Lemon and Black Sesame Buttermilk Pound Cake

lemon sesame seed pound cake

Lemon Sesame Seed Pound Cake! An unconventional combination which really works. Buttermilk keeps the cake tender, and lemon in the cake, syrup and glaze gives it a triple lemon tang.

I discovered this afternoon why I love buttermilk.

At my grandparents’ house, the small conservatory at the back was where we’d hang out on a summer’s day. It was walled with mismatched sofas, chairs and cabinets, and held their vinyl collection and record player. At the age of 10, I didn’t have any interest in most of the music, but they also had some comedy records — daft 1950s British singles by Peter Sellers, Bernard Cribbins and Terry Scott — and a couple of American albums, one of which was Bob Newhart’s one-sided telephone conversations. In retrospect, it was probably the first time I’d heard a genuine American accent other than on the occasional episode of Dallas or Dynasty. The last joke on the Bob Newhart* album was just called “Buttermilk” and was about 20 seconds long and went like this:

“I discovered this afternoon … (pause) … why … (pause) … I don’t like … buttermilk.” (Really long pause for audience laughter) ” … It’s the way the glass looks when you’re through drinking it.”

Lemon and Black Sesame Buttermilk Pound Cake
A quarter cup of seeds give the batter a little crunch.

Read more

Unbelievably Delicious Chocolate Babka

Unbelievably Delicious Chocolate Babka

Chocolate babka: a sweet bread treat made with enriched dough and layered with chocolate – a weekend project you’ll be glad you made.

Greetings, Easter (and Passover***) bunnies!

***This babka is leavened and therefore not suitable for Passover, if your family, unlike ours, cares about such things. Read Matt’s full, sincere and amusing apology at the bottom of the post.

It may have slipped out in the course of this blog that one of us is Jewish, and the other of us is English. These are not, frankly, genres that strike awe into the hearts of home chefs (although Nigella Lawson does pretty well for herself) . When our best friends in town got married, they catered the reception with dishes from Italy (his family heritage), and soul food from New Orleans (hers). It was awesome. A Jewish-British catered wedding? Maybe not so much.

An Easter/(not)Passover*** dessert option, though? Now you’re talking.

Unbelievably Delicious Chocolate Babka
This Babka is filled with rich, dark chocolate with just a hint of cinnamon.

Read more

Coconut Key Lime Cupcakes

Coconut Key Lime Cupcakes

These coconut key lime cupcakes titillate your tastebuds with light, tropical flavors and look pretty dang party, too.

It’s hard for me to believe but it’s true; today is the 3-year anniversary of Nerds with Knives. I know we act immature, but we are, in fact, toddler-aged. *Throws a cupcake at your head and licks frosting off the floor*

Who would have thought that a blog whose scintillating early posts had titles like “My Kettle” and “In Case You’re Wondering If You Can Boil A Pre-Sliced Ham In Coca Cola. Answer; You Can’t,” would make it 3 whole years. We’re as shocked as you are but somehow we’ve managed to keep this sputtering, mildly out-of-control train on the tracks. Yeah, us!

But really all thanks go to you, our readers, who we love and adore. If it wasn’t for your positive feedback, I’m sure we would have given up ages ago and would most likely have picked up some other, less respectable hobby. Like knitting. Or taxidermy.

Key Lime Cupcakes

Read more

Easy Candied Pecans

Candied Pecans We made these candied pecans to top our Bourbon-Pumpkin Mousse Pie but luckily I made double the recipe because they are delicious. They’d be great in a fall salad, or sprinkled over Butterscotch Pudding, or just as a snack. They’d be delicious served with blue cheese along with sliced apples and pears.

Bourbon Pumpkin-Mousse Pie with Candied Pecans
Bourbon Pumpkin-Mousse Pie with Candied Pecans

Read more

Bourbon Pumpkin Mousse Tart with Candied Pecans

A pumpkin tart covered in meringue cones

Bourbon Pumpkin Mousse Pie with Candied Pecans

Light and airy pumpkin mousse, with a good splash of bourbon, in a rich chocolate cookie shell topped with whipped cream swirls and crunchy candied pecans. Yeah, you need to make this. 

Wotcha! Very occasionally we at Nerd HQ rifle back through the posts of this blog and try to find ingredients which haven’t been well-represented. It being autumn, and almost Thanksgiving and all that, we thought – heck it, let’s do pumpkin. It’s been a while, right? And then we looked back through the archives and realized we’d actually never done anything bloggable with pumpkin. (I don’t mean “unbloggable” like we’d done weird, private things with pumpkins, you nutter. I just mean we hadn’t cooked anything and photographed it.)

Bourbon Pumpkin Mousse Pie with Candied Pecans

Read more

Blueberry, Oat and Almond Crumb Bars

These blueberry crumb bars with oats and almonds are a perfect bake sale recipe and our favorite way to use up summer blueberries.

Blueberry, Oat and Almond Crumb Bars

A few years ago while we still lived in Brooklyn, Matt and I belonged to a CSA. If you’re not familiar with it, CSA stands for ‘community supported agriculture’. The gist of it is that you pay in advance for a ‘share’ of what the farm produces.

It helps the farmers because they get money in advance so they can better finance their year, and the customer gets a weekly (or bi-weekly) supply of the freshest, just-off-the-farm produce.

Of course, by investing in the farm’s potential, you also share some of the risks. If there’s a flood, or a blight, or a generally low yield of crop that season, you might not get as many tomatoes as you’d like and you just have to channel your inner hippie and roll with it, man. What’s more likely though, is that you’ll end up with way more of a certain fruit or vegetable than you know what to do with. And that’s when you have to get creative.
Blueberry, Oat and Almond Crumb Bars

There was one week during our CSA that we received more blueberries than I had ever seen in my life outside of a grocery store. It was a huge box of them. We had them on yogurt and on cereal. I made blueberry syrup. Matt made a crumble. And still we had more. And then I made Blueberry Oat Bars with the rest and kicked myself for not making them sooner because they were the best thing ever. They’re not so sweet that you’d feel guilty having one for breakfast but they have that crunchy, nutty topping that is such a treat.

Read more

Are you excited?Your FREE Dutch Oven guide is just an email away!

Get our free guide to Dutch Ovens - Five Reasons Why the Dutch Oven is the Number One Pot in Our Kitchen!

Contains expert tips, techniques and recipes to help you make the most of your Dutch oven. Written by us, Matt and Emily. 

(We promise not to share your information.)

Want more hot dishes?Get regular recipes and articles sent straight to your inbox

We'll send you regular recipes as soon as they're published!