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

buttertart Jan 2, 2011 06:16 AM

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

  1. Chocolatechipkt Jan 2, 2011 07:57 AM

    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
      NYCkaren Jan 2, 2011 08:31 AM

      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
        Caitlin McGrath Jan 2, 2011 10:24 AM

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

        1. re: NYCkaren
          roxlet Jan 2, 2011 06:21 PM

          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
            buttertart Jan 23, 2011 04:58 AM

            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
              roxlet Jan 23, 2011 12:13 PM

              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
                buttertart Jan 23, 2011 03:06 PM

                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. souschef Jan 2, 2011 08:39 AM

        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. re: souschef
          buttertart Jan 2, 2011 03:34 PM

          >weighty sigh< Guilty as charged.

        2. buttertart Jan 3, 2011 04:49 AM

          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
            nomadchowwoman Jan 5, 2011 01:35 PM

            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
              sunshine842 Jan 5, 2011 01:40 PM

              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
                buttertart Jan 6, 2011 05:14 AM

                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
                  sunshine842 Jan 6, 2011 11:03 AM

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

                  1. re: sunshine842
                    buttertart Jan 6, 2011 11:04 AM

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

              2. re: buttertart
                buttertart Jan 18, 2011 10:16 AM

                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. re: buttertart
                  sunflwrsdh Jan 18, 2011 05:55 PM

                  Both sound yummy, Buttertart!

                2. sunshine842 Jan 3, 2011 05:19 AM

                  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
                    burgeoningfoodie Jan 4, 2011 04:56 AM

                    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
                      souschef Jan 4, 2011 11:55 AM

                      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. "


                      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
                        buttertart Jan 4, 2011 12:07 PM

                        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
                          sunshine842 Jan 4, 2011 09:59 PM

                          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
                            souschef Jan 5, 2011 05:09 AM

                            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
                              sunshine842 Jan 5, 2011 05:16 AM

                              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:

                              and a recipe here:


                              1. re: souschef
                                buttertart Jan 5, 2011 05:19 AM

                                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
                                  sunshine842 Jan 5, 2011 06:03 AM

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

                                  1. re: buttertart
                                    souschef Jan 5, 2011 08:04 AM

                                    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
                                      buttertart Jan 5, 2011 08:06 AM

                                      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
                                        sunshine842 Jan 5, 2011 11:19 AM

                                        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: sunshine842
                                          buttertart Jan 5, 2011 11:26 AM


                                          1. re: buttertart
                                            souschef Jan 5, 2011 12:07 PM

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

                                            1. re: souschef
                                              buttertart Jan 5, 2011 12:17 PM

                                              That IS weird, you're right.

                                              1. re: souschef
                                                mnosyne Jan 5, 2011 05:39 PM

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

                                                1. re: souschef
                                                  maplesugar Jan 5, 2011 09:21 PM

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

                                                  1. re: maplesugar
                                                    buttertart Jan 6, 2011 05:20 AM

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

                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                      maplesugar Jan 6, 2011 01:00 PM

                                                      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
                                                        souschef Jan 6, 2011 01:08 PM

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

                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                          Caitlin McGrath Jan 6, 2011 01:54 PM

                                                          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
                                                            buttertart Jan 7, 2011 05:02 AM

                                                            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
                                                              souschef Jan 7, 2011 06:17 AM

                                                              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
                                    nomadchowwoman Jan 5, 2011 01:48 PM

                                    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
                                      sunshine842 Jan 5, 2011 09:03 PM

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

                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                        buttertart Jan 6, 2011 05:18 AM

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

                                        1. re: buttertart
                                          sunshine842 Jan 6, 2011 11:05 AM

                                          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. buttertart Jan 4, 2011 06:15 AM

                                      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
                                        sunshine842 Jan 4, 2011 09:54 AM

                                        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
                                          buttertart Jan 4, 2011 10:05 AM

                                          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
                                            roxlet Jan 4, 2011 10:28 AM

                                            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
                                              buttertart Jan 4, 2011 10:36 AM

                                              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: buttertart
                                                burgeoningfoodie Jan 5, 2011 04:54 AM

                                                How do you like Saveur?

                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                  buttertart Jan 5, 2011 05:10 AM

                                                  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
                                                    burgeoningfoodie Jan 5, 2011 06:17 AM

                                                    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
                                                      roxlet Jan 5, 2011 06:19 AM

                                                      I agree on Saveur.

                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                        nomadchowwoman Jan 5, 2011 02:17 PM

                                                        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
                                                          iL Divo Jan 17, 2011 07:59 AM

                                                          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..

                                                          1. re: iL Divo
                                                            burgeoningfoodie Jan 18, 2011 09:40 AM

                                                            those are the same links.

                                                          2. re: buttertart
                                                            sunflwrsdh Jan 18, 2011 06:02 PM

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

                                                2. re: buttertart
                                                  sunflwrsdh Jan 18, 2011 06:01 PM

                                                  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!

                                                3. roxlet Jan 5, 2011 06:20 AM

                                                  Basic baking morning -- a couple of loaves of cracked wheat bread and some corn muffins. I'm back to needing quick weekday breakfasts for my son.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: roxlet
                                                    buttertart Jan 5, 2011 06:24 AM

                                                    The party's over...at least until the next one!

                                                  2. r
                                                    redwood2bay Jan 5, 2011 11:53 AM

                                                    I tried out the chocolate chip cookie recipe from Baked (is anyone else cooking from this?), which I have out from the library. Not that impressed. The cookies spread more than I thought they would, even after sitting in the fridge 6 hours (first batch) and then 2 days (remainder of batch). Since they were chocolate chips, no one's complaining, but I didn't think the cookie merited the extra time.

                                                    Could be that my baking soda is dead, though. Will have to replace it before I try the peanut butter and milk chocolate cookie recipe. Also baking banana bread for kids' snacks.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: redwood2bay
                                                      roxlet Jan 5, 2011 02:59 PM

                                                      The pumpkin whoopie pies were excellent, although the yield was way off. The recipe made about triple what it said it did. That is the only recipe I've tried.

                                                      1. re: redwood2bay
                                                        maplesugar Jan 5, 2011 09:24 PM

                                                        I just had a look at Baked at the library today. In the foreword they mention the original recipes were commercial batches, but they scaled down and I *thought* said subsequently tested the recipes - maybe they weren't tested as thoroughly as one would hope?

