In 1941 Gourmet magazine was founded as “The Magazine of Good Living,” a first-of-its-kind publication that brought European food and culture to the American masses. For nearly 70 years the magazine flourished, grew, and shifted with the times as only the most graceful of grand dames can. Gourmet started out with a French-centric worldview, but as the times changed and the world became more accessible to more people, the magazine began to include travel articles and restaurant reviews from all over Europe—and later from the entire world. Even if we couldn’t actually visit the locations that were beautifully chronicled in the magazine’s pages, we could at least participate in the escapist fantasy they provided. The recipes, which were not always meant to be reproduced at home, got out of hand at times, but the magazine always managed to have something for everyone: reader-submitted recipes from home cooks’ recipes boxes, reader-requested recipes from the great restaurants of the world, and the “Quick Kitchen” section, where we all looked for weeknight inspiration. And the intellectual content transformed from memoir and musings on scallop cookery to “Politics of the Plate,” a regular feature confronting contemporary food politics.
So when the magazine publisher Condé Nast announced last week that Gourmet was folding, the magazine's many fans, not to mention its many employees, reeled backwards at the loss. The rationales have been widely discussed and dissected, but whatever the reasons, in the end we've lost one of the great culinary inspirations of our time.
Dessert usually ends the meal, so here are 5 sweet recipes from The Gourmet Cookbook by Ruth Reichl.
1. Key Lime Cheesecake with Mango Ribbons The editors of Gourmet recommend using fresh key limes in this recipe, but if none are available they suggest using Manhattan brand bottled key lime juice.
2. Rhubarb Roulade This powdered sugar-dusted pink-and-white pinwheel is a classically beautiful Gourmet dessert.
3. Tiny Chocolate Chip Cookies What’s better than a chocolate chip cookie? Lots of chocolate chip cookies! These ones are, as the title points out, tiny, so you don’t have to feel bad about eating a bunch of them.
4. Devil's Food Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream Ruth says, “The flavor of this rich chocolate cake is terrific the day it's baked but becomes even deeper over time; we suggest making it at least one day ahead. And it works particularly well as cupcakes.”
5. Black and White Cookies These dramatically double-frosted cakelike cookies are a New York favorite.
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