Traditional recipes

Robert Irvine’s Raspberry Porter Trifle with Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream

Robert Irvine’s Raspberry Porter Trifle with Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream

British Chef Robert Irvine says “The British Christmas traditions and US traditions are fairly similar in a lot of ways, besides the fact that we Brits say "Happy Christmas" instead of "Merry" and we refer to St. Nick as "Father Christmas." There are some big differences with regard to the food we serve on Christmas Day. One of my favorites that you do not see much in the States is the English Trifle, comprised of differing layers of various sweet flavors such as: fruit, whipped cream, chocolate, and Crème anglaise. This dish has a bit of everything for your "sweet tooth."

Ingredients

For the raspberry gelatin

  • 1 (3-ounce) package raspberry gelatin
  • 1-2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Cup boiling water
  • 1/4 Cup ice water
  • 1/2 Cup porter

For the crème anglaise

  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, or vanilla extract, to taste (approximately 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 bananas, sliced and tossed with lemon juice
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 (12-ounce) pound cake, thawed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 (29 to 32-ounce) can fruit cocktail, drained
  • 1/2 Cup heavy cream

Ganache and Topping

  • 4 Ounces semisweet chocolate pieces or chocolate squares, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Cup heavy cream whipped until light and fluffy with an electric beater, for topping
  • 2/3 Cups heavy cream

Servings4

Calories Per Serving966

Folate equivalent (total)88µg22%

Riboflavin (B2)0.5mg31.2%


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Raspberry Porter Trifle With Ganache & Whipped Cream

Raspberry Porter Trifle with Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream (Robert Irvine)

Raspberry Porter Trifle with Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream (Robert Irvine)

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Raspberry Porter Trifle With Ganache & Whipped Cream

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Raspberry Porter Trifle with Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream (Robert Irvine)

Raspberry Porter Trifle with Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream (Robert Irvine)

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Here are the tastingspoons players. I’m in the middle (Carolyn). Daughter Sara on the right, and daughter-in-law Karen on the left. I started the blog in 2007, as a way to share recipes with my family. Now in 2021, I’ll still participate, but the two daughters are going to do more posting from here on out.

We participate in an amazon program that rewards a little tiny $ something (pennies, really) if you purchase any books recommended (below), or buy products occasionally mentioned on the blog with an amazon link.

BOOK READING:

Could hardly put down Krueger’s book, This Tender Land: A Novel. My friend Ann recommended it. I was gripped with the story within the first paragraph, and it never stopped until I turned the last page. Tells the harrowing story of a young boy, Odie, (and his brother Albert) who became orphans back in the 30s (I think). At first there is a boarding school, part of an Indian (Native American) agreement, though they are not Indian. Some very ugly things happen at that school. Eventually they escape, and they are “on the run.” With a few others with them. If you loved Huckleberry Finn, you’ll have a great appreciation for this story as they use a canoe to get themselves down river. Never having very much to eat and getting into trouble way too often, and authorities on their tail. Well, you just have to read the book to find out what happens.

Just finished Kristin Hannah’s latest book, The Four Winds: A Novel. What a story. One I’ve never read about, although I certainly have heard about the “dust bowl” years when there was a steady migration of down-and-out farmers from the Midwest, to California, for what they hoped to be the American Dream. It tells the story of one particular family, the Martinellis, the grandparents, their son, his wife, and their two children. The book is heartbreaking, but one of those that everyone should read. The hardship, the hunger, the dirt and dust, the failed crops, the lack of rain, then the story picks up again in central California, back in the day when the wealthy growers just used up the migrants. I don’t want to spoil the story. So worth reading. Hannah really knows how to weave a story.

Brit Bennett has written quite a book, The Vanishing Half: A Novel. It’s a novel, yet I’m sure there are such real-life situations. Twin girls are born to a young woman in the South. Into a town (that probably doesn’t exist) that prides itself on being light-skinned blacks. The father was very dark, but he plays no part, really, in this story. Growing up, the girls leave home at 18 to find their way in New Orleans. Suddenly, one twin disappears (her clothes and suitcase all gone in the wink of an eye). Her twin left behind has no idea what’s happened to her. As the story reveals, with divided paths, one twin continues her life as a black woman, and the other twin, the one who left, is able to pass as a white woman. She marries well, has a daughter. Well, let’s just say that there are lots of wicked webs woven throughout the story, starting from the girls’ mother who never wants to speak again of her lost daughter. But you know where this is going, don’t you? Things are found out. The author does a great job of weaving the story apart and then back together.

What a book. The Only Woman in the Room: A Novel by Marie Benedict. A novelized biography of Hedy Lamarr, the famous actress. She was a brilliant mind, and a beautiful woman. It tells the story of her coming of age, how she navigated the world of acting back in that time period (she was Austrian, and Hitler was in power). The writing was very well done – to tell Hedy’s story with detail and poignancy. Eventually Hedy made it to the U.S. and her life story changed, but still had its difficulties. I loved the book, beginning to end. She should have become an engineer as she invented several war related bomb tools. Very much worth reading.

Also read The Secret of the Chateau: Gripping and heartbreaking historical fiction with a mystery at its heart by Kathleen McGurl. There are two stories here. The historical part is just prior to and up to the French Revolution, when aristocrats were chased and killed, guillotined in many cases. There is a young couple (part of the royal court) who escape to a remote small castle owned by his family, located on the edge of France and Italy, hoping to wait out the revolution and hoping the villagers love and care about them. Then jump to current day as a small English group of close friends decide to retire somewhere on the continent, and settle on a small abandoned castle in the remote hills of France along the Italian border. Got the picture? The historian in the group is quite interested in the history of the home, and clues are revealed (in the tower) that lead her and the group on a quest to discover what happened to the couple who used to live there. There was a fire once upon a time. There’s an pesky ghost. There’s also a very old child’s doll/playhouse on the grounds. Plus there’s a small graveyard. It is VERY intriguing. Very interesting. I love historical novels like this, and this one in particular does have quite a mystery involved, too.

Also finished reading Sue Monk Kidd’s recent book, The Book of Longings: A Novel. It is a book that might challenge some Christian readers, as it tells the tale of Jesus marrying a woman named Mary. The story is all about Mary, her growing up, her scholarly pursuits, and then from the moment she meets Jesus as a young man. The story follows along to and beyond his death on the cross. In the time of Christ it was extremely uncommon for a man not to marry. It was almost unseemly. Fraught with suspicions, I’d suppose. Although scripture, as scripture, does not play a very strong part here, if you’ve read the Bible you’ll see many of the stories of Jesus’ life through Mary’s eyes. I loved the book from the first word to the last one. The book is believable to me, even though the Bible never says one way or the other that Jesus ever married. It’s been presumed he never did. But maybe he did?

Jeanine Cummins has written an eye-opener, American Dirt. A must read. Oh my goodness. I will never, ever, ever look at Mexican (and further southern) migrants, particularly those who are victims of the vicious cartels, without sympathy. It tells the story of a woman and her young son, who were lucky enough to hide when the cartel murdered every member of her family – her husband, her mother, and many others. Her husband was a journalist, and his life was always in danger because he wrote the truth, and that was taking a risk. The story is about her escape, with harrowing chapters as she makes her way north from Acapulco, with various major detours, one step, or sometimes nothing more than a hair’s width ahead of the cartel minions trying to find her. I could NOT put this book down. The author is not Hispanic, and some have criticized her for that, but she did her research, and many authors write about places and people they are not. I have nothing but respect for her having told this story. You need to read this.