                                                      2. nomadchowwoman Jan 5, 2011 02:02 PM

                                                        Someone may have posted about this before, but I wanted to share. Last month, while I was on the Wilton's site and thinking about ordering some of their Cake Release, I happened upon a comments section where someone had posted a copycat recipe for the CR, and a few other posters had chimed in saying they'd tried it and it was great. Seemed odd that it was on their site, but I said WTH and mixed up a batch, and have used it for all my baking that requires greasing and flouring pans--and yes it works great. Easy, readily available, stays spreadable even stored in the fridge.
                                                        The "recipe": equal parts (1) solid shortening, such as Crisco, (2) vegetable oil, and (3) flour. Whisk until smooth

                                                        13 Replies
                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                          buttertart Jan 6, 2011 05:22 AM

                                                          Wowie...zowie!!! No more $7.00 bottles. Wilton is awfully loosey-goosey with website content, then!

                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                            nomadchowwoman Jan 6, 2011 10:22 AM

                                                            I was rather stunned!

                                                          2. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                            gembellina Jan 26, 2011 07:34 AM

                                                            Good tip! Everything I've baked lately has stuck to the tin but even so I hadn't persuaded myself to spend so much on the real thing. Instead I bought a new silicone loaf tin which I shall use for my dark chocolate and marmalade loaf cake tonight - got to use up the 8 jars of marmalade I made at the weekend!

                                                            1. re: gembellina
                                                              buttertart Jan 26, 2011 04:04 PM

                                                              That sounds like a very nice cake - recipe?

                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                gembellina Jan 30, 2011 06:36 AM

                                                                I've gone for Nigella's store-cupboard chocolate-orange cake, reproduced here:

                                                                It used a whole jar of marmalade, thank goodness!

                                                                it's in the oven now but is looking like a bit of a disaster: my new silicon loaf tin seems to be a bit rubbish as the sides can't stand up to the weight of the batter, and have flopped out so it's all run over the sides.

                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                  gembellina Jan 30, 2011 08:20 AM

                                                                  Worst cake ever! It sank in the middle about 5 mins from the end, half of it stuck to the case, and the stuck-on bits tasted of soap. Ick.

                                                                  1. re: gembellina
                                                                    buttertart Jan 30, 2011 03:34 PM

                                                                    Oh no. I really don't like silicone pans, I never have good luck with them.

                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                      sunshine842 Jan 30, 2011 09:34 PM

                                                                      I am head over heels with my silicon muffin cups. SO much easier than dealing with a metal pan that eats my cupboard space, sticks like mad (even the nonstick ones) and leaves me standing at the sink for an hour with a toothbrush.

                                                                      They brown beautifully (I was afraid to buy silicon because I'd heard that nothing browns, but these were a gift) and muffins and cupcakes roll right out of them.

                                                                      I throw them in a sink full of hot soapy water and after a short soak, it takes just a quick swipe with the sponge to get them clean.

                                                                      AND they store in the space of one tin can. Yay.

                                                                      Buttertart, there are some loaf pans and such that have a metal frame to keep them rigid when filled...those might work better for you, too.

                                                                      I've vowed to replace all my bakeware with silicon as it breaks/rusts/wears out.

                                                                      1. re: sunshine842
                                                                        gembellina Jan 31, 2011 12:59 AM

                                                                        My muffin cups are fine; I think the structure with multiple cups is much stiffer than the single loaf pan. I might use it inside a metal tin next time, as it certainly does make the clean-up easier.

                                                                        1. re: sunshine842
                                                                          maplesugar Jan 31, 2011 08:33 AM

                                                                          I find I'll make a recipe that says it makes 1 doz. and I fill my standard tray (commercial line from W-S) and I still have batter for 1-2 more muffins so I pull out 1-2 of my silicone muffin cups and put them on a cookie sheet, fill & bake. No waste and the kids love the shapes.

                                                                          I just picked up the heart shaped Wilton cups for Valentine's day. I usually avoid specialty shapes because I don't have space for big bulky pans that I use 1x a year - the Wilton cups are stackable like paper liners so easy to tuck in a corner/drawer.

                                                                          1. re: maplesugar
                                                                            buttertart Jan 31, 2011 09:28 AM

                                                                            Uh oh. I'm a sucker for anything heart-shaped (have my mom's heart-shaped cake pans from the '50's).

                                                                        2. re: buttertart
                                                                          roxlet Jan 31, 2011 03:16 AM

                                                                          I used a silicone bundt pan to make the Union Square gingerbread recipe. I washed it and put it through the dishwasher, and still my cupboard (and the pan) smell like gingerbread. I find silicone exceedingly difficult to clean and it always has a slightly greasy feel to me.

                                                                          1. re: roxlet
                                                                            buttertart Jan 31, 2011 05:19 AM

                                                                            I have those muffin cups and they are nice (but I also get the greasy feel, even after dw washing). I've used them in my ages-old 12-cup muffin pan (from a restaurant supply store, still as nice as when I got them, best place for bakeware) and am just as happy with paper or foil liners.

                                                                2. sugarcube Jan 5, 2011 04:01 PM

                                                                  Had some leftover buttermilk from my cupcake baking blitz, so I tried this Salt-kissed buttermilk cake from 101 Cookbooks. I used blueberries rather than raspberries and browned the butter before adding it to the mixture. It is the perfect snacking cake. Love that salty-sweet crunch on top too

                                                                  I'm also starting to look for a birthday cake recipe for little ol' me. So if you have any suggestions, please send away!


                                                                  15 Replies
                                                                  1. re: sugarcube
                                                                    souschef Jan 5, 2011 05:41 PM

                                                                    There are lots of cake recipes all over CH. What kind of cake are you looking for?

                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                      sugarcube Jan 5, 2011 07:06 PM

                                                                      hmmm... I don't know exactly. I love being adventurous and experimenting with new ingredients i.e. a chestnut mousse cake or that chocolate torte from Dorie Greenspan that uses prunes
                                                                      I also enjoy using classic ingredients to make a cake: rich dark chocolate (or white, a guilty pleasure because it's not "real" chocolate), peanut butter, pecans

                                                                      Do you have any favourites souschef?


                                                                      1. re: sugarcube
                                                                        souschef Jan 5, 2011 07:35 PM

                                                                        I certainly do have some favourites. How about a génoise filled with chocolate chestnut buttercream (made with Italian meringue and that wondrous ingredient called butter), then covered with vanilla buttercream, or a torte made with dried figs simmered in cognac and then combined with chocolate and hazelnuts (and butter), then glazed with chocolate and cream and gianduja?

                                                                        I have both recipes (and pictures) posted in the thread linked below. Fellow hound Cynsa has made the fig cake, and that doyenne of baking, Buttertart, has been threatening to make the other.


