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February 2011 Cookbook of the Month: THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK Chapters 15-18

Welcome to our February COTM: THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK Chapters 15-18: Cookies, Candy, Frozen Desserts, Cakes, Pie, Tarts and Other Desserts

Please use this thread for review and discussion of recipes from these chapters of THE ESSENTIAL NEW YORK TIMES COOKBOOK. Give us the name of the recipe along with the page number. Photos are welcomed.

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  1. Teddie’s Apple Cake (page 752)

    I believe this was the third recipe most recommended by readers. Hesser says it can be eaten at any time of day and the person quoted about it says “it keeps beautifully.” So it seemed a good choice to keep on the counter for friends who would be staying with me for a while.

    The cake uses oil, and a lot of it (1-1/2 cups) instead of butter, and includes, in addition to apples (I used Honey Crisps), walnuts and raisins. The batter was extremely thick, so thick I’d almost hesitate to call it batter. (In fact, I kept going back and rereading the ingredients list thinking I may have done something wrong, but I don’t think so.) And although the initial mixing can be done in a stand mixer, she recommends incorporating the dry ingredients by hand in order to ensure that the texture of the cake will not be tough. I did that, and it was quite the upper-arm workout. The cake is baked in a tube pan for an hour and 15 minutes and cooled completely before being turned out. I didn’t realize until I took the cake out of the oven that the far edge had begun to burn. I should have known to turn the pan halfway through and have made a note to that effect in the book

    The cake was very good, but almost shockingly rich. I think serving it with either ice cream or whipped cream would be (over)gilding the lily. The cake was somewhat crispy and very caramely around the edges. (In fact, after a couple of days, as the cake dwindled to crumbs--evidently in the middle of the night because it kept disappearing but I never saw anyone eating it--I noticed that someone had started picking at the top and edges and leaving the center on the serving plate. Funny.) Hesser says the cake “has a light, airy crumb.” Maybe I did overmix it a bit, although I made a very concerted effort not to, because “light, airy” isn’t the way I’d have chosen to describe it. It’s definitely a delicious cake, even though I don’t care for raisins and probably would have preferred the cake without them. But clearly this was a big hit with my guests and was really the perfect cake to have on hand to let people have at it whenever the mood or craving hit them.

     
     
    33 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      Sounds great! Maybe this is a good choice to make on a rainly, snowy, sleety day like today! I think I would eliminate the raisins too since no one in my house (except me) seems to like them much.

      1. re: roxlet

        Has anyone made both this apple cake and Dorie's apple cake? I am wondering how the two compare. I love Dorie's apple cake. Very understated and especially good right out of the oven served with ice cream.

      2. re: JoanN

        How could any cake with 1 1./2 c oil in it have an airy crumb?

        1. re: buttertart

          Good point. I hadn't thought of it that way. Although you do beat the oil and two kinds of sugars for five minutes, it never traps air bubbles the way creaming butter and sugar would.

          1. re: JoanN

            For these kinds of cakes I always wonder how they would work with butter instead of the oil.

            1. re: roxlet

              Me too, and 1 1/2 cups just seems like a dreadfully large amount.

              1. re: buttertart

                Yes, it's a lot of oil. But not all that much more than some other famous cakes. For instance David Lebovitz's beloved Fresh Ginger Cake from Room for Dessert (also in this book, by the way), calls for 1 cup of peanut oil.

                1. re: JoanN

                  Yes, and I make an apple cake that also calls for 1 cup of oil. I have a neighbor who went to culinary school for pastry arts, and she adapted my apple cake recipe using melted butter, which is what I would assume you would do for a cake calling for oil since the texture would be similar I'd guess.

                  1. re: JoanN

                    It's just me, somehow oil in quantity - and fat over a cup in any reasonably-sized baked good - seems somehow not right. Melted butter up to a cup? Fine. Oil, no. That's over 5000 calories of oil alone in that puppy, not that I'm big on calories, but it puts me off.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      I think there are probably texture and chemical (not the right word but you know what I mean) to use oil and not butter.

                      For example in a chiffon cake (which uses oil and also egg whites).

                      Discussed here a bit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiffon_...

                        1. re: buttertart

                          Butter always tastes better though! I love the stuff. And should change my name to butterkat the way we go through it! : )

                          1. re: karykat

                            Wonder if you could make a browned butter chiffon cake, straining out the solids? Hmmm...

                            1. re: buttertart

                              That sounds fantastic! If there's anything better than butter, it's browned butter.

                              1. re: karykat

                                Must try. Too true about the browned butter.

                                1. re: karykat

                                  amen! just made a pumpkin layer cake (6"--half recipe) with praline topping/filling and browned butter cream cheese frosting. To die for! Heck, even melted and browned another two pounds of butter, yes, two pounds, and stored it in the refrig in 1/8 portions each of which is sl. less than 4oz.

                              2. re: karykat

                                Yes! Change your name to butterkat, then we can sculpt your likeness in butter and present you at the State Fair! I'm sure we'd win some kind of prize!

                                And, may I ask a dumb question? Is a tube pan the same as a bundt cake pan or an angle cake pan? I own the latter two...

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  I guess that technically a bundt pan is a tube pan, but usually a recipe will specify bundt pan if that's what's being called for. I have springform pans with both flat and tube bottoms so that's what I used, but an angelfood pan would definitely do the trick.

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      Yes, that's what I use when it says tube pan, although I do have other tube pans that have a curved bottom giving the cake a curved top...

                                      1. re: roxlet

                                        This particular recipe is much more attractive right-side up than it would be upside-down. I gave passing thought to using a curved-bottom pan and was glad that I hadn't.

                                        1. re: JoanN

                                          It sounds strange to describe it as light and airy as it sure looks dense in the photo, and sounds dense the way you describe it.

                                          ~TDQ

                2. re: JoanN

                  JoanN, if I remember correctly, you like the apple spice cake from Kate Zuckerman's book (which I love) ~ how do you think Teddie's Apple Cake compares?

                  1. re: emily

                    You do indeed remember correctly and I liked Kate's cake better. For almost too many reasons to list, but just a few: I liked the smaller chunks of sauteed apple as opposed to the much larger chunks of raw; I like Kate's judicious us of spices; hers has no rasins (!), but no nuts :( either; and I love the tenderness of her cake from the sour cream.

                    1. re: JoanN

                      Joan regardless of the oil, and whether its the best apple cake, it really does look lovely and I'm glad it was enjoyed by your guests. Beautiful photos and thanks for the thorough review.

                  2. re: JoanN

                    Didn't have nuts, so added about half a cup of currants that had been soaking in dark rum for a couple of hours. Used fuji apples, cut into chunks. I would describe this as a dense cake, but in a good way. My daughter thought that Rum Raisin ice cream was the perfect accompaniment. I prefer plain with a cup of coffee. Will certainly make again, as my DH loves apple desserts.

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      I usually use currants in anything calling for raisins, I like them much better.

                      1. re: buttertart

                        Have you ever tried bayberries? I think that's what they're called. Little red dried berries. A little tart. Found them through Persian inlaws. They can be hard to find. They;re used in persian rice dishes. But I bet they could go into baked things too. I put them in oatmeal sometimes. Just a thought.

                        1. re: karykat

                          I love bayberries! Like a cross between dried cranberries and dried cherries, I think. (Edit: in terms of flavor. Not botanically!)

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: karykat

                            karykat, you are thinking of BARberries. They are called zereshk in Persian; the rice dish is called zereshk polo, meaning barberry rice.

                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                              Whoops, BARberries. I glossed over that.

                              See how lovely they are?

                              http://www.google.com/images?um=1&amp...

                              ~TDQ

                      2. re: JoanN

                        Hmm.. I think I'd like the apples chopped smaller like someone here mentioned, and would like the moisture to come more from raw apple being cooked inside than from oil.
                        "Light, airy"? Odd, huh?
                        But the flavor of all those ingredients together can't miss. (Even the raisins!)

                        1. re: JoanN

                          It looks beautiful, Joan. Thanks for the review and photos!

                        2. David Eyre's Pancake, p. 813.

                          This is one of the recipes that seemed to have some buzz about it. It's not quite knock your socks off good, but it's extremely yummy. As Hesser says in the headnote, it has a combination of "ease and surprise".

                          It is definitely easy (How hard can pancake batter be?) just flour, milk, eggs and nutmeg beaten lightly. You melt 4 TBSP butter in a skillet (I used cast iron) and then pour in the batter and slip into a 425 oven for 15-20 minutes. when it's done, it's beautiful and puffy and golden and you douse it in powdered sugar and lemon juice.

