Gluten-Free Made Simple

I don’t like Labor Day, because it represents the end of summer. But the long weekend offered plenty of time to combine business with pleasure, by finding a couple of new baking books at my local Barnes & Noble. Full reviews will wait upon recipe performance, but in the meantime I thought I’d share what…


How to Present Your “Last Hurrah” Peaches of the Season

I enjoy writing this blog, but I would enjoy much more if you would send me requests. For instance: would you like to read about how to work with chocolates and recipes using chocolates, rather then what I wrote here? It takes me the same time to write about things that you are interested to…


Bertolina Cake – a Delicious Dessert for a Wiccan Diet

As some of you know, I am also interested in Wicca. Since this is a blog about cooking, I don’t usually get into it too much. However, there is definitely some overlap, so I want to cover recipes provided by other witches. My friend Barlan at Magia Blanca de Latierra shared a great recipe with…


How to Read Recipes for Baking

A copy of the recipe I used for baking my sweet-bread. Please follow it to the letter for a great sweet-bread Hi. Thanks for stopping by. I am still waiting for questions, because I enjoy explaining things, teaching, and in general helping people to create baking goods from scratch. There is no comparison between store-bought…


The Secrets of Successful Pate a Choux, Part I.

If you’ve ever eaten éclairs, cream puffs, gougeres (cheese puffs), or beignets (fritters), you’ve eaten pâte à choux (paht-ah-shoo). It means “cabbage paste” in French. This twice-cooked paste is probably the most versatile dough used in cooking and pastry making. Pâte à choux can be savory or sweet. It can be baked, poached, or fried….


What is Zen? – Zen is Baking with your Grandchildren

Even up to thirty minutes ago, I did not know what Zen is. I was searching the Internet to find some inspiration for an appropriate title for this post when I came across an article that caught my eye. The title said: “What is the meaning of Zen?”. Ordinarily I would not stop to read…


How to Correct Mishaps in Baking Like a Professional?

Did you figure out what is our aim, at Chocolates & Figs? First, I’d like to help you in anything you want to be better at. Weather you want to create elaborate desserts, or able to bake foolproof cakes, or learn to understand the difference among the ingredients we use in baking (i.e. for instance,…


Famous Gundel Crepes – Now You Too Can Make This Delightful Dessert

Rolling up the filled crepe This time I share a great post with Katherine Martinelli about crepes, but not just any crepes; these were created by a famous chef in Budapest, Hungary, at a famous restaurant, named Gundel. Katherine’s blog has one of the oldest crepe recipes, named “stacked crepes”, or “rakott palacsinta” in Hungarian,…


Sexiest Dessert in the World – PAVLOVA

Elegant, lithe, graceful—a beautiful and famous ballerina dancing the Dying Swan, or perhaps the tragic bewitched White Swan Queen. Now imagine a dessert that would embody the lightness of the dancer in the air. That was the challenge for pastry chefs when inspired by the greatness and celebrity of Anna Pavlova, (1881-1931) one of the…


Easy, No Bake, Delightful Dessert for These Scorching Days

Flakey tart shell with cream cheese filling that is topped with blueberry compote If you recall we were experimenting with the ratios of two types of flours (cake and all-purpose) in the preparation of tart dough shells for the summer about a month ago. If you want to refresh your memory, please click here. Also,…