The best appetizers are finger foods that don't require any plates or utensils. But unfortunately even we get sick of crackers/cheese and chips/dip. Good news, party people: Most every food can be turned into finger food with the help of an easy-to-make pastry called a vol-au-vent.
You don't have to be a geek (though it sure helps) to be fascinated by the history of desserts. It's full of believe-it-or-not factoids and crazy stories about our favorite recipes came to be.
Gluten-free used to mean settling for dense, gummy baked goods that no one would choose to eat unless they had major, life-altering issues with wheat.
Eggs do so many incredible things in baking that it almost defies belief. Really, you'll think, they can do that, and that, and that too?
If you've ever gawked at the display case at a Japanese bakery — all those magically perfect cakes and pastries! — you won't believe how easy it is to make some of them at home. And if you've never been to a Japanese bakery, get ready to be blown away.
Baking can be a blast — but it can also be messy, time-consuming and, on occasion, aggravating (like when step 5 says to add the buttermilk and you think, Oh, was I supposed to buy buttermilk?).
It's no secret that the French take their desserts very seriously. Their classic pastries are often elaborate concoctions of meringue, pastry cream, mousse, pâte à choux, puff pastry, whipped cream, jam, ganache and more, more, more!
"Picking out the 10 best French pastries is not as much fun as it sounds," said no one ever.
If you own a bakery, you can do one of two things: Wake up at 3 a.m. and bake everything from scratch (um, pass) or learn a few tricks that make it look like that's what you did.