                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                          sugarcube Jan 5, 2011 07:41 PM

                                                                          They both sound amazing souschef! Thanks for the recipes. I may try the first one because I have such an affinity for chestnuts. But then again, the one with gianduja sounds divine and its decadence level is right up my alley.ah. decisions!


                                                                          1. re: sugarcube
                                                                            souschef Jan 6, 2011 04:50 AM

                                                                            If you have such an affinity for chestnuts, have you tried making marrons glacés?

                                                                            Check out this thread:


                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                              sugarcube Jan 6, 2011 03:16 PM

                                                                              Thanks for this souschef! Now I have to buy more chestnuts.haha
                                                                              I also love the lightly sweetened paste that you can find in specialty food stores. I could swim in the stuff. Also, it certainly makes baking with it a whole lot easier!
                                                                              Speaking baking, I thought roasting whole chestnuts in the oven was the choice method (I read that it is supposed to impart more flavour), but boiling or steaming makes them easier to shell?


                                                                              1. re: sugarcube
                                                                                buttertart Jan 7, 2011 05:03 AM

                                                                                Nice blog!

                                                                                1. re: sugarcube
                                                                                  souschef Jan 7, 2011 06:24 AM

                                                                                  I'm not.one for wading through blogs; I glanced at it and gave up. There may well be some truth to roasting imparting more flavour, but I'm wondering if that really matters when you're going to then cook them in almost boiling water for two hours. Before anyone points it out, I'm aware that you roast bones before you make stock, for more flavour, but does the same hold here?

                                                                              2. re: sugarcube
                                                                                buttertart Jan 6, 2011 05:27 AM

                                                                                That dream birthday cake thread is super fun. I made a chestnut one for my husband with chestnut layers from Ruth Levy Beranbaum's Cake Bible, chestnut meringue layers from Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert, and chestnut buttercream from the Cake Bible that was one of my best ever.
                                                                                (Doyenne? Does a palanquin chair with bearers come with that title?)

                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                  souschef Jan 6, 2011 06:25 AM

                                                                                  The "Doyenne" title comes from your starting these threads and very ably shepherding them through, except for that one occasion when you were indisposed and I clumsily substituted for you. Also, that title is well-deserved as you are perhaps the most prolific and able baker here.

                                                                                  A palanquin chair and bearers? Ah so! I believe Madame imagines that we are in ancient China.

                                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                                    buttertart Jan 6, 2011 06:55 AM

                                                                                    It's nice to be a doyenne, if these are the only responsibilities of rank they are happy ones. I'm hardly the best OR the most prolific baker here.
                                                                                    My thoughts often run in that direction (China) due to family proclivities.

                                                                                  2. re: buttertart
                                                                                    nomadchowwoman Jan 6, 2011 10:23 AM

                                                                                    So what's wrong with that?

                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                      buttertart Jan 6, 2011 10:25 AM

                                                                                      With China? or being a doyenne? ;-)

                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                        nomadchowwoman Jan 6, 2011 11:11 AM

                                                                                        A palanquin chair and bearers ; )

                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                          buttertart Jan 6, 2011 11:18 AM

                                                                                          >snicker< a girl can dream, right?

                                                                        2. o
                                                                          onecaketwocake Jan 5, 2011 07:27 PM

                                                                          I never thought I could get tired of chocolate, but somehow that happened over the holidays. So I've baked blueberry bran muffins, for a virtuous start to the new year, and will hold off on the decadent desserts a little longer.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: onecaketwocake
                                                                            Johnny West Jan 7, 2011 05:10 AM

                                                                            Tomorrow am making spareribs and sauerkraut and
                                                                            thought I'd make Jennie's oat soda bread to go with it.
                                                                            May try cowboy biscuits with maple sirup, too. Too many

                                                                            1. re: Johnny West
                                                                              chef chicklet Jan 10, 2011 02:05 PM

                                                                              mmm spareribs and sauerkraut, I could go for that!

                                                                          2. Chocolatechipkt Jan 10, 2011 08:17 AM

                                                                            Yesterday morning I made a braided Danish pastry I'd seen on "Baking With Julia" the night before. Flaky dough with two fillings: a four berry mixture and a ground almond mixture. And now I have in the freezer the other half of the dough to make a variation on this (the recipe lists three choices for the first filling and two for the second, so there are lots of possibilities) or make individual filled pastries. This recipe took a little time, but it wasn't difficult at all.

                                                                            I also baked up another double batch of triple pb cookies in an effort to use up the two extra bags of peanut m&ms I'd bought. Some of the cookies were mailed off, and the rest are resting comfortably in my freezer.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                              chef chicklet Jan 10, 2011 02:07 PM

                                                                              Could you talk more about your braided pastry, and would blackberries work with this? When you say a ground almond mixture are you meaning marzipan? I have these two ingredients if its the same and I need to make something with the blackberries before I'm pressured into making blackberry jam...thanks!

                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                Chocolatechipkt Jan 11, 2011 05:03 AM

                                                                                Yes, blackberries would work. The recipe calls for blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries that are cooked into a kind of quick, thick jam, and I just used a four-berry preserve I happened to have. It's pretty flexible as to what you use, IMO. The ground almond mixture is just that -- almonds finely ground in the food processor (with conf. sugar, almond extract etc.) There's also a cream filling alternative to the almonds that uses heavy cream or half-and-half that's thickened with cornstarch.

                                                                                Btw, I was just looking around for the recipe online, and the author, Beatrice Ojakangas, has posted the basic recipe on her site, though the fillings aren't all up (and the formatting's kind of messed up.)

                                                                                The basic pastry dough is light and flaky, with lots of big butter pieces rolled thinly throughout, not unlike a croissant (though not as much butter.) The recipe I made used half the dough, so now I have the other half still to play with. Let me know if you'd like any of the filling recipes and I can post them when I get home.

                                                                                1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                                  chef chicklet Jan 12, 2011 10:27 AM

                                                                                  Thank you for guiding me there, and yes the formattings hard to follow. I don't see where your placing the berry preserves though for the braid. I can follow the recipe, I can fix the format, but god help me, where do the berries come in??? I am blind though without my glasses. I see the other layout is that where you used the berries?
                                                                                  Thanks I really appreciate your answer, I'll be working with the bb later today to make into a homemade chunky blackberry preserves, that'll keep for awhile if I can keep the bears away. ; )

                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                    Chocolatechipkt Jan 12, 2011 01:51 PM

                                                                                    The berry preserves are spread down the middle third of the dough (rolled to 10x16) and then I put the almond mixture on top of that. You then make 12-14 angled slices down each side (the other two thirds), to make a mock braid. I didn't measure the dough when I rolled it out, but whatever size I did was almost too long for the pan and oven. Definitely work on parchment so you can move the pastry around, both before and after baking.

