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What are you baking these days? April 2011 (old)

Hello all, the last thread was getting a bit long and so here we go with a new one (and a new numbering scheme - let's do it by months as greygarious suggested). What are you up to in these crazy is it Spring yet days?
I have buttermilk potato bread dough rising (reluctantly, not sure if it's my yeast or that it's oversalted, will bake it tomorrow) and made a chocolate birthday cake for a dear friend yesterday...

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  1. Had some folks in to dinner and made orange butter cookies to go with the orange mousse, and made rolls for some smoked turkey that never got served, but the rolls got eaten!

    1. I am posting my requested coconut custard pie on this thread rather than the last one since I feel it is a great Easter dessert. For Easter, I frequently make two pies -- this one and a lemon meringue. The both say spring to me.

      Coconut Custard Pie

      Partially pre-bake a piecrust, and let cool

      Coconut mixture:
      3 eggs
      2 egg yolks
      1 cup of sugar
      1 cup heavy cream
      1 cup light cream
      1 teaspoon vanilla
      1 teaspoon coconut extract (optional but recommended)
      pinch of salt
      1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

      Beat the eggs and egg yolks with an electric mixer, and slowly add the sugar. Add the heavy cream, light cream, vanilla, coconut extract, and salt, and beat just to combine. Do not overmix. Stir in the coconut, and pour into the cooled partially bake pie shell.
      Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and the custard is set. It should not be wet in the middle and jiggle too much when you move it. Serve room temperature or chilled.

      5 Replies
      1. re: roxlet

        As I said on the other thread, I want a piece of this right now.

            1. re: alkapal

              Yes, that's right. 350 degrees. My apologies for omitting that!

          1. The bread dough rose, thank goodness. Think I'll take some of it, sweeten and spice it a bit, add some currants, and make some hot cross buns, something I always hanker for this time of year.

            8 Replies
            1. re: buttertart

              Ended up getting to it too late and it was quite firm from the fridge, so let it rise in the mw with a cup of boiled water, then put it into a cold oven. Rose like mad, will post pic of the loaves.
              The recipe is James Beard's "Beard on Bread" buttermilk bread with 2 c mashed potatoes added and enough additional flour to correct to a dough (about 3 c).

                  1. re: buttertart

                    Tastes very good, in a traditional white bread kind of way - fine-grained. Makes terrific toast. Here are pics of it sliced (the hole in the middle is from shaping it sloppily) and as toast.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      Sloppy? You Buttertart? Say it isn't so !!!

                      1. re: souschef

                        When I'm stressed and the bread dough has lain around longer than I'd like, among other times, yes. Much as it pains me to admit it.

                        1. re: buttertart

                          That looks great! Please share the recipe, if you don't mind :)

            2. Italian Chocolate-almond Torte, from Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20... I suggested it as a possibility from my "to try" file to someone on another thread looking for a no grain / no dairy chocolate cake. Then I thought I better make it... It was easy & I agree with Caitlin - sophisticated flavor, nice desert in general. If I were making it for a non-parve crowd, I'd serve it with soft whipped cream. If I were to make it again, I'd skate as close as I could to pulverizing the almonds & chocolate without actually going there. I chopped mine "fine" but not "very fine" (as specified) and I'd like it better "very fine."

              4 Replies
              1. re: THewat

                I must try this, love cakes of this sort and love that book.

                1. re: THewat

                  I apologize if this question seem silly, but what is the purpose of the cream of tartar in this torte? Does the surface get crunchy?

                  1. re: chef chicklet

                    Not the foggiest idea what it's for. Anyone?

                2. I made butter with the toddler Saturday and then we used the butter and buttermilk resulting to make this cake yesterday http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/re...

                  I wasn't expecting much because I only had some old frozen berries and I wouldn't have chosen to bake with homemade butter and buttermilk, since the moisture content of the first is high and recipes are formulated for commercial buttermilk but it turned out well. I'd half the crumb mixture next time, add another cup of fruit, and sub in a little brown sugar in the cake part.

                  I like breakfast cake!

                  1. Since my digestive system can't handle sugar, it's been really limited for me lately! But I researched Truvia and decided to break down and try the container of pourable stuff for baking.

                    I've been craving cheesecake, and knowing I can't just order a slice or bake up a regular recipe of it has just made the craving worse. So yesterday, I baked up a pumpkin cheesecake with the Truvia, but by the time it had baked, cooled and chilled, I was ready for bed, so I'll try it today and see how it tastes. I'm not expecting cheesecake perfection, but the texture feels right, so that's half the battle.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: tracylee

                      you can bake cheesecakes in mini muffin tins and freeze in a ziploc for just a bite to satisfy when you want it.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        Great idea. Thanks! If I findthat I really like this recipe, I'll do that the next time. Our biggest problem is freezer space. We only have the one that's part of the fridge, so we try to rotate and use up stuff in there, but it doesn't always happen fast enough. I'll have to plan for it.

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          Love that idea! Can you do this even when the recipe tells you to bake the cheesecake in a pan of hot water?

                          1. re: sunflwrsdh

                            i always do quiches, custards and cheesecakes in water baths. so yes, even in the cupcake tins. yeah, the minis are a p.i.t.a. to wash, but just use the mini papers.

                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                              Thanks, hotoynoodle! I tried the papers for a quiche dish I made and they stuck like crazy. Cheesecakes might be easier.

                            2. re: hotoynoodle

                              Oh, and I wondered if you use the crust or not? Maybe just on the bottom of the cups?

                              I mentioned the idea to my boyfriend, who does the dishes, and he mentioned that he hates cleaning muffin tins, especially the minis. The spring-form pan was much easier for him, and he's eaten as much or more of the cheesecake than I have, even though he made himself a regular pumpkin pie with the rest of the can of pumpkin. Yeah, he's a big eater.

                          2. My oldest son's birthday was last week, and for him it was a dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate frosting (he likes it so much better than milk chocolate). My youngest son's birthday is next month, and he likes a more traditional chocolate cake, so I usually do that one with cocoa powder.
                            My (only)daughter has decided she loves baking, and would do it daily if I let her. Her latest attempt was a bit strange looking, but tasty. She is playing with food coloring these days. She made a basic vanilla (yellow) cake and tried to turn it green. It ended pale yellow with the faintest tinge of green. Then she made an easy butter icing, and turned it a purplish shade that looked exactly like the nasty oversweetened kids' yogurt I refuse to buy. So, greenish cupcakes drizzled with light purple icing (she insisted on using a plastic bag with the corner cut to "decorate" instead of frosting them). We'll keep working on the aesthetics, but her flavors are great! Her brothers ate them happily, although the little one was not sure about the icing til we convinced him it was worth trying.
                            Still undecided on a dessert for Easter dinner ... probably a spice cake, but I just may try a key lime cheesecake.

                            1. Made a Cheddar Loaf for before Passover, but will now be working on Passover desserts. If you have a trusted French Macaron recipe that you'd like to share and techniques that would be a fabulous dessert to try.

                              After passover, I'm going to work on a fig loaf and pitas (via stove top).

                              1. followed a recipe for vegan banana cake, but subbed out some brown sugar for white and added about 1/2 cup chopped up dark chocolate. baked it in 2- 6 inch cake tins. poked with skewers all over when out of oven and brushed on melted raspberry preserves. sliced each layer in half, to make 4 layers. put raspberry puree and whipped cream in between and finished the top with clouds of whipped cream. drop dead delicious.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                  that sounds pretty great. curious--why a vegan recipe if you then used whipped cream?

                                  1. re: ChristinaMason

                                    i happened to come across it, NOT searching for vegan cake. it reminded me of that super easy "wacky cake" and it was really good.

                                2. I’ve been nourishing a whole wheat sourdough starter for several weeks, using it for no-knead bread. The next-to-last loaf seemed too feeble; it didn’t get the nice craggy crust and seemed a bit gummy inside. I guess the zip was gone out of the yeasty-beasties. So on the next loaf I used the starter and added a bit of rapid rise yeast into the dough, and had a very successful result. It’s really a game.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: mnosyne

                                    I have issues with sourdoughs as well, and usually add the extra yeast too.

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      I have issues with sourdough as well - can't stand the stuff. Life is too short to eat sour stuff.

