Coconut Layer Cake
What makes this update on the old-fashioned coconut cake so special is the shortbread cookie base and the layers of passionfruit curd. It takes some time, and there are no shortcuts, but it’s a labor of love you’ll want to make time and time again. In addition to basic baking supplies, you’ll need a mixer with a paddle attachment, a double boiler, an entreat ring, and an offset spatula.
Potato and Smoked Paprika Croissant
Croissants make great savory dishes as well as sweet. This one combines smoked paprika, potatoes and goat cheese to create a pastry that is both hearty and light, perfect for a winter brunch. NOTE: The dough is the most challenging part of this recipe, but once mastered it can be used for many other dishes as well. Best to read the entire recipe before beginning.
Rosemary Olive Oil Cake
This luscious, zesty cake originated from a recipe James discovered in Florence. It’s one of our simpler recipes, and can be easily customized to your liking, which makes it a good fit for novice bakers.
James first encountered this specialty cake on a culinary tour of Brittany, where it was served as a large cake. He has scaled the recipe down to a delicate, airy, personal pastry. The word “kouign” means cake and “amann” is butter in Breton. Note that you will have to create your own sponge starter, so we've included that recipe as well.
Caramelized Banana Tart
Looking for a unique dessert for any time of year? This banana tart is requires a mixer with paddle attachment and a little bit of patience, but is oh-so- pretty and delicious.
You don't have to be a master baker like Metropolitan's James Barrett to make delicious French-inspired delights at home. Here are several favorites—some savory, some sweet—adapted by James for the home chef.