                          It is very buttery. I made this 3 times in one weekend (the fam really liked it!) and the second two times I cut back on the butter a bit at 3 TBSP and it was still very buttery. I think the next time I make it, I may cut back to 2 Tbsp. My son liked it without the lemon juice, but I thought the lemon juice really made it special. Something about the lemon juice, powdered sugar and eggy butteriness really worked for me. Oh, and for me, I let the butter brown a bit in the pan before adding the batter, this was unintentional the first time (hard to see in the cast-iron skillet) but I liked it a lot like that I will continue to do it that way.

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: greeneggsnham

                            I've been making this since the 1970's, when it was known as a Dutch baby. How did David E get to claim it as his own? Must look it up in the book.

                            1. re: buttertart

                              Funny, I've been reading In the Kitchen w a Good Appetite by Melissa Clark and she includes a version of this recipe in her book. She grew up thinking it was called "David Dares". When her Mom gave her the correct spelling much later in life, she learned he was a gentleman in Hawaii that C. Claiborne had brunch w and, provided Mr C w the recipe.

                              1. re: buttertart

                                I read somewhere that the name Dutch Baby is attributed to someone in the 1970s, but the recipe by David Eyre "got his from the St. Francis Hotel Cookbook , published in 1919.." It was introduced by Craig Claiborne through the NYT when he had it at David's house in Hawaii.

                              2. re: greeneggsnham

                                We made this occasionally when I was growing up, and I do think the 1/4 cup of butter is a bit overwhelming, and would cut back if I were to make it now. I agree that the lemon is essential. Browning the butter is a great idea.

                                1. re: greeneggsnham

                                  This sounds wonderful g! I too love that lemony flavour you describe. Can't wait to try this one.

                                  1. re: greeneggsnham

                                    Yes, Hesser says David Eyre's that was the #2 vote getter, after the purple plum torte (265 votes). (I linked that story in the master thread, by the way).

                                    David Eyre’s pancake (80 votes).
                                    Teddie’s apple cake (37 votes)--see JoanN's report at the top of this thread
                                    2002: Chocolate dump-it cake (24 votes)

                                    Four of the top 5 recipes were desserts. Funny, eh?

                                    I'm glad to hear you shaved back the amount of butter without compromsing the results as I would hope to do the same.

                                    ~TDQ

                                    1. re: greeneggsnham

                                      David Eyre's Pancake (p 813)--this was great. Many know this as a "dutch baby". Like greeneggs said, it is not a show-stopper for flavor; but presentation and fun-factor--very high. I doubled the batter and made it in a le creuset 12 inch pan...puffed up beautifully and collapsed just as nicely. Too simple not to try once. Definitely a nice change from the usual "pancake" and easy to see why this is so beloved after 45 yrs.

                                       
                                       
                                        1. re: greeneggsnham

                                          I know this as a Dutch Baby or Dutch Pancake too. Agree on the lemon juice, and that 3 times in one weekend is not to much!

                                          1. re: greeneggsnham

                                            My turn at the Dutch baby, and my first toe in the ENYTC pool. Used 2 TBSP butter and nonfat milk. I was worried that it wasn't sufficiently poofy after 20 minutes, but I took it out anyway because I didn't want the edges to get any browner. Then when I sprinkled the powdered sugar on it definitely collapsed, so I felt okay about the whole thing. She says to serve it with jam or preserves or something, but we thought it was nice just as is, with lemon juice and powdered sugar.

                                            I will point out that we had this for breakfast, even though it's in the "desserts" section of the book. I noticed the two reader's letters she published with the recipe also referred to it as a breakfast pancake.

                                            Finally, she mentioned the first time he published this recipe Craig Claiborne accidently published it with twice the amount of butter. So, that would have been with 8 TBSP? My goodness. It was very buttery with 2!

                                            ~TDQ

                                            1. re: greeneggsnham

                                              David Eyre's Pancake, p. 813.

                                              My turn to make this. Couldn't be simpler - mix the batter (1/3 cup flour, 1/2 cup whole milk, 2 eggs, fresh grated nutmeg), pour into a hot skillet (I used 12-inch cast iron) with 4 TB melted butter, and bake. Mine took exactly 16 minutes at 425. I love how easy this is - perfect for when company stays over.

                                               
                                               
                                               
                                            2. Almond Cake page 777
                                              I think it was buttertart who said the almond fanciers here MUST make this one. I obeyed. Made a half recipe mini cake in a 6 inch pan.
                                              According to the book, it's *supposed* to fall, badly, in the middle, right after removal from the oven. Fall it did.
                                              I wish I could say I love it, but I was happier eating the raw almond paste that was one of the ingredients! It's buttery and almondy and sweet -- pretty dense -- (my Mr. calls it "fleshy" -- eek)
                                              but the flavor was not almond-intense enough for me.
                                              Amanda H. says she has made this recipe more than any other in the book! She also says it improves with age, so maybe tomorrow I'll be more excited about it.
                                              I think I'd give it just a C+ tonight though. I should also disclose that I'm a pie person, not a cake person.

                                               
                                               
                                              36 Replies
                                              1. re: blue room

                                                blue room, it looks lovely---sorry you weren't loving it...this was on my short list, but think it just got bumped!

                                                1. re: apple342

                                                  Next morning--hey, it *did* get more of an almond flavor overnight! Still not my favorite, but definitely changed for the better.

                                                2. re: blue room

                                                  I've never seen almond paste in the UK - is it the same as marzipan which is also made from almonds?

                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                    They are not the same thing. I've never known the difference (both have almonds and sugar), but JoanN does --per this thread, she says marzipan has a lot more sugar. But, she also supplies a recipe for almond paste... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5663...

                                                    ~TDQ

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      Here's a nice description from the same source as the recipe for almond paste that JoanN supplied. http://www.ochef.com/1087.htm

                                                      ~TDQ

                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        I did make the almond paste for this cake--my recipe called for egg white (rather than corn syrup) along with the almonds and sugar. It was a snap!

                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                          It's too bad you don't like this - I loved it warm and can't stay away from it (the almond flavor deepens with age).
                                                          I used Odense almond paste which is what the recipe de facto calls for (7 oz tube). It's imported from Denmark so it should be available in the UK, I should think? It has an extremely almond taste, perhaps that's what you're missing by using homemade (I've made it in the past too and never been as happy with it in things as I have been with the storebought stuff).
                                                          Mine slumped in the middle too - I was wondering how it would be if you used the egg whites, beaten, as well as the yolks. Must try that.
                                                          Another note - next time I'd make it all in my standing mixer, using a FP and then a bowl seems unnecessary (I believe she says somewhere she doesn't have a standing mixer - the almond paste is quite stiff even at room temp so you'd need something with muscle to get it incorporated - when she says add it by small bits you'd better do just that).
                                                          I truly hope your experience does not dissuade people from making this, I've been baking since I was 8 or so and this is one of my very favorite things I have ever made. Seriously.

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            My homemade almond paste could very probably be inferior--and yes, the almond flavor is more apparent now. (And Mr. blue likes it fine.)
                                                            I make a poppyseed cake that is very strongly flavored with almond (extract), I do like that flavor. I like it when you can smell it across the room!
                                                            It (the Almond Cake) is a very pretty golden cake -- and she said it's supposed to deflate, concentrating the middle. Of course it's hard not to wish it stayed domed.

                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                              Not necessarily inferior, just different, I believe they use some bitter almond in theirs and you'll never get it as smooth as it is, the almonds are crushed and kneaded in the manufacture as I understand it.
                                                              My middle's not too too deflated, the texture is fairly uniform throughout the cake. I overbaked mine a touch (dark springform and inattentiveness on the part of the baker) but I still love it. Too much.

                                                            2. re: buttertart

                                                              I'm not dissuaded! My issue is "so many recipes, too little time." Desserts always seem to fall off of my list, alas.

                                                              ~TDQ

                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                Do not fear Buttertart, your recommendation is enough for me. It is on my list for this week.

                                                                1. re: dkennedy

                                                                  I'll be interested in your report on this cake. Raves from buttertart and A. Hesser says it's the recipe she has made the most from this book, but I was not happy with it.

                                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                                    Make the whole recipe and use Odense or other commercial almond paste, if you're fond of almond flavor I'm sure you'll love it.

                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                      buttertart, do you think halving the recipe had a bad effect?

                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                        It is possible - but I think it was the almond paste used that threw it off.

                                                                2. re: buttertart

                                                                  Glad you enjoyed it. I call it my "thank you" cake because whenever I need to thank someone for doing something special, I give them this cake. Since it stores well and is sturdy, it also ships well. I've sent it across the country many times!

                                                                3. re: blue room

                                                                  I've never made this cake with home-made almond paste, so that may have accounted for the weaker almond flavor. Not sure. I think if you make it with commercial almond paste, you'd find that it's very almond-y!

