Apple-Cornmeal Cake: A Reason To Celebrate


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A dear friend recently asked me what my ideal birthday cake would be.

My immediate answer was a pure pipe dream (in the U.S. anyhow) — a durian cream cake in which the sliver of cream wedged between two layers of pound cake is flecked with hefty chunks of creamy durian, a pungent, Southeast Asian fruit that’s hard to find in New York.

Now, if I can’t have durian cake, my second choice would be a vanilla cake coated with a creamy guava or passionfruit icing.

I know, I know.

I have been told I can be hard to please.

Having no durians, passionfruit or guava at hand, however, I set about making myself one of my absolute favorite fall cakes — an apple-cornmeal upside down cake that is so simple and can be assembled so quickly that I’ve set it out for more Thanksgiving and autumn meals than I can count. 

In fact, it’s what first came to mind when my Let’s Lunch group, a bunch of intrepid cooks around the world who have a standing monthly lunch date, decided to do a fall dessert for November.

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Orgo: Mile High Martinis


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I have been known to enjoy a cocktail now and then.

My requirements for boites, they’re generally basic — a clean seat, a friendly-bordering-on-flirty bartender and a decent wine list are all I need to be golden.

A fabulous view, however, now that’s a quality that never fails to keep me coming back. And in Singapore, I recently discovered a boite with an exquisite one: Orgo, a calculatedly hip restaurant and bar that’s perched atop the waterfront Esplanade arts center and has a sweeping view of the city skyline.

Now, as far as my three basic needs go, this place meets one — the seats were clean. 

The staff, it was perfectly perfunctory, if a little drowsed and unhurried. (Particularly unforgiveable given the place was almost empty on the nights we were there.) And the wine list — well, by the glass, you have two options: House white and house red.

But, what can I say? I’m a sucker for a bar with a view.

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