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What are you baking these days? Part XV/15 2/23/11 [old]

Hi all, the last 200+ replies went quickly, perhaps because Valentine's Day treats needed to be confected (and consumed) How about a new run at this? I'm baked out today due to a baking orgy at my mother-in-law's (the only possible context in which those two concepts could appear in a sentence) but expect to be back at it this weekend. So...what's messing up your counters and getting flour in your hair these days?

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  1. Leaving the house at 11:30 am for Lunch @ noon today; baking souschef's chocolate fig cake at 7 am... two hours to chill with the clock ticking and I beat the clock. The gianduja-bittersweet ganache is heavenly.

    5 Replies
      1. re: buttertart

        here's the link to Sinclair's American Grill Chocolate Fig Cake With Gianduja Glaze:

        1. re: Cynsa

          Thank you v much Cynsa, I printed it out. Now to get the figs and the gianduja...

      2. re: Cynsa

        Cynsa, how did it turn out this time?

        1. re: souschef

          perfection, it's gone but not forgotten... not one crumb remains. This was the best yet :^) - I think that pilinut likes it, too.

      3. On this particular rainy Cali day, I'm baking two enormous hotel pans of Hot Fudge Pudding Cake for work and one 8 x 8 pan for home. Maybe also some savory biscuits at work to go with roast chicken.

        1. Re-posting on the new thread.

          I made the ricotta-orange cake that Breadcrumbs and others have been touting, and all I can say is: they are right! Was this ever delicious, moist and citrusy, inducing swoons from DH and even approval from my very picky niece.
          I used Giada's on-line recipe, which confused me a little, in that it calls for, "one orange, zested," but only the zest is mentioned in the directions (so "the zest of one orange" would be more accurate). I kept wondering whether I should have been doing something with the orange's juice, but concluded "probably not," and that was right as the cake turned out perfectly. As others have noted, it needs to be baked a bit longer than the 45-50 minutes stipulated. I baked it for one hour. NOTE: I didn't have amaretto, so I subbed orange liqueur, and I'd do the same next time, as I love orange.
          This is really easy. I will definitely make this again; have already put more ricotta on the shopping list.

          17 Replies
          1. re: nomadchowwoman

            The ricotta-orange cake looks and sounds awesome! Going on my list of things to bake. Perfect for this time of year when citrus is the best fruit around here:)

            1. re: nomadchowwoman

              is a link or recipe posted somewhere? sorry, don't keep up with this thread all that much, thanks in advance.................................cause................................................I got me lots of oranges and butter :}}}

                1. re: Cynsa

                  TNX Cyn...
                  I don't have ricotta but I do have cream cheese bought (2) 8 ouncers yesterday @ TJ.
                  Do you think I could use heavy whipping cream to thin the cream cheese and come close to consistency of ricotta or don't bother until I get ricotta?

                  1. re: iL Divo

                    Speaking strictly for me I would NOT do that, ricotta has a different texture and much less fat, so I think that would skew the recipe in a way it most likely doesn't want to go.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      ButterTARt [edited! sorry BT; souschef is looking out for you!] has a much better understanding of baking than I do, iL Divo, but I'll add that this cake is already very moist. I'm not sure about this (so you should probably completely disregard it), but if you had yogurt, that might be a better substitute. Hopefully, the better bakers will weigh in.

                        1. re: buttertart

                          I bow to thee, dear (and, in my mind's eye, very svelte) butterTART, and humbly beg your forgiveness.

                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                            I thought it was quite hilarious as a malaprop. Svelte enough!

                      1. re: buttertart

                        thank you for knowledge, I'm not all that familiar with lots of ingredients and how they operate

                      2. re: iL Divo

                        If you have milk and vinegar or lemon juice.. you can make ricotta easily enough (though a cheese cloth would be beneficial).

                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                          oh do tell, had no clue.....................I have 2 gallons of milk and lemon 3 large ones I bought yesterday and vinegar out the wahzooooooooooooooo

                          1. re: iL Divo

                            I would trust these two sources...



                            Of course the longer it drains the less soft it gets if you like a thicker less runny ricotta.

                            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                              There's a recipe for it in the March COTM, the Essential New York Times Cookbook, too.

                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                to BT and BF........I thank you, appreciate it

                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                  gathering by reading these, that whole milk is a must and vinegar is the best acid unless lemon flavor is wanted. I can see some instances where it would be.
                                  thank you very much for info.
                                  I have FF milk and cream and half and half and 1&.

                      3. re: nomadchowwoman

                        I made this cake this weekend too, and it really did turn out to be an amazing cake! I used the amaretto, and liked it, but can see where it would also be great with orange liqueur as well. Thanks, Bc!

                      4. This morning I made brie and basil ciabatta, and tomorrow I'll be making either a chocolate ricotta pie, or a chocolate hazelnut ricotta pie.

                        1. Banana cake with brown butter and cream cheese frosting

                          1. was going to make the meyer lemon blackberry bread pudding on food network (bobby flay recipe) - cant seem to link it right now

                            Has anyone attempted this, i am excited to try something with meyer lemons now that they are in season...unless anyone has a killer meyer lemon recomendation

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Dapuma

                              turned out really well, custardy on the bottom and firm on top, everyone asked for me to make it again

                            2. So far this week I made a sweet potato layer cake/buttercream icing, devils food layer cake/cocoa buttercream icing, coconut layer cake/meringue icing. Tomorrow, I'm making individual streusel coffee cakes and maybe some beignets.

                              1. Baking from Bourke St. Bakery cookbook. It is an Australian publication I somehow ordered from Amazon.Co.UK. It was a surprise to me to get it. It is a good book and tomorrow I think I'll start some Brioche. If you order the book, be careful. The measurements are in metrics and sometimes there are errors in the conversions.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Candy

                                  Candy I was just taking a look at that book yesterday at a Canadian book store. Very much looking forward to hearing how you find it. It was so tempted to buy it!!

                                2. A very strange Weight Watcher's recipe that my daughter wanted me to try...Apple Turnovers, made with frozen phyllo dough, which actually turned out very well. The directions in the recipe were a bit out of order, but I was able to figure it out. They were only 4 points plus, and were really quite good.

                                  1. Finally got round to using the ginger curd I've mentioned before. Made a hazelnut and digestive biscuit crust (graham crackers in American??), spread the curd over the bottom, poured in some pastry cream, then arranged pieces of baked rhubarb on the top. Tasted fantastic but was a disaster structurally-speaking. As the pastry cream had 4 tbsp of cornflour I had expected it to be more set, like a baked custard, but alas not. Might try again with proper pastry and a baked custard.

                                    This week is going to be another batch of the supernatural brownies, in the correct sized pan.

                                    1. Drippy, rainy, yucky weather, but at least it's warm and not snowing! I'm about to start on Blueberry Crumb muffins from Malgieri's Modern baker using frozen wild blueberries. After that, if I don't feel like just taking a nap (ha, ha), I may make Meyer Lemon curd to serve with them. I have some remaining Meyer Lemons that aren't getting any better!