                                                                  1. re: amandahesser1

                                                                    Amanda, I have been hoarding my last can of almond paste. It is the 8 oz Love n Bake can. Do you think I could just use 8 oz instead of 7 in this cake?

                                                                    Thanks!

                                                                      1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                        Becca, I'd use 7, only because the batter is so heavy that the center of the cake sinks after baking, and I think if you use 8 ounces of almond paste, it may never rise! Also, I have found that the paste in a can is a little drier than the tubes of almond paste. Not sure how this will affect this cake, but hopefully it'll be ok! Let me know.

                                                                        1. re: amandahesser1

                                                                          Incidentally this cake keeps well (I had to get it off the counter or little snicks en passant were going to pare it down to nothing in no time flat, so stuck the quarter remaining in the fridge). Had a piece Saturday am, nuked for 15 seconds, oh my goodness good. This is getting an introduction to the extended family this weekend.

                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                            My mother-in-law (whose recipe this is) used to keep it under her bed. It will last a good week if stored in an air-tight container ... under the bed.

                                                                              1. re: amandahesser1

                                                                                Love it! I wonder what magical powers of preservation "under the bed' has?

                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                  That's where my mom used to keep the Christmas cookies made well in advance, come to think of it.

                                                                                2. re: amandahesser1

                                                                                  How long should the batter be blended in the FP before adding the flour? Thanks

                                                                              2. re: amandahesser1

                                                                                Just wanted to let you know this was a huge hit with my Iowa in-laws, all of whom are food maniacs - I used Solo almond paste and used the whole 8 oz (I grated it on the big holes of a four-sided grater, only had a hand mixer to work with, the grating helped it to incorporate)- and beat the egg whites stiff and folded them in (as an experiment, because I just had to). The cake rose to 3" on the sides (much higher than my first one) and was somewhat lighter, but it did sink in the middle, which I like anyway - the squidgy bit is reminiscent of Danish kransekage, one of my favorite things on this earth.
                                                                                What the heck kept me from making this cake for so long? I remember the article it first appeared in.

                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                  I am going to look for almond paste but if I don't find it I might try it with marzipan, just because I have some in the fridge that I need to use up. Maybe I should cut the sugar a little bit if I use marzipan - what do you think?

                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                    Definitely, it's a quite sweet cake with the almond paste. Maybe 1/3 less? Is your marzipan stiff? Almond paste here is quite hard, friable to some extent but very firm.

                                                                  2. re: blue room

                                                                    Almond Cake page 777

                                                                    I made this last night for book group and I loved it. I had been wanting to make this cake and was so happy that I finally had a chance to do so.

                                                                    A word of warning though, the recipe has you mix a cup of sour cream with some baking soda. In order to save a bowl, I just mixed the baking soda into the small container of sour cream (size of a yogurt cup). That was a HUGE mistake. The baking soda caused the sour cream to splooch and bubble over, causing a slight mess onto the counter. When I went to scrape it into a separate bowl, it was pretty messy. I ended up not saving any bowls and had a messy counter to clean up to boot.

                                                                    Ok, back to the cake. It rose beautifully and then had the expected drop. It did look quite pretty once I sprinkled the sifted confectioner's sugar on it. The middle was very moist, almost like it was underdone. The edges were a bit drier and more standard cake like. Is that what the middle is supposed to be like?

                                                                    I made the cake on Wed, served it on Thursday and will have more leftovers tonight. I'm banking on the fact that it improves with age. Can't wait to taste how much more tasty it could possibly get.

                                                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                                                      Beetlebug -- glad you liked it! The center should be moist; sounds like you got it right.

                                                                      1. re: amandahesser1

                                                                        I just have to say this is one of my favorite recipes ever. Ever ever ever.

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          Thanks for reminding me about this recipe, I have been meaning to try it.

                                                                    2. re: blue room

                                                                      Made this over the weekend and thought it was excellent, although I still think I prefer Flo Braker's Crystal Almond Pound Cake. The Braker cake has a similar flavor and texture (iirc; it's been a couple of years since I last made it), but wins both on presentation (it's baked in a bundt pan and doesn't fall) and has a lemon/sugar glaze that adds a bit of crunch and the barest hint of tartness to nearly every sweet bite. You must try that one, bt, and let us know what you think.

                                                                      I feel fairly certain, blue room, that your disappointment with the flavor must have been due to the use of homemade almond paste. I used Odense, although I usually prefer Love'n Bake, and thought the flavor every bit as intense as an almond lover could possibly want. In fact, my grandson took one bite and said, "Mmmm. Marzipan."

                                                                       
                                                                    3. Brownies p.684

                                                                      I'd intended to start TENYTC today with a chicken dish and side vegetables but a snow day tomorrow meant I suddenly had three extra 15 year old girls for dinner and a sleepover so that plan went out the window. A quick and chocolatey dessert was required so the brownies fit the bill. Really quick to make - less than 10 mins then 25 mins in the oven. I did 24 mins as I like mine fudgey but the middle was a little too gooey so I'll try 25 next time. I don't think these brownies surpassed Nick Malgieri's Supernatural Brownies which I am a big fan of since buttertart introduced me to them. But they were good - good chocolate flavor (I used Ghirardelli 60% choc chips) and a shiny,crackled surface (as Amanda says, an important brownie detail). I love the stories with each recipe in this book - this one is from 1943 and "the recipe was highlighted as a sweet that traveled well as a care package for soldiers".

                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                      1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                        I found the timing to be off on the Amazon cake that I made so maybe that's an issue with this book?

                                                                        Must make these in my quest for the perfect brownie. The pecan brownies from Bon Appetit Y'All are currently on top. Supernatural Brownies are second, tied with Robert's Best Brownies from David Lebovitz's Ready for Dessert.

                                                                        1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                          I like those timelines at the beginning of the book too--interesting!

                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                            Glad you're enjoying the timelines. I crowd-sourced some of the material for them from Twitter!

                                                                          2. re: JaneEYB

                                                                            I like the timelines very much too. And Nick's brownies aren't going to be surpassed, at least not in my book ;-) I keep trying other recipes and end up, in the immortal words of Leonard Cohen, "so deeply unimpressed".

                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                              I must be the only person who just isn't a fan of the Supernatural brownies. I am not sure why. They seem pretty mild in chocolate flavor. That could be because I can't hardly get the good stuff around here. I also think they are too fudgy for my tastes, I like a little more chewiness. I feel bad for not loving them.

                                                                              1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                Nothing to feel bad about. i did make them with Baker's at my MIL's and agree that with ordinary chocolate they aren't as good as with the good stuff. For more chewiness, sub cocoa and oil for half of the chocolate called for (3 tb cocoa + 1 tb oil = 1 oz chocolate). Also add 1/2 tsp baking powder.

                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                  Yeah, I usually have to use Ghirardelli, better than Baker's but not the best for sure.

                                                                                  1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                    I've used Hershey's Special Dark in these and people have really liked them. I don't like Ghirardelli very much.

                                                                                2. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                  Also, if you add a little espresso, it intensifies the chocolate taste.

                                                                              2. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                Wow - I've tried a lot of brownie recipes and I believe this one has moved to the top! My only change next time would be to replace a bit of the flour with unsweetened cocoa. Otherwise, I loved the balance of chocolate, sugar and butter in these. Oh, and I used a Valrhona chocolate bar from TJ's (3.5 oz v. 3 oz called for in the recipe).

                                                                              3. Cashew Butterscotch Bars (p. 697). Another homerun. What a surprise these were. I have never used butterscotch chips before and had NO idea how great they would be. This recipe is a bit of "in/out of the oven" for a bar cookie--but worth it. The shortbread crust is unbelievable. These flew off the plate. Next time, I am going to up the salt a smidge. One guest summed it up perfectly: "holy h#&* these are amazing." So true. Will definitely be making these again.

                                                                                 
                                                                                 
                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: apple342

                                                                                  Gorgeous photos. Looks like you have a lightbox setup. Is it a tabletop size specifically for food photos? Is it something you bought? or something you made? I'm envious, but don't have the room to store it even if I could find someplace to set it up.

                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                    Thank you, JoanN! I dont have a lightbox (dont have the space either!) The weather was so weird that day, I didn't have good natural light. I shot it next to a large window on a piece of white cardboard and had to use my flash (sb600); so it looks more like a "studio shot".

                                                                                  2. re: apple342

                                                                                    These sound, and look, so good. Love everything about this combination - shortbread, nuts and caramel - so definitely on the list.

