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Cakes - Coffeecakes

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What brunch is complete without a babka? I make the dough in my bread machine but a dough hook on a mixer works fine to make this silky yeasted dough. Start the recipe a day before and chill the dough overnight, continuing on early the next day to have warm babka by the time your guests arrive.

Just a little cheesecake for a few sublime slices and a romantic, private dessert party.  Find 7 inch cheesecake pans in the local dollar store. This is a silky smooth cheesecake that is low maintenance and high rewards.

I adore sweet yeast baking, especially homemade babka. It’s moist, sweet, buttery and great fresh or toasted. This recipe is not only easy and not overwhelming as it makes a small but jaunty, fragrant loaf,  just perfect for a weekend’s munching or a coffee klatch with friends.
It’s better-than-any-bakery and features layer after layer of sweet, cinnamon, rippling throughout a butter-vanilla sweet dough.

There are a myriad of flourless Passover tortes one can create for this special holiday. This particular one is sophisticated but relatively easy, can be frozen ahead and features a ganache glaze that is baked into cake for a glossy swirl.

Bubka is pure heaven - because it strikes just the right note of sweetness, being neither pastry nor bread. It is relatively easy to make - not as complicated as true Danish with its rolled in blocks of butter but certainly richer and more moist than an average sweet dough. With so few bakeries outside of big cities making real bubka anymore, making your own is a noble thing. Freeze the extra one and bake on another day or make one huge one. This cinnamon bubka is a lovely bread for easter but moreover, simply something nice for a week or weekend of casual friends and drop-by guests, all remarking that finally, spring IS here. Use your mixer or bread machine to make the dough.  A cinnamon schmear, by the way, which is it filling, is a sweet goo of cinnamon, corn syrup and ground nuts.

This is easy to make but easier to buy. One small bottle should last a long time! It is used in Xmas Black Cake and an authentic Dark Rye or Pumpernickle Bread.

If you were attracted by this recipe, changes are you can't resist banana bread, banana muffins and a big, luscious banana Bundt cake. The Nordicware company broke the mould on Bundt (C) pans, otherwise known as FTP (Fluted Tube Pans) in the housewares industry. Celebrate National Bundt Day, November 15th with Nordicware, this amazing recipe and BetterBaking.com. Check out the newest in Bundt pans at www.Nordicware.com. They're not your grandmothers' Bundt pans anymore.Did you know bananas can be frozen (whole, unpeeled) until needed? You may also use a 10-inch angel-food pan. 

Mild banana flavor, with a tender crumb and a wonderful caramel chip crumb topping.

Luscious fall pears (Bartlett is fine but almost any gorgeous, ripe pear you come upon is as ideal) and nibs of semi-sweet chocolate enliven this quick bread. Just make sure the pears are ripe but firm for you don’t want mush as the fruit bakes and softens. Ordinarily a quick bread is homey but this combination of not-oft-used enough pears and chocolate make this elegatnt. I saw something similar in a French bakery; it was decked out in coarse sugar atop its quick-bread characteristic creviced top.

A moist, tall sweet potato cake, with caramel pecan streusel, and a warmed marshmallow glaze atop the sticky brown sugar bourbon topping, which echoes the sweet potato and marshmallow casserole we serve with the turkey. Phew! This is an extravagant, holiday cake no one will forget which is what makes it an instant new tradition. Hint: the darker the sweet potatoes, the prettier the interior crumb and hue of this cake. If you don't want to bother with the streusel, leave it out. This cake rocks no matter what. It's......yammy. Seriously, it's one for the ages. Which is why it is now enshrined in The New Best of BetterBaking.com, Marcy Goldman, Whitecap Books, 2009 (available at Amazon, Chapters, Indigo, Barnes and Noble)

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