                                      1. Made Whoopie Pies and a loaf of Rye bread (from RLB's Bread Bible)

                                        On the other hand, does anyone know where I may find Self Rising Cake Flour in bulk or what mixture I could use with Cake Flour and Self Rising flour to get the same?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. I made rolls using a recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I used this last weekend and I didn't do the recipe justice. I had more time and stuck it this weekend taking the recipe to the end all in about 5 hours. You pretty much need to dedicate 2 days to some the recipes involvien a starter,but this one you're able to make the rolls in one day. Well worth it, the smell is incredible, the crust wonderful and the taste delcious.

                                          1. oops fortgot the photo!

                                            these are really large rolls, to accomodate the bbq pulled pork sandwiches I made last night. These would work for deli sandwiches or just about anything you can think of. The cost savings is what really motivated me to make my own rolls.

                                            21 Replies
                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                Ditto. (We had pulled pork w/ supermarket rolls a few nights ago; it was good, but rolls like yours would have elevated it into another realm.)

                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                  Wow! Those look fantastic. I have the book, have read it several times, but have never baked from it. Which recipe is it exactly?

                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                    It's page 269 Variation 3 for white bread to start, finish up using the instructions on 266 & 267.

                                                    The changes I made; I subbed brown sugar out for the white and I made the rolls large. Each piece of dough for the rolls weighed 6oz. Let them rise, and baked about 15-20, let them rest about 15 to finish (the hardest part is waiting). They are nice and large, my dh loved these.

                                                    If you wanted to freeze the dough after the first rise, be sure to shape the dough into what you want the end result to be, I learned that the hard way!

                                                  2. re: chef chicklet

                                                    Absolutely beautiful and quite an achievement. I wish I had the stamina to bake bread. I just couldn't bare to think I'd invested all that time only to find the bread is a flop!

                                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                      Do you by chance have Jim Lahey's "My Bread" in your collection? That converted me. The basic recipe is pretty much fool-proof--and the results are fabulous (although most of the breads are crusty, unlike chef chicklet's rolls, which I suspect take a bit more bread-making skill).

                                                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                        I don't ncw, I purposely avoid all bread books . . . though I may take a peak at that one if I see it in my bookstore.

                                                        Fortunately I have access to some pretty amazing bread so I've never felt like we're missing out on something. I think if we were to move somewhere that great bread wasn't readily available, I might feel more inclined to give bread baking a try.

                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                          Totally understand if you have easy access to great bread. But I'll just say this and then stop: I attempted bread-baking (various recipes, types) many times over the years and was successful only a couple of times, so I'd pretty much given up until I had a slice of some home-baked bread that came from the Lahey recipe, and the person who'd made it insisted that anyone could make this. So I did a little research and bought the book (and this was a case where I was really glad I had the book w/its step-by-step photos; w/out, I would have been convinced I'd screwed up), and tried it out. No kneading; no guessing; no judgment calls--and I ended up w/fabulous bread that I (and others) could not believe *I* had baked. And I have never had a real failure with this method. It is so easy that I always feel like I am cheating.

                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                            I laughed out loud when I read "But I'll just say this..."

                                                            So ok, ok, you've got my attention....did you say "no kneading"?

                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs


                                                              Here's a link:


                                                              And there has been a whole lot of discussion on this on CH.

                                                              And now I'll shut up, as promised ; )

                                                              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                Hmmmm, now isn't that interesting! I do think I'd like to take a look at the book, the idea of pictures appeals to me. I'll keep you posted!

                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                  Bread is among the simplest - and most rewarding - things to bake. The no-knead is a cinch and makes gorgeous loaves.

                                                      2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                        Thanks breadcrumbs, I've tried this recipe twice now, and the first time it flopped because of me. I ran out of day, I was tired and stupidly thought I could get the same results by refrigerating half the dough and freezing the other.

                                                        I wanted huge rolls, the ones at the store are not even close to this, plus the taste and smell omg.

                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                            Yes I do too! we could cook together-giving direct feedback-oh so much fun..: )

                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                          Wait but your name is.. Breadcrumbs..? Bread takes no stamina.. .In fact, I find making a cookie dough to be more work and harder on the mixer if you use one. If you do need to knead, it only takes ten minutes. The majority of bread is more of a waiting game. Peter Reinhart's Classic French bread (water, flour, yeast and salt) from Artisan Bread Everyday requires minimal if no kneading and involves a stretch and pull method. You can see this book on Google Books for a free preview (of both the stretch and pull and the french bread recipe).

                                                          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                            Ahhhh, I wondered if someone might point that out burgeoningfoodie....guilty!! I'll definitely take a look at this via Google Books, I know mc bc would be overjoyed if I ventured into bread-making....he thinks bread is a vegetable!!! ; )

                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                              I've seen what you can cook, bread baking will be a lead pipe cinch for you AND extremely enjoyable and rewarding. Plus Mr BC will be an even happier fellow.

                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                Thank you buttertart, that's very kind of you. I wish I shared your confidence though I do sincerely appreciate all the supportive feedback here.

                                                                . . . and you're quite right, mr bc would be positively gleeful!!

                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                  Yes I have a breadmachine. It's on the blink right now, so this bread is made by hand, and by KA. I have terrible back problems, so I let the hook on the KA do all the work for me. Like burgeoningfoodie pointed out, it's mostly a waiting game. The rolls you see here took about 5 1/2 hours, for which part mostly waiting. A three time rise, first the sponge, then twice for the bread. It's EASY~ if I can make it anyone can.

                                                                  I love to cook, I've never cared much for baking of any kind. Then a few years ago I dove into it and I'm so glad I did! You can never learn too much when it comes to preparing good food!

                                                                  The rise in food costs also motivated me. I grow most of my own herbs, I make bbq sauce and dressings instead of buying bottled, I make jams and such, and I'm a decent cook. So then, why not desserts and breads?
                                                                  Let me share this with you, since I took to baking my friends and family couldn't be happier! The price savings is incredible, you must try it.

                                                              2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                I didn't mean it in offense. But that recipe is really the simplest but like all bread does take time with the rising. Luckily it is mostly done overnight. The other that I really like and is also rather easy is Dorie Greenspans Cinnamon Swirl bread.. also on google books.

                                                        2. Went semi-nuts again this weekend, souschef's chestnut madeleines after La Varenne Pratique's recipe (used brown butter and Grand Marnier as the flavoring i/o orange flower water - the interesting things about them for me are a) they humped (baking powder in the recipe), my usual recipe doesn't and b) they made the house smell spicy without their being spiced - the chestnut flour I expect; my dad's favorite currant crinkle cookies (a Mom recipe) repurposed - no currants, 20 gm pieces of dough formed around pieces of Leonidas dark chocolate truffle, rolled in chopped walnuts, and baked - the cookies spread and the chocolate forms a layer inside (I thought I posted this recipe, will do so); pizza sans tomato sauce by standing orders from headquarters - who does not like tomato sauce; finally, bread and cloverleaf rolls (each cloverleaf 1/2 oz of dough, OCD time again) from a no-recipe bread dough based on the leftover pizza dough with more flour, olive oil, wee bit of sugar, and buttermilk added. Oh yeah and melba toast from old no-knead rye and white loaves from the freezer. A most enjoyable weekend on all counts.

                                                          29 Replies
                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            A very impressive weekend's work!