                                                                                    1. re: apple342

                                                                                      Great to hear this because I almost didn't include the recipe in the book. I'm not a huge ban of butterscotch bars but my husband liked these so much, I decided to keep them in the lineup.

                                                                                    2. Rum Omelet

                                                                                      By using Grand Marnier instead of rum, I came extremely close to recreating one of my all-time favorite desserts -- the Grand Marnier Souffle served at Chez Camille in Washington, D.C., back in the 70's. A great dessert to toss together when your sweet tooth is kicking up, as you probably always have the ingredients on hand.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                        OK, I would have never made this one, so it's good you reported on it!

                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                      2. Sour Cream Sorbet p. 851 (Alain Ducasse 2002)

                                                                                        I've wanted to try this for a long time--it is in my "recipe file project" list too, who cares if it's below freezing outside? And it couldn't taste better or be easier. Sour cream and sugar and lime. Use an actual lime please--it uses juice and a little zest. A few minutes in the ice cream maker and you have what you'd expect-- pure white creamy tangy cold sweet sorbet. Very rich, of course, the pic below I'd say would be *two* servings. I wouldn't hesitate to put this up against a whole Key Lime Pie.

                                                                                         
                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                                                          Wow! blue room, that looks divine! I'm with you---who cares if its freezing out?! So glad to know about this one. Sounds heavenly, esp for those of us who love Key Lime Pie.

                                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                                            I've done this one with reduced fat sour cream before, too, and still liked it!

                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                              I have one for buttermilk sherbet w/lemon too. Love that tang!
                                                                                              Dairy is my downfall, not fried meat, not bread.

                                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                                buttermilk lemon sherbert? that sounds fantastic!

                                                                                                1. re: qianning

                                                                                                  In saucepan, bring to a boil 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water. Remove from heat, cool, chill.
                                                                                                  Whisk this chilled syrup into 2 cups buttermilk,
                                                                                                  juice and zest of 1 lemon,
                                                                                                  scraped 1 inch-long piece of vanilla bean.
                                                                                                  Then just freeze in ice cream maker.
                                                                                                  Very nice hot weather of course!

                                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                                    thanks. i don't thiink i'm going to wait for hot weather to try this :)

                                                                                          2. Lemon Lotus Ice Cream p. 724 and Blueberry Ice Cream p.726
                                                                                            It is a rare snow day in Louisiana (I've only seen sleet) and I made two batches of ice cream!

                                                                                            The lemon ice cream turned out good. I happen to love preserved lemon and lemon zest, not everyone does (my husband). This has one sliced whole lemon churned into a lemon ice cream. I thought it worked out great.

                                                                                            Note though, that this makes more than will fit into a Cuisinart machine, it is about like two batches for it. This is complicated by the fact that the lemons settle in the mix, and therefore it is hard to just freeze it in two batches. So I churned one right after the other in the bowl and then folded them together. This worked well. The bowl retained enough cold to do it.

                                                                                            Now... for the blueberry. It is fantastic! Like perhaps the best ice cream I have ever had. The texture is buttery and creamy without being gummy. It is perfectly sweet tart. I absolutely loved it! I will make it often, I am quite sure.

                                                                                             
                                                                                             
                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                              Becca, these look wonderful! Good for you for making ice cream on a snow day! I wonder if there is a way to make these in a vitamix?

                                                                                              1. re: apple342

                                                                                                I would have pureed the blueberry mixture in my vitamix, but it was dirty.

                                                                                              2. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                I won't be able to get that beautiful purple picture out of my head 'til I can make some for myself!

                                                                                                1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                  Wow. Kudos to you, Becca, for taking on ice cream in this weather.
                                                                                                  I LOVE blueberry ice cream, and that is just stunning. Question: was it just the lemon or did this also not fit into the Cuisinart (ice cream maker, I'm assuming? Did you start w/frozen berries or fresh?

                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                    No the blueberry one fit perfectly in the Cuisinart ice cream maker. I did find some really pretty fresh blueberries from Chile. It would probably be even better with good blueberries in season. Though because it is so lemony bright, it really doesn't scream blueberry anyway.

                                                                                                  2. Even-Greater American Pound Cake (p. 788)

                                                                                                    Was expecting this to be a much heavier cake than it actually was. It was more delicate and had a finer crumb than expected. I think the use of potato starch flour helped with the moist crumb. It is very buttery. I am a huge poundcake lover and I didn't love this one. It was good--enjoyable just not great. The almond extract was not necessary - a bit potent. I would omit or use more vanilla. I saw (after the fact ) that she sometimes uses lemon zest, which would probably help round off the almond extract.

                                                                                                    I used the WS Heritage pan (10-cup) which was not quite large enough for the amount of batter in this recipe. Think it is technically a 9-inch pan. I mistakenly saw "10-cup" pan instead of "10-inch" and was afraid it was going to fall over the sides during baking....thankfully, it didn't - but was close.

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: apple342

                                                                                                      I don't care how many dang Bundt etc pans I have, I gotta get that one. It is beautiful.

                                                                                                        1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                          Everybody loves that one! Glazes pour right down those "sluices" though, so you must keep catching the overflow and re-pouring. Just a few extra minutes and worth it for such a cool design.

                                                                                                          1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                            I've had that pan on my wish list a long time now and it's great to see an actual cake made in it, it's stunning! I'm just daunted by the non-standard capacity. I think I'll have to bite the bullet though.

                                                                                                            1. re: apple342

                                                                                                              Sorry the cake wasn't as good as you'd hoped apple but what it lacked in flavour it sure made up for in appearance! Beautiful!

                                                                                                              1. re: apple342

                                                                                                                I see that MORE almond extract is recommended in the notes after the recipe -- did you use that extra? Or just stick with the 1/4 teaspoon in the body of the recipe?

                                                                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                  Love your bundt pan mold -- gorgeous!

                                                                                                              2. Individual Apple Tarts p. 834

                                                                                                                I was dreading actually baking these off after dinner, but they are not much trouble. I made these with Granny Smiths. I love a tart apple.

                                                                                                                The pate brisee recipe specifies bleached AP flour. I keep it around for times like this, but I rarely use it. I have to say, I don't think I like it. I could really tell the difference. Unbleached for me next time.

                                                                                                                The tarts were delicious though. I accidentally sprinkled on the brown sugar before baking instead of after.

                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                  Becca, your tart looks delicious! Interesting on the AP flour--good to know. Her poundcake recipe also called for bleached APF, but I didn't have it, so used unbleached. Love using granny's for apple desserts.

                                                                                                                2. Walnut Cake with Chocolate Buttercream p. 758

                                                                                                                  This cake intrigued me, and I love walnuts. I hadn't realized that it made two loaf cakes versus a layer cake until I started baking it. I dutifully creamed the mixture for the full 10 minutes. I left my walnuts untoasted as Amanda says she prefers. (I agreed)

                                                                                                                  I baked the cake off with no problems. The buttercream had some issues. My hand mixer only has one beater because the other one broke. There is a lot of whisking for this. I did half by hand and then switched to my poor hand mixer. I was surprised that you beat in the butter while it was still in the water bath. Not surprisingly, the mixture got too hot and broke. It was sad because it was a lot of work getting it there.

                                                                                                                  I set it aside and looked online for a solution. Finally I decided to try beating it over ice water to cool it down. That worked! It lightened and came together. Unfortunately I waited a bit too long to spread it on the cake after that and it had thickened up some. It didn't spread smoothly, but it still looked/tasted right.

                                                                                                                  Now after all this drama, my husband proclaimed it the only cake he wanted on his birthday from now on. This surprised me. It is not even a layer cake. He loves nuts though, and couldn't get enough of this cake. The frosting was even a little bitter, which is what I like... not him, but it didn't matter. I thought it was wonderful. I loved the crunch of the nuts, and the texture of the cake.

                                                                                                                  Since it looks like I will be making this often, does anyone have any insight on the buttercream?

                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: Becca Porter

                                                                                                                    Boy that's on my list, husband is a huge walnut fan. I had wondered about it so am glad to see you liked it so well.

                                                                                                                  2. Tapioca Flamingo p 810

                                                                                                                    The introduction to this one is great, and I was drawn to the retro kitsch feel to it. Plus she says it was so good they reran the recipe. Apparently until after WWII tapioca was generally made with fruit juice, not milk and vanilla, so it is a good period piece. I have a freezer full of strawberries I picked last summer and never have a clue what to do with this, so this fit the bill perfectly!

                                                                                                                    You macerate (in my case thaw too) a pound of strawberries in sugar for a while, then strain out the juice into a measuring cup. You add water or pineapple juice to make 3 cups (I used water because I wanted the strawberries to shine). You bring the juice and quick tapioca to a boil, mix in the strawberries, then chill. Put half in the bottom of "coupe glasses" whatever that is, I used wine glasses. Mix the other half with whipped cream and put it on top.