                                                                            2. nomadchowwoman Jan 10, 2011 08:32 AM

                                                                              I'm about to get started on cranberry-nut loaves, that I'll freeze, to use up the last of the cranberries and some of the citrus. And then I'm going to make bread pudding studded w/dried cherries, w/the mountain of stale bread that's been collecting. I promised this to DH yesterday but never got around to it. I'm going to try freezing some of it, too, though I've never tried freezing anything that custardy.

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                buttertart Jan 10, 2011 08:56 AM

                                                                                Speaking of cranberry loaves, I used to make one that had a whole orange (or tangerine) ground up with cranvberries in it. I thought the recipe was in Bernard Clayton but it seems not. Anybody seen such a thing about? Made nice muffins too. Thanks!

                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                  nomadchowwoman Jan 10, 2011 09:01 AM

                                                                                  Sounds interesting. The orange was ground? Or the orange and cranberries? Was the orange cooked (as in the orange-olive oil cakes that get discussed here)?

                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                    buttertart Jan 10, 2011 09:04 AM

                                                                                    The orange was ground in the fp with the cranberries, and that constituted the liquid in the quick bread. Not cooked.

                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                      nomadchowwoman Jan 10, 2011 09:11 AM

                                                                                      Oh, I hope someone comes up w/that recipe. I'd love to see it. What color was the bread/cake crumb?

                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                        buttertart Jan 10, 2011 09:14 AM

                                                                                        The prettiest pink.

                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                          souschef Jan 10, 2011 09:32 AM

                                                                                          I saw that recipe somewhere recently (may well have been on CH), but for the life of me can't remember where.

                                                                                2. roxlet Jan 10, 2011 09:00 AM

                                                                                  This morning I made Nick Malgieri's supernatural brownies to take to my son's team matches tonight. After cooling I put them in the fridge and I will leave them there till the last minute before I cut them up.

                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: roxlet
                                                                                    buttertart Jan 10, 2011 09:10 AM

                                                                                    And HOW long did it take for you to try those? They're the best, why mess with the rest!

                                                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                                                      roxlet Jan 12, 2011 11:43 AM

                                                                                      We had some brownies left over, and my son has taken to putting one in a bowl, nuking it for about 20 seconds and then putting a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. He says that it tastes just like a molten chocolate cake that way.

                                                                                      1. re: roxlet
                                                                                        sunshine842 Jan 12, 2011 12:14 PM

                                                                                        tell him to pour a little hot fudge syrup over it next time..

                                                                                        1. re: sunshine842
                                                                                          roxlet Jan 12, 2011 02:52 PM

                                                                                          Gilding the lily!

                                                                                        2. re: roxlet
                                                                                          buttertart Jan 12, 2011 03:26 PM

                                                                                          Wise beyond his years!

                                                                                      2. souschef Jan 10, 2011 09:31 AM

                                                                                        I made creme caramel from a recipe I posted here a while ago. It turned out really good (silky smooth and delicious), except for one problem that I always have - a lot of caramel stayed on the bottom of the pan. I tried increasing the amount of caramel so I would have more caramel "sauce" (juice ? gravy?), but that did not help; there was even more caramel that stayed glued to the dish. Any ideas on how to correct this ?

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                          buttertart Jan 10, 2011 09:41 AM

                                                                                          Could you have added some water and reliquified it over heat?

                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                            souschef Jan 10, 2011 12:25 PM

                                                                                            I had thought about that, but was unwilling to take a glass container out of the fridge and put it on the stove, just in case it cracked. I wonder if nuking it would work.

                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                              buttertart Jan 10, 2011 12:27 PM

                                                                                              I would think so, or a small quantity of boiling water?

                                                                                        2. o
                                                                                          onecaketwocake Jan 12, 2011 09:49 AM

                                                                                          snowed in! So instead of going to work I'm making spice layer cake with cream cheese frosting. Smells incredible so far but I accidentally jiggled the pans halfway through and now I'm paranoid that they won't rise well...

                                                                                          1. EM23 Jan 12, 2011 10:14 AM

                                                                                            I baked oatmeal this snowy morning - so delicious!

                                                                                            1. f
                                                                                              foodie0529 Jan 12, 2011 03:05 PM

                                                                                              In anticipation for the snow last night I made a brown sugar banana bread with walnuts and chocolate chips...

                                                                                              1. buttertart Jan 12, 2011 03:33 PM

                                                                                                This is what I intended to make but got distracted by finishing a quite good new mystery by John Harvey (his earlier Charlie Resnick books are much better though)...snow day flew by, darn it all anyway...have candied fruit left over from Christmas, and my husband's family loves fruitcake, so intended to get this done and sent this week...the best intentions department.
                                                                                                Family recipe, my third cousin once removed's wife Clara's (a lovely lady and a fantastic baker, cook, and gardener, sadly long gone). From a recipe card in my mother's hand, signed Love, Mom/1975.
                                                                                                CHRISTMAS CAKE (Clara's) - the rest of the (...) are my emendations (Canadians tend to call fruitcake Christmas cake)
                                                                                                2 lb bleached (golden) raisins
                                                                                                1 lb red & green (candied) cherries
                                                                                                2 lbs mixed (candied) fruit
                                                                                                3 rings pineapple (I use dried from Kam Man, haven't seen candied pineapple for sale recently)
                                                                                                almonds and pecans (the almonds always home-blanched, the amount of nuts up to you)
                                                                                                2/3 lb butter
                                                                                                2 c sugar
                                                                                                5 eggs
                                                                                                3/4 c milk
                                                                                                3 c flour sifted before measuring (I don't, i measure a bit light)
                                                                                                Prepare fruit (dump into your biggest bowl and stir together). Mix with 1 c flour. Cream butter, sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add milk alternately with flour. Stir in fruit (I put the cake mixture into the bowl with the fruit and squish it all together with my hands). Allow to stand overnight (raw eggs be damned). Bake in covered tins (I cover them with foil - mom) at 275 deg F for about 3 hours. Remove foil for last hour.
                                                                                                This makes enough for 3 5x9 in pans. I coat them with Crisco and line them with parchment, then grease that - my mom used brown paper bags.
                                                                                                No booze in this but you can do whatever you normally do with it, my mom didn't like liquor very much and did not like it in baked goods at all.
                                                                                                This makes a medium fruitcake(as opposed to light or dark) - almost all fruit.
                                                                                                I wing the fruit as long as I have the same weight.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                  buttertart Jan 23, 2011 05:01 AM

                                                                                                  I made this yesterday and was surprised how quickly it came together. Nice to have a stand mixer. Made 2 5x9" pans plus a small square one - my mom's fruitcake pan - have the set of 3 made for her by my brother in metal shop class. (They were also used when she made our wedding cake.)

