—caramelized sweetened, condensed milk.

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Golden Almond Bars

I know I say it about far too many recipes, but these are a real favorite. In fact, I seldom bake them much in advance of serving them because I can’t be trusted around them—they are that addictively good. This is loosely based on a recipe shared by my old friend Jayne Sutton, who’s been attending my classes for over 30 years.

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French Lemon Meringue Tart (Tarte Au Citron Meringuée)

This is based on a similar tart made by Philippe Conticini at his Pâtisserie des Rêves shop in Paris. I was struck by a photo of the tart topped with a wave of meringue. Fortunately M. Conticini was forthcoming with his method for achieving this unique effect.

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Viennese Raisin Coffee Cake

Vienna is the undisputed world capital of cake. There are layer cakes, mousse cakes, historical cakes (the Sachertorte of the Hotel Sacher has been a closely guarded secret recipe for over 200 years), and even plain cakes. I recently asked my friend Erika Lieben for her favorite. She wrote back a four-word response: Gehruerter Gugelhupf mit Rosinen (“beaten” coffee cake with raisins).

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Mozzarella In Carrozza (Mozzarella “In a Carriage”)

This is a fun first course when served with a tomato salad, but it can also stand as a quick light meal on its own when there’s nothing else available but a piece of bread, some mozzarella, and a few eggs. There are countless variations on this recipe, some including a bit of anchovy along with the mozzarella, but this simple version is the best.

Brown Bread Ice Cream

Baking crumbled bread with the caramel, a pinch of salt, and just a tablespoon of butter produces sweet crumbs that stay crisp once added to the ice cream. The ice cream recipe is based on the one I learned from Monsieur Alex Frolla, the pastry chef when I did my three summer seasons working at the Sporting Club and the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. It was the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted.

Best and Easiest Carrot Cake

No cake is homier or more casual than a carrot cake, especially a carrot cake with a filling or topping of cream cheese frosting. This is loosely adapted from a recipe by Maida Heatter in her landmark Book of Great American Desserts.