This popular Southern layer cake is Martha's favorite. When she was growing up, Martha would celebrate her birthday with her mother's version. In it, moist white cake layers are filled with a fluffy frosting studded with chopped nuts, figs, and raisins.
Long an Easter favorite in the Kostyra family, this sweet, creamy dessert is made with farmer cheese instead of cream cheese. Mild and slightly tangy, farmer cheese is a soft cheese from which most of the liquid has been slowly pressed; it retains much of its moisture because of the slowness of the pressing process.
This recipe is adapted from "Great Italian Desserts," by Nick Malgieri.
Nick Malgieri directs the baking programs at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. He is the author of nine books about baking, most recently, "The Modern Baker" (DK Publishing, 2008).
Traditionally, an escabeche is marinated overnight and served cold the next day. This flavor-packed quicker version is immediately gratifying. Popular in Spain and France, escabeche loosely translates as "pickle." It's commonly made with fish.