Sicilian Sunrise Cakes

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If you’re a coffee drinker, I think you’ll swoon over one of these cakes with your coffee. (But yes, they are wonderful paired with a cup of tea as well!) These golden sunshine-colored beauties get their lovely rich yellow color from cornmeal and pistachio or olive oil. They have a soft crumb that’s subtly sweet, tender, and moist, and are faintly scented of sweet citrus and vanilla.

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Golden Vanilla-Fig Cake

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The first time I had a fresh fig was in Damascus on mine and Mike’s honeymoon. Mike and I were served a platter of fruit (it’s the standard fare served after a big meal there…not really dessert, since that comes later. More like an after-dinner treat). A few ripe, very tempting figs rested on an ornately designed silver platter. One fig was cut in half, its deep red, juicy interior exposed; it looked soft and sweet and was practically calling out to be eaten. One bite and I was sold; that was all it took to ensure I turn into a fig-crazed maniac until I […]...

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Individual Cheese, Honey, & Cornmeal Cakes with Prune Compote

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I’ve had a bag of cornmeal in my pantry for quite some time and I knew wanted to make cake out of it.  This recipe was inspired by three staples of the ancient Roman diet:  whole grains, honey, and cheese.  Separately they might not sound extraordinary, but when combined they form something truly magical.  One of the most interesting things about ancient Romans’ eating habits was how they would recline while eating their largest meal of the day, which typically consisted of three courses.  These little cakes are the type of sweets that I imagine would be found gracing the third course of such a […]...

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