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What are you baking these days? Part IV [old]

(Note: There's a newer "What are you baking these days?" thread started. If you have a question or comment about something below, please go ahead and post it. But if you want to add a new thing you're baking to the list, please find the newest thread from this list: http://www.chow.com/search?query=&amp... -- The Chowhound Team )

Since we were almost to the magic 200-post mark, thought we could do with a new thread. Despite the heat on the Eastern Seaboard, we bakers are still baking up a storm. How about you in your "little corners of the world" as our great-aunt used to say?

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  1. Hey fellow bakeaholics, let's get going on this thread, shall we?
    If I get ambitious tonight I have that dreamy-sounding Caroline1 recipe burning a hole in my pocket...didn't do it over the weekend because dinner guests are of the if it ain't chocolate it ain't dessert mindset...

    8 Replies
    1. re: buttertart

      If you're talking about the Armenian cake, it's delicious! My husband is part Armenian and I thought it would be a nice treat for Father's Day. After a quick search online, I found similar recipes that include walnuts, pecans or cinnamon.

      1. re: robyn76

        That's it, this weekend for sure. Armenian cake or bust!

          1. re: geminigirl

            Caroline1's recipe can be found over here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7140... (thanks maplesugar)

        1. re: buttertart

          Made Caroline1's cake - dreamy and quite unusual - I put walnuts in with the crumbs (chopped them fine in the flour, did the crumb mixture in the FP) because himself is not overfond of caramel/brown sugar but loves walnuts, and I didn't want to have to eat the whole thing myself or see it go to waste (or waist, in the first scenario). Made me wonder if it was originally intended as a simulacrum of a cake made with katayifi (shredded phyllo dough) before its general availability in the States - there's a Turkish dessert with katyifi that's served warm and has an unsweetened cheese filling.

          1. re: buttertart

            The Turkish dessert - is it "Ekmek Kataifi"? I had one in Montreal made with custard, Chantilly, and walnuts, and it was amazing.

            1. re: souschef

              Ekmek is cream I think, this is cheese, like supermarket mozzarella, melted between the layers of katayifi. The salt and sweet is nice.

        2. Well, I made the animal "cracker" recipe off the Williams Sonoma animal cracker-cookie cutter box. I was hoping they'd be somewhat similar to real animal crackers, but they were just sugar cookies. Disappointing.

          1. Alice Medrich's melting chocolate meringue tarts and RLB's Bernachon parfait au chocolat for you doubting Thomas (you know who you are)...

             
            12 Replies
            1. re: buttertart

              lovely - delicate - ethereal. do I dare?

              1. re: Cynsa

                Simple, really. The only fussy bit is getting the dough into the tart tins (muffin cups).

              2. re: buttertart

                oh they look delicious and light, explain the little parfait of chocolate? What is this like?
                Thank you for the photo!!! It's wonderful, believe me when I tell you, I have no idea what a chocolate meringue is. For years I've hated sweets, hence I never really baked much other than birthday cakes, cookies a few appetizers that involved cream cheese pastry, and now..well I want to learn all of it. I've been doing breads, pizza now for a few years, cookies, sweet breads, muffins and light weight things.

                Can you bake the meringue tarts, and fill them with the parfait?

                1. re: chef chicklet

                  The parfait is an egg yolk enriched frozen chocolate ganache, not baked. You put 6 oz chopped dark chocolate in the food processor, get it as fine as possible, and add 2/3 cup heavy cream that's been heated to boiling. Let it rip until the choc is melted, then add 2 egg yolks (the tarts called for 2 egg whites so it pleased my little parsimonious heart to use the yolks up this way). I added a tsp of vanilla and a shake of salt. You let this cool in a medium bowl until a bit thickened (I let it sit about 2 hrs), then fold in another 2/3 cup of heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks. Freeze at least 3 hrs in ramequins (I've had mine, in pic, since we got married) or other small dishes of around 6 oz capacity. You can add a tsp or so of Kahlua or other booze and it will apparently freeze a bit softer per the recipe, I didn't, it was firm but very nice indeed.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    I think I got it, in my mind I was thinking the two recipes go together for one dessert. Guess I dreaming chocolate cream pie taken to the top level. This all sounds so good. I'm saving your recipe and instructions, What a lovely dessert!

