The Dessertations

Two unfinished dissertations and the baking in between

Month: July, 2012

Small sweet things

by Jessica

We hung out in Napa* yesterday. 



I love Thomas Keller for dressing up a brownie with a fancy name and giving us all an excuse to try it. 



Increased brownie consumption can only be a good thing. 

* Napa-ish. Including Yountville, St. Helena & Calistoga.


Plummy tart

by Jessica

A simple tart, as far as tarts go.

A single type of plum would probably make for a prettier — or at least coherent — tart. But these little babies caught my eye at Berkeley Bowl this morning.

Santa Rosas, Mirabelles, Black Ambers…

I just went down the line and plucked a few from each bin.

I think a pluot made it in (forgive!) and a white nectarine for extra sweetness.

Plum Tart


1 c flour

1/8 t salt

1 stick (8T) butter

1 1/2 T water

1/2 t vanilla

Blitz flour, salt & butter in food processor until it resembles fine cornmeal. Pulse in water and vanilla until it becomes a dough. Roll out and fit to 9″ pan. Bake 20 mins in 375º oven. Cool 5 mins.


6 assorted small plums, chopped

1/2 c almonds, sliced

1/3 c sugar

1 egg

4 T butter

1 T brandy

Blitz almonds, sugar, egg, butter and brandy in food processor. Pour into cooled shell. Arrange plums on top and bake, 40-45 mins.

Plums fast and furious

by Jessica

Can you make something by Thursday? Speed test!

A pizza for your pizza

by Jessica

Sad to have missed pizza game night (and other hijinks). But a pizza in my absence.

From L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, Naples :

They offered only two flavors: Margherita, and Marinara. This one came to the table in six minutes.

Bubbling mozzarella, nice char. Fluffy neapolitan crust.


Also one of the more dangerous pizzas I’ve eaten — I nearly got pickpocketed on the way.