Many of us prefer homey, mouthwatering desserts to those towering, complex constructions that appear on upscale restaurant menus.
Linda Olson, pastry chef at Betise, a bistro on Lake Michigan in Wilmette, Ill., bakes the full-flavored, old-fashioned desserts for which we yearn.
Depending on the season, her repertoire can include creme bru^lee, flourless chocolate roll with whipped cream, Champagne zabaglione or angel cake with fresh berries, persimmon pudding or steamed pumpkin pudding, to mention only some of the favorites that I have tasted over the years. Here is a sampling.
Sift together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
Beat butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing each well before adding another. Add vanilla; scrape down sides of bowl. Mix in dry ingredients, apples and nuts on low speed. Increase speed to medium and mix 10 seconds more. Transfer to greased 9-inch springform pan and set on baking sheet. Smooth cake top.
Bake at 350 degrees until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool completely on rack. Use small sharp knife to separate cake from sides of springform; remove ring. Serve warm (gently reheat in 300-degree oven for about 10 minutes). Cut into wedges; serve with a dollop of ice cream and warm caramel sauce.
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