'Holiday desserts' on Serious Eats

Make Them Eat: Fruitcake

Years and years ago my brother-in-law brought me a swank little fruitcake, all packaged and primped and wrapped up, all the way from London to my not-so-tony walk-up apartment in Manhattan's Upper West Side. I opened it up, fully expecting my fussy palate to become enthralled at the first bite of fancy cake, but no amount of passport stamps, customs forms, and British spelling ("coloUr"!!!) could make me choke the vile thing down. More

Let Them Eat: Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky. Toffee. Pudding. When I say these words aloud I see my listeners' pupils dilate, their fingers twitch, their teeth bite vampire-like into their bottom lips. I see I have an audience in my thrall and decide to tease and torture, describing how a warm bath of brown sugar, butter, molasses, and port sauce cascades onto a bed of dark cake that imbibes the glossy liquid. When prodded or scooped, the cake bleeds out helplessly and deliciously. More

Let Them Eat: Orange Cake with Mulled Wine Cranberry Jam

My Thanksgiving table isn't complete without an assortment of cranberry sauces. I like to have a basic back-of-the-bag recipe flanked by versions spiked with wine, studded with different fruits, punched up with spices and zest. The sauces are usually only perfunctorily spooned on plates, given the limited real estate, but that translates into ample leftovers. This year, I wanted to showcase the ruby red, tart cranberry sauce and give it its due by putting it on a pedestal (or cake stand). More

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