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                    souschef Jan 23, 2011 09:18 AM

                                                                                                    I hate to tell you this, buttertart, but Christmas was almost a month ago. The word "fruitcake" comes to mind :)

                                                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                                                      buttertart Jan 23, 2011 03:07 PM

                                                                                                      I know, but my darling MIL is a fruitcake nut and will take all I can send her way, Christmas or no. And I overbought candied fruit for the last go (her recipe). And we can't find the small one I held back from the last go - has disappeared off the kitchen counter - either that or certain people deepsixed it while I wasn't looking.

                                                                                                2. l
                                                                                                  L987 Jan 12, 2011 06:11 PM

                                                                                                  I found panettone on sale when i was shopping yesterday, normally it cost like 15 dollar and guess what it cost now? 2,70!! And it still tasted great. We ate a couple of slices yesterday and today i made breadpudding of the rest. Yum! Next year for Christmas im gonna make panettone at home (I made it a few years ago with levain.

                                                                                                  I also made snicker doodles today.. or the dough that i keep in the fridge and then just roll a few balls in cinnamon sugar and then bake when i want fresh cookies

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: L987
                                                                                                    chef chicklet Jan 17, 2011 07:29 AM

                                                                                                    I love panettone toast and made into french toast!
                                                                                                    I don't understand why it's so holiday driven, it's a great bread no matter what time of year.

                                                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                      LEsherick2008 Jan 23, 2011 10:19 AM

                                                                                                      I made a Panettone Carmel Apple Trifle mid December and it was great and very easy to. Now I wish I could have some more Panettone just to eat.

                                                                                                  2. Chocolatechipkt Jan 16, 2011 08:08 PM

                                                                                                    I baked maple-oatmeal bread on Friday. On Saturday, I made croissants. The general recipe is a process -- one I actually like -- but homemade croissants are SO good. Pics are up on my blog. :-)

                                                                                                    1. buttertart Jan 17, 2011 05:56 AM

                                                                                                      A pizza on Saturday night, some of the dough kept for the Mrs Elizabeth Ovenstad's bread from Beard on bread that I'm planning to make today (it doesn't call for old dough but what the hey). And last night a goose pie that was just too good. Starting a meat pie thread.

                                                                                                      1. monavano Jan 17, 2011 08:02 AM

                                                                                                        Do ebelskivers qualify as baking? I made them recently to christen my new pan. It was fun!!
                                                                                                        My inspiration was the Monte Cristo sandwich- stuffed with ham and fontina, dusted with powdered sugar and dipped in raspberry jam.
                                                                                                        See pics!

                                                                                                        1. roxlet Jan 18, 2011 10:07 AM

                                                                                                          Yesterday I baked a humongous recipe for donut muffins from the Fine Cooking site. This recipe used 3/4 lb of butter and six cups of flour. It was for a bake sale at my son's school today. The recipe was really more cake-like than muffin-like since it called for creaming the butter and sugar and then beating while alternately adding the milk and flour. The texture was very cake-like too. These were very tasty -- and why not? After they are baked, they are brushed with melted butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar. My only problem was that several got a little burned even while baking for the least required amount of time. I guess that those are for the cook's family.
                                                                                                          Sunday I baked a delicious sour cream coffee cake from Carol Walters Coffee Cake book. It requires that you toast pecans and then chop in the food processor with brown sugar and a little cinnamon after which you put some in a layer in the cake and the rest are put on the top. The cake was delicious, but the aroma of the toasted pecans was out of this world. I made it for someone's birthday, and it was all I could do to keep my son from eating the cake before we delivered it to our friend. Fortunately, he was ready to dig in, so we all got to taste some. Quite excellent!

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                            buttertart Jan 18, 2011 10:13 AM

                                                                                                            It really doesn't get much better than pecans, nut-wise. Sounds terrific.

                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                              Caitlin McGrath Jan 18, 2011 12:34 PM

                                                                                                              I have found that pecans are the nut to which toasting makes the biggest difference in quality. They taste fine without, but toasting makes a huge difference in their flavor - just wakes it up. Toasted pecans taste like a whole different nut.

                                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                                              sunflwrsdh Jan 18, 2011 06:17 PM

                                                                                                              I've been baking bread of one kind or another for the past few days. I tried (for the firs time) Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day, and it didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. I made the Whole wheat sandwich loaf kind, in a loaf pan, and it was too crusty and too dense to make sandwiches for my grandchildren, who are used to soft, store bought bread. It did make a pretty nice baguette, and it is very good bread. Since the sandwich thing wasn't going to work out so well, i turned to my breadmaker, set on manual, and made a loaf of whole wheat banana bread yesterday, which turned out extremely well. Today I tried applesauce bread, but I overbaked it. Also, yesterday, i made a pumpkin bundt cake (inspired by a Bundt cake thread on here, and the fact that I had a tub of roasted Cinderella pumpkin puree in the fridge that needed to be used up!) which turned out eh...ok, I guess. Not anything to write home about. Also made an Emeril meets Weight Watcher's bread pudding, which did turn out very well. Have been thinking a lot about Valentine cookies lately...Linzer( raspberry jam filled) shortbread hearts and craisin shortbread hearts (they will be tiny hearts) and heart shaped sugar cookies, frosted and sprinkled:)

                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: sunflwrsdh
                                                                                                                buttertart Jan 23, 2011 05:24 AM

                                                                                                                Hi there, I wanted to let you know that the recipe I use/go by, often modifying it as far as flours are concerned) is the Cook's Illustrated No-Knead Bread 2.0. It does produce a bread with a strong, waxy, open crumb when you do it completely their way. If you want a softer whole wheat sandwich bread this is definitely not the technique to use. I'd recommend a King Arthur Flour recipe for that.
                                                                                                                One of these: http://search.kingarthurflour.com/sea...