                                                                                                                    This is a pretty dessert, though not fancy. My strawberries were really good, and I could probably have used less sugar because they were so sweet, but it's fine. With pineapple juice it would have been a bit much. The creamless part is pretty thick, as she says, but not set like jello. The texture is odd of course, as tapioca always is! No doubt a few years later this would have been a gelatin dessert, and the texture would have been less frog spawn (my husband insisted I use that term somewhere in the review, but he means it in the nicest possible way), but also less interesting. I don't think this will replace my strawberry fool recipe, but I could see making it again since it's easy, I have the ingredients, and my daughter (3) enjoyed helping to make it and eating it.

                                                                                                                    I should add that I expect it would be a bit different with fresh strawberries, though they would soften from the maceration and pouring the hot liquid over them. But it certainly works with frozen fruit.

                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                      Oh it looks lovely! And how interesting about the history of tapioca!

                                                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                                                      1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                        Such a lovely dessert sarah, this sure looks like a fitting Valentines Day dessert. . . maybe w some chocolate shavings on top!

                                                                                                                        1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                          That is so pretty. Makes me wish I actually enjoyed desserts.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                            Oh does that look beautiful..! G loves tapioca and I hardly ever make it for him. This is an inspiration. I usually don't read the dessert chapters so I would have missed it.

                                                                                                                            1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                              To freeze fresh strawberries, do you just put them in a plastic freezer bag and then toss into the freezer?

                                                                                                                              Last summer I went to pick fresh (organic) strawberries and I'm going to avoid buying/eating non-organic ones in the future. The 3 of us picked too many ($35 worth!!!) but we gave a lot away and I figured out they fed 25 people.

                                                                                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                I washed and stemmed them, froze them on a tray and then moved them to freezer bags. I made a bunch of freezer jam too, which is so much better than regular jam because it isn't cooked. Love it with greek yogurt, its a little taste of summer! But I don't have a lot of other ideas for using them.

                                                                                                                              2. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                Oh Sarah....these look lovely!! Wow! I am definitely going to have to make this. Gorgeous.

                                                                                                                              3. Whiskey Cake, p. 784.

                                                                                                                                For some reason, I got pulled in by Hesser's alluding to the old-timey quality of this treat, once called Tipsy Cake. It was quite quick to throw together (and I just happened to have whizzed some stale bread the day before so had fine dry crumbs on hand for dusting the buttered bundt pan). Sifted 1 1/2 c flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 salt. Then, w/paddle attachment, beat 8 T (soft) butter w/1 1/4 c sugar & grated zest of 1 lemon until fluffy. In went 2 eggs & 2 tsp vanilla until incorporated, and then the remaining 2 eggs. Once smooth, half the flour mixture was beaten in 'til smooth. I added the other half and finished mixing by hand w/rubber spatula. Poured and scraped the batter into the prepared pan. Seemed like a small amount of batter (and indeed this makes a pretty small cake). The recipe says to bake 30-35 minutes. It was 42 before my toothpick emerged clean.

                                                                                                                                But the cake was lovely, golden, and fine-crumbed. I think it would be good without the syrup--or w/a different one (different booze or instead of booze, lemon or orange)--or w/berries and whipped cream.

                                                                                                                                I did make the syrup as directed w/1/2 c. water, 1/3 c. sugar, and 1/2 c. bourbon, and poured it over/into the warm cake. It really is delicious, but a warning: the bourbon is very pronounced. You don't burn off the alcohol for this syrup; I'd forgotten that but was reminded when a child (who hasn't yet developed a taste for bourbon!) took a slice and promptly turned it over to his mother. I then realized that I'd also served a piece to a recovering alcoholic in attendance--but, thank goodness, it turns out I did not knock him off the wagon.

                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                  I love booze in desserts, seems so grown up :-)
                                                                                                                                  I made a cake with rum last year and hated the fierce alcohol-- but... the day AFTER it was great.
                                                                                                                                  Could this happen with your (gorgeous design) cake? Or have you already waited a day or two?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                    It mellowed a bit after a day, yes, but was still too much for a lttle boy! We love it--esp. my husband, who loves bourbon.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                      Maybe boil the syrup briefly and let it cool if it's supposed to be room temp when poured?

                                                                                                                                  2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                    this one is going on my short list---stunning. love love love booze in a dessert.

                                                                                                                                  3. Flat-and-Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, P. 706

                                                                                                                                    Wow, were these a hit--even w/the kids, who often don't care for even semi-sweet chocolate chips but who sure didn't mind the (Ghirardelli) bittersweet in these, which surprised me b/c when I tasted them, my thought was, adult (in a very good way) CC cookies. They are indeed flat (which I hope my photo captures), but I certainly wouldn't describe them as "chewy." Rather, they were quite crisp, which is fine by me. These are great.

                                                                                                                                    I followed the recipe to a tee. I had Diamond Crystal salt so added a scant T to 2c flour & 1 1/4 tsp baking soda. After the butter (1/2 #) and sugars (1 1/2 c lt brown, only 1/4 c white) are creamed, the eggs are added, then the (1T) vanilla, and the flour mixture goes into the bowl and is paddled just until it's all mixed. Two cups ea. chopped bittersweet chocolate and chopped toasted walnuts are folded in, and the dough is refrigerated. I left it overnight, as recommended.

                                                                                                                                    The next day, I scooped the very stiff dough onto the baking sheets, flattened the balls somewhat, and baked at 325 for about 15 minutes. This yielded almost 60 cookies, so next time I'll try half the recipe. But, yes, there will be a next time.

                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                    11 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                      Oops, meant to show the cookie height.

                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                        Both desserts look and sound wonderful ncw! I'd love a slice of that cake right now w my tea!!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                          Nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                          Made the flat and chewy based on your recommendation and very glad I did. I got the batch together around 4:00 and baked two sample cookies just now. Will let the rest sit until morning as instructed. Have to say, your picture looks very different than how mine came out. After 15 minutes mine were already very flat and very brown. I used only dark chocolate shards but tomorrow I think I will mix in some semi-sweet chips to add a sweet, salty component. Preliminary findings: great cookies! Everyone should try them.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                            I wonder if the refrigeration makes the difference in how flat they are? Do let us know if you notice a difference after the refrigerator rest.
                                                                                                                                            But oh I wish I liked these less . . .

                                                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                              I made another batch today and they are still very flat, and much browner than your picture. If I can figure out how to upload a picture, I will add it later tonight. But, yes, with the mixture of dark and semi-sweet chocolate, very yummy!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                                                Don't judge by my photo, dk--my camera/lighting are nothing special, and I'm no photographer.
                                                                                                                                                Anyway, glad you liked these.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                                  So happy to hear that you enjoyed the cookies. I developed these with Amanda and they took us forever to get the way we wanted. I made them again the other night (it had been a while since I last made them). They really do need the overnight refrigeration and chilling on the baking sheet right before they go in the oven. Chewy is probably the wrong word for these (maybe it's because we couldn't resist eating them while they were warm and named them too soon). Tonight I made a batch of the thick and gooey cookies from the same Times story.

                                                                                                                                                  http://events.nytimes.com/recipes/112...

                                                                                                                                                  I chilled the dough overnight. My first sheet pan of cookies came out really flat, so I chilled the next batch on their baking sheet in the freezer (to speed things up) and they came out much thicker. Very finicky cookies, but tasty.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                            Flat and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, page 706

                                                                                                                                            These were a huge hit at my house as well. My grandson thought they might even have been the best ever--and that includes some of the classics such as the CI thick and chewy, the Jacques Torres, and World Peace. I used what I had: some leftover TJ's chocolate, both 60% and 72%, and a big chunk of Callebaut bittersweet that I cut up into chunks and, mostly, shards. I also had a scant cup of walnuts leftover from something so chopped those up and tossed them in, too. I didn't remember until I was ready to make the dough that my now room temperature butter was President brand and that what looks like a half pound is really only 7 ounces. Didn't feel like warming up more butter so just went with the 7 ounces.

                                                                                                                                            These were indeed “flat and chewy.” No false advertising here. And as good on day three as they were on day one. I wonder whether or not using only 7 ounces of butter made them even a bit chewier than they might otherwise have been? I’m almost loath to try them with the full 8 ounces to find out.

                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                              I don't know about the butter amount and chewiness, though I think it makes sense that using a bit less could increase chewiness, but I'm sure it didn't hurt the calculus that President is 82% butterfat.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                                                              Flat-and-Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, p. 706

                                                                                                                                              I came here to reread the reports before making these, mostly because I wondered about the large measure of salt. Since no one remarked on it, I went ahead and used the full measure of DC, and while the dough tasted salty, it really was perfect in the baked cookies.