                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              The chestnut madeleines (the Wilton cake release worked perfectly on the molds):

                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                That Wilton Cake release is great stuff. Hasn't failed me yet.

                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                  We had Lionidas chocolates when we were in Belgium. Where do you get them here?

                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                    Leonidas store on Madison Ave http://www.leonidas-chocolate.com/ - 485 Mad in the 50's? We always take chocs and pates de fruits to his mom and he got me some dark chocolate truffly things because he didn't remember I prefer their white and milk... BTW the 750 gm assortment had some of their wonderful walnut-topped marzipan in it this time.

                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                      Despite being half Sicilian, I'm not much for marzipan.

                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                        Hmm, didn't know that. I could live on it just about.

                                                                  2. re: buttertart

                                                                    The bread and rolls:
                                                                    (sorry for mulitposting, the 3 pics would NOT load togather at the end of my first one)

                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                      Buttertart, your pics were probably too large, so you could not load all three. I usually reduce the size of my pics before posting.

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          Actually that was not the problem. I saved your picture to my desktop and looked at the properties, and it was small. So I don't know what the problem was.

                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                            sometimes, the 'attach photo' button offers multiple browse/select ...

                                                                            also remember to post photos that are only 2 megabytes

                                                                            on my mac with iPhoto:
                                                                            to post to CHOWHOUND: 2 MEGABYTES
                                                                            to reduce photo size to less than 2 MB:
                                                                            Select your photo in iPhoto and click Command D to duplicate it since you probably don't want to permanently reduce the size of the original.
                                                                            Select the duplicate photo and click on File > Export. In the dialog box that comes up,
                                                                            select "Scale image no larger than" and in the box type 520 for width (assuming the photo is wider than it is tall) since that's the largest size CH will accept and will give you the best quality reproduction on the site.
                                                                            Click "Export," and in the next dialog box give the file a new name so you can distinguish it from the original and save it to your desktop. It should now upload without difficulty.

                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                            try this and see if you can figure out on your computer where the reduce size is at.

                                                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                              It's just weird in this case, I post pics from my stupid BBerry all the time.

                                                                        2. re: buttertart

                                                                          Wow, buttertart, you really outdid yourself--and most of the rest of us. Lovely photos of the lovely treats too.

                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                            I was in a groove. Those are just BlackBerry shots btw.

                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                            Could you put in a link to the chestnut madeleine recipe? Much appreciated!

                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                Thanks for the link! One more stupid question: how much chestnut flour/AP flour?

                                                                                1. re: mnosyne

                                                                                  "for chestnut madeleines use 100 gm AP flour and 25 gm chestnut flour" per souschef.

                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                              Here is the recipe for those cookies of my mother's - I had 4 of them in bed on Friday night with blood orange sorbet. Intended to have 2.

                                                                              Currant Sugar Crinkle Cookies
                                                                              1 c currants*
                                                                              1 c soft shortening* half butter or marg
                                                                              1 1/2 c sugar half brown* firmly packed
                                                                              1 egg
                                                                              1 t vanilla
                                                                              2 1/2 c sifted all-purpose flour
                                                                              1 t salt
                                                                              2 t cream of tartar
                                                                              1 t (baking) soda
                                                                              Rinse and drain currants
                                                                              Cream shortening, sugar, egg, and vanilla together.
                                                                              Sift in flour, salt, soda, and cream of tartar. Mix well. Stir in currants. Shape into balls* about 1" in diameter and roll in sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2" apart. Bake at 400 deg F 8-10 min.
                                                                              Makes about 4 doz.
                                                                              No currants if filling these, although they're really good with currants too.
                                                                              Half of the shortening MUST be Crisco, they won't set up right w all butter. My mom usually used margarine in baking except for Christmas stuff and butter tarts.
                                                                              I use 1 c granulated to 1/2 c light brown if I'm not doing the currant ones.
                                                                              Form balls around pieces of chocolate or truffle, or push 3 or so choc chips into the balls, or form dough around Hershey's kisses (special dark is nice).
                                                                              Roll in ground nuts i/o sugar (or part and part). This is good even if you don't "stuff" them. Pistachios are nice for green occasions.
                                                                              Takes me about 12 mins for these to get done, should be light gold on bottoms. They will be very soft, let cool on cookie sheets for 5 mins or so before moving them to racks.
                                                                              Hope you like them - with the currants they were one of my dad's 2 favorite cookies, the other being a pecan thin that I can't find the damn recipe for.

                                                                            2. Bananas have been the focus for the last couple of days. I am new to the chow group and can't figure out where to post my two recipes. Banana bread and Banana square - two really simple recipes that are now considered a best.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: cheffing it at home

                                                                                Today I'm making a favorite cake from Breakfast, Lunch, Tea, the Rose Bakery cookbook. It's made with ground almond meal, rice flour and polenta. It also has butter so it's not a weird diet cake. I've made it before and it's moist and deelish. It's along the lines of the clementine/almond meal cake.

                                                                                I found some strawberries that actually had pretty good taste at the market today, so they'll go on top. Strawbs were from Southern Califa.

                                                                                1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                  That sounds very nice, could you possibly post ingredient amounts and pan size/baking temp and time? Got some nice strawberries in Manh Chinatown this weekend - $1.00 a lb. Didn't notice provenance.

                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                    buttertart: I found the recipe online. Here's the link. Hope it works. If not I think I searched for Rose Bakery lemon almond polenta rice cake


                                                                                    1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                      Thank you very much indeed, oakjoan!

                                                                              2. I took these Scandinavian Almond Bars (from allrecipes.com) to my Master Gardener class the other day, and everyone went nuts for them (pardon the pun!). I knew that I liked them, but I had no idea that they would be such a hit.

                                                                                I never have made the icing because the cookies are so good without it. And I do bake them a little longer to make them more brown and crispy.

                                                                                To shape the rolls, I put two of the 12" long logs of dough on my silicone pan liner, roll them out with a pastry roller, and slide the silicone liner onto the cookie sheet.

                                                                                Scandinavian Almond Bars

                                                                                * 1/2 cup butter
                                                                                * 1 cup white sugar
                                                                                * 1 egg
                                                                                * 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
                                                                                * 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
                                                                                * 2 teaspoons baking powder
                                                                                * 1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                                * 1/2 cup sliced almonds
                                                                                * 2 tablespoons milk
                                                                                * 1 cup confectioners' sugar
                                                                                * 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
                                                                                * 1/4 cup milk


                                                                                1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
                                                                                2. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg and almond extract; mix until fluffy. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt; mix well.
                                                                                3. Divide dough into 4 pieces, and roll each one into a log about 12 inches long. Place 2 logs per cookie sheet 4 to 5 inches apart. Flatten each roll by hand until it is about 3 inches wide. Brush flattened roll with milk and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
                                                                                4. Bake in preheated oven 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. While the cookies are still warm, cut them crosswise at a diagonal, into slices about 1 inch wide. When cool, drizzle with almond icing.
                                                                                5. Almond icing: In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar, almond extract, and milk until smooth. Drizzle over the cookies.

                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                    Come to think of it a Danish bakery in my hometown used to do this sort of thing and press a sort of channel in the middle of the long bars and fill it with the almond glaze (no sliced almonds). I must try these.

