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Almond-Orange Pound Cake

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Bursting with the sweet flavor of almond paste and tangy orange zest and speckled with poppy seeds, this exceedingly moist pound cake is gilded with a sugary citrus glaze. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a steaming cup of coffee or tea.

Almond-Orange Pound Cake

3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g.) cake flour, sifted

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

5 large eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup (7 oz./220 g.) almond paste, at room temperature

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) sugar

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small chunks

2 tsp. finely grated orange zest

1 tsp. poppy seeds

For the glaze:

1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) fresh lemon juice

3 Tbs. fresh orange juice

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) sugar

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour two 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm.) loaf pans.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla just until combined. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almond paste on low speed until it breaks up, about 1 minute. Slowly add the sugar in a steady stream, beating until incorporated. (If you add the sugar too quickly, the paste won’t break up as well.) Add the butter, a chunk at a time, beating just until combined. Raise the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.

Continuing to beat on medium speed, drizzle the egg mixture into the butter mixture. Mix in the orange zest and poppy seeds. Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, stirring after each until incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack while you make the glaze.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl, stir together the lemon and orange juices and the sugar.

Place the wire rack holding the cakes over a sheet of waxed paper or foil. Invert the cakes onto the rack and place top side up. Brush the warm cakes with the glaze. Let the cakes cool completely on the rack, then cut into slices and serve. Makes 2 pound cakes.

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Orange butter cakes

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These charming individual cakes are baked in ramekins, then unmolded to reveal orange slices on the top of each dessert. The cakes are good on their own, especially served warm from the oven, but they can also be topped with a spoonful of crème anglaise for a creamy contrast, if you like.

Orange Butter Cakes
2 oranges
3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 8 Tbs. (4 oz./125 g) butter,
at room temperature
1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the crème anglaise (optional):
2 egg yolks
2 Tbs. cornstarch
5 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g) sugar
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) whole milk, heated
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream, heated
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly butter six 1-cup (8 fl. oz./ 250-ml) ramekins or custard cups.

Finely grate the zest of 1 of the oranges; reserve the fruit for another use. Cut the second orange into very thin slices.

Sprinkle 2 Tbs. of the brown sugar in the bottom of each prepared ramekin. Pour 1 tablespoon of the melted butter into each one, evenly covering the sugar. Place 1 orange slice in each ramekin. Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt over a sheet of parchment paper; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat together the 8 Tbs. butter, the granulated sugar and orange zest on medium-high speed until creamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture. Stir in the cream and vanilla until thoroughly incorporated. Spoon the batter over the oranges in the ramekins.

Bake until the tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let the ramekins cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

While the cakes are cooling, make the crème anglaise, if desired. In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch and sugar until thick and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the hot milk and cream. Add the vanilla bean and place over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer while stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, about 4 minutes.

Remove the vanilla bean halves from the cream mixture and, using the tip of a paring knife, scrape the seeds from each half into the sauce, then stir to blend. Discard the bean halves.

Run a knife around the inside of the ramekins to loosen the cakes. Working with 1 cake at a time, invert a small dessert plate over the ramekin, then invert the ramekin and plate in a single quick motion. Lightly tap the bottom of the ramekin with the knife handle to loosen the cake, then lift off the ramekin. If the orange slices stick to the ramekins, use a knife tip to loosen them and replace them on the cakes. Serve the cakes warm or at room temperature with the crème anglaise poured over the top, if desired. Makes 6 cakes.

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Recipe Roundup: Cheese

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Have you seen our Guide to Cheese? Check it out for a primer on all the many different kinds of cheese, from fresh ricotta to soft Brie, pungent blue and sharp, nutty Parmesan. Then put your knowledge to good use with some of our favorite cheesy recipes.

