When Mary Lynn Mitcham, Editor in Chief of Rockland Magazine, asked me if I would write a feature about holiday desserts, she didn’t have time to finish her sentence before I wholeheartedly agreed!
This was in the middle of summer, mind you, so I had to put my “holiday dessert” head on a little earlier than usual. Mary Lynn wanted me to create a special dessert for each of five different occasions: a brunch, a holiday dinner, a Christmas feast and a New Year’s Eve party, as well as one for holiday gift-giving.
I immediately started working on the concepts, and soon had sent her a list of the desserts I dreamed up. Thankfully, she loved them all. And so my journey began!
Four of the five desserts have been in my repertoire for many years and are all-time favorites. The only one I was apprehensive about was the chocolate layer cake — for the simple reason that I had never made one before. (Why I gave myself such a challenge, when I could easily have picked from more than a dozen other desserts in my repertoire, is beyond me!)
But there was no time to waste: I started testing the infamous chocolate layer cake right after Labor Day. The first attempt, as I describe in the feature, was absolutely ghastly. Not only would I not let anyone taste it, I wouldn’t even let anyone see it!
The next attempt was a significant improvement; my little nieces were my happy tasters, and fortunately, the cake met with their approval! I was starting to feel on better footing with my chocolate layer cake.
Of course, I had to make the cake a couple more times until I was satisfied with not only the texture, moistness and lightness, but also the presentation. Needless to say, in this household, September was the month of sweet indulgences.
To read about the inspiration for each dessert, and for tips and recommendations for where to find certain ingredients or products (like the bottles and jars for the infused honeys) click on Sweet Talk.
I would like to thank Mary Lynn Mitcham for giving me the opportunity to write and photograph Sweet Talk for Rockland Magazine… It has been an honor and a very sweet adventure indeed.
Wishing you a joyous and delicious holiday season!