                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                          Then have you ever made amaretti ?

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                              It's been a while since I last made amaretti. I should try them again, and if I still like them, post the recipe for you, if you are interested.

                                                                                1. If you own the ENYT cookbook, run, don't walk to your shelf as you must try this recipe!!

                                                                                  I had tremendous success with the truly scrumptious Maida's Blueberry Crumb Cake, it really is delightful and would be perfect for a breakfast or brunch event.

                                                                                  Here's a link to my post and photos if you are interested:


                                                                                  1. I'm doing post #5.
                                                                                    It's my second attempt at this cake but different recipe.
                                                                                    Unless someone has "THE" recipe for Starbucks lemon pound cake..........hint hint hint
                                                                                    I'll post how it turns out, my hopes aren't too high :{

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                      Didn't make, did pumpkin pie instead

                                                                                    2. Today I made almond sable from the The International Cookie Cookbook. I have to say that they are just OK -- a little drier than I would like, though the flavor is fine. I've made other sable in the past that I have liked more. I also made the whoopie (i.e. cake) part of chocolate whoopie pies that my son is bringing to a bake sale on Friday. They are extremely popular and sell out quite quickly -- much more so than some more "exotic" things I have made in the past. With kids, familiar and simple seems to fare best. I will probably make the filling and fill them tomorrow evening. This is from a much-copied recipe that I got from a friend about 5 years ago or so. At that time, I had no other whoopie pie recipes, and although I have others now, I always go back to this one since I have had success with it. The cake is chocolate but it is made with brown sugar only -- no white sugar at all.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                        Brown sugar chocolate cakes are really good, it's also what makes the NM brownies so terrific.
                                                                                        Best sablé recipe by far I've found is the one published in Cook's Illustrated in the past year or so and in their New or More or whatever Best Recipe book (the orangy one that came out fairly recently). Made with hardboiled egg yolk - something I remembered seeing in paula Peck and in some German/Austrian recipes. Do you have it? High level of husbandly approbation.

                                                                                      2. For brunch tomorrow, I prepped a cheddar-red bell pepper strata (it's resting comfortably in the fridge overnight, will bake it in the morning) and baked a ginger-pecan sour cream coffee cake. I also made pizza (chicken bbq and three cheese) for dinner tonight.

                                                                                        1. Made Ciabatta care of the recipe on Ruhlman's blog.

                                                                                          1. I made souschef's famous chocolate fig cake and it is a stunner!!!
                                                                                            After the first bite M said: "you've outdone yourself this time".
                                                                                            Used Turkish figs (the golden ones), Hennessey VSOP, TJ's 72%. According to souschef other dried figs are preferable.
                                                                                            One of the amazing things about it is the texture - the fig seeds - M said you would never guess what was in it but the texture was unique and wonderful.
                                                                                            I think I may use a lower-percent chocolate next time, particularly in the glaze, because it rather overwhelmed the gianduja.
                                                                                            I coated with the ganache and put it in the fridge for 30 mins, then scraped up the ganache on the aluminum foil and mixed it into the balance, which I then put on the cake. Not much of it dripped off.
                                                                                            Didn't have the photo of the decoration and didn't have blanched almonds so used 48 roasted and peeled hazelnuts.
                                                                                            I have better luck with the peeling when the nuts are just warm - they shed their skins (some entirely)while cooling.
                                                                                            It's a very satisfying cake to make too.
                                                                                            Glorious!!! Already to be a dear friend's birthday cake the end of the month.
                                                                                            Recipe link: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6383...
                                                                                            Sorry about the sort of crime-scene-y photography...

                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                              Glad you finally made it Mme La Doyenne, and that you enjoyed it. Chocolate Chestnut Cake next ? :)

                                                                                              I made it as well this weekend, also using Turkish figs, and I think I prefer it with Calmyrna or Mission figs (more intense fig flavour). I used the Turkish because they are a lot cheaper; I find them a bit harder too.

                                                                                              Did you have the trouble Cynsa had when transferring it to a plate ? It broke when she did it. I never have any problem, but then I use a 3" wide pancake turner to move it.

                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                It's still on the rack...must move it. First noticed when removing the outer ring of the pan that it's very, very tender.

                                                                                              2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                I had a piece of this last night and it's still good. Never refrigerated.

                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                  You had it unrefigerated for 9 days ? I would never take a chance like that with something that contains eggs, though I routinely leave it unrefrigerated for a couple of days.

                                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                                    Once baked in a cake, I don't think eggs are an issue. Cookies, cakes, quick breads all only need be refrigerated if it's desirable for texture unless they include elements that such as custards (where eggs/dairy aren't cooked as throroughly) or dairy (e.g., in cream cheese frostings; buttercreams are safe at room temp unless it's warm enough that they'll melt) or in very humid environments, which can promote molding.

                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                      With Caitlin. No ill effects. The worst I would fear would be mold which would make me dump it, of course.

                                                                                              3. I'm working my way through several scone recipes. Not happy so far...

                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                    First batch was too eggy and texture was more bread-like. 2nd recipe, dough was too dry I believe and the insides were a bit gummy although not entirely awful.

                                                                                                    I have some English double cream and Tiptree Strawberry jam for spreading so the standards need to be pretty high.

                                                                                                    If you haven't tried Tiptree Strawberry or especially Tiptree Little Scarlet Strawberry you must treat yourself sometime. I don't have much of a sweet tooth. I rarely use jam but the Little Scarlet makes my knees buckle! Seriously.

                                                                                                    1. re: twodales

                                                                                                      So you have to be sitting down to eat the Little Scarlet ? :)

                                                                                                      1. re: twodales

                                                                                                        There is a thread on troubleshooting scones.

                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                          Who would have guessed that there is a scone troubleshooting thread? It shouldn't surprise me. I'll look for it, thanks.

                                                                                                        2. re: twodales

                                                                                                          What are you wanting, in terms of texture? Different ingredients (butter, cream, milk, buttermilk, egg, etc.) in different permutations definitely give different results.

                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                            Hmmm. What do I want? An afternoon tea scone. One that is cut from the dough, not too thin, fluffy inside to make a lovely little bed for the lovely Tiptree strawberry and of course the double or clotted cream underneath. A few bites of heaven...is that too much to ask for? (Stars in my eyes...)

                                                                                                            1. re: twodales

                                                                                                              I think this might do you well; it is very easy (no cutting in of butter), and they always turn out wonderfully - light and tender, with the fluffy interior you seek. Definitely what I think of as an afternoon-tea scone. Add currants or something else, if you like.

                                                                                                              Cream Scones

                                                                                                              2 cups AP flour
                                                                                                              1/4 cup sugar
                                                                                                              1 T. baking powder
                                                                                                              1/2 t. salt
                                                                                                              1 1/4 cups heavy cream (plus more if needed)

                                                                                                              Preheat oven to 425F. Stir flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in any additions such as currants. Pour in 1 1/4 cups cream and stir to incorporate all the flour mixture. If you can't incorporate all the flour in 10-15 strokes, drizzle in a bit more cream (I often need about a T extra). Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead gently once or twice to bring together. Pat into a half-inch-thick round and cut into wedges with a floured knife, or cut with a floured biscuit cutter. (This will make 8 or so 3-inch-round scones or around 15 2-inch-round.) Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat, and bake until just golden and firm on top, about 15 minutes depending on size.