 

Gorgonzola Dip with CruditésGorgonzola Dip with Crudités
Gorgonzola dolce, the creamiest variety, is a good choice for this flavorful dip. Serve with a selection of colorful seasonal vegetables, such as radishes and asparagus in spring or zucchini and sugar snap peas in summer.
Grilled Figs with Dry Jack and ProsciuttoGrilled Figs with Dry Jack and Prosciutto
Grilling or roasting fresh figs gives them a caramelized, sweet flavor that enhances this classic Italian-style pairing of a salty cheese, cured meat and ripe fruit. Serve the figs hot off the grill as a starter, or combine them with a simple arugula salad for a light meal.
Homemade Ricotta CheeseHomemade Ricotta Cheese
Fluffy, rich clouds of freshly made ricotta are so good you’ll want to sit there with a spoon and eat it like ice cream. Use it in any recipe that calls for ricotta to take the whole dish to the next level.
Rustic Tomato & Mozzarella TartRustic Tomato & Mozzarella Tart
Use vine-ripened tomatoes at their peak to create these simple tarts, showcasing the classic combination of tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Using prepared puff pastry makes them quick and easy to assemble and bake.
Nectarines with Arugula and Burrata CheeseNectarines with Arugula and Burrata Cheese
Creamy burrata cheese meets sweet nectarines in this summer-fresh starter that takes just minutes to assemble. Let guests help themselves, layering the ingredients on crusty bread.
Grilled Halloumi and Little Gem Salad with Preserved-Lemon DressingGrilled Halloumi and Little Gem Salad with Preserved-Lemon Dressing
Halloumi is a firm cheese that originated in Cypress but is increasingly made domestically. Its claim to fame is that it holds its shape when grilled or fried, as in this flavorful salad.
Herb and Brie OmeletHerb and Brie Omelet
With a few deft twists of the wrist, it is easy to transform a few eggs into a light-as-air morning main course. This recipe yields a large, fluffy omelet packed with melting cheese and fresh herbs—ideal for sharing.
Warm Beer and Cheddar DipWarm Beer and Cheddar Dip
Made with beer and lots of cheddar cheese, this warm, hearty dip is just the thing for casual get-togethers. Be sure to add the cheese slowly, allowing each batch to melt before adding more, to ensure smooth results.
Waldorf Salad with Blue CheeseWaldorf Salad with Blue CheeseFor this salad, a modern riff on a classic, try a blue cheese that is dry and crumbly, such as Cabrales or Valdeón, but a creamy Gorgonzola would also work well.
Bacon and Cheese SconesBacon and Cheese Scones
While most people think of scones as sweet treats, they can also be filled with savory ingredients, like these irresistible rounds of meat-and-cheese goodness, for a delicious change of pace.
Fried Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini BlossomsFried Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms
In Italy, zucchini blossoms are often stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies and fried in a crisp coating. Here, herbed ricotta is tucked into the blossoms with delicious results.
Shaved Zucchini Salad with Almonds and AsiagoShaved Zucchini Salad with Almonds and Asiago
Shaving raw zucchini for this pretty salad is a great way to use up a bounty of vegetables. Shaved dry cheese and crunchy nuts top it off.
Savory Leek & Gruyère SouffléSavory Leek & Gruyère Soufflé
Delicate, tender leeks and melted Gruyere cheese combine in this savory souffle, a beautiful brunch entree or dinner party side dish.
Agnolini with Goat Cheese, Fresh Ricotta, Peas and HerbsAgnolini with Goat Cheese, Fresh Ricotta, Peas and Herbs
These half-moons, made by cutting the pasta into rounds and then folding them in half, are a perfect pocket for cheese. Ricotta is the traditional filling, but goat cheese adds a tang and complements spring peas and herbs.
Potato, Egg and Cheese Breakfast TacosPotato, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Tacos
When you want something especially hearty for breakfast, try this egg and tortilla dish, which includes panfried potatoes and shredded cheese. The fresh salsa is essential.
Creamy Mascarpone PolentaCreamy Mascarpone Polenta
What’s the secret to making polenta with a rich, creamy texture? Stir in a dollop of mascarpone cheese. It’s the perfect side dish for roasted meats or poultry.
Golden Beet and Blue Cheese RisottoGolden Beet and Blue Cheese Risotto
When root vegetables start to pile high at the farmers’ market, seek out golden or pink beets, which lend a pretty color to this risotto. Blue cheese complements the earthiness of the dish.
Spanish Pizza with Chorizo and ManchegoSpanish Pizza with Chorizo and Manchego
Traditional Spanish ingredients inspired this pizza: cured (not fresh) chorizo, dry Manchego cheese, and toppings of peppers and olives.
Ham and Cheese Quiche with Crème Fraîche and ChivesHam and Cheese Quiche with Crème Fraîche and Chives
Smoked ham and Gruyère cheese are classic ingredients in this celebrated French dish. This version adds a touch of crème fraîche for flavor and richness and a sprinkle of chives for freshness.
Penne with Ricotta Cheese and GreensPenne with Ricotta Cheese and Greens
Here, Tuscan kale (also know as black kale) adds deep, earthy flavor to pasta. Fresh ricotta makes a satisfyingly easy sauce.
Grown-Up Grilled Cheese SandwichesGrown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Not your ordinary grilled cheese, this one is filled with Gruyère, sweet caramelized onions and peppery arugula. Pair it with a bowl of soup for a satisfying, easy meal.
Herbed Pork Involtini with PecorinoHerbed Pork Involtini with Pecorino
Involtini
, thin slices of meat filled, rolled and tied before cooking, are an Italian favorite. Fillings can vary from a simple bread-and-herb mix like this one, including pecorino cheese, to more exotic flavors.
Smoky Cheese EnchiladasSmoky Cheese Enchiladas
Crushed chipotle chili adds an enticing smoky flavor and gentle layer of heat to these enchiladas, which are enriched with two kinds of cheeses.
Potato and Celery Root Gratin with GruyèrePotato and Celery Root Gratin with Gruyère
Potato and nutty celery root pair in this rich, creamy, cheesy gratin, perfect for a special dinner or even a holiday feast.
Rolled Eggplant with Sausage & MozzarellaRolled Eggplant with Sausage & Mozzarella
Here’s a creative alternative to pasta: long, thin strips of eggplant, rolled around gooey mozzarella cheese and savory sausage, with plenty of bright tomato sauce for extra flavor.

