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What are you baking these days? Part XIII/13 1/2/11 [old]

Happy New Year, everybody!
New year, new cookbooks, new recipes? Or old faithful favorites?
Let's bake and share ideas once again.

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  1. I have several new cookbooks to test out, including Flour and Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy. Can't wait!

    Yesterday, Jan. 1, I baked parmesan popovers, a roasted potato ring (sliced potatoes lined up in a round cake pan, basted with butter every so often), and a chocolate souffle (Dorie's recipe ... yum.)

    6 Replies
    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

      I received "Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy" as well. What's the first recipe you're going to make from it? I'm tempted by the ginger cookies.

      1. re: NYCkaren

        I am tempted by the ginger cookies, too, especially after a couple of people here have raved about them.

        1. re: NYCkaren

          I have made the ginger cookies several times. The first time I made them, the DH said that they were the best cookies I have ever made -- which is saying a lot since I make a lot of cookies! I did not use the fresh ginger, however, since I was initially making them for my son's class. Also, the second time I made them, I made them with the ginger chips from KAF, which I did not think produced as distinct a ginger blast as from the crystalized ginger I had used from The Ginger People, which were larger chips. It's a great recipe.

          Chocolatechipk - what do you think of Flour?

          1. re: roxlet

            You know what? I made these (with the fresh ginger) and don't like them as well as my MIL's. They rose and crackled in the oven but stayed domed. Don't know what I did wrong since they are supposed to flatten, I believe.

            1. re: buttertart

              Yes, mine flattened. That's strange. How was the taste with the fresh ginger? I've yet to make them that way though I have baked these about 4 times...

              1. re: roxlet

                Didn't make much of an impact. Maybe that was what kept them from flattening? Some PH issue??? I weighed the ingredients so don't think it was due to my normally slipshod methods. Dough was firmer than I expected given her saying it would be soft. Hmm.

      2. New cookbooks? We don't need no new cookbooks. I already have a large number of them; so large that they are almost one-tenth of the number that Buttertart has :)

        1 Reply
        1. Yesterday I made modified French bread with old dough (from Peter Reinhart's Crust and Crumb, still my favorite of his books) (used 4 oz of ww flour to 20 oz of unbleached ap) and the mixed nut tart from the new Bon Appétit cookbook - calls for 2 cups of mixed nuts, I used pecans, sliced almonds, slivered almonds, walnuts, and pistachios. Good for using up odd bits. The crust is very tender (I had to ball it up and rechill it because it was falling to shreds, and ended up rolling it out a 3rd time, who knows what it will be like) and the method a bit fiddly (you boil cream with brown and white sugar and honey, and be sure to use a BIG saucepan, had a boilover) but it made a gorgeous tart. Haven't tried it yet, was too full from dinner last night. Will try it and post a pic tonight.

          7 Replies
          1. re: buttertart

            May be fiddly, but cream boiled with those sugars and honey? Can't be anything but wonderful, in my book. We went to a dinner party once when the dessert was "Cream Tart": the filling was just cream boiled w/brown and white sugars; baked in a nut crust, but nothing else in the filling. It was OMG delicious. (I remember the host telling me later she'd forgotten about the raspberries--would have been good, but nobody missed them.)

            1. re: nomadchowwoman

              cream with sugar and baked in a crust would be Sugar Cream Pie in the upper Midwest.

              (and oh yeah, it's GOOD)

              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                nmcw - That does sound fab. This is terrific but not exactly post-holiday fare. As if I cared, which I don't!
                sunshine842 - Specifically Indiana, no? I've never heard it mentioned other than by a woman I used to know who was from Bloomington. Not served in Iowa to the best of my knowledge (husband's family's state).

                1. re: buttertart

                  Northeastern Indiana and Northwestern Ohio, as close as I can tell...

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    Oh right, she wasn't from Bloomington, she had gone to IU but was from a farm town south of Gary.

              2. re: buttertart

                We're now 1/2 through this tart - had a quarter of it out on the counter since I made it and ate some yesterday. Still perfectly good (I think because it's more candy than tart). The rest is residing in the freezer.

                1. this week is a Galette du Rois (King's Cake) -- two layers of puff pastry with a layer of frangipane in between...glazed with egg yolk and baked until golden.

                  It's the traditional fare for Epiphany here in France -- they're EVERYWHERE, and popular all month long.

