Amanda Rettke, FN Dish contributor and founder of the I Am Baker blog, is serving some of her most-beautiful confections yet in her first cookbook, Surprise-Inside Cakes. In Amanda’s book, there’s no such thing as an ordinary chocolate or vanilla cake with frosting (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Just like opening up a gift, the element of surprise is within each baked good, whether it be a heart, football, smiley face, stripe or house (yes, a house). Simply put, if you want to wow guests at your next gathering, make one of Amanda’s cakes.
What caught FN Dish’s eye? The entire book. Each page is more colorful than the one before, and there’s a surprise-inside design for every occasion: celebrating holidays, family, love and life events (like moving to a new home). Have a cake recipe you’ve perfected? Great. Because Amanda encourages using tried-and-true recipes, but she’s provided a few of her favorites too.
At first glance some of the cakes may seem like a challenge, but Amanda’s included step-by-step photos and instructions for each one. And be wise: Don’t start out with the most difficult design!
You can buy a copy of Surprise-Inside Cakes here, or you can enter to win one for free from FN Dish. We’re giving five lucky, randomly selected readers each a copy, and all you have to do to enter to win one is leave a comment below telling us your favorite Food Network cake recipe. You must include the recipe URL in your comment to be entered to win (find cake recipes here).
Just last week FN Dish introduced fans to the first in a series of Testing the Sabotage videos that highlight exactly how Cutthroat Kitchen sabotages come to be. So many have questioned whether or not the challenges are indeed possible for competitors to conquer within their time constraints, and with these all-new videos, it’s now clear that the answer is yes; every sabotage Alton auctions off has been vetted by Food Network’s culinary team, and now you have the chance to watch those tests unfold.
Click the play button on the video above to check out how the giant-whisk sabotage featured on tonight’s brand-new episode was approved for air, and learn what kind of experimenting had to be done in order to arrive at that conclusion.
On tonight’s episode of the Chopped Tournament of Stars, the winners of the four previous rounds returned for one final battle to see who would win the championship and walk away with $50,000 for his or her charity. Brandi Chastain, Carnie Wilson, Gillian Vigman and Michael Imperioli all entered the competition with the goal of winning, but by the dessert round only Brandi and Michael remained to face off in an epic dessert round that was so exciting that it had the judges on the edge of their seats. FN Dish has the exclusive interview with the winner.
When making this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, Alex’s Basic Pizza Dough, it’s best to use lukewarm water — as opposed to cold water — when dissolving the yeast, as it helps with activation. Alex lets the dough rise twice before rolling it and finishing it with toppings.
When it comes to eating well, casseroles need not be the enemy. Meaty, cheesy dishes full of refined carbs may be the retro take on casseroles — but these new one-pan winners prove that healthy eaters and comfort-food cravers can be on the sam...
Coining that phrase on last night’s episode of Beat Bobby Flay, Bobby likened these tiny fish to one product that nearly everyone enjoys: bacon. As both ingredients are deliciously salty, they’re capable of imparting rich flavor and transforming a dish to next-level deliciousness with minimal effort. The host reached for anchovies as he worked on a crispy, spicy topping for Cauliflower and Mushroom Mac and Cheese, and while his competitor wondered if they would complement dairy, Bobby’s dish indeed wowed the judges, who deemed his offering the best of the day.
While bacon is crunchy, anchovies are tender and can be broken down, so if you incorporate them into a dressing or dissolve them in a sauce — or opt for anchovy paste instead of whole anchovies — you’ll be able to enjoy their deep taste without biting into a whole anchovy or seeing them laid atop a salad or bowl of pasta. “You could get a lot of good flavor out of anchovies,” Bobby said, which is why he softened them in a mixture of breadcrumbs, Calabrian chilies and olive oil in his crispy topping.
Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite recipes with anchovies and anchovy paste below to experience their robust flavor firsthand.
Final Four Food, Texas-Size: NCAA basketball fans heading to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to watch the Final Four games probably expect to have their eyes glued to the court, but Legends Culinary Team, which provides the stadium’s food, is doing its best to distract them. Among the foods on offer: the Texas Triple Double Sandwich, which includes a burger and a fried chicken breast and bacon, as well as garden veggies, caramelized onions and aged cheddar. The Champion Chicken and Waffles Sandwich comes piled with onion rings, pepper jack cheese, bacon and pecan-maple mayo and is nestled between two waffles shaped like Texas. Way to hog the ball, guys. [ThePostGame]
Out of This World: Want to see what just might be the coolest cakes in the universe? Australian self-taught baker and cake decorator (and zoology grad) Rhiannon, who blogs at Cakecrumbs, has devised a set of spherical concentric layer cakes that fit together to accurately depict the planets Jupiter (pictured above) and Earth in their entirety, from the outside in. You can cut through the frosted outer atmosphere to reveal the crust, mantle and core. Try making yourself with these step-by-step instructions and a video tutorial. 5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 … [Cakecrumbs via Wait, Wow!]
The Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic coast and Gulf of Mexico are riddled with numerous shallow muddy inlets of brackish water, the perfect home for blue crabs. Blue Crabs are found abundantly in rivers, inlets and bayous and are one of the most popular of the more than 4,500 species of crabs found worldwide. Cracking steamed crabs is an eating sport of sorts; the eater has to really dive in to reap the rewards. There might be a bit too much work for it to be considered comfort food. Cheesy, warm crab dip moves in the right direction, but crispy on the outside, tender on the inside crab cake? That, my friends, is pure down-home comfort.
The best crab cakes contain ingredients that enhance the flavor of the crab yet don’t compete with it, like raw red peppers that are usually added simply for color but do little to improve the flavor of the dish. Crab cakes are best when they are left alone to be crab cakes, not crab-and-breading cakes, or worse, breading-and-crab cakes. You need just enough of a binder to hold them together.