Also read JoJo Moyes’ book, The Giver of Stars. Oh gosh, what a GREAT book. Alice, living in an English home which lacks much, leaps to agree to marry a visiting American. It was an escape for her. He is a man of some family wealth, and she travels from England to Kentucky, during the 1920s. Once settled into the family home, she discovers married life is not what she had expected. Affection is lacking, and she must share the home with her tyrannical father-in-law, the owner of mines in the deep mountains. And with the ghost of the deceased mother-in-law. The family cook won’t tolerate Alice’s help in the kitchen. Alice is terribly lonely and unhappy. The town doesn’t much like this English woman with her funny way of speaking. But then, she meets a woman who encourages her to join the Horseback Librarians. With trepidation, she begins traversing the remote hills, through unbelievable weather, to deliver old, battered and tattered books to the remote inhabitants of the area. She makes friends, wonderful, loving people from all walks of life. There is tremendous tension from the danger of the mines, the unions trying to get a foothold, plus the unraveling of her marriage, including the dreaded father-in-law who feels she should answer to him, behave as he wants. Uh, no. Alice goes her own route. Her new friends become her family, and, oh, what love. There has been much criticism of Moyes’ possible plagiarism of another book regarding the Horseback Librarians. I read the other book – but I didn’t feel remotely as intrigued by that story as I was by Moyes’ version. A feel good story, but it takes some while getting to that “feel good” part, nearly to the end.

Frances Liardet has written a blockbuster tale, We Must Be Brave. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Although the scene is WWII England, this book is not really about the war. It’s about the people at home, waiting it out, struggling with enough food, clothing and enough heat. It’s about Ellen. Her early years, under much hardship. About her teens, some of it as an orphan. Then a young adult, which includes marriage, a marriage blanc, which I didn’t understand until you learn the meaning. Then a child enters the picture, a child that will become a focus for the remainder of the book. Through the war, and beyond. I cried several times, as will you, I suspect. What’s a constant is the descriptions of the place, a town called Upton, near Southampton. About the hills and dales, the flora and fauna, the rain, the mud sometimes, the flooding sometimes. But throughout, it’s about neighbors caring for neighbors, and about love. A must read. Would make a really good book club read.

William Kent Krueger wrote Ordinary Grace. From amazon: a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God. It’s a coming of age story.

Best book I’ve read recently. Not new. Called Follow the River: A Novel by James Alexander Thom. This one is also based on the history of a woman (married, pregnant) who was captured by the Shawnee, during the early settlement days east of the Ohio River, about 1755. And her eventual escape. I stayed up all hours to keep reading. The book was written from the many journals and writing compiled by her children. Her name: Mary Ingles. And it chronicles her 1000-mile trek in treacherous weather and over uncharted ground. What an amazing woman, and what a story.

A Column of Fire: A Novel by Ken Follett. It takes place in the 1500s, in England, and has everything to do with the war between the Catholics and the Protestants, that raged throughout Europe during that time, culminating in the Spanish Inquisition.

My Name Is Resolute by Nancy Turner. She’s the author of another book of some renown, These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 (P.S.). Resolute is what I’m discussing here. It’s fiction, but based some on a true story. Resolute, as a young girl from a privileged life on a plantation in Jamaica, was taken captive by slavers, eventually ended up in Colonial America. This book is the story of her life. The people she met, the men in her life, her children, and always about her indefatigable energy for life. Always hoping to return to Jamaica.

The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape by James Rebanks. This is a memoir, so a true story, of a young man growing up in the Lake District of Northern England, the son of a farming family, who sabotages everything in his being regarding going to school and leaves as soon as he is able (probably about 8th grade, I’d guess). And becomes a shepherd. And at night, he read literature that he accumulated from his grandfather. And then what happens to him as he grows up. Riveting.


50 States of Cakes

It’s not a party without cake — and whether you like a simple buttery Bundt or an impressive multilayered confection, there’s no shortage of ways to end a celebration on a sweet note.

Related To:

Photo By: Peter Frank Edwards

Photo By: Nathaniel Wilder

Photo By: RALPH SMITH STUDIO

Smith Island Cake at Smith Island Baking Co. – Crisfield, Maryland

In 2008, Maryland designated the Smith Island Cake as the state&rsquos official dessert, paying homage to a treat that originated in a Chesapeake Bay fishing village more than 200 years ago. As oyster harvesters headed out to sea, families would send them off with sizable eight-layer cakes, eventually swapping out buttercream for longer-lasting chocolate fudge.

Cake and Shake at D Bar Denver – Denver, Colorado

As if a slice of chocolate cake weren&rsquot decadent enough on its own, the one at Denver&rsquos D Bar comes with a milkshake. The pairing is one of pastry chef Keegan Gerhard&rsquos many nods to childhood cravings &mdash others include milk with cookies and root beer floats. This particularly gluttonous duo features a slice of Gerhard&rsquos three-layer cake &mdash the layers separated by frosting made from Guittard chocolate &mdash and a shake spun from your choice of housemade vanilla, chocolate or raspberry ice cream.

Pumpecapple Piecake at Three Brothers Bakery – Houston, Texas

Everything is bigger in Texas, include the cakes. Weighing in at 24 pounds, this hefty pastry, from Three Brothers Bakery, is actually three cakes in one (pumpkin spice, chocolate, and apple spice), each stuffed with a matching pie. As if it weren&rsquot indulgent enough, the 11-inch stack is finished with a cream cheese frosting, caramel drizzle and crushed pecans.

Framboise at Chocolate Pi – Tampa, Florida

As a kid, Kim Yelvington celebrated birthdays with cakes from the bakery inside Tampa&rsquos now-closed Maas Brothers department store. When the pastry chef opened Chocolate Pi in 2004, her mom issued a challenge: to re-create Maas Brothers&rsquo signature raspberry cake. Yelvington stepped up to the plate with the Framboise, a layered yellow cake with vanilla bean buttercream, fresh raspberries and a coating of pretty-in-pink frosting.

Cookie Butter Cake at Buttercream Bakeshop – Washington, D.C.

Pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac loves cookie butter as much as the rest of us, but she&rsquos taken her obsession with the addictive spread to new heights. Spotted in the pastry case of her D.C. bakery: a cake laced with cinnamon and Biscoff cookie chunks and layered with both cookie butter and cookie butter frosting.

White Cake with Prickly Pear Cream Cheese Mousse at Honeymoon Sweets Bakery – Tempe, Arizona

Prickly pear cacti can be found throughout Arizona, and the bulbous fruits make for a sweet addition to everything from margaritas to ice cream. At Honeymoon Sweets, bakers Tim and Joan O&rsquoConnor add the desert staple to a cream cheese mousse that gets layered inside white cake.

German Chocolate Cake at Beethoven's # 9 – Paola, Kansas

Beethoven&rsquos #9 has been a Paola, Kansas, institution for 20 years, serving up hearty German classics such as schnitzel and bratwurst. The restaurant is well-known for its generous portions, and that also applies to its signature dessert, a German chocolate cake that pays tribute to co-owner Jeanie Clerico&rsquos dad. She&rsquos been making the pecan- and coconut-enrobed cake since the 1970s, using a secret icing recipe that calls for slow, continuous stirring. When she and daughter Linzi Weilert took over Beethoven&rsquos in 2014, there was no doubt that it needed to go on the menu.

Salted Chocolate Caramel Cake at Shyndigz – Richmond, Virginia

For Richmond&rsquos sweets lovers, Shyndigz is a cake mecca. The dessert-only restaurant churns out so many unique flavors that it needs a calendar to show them off. While most flavors rotate through once a month, the Salted Chocolate Caramel &mdash boasting four layers of chocolate cake with housemade sea salt caramel and chocolate buttercream in between them &mdash remains a daily special.

