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What are you baking these days? Part VII [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 )

And here we go with the seventh chapter of our shared baking endeavor - presumably even more baking will get done since the weather is turning just that bit cooler, at least in these environs. So - what's got your ovens stoked?

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  1. I was going to bake muffins yesterday, but I forgot I had chocolate chip cookie dough in the fridge!

    So I baked that instead. I'll get around to some muffins when the cookies are gone.

    Which may not be as far away as I thought. I just walked into the kitchen to check on getting something together for dinner and discovered that the cookies are half-gone already.

    Apparently the chilluns done been snackin'. LOL!

    2 Replies
    1. re: ZenSojourner

      "Apparently the chilluns done been snackin'."

      Every time I see that line it makes me smile. You obviously love the chilluns !

      1. re: souschef

        Right now the chilluns are my son and his roommate. My son is obviously too dignified to compliment my cooking (though it's been surprised out of him a few times lately, particularly when I made him some tofu stir fry), but his roommate has no such reservations. She's more than happy to encourage me! LOL!

        They polished them off a couple of days ago. Today I made French Onion Soup (or am making anyway) and I'll be making banana muffins to use up the ripe bananas in the kitchen.

        I think peanut butter cookies will be next, when the muffins are all gone.

    2. i never got around to baking for the birthday at work last week because she went on vacation. before she left i asked her what she loves, and she said chocolate, and anything lemon. so tomorrow it's the dark chocolate ganache tart with fig compote, and lemon bars with a gluten-free almond & coconut flour crust. i'm toying with the idea of trying a vegan filling instead of the standard egg custard - i picked up some fresh agar powder just in case...

      7 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        I'd be interested to hear how that works out, if you decide to go with the agar. I love agar-set things.

          1. re: buttertart

            wanted to let you know how it went...i used the filling recipe from Veganomicon as a starting point (with my own crust), and made a couple of minor changes to it - a combination of coconut palm sugar & raw cane sugar instead of granulated sugar; and i added about 50% more lemon zest than it called for. here's the original recipe:
            http://www.wasabimon.com/archive/isas...

            i really wasn't crazy about the results - the lemon flavor was too muted even with the extra zest, and the texture pretty much screams GELATIN. i think i can probably fix that by adding more almond milk for a creamier, more custard-like feel, but this first attempt definitely wasn't a success.

            at least my crust was good!

            i accidentally mixed up too much agar solution so i stashed it in the fridge in a glass jar, and i think tomorrow i'm going to play around with it and use some matcha powder to make green tea kanten.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              I love those agar jellies. How about matcha mitsumame?
              It does seem difficult to get really lemony lemon flavor in things.

              1. re: buttertart

                do you mean anmitsu? i was trying to avoid having to pick up another ingredient - the adzuki bean paste ;) i may do it anyway though!

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  http://traditionaljapaneseflavours.bl...
                  Mitsumame (I love saying the word). Garnish includes sweetened adzuki beans - brainwave - would be good with bits of candied chestnut, I should think.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    gotcha - i was under the impression that mitsumame was just another name for agar/kanten jelly. i was planning to enjoy/serve it with some incarnation of fruit anyway, so there you go! but i'll be using fresh fruit to make the garnish. no canned fruit cocktail for me ;)

        1. Hi, new poster on this thread but a keen baker. Don't do as much as I'd like as I'm also a keen eater of the results and don't have much willpower.

          Last night I made the chocolate fudge cake from Ottolenghi. What a fabulous dessert! It's different from other flourless chocolate cakes I've made, as one third of the batter is held back then added part the way through the baking which results in a creamier mousse topping on the cake. I managed to not read the instructions properly and added the last third of batter onto the hot cake, rather than letting it completely cool down and it was still fantastic. Next time I'll do it properly and I'm sure it will be even more delicious. Great flavor, wonderful texture, has gone to the top of my chocolate cakes list.

          11 Replies
          1. re: JaneEYB

            I was just looking at this recipe tonight, sounds great. I will have to try it! Is the taste actually fudgy or is it that grown up dark chocolate flavour?

            1. re: kookiegoddess

              I would say it's definitely a grown up chocolate flavor. You use a mix of 52% cocoa chocolate (the majority) and 70% which gives a deep chocolate flavor. The cake is dense rather than fudgy. I'd be interested to know what you think when you make it.

            2. re: JaneEYB

              Is there a link to the recipe? I've started a gluten-free diet so anything without flour is right up my alley. ;>

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  OMG! That looks beyond decadent! Thanks so much for the link.

                  I love the flavor of muscovado sugar but I've found it hard to find in the last year.

                  1. re: rainey

                    That blog posting in the link doesn't replicate the recipe as it is in the book. If you want to make it exactly as Ottolenghi suggests then the chocolate should be a mix of 265g 52% cocoa solids dark chocolate and 95g 70%. When I made the cake I was in Vermont and our local stores there didn't have those types so I compromised and made it with 60% Ghirardelli chocolate chips. It was still delicious so I'm not saying it won't work the way she has blogged, just that using all 70% will result in a different cake than Ottolenghi developed.