                                                                                                    2. Baked Irish Soda Bread this morning to give to our hostess at her corned beef and cabbage feed at lunch today. My stomach is confused... is it Mardi Gras or St. Patrick's food this week? probably both.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                        Cyn......................LOVE IRISH SODA BREAD. do you put in caraway seeds and raisins? LOVE THE STUFF!!!

                                                                                                        oh that's easy, it's St. Patty's day food. just ask my Irish husband. hahahhah

                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                          I like caraway seeds; husband likes currants... next loaf will be brown bread with raisins.

                                                                                                      2. I just finished eating a piece of lemon poppyseed tea cake that I made this morning. The recipe (from The Arugula Files) is attached, and is adapted from Martha Stewart. It's a lovely tart/sweet cake.


                                                                                                        1. I made a spinach and three-cheese souffle tonight. I used parmesan, gouda, and goat cheese. :)

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                            I adore soufflés, just wish the man of the house liked egg-based things more. This looks great.

                                                                                                          2. easiest quick cake: German Apple Cake. 8" square pan, greased and floured.

                                                                                                            Beat 1 egg with 1/2 cup vegetable oil.
                                                                                                            Add 1 cup white sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla and beat.
                                                                                                            Add 1 cup self-rising flour (I used White Lily) and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Mix well
                                                                                                            Stir in 2 cups diced peeled apples. Batter will be thick.
                                                                                                            Spread into greased and floured 8" pan.
                                                                                                            Scatter pecan halves or walnut pieces on top.

                                                                                                            Bake at 350°F for about 40 minutes or until done when tested with a toothpick in center.
                                                                                                            When cool, dust with confectioner's sugar.

                                                                                                            To make your own self-rising flour mix:
                                                                                                            1 tsp. baking powder or 1/4 tsp. baking soda per each cup of all-purpose flour.

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                              Cynsa, how deep should the pan be ?

                                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                2 inches deep. 8 x 8 x 2 inches. (truthfully, depending on the brand of self-rising flour, the dense cake may not rise much - add additional 1/8 tsp. of baking soda if needed, for a lighter cake)
                                                                                                                I have baked this recipe in a round 8-inch spring form pan and it takes longer than 40 minutes; bake 'till done.

                                                                                                            2. Yesterday I made a lemon meringue pie and my usual Best Recipe corn muffins, only this time I added handfuls of frozen wild blueberries to the batter. Delicious, if a bit "blue" in color. Given that they were frozen, I was surprised how quickly they thawed enough to color the batter.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                That's kind of the holy grail of blueberry muffins, no coloring of the dough. Never been able to do it.

                                                                                                              2. I was Strictly Forbidden (well, a suggestion was made) to do any sweet baking this weekend (we have way too much to be getting on with anyway) so I just made no-knead bread (baked it at 425 in pans with a pan of hot water, came out fine) and biscuits as a topping for chicken pot pie.

                                                                                                                1. Does anyone have a good site recommendation for making laminated dough. I want to start working on perfecting that on my way towards croissants (eventually). Meanwhile I made another loaf of Rye from RLB Bread Bible.

                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                    I believe I saw some extensive discussions of laminated dough on this blog:


                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                      Love that site. Will look back through.

                                                                                                                    2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                      Have you seen the quick puff pastry recipe on the Canadian Living magazine website? Very easy to make puff pastry that way. I'm thinking of adapting it to a yeast prep (the trick is in the rolling method).

                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                        I've only ever made slow puff pastry (La Varenne French Cookery School book recipe). How do the end results compare?

                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                          It's perhaps a touch less puffy but very good. I used it as the base of my St Honoré famed of song and story and for the crust of a (Nick Malgieri, Baker's Tour) Swiss leek tart.
                                                                                                                          Do you get the Hallmark channel and therefore the "Martha Stewart Bakes" program? She makes the détrempe with heavy cream! I would think it would make it too short but it certainly seemed to handle beautifully. The show is on her website.

                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                            No, I don't get the Hallmark channel. Martha makes the détrempe with heavy cream? The whole point of using water is that in the heat in changes to steam, causing the layers to lift. The moisture in cream would do the same thing, but the butterfat would make the layers more heavy, and not cause them to rise as much, I would think.

                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                              If you can, check the website - there wasn't all that much puff to hers. I remember with Julia Child's recipe a cm total of dough on the edges of a Pithiviers blew up to 5 cm when baked.

                                                                                                                          2. re: souschef

                                                                                                                            Yes I'm familiar with it. I believe puff pastry and laminated dough or at least he dough for a croissant are slightly different.

                                                                                                                            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                              Inasmuch as the latter is yeasted, techniques are similar.

                                                                                                                      2. Yesterday I made a wonderful jam out of fresh pineapple, lemon and grand marnier, I ended up making Pineapple bars with the oatmeal crust and crumble with walnuts -delish.

                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                              oh dear friends roxlet and buttertart, why didn't I think to do this before????

                                                                                                                              I had a pineapple, I cleaned and since I have so much it wasn't being eaten. I've thrown out so much pineapple before - shame on me!
                                                                                                                              It was already cut up, I added sugar, a little water (there was a lot of juice in the container) and one lemon skinned and no pith or seeds. I poured in GM, and sugar. Since I didn't have any correct amounts for a recipe, I had to wing the sugar, and believe it or not it needed quite a bit. It cooked, and simmered, I'd turn it off, then back again taste it, and cook it some more, and it turned dark golden ooey and gooey. I thought about the figgy raspberry bars that I've made, and this was perfect. They are excellent today. The bars really sealed together, the jam and the crust became as one. Here's a photo. They are rich, but I could eat quite a bit they're so good. Pineapple man, does it make a great jam. I used fresh but I heard you can use canned as well. Will have to try it. My new favorite jam. I'd love to try a peach and pineapple or pineapple conserve with red chile flakes for brie....hmm I have brie. ack! How will I ever lose weight. I saw online these little tarts. You make the jam as I said, I think they added cornstarch (I don't know why) but then they rolled the pineapple in balls, then made a pastry, wrapped the pastry around the pineapple balls, then flattened them out a bit for baking, made little crisscross patterns with a fork and painted with egg wash, making it look like pineapple skin! Will try those too. mmmmm the bars are good, would you like the recipe???

                                                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                You have to ask??? Of course.
                                                                                                                                Since souschef twisted my arm/opened my eyes to the culinary applications of GM I won't be without it again.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                    oh just wanted to make sure (blush!)