Doberge Cake at Debbie Does Doberge – New Orleans, Louisiana

The name of the baker behind Debbie Does Doberge, a doberge cake company isn&rsquot actually Debbie it&rsquos Charlotte McGehee, who conjured up the business name over drinks with another local chef, Amanda Toups. In a modern-day twist on the New Orleans specialty &mdash typically made in chocolate or lemon &mdash McGehee offers up multiple variations, each more whimsical than the last. There&rsquos the Fun-Fête filled with rainbow sprinkles the Red Velvet Elvis, made with, yes, peanut butter and bacon and a seasonal King Cake doberge, which combines two of the state&rsquos iconic cakes.

12-Layer Chocolate Cake at Moody Tongue Brewing Company – Chicago, Illinois

As any Chicagoan will attest, beer is the city&rsquos drink of choice, so it makes sense that a standout cake can be found in a brewery, of all places. Each layer of the one crafted by Moody Tongue pastry chef Shannon Morrison is richer than the next. It starts with a pretzel, cereal and graham cracker crust, followed by espresso cheesecake, chocolate cake, a toasted caramel and pecan caramel filling and cocoa buttercream. They all repeat until there are a dozen rows, then the showstopper gets a finishing chocolate mirror glaze.

Turtle Cake at Cafe Latte – St. Paul, Minnesota

Cafe Latte has been a St. Paul fixture since 1984. While the city has changed, one thing has remained a staple: the cafeteria-style restaurant&rsquos decadent Turtle Cake. This family recipe passed down to owners Linda and Peter Quinn consists of three layers of coffee-infused chocolate cake smothered in caramel, chocolate buttercream and toasted pecans.

Coconut-Pecan Cake at Chez FonFon – Birmingham, Alabama

While the rest of the menu boasts classic French dishes &mdash think escargot and coq au vin &mdash Chez Fonfon&rsquos most-popular dessert is a local affair. Two iconic Southern ingredients &mdash pecans and coconut &mdash star in this beloved cake, with the latter showing up in multiple forms (shredded, creamed, liquified as milk) and in all the components (cake, filling, icing) of each towering slice.

Ultimate Coconut Cake at Peninsula Grill – Charleston, South Carolina

The coconut cake at this fine-dining destination made its debut as a Valentine&rsquos Day special in 1997. But the 12-layer cake made such an impression that it&rsquos been on the menu ever since. Available by the slice at the restaurant (or whole for shipping nationwide), the lofty confection &mdash with six thin layers of cake separated by six layers of cream cheese frosting &mdash has won the hearts of locals and celebrities alike.

Gwendolyn's Famous Earl’s Court Chocolate Cake at Cake Bake Shop – Indianapolis, Indiana

Its name may be a mouthful to say, but there&rsquoll be no forgetting it after just one bite of this sinfully sweet chocolate cake. Pastry guru Gwendolyn Rogers of Cake Bake Shop is all about top-notch ingredients, so only the good stuff makes the cut in this case, there&rsquos Valrhona in the cake, Callebaut in the ganache, plus fudge and malted cream, and a sprinkling of fleur de sel from France.

Pucker Up at Muddy’s Bake Shop – Memphis, Tennessee

The aptly named Pucker Up cake is made with real lemons &mdash "lots of them!" according to Muddy's Bake Shop owner Kat Gordon. The tart fruit goes into both the batter and the buttercream, both of which boast top-notch ingredients (real butter, cage-free eggs and organic whole milk) that help produce a tender cake packed with bright citrus flavor.

Champagne with Strawberry at Sin – Providence, Rhode Island

No need for a bottle of bubbly to celebrate an occasion &mdash the Champagne cake at Sin already has its namesake champagne in it. The alcohol evaporates as the cake bakes, leaving a fruity flavor elevated by a fluffy strawberry buttercream filling. And to truly make it occasion-worthy, the top is finished with pretty pastel sprinkles.

Tall, Dark and Handsome at Kyra’s Bake Shop – Lake Oswego, Oregon

Going gluten-free didn&rsquot stop Kyra Bussanich of Kyra's Bake Shop from enjoying her favorite pastries, but the Le Cordon Bleu grad did have to take matters into her own hands. Armed with a special blend of alternative flours, Bussanich has impressed cake lovers of all sorts &mdash including the judges on Cupcake Wars &mdash with creations like the Tall, Dark and Handsome. The 20-pound behemoth boasts multiple layers of chocolate cake, salted caramel and hazelnut crunch buttercreams and a hazelnut-dark chocolate ganache. As if that weren&rsquot enough, each round is frosted with espresso buttercream, then topped with more candied nuts.

Bavarian Cream Cheesecake at Ludger’s Bavarian Cakery – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Ludger Schulz settled in Tulsa after stints at restaurants across Europe and North America &mdash first in his native Germany, then Switzerland, Sweden and Ireland, then Canada and eventually Oklahoma. Once he settled in, Schulz started offering his German-style cheesecake, which features a whipped cream cheese filling in between layers of vanilla sponge cake. Schulz retired in 2009, but his daughter and son-in-law are working to spread the Ludger name (and cake) &mdash they opened a new larger location of the bakery in 2017.

Brooklyn Blackout Cake at Little Cupcake Bakeshop – Brooklyn, New York

Cheesecake isn&rsquot the only famous cake New York has to offer. In the 20th century, the Brooklyn Blackout Cake from Ebinger&rsquos Bakery was a beloved staple, until the sweets shop went bankrupt in 1972. Luckily, the decadent dessert was resurrected by Little Cupcake Bakeshop when it opened in Bay Ridge in 2005. The cake gets its intensely rich flavor from a blend of Dutch process cocoa and semisweet Belgian chocolate, and its beautiful textured exterior from two types of icing.

Coffee Crunch Cake at Yasukochi's Sweet Stop – San Francisco, California

Tom Yasukochi has been selling out of coffee crunch cake since 1974, when the San Francisco native opened his namesake bakery, Yasukochi's Sweet Stop, inside the Super Mira market in San Francisco&rsquos Japantown. Before that, Yasukochi co-owned a bakery in Lakeside with a former candymaker who worked at Blum&rsquos, a now-closed pastry shop once known for its "koffee krunch kake." The rest is, as they say, history &mdash Yasukochi mastered the honeycomb-like candy, adding it to airy cakes that are now as much of a classic as their original inspiration.

Baked Alyeska at Seven Glaciers at Alyeska Resort – Girdwood, Alaska

Visitors and locals alike have been dazzled by the baked Alaska at this sprawling ski-resort restaurant. Alternating between chocolate cake and chocolate and raspberry mousse, the dome is chilled, then covered in a half-inch layer of meringue. The finishing flourish? The ethereal meringue is torched to a beautiful golden brown.

Lemon Curd Layer Cake at Nichole’s Fine Pastry – Fargo, North Dakota

After attending the Culinary Institute of America in California, Nichole Hensen returned to North Dakota, honing her skills at two local businesses before opening a spot of her own, Nichole's Fine Pastry, in 2003. Using local, organic ingredients but European technique, Hensen turns out spectacular cakes like this citrusy number. There's tart lemon flavor in every layer, from the cake to the whipped cream to the bright yellow curd.

24-Layer Chocolate Cake at Strip House – Las Vegas, Nevada

In a city that revolves around over-the-top experiences, you can expect desserts to be equally excessive. The famed cake at Las Vegas&rsquo Strip House is a gluttonous chocolate-on-chocolate creation boasting 24 alternating layers of cake and filling, plus a semisweet glaze.

Red Velvet Cake at Q's Cakes — Albuquerque, New Mexico

This New Mexico bakery specializes in rosette-swirled frosting exteriors. But the cake on the inside as as good as the packing on the outside is beautiful. Flavors include Howie Wowie, a caramel cake with a New Mexican red chile-spiced caramel apple filling. The original is the Red Velvet, with cream cheese frosting.

