Thursday, February 22, 2024

Roasted Squash Cobbler

It was delightful to read about Claire Ptak’s upbringing in Northern California, her time at Chez Panisse, and her commitment to baking with the best each season has to offer. This was, of course, from her new book Love is a Pink Cake of which I received a review copy. In 2005, she moved to London where she now operates Violet a “California-style bakery in East London.” I admit to being fascinated by the British royal family and therefore by the fact that Ptak was chosen to create Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding cake. The recipe is included in the book. But, I was equally, if not more so, intrigued by her search for the best produce available whether she’s working in the US or the UK. The book is divided between California and England with recipes developed with each location in mind. In the first section, her take on a date shake got my attention. I’m a fan of the concoction and I do love visiting Palm Springs, and I like that her version of the shake is less sweet and plant-based with coconut yogurt and almond milk. There are recipes for all times of day and occasions to tempt you like the Poached Pear Pavlova, the Stacked Blackberry Jam Cake, and the Grey Salt White Chocolate Matcha Blondies. In the England section, there are delectable doughnuts, Chocolate Violet Babka Buns, and Apricot Chamomile and Honey Scones. I made the Brown Butter White Peach Cake right away when I first flipped to that page. As promised in the head note, it is an easy cake for a lazy evening and so good with vanilla ice cream. When butternut squash and kale both came into season, I had to try the Roasted Squash Cobbler. 

Squash pieces and red onion wedges were roasted with chile flakes and rosemary. I minced the onion after it roasted as I don’t enjoy eating onion any larger than minced. But, otherwise, I followed the instructions. For the sauce, garlic was sauteed, canned tomatoes were added, cooked, and crushed; cream was stirred in; and chopped kale was incorporated. Buttery biscuits were made for the topping. Then, the roasted squash was layered with the sauce, the biscuits were nestled on top, and the cobbler was baked until golden and bubbly. 

This was surprisingly quick to execute. The sauce and biscuits can be made while the vegetables roast, and combining all the parts was a cinch. It was a just-decadent-enough vegetarian meal for a chilly night. I might not bake the wedding cake recipe anytime soon, but I am looking forward to trying Peach Leaf Ice Cream, Chocolate Marshmallow Whoopie Pies, and those matcha blondies.

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