Category Archives: Cake

Recipe Rescue: Sugar-Crusted Citrus Loaf

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Today’s recipe was borne from a lapse in thinking.

I had been craving lemon bars for the better part of a week when this loaf was made. I bought some Meyer lemons from Whole Foods and came home intent on making a tray to bring in to school. I juiced six lemons and a blood orange that I had lying around. The butter was perfectly softened, and I was ready to make some dessert.

Until I read the recipe wrong.

Somewhere between juicing those lemons and creaming that butter, I got it into my head that the recipe called for 1¾ cups of sugar in the crust.

It does not. That goes in the filling.

But of course that didn’t occur to me until I had successfully combined all of the butter with all of the sugar. So then I had to brainstorm ways to save those ingredients that I basically ruined. The end result was a sweet, dense pound cake, studded with lemon zest with the underlying tang of Meyer lemons and blood orange. The best part might actually be that the extra sugar crusted on top, making for a great crunch. Paired with a citrus-y glaze, this is one screw-up that didn’t turn out half bad!

I’m going to go ahead and call this recipe a success. Sure, I cannot read may be losing my mind, but at least I avoided a major baking flop!

Happy eating!

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Chocolate Panettone Bread Pudding

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Hi friends!

I haven’t forgotten about you. I swear. Things are a bit backed up here–partially because of my schedule and partially because my camera’s having uploading issues. Hopefully, all will be resolved this weekend. Til then, here’s a quick recipe for a chocolate-studded panettone bread pudding. Sorry for the lack of pictures–these are the only ones that would load!

Happy eating!

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Lemon Curd Marbled Cheesecake

Cheesecake has always been one of my favorite desserts.  Growing up, instead of brightly-colored frosted birthday cakes, I asked my mom for cheesecake.  I typically requested a chocolate marbled one I found beautifully depicted in a tiny Hershey magazine.  Each March, we would eat grilled chicken, artichokes, and cheesecake.  Yes, I was a strange child.

When I got married, I wanted to continue the traditional, so for Brandon’s and my birthdays—they are three days apart—I tried my own hand at the marbled chocolate cheesecake, and while it was delicious, it cracked.  I tried again using a new recipe a few years later, and, again, it cracked.

A cracked cheesecake is still a tasty cheesecake, but for a perfectionist like me, that dang crack drove me crazy.  I tried baking the cake at a lower temperature.  Crack.  I tried leaving the cake in the oven with the door ajar to cool.  Crack.  Every stinking time.

Recently, I had the hankering for cheesecake, but this time, I chose to substitute my dear chocolate with a tangy lemon curd.  The tart lemon somehow made the rich, ultra-creamy cheesecake refreshing, and now, I have a new favorite cheesecake.

And in the end, this cheesecake was beautiful.  White with vibrant streaks of yellow and . . . a deep crack in the middle . . . oh well.  I’ve learned, if this happens, just cover any “flaws” with blueberries.  They become even tastier. Continue reading


New York-Style Cheesecake

First of all, I’m sorry for not posting lately. I’m finally finished with residency selection, and, now that my nerves have calmed and my current rotation is a bit easier, I can focus once more on the blog. You should be hearing more from me in the next few months.

And now, on to the food!

Who doesn’t love cheesecake?

Well… actually, I don’t. In fact, I can’t stand it.

…But my sister does!! This thanksgiving, we were discussing what desserts to make for dinner, and I asked if we could do something other than pumpkin pie. Why, you may ask, would I not want serve this staple of the American Thanksgiving table?

Not gonna lie, I don’t like pumpkin pie either.  I know, sacrilege.

I convinced my sister to let me try making something different, and she, ahem, kindly agreed to give me a shot at making a different dessert. I picked pumpkin cheesecake, because 1) as stated above, my sister loves cheesecake, and 2) there is no better dessert repellent for me than the aforementioned item.  Talk about killing two birds with one stone! Well, four packages of cream cheese, one can of pumpkin and a box of graham crackers later, I was staring into a gaping crack that could have been the grand canyon of cheesecakes. On the plus side, no one could tell once I covered it in marshmallow sour cream topping (most delicious topping ever- recipe to come later.)