                                      On the plus side, I once again made RLB's Golden Grand Marnier Cake and shipped it off to my niece for her birthday; it was declared delicious.

                                      Buttertart, I noticed the post from tastycakes on cornmeal scones and was considering making my almond scone recipe, but subbing the two ounces of ground almonds with two ounces of cornmeal. Think it would be good? It also has six ounces of AP flour.

                                      1. re: souschef

                                        I would think so, but not as good as almond! Maybe add a bit more butter to make them a bit less lean?

                                    2. re: mnosyne

                                      Wonder if anyone has tried the stem of grapes in the flour mixture.
                                      Sourdough starters and I have never gotten along.
                                      Anything that sounds too easy to work, water/flour/sugar (never has a true sourdough flavor to me). Always have added more yeast.

                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                        I did a true wild yeast sourdough starter about 12 years ago, and I used flour / water / grapes, although the grapes aren't necessary & some say they aren't useful. Mine worked and it's lived in my refrigerator ever since, revived sporadically. Adding commercial yeast kills the wild yeast, which is slower acting (giving the ability for long, flavor-producing, rises).

                                        1. re: THewat

                                          We live where vineyards are a plenty. Just waiting for the season whete I can buy a clump of grapes. If it doesnt work it won't be the end of the world. Wanted to try forever, so Im game.

                                    3. i'm using up the last of the winter apples in a sour cream coffeecake. also making a carrot cake with cream cheese glaze, almond croissants, and some cornmeal scones with apricot and white peach jam i put up last year. i may also try some strawberries & cream scones with freeze dried strawberries inside and some fresh ones under the glaze, but i'm thinking i should cook the fresh berries - not that scones last more than a day anyway.

                                        1. Muffin Monday:

                                          Cran-orange muffins with a ginger streusel topping. Fresh cranberries inside ... good, not too sweet.

                                          Carrot muffins with a cream cheese inside ... kind of an inside-out carrot cake in muffin form. I wasn't impressed, and while my testers did eat them, the reviews weren't overwhelming.

                                          8 Replies
                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                            could I get the recipe for the cran.orange muffings? They sound delicious.

                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                Absolutely! I'm traveling now but will post when I get back home.

                                                1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                  Are they the elusive ones with a whole orange ground with the cranberries I hope I hope I hope?

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    In keeping with other pithy ( ; ) comments here, why would you want to use the WHOLE orange ? Would it not be too bitter ?

                                                    BTW throwdown to you Buttertart: I've decided to make Rigo Jancsi for Easter dessert.

                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                      there is a relish made with whole orange ground with cranberries and quite a good amount of sugar. it doesn't really suffer from the pith, esp. if the oranges are thin-skinned navels.

                                            1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                              i've made a plainish muffin with craisins and orange zest and the combination is really refreshing and not too sweeet. choc, your muffin with the fresh cranberries (fresh this time of year? or did you freeze some from autumn?) plus orange and streusel sounds mah-velous.

                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                Fresh cranberries! I always stick an extra bag or two in the freezer after the holidays. :)

                                                Here's the recipe. I didn't adjust for the difference between blueberries in the original recipe and cranberries in my version, so it's not overly sweet -- we all liked them, but adjust as desired. The streusel topping does add some sweetness too, though.

                                                Orange-Cranberry Streusel Muffins
                                                (adapted from two Dorie Greenspan recipes)

                                                Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
                                                3/4 c buttermilk (may need a little more)
                                                2 eggs
                                                3 Tbs honey
                                                1 stick (8 Tbs) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
                                                1/3 c sugar
                                                2 c flour
                                                2 1/2 tsp baking powder
                                                1/4 tsp baking soda
                                                1/4 tsp salt
                                                1 c fresh cranberries (I used frozen, not thawed)

                                                Streusel topping:
                                                1/4 c flour
                                                1/4 c brown sugar, packed
                                                2.5 Tbs cold unsalted butter, diced
                                                1 tsp grated fresh ginger (opt.)

                                                Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

                                                Line muffin pan with 12 muffin papers.

                                                Combine orange juice and buttermilk. Add more buttermilk as needed to make 1 c of liquid in all. Then, whisk in the eggs, honey, and melted butter.

                                                Separately, in a large bowl, mix the sugar and orange zest together until the sugar is moist and smells like the zest. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and gently stir to blend -- don't worry about lumps. Mix in the cranberries and divide evenly into the muffin cups.

                                                For the streusel, mix the flour, brown sugar, and ginger together in a small bowl. Then, add in the butter, lightly breaking up the pieces but leaving the overall mixture somewhat chunky.

                                                Top the filled muffin cups with the streusel mixture and bake for 22-25 min.

                                            2. I made the chocolate mayonnaise cake from the April 2010 issue of Bon Appetit (pg.111) this past weekend. Three layers of dense, moist chocolate cake, with creamy chocolate icing layers in between...just the right amount of sweet. We brought it with us to celebrate a friend's birthday on a all day wine tasting tour in Northern Virginia. We hunkered down with a few Barrel Oak reds and the cake. Turned a grey, gloomy saturday right around!!

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: applemomma

                                                applemomma, why don't you name your blog "Apple Momma"?

                                                Check out the upcoming wine auction and Loudon chefs dinner at the Meadows in May.

                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                  alkapal- thanks for the tip on the chefs dinner!

                                                  also, my blog is www.oneloudlemon.blogspot.com...apples, lemons, whatever!

                                                  havent posted in a while, wanted to check out what everyone has been up too!!!!

                                                  applemomma/one loud lemon

                                              2. Today was Skinnydoodles (as I've so dubbed my version of Snickerdoodles). Used a portion of bread flour, no shortening, and a couple of other minor tweaks to stuff I looked at online. Took all my willpower to not substitute in some brown sugar.

                                                1. Gina DePalma's "All of the Lemon Tart" from Dolce Italiano, Desserts From The Babbo Kitchen.

                                                  I used the recipe from Chowhound ArizonaGirl's blog: http://www.foodhuntersguide.com/2008/...

                                                  You have to plan ahead as you toss sliced whole lemons with sugar and refrigerate overnight before pureeing in a blender with other ingredients. I thought the texture of the filling was perfect. I prefer ieven more lemon-y and athough I used thin-skinned local lemons, I could still taste a little bitterness from the pith, so I'll tweak it a bit next time. Overall, however, a success, and my husband is pretty happy that I baked a whole tart just for the two of us. I also loved the buttery crust made with cream and lemon zest.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                    I believe that the type of pie that uses the whole fruit, including the pith, is usually known as a Shaker Lemon Pie when the slices are not pureed. I made one once, quite a few years ago, and, as I said at the time, never again. Despite having researched and followed the directions to a T, it was unbelievably and horribly bitter. I still don't understand how it could be anything but bitter when you use the pith of the lemon. Please post again when you tweak it. I would be curious about how it turns out. SInce you are pureeing the lemons, I would tweak it by using the peel, removing the pith, and then slicing the fruit. It's the pith that's the problem!

                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                      I did the same thing (the Shaker lemon pie), once, and it was hideous. This sounds quite good however. America's Test Kitchen did an updated Shaker pie on one of their shows that looked good but was no end of fussing.
                                                      roxlet (and all) - what's your favorite lemon tart?

                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                        I found this recipe on Saveur's we site last year when we were in Egypt, and I have made it a bunch of times. I think it is excellent. I like that the filling cooks as the pie does, thus no making of curd. Just mix up the ingredients, pour in the shell and pop it in the oven.


                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                          That is nice. Reminiscent of the Malgieri Tarte Nicois in Baker's Tour. Easter, maybe!

                                                      2. re: roxlet

                                                        <I would tweak it by using the peel, removing the pith, and then slicing the fruit.> Exactly what I was planning!

                                                        I love the tang and flavor of the filling in Joanne Chang's Lemon Bars. I'm going to try to play around to marry the two. http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/le...

                                                      3. re: Rubee

                                                        Lemon tart is the BEST, this looks yummy!