                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                  sunflwrsdh Jan 23, 2011 06:49 PM

                                                                                                                  Thanks buttertart...I am intrigued by the no kneads, but am also following a Weight Watcher's program, so am trying to balance finding a new bread (where in the past I would have tried several a week till I found the one I wanted of got tired of trying:) with not having tons of bread in the house. i will definitely try the CI one soon, and will look for a King Arthur sandwich bread for the kids. i made "Mom's white bread" using the bread machine on a manual setting today, with some success. My granddaughter ate it, but wanted the crust cut off (and it wasn't terribly crusty)...what has been happening when I use the bread machine on manual is the bread does a pretty good rise, then starts to fall back down after ....any suggestions? I have been doing the last rise in the pan, and have been setting the pan on the radiator in the kitchen...maybe too warm, and its rising too fast and then starting to fall?

                                                                                                                  1. re: sunflwrsdh
                                                                                                                    buttertart Jan 24, 2011 04:34 AM

                                                                                                                    I would think so, bread doesn't need any more than room temperature (if that) to rise - it will even rise in the fridge. Let it rise at a cooler temp.
                                                                                                                    I've never had a bread machine (counter space issue) so can't comment on issues of working one. Bread machine owners?

                                                                                                              2. b
                                                                                                                burgeoningfoodie Jan 20, 2011 05:01 AM

                                                                                                                Well with Super Bowl Sunday coming up I'm going to be looking to bake something for that. Though right now I'm trying Soft Pretzels and wanting to find a solid, but easy puff pastry dough recipe.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                                                                                  buttertart Jan 20, 2011 06:36 AM

                                                                                                                  The one from Canadian Living magazine is super (quick puff pastry) - I've posted about it a lot and would give you the link but can't get on the magazine website for some reason. Check it out. Easy, fun, and great.

                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                    buttertart Jan 23, 2011 05:25 AM

                                                                                                                    Check it out!

                                                                                                                2. buttertart Jan 23, 2011 05:04 AM

                                                                                                                  I made Caitlin McGrath's family almond shortbread recipe (as well as the Medrich ginger cookies and my mom's usual fruitcake recipe, it was cold out and we were in, and I was in that mood). Caitlin, they are great. So almondy and delicious. I will always have to have almond paste in the house from now on so I can make these.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                    L987 Jan 26, 2011 05:37 AM

                                                                                                                    almond paste is great! and u can use it in so many things

                                                                                                                  2. Chocolatechipkt Jan 23, 2011 05:31 AM

                                                                                                                    Pizza, three ways: meatball, margherita, and alfredo

                                                                                                                    Chocolate cupcakes with coffee frosting ... yum.

                                                                                                                    1. roxlet Jan 23, 2011 12:18 PM

                                                                                                                      Since I gave it away the last time I made it, today I decided to make another sour cream/pecan coffee cake. This time I used Nick Malgieri's recipe. Only thing is that as I was cleaning the mixer, I noticed that one of the eggs called for in the recipe had rolled behind the mixer, and I had failed to add it to the batter. I hope it still tastes good, though it seems that the nut/brown sugar topping has caused the cake to sink a bit. I don't know if there is a cause and effect there, but I'll wait till my son gets home to see how it is. It SMELLS great...

                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                        buttertart Jan 23, 2011 03:07 PM

                                                                                                                        Nick Malgieri? Who's that again?

                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                          roxlet Jan 26, 2011 06:50 AM

                                                                                                                          oh, some guy.

                                                                                                                      2. l
                                                                                                                        L987 Jan 26, 2011 05:47 AM

                                                                                                                        made a lemon loaf cake today. tasted a big eggy, idk if i didn't beat the eggs& sugar long enough. (it looked light and fluffy) or if it was supposed to taste so, it had 6 eggs, other than that it was good.

                                                                                                                        1. iL Divo Jan 26, 2011 06:03 AM

                                                                                                                          Watching a Cake Boss episode for a forelorned customer who got her custom ordered crumb cake
                                                                                                                          sold out from under her, they made her one on the spot. Showing a lot of the recipe sans the secrets I'm making a crumb cake as per that episode following as closely as I remember.

                                                                                                                          1. mnosyne Jan 26, 2011 07:33 AM

                                                                                                                            Over the last day and a half, I made my first two-crust apple pie from scratch. I used to watch my mom turn out pies effortlessly, without a food processor, but my effort resulted in a rather sticky dough which I rolled out between sheets of plastic wrap. The dough was slightly too heavy and began to pull apart when I draped it over the apples, but also lent itself for "patching" any holes that appeared. Finished late last night and haven't tried it yet, but I felt both exhausted and happy.

                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: mnosyne
                                                                                                                              buttertart Jan 26, 2011 04:07 PM

                                                                                                                              Pie dough is about my least favorite thing to make. Use the Cook's Illustrated vodka piecrust recipe - and follow it to the letter - and you'll be quite happy with it, I'm sure.

                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                mnosyne Jan 26, 2011 10:37 PM

                                                                                                                                Thanks buttertart. The crust was only about 1/2 bad: the bottom crust, which I blind-baked, was underdone. I should have masked the rim and baked the center more. The filling was a little underdone, but tasty (pink ladies and grannie smiths). The top crust was terrific. So I'll adjust. Unfortunately, I can't do the vodka crust. You're such an inspiring baker!

                                                                                                                                1. re: mnosyne
                                                                                                                                  buttertart Jan 27, 2011 03:41 AM

                                                                                                                                  As long as the top crust was terrific you have nothing to worry about. Practice makes perfect.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: mnosyne
                                                                                                                                    roxlet Jan 27, 2011 04:17 AM

                                                                                                                                    Did you use a Pyrex pie plate to bake it in. IMO, that is one of the secrets to getting the pie crust to cook properly on the bottom. I never blind bake apple pie, and the crust is always brown on the bottom. Another trick is to bake the pie on a pre-heated pizza stone, which also helps the bottom to brown. Use a wire cake tester in the pie vent holes to make sure that the apples are done. There will be little resistance when you poke them...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                      mnosyne Jan 27, 2011 09:42 AM

                                                                                                                                      I used a metal pan, but I'm willing to get a Pyrex or Emile Henry pan. I do have a pizza stone; didn't think of using it, so thanks.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mnosyne
                                                                                                                                        Caitlin McGrath Jan 27, 2011 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                        Pyrex is a good investment and only costs around $5.

                                                                                                                              2. nomadchowwoman Jan 26, 2011 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                I made a loaf of Jim Lahey's no-knead bread using 2 c bread flour, 1/2 c white ww, 1/4 c ww, 1/4 c ground flaxseed, and some of the whole grain enhancer that I heard about from roxlet on this thread a few months ago. It came out very well: rose nicely and sliced up well for sandwiches, which is just what I was trying for.