                  (sometimes instead of frangipane, you'll also find apple compote, raspberry compote, chocolate, Nutella, or if you're lucky, some combination of two or more of the above!)

                  26 Replies
                  1. re: sunshine842

                    They were selling these at a nearby artisan bread bakery called La Farm.. run by a french master baker.

                    I tried my hand at bagels this past weekend. I think I missed adding some malt barley syrup to the boil to get them a bit darker. Tasted fine just seemed a little underbaked.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Looking at your post took me back to a thread I started on pithiviers a couple of years ago, and in that thread Chowhound Maria Lorraine had this to say (permalink included):

                      "Pithiviers is often described as Galette des Rois
                      and vice-versa. They look very much alike. The defining difference is that the Pithiviers
                      has a filling, and the Galette does not, or so Dorie Greenspan and a number of posts
                      on eGullet say. The Galette is not scored but sometimes is given height and decorated
                      to look like a king's (rois) crown, but that isn't the defining difference. "

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5616...

                      i.e. according to her the Galette des Rois has no filling, whereas you say it does. Curious, but I'm sure it all tastes great.

                      Note to Buttertart: you really should make the sweetbreads in pithiviers, as I posted at the bottom of that thread.

                      1. re: souschef

                        Were there world enough and time. One of these days. Was in Paris for the 6th last year (sigh, do I have to keep reminding myself) and the galettes in the shop windows looked to be filled. Pithiviers were the specialty of the eponymous originally, I suppose?

                        1. re: souschef

                          If that's all true, then every purveyor of food in France is wrong (which I somehow doubt), as there are tens of thousands of them lined up on tables and shelves across the country, all scored and filled and clearly labeled Galette des Rois. (even gas stations get into the act in January)

                          If you google "recette galette des rois" you get tens of thousands of recipes for fillings baked between two sheets of puff pastry (pate a feuillete) and scored.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            I just googled "galette des rois", and the French Wikipedia indicated that it is a plain round of baked puff pastry that is eaten with jam, but that it may also contain frangipane.

                            I found some pictures that showed the top decorated in a cross-cross pattern, but then one showed the top decorated in arcs, identical to the picture of the pithiviers that I made. So I guess the difference between Galette des Rois and Pithiviers is what time of year you eat it.

                            1. re: souschef

                              A Galette is always sweet, and always contains a 'feve', the little plastic or ceramic figurine that decides the King or Queen for the day (just like the baby in a New Orleans King Cake) -- and is only sold during the Epiphany season (which in reality encompasses about mid-December until about February).

                              A Pithiviers can be sweet or savoury, doesn't contain the feve, and is sold all year long.

                              This time of year, though, it's very rare to find a Pithivier.

                              and here's Dorie Greenspan's presentation of the term:
                              http://doriegreenspan.com/2008/01/bak...

                              and a recipe here:

                              http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

                              1. re: souschef

                                How about in la belle province, mon vieux? Ca se mange la-bas? I don't remember seeing them in Québec myself.

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  I can't speak as to Canada -- never been there in the winter.

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    I haven't checked the shops in Montreal. I tend to not buy pastries or cakes, preferring to make them myself, so I don't go out of my way to visit bake shops. I find that most places make their stuff too sweet. I will ask my favourite chocolatier if she has seen them.

                                    1. re: souschef

                                      I'm like that too, except in Paris, and only for certain things. I find a lot of the patisserie looks much better than it tastes.

                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        unfortunately, that can be true far too often.

                                        One exception -- the religeuse -- my son tried a chocolate one not long after we moved, and told me between mouthfuls that he knew why it got its name. When I asked, he replied "because the first thing that went through my mind when I tasted this was Oh. My. God."

                                        Made me laugh long and hard.

                                          1. re: buttertart

                                            I'm still trying to figure out why milles feuilles is called Napoleon in North America.

                                              1. re: souschef

                                                Because they couldn't call it Beef Wellington! (Woody Allen, Love and Death)

                                                1. re: souschef

                                                  I only learned Napoleon in my 20s, til then it was always Milles Feuille.

                                                  1. re: maplesugar

                                                    Interesting, I grew up in London, Ont., and they were definitely called Napoleons there even in the Dark Ages.

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      Could be a French Canadian thing - I grew up in Eastern Ontario - closer to Montreal/Ottawa/Hull and went to school in Lennoxville. It wasn't til I moved west - and started reading more pastry books that I learned Napoleon.