                                                      4. Scallion Popovers -- to accompany broccoli cheddar soup. What a fantastic combination!

                                                        I always think of my mom when it comes to these pillowy little treats. One Christmas I gave my mom the Moosewood Restaurant Daily Specials cookbook (soups & salads, mostly) and as she paged through it, she immediately zoomed in on these and giddily exclaimed "POPOVERS!" and within the next hour we were eating a batch. She told me that she and my dad enjoyed these frequently when they were 1st married (late 1960s).

                                                        Scallion Popovers

                                                        11/2 cups white flour ( you can substitute whole grain flour)
                                                        1 1/2 cups milk
                                                        3 large eggs
                                                        2 tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil
                                                        1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                        a few tablespoons minced scallions, (optional)

                                                        Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Generously butter a standard 12- cup muffin tin. (or not, LOL. I didn't butter -- I read mixed reports on buttering the tin).

                                                        When the oven reaches 450, heat the empty muffin tin for 5 minutes. It should be HOT HOT hot*hot*hot; a very hot pan is the key to adorably puffy popovers.

                                                        While the muffin tin is getting hot, sift together the flour and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Toss in scallions.

                                                        When the pan is hot, immediately fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes. Serve hot.

                                                        *I just read a Joanne Fluke mystery in which detective/cookie maven Hannah Swenson served these up to a couple of suitors with a variety of special butters. Since we enjoyed mine with the soup, I just set out some good salted butter, but I'd like to try with flavored butters soon.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: twilight goddess

                                                          YUM! Maybe these and the cauliflower soup from AMFT for dinner tonight or tomorrow. Husband adores popovers.

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            You can also throw all ingredients in the blender if you want to mix up the batter that way.

                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                ;-) well, now that you ask..... did I mention that it needs to be HOT?

                                                        2. Has anyone tried this carrot cake recipe at epicurious? Makes a small cake, which is perfect because I am baking just for 2 of us so a big cake is just. so. dangerous! Carrot cake is the all-time favorite of my special someone, and I've never made him one, so I would like to try. Reviews on this version look promising!


                                                          1. Although yesterday was our anniversary and we're going out to celebrate Saturday night still wanted to make special dinner for us.
                                                            For dessert it was from the Kitchen Boss. Taped and watched Buddy make this. Very good but next time I'll put the apples in the food processor so they're not so obvious. It's a texture thing for my husband.


                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                              Happy anniversary! That looks like a good cake.

                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                Thanks buttertart, he's a keeper :)

                                                                If you're into apples it's a very good recipe. I didn't have the applesauce called for in the recipe and only had 5 apples so didn't want to make applesauce. I subbed out whole fat sour cream, (1/2 cup) very very moist, baked in convection oven and lots of cinnamon sugar on top, nice hard glazed crust.

                                                            2. passover desserts! i'm baking smitten kitchen's lighter-than-air chocolate cake, which was a big hit the past two years and a banana bread with almond meal and potato starch instead of flour and 10 eggs!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: kosherfoodies

                                                                Where did you find kosher for passover cocoa powder?

                                                              2. Another coworker is having a birthday, and I got not-so-subtly coerced into baking another cake. Luckily, this time the kitchen staff gave me most of the ingredients I needed, so it didn't cost me much other than time.

                                                                I made CI's yellow layer cake recipe (which uses the kind of odd method of cutting butter into the dry flour). I am going to sandwich that with peeled, cooked sliced apple compote (braeburn apples, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, butter, cornstarch).

                                                                I made a fluffy brown sugar frosting from a recipe I found online, which I am not 100% pleased with. As I suspected, the brown sugar stays kind of granular, so it's slightly gritty. It's also tooth-achingly sweet, so I added some whipped cream cheese and mascarpone for balance. It'll do. Meh.

                                                                14 Replies
                                                                1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                  I like that reverse creaming method, it makes a really nice-textured cake.

                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                    Wasn't that the method that Rose Levy Berenbaum started off using in The Cake Bible?

                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                      She popularized it recently but I found recipes using it in my MIL's 1961? 62? Good Housekeeping Cookbook last summer. It ain't "hers".

                                                                    2. re: buttertart

                                                                      I'm psyched to try it! This recipe calls for 4 eggs and only 1 3/4 cups of flour, so I'm curious how souffle-like it will be.

                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                        That is way high on the egg ratio, look forward to seeing how it turns out.

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          This was really, really good! I'm adding it to the cake rotation. The filling and icing were very tasty, too. I dusted the top with cinnamon.

                                                                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                            Must try, from one of their books? Doesn't that method make a nice texture?

                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                              Yes indeed. Let me know if you want to recipe from The New Best Recipe.

                                                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                I have that book. Imagine that! Thanks anyway.

                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                  Really liked the cake. Got nice height.

                                                                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                                                        That's gorgeous! Did it rise a lot when baking?

                                                                        2. My son and his fiance have been bugging me to make these cookies that I made for them a few years ago. I'd made them a couple times and I can't for the life of me find the recipe. They were coconut and I sort of took a macaroon recipe and morphed it a bit. They are begging me to make these... oh well. In my frustration after searching my files, I just made macaroons from the recipe from the back of a bag of Raley's brand coconut. They loved them but said, that wasn't it. Okay I know this is going to sound so stupid of me, but does anyone remember this posting. It was only two years ago. LOL!

                                                                          I'll keep searching but I do recall that when I posted it someone mentioned that it sounded like (blank) one of their special cookies. sheesh I know I wrote it down in more than one place too!!!

                                                                          I made macaroons some with dark chocolate chips some without. Super crunchy exterior and soft in the middle - crazy sweet. Too sweet for me.

                                                                          1. I made David Leboovitz's Almond Cake as loaves, using the amended recipe I posted in the earlier thread: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/06/.... I think I like it slightly better as a cake, but the loaves disappeared very fast, which I'll take as a good sign. I also made Alice Medrich's Chocolate Pound Cake as loaves - my first shot at that recipe. I got a slice today & wasn't wowed, but I understand it's better on the second day. I'm in the market for a chocolate loaf cake that I adore - not too sweet, really flavorful - if anyone has one they'd like to share I'd be delighted. My next try may be an effort to morph David Lebovitz's Bouchons Au Chocolat into a loaf cake...

                                                                            33 Replies
                                                                            1. re: THewat

                                                                              A couple of weeks ago I made the chocolate nut loaf from Desserts by Pierre Hermé (w/Dorie Greenspan) and almost all of it is still uneaten. It has almond paste and a lot of nuts in it so was more expensive by far than it's worth. Do not recommend this recipe.

                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                Bummer. I hate being disappointed by what seemed, at the outset, promising.

                                                                                I've just lifted a couple of recipes off of one of the chocolate cake threads to try.

                                                                                1. re: THewat

                                                                                  I'd just like to think up a use for this thing, not big on trifle, and it would make a huge amount.

                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                    How about cutting it up into slices and baking it again to make a pseudo biscotti. I do remember that you don't like biscotti, but this would not quite be the same. You could dunk it into your favourite alcoholic libation (a friend of mine swears that the best way to eat bisotti is dunked in whisky).

                                                                                    Alternately, you could just send it to me :)

                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                      Tee hee, you know the second I posted this I went ding!!! Biscotti. Pseudo even, M likes them.

                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                        Huh. Guess on time / temp for cake to pseudo biscotti? (She asks, peering over at a quarter cake she doesn't like...)

                                                                                        1. re: THewat

                                                                                          300, 15-20 mins watching closely? souschef?

                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                            I would go a little higher - 325, for about that time. I don't know if you have to watch closely as you will be dunking them, so if they get overbaked a bit should not be a problem.

                                                                                            BTW the biscotti recipe I posted a while ago also has lots of chocolate, almonds, pistachios, and almond paste.

                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                              Thanks. I have some of "Kim Boyce's Olive Oil Cake" re-baking away. (I'm now at 325 & 25 minutes. I'm super curious. Thanks you guys!)

                                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                                  Warm, they are vastly better than the cake. I'm guessing they'll be good cool, too. They look good:

                                                                                                  1. re: THewat

                                                                                                    Curious, were you not a fan of the olive oil cake with chocolate and rosemary? Or was it not baked enough for you? I am a fan, and have made it more than once, most recently a couple of weeks ago, see: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7730... but now I'm wondering if I wouldn't ike it better if more done, or toasted.