                                                                                                                                              I noted that JoanN had used 7 oz of high-butterfat President butter and reported chewier results so, because I had Anchor butter from New Zealand (82.9% butterfat), I decided to use 7 oz instead of 8 and see what happened. I used Guittard 63% cacao chocolate chips, and about a cup of chopped walnuts. I also reduced the brown sugar to 1 1/3 cups. I refrigerated the dough overnight, and actually had to leave it out for a bit before I could scoop it. I made them as specified, and had a yield of 32 large cookies.

                                                                                                                                              The texture of my cookies was rather crisp, with a bit of chew. I probably could have pulled them a minute sooner, but they seemed set and golden brown at 15. Still, good flavor and much enjoyed by the crew I baked them for.

                                                                                                                                            3. Fresh Blueberry Buckle (p 815)

                                                                                                                                              This is a nice easy recipe and very similar to the one my mom always made growing up. When I've tried other recipes I've always been disappointed because they don't sink in the middle, and are too cakey. This one is just right! Really simple to make using things I already had on hand. I don't have a 9 inch pan so I used an 8 inch and it worked just fine. I used frozen blueberries because I have a ton that I picked last summer (and it was a really good year for blueberries, so they're especially delicious). I've never used frozen blueberries in blueberry buckle before, but it worked just fine. I can't tell any difference (I put it in the oven with them frozen). It didn't really sink in the middle, but the cake layer is minimal so it's not like a big puffy coffee cake like other recipes I've made. The biggest difference between this recipe and my mom's is that mom's uses cinnamon in the crumble topping and this uses cardamom and nutmeg. It's a slight difference and I really liked it. The cardamom is not too strong at all, and just adds and extra sweetness and lightness. To me, it seems to hint at spring time while cinnamon seems more autumnal. My husband was really wowed by this, and kept repeating how great it was. I don't want to buy the book, but I'll have to write down this recipe, it's a keeper! I forgot to add the egg and vanilla until after I mixed all the dry ingredients in, but it still turned out fine. I was pretty distracted by trying to keep my helper from eating shoes and playing in the trash. And trying to avoid tripping over the pans he got out for me.

                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                                It looks delicious. And your helper is adorable. Clearly, a Chef in training!

                                                                                                                                                Just a general note, I really appreciate all of the precise info people are giving about small changes they made and whether they were problematic. I never know which things to fret about getting exactly right and which things I can tweak.

                                                                                                                                                ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                                  Now I'm bookmarking this one. That sounds great, sarahcooks--and your helper IS adorable. (Isn't it funny how much toddlers like pots and pans? Really no need to buy toys!)
                                                                                                                                                  BTW, IME frozen blueberries work well in almost any baked goods (not to mention smoothies, jam, etc.),--and in ice cream as becca porter's post here shows.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                                    Oh Sarah, how delightful on both counts! I'll add this to my ever growing list of recipes "To-Try".

                                                                                                                                                    I've never used frozen blueberries either so its great to know they worked out! Fabulous!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                                      Don't know which picture I like better!

                                                                                                                                                      I have a huge bag of wild blueberries in the freezer, and I might just have to make this. Invite some people over for a coffee, and let them feast.

                                                                                                                                                      Blueberries freeze extremely well. We pick bushels and bushels of wild berries in NH each summer, and freeze them. I do find that bush berries [the big mushy ones] don't freeze anywhere near as well.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                                        More oohs and aahs on both photos. Love the idea of cardamom in the topping.

                                                                                                                                                        Never would have stumbled across this recipe. Ain't COTM great!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                                          smtucker expressed it exactly right -- which picture draws me in more??
                                                                                                                                                          Lucky you, you don't have to choose!

                                                                                                                                                          I've never been sorry using frozen berries (not just blue) in baked goods in the winter. They're always tasty, just fine. Thank you for posting this, I know I'll try it.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                                            sarah, this looks wonderful!! I had passed this one right over. i love using frozen blueberries in desserts. good to know about the cardamom--sometimes it can be overpowering. i know we all agree your helper is *too* cute!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                                              Love both photos. Here's another dessert for my husband who has the sweet tooth in the family. Frozen berries are the perfect antidote for winter freeze doldrums. Thanks Sarah...!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                                                What a super cutie! I wish I had a stock of summer blueberries in my freezer!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sarahcooks

                                                                                                                                                                  Fresh Blueberry Buckle (p 815)

                                                                                                                                                                  This was delicious and a huge hit at a dinner party last night. I especially loved the cardamon in the topping. I did use fresh blueberries from TJs and I used the 9" pan. I did have doubts about the pan because there really wasn't cake batter and it was spread really thin across the pan. The blueberries were just enough to top the cake batter.

                                                                                                                                                                  I just served this with whipped cream (with a touch of vanilla and sugar) and 4 of us polished the cake off.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Swedish Ginger Cookies pg. 708

                                                                                                                                                                  A pretty standard ginger snap recipe except that it uses bacon fat. I made it per the recipe, but played around with the spice proportions, upping the ginger quantity and reducing the cinnamom, adding a little nutmeg.

                                                                                                                                                                  These are good, with a wonderful ginger snap texture, but not good enough to compensate for the guilt over using bacon grease!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Since Amanda wrote that so many people sent in Teddie's Apple Cake as their most stained recipe, I thought I'd give it a whirl. The cake was tasty, though very sweet (almost a little too sweet for me). My husband described it as a church cake. I would described it as a cross between a pound cake and a coffee cake. I wonder how using butter instead of oil would change the cake, also swapping brown sugar for some of the white (and lowering the sugar). I would love to take out the walnuts and raisins and just add more apples, maybe more spices too. I think I will try some of these things out soon...But I need to give my waistline a break. With only two people in my house, we ate it every day. It was dangerous. Baking a cake like that is great when you have lots of people coming in and out of your house on a daily basis.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Chocolate Chip Cookies p.709

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm always on the lookout for the perfect choc chip cookie so since this was based on Jacques Toress's recipe and bakers on the baking thread swear by it, thought I'd give these a go.. I rested the dough as suggested. These were OK cookies but they aren't going into my Hall of Fame in my search for the perfect cookie. I didn't follow the recipe exactly which may not have helped. I used regular choc chips rather than feves, which I felt would be far too large. I also reduced the size of the cookies by half (6" cookies seemed totally OTT) and reduced the baking time accordingly.

                                                                                                                                                                      The reasons I won't be making these again: Cookies too flat. Dough too salty and I didn't even sprinkle the top with sea salt as suggested. 1.5 teaspoons of coarse salt means you are always aware of salt on your taste buds as you eat the cookie. I like salt but I didn't want it to be this prominent in a choc chip cookie.

                                                                                                                                                                      So the quest goes on!

                                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                                        Oh my goodness! I had no idea that recipe was in this book. There's a long CCC discussion going on in another thread and a few people were claiming this recipe was the best ever--even though they don't make it as written. I was having company for a couple of weeks and decided to use that as an excuse to make the recipe EXACTLY as written, feves, salt, and all. I reported on it here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7611...

                                                                                                                                                                        My results were surprisingly different from yours: mine definitely weren't flat, but they sure were way too large, and I didn't think they were too salty at all. Where did you see the recipe call for 1.5 teaspoons coarse salt? In my book, it just says "sea salt." No mention of amount, no mention of coarse. I sprinkled pinches of fine sea salt and the saltiness was only barely noticeable.

                                                                                                                                                                        I agree with you that these CCC, even as written, aren't the best, but I thought the recipe had a lot of promise and I'll make some changes (like adding nuts!) and try it again.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                          I'd be interested to know if the recipe on page 709 varies much from the Jacques Torres recipe you have as it says it "draws heavily on one of JT's recipes" and I'd love to know how different it is. I made the final batch from the dough today and scooped them straight from the fridge and they did not flatten anywhere near as much so I think that was the problem with my other batch - I let the dough soften too much before I put them in the oven. The recipe in ENYT has 1.5 teaspoons of coarse salt plus more sea salt sprinkled on top which makes for a very salty cookie - does your recipe not have that?

                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe I should try it again, with less salt, use the feves and make sure the dough is really cold before the cookies go in the oven. I don't want to write this one off as so many people rave about them. But if your version is very different Joan, let me know where that recipe is and I'll try that one next.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                                            Here's a link to the "Adapted from JT recipe" in the NYT that chowser posted in the thread JoanN linked to: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/din...