                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                  buttertart Jan 26, 2011 04:05 PM

                                                                                                                                  Very nice! Must grind my flaxseed the next time I use it.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                    nomadchowwoman Jan 27, 2011 07:46 AM

                                                                                                                                    I actually liked using it whole until I read somewhere that unless its ground, it passes right through us and we don't get any of its many benefits.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                      buttertart Jan 27, 2011 08:02 AM

                                                                                                                                      I read that too. I was thinking ground it might not interfere with the gluten as much either.

                                                                                                                                2. buttertart Jan 26, 2011 04:11 PM

                                                                                                                                  Cold and snowy day, feeling perkier after a trying morning - made a part loaf of the Mrs. Elizabeth Ovenstad's bread (from Beard on Bread) into melba toasts to go with a Spanish vegetable soup I have going, and the almond cake from the new NYT book as a birthday cake for our dear 2-yrs-old today king of the world kitty, Liam (in avatar, at just under a year). If the cake is as good as the dang batter...it's really going to be something!

                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                    mnosyne Jan 26, 2011 05:02 PM

                                                                                                                                    Is that the Amanda Hesser almond cake? If so, it's a knockout!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: mnosyne
                                                                                                                                      buttertart Jan 27, 2011 03:39 AM

                                                                                                                                      Yes it is and yes it is!!! Fantastic. We had it just barely warm with some frozen sour cherries. The amazing thing is how light it seemed. (Not as light cold, but excellent - just had a snick.) (Make that 2 snicks.)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                        mnosyne Jan 27, 2011 09:49 AM

                                                                                                                                        Perhaps you've already seen this: The Amateur Gourmet makes Amanda's cake in the food processor. I've been doing that, and it seems to make the cake even lighter.


                                                                                                                                        1. re: mnosyne
                                                                                                                                          buttertart Jan 27, 2011 03:24 PM

                                                                                                                                          I creamed the butter and sugar and added the almond paste (should have done it in smaller lumps, there were still some bits in the batter, oh well), the extract, and the eggs, then transferred it to a bowl as instructed to put in the dry ingredients and sour cream. Was thinking I should have put the last 2 in in the FP too. Or have done the whole thing in the KA. Seems Amanda H doesn't have a mixer from what I gather from the rest of the text, hence the FP to bowl thing, which is rather messy.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                            mnosyne Jan 27, 2011 03:27 PM

                                                                                                                                            Amanda H wrote to Amateur G that she had also started using the food processor after being at her inlaws and not having a KA, so now she does it too.

                                                                                                                                  2. nomadchowwoman Jan 27, 2011 08:03 AM

                                                                                                                                    Last night I baked the brown butter and cocoa brownies featured on the cover of the most recent Bon Appetit, a Medrich recipe that is just a slight variation on one in her latest book. I had never made brownies with cocoa; in fact, when I do make brownies, I almost always use a favorite blond brownie recipe.
                                                                                                                                    The recipe calls for 3/4 c. cocoa, 1 1/4 c. sugar, and 1/3 c. + 1T flour. I think, but I'm not positive as I was multi-tasking, that I used only 1 c. flour and forgot the extra 1/4 c. The brownies are beautiful and chocolat-y and not very sweet, which suits me as I often find chocolate brownies to be cloying (and my husband will eat anything remotely dessert-like), but I can't imagine that most sweets lovers would think these sweet enough. They would, I think, make a perfect base for ice cream and fudge/caramel sauce.
                                                                                                                                    Has anyone tried this recipe and found it less sweet than other brownie recipes? Or can you guess based on the amts I've listed whether or not I may have forgotten the extra 1/4 c? Thanks.

                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                      mjhals Jan 27, 2011 11:00 AM

                                                                                                                                      I'm baking from that issue as well, I plan on trying the brownies next, so I'll let you know how they turn out for me. I made the chocolate layer cake last night, and I think it turned out pretty well- I'm new to baking but I received a Kitchenaid for Christmas so I'm trying out my skills!

                                                                                                                                      Anyway, I really liked the cake itself, it's super-moist with a really good chocolate flavor, but I'm not thrilled by the frosting. The recipe called for some espresso powder in the frosting and I think the coffee flavor is too predominate and "dark" now. I wouldn't think it could over-power all that chocolate (recipe called for 1 cup cocoa powder!), but for me it did. But overall, I really like the recipe and plan on trying it again with a few tweaks to the frosting.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: mjhals
                                                                                                                                        nomadchowwoman Jan 27, 2011 11:04 AM

                                                                                                                                        That cake looked good.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: nomadchowwoman
                                                                                                                                        nomadchowwoman Jan 27, 2011 11:03 AM

                                                                                                                                        Oops, I meant to say that I think I only used 1 cup of SUGAR, not flour. (I know I used the proper mt. of flour.)

                                                                                                                                      3. b
                                                                                                                                        burgeoningfoodie Jan 27, 2011 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                        Coming up... I'm going to try the Baked Boys Apple Cake with Caramel Frosting..

                                                                                                                                        1. greygarious Jan 27, 2011 01:57 PM

                                                                                                                                          Just wanted to share this simple but lovely presentation idea, from www.confectionsofamasterbaker.blogspo...
                                                                                                                                          With any slice of loaf cake, use a small cookie cutter to remove part of the slice. Fill the hollow with a spoonful of sauce or puree, and place the cut-out atop the slice as a decoration, perhaps topped with a berry or small slice of fruit. I think this would be a charming presentation for french toast or a short stack of pancakes.

                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                            buttertart Jan 27, 2011 03:25 PM

                                                                                                                                            That is indeed very pretty and innovative.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                              roxlet Jan 27, 2011 03:28 PM

                                                                                                                                              Yes, lovely, and a nice blog too. Yours?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                greygarious Jan 27, 2011 05:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                Heavens no - I should only be so talented! The baker is actress Sandra Bullock's younger sister. I enjoyed her first memoir/cookbook. She has a baking book, Sugar Baby, coming out this spring.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                  buttertart Jan 28, 2011 05:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                  The memoir is fun, looking forward to the cookbook.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greygarious
                                                                                                                                                    gembellina Jan 30, 2011 06:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                    ooh yes I have the first book in my amazon basket, but I'm holding of on the actual purchase in case it's all the inspiration i need make me quit my job and start baking...

