Hot sun, summer in the City

Now, the summer is not a time to bake – well, no sane person would want to bake in a small, poorly ventilated kitchen in New York City. However, things like possible heat stroke don’t faze me.

This is because I have some tricks up my sleeve that make it possible to whip out a seemingly labor intensive dessert without much baking at all.

The key is to pick a recipe that doesn’t require a lot of time in the oven. Recipes with a short list of ingredients usually tend to spend less time in your oven. For example, I make a crumb cake that can be baked in a toaster oven and it takes from start to finish (inc. prep) 45 min. Yes, the recipe will be provided in another post. I need a picture first.

Another thing to keep in mind is to avoid recipes calling for cream based frostings – they will weep and wallow in the heat and all that careful watching of the beater will have gone to vain.

If you are going to use a whipped cream based frosting, make the frosting separate from the cake and only frost right before serving. Keeping everything chilled in the fridge helps. How to keep the fridge smells from your whipped cream? Why, cover with cling film of course!

The essentials to baking in the summer are:

• Keep it simple
• Keep it cool
• Stay away from ingredients that will melt if outdoors too long, like butter
and whipped cream
• Use fresh fruit as much as possible
• Sometimes, prepackaged cake is good in a pinch – especially for something like strawberry shortcake

Keeping the above in mind makes it a little less hellish to bake in the summer. I’m planning on baking something this weekend!

Stay tuned.
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