                                                                                                                                                                            ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JaneEYB

                                                                                                                                                                              Humble apologies, Jane. I was thinking of the salt sprinkled on the cookies before baking and not the salt incorporated into the dough. For the salt in the dough I used Diamond Crystal Kosher as I nearly always do in baking. By some definitions Kosher salt is coarse salt, although since Hesser specifies the use of Diamond Kosher in the other CCC recipe in the book it's possible that what was called for here was what I would call a sel gros--something I use without grinding only when I want a really intense hit of salt.

                                                                                                                                                                              Anyway, no, my recipe wasn't different. I did indeed use the Times link posted by TDQ and it's the same as in the book. I was just having a senior moment.

                                                                                                                                                                              I think the cookies are worth making with the feves at least once just because the chocolate itself is so outstanding and the texture so very much different from chips. Next time I will chop them though, at least a bit. And add nuts, and maybe Toffee Bits, and make them half the size. I'll be curious to see if, with those changes, they maintain their caramely outer crunch and soft, high center. One of the great things about experimenting with making chocolate chip cookies is that you really don't have to worry about results that you think don't quite come up to snuff. No one else seems to care.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                I think I saw somewhere in a commentary to one of the recipes that for sprinkling a flaky salt like Maldon (about which I've heard since forever and never bought, inherent cheapness to the fore once again) is intended.
                                                                                                                                                                                FYI the nicest and cheapest fleur de sel (or flor do sel) I've seen is from Brazil and available at the big Seabras in Newark (nice gastronomic "expotition", lunch at Seabras Marisqueira and shopping after in that swell store).

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                  Maldon is the standard in our house. Not very expensive here either.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks Joan, I will give it another go. It was Maldon sea salt I used in the cookies (with none sprinkled on top) so maybe I'll try Diamond Crystal Kosher next time. My 15 yo daughter is as hyper critical on the results of my cookie quest as I am - good to have another obsessive in the family. My 17 yo son will eat anything and as you say, doesn't care.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Maida's Blueberry Crumb Cake. p. 632 I have yet to make something from either Maida or ENYTCB that has let me down. This crumb cake is no exception. The smell of this cake in the oven is really something to be experienced and not likely to be be forgotten by anyone in our house. The addition of lemon zest is perfection. I used frozen blueberries for this. So delicious and moist--went so fast. Given the quick/easy factor (not to mention the deliciousness factor), will certainly make again.

                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: apple342

                                                                                                                                                                              Oh sounds and looks delish! And what a wonderful testimony, re: both Maida and ENYTC!

                                                                                                                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: apple342

                                                                                                                                                                                This is the 2nd blueberry dessert that's been a hit, if I'm not mistaken. We don't ordinarily have desserts and I've virtually stopped baking except for the occasional Summer fruit cobbler. I bet G would love this. We used to go blueberry picking when the children were young. Thanks for the report, Apple.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Bolzano Apple Cake p. 783

                                                                                                                                                                                I tried to make a clafouti once, and it was rubbery. According to the notes with the recipe, this nice cake is "the perfect clafouti" (Mark Bittman).
                                                                                                                                                                                So I tried it, and it is delicious and tender!
                                                                                                                                                                                Lots of thin apple slices suspended in a thin vanilla batter, can't go wrong with that. The recipe calls for Granny Smith apples, the tart light green cooking apples. A cup of sugar sweetens these, and powdered sugar is the finish. I liked this very much. Not fancy, worth making.

                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                  blue room, your cake looks lovely! this one is on my list. have not made clafouti yet...glad to know this one is tender! thanks for reporting on this one!

                                                                                                                                                                                2. Spice Krinkles, p. 688

                                                                                                                                                                                  These are flavorful, spicy cookies, kind of like puffy gingersnaps. I call them "cookie-jar cookies," good with milk, coffee, or tea--depending on how old you are! ;-) They are easy to mix up, and no trouble to roll up into walnut-size balls if you refrigerate them for a couple of hours, then flatten the dough into a disk, and cut it into 1-inch pieces.
                                                                                                                                                                                  Onc caveat: I tried decorating the baked cookies by pressing a "mold" --in this case, the bottom of a cut-crystal glass as directed by the recipe--into the fresh-from-the oven cookies. The result was just a flattened cookie with no discernible pattern. For the second pan-full, I pressed the tines of a fork into half of the the cookie tops BEFORE baking. The other half I left au natural, and then I baked them. I felt that both these methods looked better than the first process with the mold. The photo below shows these latter two methods.

                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                                                    Ah, I wish I could smell these!
                                                                                                                                                                                    It's interesting that the patterned ones didn't crack on the tops like crinkle cookies do. I like the looks of 'em both, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                      Blue Room, in fact the "fork-tined cookies" look flatter and less attractive in the photo than they were in person-- but they didn't actually crinkle as you noted. In fact, they look kinda like peanut-butter cookies. They were so easy that I'll make them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Dorie Greenspan's Sables, p. 703

                                                                                                                                                                                    These are very pleasant "sandy cookies," nicely buttery and perfect to my mind as an accompaniment for tea or coffee, or served with a frozen dessert like sorbet or ice-cream when you don't want a complicated cookie. The instructions about painting the rolls of dough with an egg-yolk glaze and then rolling them in "crystal or dazzle sugar" (I had colored sanding-sugar from King Arthur) create an attractive decorative "edge" on the cookies when baked. The detailed instructions LOOK formidably complex but they are really very easy to make and turn out just as described. The next time I am going to try the Lemon variation. I think the Parmesan Sables would also be good with drinks before dinner--in fact, I'll try them first!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                                                      Holy mackerel! Yet another recipe I've made before that I didn't realize was in this book. I've made the Parmesan Sables for a nibble with drinks and they were indeed marvelous. Never did try the sweet ones, though. I'll bet the lemon ones would be delightful.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Pierre Hermes Chocolate Sables (don't have the book with me at work so don't have page number, but will edit to add)

                                                                                                                                                                                      These are also known as World Peace Cookies and first came into my consciousness sometime earlier this year when I saw an old SmittenKitchen post about them. http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/01/in-... I have been thinking about making them since them, but never got around to it. When I saw they were also in ENYT I figured there was no time like the present to see if they were really as good as all the hype.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I made these as written except I used organic dark brown sugar instead of the light brown sugar called for. And the organic dark brown sugar I had has a texture different from normal brown sugar, it seems coarser and more crumbly than normal brown sugar, and it has a very pronounced molasses aroma. The texture is almost like it's sugar in the raw mixed with molasses rather than normal granulated sugar mixed with molasses. Not sure if my brown sugar made the difference, but the dough was VERY crumbly. I wasn't really able to form it into logs until I wrapped it up in saran wrap to hold it together. It did firm up in the refrigerator, but was very difficult to slice without ending up with a pile of crumbs. The recipe states the slices may break apart and to just smoosh them back together, so that's what I did with my piles of crumbs.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Final result... these are quite delicious! Have a very satisfying deep chocolate flavor. I've actually never made sables of any sort before because "sandy" was not really a texture I craved in my cookies, but the "sandiness" is actually quite pleasant. And although a few of my bakes cookies broke, they for the most part held together. I also like the slight saltiness. I don't make cookies all that often, but these will go into the rotation. May try with regular brown sugar next time. No problem with the taste, but it was a pain to try to slice these.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                        Pierre Herme's Chocolate Sables: p, 704 I made these last night because of greeneggsnham's positive review and because I too remembered the raves about the 2007 SmittenKitchen recipe which greeneggsnham cites in her review above. I agree that the cookies are richly delicious, very chocolate-y and fairly substantial, with a pleasant short-bready texture. They could even serve as an uncomplicated dessert for a dinner party served with a dish of really luxurious vanilla ice-cream. (They would also be great to bring to a holiday party.) The recipe is quite quick and easy to throw together, once you have the chocolate chopped up (or you could even use semi-sweet mini-chocolate chips, as SK suggests). The dough-logs do need an hour in the refrigerator to firm up before slicing.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The issue of "dough too crumbly to roll into a log and/or slice" is one that has dogged the recipe since SK Deb published it in 2007--see all the follow-up posts on the Smitten Kitchen site. I myself did not have trouble rolling up the logs or slicing them. The dough was a bit crumbly but not enough to be a problem--I just patted it into two 1 1/2 in logs (about 7-8 in long) and flattened out the dough once or twice when shaping the log as indicated, rolling it up from one long side to the other "to make certain you haven't got an air channel." Even with the chopped chocolate bits mixed in, the logs were not difficult to cut into 1/2 in slices after their chilling in the fridge; I used a serrated knife and sawed very gently, patting them back into rounds if necessary. I don't know if the texture of greeneggsnham's organic dark sugar affected her dough adversely--I did make these with the regular light brown sugar indicated in the recipe. Also I DID use the metric measurements in grams --copied them out from the SK recipe (which Deb added to the recipe in 2009)-- and I'm wondering if this very precise method of measuring made a difference. I've always considered cooking by metric weights to be slightly un-American, but I finally got a good kitchen scale (OXO) that converts from ounces to grams.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Anyway, I followed the recipe exactly, softening the butter first, mixing minimally, and baking the cookies no more than 12 minutes, as the recipe insists upon. They turned out great. I used Callebaut Belgian cocoa powder and Trader Joe's 72% Dark Chocolate "Imported from Belgium" ( chopped into little 1/4 chunks-) -which I've suspected is also Callebaut, but don't know for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                        One of the follow-up posters on the SK site added a small egg to the recipe and this kept hers from crumbling--possibly another solution. I know that the Dorie Greenspan sables that I made earlier used two egg yolks and this dough was impeccably behaved!