                    1. re: JaneEYB

                      Thanks. I've corrected my recipe database for that and the correct Celsius to Farenheit temperature.

                      1. re: rainey

                        I have baked my entire life with ovens with dial temperature settings. A few degrees here or there really don't matter that much. You have to watch things and take them out as soon as they smell/feel right.

              1. re: JaneEYB

                Tell me, when you convert from F to C are you using 325˚ or 350˚? Any tips on adjusting the baking times accordingly? How frustrating that 170˚C is right in the middle. grrrr

                I find a scale so easy for metric recipes -- no conversion necessary. Yay! Wish ovens had the same switch from F to C. Why hasn't someone added that feature?!

                1. re: rainey

                  I have to do a lot of oven conversions as half my cookbooks are British but I now live in the US. You would think I would therefore be able to remember the C/F equivalents but somehow never seem to be able to. I have neat little converter on my iPhone called Convert that does anything you might ever need to convert (incl. currencies) and that says 170C would be 338F so I would set the oven to 340F. I don't think 2 degrees is going to matter given how much everyone's ovens differ anyway.

                  1. re: JaneEYB

                    Thanks for you help.

                    Tell you how stoopid I am: I get so annoyed that my Wolf doesn't have digital controls and I have to cycle through temps, 5˚ at a time and I'm so fixated on recipes being written in 25˚ increments, it never occurred to me until you wrote 340˚ that I can set the Wolf to 338˚. (Imagine me smacking myself in the head ;> )

                    For that matter, I just checked the KA with digital controls and I can set that to 338˚ too!

                    I think you just knocked loose my Celsius/Farenheit OCD! ;>

              2. Thanks, Buttertart, for watching over these proceedings.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mnosyne

                  My pleasure, truly. So fun to see all of the contributions and participate in the discussions.

                2. I made my favourite CCC recipe but replaced some of the sugar with malted milk powder. Made the dough to use up some milk chocolate chips I was given (b/c Pioneer woman recommended malted cookies with milk rather than semi sweet chocolate) but it turns out I prefer dark chocolate every time. Luckily I halved the dough and only added milk chocolate to one half! My husband took some to work and one of his coworkers called them adorable (he's french)., Gotta love that!

                  The malt flavour doesn't exactly sing out, but it does make the cookies nice and chewy - and they stay chewy in the jar too.

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: kookiegoddess

                    I always find milk choc of whatever variety (and I've used everything from Hershey to Callebaut and Lindt) tastes weird in baking. The malt is a good idea - Carnation or what?

                    1. re: buttertart

                      You can now get milk chocolate with cocoa content as high as 45%. I know that Felchlin makes it, and Scharffenberger too, if they are still around. There was a discussion on it's availability (SB) on the Quebec board about a year ago.

                      1. re: souschef

                        I've used high cocoa milk chocs too - have you had success w it in baking?

                        1. re: buttertart

                          I don't like milk chocolate, so I don't use it in baking, except in one recipe in gianduja form, where it is combined with dark chocolate and cream and used as a glaze.

                            1. re: buttertart

                              I posted the recipe here in one of the (perhaps your) threads. It's the one where you simmer dried figs in cognac, and combine them with chocolate and hazelnuts and butter and eggs, etc.

                              1. re: souschef

                                Oh yes. I must hunt that up. Still didn't make myself a birthday cake.

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  Track down that recipe and make it as your birthday cake; you will not regret it. It is, hands down, my favourite chocolate cake. BUT, it absolutely HAS to be eaten at room temperature.

                                  Make sure you use Callebaut in the glaze (66% cocoa). The last time I made it I used Felchlin (can't remember which one) and the glaze was a bit too thick to work.

                                  I usually increase the ingredients by 50% and use a 9-1/2 inch pan. Just remembered that I have a picture, taken 8 years ago, which I am attaching.

                                   
                                    1. re: souschef

                                      Now there's a cake with my name on it.... ;)

                        2. re: buttertart

                          I'm in england and I used ovaltine. But, I think it would be interesting to try making CCCs by removing say, 2 tbs of white sugar and adding 2 tbs of malt syrup, which I can get at a healthfood store - might give a better malt flavour and also add that same chewiness no? Will try it when I'm a bit less busy.

                          Milk choc with high cocoa content - in my head it would be a waste to make cookies with milk chocolate again in any form. You just need that fruity hit from the dark chocolate.

                        3. re: kookiegoddess

                          Ah--you tried those PW cookies too. They seemed to me to be just an awfully-sweet version of basic CCC's. The malted milk has lots of sugar as an ingredient.

                          I wasn't a fan of how flat they came out with all the PW signature extra butter--so will cut the sugar back and use regular amounts of butter when I make reg CCC's, but add more malt powder. I didn't find them very malt-y either. Certainly not anything like a malted milk drink.