Caramel Cake at Rhodes Bakery – Roswell and Atlanta, Georgia

This family-run bakery still makes caramel the old-fashioned way. Using a recipe perfected by the bakery&rsquos founder, Magdaline Rhodes, and a candy stove that&rsquos been in place since 1954, third-generation bakers turn sugar, shortening, corn syrup and evaporated milk into a melt-in-your-mouth icing and drape it over rounds of white cake.

Boston Cream Pie at Omni Parker House – Boston, Massachusetts

Despite its name, a Boston cream pie isn&rsquot actually a pie at all. The classic dessert was created at Omni Parker House in the 1850s, when Chef M. Sanzian had the then-revolutionary idea of topping cake with chocolate. Sanzian&rsquos original recipe &mdash two rounds of golden cake sandwiching pastry cream and topped, of course, with that chocolate glaze &mdash is still being served at the historic hotel today.

Huckleberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake at Stacey Cakes – McCall, Idaho

Come August, the city of McCall is overflowing with huckleberries. The tart cousins to blueberries play a leading role in pastry chef Stacey Kucy&rsquos cream cheese coffee cake. The bright burst of fruit shines through every mouthful of the confection, a tender sour cream cake boasting a layer of cheesecake filling, sugar crumble and plenty of fresh berries.

Almond Cake at Jacques Pastries – Pembroke, New Hampshire

The reins at Jacques Pastries have been passed from one culinary couple to another. The bakery was founded by Jacques and Paula Despres in 1973 and later taken over by son Justin and daughter-in-law Tami. The second-generation bakers continue to do their family proud, turning out Jacques classics like the almond cake with amaretto buttercream and rich truffle fudge.

Cheesecake at Suzy's Cream Cheesecakes – Oak Creek, Wisconsin

It&rsquos no surprise that dairy country would be home to excellent cheesecakes. When baker Suzy Strothmann started making them for her husband&rsquos Milwaukee restaurant in the 1980s, only local cream cheese was used, a tradition that continues today even as Suzy&rsquos Cream Cheesecakes has grown from one storefront and flavor to a nationally shipping business with multiple variations on its signature cake.

Burnt Almond Torte at Prantl's Bakery – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The residents of Pittsburgh are almost as passionate about this iconic square torte as they are about football. It&rsquos been an integral part of the city since the 1970s, when baker Henry Prantl &mdash inspired by a trip to almond-producing California &mdash returned home with a vision of a cloudlike cake filled with custard, iced in buttercream and covered on all sides with crunchy slivers of sugared almonds.

Blueberry Cake at Becky’s Diner – Portland, Maine

The secret to Becky Rand&rsquos famed blueberry cake is in &mdash no surprise &mdash the berries. Embedded in each Becky's Diner slice of cake are dozens of wild Maine blueberries, tiny, sweet gems that are harvested for a brief two months every summer. In a departure from most local blueberry cakes, Rand makes hers as a layered one, filling and frosting each slice with a rich cream cheese icing.

Chantilly Cake at Liliha Bakery – Honolulu, Hawaii

In Hawaii, chantilly cream has taken on its own unique form: a silky, muted yellow icing that&rsquos made by simmering together eggs, butter and sugar. At Liliha, a 24-hour diner and bakery in Honolulu, a healthy dollop of chantilly graces the famed cream puffs and covers the signature cake, a light chocolate chiffon that&rsquos adored by locals.

Chocolate Brownie Pound Cake at The Mighty Baker – Provo, Utah

The Mighty Baker&rsquos Peter Tidwell knows his way around cake &mdash he&rsquos won Cake Wars not once but twice, the second time with a chocolate brownie pound cake lauded by the show&rsquos judges. With its rich, fudgy texture, the cake needs little embellishment Tidwell simply pairs the layers with a vanilla Italian buttercream.

Earl Grey Chocolate Cake at Park Avenue Bakery – Helena, Montana

Tea isn&rsquot just for enjoying with cake it can also add flavor to it. At Park Avenue Bakery, pastry chefs started experimenting with Earl Grey and chocolate more than a decade ago, resulting in a cake that quickly became a shop signature. The floral tea goes in both the cake and the creamy chocolate mousse, a combination that&rsquos surprisingly "refreshing," says general manager and pastry chef Melanie Hahlbohm.

Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake at Billie’s Pecans – Crenshaw, Mississippi

A surplus of pecans on the family farm inspired Billie Crenshaw to incorporate the nuts into her coffee cake. The resulting dessert was a hit not only with her husband and four sons, but also at the local market. The business and Billie&rsquos recipe &mdash a classic sour cream, brown sugar and cinnamon-spiced confection &mdash have since been passed down to her daughter-in-law Stacy and granddaughter Bailey, who continue to churn out cakes and other pecan treats.

Red Velvet Cheesecake at The Rabbit Hole Bakery – Lincoln, Nebraska

If its name doesn&rsquot give away its inspiration, then the decor probably will: The quaint Rabbit Hole Bakery in Lincoln, Nebraska, is adorned with antique clocks, teapots and colorful books, a nod to baker Amanda Fuchser&rsquos love of Alice in Wonderland. Her exquisite desserts would be a hit at any Mad Hatter tea party &mdash especially the red velvet cheesecake, a scarlet confection that gets its distinctive tang from buttermilk, sour cream and vinegar.

Bourbon Butter Cake at The Midway Bakery – Midway, Kentucky

Kentucky bourbon isn&rsquot the only local ingredient that goes into The Midway Bakery&rsquos butter cake &mdash the flour comes from nearby Weisenberger Mill and the sorghum from Country Rock. To let the cake&rsquos rich, buttery flavor shine, the 9-inch, two-layer cake is finished with a simple vanilla buttercream frosting.

Citrus Olive Oil Cake at Erie Coffeeshop & Bakery – Rutherford, New Jersey

Owner Renee Faris brought this cake over from across the Hudson. The original recipe came from her time working in New York City with Union Square Events pastry chef Dan Keehner, but the Bundt cake has gained its own devoted following in Rutherford, at Erie Coffeeshop & Bakery. High-quality olive oil and citrus form the base of the fluffy cake, which is garnished with a simple citrus-vanilla glaze, orange peel and, in the winter months, a fresh sprig of rosemary.

Guinness Chocolate Cake at Grille 26 – Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Sioux Falls has been recognized as one of the best places to celebrate St. Patrick&rsquos Day, so it makes sense that Guinness is a key component of the chocolate cake at Grille 26, one of the city's more popular spots. The stout gets mixed in with butter and melted cocoa to make a dense and rich cake that&rsquos finished with an Irish cream frosting. Sláinte!

Old-Fashioned Apple Cake at King Arthur Flour – Norwich, Vermont

No dessert better represents Vermont&rsquos fairy-tale fall vistas like an apple cake. Developed by the recipe testers at King Arthur Flour&rsquos Norwich campus, the cinnamon-spiced squares &mdash loaded with fresh apples and topped with a brown sugar frosting &mdash are pure autumn comfort.

Rum Torte at Iversen’s Bakery – Dearborn, Michigan

Torte making has been an Iversen family trade since the 1950s, and little has changed when it comes to technique, a point of pride for current owner Rick Lesnock. He&rsquos still making cakes the same old-fashioned way his father did &mdash with cooked custard, fruit, freshly whipped cream and, in the case of this holiday best-seller, a generous addition of Bacardi rum.

Hostess Cake at Sweet to Eat Bakery and Cake Shop – Ankeny, Iowa

Looking at the list of Sweet to Eat&rsquos specialty cake flavors will likely trigger nostalgia. There&rsquos Cookie Dough, Banana Split, S&rsquomores and a Hostess number that&rsquos reminiscent of its namesake treat. Owner Rachael Owens&rsquo top-notch version includes housemade chocolate cake, buttercream and the signature glossy ganache.