                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                      Caitlin - I was not a fan. I really like the idea of olive oil cake, but the actual thing doesn't sing to me. (I've also tried, and not particularly liked, the Olive Oil Pound Cake in Medrich's Pure Desserts.) I guess it is, for me, partially a texture thing - I do like the Rosemary / Chocolate cake much better in this pseudo biscotti incarnation; I think the flavors are fun together & the "biscotti" are good with my morning coffee.

                                                                                                      Thanks for the Nigella link below - I'm with you on sweetness. If you get around to trying it, please report / I'll do the same.

                                                                                                      1. re: THewat

                                                                                                        Ah, okay - different strokes, as I love Medrich's olive oil pound cake, and think it has great texture (though a fairly different one than Boyce's) and flavor.

                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                I did it and warm they are a treat - was about 20 mins at 300, may re-rebake them, not dry dry. Much better than as cake.

                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                  I'm so delighted about this - I was foolishly under the impression that cake I didn't like was kind of the end of the line - nowhere to go but compost. HA! Silly me.

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    "Biscotti" means" twice-baked" (twice-cooked?), so if you bake them again they will cease to be that, pseudo or otherwise :)

                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                      It's always been my understanding (and Italian-English dictionaries seem to agree) that biscotti simply means biscuits, i.e., cookies as in British English - all kinds of cookies. So while in North America, we understand the word biscotti as describing the twice-baked type of biscuit good for dunking, the actual meaning of the word doesn't imply twice-baked.

                                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                                        Triscotti? I did, and they're the better for it. So good I snuck one when we lost power for an hour or so last night (after the crazy rainstorm passed) and we came downstairs (why, I'm not entirely sure) to have a look around in the semi-darkness.

                                                                                            2. re: buttertart

                                                                                              I saw you baked this into biscotti already, but just in case it's useful to anyone else...

                                                                                              I've pulverised a disappointing chocolate cake to crumbs, froze them, and used the crumbs as the base of a cheesecake a few weeks later, as if it were a traditional cookie crust. I think I had to add some butter to bind and a bit of flour just to get a slightly drier consistency, and patted them in with my hands. I let the crust pre-bake for 10-15 minutes while getting the filling together just so it would firm up a bit. I didn't find the final product softer or more crumbly than a traditional base

                                                                                              1. re: limoen

                                                                                                I had thought of a crumb crust but this was about a 1 1/2 to 2 lb cake so it would have made way too much. Thanks anyway.

                                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                                            the words chocolate nut loaf words reminded me of a much sought after date nut loaf that Van de Camps used to make and the supermarkets were stocked, no longer, dang, loved that loaf. would love a duplicate recipe for it... :(

                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                              Found this in the Archive:

                                                                                              I, too, was remembering enjoying VandeKamps Date Nut Bread and found a recipe that I tried;
                                                                                              I was thrilled with how it tasted like the one I remember. Especially when I spread it with cream cheese! Yum!

                                                                                              3/4 cup boiling water
                                                                                              1 1/2 cup chopped dates (fresh)
                                                                                              1 T. butter
                                                                                              1/4 cup dark brown sugar
                                                                                              1/4 cup dark molasses
                                                                                              2 large eggs
                                                                                              1/2 cup all-purpose flour
                                                                                              1/2 cup whole wheat flour
                                                                                              1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
                                                                                              1/4 tsp. baking soda
                                                                                              1/4 tsp. salt
                                                                                              1 cup chopped walnuts


                                                                                              Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
                                                                                              In a medium bowl, pour water over the dates and butter. Stir and let the mixture sit until lukewarm
                                                                                              Puree 1/3 of the mixture in a food processor or blender to make a paste,
                                                                                              then stir it back into the date mixture.
                                                                                              Add the brown sugar, molasses and eggs. Stir until everything is thoroughly combined.

                                                                                              In a separate large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
                                                                                              Make a well in the center and pour in the date mixture. Mix until all the ingredients are combined.
                                                                                              Pour the batter into a greased 9x5" loaf pan.

                                                                                              Bake for 50 minutes; loaf is done when the top has risen and a cake tester inserted in the center will have some dates clinging to it but no batter.
                                                                                              Remove the bread from the oven and cool it on a rack for 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan to finish cooling.

                                                                                              Found this on cdkitchen
                                                                                              Recipe ID: 40454

                                                                                              MSG URL: http://www.recipelink.com/msgid/1429447

                                                                                              New Posts | Permalink | Report | Reply

                                                                                              By KA 1948 on Oct 12, 2009 06:19PM

                                                                                                1. re: mnosyne

                                                                                                  I'm so thankful for your post.
                                                                                                  I will try it when I get some dates, have all else needed.
                                                                                                  Gad that brings back memories.
                                                                                                  Thanks again.

                                                                                                  1. re: mnosyne

                                                                                                    hi mnosyne, if I'm reading right, the poster did a version for diabetic, subbing out the brown sugar for splenda, otherwise, I think they're the same.
                                                                                                    it looks very good and I'll make it and take it on the plane to Hawaii Saturday for the crew. We're going for a wedding on Monday.
                                                                                                    I also like the look of Uncle Phaedrus' one and will see the differences when I take a closer look. Again thanks for posting. I'll report. I have all ingredients. Oh wait, I need walnuts. Anyone else remember how the walnuts were sort of just barely there in the Date Nut loaf? they sort of melted away into the texture not too crunchy more in the back ground as if only adding flavor not textrure. Just my thoughts.

                                                                                              1. re: THewat

                                                                                                I haven't yet made, but have heard many raves for, Nigella Lawson's Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake (recipe linked below), and as I am a fan of not-too-sweet sweets, would be inclined to drop the brown sugar down to 1 1/2 cups, or even 1 1/4, depending on the cocoa content of the chocolate used.


                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                  I made this a few years ago and everyone enjoyed it. It is quite moist and can be dressed up with cream, berries, etc. to elevate it a bit.

                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                    Nigella's Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake is a winner.... mmmmm. An added bonus: it is even tastier/moister the 2nd day, and the 3rd. So this is an excellent make-ahead dessert in anticipation of company. Great gift, too.

                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                        "Nigella's Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake is a winner" ^^^^That's more than a few times I've heard or seen that mentioned.^^^^ Singing rehearsal is in the middle of May. I'm going to make it for that and I'm also going to make this...below that I did again last night... I have to make enough of whatever I bring so all can have a piece > that translates into 2 cakes... http://www.cheftalk.com/forum/thread/... ...and I'll frost the "finally a perfect yellow cake" with Toronto Joe's flour frosting. If anyone is searching for a good tender cake, last night I think I got it perfect. Toronto Joe's vanilla frosting is so very good on it. I know when my husband opens his lunch ColdMaxx and finds it in there, he's gonna be one happy man. Thanks to Caitlin for posting the link for NL's cake recipe. Also to Caitlin, I love your name BTW, it's so pretty. Wondering after reading it just now, what anyone thinks would happen if I added dates to it if I'd ruin it. You know how you place dates in water and boil them down for say date nut loaf or oatmeal date cookies? I'm just thinking that the texture of dates and the fact that I love dates, could add something special..... < or not, hum, let's see

                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                      Did you end up making this and dropping the sugar? I'd be interested to know how it turned out as I'm planning to make this as well and would prefer to have less sweet taste soon.

                                                                                                      I'll probably just make it with the full amount first and then tweak the second batch.

                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                        I just made this; it says "don't worry if it sinks in the middle..." but mine has formed quite a cavernous hole. :-( I suspect it will be tasty, but it doesn't look so nice. I also forgot to cut down the sugar. Sigh.

                                                                                                    2. i made a double batch of chocolate high-hats (40+), batter from martha stuart and marshmallow creme from dorie greenspan. The cupcakes domed, so i sliced to tops off after they are cool in the fridge. I don't recall them doming this much the 1st time i made these, wierd...

                                                                                                      They are fantastic regardless, much like a glorified ho-ho.

                                                                                                      now i got cupcakes coming out of my ears, I am transporting them to the nearest pregnant marathon buddy. eat up ladies!!

                                                                                                      1. I love this thread. Seeing what everyone else is making is inspirational!

                                                                                                        Last weekend, I made two desserts for a dinner party: a sweet cornmeal loaf cake and peanut butter cup cookies (pb cookies with a dark chocolate peanut butter cup pressed in the middle). I also made some not-sweet oatmeal cookies with walnuts and currents to bring to work during the week.

