Here at the Small Table, I often need a downsized dessert on the fly. While none of the recipes on this site take a crazy amount of time, this Quickest Little Birthday Cake wins for being fastest, impressive, delicious, and thoughtful. You may have friends coming over for games, neighbors stopping in, or it’s your turn to host the playdate– on those days, leave off the candle and just serve cake! The best-case scenario, of course, is that it actually is someone’s birthday: when that happens, this cake comes beautifully to the rescue.
It is hot, hot, hot here at the Small Table, and maybe where you live, too! Are you having salad for dinner tonight? I admit that I don’t feel like eating much else these past few days, with our temps heading into the 100’s before the weekend. A good salad can be made great, however, with the right bread-addition. And so today I offer you one of my favorites: Rosemary-Mozzarella Quick Bread. It comes together in a snap with no yeast or rise-time, and is kept moist by olive oil, sour cream, and a relatively low baking-temperature. Break out the 6-inch cake pan!
I admit that I love cute little pans, and I have many of them. But, oh, what you can do with a 6-inch tart pan! If you only have a 6-inch cake or pie pan, this will still work, it just won’t have the cute tart shape. In any case, tart pans are not expensive (Sur La Table), so I would encourage you to get one if you are inclined.
This crust is easy, quick, cholesterol free, and can be used for a million fillings– from sweet to savory and back again; from baked to fresh to chilled to frozen– this is your baby! (Or at least it’s my baby, haha.) Just think of the possibilities! But you have to start somewhere, and today we start with the crust.
Have you made your Memorial Day plans? The Small Table Planning Committee is still juggling a few options for how to spend the weekend. In any case, a bigger holiday usually means a bigger party. If you are devoted, like I am, to generally making small desserts, this doesn’t have to be a problem. Almost every recipe on this site can be doubled (or more) with no sweat. The doubled cake pictured here fed eight people quite generously. Cakes lend themselves especially well to doubling, since they look so gorgeous when stacked. Need some extra compliments this weekend? Show up to the party with a stacked cake! …
Here’s a little something to brighten your Monday morning: plan to make this lovely cake sometime this week! Berries and white chocolate love to be together for dessert. I developed this recipe back in my farmers market days, and it has certainly stood the test of time. It’s gone through a million revisions, so the one I present to you today is truly my baby, and I am quite proud of it. Do not question the secret ingredient, friends. It is the key to a moist, dense, perfect golden cake– one that will serve you well for years to come. Once you master this small cake, you will think of so many ways to change it up.
That’s right–Brolls. This is a fantastic concept that makes it possible to enjoy a yeasted-type roll for dinner in just 30 minutes, start-to-finish. The name “brolls” is derived from the fact that we use a little baking powder to help the yeast along. This creates a soft, dense roll that is perfect with butter and jam. Do you have 10 minutes to spare? Then you have no NEED to KNEAD! Just use those 10 minutes to let the brolls rest on the counter before sliding them into the oven. Fifteen minutes later, you will have four small, perfect, golden accompaniments to any soup, salad, or entree.
There are not many things more frustrating than a cake or loaf of bread sticking to the pan. Yes, you can dig out fork-fuls and pretend that everything is OK, but inside you have the nagging feeling that your work was at least partly wasted. Don’t let this happen to you! When you have made the perfect small cake or small loaf of bread, reward your efforts by assuring that your fresh-baked treasure slides right out of the baking pan.
Oh, the glories of a small cake! It’s perfectly sized for one person with some left over for the rest of the weekend. Or, if you are feeling very generous, you can share small pieces with up to three of your most deserving friends. They’d better be deserving, though, because the cakes in this series are only the best. Today’s cake is a downsized version of one of my best-selling cakes from the Farmers Market: the Dense Fudge Cake with Dulce de Leche Icing. Glorious.
I was introduced to this traditional breakfast treat/science experiment by my brother when we were teenagers. I have no idea where he got the recipe, but one Saturday morning while the rest of us were watching cartoons (yep, it was those days) he took a big glass pie plate, poured in some butter and some batter, and amazed us all with his inflatable breakfast. This is great for a morning when you have a little time for luxury, and is also perfect for when you feel like having breakfast for dinner. Serve with some bacon and orange juice, and you’ve got your own little oasis of breakfast bliss.
After spending a couple of years living in a country where white rice is served on most days, I came home having had my true fill of it. I was totally out of reasons to eat rice, and knew I needed a break! However, rice is a delicious and totally versatile food. How to rekindle the magic? First, let a hefty amount of time pass. Then, set yourself up with a totally fool-proof, endlessly adaptable new rice-cooking method:
For a couple of years I lived the dream as a professional baker. It was hard, hard work, but so awesome. Certainly the highlight of that time was the year I spent selling at Farmers Market. I met the most wonderful, down-to-earth people from all over the area, and– like good Market Mates– we always bartered with our leftovers. On any given Saturday afternoon, I’d return home with fresh cheese from an Amish farm, buffalo jerky, creamed wild honey, or a head of purple cauliflower (amazing.) I miss those days! Hands down, the Nutella-Swirl Blondie was the most popular item I sold, and is still requested by former customers who are now good friends.