Very Berry Cake at Sweet Maria’s – Waterbury, Connecticut

Sweet Maria&rsquos most-popular cake is as fleeting as the berries that make it up. Available only from April to October, the three-layer white cake bursts with fresh seasonal blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, all smothered in baker Maria Bruscino Sanchez&rsquos luscious housemade whipped cream.

Green Tea Tiramisu at Hiroki Desserts – Seattle, Washington

Long before matcha became an ingredient du jour, it was already making appearances in desserts at this quaint Seattle dessert shop. When Hiroki opened in 2003, the menu included tiramisu remixed with Asian components. Instead of ladyfingers, the cake is built on fluffy chiffon, and the mascarpone batter â tinged pastel green â boasts the nutty and floral notes of high-grade matcha imported from Japan.

Buttercream Cake at Spring Hill Pastry Shop – Charleston, West Virginia

There&rsquos nothing fussy or complicated about the pastries at Spring Hill, a bakery that&rsquos been operated by the Williams family since 1948. Special occasions call for its classic vanilla cake with buttercream, made from scratch the same way for the last 70 years. While you&rsquore there, don&rsquot miss the "hot dog" &mdash an eclair-like treat filled with whipped cream that locals go crazy for.

Buckeye Bliss at Elé Cake Co. – Dayton, Ohio

Variations on the quintessential Ohio treat &mdash peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate &mdash are as plentiful as the nut that inspired them. At Elé Cake Co. the tribute to the state&rsquos official tree comes in the form of a chocolate cupcake adorned with peanut butter buttercream, a chocolate drizzle and a mini buckeye.

Buttery Bundt Pound Cake at Brown Sugar Bakeshop – Little Rock, Arkansas

The secret to Brown Sugar Bakeshop's light-as-air Bundt cake is in the technique. Ingredients are mixed with a whisk instead of a flat paddle, giving the batter a fluffier texture than its Southern counterpart. Founded by sisters April and Kristi Williams and now run by Kristi's son, the bakery puts a twist on the classics, rolling out fun flavors like moscato, red velvet and glazed caramel pecan.

Chocolate Caramel Mousse Cake at Sweet Somethings – Wilmington, Delaware

An open kitchen lets customers see exactly what Sweet Somethings&rsquo bakers are up to. They could be making any number of the cookies, pies or cakes on the menu, including owner Lee Slaninko&rsquos recommended favorite: a moist chocolate cake with caramel mousse, chocolate ganache and sea salt.

Fromage Blanc Berry Cheesecake at CocoLove – Jackson, Wyoming

Acclaimed chocolatier Oscar Ortega uses his bonbon-decorating skills to make exquisite cakes at this Jackson Hole boutique. This cheesecake layers housemade fromage blanc &mdash swirled with Ortega&rsquos berry compote &mdash on top of a buttery pate sucree crust. It&rsquos doused in a mesmerizing red mirror glaze and finished with some chocolate tuiles.

Gooey Butter Cake at Park Avenue Coffee – St. Louis, Missouri

Gooey butter cake was created by accident in the 1940s, when St. Louis baker Johnny Hoffman used the wrong proportions to make cake batter. The irresistibly delicious mistake can now be found all over town, including at Lafayette Square's Park Avenue Coffee, where siblings Dale Schotte and Marilyn Scull serve up their mom&rsquos recipe. More than 70 flavors are available, including seasonal twists like eggnog and pumpkin caramel, but Mom&rsquos Traditional is a must for those trying the buttery-crusted specialty for the first time.

Moravian Sugar Cake at Winkler Bakery – Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Winkler Bakery has been slinging this unassumingly rich cake since the early 1800s, when Swiss-born baker Christian Winkler took over the Old Salem shop. The 200-year-old wood-fired dome oven is still in use today, churning out sheets of the eggy cake studded with buttery pockets of cinnamon and sugar.


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Here are the tastingspoons players. I’m in the middle (Carolyn). Daughter Sara on the right, and daughter-in-law Karen on the left. I started the blog in 2007, as a way to share recipes with my family. Now in 2021, I’ll still participate, but the two daughters are going to do more posting from here on out.

We participate in an amazon program that rewards a little tiny $ something (pennies, really) if you purchase any books recommended (below), or buy products occasionally mentioned on the blog with an amazon link.

BOOK READING:

Could hardly put down Krueger’s book, This Tender Land: A Novel. My friend Ann recommended it. I was gripped with the story within the first paragraph, and it never stopped until I turned the last page. Tells the harrowing story of a young boy, Odie, (and his brother Albert) who became orphans back in the 30s (I think). At first there is a boarding school, part of an Indian (Native American) agreement, though they are not Indian. Some very ugly things happen at that school. Eventually they escape, and they are “on the run.” With a few others with them. If you loved Huckleberry Finn, you’ll have a great appreciation for this story as they use a canoe to get themselves down river. Never having very much to eat and getting into trouble way too often, and authorities on their tail. Well, you just have to read the book to find out what happens.

Just finished Kristin Hannah’s latest book, The Four Winds: A Novel. What a story. One I’ve never read about, although I certainly have heard about the “dust bowl” years when there was a steady migration of down-and-out farmers from the Midwest, to California, for what they hoped to be the American Dream. It tells the story of one particular family, the Martinellis, the grandparents, their son, his wife, and their two children. The book is heartbreaking, but one of those that everyone should read. The hardship, the hunger, the dirt and dust, the failed crops, the lack of rain, then the story picks up again in central California, back in the day when the wealthy growers just used up the migrants. I don’t want to spoil the story. So worth reading. Hannah really knows how to weave a story.

Brit Bennett has written quite a book, The Vanishing Half: A Novel. It’s a novel, yet I’m sure there are such real-life situations. Twin girls are born to a young woman in the South. Into a town (that probably doesn’t exist) that prides itself on being light-skinned blacks. The father was very dark, but he plays no part, really, in this story. Growing up, the girls leave home at 18 to find their way in New Orleans. Suddenly, one twin disappears (her clothes and suitcase all gone in the wink of an eye). Her twin left behind has no idea what’s happened to her. As the story reveals, with divided paths, one twin continues her life as a black woman, and the other twin, the one who left, is able to pass as a white woman. She marries well, has a daughter. Well, let’s just say that there are lots of wicked webs woven throughout the story, starting from the girls’ mother who never wants to speak again of her lost daughter. But you know where this is going, don’t you? Things are found out. The author does a great job of weaving the story apart and then back together.

What a book. The Only Woman in the Room: A Novel by Marie Benedict. A novelized biography of Hedy Lamarr, the famous actress. She was a brilliant mind, and a beautiful woman. It tells the story of her coming of age, how she navigated the world of acting back in that time period (she was Austrian, and Hitler was in power). The writing was very well done – to tell Hedy’s story with detail and poignancy. Eventually Hedy made it to the U.S. and her life story changed, but still had its difficulties. I loved the book, beginning to end. She should have become an engineer as she invented several war related bomb tools. Very much worth reading.

Also read The Secret of the Chateau: Gripping and heartbreaking historical fiction with a mystery at its heart by Kathleen McGurl. There are two stories here. The historical part is just prior to and up to the French Revolution, when aristocrats were chased and killed, guillotined in many cases. There is a young couple (part of the royal court) who escape to a remote small castle owned by his family, located on the edge of France and Italy, hoping to wait out the revolution and hoping the villagers love and care about them. Then jump to current day as a small English group of close friends decide to retire somewhere on the continent, and settle on a small abandoned castle in the remote hills of France along the Italian border. Got the picture? The historian in the group is quite interested in the history of the home, and clues are revealed (in the tower) that lead her and the group on a quest to discover what happened to the couple who used to live there. There was a fire once upon a time. There’s an pesky ghost. There’s also a very old child’s doll/playhouse on the grounds. Plus there’s a small graveyard. It is VERY intriguing. Very interesting. I love historical novels like this, and this one in particular does have quite a mystery involved, too.

