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Chocolate Cupcakes, Done Just Right, at Ciao for Now

Chocolate cupcakes at Ciao for Now in the East Village are something special, intensely chocolaty but not too sweet, says curranthound, who ranks them well ahead of better-known cupcake makers Magnolia and Billy’s. ... READ MORE

New Bakery Pastry Crawl

Dana B’s pastry crawl through eight of the city’s new (less than a year old) bakeries yielded a few top picks… READ MORE

An Evolutionary Leap in SFV Banh Mi

Sandwich Express is a big step up from the existing banh mi places in the Valley, says yclops. Unlike the rest, they bake their own baguettes. ... READ MORE

Unorthodox Route to Perfectly Cooked Steak

Going against the conventional high-heat-is-better school of steak cooking, A Fish Called Wanda experimented with searing, resting, and finishing in a very low oven–and the results were fantastic. “I have finally made a perfect steak,” she exults. ... READ MORE

Olive Oil that Won’t Leave a Stain on your Wallet

Buying expensive single-estate olive oil only makes sense if you’re going to serve it in the raw. For cooking, once you add other flavors, the subtleties of the really fruity oils are lost, advises Texas Toast. So you’ll probably want two oils… READ MORE

Foolproof Halibut

Pan-searing and finishing in the oven is a foolproof way to cook halibut perfectly every time, swears Bostonbob3. Here’s his technique… READ MORE

Spreading Out from Nutella

Nutella is certainly tasty, but it’s laden with peanut oil. For better chocolate-hazelnut spreadss, without the peanut oil, there are several alternatives. ... READ MORE

Bruni Takes It Rare

Why does New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni write so much about burgers on his blog? What national chain’s fast-food burgers does he deign to devour? Adam Kuban of A Hamburger Today gets to the bottom of these and other issues. READ MORE

Your Morning Spray

The Chicago Sun-Times reported today that the mad alchemist of the culinary world, Ferran Adria, has made an, um, improvement on the traditional espresso, rendering it more like a custard than a cuppa. READ MORE

NOVA Wine-Geek Meet-Up (Plus: Eartha “Goes HAL”)

Editor’s note: Jim meets up with his wine-aesthete friends for a memorable meal in Arlington. Dine along with the podcasts! READ MORE