                                                                                                                                    Pineapple Grand Marnier Bars
                                                                                                                                    Preheat oven 350 used a 9x13 glass dish buttered

                                                                                                                                    Filling- 2 1/2 cups cubed fresh pineapple (1 pineapple cored and skinned, and we ate about a cup or so before I decided to make this.
                                                                                                                                    1 /4 cup sugar
                                                                                                                                    1/2 water (add a little at time not all at once)
                                                                                                                                    1 lemon, cut the peel, then sectioned and took the membrames off tried to keep the fruit as much intact as possible
                                                                                                                                    !/2 T Grand Marnier

                                                                                                                                    Cook over medium heat, cover, lower if it boils, let it simmer for about 30 mins. I probably cooked it about 1 hour total adjusting the heat several times until the pineapple came out a dark golden color.
                                                                                                                                    Used the immersion blender in spots, didn't puree it all I wanted little pieces of fruit in the jam. (at this point I thought I was going to use this for jam only. It made one pint. Taste it, I added sugar the lemon adds a tartness, so to your taste.
                                                                                                                                    This is the hardest part.

                                                                                                                                    The pastry.
                                                                                                                                    1 cup of light brown sugar
                                                                                                                                    1 cup of softened butter
                                                                                                                                    Cream the butter and the sugar till cramy and and blended well
                                                                                                                                    1/2 tsp kosher salt - It doesn't matter what salt you use
                                                                                                                                    1 3/4 cup of oats
                                                                                                                                    1 3//4 cup ap flour
                                                                                                                                    1 T vanilla - I used Tahitian - again, use what you like
                                                                                                                                    Mix the flour and oats etc with fork fluffing it up, the add your creamed butter and sugar. Then I pulled out the mixer and blended it well.
                                                                                                                                    Split this batch in half. for the bottom, and for top
                                                                                                                                    I chopped not too finely, walnuts for the top for added crunch ( good call)
                                                                                                                                    Line the the well buttered dish, with half the flour pressing it firmly, add a nice layer of filling about an 1 or so, then top with the same flour and oats and press it down. Top and scatter the walnuts. about 1 cup
                                                                                                                                    Bake at 350 for 30-35 mins middle rack
                                                                                                                                    Cool on a rack completely
                                                                                                                                    Makes 12 big bars, or 24 small ones
                                                                                                                                    I had about 1/3 cup jam left of the full pint of pineapple.

                                                                                                                                    1 3/4 cup oatmeal

                                                                                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                      Thanks so much cc! I have saved this recipe. I love pineapple, but rarely if ever bake using it.

                                                                                                                              2. The baking's been plebeian but yummy: no operas, no bavoiroise.....but I have made:
                                                                                                                                Cranberry bars using canned jelled cranberry sauce
                                                                                                                                Peanut butter and jelly bars (strawberry jam, of course)
                                                                                                                                Danish sheet
                                                                                                                                Nainamo bars
                                                                                                                                and it doesn't really count as baking but I had half a bag of butterscotch chips left and some peanuts laying around, so I made those things. You know, those clusters with the chow mein noodles. I have no idea what they're called (Gramma might've called them something completely un-pc like Oriental drop cookies) but what I do know is that I can't keep my hands off them when they're made; an arguably perfect blend of sweet, salty, crisp and crunchy.

                                                                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                  Haystacks is the PC name I think.
                                                                                                                                  Danish sheet? PLEASE explain.
                                                                                                                                  Nanaimo bars? Why not butter tarts? Or butter tarts?
                                                                                                                                  You are one busy little bee, miss!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                    mamachef. Danish sheet????????? don't keep me hanging here.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                      Heh heh ! Sounds like it would be fun to keep Buttertart in suspense ;)

                                                                                                                                      What can I think of now ???

                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                        Yaaaaaaaaack, you scarin' me!! (Busy Bee had Busy day but here you are; it's delicious and plain and wonderful, especially if you DON'T dunk it, but then we all know how I feel about, euuuu dunking. ; ) Oven 375, preheated.
                                                                                                                                        Cream 1 stick unsalted best-quality butter with 1/4 c. confectioners' sugar; add 1/2 t. almond extract, 1/2 t. best vanilla and if you have it, seeds from 1/2 soaked vanilla pod. If you don't no big deal. Sift together 3/4 c. AP flour w/ 1/4 c. rice flour and 1/8 tsp. salt. Work into butter mixture until dough forms - but not too sticky. You know what this is supposed to feel like. That's right. Shortbread. By another name, but it tastes better!
                                                                                                                                        Pat into 8" circle on ungreased cookie sheet. Use parchment if you've got it around, but this won't stick because of the butter content. The dough will be very soft and delicate, so be nice; this is not the pastry to work out your angst on. Score dough into 6 wedges, and mark edges with tines of fork. Bake at 375 20 minutes, until very pale golden at edges. Cut while still warm. Best when eaten alone and the house has a chance to air out. ; )
                                                                                                                                        Grrr Yo'seff.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                          As always, a thousand thanks busiest of Bees, this looks sublime. "Best when eaten alone, etc" - worthy of Peg Bracken.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                            Somewhere I have a Scottish shortbread recipe that calls for rice flour. I always found it odd that a recipe from Scotland called for that ingredient...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                              Well, rice has been imported to the British Isles for a very long time, so sort of odd but understandable.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                True. It's one of those things that alters your world view a tiny bit. It makes perfect sense but I wonder who the Scot was that tried it first. : )

                                                                                                                                                1. re: twodales

                                                                                                                                                  One who had nae more wheat flour in the house?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                    Aye, and a wee bit 'o the good butter! (The rice flour isn't strictly necessary, e.g. you can make these without them - but the texture it lends it that completely crispy exterior, coupled beautifully with the melty, almondy, vanilla-y interior....it really does make a difference, but these are great and easy either way.....perfect thing to make when you have zero time and a case of the raving munchies, but don't want to eat a box of Screaming Yellow Zonkers...)
                                                                                                                                                    Oh, and bt? You're one of my alltime faves, and I ALWAYS have time to write out a recipe for you.....

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                      The feeling is mutual, dollink. Thanks!
                                                                                                                                                      Bit busy this weekend and haven't baked, but this sounds just too tempting. Later today maybe.

                                                                                                                                    2. Ya know, the "baking is a science" adage needs to be interpreted less rigidly, and with less fear, than some folks apply to it. Last week when I was exploring an Asian market I was surprised to come upon a brand of southern stone-ground white cornmeal (Indian Head) not normally seen in New England. After I bought it I noticed it's dated for 5 months from now so I will make an effort to use it sooner rather than later. I needed to bake something "noshly" so I took a peek at the Ruhlman ratios I'd jotted down from a CHOW article, realizing they translated to what my instinct was telling me to do anyway. Without careful measuring, I used a cup of cornmeal and a cup of white whole wheat. The leftover buttermilk was about a cup. I used 2 eggs. I didn't measure the brown sugar, coconut oil, butter, baking soda, vanilla, salt, coconut, or the remains of an old opened packet of yeast that I stirred in to get rid of it. I melted
                                                                                                                                      the oil and butter in a big bowl. I whisked in the buttermilk and egg. I dumped in the flour, cornmeal, and baking soda without pre-blending, stirred it up, and stirred in the rest of the ingredients. Baked in a sprayed nonstick loaf pan at 350 for 55 minutes. It has a pound cake like crumb and a nice flavor. This is how things were done not that many generations ago, and it still works. Recipes are essential if you want to be able to reproduce an item exactly, but if all you are aiming for is something that tastes good, a rudimentary grasp of ratios is all you need.