                                                                                                        This weekend I'm debating making chocolate chip cookie wrapped around a peanut butter pretzel bit that I saw on Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. I'm also planning to make pecan pie bars just for kicks.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                            Yes!! I'm hoping it turns out to be really good and the dough cooks evenly! The idea sounds soooooo tasty.

                                                                                                        1. Tonight I'm attempting making Buddy Valastos crumb cake. A girlfriend if mine thinks she's close with her copycat, fingers crossed. Taking it to singing rehearsal tomorrow.

                                                                                                          15 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                            always forgive [please] typos. so hard to have sausage fingers trying to touch a tiny screen on a phone to do posts. yea, I know, wait until you have a real computer at your fingertips, too impatient..................
                                                                                                            'of' not if'
                                                                                                            Valastro ............................

                                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                              ooh i saw that episode where they had to remake it on the spot and it looked incredible. i've never seen such a thing here on the west coast. if it comes out well, please consider sharing the recipe!

                                                                                                              1. re: tastycakes

                                                                                                                it got raves from the singers at rehearsal. I saved one piece for husband when I got home, he said it was 'good', whatever that means.

                                                                                                                truth be told, not sure because I've never had BV's, and I only got a thimble sized taste myself. It was a lot of work and involves making two different cakes [one sour scream vanilla and one butter coffee cake].

                                                                                                                first you make and bake the butter coffee cake and let it cool.

                                                                                                                then make sour cream vanilla cake and bake only half way.

                                                                                                                take cooled coffee cake and put half in food processor and pulse until it turns to crumbs, take out make room and do other half.

                                                                                                                place the entire amount of crumbs over the entire top of the half baked vanilla cake and bake for the rest of time required.

                                                                                                                a LOT of butter involved and it only made a typical sized sheet cake of about 20"x14"

                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                  I've eaten the real thing (used to work a couple of blocks from Carlo's, when the father, who was a real gentleman, was still alive) and if there was any butter in it then, I'm a ringtailed monkey. The baked goods there are not all they're cracked up to be so I'm glad the cookbook is working out for you.

                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                    "glad the cookbook is working out for you".

                                                                                                                    sorry for being half asleep, what cookbook are we speaking of?
                                                                                                                    confused here. should have slept longer last night and avoided even the decaf... :(

                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                        no it was a friends version trying to do a copycat one for that recipe.
                                                                                                                        I'd recorded his shows Cake Boss and Kitchen Boss and do watch them but for the crumb cake one that I'd seen, was anxious to try her copycat.
                                                                                                                        BT you've had his crumb cake, is it everything that they tout it to be?
                                                                                                                        it looked incredible on TV and I won't say mine was near as high.

                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                          It's not very good. It amazes me that he has gotten the publicity that he has (I was astonished when I saw the first show and it turned out to be him) because the bakery - apart from his flashy cakes, which do nothing for me - is really very ordinary.

                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                            I'll put my TV programmer's hat on here -- it makes no difference whether the cakes are good or not. With the exception of the locals and the few rabid fans who make a pilgrimage, viewers are not interested in how the cakes taste. What they are interested in is Buddy. He has a funny affect wherein he always seems to be yelling (my son does an excellent impression) and I did catch an episode in Italy with his mother, who does exactly the same thing. That was actually pretty funny. People get invested in these reality TV stars (for lack of a better word), and they begin to talk about them as if they know them personally. It's kind of weird, but that's what makes them work. Reality TV is all about finding characters, the more outre and/or distinctive, the better. Seeing some outrageous looking creation at the end of the show is like a bonus, but they could be making kielbasas and the show would functionally be the same. Cake? What cake?

                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                              Gotcha. Makes sense. I just don't get the appeal of the character myself. But...to each his or her own!

                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                Yes, I thought he was pretty funny when I watched the Italy episode, and the next time I watched, I thought it was just meh.

                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                  I was in and out of the shop in the 90s for coffee and the sisters were unbelievably annoying...he was just a kid then and I don't remember him. The father was a gentleman (in front of the public anyway...).

                                                                                                                              2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                Right. It's not as if the viewers can taste the cake!

                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                  Cake Boss isn't one of the things I watch on a regular basis. I tape it to see if any topics interest me. < Then I watch, and if not, I erase. I did like the Next Great American Baker or whatever it was called, just for amuzement. As for Kitchen Boss, it's got a good recipe every once in a while, and after taping, I view the contents, see if I want to see how he makes "xyz" and watch or erase.
                                                                                                                                  The copycat of his was apparently good enough according to the comments I got, but then, I live in LA and how many of the singers have any idea who Buddy Valastro is let alone know of his TV shows. Again his apple snack cake was very good but I tweaked that too, so???

                                                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                    Have you seen the Martha Stewart Bakes show? That one is quite interesting (if you don't mind Martha).

                                                                                                                2. This morning, wanting to make something light given the impending heat of the day... Lacy Tuile Cookies... they're so easy to make and take no time at all to bake, although a little tedious to shape... good news is they don't harden too quickly on the still hot pan. ...now to get the butter out of my wooden rolling pin (lacked foresight) that i used to shape some of them on top of...

                                                                                                                  Yesterday afternoon, I was with my little cooking protege, my 12 old neighbor, and he was hungry. Those people have nothing in their house for baking, and I mean nothing. We did, however, find sugar and Saltines, so we make toffee crackers. He thought it was the coolest thing the way the sugar caramelized in the pan, and couldn't wait for them to finish baking or even to really cool enough to set. (He sat in front of the oven - "Done yet? Done yet?") Then he also loved the elongated stretched threads of sugar as he pulled apart his crackers... his enjoyment further evidenced by the strings of sugar on his chin.

                                                                                                                  1. I just made Nocciollette - Italian hazelnut cookies. Dead easy to make. Ground hazelnuts, butter, icing sugar, flour and honey, and, with a nod to Buttertart and Roxlet, a dash of salt (not in the original recipe). Not a lot of work, and very tasty.

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                        This is from a book called, "Cooking in Colour. Italian Cooking", general editor Maria Scarlatti.


                                                                                                                        4 oz unsalted butter, softened
                                                                                                                        1-1/2 oz icing sugar
                                                                                                                        1-1/2 Tbsp honey
                                                                                                                        4 oz plain flour
                                                                                                                        3 oz hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely ground
                                                                                                                        Pinch of salt
                                                                                                                        icing sugar for dusting

                                                                                                                        Cream butter, sugar, salt, and honey till light and fluffy. Stir in flour and nuts, mixing to form a smooth dough. With floured hands shape walnut-sized pieces into ovals and flatten to about 1/2 inch. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets about 1-inch apart, and bake in a 350 oven for 15-20 minutes till firm and the edges begin to brown. Cool, then dust with icing sugar (I skip the dusting process). Makes about 24.

                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                          I just saw this, CH and its capriciously marking posts read rides again...thanks, souschef!

                                                                                                                    1. We've been craving custards and puddings lately, and last night I made us all creme brulee for dessert. My daughters were pretty impressed with how fancy and grown-up they were at first, and then absolutely devoured them.

                                                                                                                      I had fun playing with my new mini blow torch and am now thinking of other things I can torch with it!

                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                        dinner out last night, friend of husbands got creme brulee and my husband got a pudding some such thing. anyway, they'd forgotten it was a special night for us and brought us out a panna cotta. texture flavor consistency, all off kilter, not good at all.

                                                                                                                        Love creme brulee and wish they'd have brought us one of those to share....

                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                          I'm always disappointed when restaurant desserts turn out to be lackluster or just plain BAD. :/

                                                                                                                          1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                            I always thought that a panna cotta would be creamy and not almost transparent.
                                                                                                                            This one was not creamy at all and almost see through.
                                                                                                                            Very odd.
                                                                                                                            And yea, when we do order a dessert, which is rare in a restaurant, if it's bad, it's like, 'why'd we bother?'

                                                                                                                      2. Chinese walnut cookies, made from an almond cookie recipe in Heirloom Baking with about a cup of walnuts minced in the dough in the food processor, and TJ's organic and very tasty walnut halves on top.