Two days later, I made another cheesecake for a family event, and this one turned out wonderfully! Not a single crack whatsoever. I think the reason behind the success of this cake may have been that it was baked at a lower temperature and allowed to cool in the water bath for a few minutes once outside the oven. I figured since I put in the effort I might as well try a bite, and I have to say that for a cheesecake, it tasted really good!

Lessons learned:

  1. Baking cheesecake at a lower temperature (325 degrees) results in less cracking in the center.
  2. When the cheesecake is in the oven, don’t open the door and allow it to bake for the recommended time (you can even let it go 5 minutes less.)
  3. Making cheesecake isn’t difficult at all, and you should definitely try it out over holidays for the cheesecake lover in your life.
  4. Heating up a microwave with nothing in it will cause it to light on fire and then you will owe someone a new microwave. I kid you not.

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Red Velvet Cupcakes and a New Blogger

Hello, all!

So, as you may have noticed, the blog has been missing a third kitchen for quite some time. Shortly after starting the blog, Ursela realized other commitments would prevent her from continuing to participate, and we’ve been on the hunt for a replacement.

Turns out, the solution has pretty much been under our noses the whole time. I’m excited to introduce you to our new third “kitchen:” Liz.

What makes this funny is the fact that Liz is actually my older sister. To be honest, she started cooking first. While her early attempts at cooking (like those of  most people) were at times interesting, she is a FANTASTIC chef. People fight over her cupcakes. No. Seriously. I’ve had friends issue death threats to one another over these things. People have broken vegan diets for them. They are THAT good. Needless to say, we have a new resident baker here at A Tale of Three Kitchens, but don’t let her baking expertise fool you! Liz also has some great Thai, Chinese, Turkish, and Mexican recipes up her sleeve that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. She’s a pretty talented medical student.

Thus, with no further ado, I give you Liz and her delicious red velvet cupcakes:

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Chocolate Lava Cakes

Dessert lovers, beware. Your diets are about to go downhill.

Who doesn’t love a spoonful of molten chocolate? Well, minus me. Sure, I generally opt for the fruit dessert, but even I can’t resist a warm chocolate cake sometimes.

After reading Megan’s last few dessert-oriented posts, I couldn’t help but think how great a spoonful of gelato would taste atop a warm chocolate cake. I first made this dessert when my friend Lucy came to visit me. Lucy studied abroad in Florence at the same time that I did, and I was lucky enough that she was already living with my host family when I arrived. She was a great resource when I first moved to Italy, and I’m glad to count her among my friends. I wanted to make a special treat when she came, so I chose to make these chocolate lava cakes as the perfect ending to our Italian meal.

This recipe produces a dessert that is quite rich, and the cakes taste great with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla (or crème fraîche!) ice cream. The molten chocolate inside is always a great surprise to guests, and the instant gratification of a warm, gooey cake is hard to beat!

I hope you consider making these next time you are craving some chocolate. Even better, make this with some crème fraîche gelato; I’m pretty sure that’s a pairing that’ll be hard to beat! Happy eating!

….and on a completely unrelated note: If you haven’t had any artichokes yet this season: RUN. I am currently eating a bowl of lightly braised baby artichokes with garlic and onions, and I am in foodie heaven. GAH.

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Peach Crumb Cake


I realized last night that most of my recent posts on the blog have revolved around pasta. Case in point: this, this, this, and this. So, to prove both to you and to myself that I have not lost my ability to cook other forms of food, I decided to bake tonight.

With the sight of a few snowflakes this evening, however, I knew that I would want something comforting to eat come morning, and nothing sounded better than a piece of cinnamon-y crumb cake. Being a foodie, I am obsessed with other food blogs, and one of my favorite blogs is The Crepes of Wrath. The blog is the brainchild of Sydney, a recent college grad and incredibly relatable writer. Her recipes are very user- (and budget-) friendly, and I love checking her blog throughout the week to see what delicious recipes she has shared. Today’s recipe comes straight from her blog. I’ve had it bookmarked on Safari since the day it was first posted, but never got around to making this cake. Today provided the perfect opportunity.

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