Orzo with Feta, Basil and ShrimpOrzo with Feta, Basil and Shrimp
In Mediterranean cuisine, feta cheese is often paired with shrimp, the creamy, salty flavors marrying lusciously. Here, crumbled feta is added at the end of the cooking so it soaks up the warm juices from the sautéed shrimp.
Macaroni with Farmhouse Cheddar and BaconMacaroni with Farmhouse Cheddar and Bacon
Here’s a seriously grown-up version of a kid’s classic. Thanks to their different ages, the two cheddars give this hearty baked pasta a richness that’s balanced by the addition of salty, smoky bacon.
Filets Mignons with Parmesan ButterFilets Mignons with Parmesan Butter
Here, filet mignon, one of the most lauded cuts of beef, is cooked first on the stovetop, then finished in the oven. The Parmesan butter melts over the warm meat, complementing its richness and adding an appealing nuttiness.
Goat Cheese Toasts with Walnuts, Honey and ThymeGoat Cheese Toasts with Walnuts, Honey and Thyme
Dripping with honey and sprinkled with fresh thyme, cracked pepper and sea salt, these warm, crunchy toasts make a delicious breakfast, after-school treat or lunch when matched with a handful of salad greens.
Cheese BlintzesCheese Blintzes
These crepelike wrappers can be stuffed with a variety of fillings—from mushrooms to meat—but this cheese version, served with fruit compote and sour cream, is a popular morning choice.
Ricotta with Blood Orange, Pistachio and HoneyRicotta with Blood Orange, Pistachio and Honey
Prepare this dessert in the winter, when blood oranges are at their peak. During other times of the year, vary the fruit with the season — almost any kind will complement the creamy ricotta and honey.