                                                                                                                                      1. Butterscotch Crinkle Cookies. (recipe at bottom -- note the glowing reviews)

                                                                                                                                        I made two batches of these. In the first, I made the recipe exactly as written, but the dough crumbled to the point of being nearly impossible as I tried shaping it into balls. For the next batch, I reduced the flour to about 2 1/4 cups, maybe 2 3/8 ;-) and this time they were perfect! I cooked only ten minutes because I wanted them soft.

                                                                                                                                        These are crackly, old-fashioned cookies. Mine look just like the picture, and they are DIVINE when dipped in coffee, as they just kind of melt into butterscotchy bliss. I did add a little sea salt (just Trader Joe's sea salt in the grinder, ha ha) to top each cookie, after rolling in the white/brown sugar mixture. The butterscotch flavor is intense and lovely, and the salt sets it off neatly.

                                                                                                                                        I make blondies a few times a month, and this was my first adventure with butterscotch cookies; I will make these again, definitely. Recently I have started browning the butter for my blondies -- just as I did for these cookies.


                                                                                                                                        1. I have a Queen Victoria Cake recipe that I've wanted to try but ti calls for self rising Cake Flour and I'm not about to go out and find (or buy) a whole thing of self rising cake flour. Now I have cake flour, all purpose and leavening agents like baking soda/powder. Anyone know the combo I can get to make the necessary self-rising cake flour?


                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                            from my post on March 14 -
                                                                                                                                            To make your own self-rising flour mix:
                                                                                                                                            1 tsp. baking powder or 1/4 tsp. baking soda per each cup of all-purpose flour.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                              would that equation hold true with cake flour instead of all purpose flour? I need self rising Cake Flour..

                                                                                                                                            2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                              ok, now that's absolutely gorgeous. bookmarking so I can try my hand at this one.
                                                                                                                                              I'm looking for a dessert for tomorrow. In years past I've always made Pineapple Upside Down cake (for the Southern Irish). Don't know why other than it's good and everyone loves it. Just worked well with the saltiness of cornbeef I guess (and I can do the recipe in my sleep now-truth be told)

                                                                                                                                            3. That Queen Victoria cake looks amazing! Have bookmarked it, too ...

                                                                                                                                              Yesterday I made a chocolate-stout cake ... haven't tried it yet, today being St. Patrick's Day, but it smells very very good. I also made Irish muffin bread, which, as toast, absolutely made my morning today. It was also very good fresh out of the oven last night. Yum yum.

                                                                                                                                              1. Nick Malgieri's supernatural brownies are the best and the easiest recipe in the world to make. It's posted here:


                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                      That reminds me, I used to make one with a baked-on ganache topping. Who in heck's was that recipe???

                                                                                                                                                1. Hi- I'm semi new to these threads (posted a few thoughts on a previous thread, I think), and pretty new to baking (got a Kitchenaid mixer for Christmas, which gave me the bug). Anyway, I just want to say- I love these threads, they are so inspiring with so much knowledge, they've already helped me out a lot just by stalking them. Hopefully, I'm ready to jump in and contribute a little more (probably with a lot of questions, but hopefully some reports as well).

                                                                                                                                                  I just bought Bake! by Nick Malgieri and I think I'm going to bake my way through that for a bit. Starting out in the first chapter with the sweet pastry dough- contemplating either the Bakewell tart or the chocolate hazelnut one, anyone have experience with either? I'm leaning towards the Bakewell, especially if I pick up some strawberry preserves at the market this weekend. Thanks in advance for any tips!

                                                                                                                                                  11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mjhals

                                                                                                                                                    I love these threads too, I've learned an enormous amount from them. Thanks everybody!
                                                                                                                                                    Re Bake! - I saw somewhere that someone didn't like the chocolate hazelnut cake recipe for some reason. I'd still try it, but maybe the Bakewell tarts? I must make them again soon.
                                                                                                                                                    His other books are great too, my favorite is "A Baker's Tour", recipes from all over including...butter tarts! One of the very few if not the only US books to include them.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mjhals

                                                                                                                                                      Forgot to mention, roxlet loves the coconut cake from Bake! but says to bake it in 8" instead of 9" pans for a deeper layer.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                        Great tip, I'll try to remember that- my equipment investment is skyrocketing! Have to get a tart pan tonight for the Bakewell, and it looks like I'll need a pan for brownies for when I try out the famous supernatural brownies (I think that's next in the line-up!).

                                                                                                                                                        Oh- and I just bought a Baker's Tour, very excited!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: mjhals

                                                                                                                                                          I'm so glad, I love that book. If you like white chocolate try the white chocolate Torta Caprese.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mjhals

                                                                                                                                                            Question about the bakewell tart for anyone who has made it- the recipe calls for spreading a layer of strawberry jam on the dough, then spreading the filling (8 oz crumbled almond paste, 3 eggs, 1 stick butter and 1/3 cup flour) over the jam. Without having tried this yet, it seems like that would make for a pretty thick filling, so won't it kind of smear/pull up the jam? Not sure if I mind (the filling sounds right up my alley), as I think it'd effect the presentation more than the taste.

                                                                                                                                                            Aside from the tart, I remembered a recent "baking" success (although no baking involved)- I made the chocolate panna cotta from Food and Wine this weekend (which was not the success- it was grainy and didn't set up well). As a sauce/drizzle I mixed almost equal parts honey and amaretto- amazing! I used the rest of it as a dip for roasted walnuts as a snack for the rest of the week, can't wait to think of another actual baking use for the concoction.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mjhals

                                                                                                                                                              I haven't made that recipe, but have done things that similarly call for spreading a thickish mixture over a layer of jam. It works best to dollop the filling over the tart by spoonfuls, and then using a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the dollops out until they all join.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                The small offset spatula is great for this kind of thing. I gave my (up in years and cooking/baking for most of them) MIL one and she says she doesn't know how she did without it.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                            Sorry buttertart, the recipe I use is from Malgieri's Perfect Cakes. I don't know if it's the same one in Bake! If the recipe calls for Thai coconut milk in the batter, it probably is the same one. I'm making this on Saturday, and I am going to double the recipe and bake it in 3 9" pans. I have quite a crowd coming...

                                                                                                                                                            buttertart -- about that cooked flour frosting -- can that be made ahead, or is it best used, and spread on the cake, as soon as it's made?

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                              Oops. I can compare them and see...
                                                                                                                                                              I don't see why you couldn't keep it chilled and then let it come to room temp before using it. It's stable on a cake.

                                                                                                                                                          3. re: mjhals

                                                                                                                                                            Welcome, mjhals! Nice to have another baker join up!

                                                                                                                                                          4. Just for fun -

                                                                                                                                                            This recipe was given to me by my mom when I got married, to the guy who told her it was excellent but he preferred his mother's. !!! I guess she was hoping for a convert.

