Fig, Red Wine and Chocolate Cake

Figs, red wine, chocolate, cake…need I say more?  Whether you need a last minute Thanksgiving dessert, just love all of the above, or would like a new baking project, this is one of my new favorite fall desserts.  And while fresh figs are in season right now (yay!) and make a beautiful cake topping, the cake actually utilizes dried figs, so no need to worry about fig season, this can be made year round.

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Basque Burnt Cheesecake

A couple years ago I had Basque Burnt Cheesecake for the first time at this little Spanish restaurant in Portland.  My first thought was, why have I never heard of this?  My second thought was, how can I recreate this?  Deep brown and almost caramelized on the outside, fluffy and creamy on the inside, no crust, this was some kind of cheesecake magic.  It has begun to grow in popularity lately, popping up in food magazines, blogs, and restaurants.  And while it isn’t pretty and looks like, well, burnt cheesecake, your taste buds will thank you for trying it out.

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Stone Fruit Crostata with Anise Seed Cornmeal Crust

When fruit is at peak season, a crostata is a perfect dessert to showcase it.  Basically a rustic tart or pie, it requires none of the tedious crimping or lattice work for its crust.  Just roll out dough, pile fresh fruit in the center and then fold the edges around fruit.  This recipe utilizes the slicer/shredder attachment and the plastic whipping bowl.  We love being able to grate frozen butter and gently whisk it into dry ingredients for flaky crostata, pie or biscuits.

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