We’re barely into spring, so what better way to celebrate that than to jump ahead to summer with 16-19: Midsummer Cake? We’ll call it being super proactive–you’re already thinking ahead for summer. Like when you go shopping for spring clothes and the summer stuff is already on the shelves. Look at you being so productive. Such a trendsetter!
There’s no rule saying you HAVE to make this in summer–it could be a great spring dessert as well. In fact, strawberries are generally considered more of a “spring fruit” more so than a summer one (depending on where you live), so maybe we should update this to be a “Spring Cake”? I can’t go with “Mid-Spring Cake” because that sounds like something you make in the middle of a jump.
It always takes me a minute to “catch up” on these, so if you’re keeping track (don’t), we’re now up to Thanksgiving of last year (2020) with 16-5: Sacher Torte. Sachertorte is a real thing, and Simply Delicious actually has a pretty decent take on it.
The Wikipedia link above gives a pretty close approximation of the origin story Simply Delicious mentions on their card above, so they’re hitting near the mark. Sometimes the best Simply Delicious recipes are the ones they DON’T make up for themselves.
Side note: My dad ended up LOVING this one (and he’s been eating the dishes from this book for 30+ years), so it comes highly recommended.
It’s a bit past apple season (usually fall/autumn), but 16-29: Heavenly Apple Cake uses applesauce instead of fresh fruit, so you can make it anytime you’ve got a hankering for apples. Or cake. Cake is always good.
They (Simply Delicious) are trying REALLY hard to make you believe there are actual apple pieces in this cake. I mean, the picture and the description would lead you to think that this thing is just chock full of fresh apples.
I hate to break it to you, but this is gonna be one heck of a bamboozle.
Yet another apple dessert recipe for you today. I made 14-24: Wine-Baked Apples at the same time as 14-2: Apple Strudel, since if I’m going through the work of breaking down apples, I’m getting at least two entries out of it.
The blurb above mentions this being a “new” way to bake apples–it doesn’t seem that far off from the “old” ways, to be quite honest.
A LOT of the dessert recipes in Simply Delicious feature almonds, and 14-23: Almond-Baked Sliced Pears is a perfect example of these type of “semi-fancy” recipes. I’m not sure why almonds are featured so heavily in the book (or 1980s cuisine in general), but I suppose it’s to lend a sense of haute cuisine to something that would be (in reality) executed in a home kitchen.
The 1980s were all about stylish and flashy veneers without much to back it up underneath, even when it came to food, and this recipe is a perfect encapsulation of it. The fancy top covers up the cheap canned pears underneath, dazzling you with a hint of something high-class to distract you from the less impressive core which makes up the bulk of the dessert. Maybe some things should have just stayed in the 80s.
Let’s get the first question out of the way right now. Compôte means “mixture” in French, so 15-20: Apple Compôte is essentially fancy applesauce. Don’t even worry about exerting the effort to mash the apples–these are just syrupy slices.
Some of you might have thought of pie filling when you saw “compôte”–I know I did. There’s actually differences between jam, jelly, preserves, conserves, and compote–I still don’t know if this iteration matches up with their definition, but here’s a recipe from my same trusted source (Serious Eats/Stella Parks) for essentially the same thing we’re making here.
15-23:Kiwi Mousse in Chocolate Cups is the final recipe from last year’s Mother’s Day (MD2019) AND the final recipe from this kitchen, which was the backdrop for this project for 5 of its 6 years (at the time of this writing) of existence. I made this in tandem with 15-10: Frozen Raspberry Desserts, since they both make use of chocolate cups and frozen fillings.
These ones didn’t turn out quite as well as their raspberry counterparts, but they made a nice contrast and provided some variety. Along with these two chocolate cup desserts, I also made 15-17: Summery Cantaloupe as part of my dessert offerings for Mother’s Day.
I made 16-33: Crispy Almond Cake last September to pair with 16-26: Elegant Almond Cake as a breakfast treat for my work colleagues. This one was the less fancy of the two, but still went extremely well with some coffee on a Wednesday morning.
This title card blurb mentions that versions of this almond cake can be found all over the United States–Google doesn’t seem to want to confirm that claim for me. Searching almond cake results in severaliterations of a Spanishflourlessalmond cake influenced by the Jewish tradition of Passover. Interesting, but none of them look like this recipe.
Here’s another seafood recipe: 11: 30: Sea Bass with Peppers. To me, fish and peppers are not the most logical combination, but these veggies are mostly a garnish to serve alongside a rockfish (instead of sea bass) fillet.
This is another dish where you can substitute the type of fish if you want–we split the rockfish filets between this recipe and the ones Jamie used for 11-21: Baked Whitefish with Shrimp.
Sometimes when you use recipes from old cookbooks, they can seem a bit “tone-deaf” when it comes to modern-day sensibilities about race and culture. Despite a questionable name, 11-36: Hong Kong Shrimp contains many ingredients commonly found in Chinese food.
I love the porcelain bowls they served the example dish in. The wooden chopsticks are also a great touch. What a great photo!