Also finished reading Sue Monk Kidd’s recent book, The Book of Longings: A Novel. It is a book that might challenge some Christian readers, as it tells the tale of Jesus marrying a woman named Mary. The story is all about Mary, her growing up, her scholarly pursuits, and then from the moment she meets Jesus as a young man. The story follows along to and beyond his death on the cross. In the time of Christ it was extremely uncommon for a man not to marry. It was almost unseemly. Fraught with suspicions, I’d suppose. Although scripture, as scripture, does not play a very strong part here, if you’ve read the Bible you’ll see many of the stories of Jesus’ life through Mary’s eyes. I loved the book from the first word to the last one. The book is believable to me, even though the Bible never says one way or the other that Jesus ever married. It’s been presumed he never did. But maybe he did?

Jeanine Cummins has written an eye-opener, American Dirt. A must read. Oh my goodness. I will never, ever, ever look at Mexican (and further southern) migrants, particularly those who are victims of the vicious cartels, without sympathy. It tells the story of a woman and her young son, who were lucky enough to hide when the cartel murdered every member of her family – her husband, her mother, and many others. Her husband was a journalist, and his life was always in danger because he wrote the truth, and that was taking a risk. The story is about her escape, with harrowing chapters as she makes her way north from Acapulco, with various major detours, one step, or sometimes nothing more than a hair’s width ahead of the cartel minions trying to find her. I could NOT put this book down. The author is not Hispanic, and some have criticized her for that, but she did her research, and many authors write about places and people they are not. I have nothing but respect for her having told this story. You need to read this.

Also read JoJo Moyes’ book, The Giver of Stars. Oh gosh, what a GREAT book. Alice, living in an English home which lacks much, leaps to agree to marry a visiting American. It was an escape for her. He is a man of some family wealth, and she travels from England to Kentucky, during the 1920s. Once settled into the family home, she discovers married life is not what she had expected. Affection is lacking, and she must share the home with her tyrannical father-in-law, the owner of mines in the deep mountains. And with the ghost of the deceased mother-in-law. The family cook won’t tolerate Alice’s help in the kitchen. Alice is terribly lonely and unhappy. The town doesn’t much like this English woman with her funny way of speaking. But then, she meets a woman who encourages her to join the Horseback Librarians. With trepidation, she begins traversing the remote hills, through unbelievable weather, to deliver old, battered and tattered books to the remote inhabitants of the area. She makes friends, wonderful, loving people from all walks of life. There is tremendous tension from the danger of the mines, the unions trying to get a foothold, plus the unraveling of her marriage, including the dreaded father-in-law who feels she should answer to him, behave as he wants. Uh, no. Alice goes her own route. Her new friends become her family, and, oh, what love. There has been much criticism of Moyes’ possible plagiarism of another book regarding the Horseback Librarians. I read the other book – but I didn’t feel remotely as intrigued by that story as I was by Moyes’ version. A feel good story, but it takes some while getting to that “feel good” part, nearly to the end.

Frances Liardet has written a blockbuster tale, We Must Be Brave. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Although the scene is WWII England, this book is not really about the war. It’s about the people at home, waiting it out, struggling with enough food, clothing and enough heat. It’s about Ellen. Her early years, under much hardship. About her teens, some of it as an orphan. Then a young adult, which includes marriage, a marriage blanc, which I didn’t understand until you learn the meaning. Then a child enters the picture, a child that will become a focus for the remainder of the book. Through the war, and beyond. I cried several times, as will you, I suspect. What’s a constant is the descriptions of the place, a town called Upton, near Southampton. About the hills and dales, the flora and fauna, the rain, the mud sometimes, the flooding sometimes. But throughout, it’s about neighbors caring for neighbors, and about love. A must read. Would make a really good book club read.

William Kent Krueger wrote Ordinary Grace. From amazon: a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God. It’s a coming of age story.

Best book I’ve read recently. Not new. Called Follow the River: A Novel by James Alexander Thom. This one is also based on the history of a woman (married, pregnant) who was captured by the Shawnee, during the early settlement days east of the Ohio River, about 1755. And her eventual escape. I stayed up all hours to keep reading. The book was written from the many journals and writing compiled by her children. Her name: Mary Ingles. And it chronicles her 1000-mile trek in treacherous weather and over uncharted ground. What an amazing woman, and what a story.

A Column of Fire: A Novel by Ken Follett. It takes place in the 1500s, in England, and has everything to do with the war between the Catholics and the Protestants, that raged throughout Europe during that time, culminating in the Spanish Inquisition.

My Name Is Resolute by Nancy Turner. She’s the author of another book of some renown, These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 (P.S.). Resolute is what I’m discussing here. It’s fiction, but based some on a true story. Resolute, as a young girl from a privileged life on a plantation in Jamaica, was taken captive by slavers, eventually ended up in Colonial America. This book is the story of her life. The people she met, the men in her life, her children, and always about her indefatigable energy for life. Always hoping to return to Jamaica.

The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape by James Rebanks. This is a memoir, so a true story, of a young man growing up in the Lake District of Northern England, the son of a farming family, who sabotages everything in his being regarding going to school and leaves as soon as he is able (probably about 8th grade, I’d guess). And becomes a shepherd. And at night, he read literature that he accumulated from his grandfather. And then what happens to him as he grows up. Riveting.


English Trifle*

This restaurant is awesome! It's known for prime rib. The sides of creamed corn or creamed spinach are amazing too. They have excellent soups and salads. Make sure you get a piece of their Yorkshire pudding too. The restaurant has beautiful decor. Service is excellent. Parking is free and ample. Children's menu is sufficient. For dessert make sure you try the English trifle . This used to be a small chain restaurant, but this is the last one left. Try it for lunch or dinner. You will be happy with whatever you order.

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  • Robert E.
  • Santa Ana, CA
  • 36 friends
  • 108 reviews
  • 31 photos

A lovely fine dining experience! Started off with yummy assorted breads. The filet mignon bruschetta appetizers were amazing. I had the Chateaubriand accompanied by potatoes, haricots vert, and creamed corn (sublime) while my wife and goddaughter both had the Long Island duck (also delicious). English trifle and coffee capped off the meal nicely. Service as spot on as one would expect. Can't wait until our next visit!

Others will see how you vote!

  • Terry L.
  • Santa Ana, CA
  • 23 friends
  • 21 reviews
  • 2 photos

We had dinner last night at Gulliver's. We haven't been there for a while, but in the past we have had excellent food and service, so we were looking forward to our return. As we were seated I noticed that my chair was loose and wobbled, so I looked for another chair from a table that no one was seated at. To my surprise must of them had collapsed seats and very worn upholstery. some with cotton showing through the worn spots. I searched and found a better chair. The service was good, but when the food arrived it was clear that the food quality has diminished. My wife and I ordered the "Fresh Catch of the day". Halibut. It tasted fishy and was overcooked and very dry. It was clearly not fresh, based on the taste. My friend ordered the "Aged Rib Eye Steak" It was coked properly. but over 1/3 of the steak was fat. I was surprised that they would even serve a steak with that much white fat surrounding it. We ordered the English Trifle for desert, another disappointment. Previously this dish was moist with pudding, fruit and whipped cream. delicious. The dish they served was dry and like cherry cake with whipped cream. In a word, disappointing. Our total tab for dinner and drinks was $292.28 plus tip. It was an expensive and very disappointing visit to a restaurant that, in previous times, was great. We won't be back.