                                                      1. re: maplesugar

                                                        It's not a French-Canadian thing. I saw it in California too.

                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                          Yes, they are definitely known as Napoleons in California (and elsewhere in the US, too), but I think maplesugar was suggesting that mille feuille is a French Canadian usage, as that is what she was familiar with in Eastern Ontario, near Montreal.

                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                            Which is a very French area as souschef knows very well and a very nice one in general! My part of Ontario (when I was growing up in it) was 85% or more English/Scots/Irish (the rest being Italian and refugees from various countries in Europe), the only French you saw except in school was on packaging, and most people were unilingual English speakers (unless they were from Europe, of course). Not much cottoning to French names for things in those parts at that time.

                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                              You're right, I misinterpreted maplesugar's suggestion. But I googled it, and it appears that they are known as Millefeuilles only in France and Canada.

                                  2. re: sunshine842

                                    Ah, the real King's Cake.
                                    King's Cakes are ubiquitous here between Xmas and Mardi Gras, at every party, in every office, piled high in every supermarket, but they've evolved into a very bad interpretation of the traditional French cake. A few places try to sell a version of what you describe, but most people go for the gaudily-iced ring of what is almost always mediocre yeast dough, laced w/cinnamon or filled w/fruit or cream cheese.

                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                      that's the sad part -- they can be so good, but usually they're just there.

                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                        Used to get one from a vendor in NOLA every year, not terrific. I bet a homemade one can be, though.

                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          and they're cheap and easy (as are galettes des rois) -- and the homemade ones can be outrageous. I used to have a recipe (heaven only knows where I filed it!) that had a cream cheese filling -- it was delicious, despite the obnoxious colored sugar.

                                          And homemade galette is so ridiculously simple to make (especially if you use pre-made pastry -- the stuff I buy here is made with butter) -- it's a half a step more complicated than a peanut butter sandwich!

                                    2. Here's the Bon Appétit mixed nut tart - it is SO RICH I think it would be better as a square/bar cookie and cut small. An 11" tart is supposed to serve 12 and 1/16 of it is enough to knock you over.
                                      Am not impressed with my bread this week, quite heavy and dense in comparison with the sloppy no-knead version I've been doing. Good for toast but that's about it.

                                       
                                      13 Replies
                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        is that from the Spain issue about 10 years ago? I'm going to have to bronze that issue -- it was *packed* with great recipes...the flan in that one is a showstopper.

                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                          Maybe, it was in the new Bon Appétit Desserts book, hadn't noticed it before. (That book comes with a subscription offer so since I got it for $11.99 on the Good Cook Club sale I'm up $3.00 on the deal!)

                                          1. re: buttertart

                                            I considered that book but it looks so huge and I am not really a fan of Bon Appetit. In your opinion, now that you have it, is it worth owning?

                                            1. re: roxlet

                                              It has some nice stuff in it, but I wouldn't pay more than what I did for it. Bon Appétit isn't one of my favorites either (although it has improved slightly since Gourmet's demise). The recipes suffer from the everything and the kitchen sink problem to some extent (trendy ingredients, especially).

                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                  It's my favorite food magazine now, Fine Cooking is quite good too but I like the travel articles and the general tenor/editorial slant of Saveur. I didn't like it at all when it first came out, only started subscribing about 5 yrs ago.

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    Yeah I just picked up the last two (one with a Trifle on front) and the 101 (or 100) and liked the articles.. especially about the deli.

                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                        Me, too (though I've loved it from the start). I just plucked the latest issue (the 100, my favorite issue) out of my mailbox and can't wait for a stretch of uninterrupted time so I can curl up and start drooling.

                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                          I'l have to pick up a copy of Saveur....

                                                          Got these two recipes from a coworker over the weekend. Along with her recipe for Italian Chicken and Vegetable soup I’ll make both these baked goods today and I'll make the soup too..
                                                          http://www.ehow.com/how_5145773_make-...
                                                          http://www.ehow.com/how_5145773_make-...

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            i really like Fine Cooking also., And I really miss Gourmet!

                                                2. re: buttertart

                                                  Would you mind sharing the no knead you have been doing? I tried my first no knead this week (Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day...the "Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread" recipe, and was disappointed...it was more dense inside and crustier outside than I would have liked sandwich bread to be....and thoughts?
                                                  And your tart looks gorgeous!