I love baking cakes, especially ones that are made from scratch. On the days I bake, I admit, I don’t much like getting involved in too much else, so if I have to put together a quick meal, I’ve come to rely on a few trusted “friends.” Today, my best friends include a can of organic pumpkin purée, almond butter and almond flour from the natural foods section of the market, a jar of Cherry & Ancho Chili Chutney and Pistachio & Roasted Red Pepper Dip from my local Harry & David store and, for fun, coming all the way from Colorado, a handcrafted live bark edge black walnut slab with stand, that makes whatever I put on it look spectacular. Although I’ve never met them, I also consider Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, the authors of “Baked Elements: Our Ten Favorite Ingredients,” close and personal friends, too, because anything I’ve ever baked from any of their cookbooks (there are three of them, with a fourth due out on October 7) turns out a winner, including the Pumpkin Almond Cake with Almond Butter Frosting here. We are moving into the holiday season fast. First, we see pumpkins, then turkeys and before we can catch our breath, it’ll be Christmas and time to toast the New Year – so keep your old friends close and be ready to welcome several more that you’ll meet right here.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at email@example.com.