Others will see how you vote!

  • Warren F.
  • Irvine, CA
  • 10 friends
  • 208 reviews
  • 191 photos
  • Elite ’21

My family has been patronizing Gulliver's for 25 years. Gulliver's has remained a consistently outstanding place for traditional British Roast Ribs of Beef. It is far better than 5 Crowns which is a Lawry's restaurant.

We recently tested Gulliver's by eating at Simpson's in the Strand, a London monument to traditional English fare. We all felt Gulliver's roast ribs of beef were just a succulent and delicious as Simpson's. The Yorkshire pudding was equivalent- light and puffy. Simpson's did serve shaved creamer horseradish, but Gulliver's served its prime rib with creamed spinach and unlimited wonderful creamed corn.

Christmas is the best time to eat at Gulliver's. The whole restaurant is beautifully decorated. It's an excellent venue for office parties and family celebrations.

Gulliver's is not cheap, but it is an excellent value. High quality food and generous portions. I would caution against appetizers salads soups and too much of their wonderful bread. The servings are so large that if you order anything else, you will have too much food to eat. For BIG appetites, there is a large size of prime rib. Beware, it's HUGE.

IF you have room after dinner, the English trifle is good with a cup of coffee. I can think of to better way to end a memorable feast. BTW the English trifle was much better years ago when it was displayed and served from a large crystal bowl. The Health Department apparently disapproved after decades of serving it this way. Now the trifle is cut from a sheet located in the refrigerator. Definitely not as good. Of course, have a shot of sherry poured over the trifle .

The wine list is broad with superb wines from most price ranges.

Gulliver's is a restaurant one returns to regularly and craves

Others will see how you vote!

  • Mike B.
  • Southern California, CA
  • 4 friends
  • 45 reviews
  • 259 photos

I was surprised to secure reservations 2 days prior. I know other similar places would have been totally booked (maybe this was my first hint of what was to come?).

Walked in and this place was totally decked out in festive Halloween decor. I walked into the men's room and this wicked Witch was like STARING at me.

Our server was friendly and attentive checking up on us frequently.

OK, so it all goes down hill from there.

Our prime rib was dry as well as the creamed spinach. The corn in our cream of corn tasted like it's been frozen for awhile before cooking it. And the Au Jus sauce had a strange burnt like after taste like it's been sitting on the stove for awhile and the bottom of the pot is burned. And lastly, the Yorkshire pudding was flat and kinda hard, not fluffy at all.

So we ordered dessert, English Trifle , thinking maybe that would salvage our dinner but even that failed us as it tasted too dry :(

Others will see how you vote!

  • Maggie C.
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 3839 friends
  • 3006 reviews
  • 13536 photos

What a cute little restaurant. Gulliver's Restaurant looks like something straight out of the storybook.

Traditional English cut ($36.95): thinly sliced English style. Served with creamed corn, creamed spinach, whipped horseradish, au jus and Yorkshire pudding, the prime rib is the specialty of the restaurant. My prime rib and creamed spinach were not bad, but the star of my meal was the creamed corn. Sweet, creamy and tasty kernels.

I couldn't finish my prime rib and ate the leftover the next day. The meat tasted tastier the second time around.

Caesar salad ($8.95): romaine lettuce, croutons, parmesan and caesar dressing (with or without anchovy). The salad was fresh and delicious.

We even got English trifle with a candle on top for our birthdays. Thank you!

Our waiter was fabulous. He was attentive, funny, helpful and fast.

Gullliver's Restaurant is kinda yummylicious!!

Others will see how you vote!

  • Gilbert P.
  • Diamond Bar, CA
  • 402 friends
  • 70 reviews
  • 119 photos
  • Elite ’21

Disclaimer: I came here for my company's holiday party, so my experience may be different from the average person's sit down dine in experience.

First let's get the bad out of the way - the parking situation is pretty awful. Not sure if it's because it shares its lot with another restaurant, or if it just gets packed during lunch time, but the parking lot was absolutely full when we went around 12pm on a Friday. We had to resort to parking on the street & at the IHOP lot across the street.

Onto the restaurant itself - the theme & atmosphere closely resembles a old-timey German style pub, with the waitresses dressed in outfits you would see at an Oktoberfest. Service was fine for the most part with the waitresses being friendly & checking in often. The dining room we were seated in was separate from the main restaurant & also had a group of bell players playing Christmas carols which was pretty cool.

Food itself was good but nothing special. Now since it was a company party, everyone was served a three-course meal consisting of baby mesclun greens (salad), beef prime rib, & English trifle for dessert. Salad was alright, a little too vinegary for my taste. Prime rib was the best, cooked medium rare & really juicy, although some small parts of it were a little dry. The English trifle was disappointing, texture was too dry for my liking but I'm assuming that's just how sponge cake is.

If you're looking for an interesting experience in a unique atmosphere you might want to check this place out. But if you're looking for higher quality food options you can likely find better options around the area.

Others will see how you vote!

  • Brian W.
  • West Los Angeles, CA
  • 363 friends
  • 2358 reviews
  • 312 photos
  • Elite ’21

Old school English prime rib.

The decor hits you first, then the menu and the service, and it's all from there.

The atmosphere and the menu work out well in the end, and while it's not the best prime rib we've had, it's quite decent.

I would skip the desserts tho, we had the English trifle and were quite unimpressed.

Others will see how you vote!

  • Michelle D.
  • Torrance, CA
  • 0 friends
  • 6 reviews
  • 4 photos

Best prime rib you'll ever have! But what makes it really unforgettable is the sides you get with it. the creamed corn is to die for! From the moment we arrived ( which was early) but the manager was so pleasant chatting with us, making sure we still got a table as soon as possible. He took pictures of us for my boyfriends birthday and ensured us that we would be well taken care of. I want to thank our server for recommending the english trifle . I was just going to order a cheesecake but i am so glad he said get the trifle because it was the best dessert i've had. So light and fluffy and not too overwhelming after a heavy meal. It was just the right size.

Others will see how you vote!

  • Michael B.
  • Laguna Hills, CA
  • 0 friends
  • 68 reviews
  • 1 photo

I don't frequent Gulliver's as much as I would like to. However, Gulliver's is one of my longest lasting restaurant traditions that I continually maintain. This last New Year's Eve (2016-2017), was my 40th of 44 New Year's Eves that I've enjoyed dinner there, my wife thinks me strange. My wife and I will attend Gulliver's, usually if I have family members from Chicago visiting Southern California, because they know all about Gulliver's. The restaurant's focus has always been Prime Rib dinners, English style. The restaurant is comparable to Lawry's in Los Angeles, typically the identical menu. My wife's dinner order always varies, however, mine does not. I order the Gulliver's Cut, comes with creamed corn and creamed spinach, and Yorkshire pudding, if you "love" the creamed corn or creamed spinach, they will offer you the recipes, or go online. I always start the dinner with their Caesar salad with real anchovy topping and finish the evening with their English trifle . I go home happy and anxious for the next special event. Gulliver's is a "must" during the holidays, it's all dressed up. There wait staff is excellent. And the food - 5 star!

Others will see how you vote!

We were really excited to bring our dad here for his birthday since he loves prime rib and that's what Gulliver's is known for, but we left disappointed. Three of us ordered the prime rib and they were all overcooked. The medium was definitely MW +, and the two that were ordered MR came out more on the M side. We also ordered a lamb entrée MR which all but 1 chop was overcooked to MW. The duck entrée was extremely dry and the kid's alfredo pasta was bland. I wanted to say something during our meal, but didn't want to make a big fuss. The majority of the food tasted good but definitely not as good as it could have or should have had it been cooked to the temps ordered. They were kind enough to bring out 2 pieces of their English Trifle dessert in honor of my dad's birthday, but it was so dry and gritty. We are a family that loves desserts and we barely touched it after taking the first bite. Needless to say, my sister and I regret not bringing this to their attention since our bill was about $300 and we all left full but very unhappy.