                                                                                                                                                                                        Are the cookies worth all this fuss? I'll definitely add them to my repertoire. I like the fact that the logs can refrigerated or frozen for baking later. BUT, freezing the logs may make them more difficult to slice, says SK, and Deb suggests letting the logs sit out for 15 minutes or so to soften.

                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Goblin

                                                                                                                                                                                          Goblin, glad to see you made these and enjoyed them. I actually baked up the second log last night (after a 3 day rest in the fridge) and I liked them even better the second time around! Maybe I'm highly suggestable, but after reading about how resting the chocolate chip cookie dough produces a better result, I really felt like these had more complex caramel flavor and a better texture after resting in the fridge for longer. My log was also easier to slice (I also got out my best serrated knife, and I think that helped too).

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for your suggestions re: my crumbly problem. Given how much better behaved my dough was after a longer rest in the fridge, I think maybe I was rushing them with the slicing. I did leave the first log in for an hour, but my kitchen is pretty warm and maybe that wasn't enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I didn't read all the posts on the SK site. The idea about the egg is interesting. I don't think I will try that because one of the things I liked about this cookie was the dough has no raw egg-- this allows for raw cookie dough eating without risk of salmonella!

                                                                                                                                                                                          Anyway-- now that I have tried my well-rested cookies, I am itching to make these again. No I haven't eaten the entire batch yet given that I baked them after dinner yesterday, but I made a pretty good dent and cookies don't last too long in my house. Especially ones that are this good!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                                                                                                                            Glad to know that the second log produced cookies that tasted (and sliced) even better than the first! I like the idea of having a log of cookies in the fridge ready to bake on demand. Can you imagine a more delightful dessert than a fresh batch produced with a flourish for one's guests! I also have to admit that I've been having a cookie or three in the morning, with milk--cereal is SO boring! ;-)
                                                                                                                                                                                            So glad that your review encouraged me to make this treat.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I just purchased Shirley Corriher's CookWise in paperback at Costo for $15.49. I remember it was very expensive when it first came out. Does anyone have experience with this book?

                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                          I enjoyed it a lot but haven't cooked from it (or Bakewise).

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                            roxlet, you might want to post this question elsewhere (if not as a standalone thread, perhaps in the what were the last three cookbooks thread) so it will attract more eyes who might have answers.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I do have Cookwise, though I haven't looked at it in a while (it's currently in storage). I like that it addresses the various whys and wherefores of the science and chemistry behind cooking processes, and then demonstrates them through recipes. I haven't used the recipes much, but reading them in this context is useful. I've really enjoyed McGee and found him useful, but his books lack this aspect, plus he is not foremost a food person or cook, and Corriher is a cooking instructor and marries this with the science effectively.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                              I just picked it up at Costco as well. Haven't had much of a chance to look at it yet, but I thought some of the recipes that I did glance at looked very appealing. Eager to explore further.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                Very useful from the food science aspect as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                  That's why I bought it. That the recipes looked good was a very pleasant bonus.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I must have another look. I really admire the woman.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Pear Upside-Down Cake

                                                                                                                                                                                              In my quest to use up the pear glut from my Very Small Tree, I made this yesterday and shared it with my co-workers. The recipe is here:

                                                                                                                                                                                              http://events.nytimes.com/recipes/123...

                                                                                                                                                                                              It's a bit of a faff, browning the pears, making a syrup etc, but the results were good. A dense and squidgy cake this, which would be nice warm for dessert with some whipped cream, as it says in the book. I liked it well enough but thought the spice flavour was a bit subdued. However got many very appreciative comments from my colleagues. But one did say that last week's pear-related baking effort, Nigel Slater's pear and blueberry cake was better and I tend to agree. It was easier too!

                                                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                Don't you just love it when people are really honest like that? It happens so rarely. I realize many fear offending and don't want to look a gift horse, etc., etc. But I wish more people realized that constructive criticism is often both helpful and appreciated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                  He was totally right and he did say the upside-down cakes was good. I didn't realise thought that my cakes have become legendary - my boss just came over to say they were practically fighting over the last piece!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, it certainly helps when they're right!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    And tell your boss it's not just your cakes that are legendary. At least not around here. One day I want to be invited to one of your backyard parties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                      You know you're welcome any time. Boxing Day is also a hot ticket at greedygirl mansions!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Do not. make this. With buttermilk. And substitute 11 oz of pistachio paste for 7 oz almond paste and 1 of the 2 sticks of butter it calls for. And fill pans too full. Unless you really really want volcanic cake eruptions in your oven and the concomitant joys.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Angel Food Cake, page 742

                                                                                                                                                                                                  All winter I have been making mayonnaise once a month or so, saving the whites in the freezer. I had in my mind that I wanted to make an Angel Food cake. Beautiful farm strawberries stimulated enough energy to make this cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  First off I had to figure out how much egg white to use. It appears that large egg whites should weight 30g, so 10 egg whites should be 300g. One container of egg whites weighed 284g, so I added one fresh egg white [which then meant I had an egg yolk so had to make mayo. sigh.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                  First you sift the cake flour, baking powder and half the sugar [1/2 cup plus 2 tbl] three times. Then the eggs go into a mixer with a punch of salt. When they reach the foamy stage you start adding the rest of the sugar [1/2 cup plus 2 tbls.] Whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold in the dry ingredients in two batches. Finally, add the extract. She calls for almond, but I used lemon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  The cake should cook at 350º for 20-30 minutes, but my cake needed 42 minutes until a wooden skewer came out clean. Invert the cake pan and let cool for an hour. She then states to remove the cake, use a sharp knife to loosen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My cake fell out of the pan sometime during that first half hour of cooling. It collapsed under its own weight. The texture is gummy and boy is it sweet. To be honest, it is like a cake-shaped marshmallow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My resident dessert eater is thrilled though. We never have desserts in the house, and there is a whole, sweet cake! And strawberries in the house at the same time. Me? I have lots of whites still in the freezer, and will try some other recipes. I don't find this version to be satisfactory.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Do you think freezing the egg whites is the issue? The lack of cream of tartar? Perhaps I misgauged soft peaks? Used the wrong speed on my stand mixer? All, and any thoughts would be welcomed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Could have been a combination of things, but one of them was definitely the lack of cream of tartar. Shirley Corriher says it's the cream of tartar that gives the cake a finer grain, makes it whiter, and also makes it shrink less than if you use other acids. Also, you don't mention it, but just curious. You didn't grease the pan, did you? The cake can't rise as it should if the batter comes into contact with fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                      No greasing of pans, per the recipe. The pan does have a teflon coating though. Only bundt pan I own. [And whatever Shirley has to say, I believe without question.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, the combination of no cream of tartar plus the teflon pan could very well have caused what you've described even if everything else was spot on. [And +1 on Shirley.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I also think that you really do need an angel food cake pan. As I understand it, the straight sides of the pan help the cake to rise, and that prevents gumminess. I've never had this problem make angel food cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh well. I don't like Angel Food cake enough to buy a new cake pan. On the positive side, I now know that I could make marshmallows at home if only I liked them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I never much cared about Angel Food Cake one way or another, until I discovered that you could make really terrific, practically no fat, strawberry shortcake with Angel Food Cake, macerated strawberries, and yogurt cheese. Can be elegant, travels beautifully, great for picnics, pretty sexy. Have I convinced you yet?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                                This is the pan that I have [or one that is very similar.] It is billed as an Angel Food Cake pan, but you think the non-stick surface is the issue?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.zappos.com/calphalon-class...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sure looks like an angel food cake pan. But AFAIK, a nonstick angel food cake pan is an oxymoron. I don't even understand why they manufacture it, unless they figure people aren't going to be making angel food cake in it. Weird.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anyway, I do think the surface had to be at least part of your problem. I've never heard of an angel food cake falling out of it's pan before it had cooled.