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I discovered this fabulous Orange Flourless Chocolate Cake when I interviewed White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier for the Christian Science Monitor. This cake, from Mesnier's memoir "All the President's Pastries," stood out to me. It happened to have been the favorite dessert of the Reagan family. It's now our family favorite as well. 

Bon Appetit!



  • 1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
  • Flour, for dusting the pan
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Zest of one large orange 
  • 4 eggs plus 2 yolks (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • Confectioner's sugar, for dusting 
  • Vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream (optional) 


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan or a spring form pan. 

3. Gently melt the chocolate over a double broiler. Stir the butter into the chocolate to melt and stir until smooth. 

4. Remove chocolate mixture from the double boiler and whisk in the sugar and orange zest. Add eggs and yolks and whisk well. Sift the cocoa powder over the chocolate mixture and whisk the batter until totally smooth. 

5. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the top has formed a good crust. 

6. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. 

7. Invert the cake onto a serving platter. Dust with confectioner's sugar and serve with ice cream or whipped cream. 

8. Serves 10 to 12.


When Bernard and Jen first met back in 2002, they discovered that they had each been making crepes for their kids on weekends. Their recipes are slightly different - hers calls for more butter and eggs, Bernard's for a dash of cinnamon. Herewith is Jen's more buttery take on french crepes. She typically doubles or even triples the recipe, especially when cooking for her brood. Serve crepes with plain yogurt, pure maple syrup, and fresh seasonal fruit - or as Bernard prefers, with a sprinkling of Confectioner's sugar.


4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)

3 eggs (at room temperature) 

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup all-purpose flour 


In crepe pan over low heat, melt the butter. Pour it into a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, whisk eggs with milk, add flour, and then pour in melted butter. Mix batter well. Don't worry if some lumps remain.

Pour about a half cup of batter into the crepe pan, then tilt pan to evenly distribute batter and fill pan. Cook quickly over high heat and flip crepes after about 30 seconds when bubbles start to appear. Don't abandon your post at the stove, as the crepes could burn. Transfer crepes onto oven-proof platter in warmed (200 degree F.) oven until you’ve made a mountain of crepes. Alternatively, if your crowd just can't wait, serve crepes as you make them. Enjoy! 

Makes about 8 crepes.




- recipe from Cambridge School of Culinary Arts

In my six-week Mediterranean class at Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, where we "travel" to a different country each week, we recently made this fabulous flatbread that originates in Provence.

Smilar to Italian focaccia, fougasse can incorporate many different ingredients - olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions, cheese, and most often, kosher salt and minced herbs. As Chef Steve told us, it is typically baked into a shape similar to a tree or leaf with holes resembling the stems of the leaf. It's beautiful to look at, but even better to eat.

Bon Appetit!


1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing loaves

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Corn meal


1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together yeast, sugar, and 1-1/3 cups water heated to 110 degrees F., let sit until foamy, 10 minutes. Stir in flour, oil, and salt and using the dough hook, knead on speed one for about 10 minutes until a soft dough is formed. Add any flavor additions and knead in at the end. Place in a lightly oiled bowl to rise until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 hours.

2. Heat oven to 500 degrees F. Divide dough into 5 equal pieces and mould into balls. Leave for 10-minute rest. On a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into 8 in. by 5 in. triangles, about 1/2-inch thick. Transfer doughs to a cornmeal-dusted, parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

3. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough and separate using your fingers to shape the holes. Cover with a damp towel; let rest until puffed, about 30 minutes. Lightly brush each dough piece with oil, sprinkle with any desired additions, and season with salt and pepper. Bake, one at a time, until golden brown, about 15 minutes each.