Others will see how you vote!

  • Charla D.
  • Anaheim, CA
  • 14 friends
  • 112 reviews
  • 184 photos

Admittedly I do not eat a lot of red meat anymore. But every so often I have a hankering for an ice steak or piece of prime rib, so we ended up at Gulliver's & we were not sorry. Our server was friendly & efficient. Three of us had the mushroom soup. dang was it delicious & definitely the best mushroom soup I've ever had. For dinner, mom enjoyed the enormous pork chop. Two of us had the prime rib & it was excellent. All 5 of us loved the creamed corn, practically a dessert it is so rich! For dessert I enjoyed the English trifle & others at our table really liked the pecan pie. We enjoyed a leisurely evening & look forward to returning.

Others will see how you vote!

  • Rita H.
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 96 friends
  • 196 reviews
  • 1595 photos
  • Elite ’21

If you're looking for an upscale dining experience this is an almost but not quite there type of deal. Plates are in the $30+ range and while I can't speak for all of them, the seafood linguine was deeelish! The seafood was fresh and it was seasoned with just the right amount of garlic. It's a large portion so expect left overs! If you're a vegetarian or not much of a prime rib person, I recommend trying it but that's about all I can recommend from my experience because for me, the quality stopped there.

I seriously suggest you skip the desserts since they're subpar. We tried four desserts: the English trifle , the creme brûlée, the pecan pie and the warm apple crumble bread pudding. The creme brûlée (which in my opinion should have been called a crime brûlée on account of the fact that it should be an offense to serve it) was basically cold custard with a raspberry on top. Don't say I didn't warn you. Also, while I didn't get an alcoholic beverage, I will say this, my friends left their cosmos untouched after just a sip or two (actions speak louder than words).

Lastly, I will say that while finding parking was a bigger struggle than finding Waldo, finding a table was a piece of cake & that sure made up for it!

Others will see how you vote!

I made a reservation for Gulliver's for our anniversary dinner. I'd heard great things about the prime rib and therefore, felt this was a good option for a romantic dinner out. I communicated this to the hostess upon arrival. To start the evening, we arrived at the time of our reservation at 6pm to a mostly empty restaurant. It was decorated for Christmas, which added tons of garland and lights to an already busy 70s decor. Not really the picture of a romantic event. The hostess greeted us and asked us to please wait while they "found us a table". Remember, there were perhaps three filled tables in the whole place, so finding a table should have been easy. Upon hearing it was our anniversary, they offered to sit us next to their fireplace. Seemed nice, and they claimed it was romantic.

So the hostess takes us over to a side dining room with a nice fireplace. She took us to a table that was on the same wall as the fireplace. In fact, it was a booth directly to the right of the fireplace. And the booth part was built in to the wall. She pulled the table out and motioned us to sit down, and then put the table back. We later found out that we were essentially trapped there as the table had to be moved for us to leave our booth. And she was right. We were right "next to" the fireplace, meaning we were on the same wall as it was and we could not see it from our table. In fact, all we could see was the rest of the empty restaurant. Not exactly romantic.

The server came (who I may add was the bright spot in this whole evening) and recommended wines and their Gulliver's Salad to go with out orders of prime rib. She also stressed that the creamed corn was unlimited. Odd, but okay.

After bringing our wine, the server wheeled a cart over and made our salad in front of us. It was described, by the waitress, as being greens with shrimp and hard boiled egg topped with their house made champagne vinaigrette. I will say that the description was rather accurate, and that the dressing was pretty good. However, the shrimp were tiny little salad shrimp that were mostly thawed, and the hard boiled egg appeared to be scrambled egg. In fact, neither my wife nor I could find any egg white pieces.

After a somewhat odd salad, we were little apprehensive of our main course. But this place is known for their prime rib. How bad could it be?

The waitress brought the food on a similar cart as the salad. She served us the dinners we ordered as well as a huge plate of creamed corn. The prime rib also came with creamed spinach, Yorkshire pudding and au-jus as well as creamed horseradish sauce. We noticed that both the creamed corn and creamed spinach came from huge pots of the stuff over by the kitchen.

So how was this meal? Well, let me break it down.

Prime Rib: Generous serving. Cooked in a "special prime rib oven". It was very dry and somewhat mealy. It was lacking all salt and tasted like it had been cooked very slowly for a very long time, almost like pot roast. Overall, not good at all. Even the skin of the prime rib was lacking flavor and was not crispy as one would expect.

Creamed Corn: Not freshly made. Very gloopy and tasted like it came out of a can and was re-heated. If this is their signature side dish, it's really sad. Also, it was very sweet.

Creamed Spinach: couldn't taste the spinach over the onion / garlic flavor. Again, not fresh spinach at all, probably frozen or canned.

Yorkshire Pudding: I make these on a regular basis myself and normally, they are cooked fast and hot in some sort of fat (oil, butter, etc. ). These were dry, and black around the edges. Not good at all.

Au-jus sauce: Should be easy right? Tasted like stock cubes were used or it was out of a can.

Creamed Horseradish: I'm not sure what they put with the horseradish to make it creamy, but it tasted like butter and all flavor of the horseradish was lost. Not spicy at all.

So overall, I'd never recommend coming back here. These meals were over $30 / plate and not worth anything close to that. Neither my wife nor I even came close to finishing anything. Everything tasted as it was out of a can or cooked by inexperienced cooks. I don't think the head chef has any idea how to cook from scratch and instead makes huge buckets of food from canned / frozen ingredients and just serves them until they are gone.

Because it was our anniversary, they gave us a free desert ( English trifle ) to go, even though we said we didn't want it. We threw it in the trash can with our leftovers without trying it.


Chocolate dessert recipes

Think dessert and the word chocolate irresistibly comes to mind, and our chocolate dessert recipes are an assortment of decadent deliciousness. You can be endlessly innovative with chocolate, as different beans offer different flavour profiles for different dishes. The rich nutty Venezuelan Rio Caribe goes perfectly with stronger flavours like brandy or coffee, for example, while the fruity Peruvian Chulucanas can be showcased in a mousse. Just be aware that you need to handle chocolate delicately to preserve the fine flavour notes.

In this gorgeous collection there is something to meet every chocolate craving. Whether you are after a taste of pure chocolate heaven with Galton Blackiston’s Chocolate pudding complete with oozing liquid centre, or a punch provided by Robert Thompson’s Chocolate and chilli tart (a fiery take on a classic chocolate dessert), there is plenty of room to experiment with different beans. For white chocolate recipes see the stunning White chocolate panna cotta with honeycomb by Alan Murchison.

Salted chocolate and caramel makes for a luxurious dessert combination: try Frances Atkins’ Salted chocolate délice with crème caramel perfect for a dinner party treat or Simon Hulstone’s Chilled chocolate fondant with salted butter caramel sauce complete with a delicate praline garnish.


Ingredients

Cream the butter until light. Slowly add the sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Fold in the sifted flour and baking powder.

Pour mixture into prepared 8 inch round pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes at 375℉ (190℃) until the cake pulls gently from sides or cake tester remains clean.

(When pressing lightly on top of cake, no impression is left.) Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.

Whip cream and sugar to soft peaks. Place doily on cake plate. Put one cake layer on doily.

Spread with raspberry jam and top with whipped cream. Place second layer bottom side up onto the filling.


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