                                                                                                                        Had made half of the dough as almond cookies, added the walnuts to the other half, froze it for a couple of weeks, and baked today.

                                                                                                                        Very good and they have LARD in them, yes lard, I said it and I'm glad. Without it you don't get the right Chinese bakery oompf to them.

                                                                                                                        These are my best attempt at recreating a walnut cookie we used to get in San Francisco (a friend's brother's bakery packaged cookie, Golden something brand) that M adored and that don't seem to be being made any more.

                                                                                                                        1. In response to my ailing son's request to make some chocolate chip cookies, I decided to try the Doubletree recipe, which he had requested last year in Egypt and which I couldn't make without a food processor. This recipe requires that you grind up 1/2 cup of oatmeal to a powder to add to the dry ingredients. The other thing different than the standard Toll House one is that it has a barely-perceptable 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon as well as a half teaspoon of lemon juice. The dough also has to sit in the refrigerator overnight, ostensibly to hydrate the ground up oatmeal. My son just declared these the best chocolate cookies I have ever made.

                                                                                                                          1/2 cup rolled oats
                                                                                                                          2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
                                                                                                                          1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
                                                                                                                          1 tsp. salt
                                                                                                                          1/4 tsp. cinnamon
                                                                                                                          1 cup butter, softened
                                                                                                                          3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
                                                                                                                          3/4 cup granulated sugar
                                                                                                                          1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
                                                                                                                          1/2 tsp. lemon juice
                                                                                                                          2 eggs
                                                                                                                          3 cups semi-sweet, chocolate chips
                                                                                                                          1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts

                                                                                                                          Grind oats in a food processor or blender until fine. Combine the ground oats with the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

                                                                                                                          Cream together the butter, sugars, vanilla, and lemon juice in another medium bowl with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and mix until smooth. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture and blend well. Add the chocolate chips and nuts to the dough and mix by hand until ingredients are well blended.

                                                                                                                          For the best results, chill the dough overnight in the refrigerator before baking the cookies.

                                                                                                                          Spoon rounded 1/4 cup portions onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Place the scoops about 2 inches apart. Bake in a 350°F oven for 16-18 minutes or until cookies are light brown and soft in the middle. Store in a sealed container when cool to keep soft.

                                                                                                                          1. My first-ever carrot cake, adorned with lemony cream cheese frosting --- Mmmmm.

                                                                                                                            I used a nice epicurious recipe, and it made a smaller cake than most (1 nine-inch round cake pan). Some pineapple and walnut in the batter, no raisins which is how I like a carrot cake. Two tasters raved. I really really liked the outcome. I just added the zest of 1 1/2 lemons to the frosting. I am starting to be a person who makes cakes now! I've decided! Mmmmmmm.


                                                                                                                            1. Oatmeal cranberry macadamia white chocolate cookies ... the only redeeming thing about these cookies is that they have oatmeal in them, which makes them vaguely healthy.

                                                                                                                              1. made the recent nytimes mango tres leches cake. big hit at my party yesterday. it needs to be made 24 hours ahead, so is perfect for entertaining. a nice change from citrus-based cakes and tarts. the directions looked a bit daunting, but it was an easy cake to make.

                                                                                                                                (ny times is now behind a pay-wall, so don't know if i can post a valid link.)

                                                                                                                                eta: i loves the google. :) same recipe, different source.


                                                                                                                                1. Not baking qua baking, but a little something nice - bao bing pancakes to go with leftover duck as vaguely Beijing-style duck...boiling water dough, made into appx 1 oz balls, flattened, 2 patties sandwiched with sesame oil between them, rolled out together to about 1/8", cooked in a skillet until flecked with brown, and peeled apart into 2 really really thin pancakes (bao=thin, bing=flour-based foodstuff, roughly).

                                                                                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: mnosyne

                                                                                                                                      LOL. I actually have some raw duck bones and skin I need to figure out what to do with (the meat went into a terrine).

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                        We've been promised some stuffed duck neck by a French chef of our acquaintance. I am so looking forward to it!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                          Broth with the bones and fry up the skin, salt it, and eat it up. Scrummy. And save the fat the skin renders to do some potatoes in.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                            That's what I was thinking too: although some stock recipes call for adding the skin, I'd much rather render the fat from the skin separately and make duck chiccharones!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                              Now you're talking, senorita! So tasty.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                I put the skin in a frying pan on low for about an hour while all the fat rendered out and the skin got crispy. I ended up with about a cup of pure golden duck fat and some delicious duck chiccharones (and no, none of them are leftover). I also have a couple of quarts of duck stock. Yay!

                                                                                                                                        2. re: mnosyne

                                                                                                                                          You're the second person to ask that. Two big ducks for 4 not as hungry as usual people = leftovers, for once.

                                                                                                                                      2. Finnish pulla (cardamom bread) I read about in this post: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/776753

                                                                                                                                        The backstory is that although I've been baking for over 40 years I've never had any luck with yeast doughs. I blame it on what I call my magic yeast killing hands. But I'm a cardamom nut, and I had to try this recipe, so I actually went out and got a bread machine (got one free from a nice young woman who was moving) so I could use the dough setting and not have to touch it with my magic yeast killing hands.

                                                                                                                                        The dough came out great -- I'm not very adept at handling dough so the loaf was formed clumsily, but it tasted great. I had some leftover dough that I rolled into little balls and put in a muffin tin and they were great , too, especially hot out of the oven with a little butter. They'd be perfect for a tea party. Highly recommended if you love cardamom.

                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                                          I think with yeast all you really have to remember is not to use too hot liquid or try to rise it at too hot a temp, with blood heat liquid and yeast that's within date you should be fine (although my mom was a great baker and didn't have much luck with yeast either). Love cardamom too.

                                                                                                                                        2. Ricotta orange pound cake (x2!) which I first heard about on this very board, and which have come out wonderfully both times I have made them Thank you:)

                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: staple

                                                                                                                                              It really is delicious. And very easy, and nice to transport.. I brought one to some family members yesterday and I just wrapped it in plastic wrap and tied it with a green curling ribbon, and it looked very pretty; like Spring:)

                                                                                                                                            2. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                                                                                              These sound wonderful, could you post a link? Thanks.

                                                                                                                                            3. I'm not much of a baker. OK, that's an overstatement. But, I made this great Lemon Chess Pie. From Nancy McDermott's, Southern Pies cookbook. http://cookbookman.com/2011/01/southe...
                                                                                                                                              It really turned out fantastic. And, it is the very first pie I have ever baked!

                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: cookbookman

                                                                                                                                                Congratulations! It looks fantastic. The more frequently you make pies, the easier it becomes.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                      I still don't get the easy as pie part...just not my "thang"...

                                                                                                                                                  1. My wife wants some baked good s to bring to work for a meerting, so I guess it's cream cheese swirl brownies and chocolate chip cookies with walnuts today.

                                                                                                                                                    I've never tried the brownies, but the cookies are always a hit.

                                                                                                                                                    I use this recipe, but I change a few things... http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/giant-c... I use 2/3 coarse turbinado or demerrara sugar and 1/3 white so they have a little molasses flavor but they stay crispy and a little sandy. I also don't chop the walnuts, I leave them very large. I use good bittersweet chocolate chunks, I use maybe triple the vanilla extract and almost double what it calls for by volume for salt, but I use diamond crystal kosher salt so it's very fluffy and measures different from Morton kosher or table salt. I only use real butter, unsalted. I use a 2" meatball maker to size the balls evenly and I bake them on a silicone pad. I always double the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Made the carmelized, chocolate-covered, almond-speckled matzo candy recipe today. It's crunchy and delicious, and impossible to stay away from!

                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mnosyne

                                                                                                                                                        Oh, no you don't! You're mentioning THAT without a recipe. It sounds fantastic. Share, please?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                          You haven't had this? http://measuringspoonsandmixingbowls....
                                                                                                                                                          You can make it with saltines too if not keeping Kosher.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                            I guess that I had seen this with Saltines at one point, but I had never seen it with matzohs.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                              Somebody here got up in the night and noshed on choc/caramel matzos!

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                That's a passover classic. i've also done it w/graham crackers, for a caramel-s'mores-ish effect. Adding a bit of salt makes for that irresistible salt/caramel/chocolate combo.