                    1. re: chef chicklet

                      PS there were 2 parfaits left and I had one last night. They hold up perfectly in the freezer.

                2. re: buttertart

                  Yum! Very nice! Recipes from my two favourite bakers presented together. Sounds like a great combination.

                  What type of chocolate did you use (% cocoa)? I like to use a maximum of about 70%; any more and it is a bit too bitter for me.

                  BTW did you get the Hermé book on chocolate desserts?

                  1. re: souschef

                    This was dark chocolate from Croatia I got at a store selling eastern European foodstuffs, around 60% I'd say. The friend I was making these for likes chocolate that's not too dark (milk preferably, no chocolatier than a chocolate chip), so I figured I'd use this one. Medrich gives varying amounts per percentage in the tart recipe (which I will post if people want it, I just don't have it by heart).

                    1. re: souschef

                      Hey souschef, earthquake near you? All OK??? Weird!!!
                      (Hermé, not yet.)

                      1. re: buttertart

                        Hey buttertart, thanks for your concern. I missed the quake (epicenter in Gatineau) as I was on the road, driving to Toronto for a reunion Thursday and Saturday. No wonderful meals envisioned, except perhaps one in Niagara-on-the-Lake on Friday.

                        Sorry for the thread hijack.

                    2. re: buttertart

                      NIZIA! What'samatta, couldn't get Liam to pose? ;) No doubt here!!!

                      1. re: kattyeyes

                        Liam was preoccupied with his other important kitty business pursuits at the time. Also not much on desserts.

                    3. I found this article called "The Science of Cake" by Andy Connelly in the Guardian UK. His descriptions were so lovely, I decided to try the classic English pound cake. It is terrific: buttery and beautifully crumbed. I finished it with a caramel (butter, sugar, cream) glaze.

                      http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blo...

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: mnosyne

                        Nice article, I like the way the process is described, with tastes.

                        1. re: buttertart

                          Yes, nice article, but butter or (gasp!!) margarine ! Perish the thought. Also, I didn't think anyone used self-raising flour anymore.

                          1. re: souschef

                            They do in the UK and in the southern US (odd British Isles carryover in some southern cooking). The margarine lept out at me. I once as a (broke) student tried making shortbread with margarine, better no cookies than those cookies. (My mom used it quite a lot, in things she thought had enough flavor to make its use undiscernable. Shortbread was not one of those things.)

                      2. Apple pie

                        Cherry rustic pie

                        Black forest cake

                        Something pumpkin puree (since I opened the can for my cats)
                        Something blueberry maybe since I got some on hand

                        Got a few things lined up..

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: BamiaWruz

                          Strawberry shortcake. Living in northern Ontario - the berries are just coming into season......Yummy - yummy - yummy. I use bisquit - and because DH like the berries mashed - I mash them - I would rather have them jut sliced. Also made 2 bathches of jam (so far)...going to make a couple of more batches to give away to my sons.

                          1. re: eaglelake

                            I bet those strawberries are wonderful, I'm from London (Ont) originally and have never had ones to match them in the States. And your wild blueberries are beyond compare, my dad used to have his niece send them to London when they were in.

                            1. re: buttertart

                              Buttertart (WBTW) - is SOOOOOO Canadian - I make mine with real local maple syrup. The strawberries are sooooo sweet - and delicious. The wild blueberries are just coming to ripe - right now...I guess it will be blueberry desserts next week. Summer is so great in Canada.

                              1. re: eaglelake

                                I chose my screen name in honor of my mom who was was the very best butter tart baker ever. Not that I don't expect yours are sublime too!