I grew up in Southern California, and lived there up until about 10 years ago. At one of my last jobs before I left, I was often gifted with a Porto’s Bakery fruit tart, which was (and I’m sure still is) delectable. 16-32: Glazed Fresh Fruit Cake reminds me of those fruit tarts, and makes me excited for warmer weather days ahead (check with me again about that when we’re in the middle of summer).
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.
Because it takes me a while to get around to writing these, it often works out that I’m writing about winter recipes in the summer and vice versa. Sticking with that theme, I present to you (in December) 15-24: Monterosso Ice Cream. Hey, at least it’ll be timely if you’re in the Southern hemisphere. I bet you guys are tired of everything being geared towards the Northern hemisphere anyway, so this one’s for you.
In case you were wondering, Monterosso is a coastal village in Italy, and it looks very nice. Totally giving me White LotusS2 vibes. I can’t seem to find anything that associates a certain type of dessert or ice cream with the town, but I did find some recommendations for gelato in case you’re ever in the area.
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.
I had a goal to finish all the ones I cooked in 2019 by the end of 2020…not sure if I’ll meet that goal (EDIT: I did!), but here’s one more from last year: 16-49: Chocolate-Glazed Raspberry Tart. Not only is this from last Thanksgiving (along with 6-42: Turkey Pot Roast and 17-15: Cream Puffs), but I also made a version of it as part of a fancy Christmas dinner 12 years ago (XMAS 08) as well. Since today is Christmas Eve, I think it’s a good day to tell you about it.
When I made this back in ’08, I made 6 individual tarts instead of one big one–I was afraid it would look weird once I cut it, so I thought individual servings would look better. I had been watching a LOT of Top Chef at that point (and still do, but that’s the ONLY cooking show I’ll watch).
Since I had a few of the same guests attending as that Christmas dinner back in ’08 (and the same number), I decided to make the same modification this time. Usually I will reverse modifications when I recook recipes I’ve already done to try to honor the “original” recipe, but this time I decided to stick with it.
Today is Independence Day here in the U.S., so let’s do one of my favorite desserts and recipes from this book, 14-8: Baked Alaska. Obviously Simply Delicious didn’t invent this dish–it’s an American dessert that’s existed since Civil War times and is so well known you can even make it as a Sim.
I have a history with this particular version of the dish, however. I first made it as my “showstopper” dessert for a big family dinner I cooked as a teenager (along with a similarly-aged family friend) many years ago.
I also taught about 200 K-8 kids (ages 5-13ish) how to make this recipe and several others as part of an after-school cooking class program that was one of my first teaching-related jobs. I’ve been waiting YEARS to write this one, so now it’s your turn with it.
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.
A few months ago, I made two Simply Delicious almond cakes for work: this one, 16-26: Elegant Almond Cake and 16-33: Crispy Almond Cake. I think this one came out prettier, but they were both delicious.
Simply Delicious doesn’t mention this in their blurb, but it’s also great for accompanying coffee or tea on a Wednesday morning at the office. They also refer to this dish as a cake, but it’s very clearly a tart. To confirm, here’s a recipe from King Arthur Flour that is essentially this exact same dish (referred to a tart) but with raspberries instead of Maraschino cherries.