                                                                                                                                                        2. An absolutely sinful Mulva Pudding last week for a lunch potluck. Monkey bread and a layered carrot cake with cream cheese frosting this past weekend. What can I say...my SO has a sweet tooth....

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pnutbutta

                                                                                                                                                            I had never heard of the pudding - is this it? http://www.food.com/recipe/malva-pudd...
                                                                                                                                                            Sounds great, I love things of this nature.
                                                                                                                                                            Given the great stuff a friend from Capetown bakes, it would be nice to look further into ZA baking.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Made a Flourless Chocolate Cake with a Vanilla Cherry-Berry Coulis/Sauce for Passover dinner tonight. Rich, over-the-top, decadent, but nonetheless a hit.

                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                oh please do post, love anything really decadent

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                  T's just a variation on La Bete Noire, but...

                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 c sugar
                                                                                                                                                                  2/3 c water
                                                                                                                                                                  Bring to a boil in saucepan and simmer 5 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                  6 tbsp unsalted butter
                                                                                                                                                                  6 oz semisweet chocolate
                                                                                                                                                                  6 oz 72% dark chocolate
                                                                                                                                                                  Melt butter and stir in chocolate to melt. Stir in sugar syrup. Let cool slightly.

                                                                                                                                                                  4 eggs
                                                                                                                                                                  1 1/2 tsp vanilla
                                                                                                                                                                  Temper 4 eggs with a little of the chocolate then whisk chocolate into eggs. Stir in vanilla.

                                                                                                                                                                  I bake mine in an 8 in silicone round mold, in a water bath on a sheet pan. 350 F for 30 minutes or until no longer jiggly.

                                                                                                                                                                  Cherry Berry Sauce

                                                                                                                                                                  3 cups frozen cherry berry mix (TJ's)
                                                                                                                                                                  1/4 c dark brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                                  Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes to evaporate out some of the water.

                                                                                                                                                                  1 tbsp potato starch
                                                                                                                                                                  1 tbsp water
                                                                                                                                                                  Whisk together til starch dissolves. Whisk into berry mix and bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring until sauce thickens.

                                                                                                                                                                  1 1/2 tsp vanilla
                                                                                                                                                                  1 tsp lemon juice
                                                                                                                                                                  Whisk vanilla and lemon juice in, and cook for just a few seconds more.

                                                                                                                                                                  I think the tartness of the sauce pairs with the chocolate, but YMMV and you may want to make the sauce a little bit sweeter.

                                                                                                                                                                  Enjoy! ...also good with a little creme fraiche, or skip the cherry berry sauce and do creme anglaise or vanilla ice cream. A sliver goes a long way, I swear.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                    potato starch? is this easy to find? Quick google search indicates that it is also potato flour.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                                                                                                      easy to find: Bob's Red Mill product line or you can substitute: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/344233

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                                                                                                        feel free to use cornstarch... i didn't because of passover.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Vanilla loaves (Hi Rise Bakery, Cambridge MA via Amanda Hesser: http://www.tinyurbankitchen.com/2009/...) I make these regularly & they are better on day two.

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. A double batch of sweet potato biscuits and a double batch of mac and cheese. :)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. I have several times used hummingbird cake as an inspiration for muffins without ever composing a recipe, but today I carefully noted everything I did, and typed it into the CHOW menu format to submit to the muffin contest, even though the prize is nothing that I really need. Then when I clicked to publish, the whole thing flew off into the black hole that is "page not found", and I had to do it all over again. Took as long to get the thing written up and entered than to make the batch of Healthy Hummingbird Muffins!

                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                                                                                        they need to make that recipe publishing function more user friendly. it is a PITA.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                          Anytime I enter something long like a recipe I first copy and paste onto my hard drive before hitting "Submit".

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                            Had that problem with a trip report and wanted to scream...so maddening.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. For those in the market for a nice Spring-y lemon dessert:
                                                                                                                                                                        ...sounds good.
                                                                                                                                                                        Maybe this will be my weekend for a lemon meringue pie, haven't made one in years.

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                          I saw that recipe too. Can't decide if I want to make something like this (light and lemony) or something with chocolate ...

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                            As far as I'm concerned on Easter, chocolate is for candy and lemon or something else fruity is for dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Buttery Almond Paste Shortbread (Caitlin's, from the almond paste thread.)

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. Dorie G's Coffee Break Muffins.

                                                                                                                                                                            Delicious! I got up at 7 to make these muffins for the gang at work, after an office brouhaha the day before. We enjoyed them warm, with butter. They were better later, split and toasted in the oven (yes, again with butter).

                                                                                                                                                                            The batter contains some espresso powder and one strong cup of coffee, some brown sugar. The only suggestion from my friends: sprinkle some kind of crunchy streusel atop each muffin. I think they tasted better a few hours after baking, with the flavors deepening. I asked tasters to guess the mystery ingredient (coffee) and, at different times (one in the morning and a friend that evening), two people asked if it was pumpkin! So they're a bit mysterious, which I like! Mystery muffins.

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                                                                                                              Those sound excellent (from Baking from my Home to Yours, I take it?). Baking after an office brouhaha is only too familiar to me too!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                yes, buttertart. I couldn't get the COTM selection so I thought, why not check out Dorie's baking book this month? I am going to make the midnight crackles tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. I just had my breakfast Pizza Rustica, the Easter bread is rising, and I am about to start on a ricotta cheese cake since we have a plethora of ricotta. I am using Gina De Palma's recipe from Dolce Italiano, which sunds amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                Stunning. Your house must smell heavenly. How do you like that book in general? I made the chestnut brownies from it and wasn't thrilled, but one recipe does not a book disqualify!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                  Truth be told, I just got the book after reading her recipe in BA this month, and it is the first thing that I am trying from it. I liked her crust idea with the almonds, but I think that the baking time must be somewhat understated since I feel that it is a very liquid batter -- so much so that I wrapped the bottom in foil, which is something I never do when I make my usual cheesecake with cream cheese and a bit of sour cream. She says 45-50 minutes, and my usual cheesecake calls for 1 hour, turning the oven off and leaving it there for a further 30 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                  Here are the Easter bread, and the just-baked and not-yet un-molded ricotta cheesecake.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh my heavens, that looks so good...

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Does it count as "baking" if it doesn't go in the oven? I just made a batch of CoCo Orb Balls: http://theyummyvegan.blogspot.com/200...; I added a granny smith apple with the dried fruit, a handful of bittersweet chocolate chunks at the end, and rolled them in toasted sesame seeds. Very happy.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. These apricot-orange shortbread bars were recommended by someone on a recent thread about almond paste, and they are seriously good. When I tasted one, I decided it was a good thing I was taking them to a party because they are rich and I would have eaten more than advisable if they weren't leaving the house. They received raves.

                                                                                                                                                                                        These are a butter/sugar/flour/almond extract shortbread base topped with apricot preserves thinned with orange liqueur (Grand Marnier in my case), which is in turn topped by a crumbled mix of some of the shortbread base, almond paste, and sliced almonds. I used the terrific apricot conserve from local orchard Frog Hollow Farm, which I can eat by spoonfuls - not super sweet, really tastes like the fruit - and was short a bit from what was called for because the jar didn't yield a cup, but it all worked out well. I also used a tad more almond paste than indicated.