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gembellina
                                                                                                                                                      buttertart Jan 30, 2011 06:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                      It might not do that (pretty much warts and all), having worked in a bakery myself I'd rather not go pro.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                        gembellina Jan 30, 2011 08:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                        well maybe i'll read it to put me off then, and make me knuckle down to my desk job!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gembellina
                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Jan 30, 2011 03:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                          You'd be better off, at least if my experience is any guide.

                                                                                                                                              2. Chocolatechipkt Jan 28, 2011 04:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                Snow day yesterday, though I still had to work from home. I managed to find time to make some chocolate-pb swirl brownies (shared with neighbors who shoveled the walk!), oatmeal-pecan-chip cookies (testing out a variation on a recipe), and pb oatmeal dog treats (recipe from KAF.)

                                                                                                                                                1. buttertart Jan 30, 2011 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                  I made no-knead bread dough before 9 this morning and it didn't seem to rise much. Made it into 2 boules which I have told sternly must get with the program and rise in 2 hours or so. It didn't feel dead the way non-yeasted doughs can...but I may have leaned too heavily on the vinegar. We shall see.

                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                    Chocolatechipkt Jan 30, 2011 05:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Maybe you need to have another talk with them. I do the same with items I'm baking. :)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt
                                                                                                                                                      buttertart Jan 31, 2011 05:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                      They seem to have heeded their mistress's voice. They rose fairly well and I started them in a preaheating oven. Will check them more thoroughly tonight (Big Love was a distraction).

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                        buttertart Feb 1, 2011 11:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                        They came out ok, not great. Better luck next time dep't. My yeast may be getting old too.

                                                                                                                                                  2. roxlet Jan 31, 2011 03:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I baked an apple pie and a lemon tart this weekend. The apple pie was my standard recipe (which generally means winging it), but the lemon tart was made from a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. She has you slice the lemons thinly(preferably Meyers, which I happened to have), and then throw the pieces -- rinds and all -- into a food processor with sugar, butter, eggs, some cornstarch and salt. It was rejected by his highness, my son, who said that he prefers a tart made with curd since he doesn't like the little pieces of lemon floating around. However, I brought to the club later, and it was devoured instantly. The pie will be for his highness's breakfast right now...

                                                                                                                                                    19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                      buttertart Jan 31, 2011 05:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                      I've made those whole-lemon ones and haven't been thrilled myself, so I'm on your benevolent despot's side. Who has Meyer lemons these days?

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                        Caitlin McGrath Jan 31, 2011 12:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                        "Who has Meyer lemons these days?"

                                                                                                                                                        This is the (relatively short) commercial season for Meyers, so who has Meyer lemons these days? Whoever shops where they're sold in season, or whoever has a tree or friends or family with one, for those who live in Meyer lemon-growing areas, as it is also one of the seasons for those with backyard trees (which produce a few times a year - the lemons hang out on the trees, leaving just a few Meyerless months a year).

                                                                                                                                                        I love Meyers, and happily currently live within picking distance of both my parents' trees, which are currently full of ripe lemons.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Jan 31, 2011 12:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                          Rub it in, Caitlin! ;-)
                                                                                                                                                          I was wondering what store roxlet would have gotten them from, since we are both on the Right Coast (some of us more reluctantly than others) and if it's from a chain like Fairway I should be able to get my hands on them too.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                            Caitlin McGrath Jan 31, 2011 12:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Aha, I didn't read your question correctly!

                                                                                                                                                            When I lived in NYC, I found them in season at stores like Manhattan Fruit Exchange in the Chelsea Market, Garden of Eden, even sometimes Whole Foods, so I'd not be surprised to hear Fairway had them. I don't know if you do Costco, but in past years, someone I know in NY found them there (don't know about now, though).

                                                                                                                                                            I used to haul them back on the plane when I visited family in the Bay Area when they were available.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                              buttertart Jan 31, 2011 12:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                              TJs has had bags of them on occasion, will keep an eye out.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                              roxlet Jan 31, 2011 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                              The DH picked up the Meyer lemons, and I'm pretty sure he got them at Fairway, but I will double check with him.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                Chocolatechipkt Feb 1, 2011 04:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Whole Foods has them right now, too.

                                                                                                                                                            3. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                              burgeoningfoodie Feb 1, 2011 10:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                              I saw them at TJs the other day. Not sure if they are suppose to be softer than normal lemons, but these were.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                                                                                                                                Caitlin McGrath Feb 1, 2011 11:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                They generally are softer than standard Eurekas.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                  burgeoningfoodie Feb 2, 2011 07:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Good to know as I've only usually heard about the taste difference. I thought they had gone bad.. :-)

                                                                                                                                                            4. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                              MMRuth Jan 31, 2011 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                              Costco. I've been making Meyer lemon marmalade every weekend, and now found a recipe on the NYT for Meyer lemon and blood orange marmalade, so need to restock those lemons!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                buttertart Feb 1, 2011 06:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                That would be a spectacular color (blood oranges + Meyers).
                                                                                                                                                                My favorite orange is in season (Temple) - I should make a marmalade of them....ot but your recipe is?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                  MMRuth Feb 1, 2011 07:54 PM


                                                                                                                                                                  Haven't tried it yet though. Maybe this weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                    buttertart Feb 2, 2011 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    What about your Meyer lemon one, same thing?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                      JoanN Feb 2, 2011 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      There's a Grapefruit and Meyer Lemon Marmalade in Essentials. Page 611. It's a bit more complicated than other Meyer Lemon marmalades, but sounds heavenly. Just waiting for the time to do it justice.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                                                                        MMRuth Feb 2, 2011 06:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        That sounds wonderful. What is "Essentials"? Yes, I'm really out of it these days.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth
                                                                                                                                                                          JoanN Feb 3, 2011 04:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          "Essentials" is the new "The Essential New York Times Cookbook," which is this month's COTM. But here's a link to the original recipe as it was printed in the paper:


                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN
                                                                                                                                                                            MMRuth Feb 3, 2011 05:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks -- does sound a bit time consuming.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                        MMRuth Feb 2, 2011 06:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, I've been making batches of that one every weekend and giving them out at the office. What is interesting is that I screwed up one batch, and put the cut up lemons overnight with water and sugar (you aren't supposed to add the latter until much later), and ended up with a really lovely dark marmalade.

                                                                                                                                                            5. buttertart Feb 1, 2011 06:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Just a few under 200, but what the heck...today's a special day!

                                                                                                                                                              1. c
                                                                                                                                                                ChiliDude Feb 1, 2011 11:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                There's bread dough rising as I keyboard. The streets are not safe to drive due to winter's fury. So I'm gonna bake bread to tide us over until the streets are clear of ice.

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