                                                                                                                                                            "Toasted Pecan Chiffon Pie
                                                                                                                                                            This is a family favourite! (her note, underlined 2x)

                                                                                                                                                            1 envelope unflavoured gelatine
                                                                                                                                                            1/4 cup water
                                                                                                                                                            3 eggs
                                                                                                                                                            1/4 t salt
                                                                                                                                                            1 t vanilla
                                                                                                                                                            1/2 c sugar
                                                                                                                                                            1 c milk
                                                                                                                                                            1/2 c whipping cream
                                                                                                                                                            1/2 c toasted pecans, chopped
                                                                                                                                                            Cook beaten egg yolks, sugar, salt and milk over boiling water until it coats a silver spoon. Add gelatine which has been soaked in cold water. Stir well add vanilla, cool and when mixture begins to congeal fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites, pecans, and whipping cream. Pour into a baked shell and chill. Top with sweetened whipped cream and pecan halves if desired. It takes 1 half pint whipping cream altogether.
                                                                                                                                                            To toast pecans pop them in a moderate oven for a while. Not really necessary though. Mom"

                                                                                                                                                            Verbatim from the recipe card given to me in 1973.
                                                                                                                                                            I have never made it (sorry Mom) but it sounds good and not very sweet.
                                                                                                                                                            I'd up the amount of pecans and would whip the whipping cream before folding in, I don't remember if she did or not.

                                                                                                                                                            Come to think of it, this would be great with marrons glacés.

                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                              "Cook beaten egg yolks, sugar, salt and milk over boiling water until it coats a silver spoon."

                                                                                                                                                              Buttertart, why a silver spoon? I don't think I have any real silver. Would plastic do just as well?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                i guess it means untill it thickens, u can use a normal spoon or just see/feel when its ready

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                  I think she used a silverplate spoon, we never had sterling. I just interpret it as metal rather than wooden (I guess since wooden might take a coating before a slipperier spoon). Mom's not around to ask, unfortunately.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                    Sigh! I was sure you would get my tongue-in-cheek tease (especially with the plastic) :)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                      My literalminded side seems to be in the ascendancy today!

                                                                                                                                                              2. yesterday i baked bread (limpa) and today i baked sticky chocolate cake with coconut topping (kinda like brownies). Made it extra gooey because im gonna freeze it (and use it in icecream) and then u can eat it frozen (it taste almost better that way)

                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: L987

                                                                                                                                                                  Beautiful loaves of Limpa L987. A few slices topped with Swedish Meatballs and gravy would be very nice indeed!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: L987

                                                                                                                                                                    Very nice - recipe for the sticky chocolate cake please?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                      sure! its really easy to make and u can have it ready in 30 min. This is the basic recipe for a 23 cm/ 9 in pan, I normally double it and make it in a sheet pan.

                                                                                                                                                                      100 g of butter melted (1/2 cup/1 stick)
                                                                                                                                                                      2,5 dl sugar (1 cup + 1 Tbsp)
                                                                                                                                                                      2 eggs
                                                                                                                                                                      4 Tbsp cacao
                                                                                                                                                                      1/4 tsp salt (or more if u want)
                                                                                                                                                                      1,5 dl flour (1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp)
                                                                                                                                                                      1 tsp vanilla

                                                                                                                                                                      melt the butter, whisk together eggs and sugar, stir in the flour, cacao,salt, vanilla and the butter. bake at 175 C (350 F) for 20-25 min. Done! because its a sticky cake u cant check if its done or not so watch the clock instead. 15 min very sticky cake, 20 sticky, 25 still sticky 30 kinda sticky, 35 starting to dry... (depending on ur oven of course)
                                                                                                                                                                      and btw u can add whatever u want to the cake like dark chocolate, marshmallows, nuts, spices, berries, snickers, toffee, mint cocolate etc.

                                                                                                                                                                      If u want the coconut topping bake only for 15 min take out add the topping carefully and then bake for another 10 min.

                                                                                                                                                                      coconut topping

                                                                                                                                                                      100 g shredded coconut (unsweetened) (3 1/2 oz by weight)
                                                                                                                                                                      0,5 dl golden syrup (3 Tbsp) (guess u can take brown sugar or dark corn syrup if u dont find golden)
                                                                                                                                                                      1 dl sugar ( a little less then 1/2 cup)
                                                                                                                                                                      0,75 dl cream (1/3 cup)
                                                                                                                                                                      40 g butter (2 1/2 Tbsp)

                                                                                                                                                                      just add everything to a saucepan and bring to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes while the cake is in the oven. then add the cake and bake for another 10 min.

                                                                                                                                                                      taste best if u let it cool down in the fridge for a few hours and then served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

                                                                                                                                                                      leftovers can be frozen and if u eat it frozen it kinda taste like fudge ice cream candy

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: L987

                                                                                                                                                                        Fun! Thanks very much, will try.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: L987

                                                                                                                                                                      wow, they both look amazingly tasty. I'm totally a homemade bread lover at this point. Store bought even from a bakery unless its just exceptional, isn't holding a candle.
                                                                                                                                                                      Okay I had to goodle Limpa, and just wondering with so much orange juice, peel and all, what sandwiches do you love with this interesting bread?
                                                                                                                                                                      and of course i love the chocolate coconut things, I'm a coconut nut. heehee.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                                                        thanks :) hmm.. dont know what recipe u find but I didn't had any orange in mine.. just rye flour, bread flour, golden syrup, water, salt, butter, bread spices and yeast

                                                                                                                                                                        u probably find a recipe for vört limpa, it has dired orange zest in it. but no juice its normally made with beer and is eaten during the holidays

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: L987

                                                                                                                                                                          L987: I'm guessing you might have Scandinavian roots.

                                                                                                                                                                    3. For ease of scrolling, since we're over the very arbitrary (I'm the arbiter) number of 200 posts, c'mon with me over to Part XVI...http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7730...
                                                                                                                                                                      Posts on old threads always welcome and perused/commented on by all baking friends here.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I've been baking quite a bit lately for purely selfish reasons. The house feels cold and I'm trying not to use the electric heat or build a fire so I warm up by the oven. I've made several cream pies lately,Mexican Fruit Cake, custard and pumpkin pies and even a rice pudding,which I hadn't make since my children were small.I make a lot of quick breads,like poppy seed and cinnamon bread.I saw a cute thing online where they had taken a pound cake and cut it up like French fries,toasted the "fries" in the oven and served them with a strawberry sauce to resemble ketchup,of course. I'm trying to decide if I want to do that for my niece's daughter's 12th birthday on Monday. She's been so disagreeable lately I'm not sure if she's worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MellieMag

                                                                                                                                                                          What's a Mexican fruit cake?
                                                                                                                                                                          12 year old female = disagreeable in general, it's a bad age.
                                                                                                                                                                          This is the old thread, you might want to repost on the new one for additional comments:

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MellieMag

                                                                                                                                                                            MellieMag, most if not all 12-year old girls should pretty much just be sent to their rooms with some food and water and a cellphone, to wait it out until they're 16 or some such generally reasonable age. More power to you and her mother. It's a trying experience. I didn't much like my daughter at all that age, but we got past it.
                                                                                                                                                                            If you do go ahead with the trompe l'oleil "french fries", there's a great entree you can make: individual meatloaves, baked in muffin cups, "frosted" with piped mashed mashed potatoes. They look like cupcakes. It's truly a fun meal.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Recently made for hubby's bday Chef Alex G. "Simple Birthday Cake" receipe from food network. It is simple to make and simply delicious. Cake has chopped chocolate and frosting is egg whites whipped with sugar, very marshmellowy.