                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                          Local orchard Frog Hollow Farm, >sigh<...those sound seriously good.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                            You can get Frog Hollow preserves via mail order, which I did do when I lived in NYC. Love their preserves, but don't think as much of their fresh stone fruit as that from others. There were some of these (seriously good) bars left over after yesterday's picnic, and my brother was going to drop them by on his way home. He was apparently waylaid and the tin came back today - empty.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                              Those pesky brothers! I really shouldn't complain because the stone fruits we get from ourt town farmer's market are wonderful in season.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. as today was a celebratory day, i treated myself to an afternoon in the kitchen... i started a no-knead dough, baked a cheesecake, baked a Tres Leches Cake and soaked it and will frost tomorrow, and baked creme brulees which i will burn the sugar on top of tomorrow (although i can't seem to find my propane...). was gonna make some date bars and dulce de leche shortbreads, but ran out of time before dinner... all in all a sweet day, with doggie by my side.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds like a good--and tasty--day!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Making this for Easter/Passover tonight. I have high hopes that it will roll and not crack. I can always rename it Trifle.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                Hey Rabaja. You'll be fine - it 's virtually identical to the one I made this morning (above). It cracks a little when it rolls, but it holds together fine, and with a little powdered sugar dusted on top, no one will care. They are actually super forgiving. I flavored the whipped cream with cognac & vanilla & served it with a warm, bittersweet chocolate sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Just made an apple and goat cheese galette with a honey-vanilla sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you! It was really nice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                                                    This does look excellent. Would you provide a link to the recipe please? Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sure thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I took the basic apple galette from the Joy of Cooking and adapted it. I'd read a lot of recipes that used a layer of frangipane beneath the apples, but I found this honey-vanilla goat cheese and knew I had to use that instead.


                                                                                                                                                                                                      I've been working on custards and sauces lately - plus a lot of vanilla because I got some Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans and have been putting them in EVERYTHING -and thought some sort of honey-vanilla sauce to complement the goat cheese would be interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Looks lovely. Is this more savory or sweet?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sweet. It's a sweet goat cheese, a honey-vanilla variety, which is so good I could eat it by itself with a spoon. I used the tartest apples I could find so as not to be overpoweringly sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. We have had an extremely bad Winter and crappy Spring so far here in the Northeast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      But yesterday, I was at the market and spotted these gorgeous, big, red juicy Strawberries and decided to make Ina Garten's Strawberry Country Cake. I only make it when I can get the best strawberries around and it was today's dessert for Easter dinner. And it was so, so good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here's a picture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks BT, this is such an easy cake. But, the only thing that makes it such a hit is the big, juicy strawberries. And I mascerated (sp?) some to serve with the cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks, it's easy and wonderful. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Your faithful correspondent made her first lemon meringue pie in ages today (from Ken Haedrich's Pie book. CI never-fail pie crust) but overbeat the meringue and it is rather unsightly (not browned swirls, more browned lumpy excresences). Filling is terrific and very, very lemony in the best possible way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Glad the lemon part worked out. Meringue can be a challenge, particularly on a humid day like today. My advice, blame the weather!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I usually don't have any problems with it, but this time ehh...the lemon part is brilliant, I had to stop myself eating it by the spoonful warm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I usually find a way to leave too much in the pan. Ooops, too late to put on the pie. I I'll just have to use that old spatula...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'd be just as happy with just the filling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Buttertart, which filling did you love? There are a couple of lemon meringue pie recipes in Pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not sure, it was roxlet who passed the recipe to me. I don't have the book, yet. roxlet?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I was going to make a Rigo Jancsi for Easter dinner dessert, but decided instead to make something I've been meaning to try for a long time - génoise filled and glazed with white chocolate buttercream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Making the cake itself was a piece of cake :( (sorry about that !) - I've done it many times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                For the white chocolate buttercream I used the recipe for "Creme Ivoire Deluxe" from The Cake Bible as it contains the same components as a to-die-for filling I had many years ago. You whisk together melted white chocolate, melted cocoa butter, clarified butter, and safflour oil. Everything went well, except that the mixture looked lumpy instead of smooth. RLB does not tell you to beat it, but I put it into the KA and beat it, till it was nice and smooth - the texture I am used to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Filling the cake was a problem as the buttercream tended to thicken very quickly. I briefly warmed the bowl over hot water and that helped a bit, but by then I had a very uneven filling. I slapped the top layer on and tried to frost it with more buttercream. It was a battle as it thickened so much. I ended up applying the frosting in a haphazard way, and did not bother with any decoration.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I did not refreigerate it at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                When cutting it I was surprised at how hard the icing set up; it broke off in chunks. Nevertheless, everyone really enjoyed the cake, including me. On its own the icing was too sweet, but when combined with the cake (which I had doused with Marc de Champagne syrup) it tasted really great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't give up easily, and was thinking that the next time I make it I should beat in some butter at the end just so that it is softer. As is, 680 gms of white chocolate was combined with 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup melted cocoa butter, and 1/4 cup safflour oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Comments ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That sounds like a great cake - what white choc was it? It's extremely finicky to work with I find.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Thought you didn't like white choc?)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Are we ever going to make the RJ? Have you already?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i don't like white chocolate, but I used to buy a cake here made with white chocolate and Champagne buttercream that was astounding, so I was trying to replicate it. I used Callebaut , though RLB recommends Tobler Narcisse. She did say that you have to combine melted cocoa butter with solid chocolate and heat them together, but since I had both in callets I just melted them together. I think I'll look for the Tobler the next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The cake was really delicious. I have some leftover filling, so after bringing it to room temperature I think I will beat some butter into it just to see what it does to the texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have not made the RJ yet. The recipe I have, if you recall, uses egg yolks and chocolate combined with hot cream. I asked a German baker here about using yolks like that and she told me that it was verboten by law in Germany. So, when I make it I will use normal ganache. The recipe predates the egg scare (1986).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Speaking of white chocolate, I once tried to make whiite chocolate plastic from a recipe in Chocolatier magazine. What a disaster ! Instead of something I could roll like fondant, I had one sticky mess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Have you made regular chocolate plastic? Of course you have...I haven't.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Who sells cocoa butter in callets? I get mine in a plastic jar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have not made regular chocolate plastic. However, I did make a wedding cake many years ago from a recipe I was given, and it involved some sort of sheet made from white chocolate, but I can't for the life of me remember the recipe. Attached is a picture. The chocolate curls were on purpose non-precision as the bride showed me a picture of what she wanted, involving a rustic-looking cake. The flower decoration was hers, not mine. Inside was Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte from TCB.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't know the source of the callets, but my friendly German baker sells them to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have no personal experience with white chocolate, but I did check Wedding Cakes You Can Make (Dede Wilson) from which I have made other - stellar - buttercream frostings. Tellingly, perhaps, she doesn't seem to give a white chocolate buttercream variation. She does say that white chocolate can be temperamental during melting; "In general, melt slowly and do not heat above 110." For what that's worth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      TCB does have another white chocolate buttercream recipe, but I wanted to specifically use the eggless recipe as that's how the original cake I liked was made. The baker told me what it contained, but would not give me the recipe, grrrrrr!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I made a key lime pie for dessert last night. I'd been planning to make a chocolate cassata for Easter, but it was just so warm here yesterday that a cool key lime pie sounded better. And it was good! With the leftover egg whites, I braved the humidity and made Forgotten Cookies, essentially meringues with mini chocolate chips and finely chopped pecans. I doubled the baking time and let them rest in the oven as long as possible, and they're delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Midnight Crackles -- Dorie G, Baking: From My Home to Yours

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow. These were exactly the deep soft chocolatey crackly delights that I had hoped for. Better, actually. I guess these are, in a sense, double chocolate cookies; the batter contains both unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted with the dry ingredients) and bittersweet chocolate melted with butter and light brown sugar, and a smitch of cinnamon. Cloves too, but I didn't have and left that out, b/c I wasn't looking for a spice cookie anyway. I put the dough together last night and baked this morning. Mmmmm. Very simple to prepare, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am going to bring these to a party tonight, to serve with coffee. They are scrumptious. I tried one intending just to take a bite off the edge and give the rest to another taster. That's not how it turned out because I ate the entire delicious cookie. The texture is definitely part of the fun -- crinkly crackly top with the softest chewy inside! I like the color too, a soft yet intense brown.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I should try these. Cloves in chocolate cookies? Surely not? That's the only beef I have with that book, sometimes there are too many ingredients crammed into a recipe (in my "humble" opinion).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Potato and Swiss chard galette. I was impatient to get started and used prepared pie pastry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks! It was tasty. Next time I'll bite the bullet and add more egg and cream. Was nervous about there being too much liquid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Lemon Sour Cream cookies and canelés

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Gorgeous, Cynsa! Saw your pics on canelés V, the inside of the little devil looks very appealing. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7384...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And no I still haven't tried them yet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Recip for those lemon cookies, perhaps?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It was you with the foot injury, not pilinut, right? Tootsie all better I hope? Cynsa rides again!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              left foot's broken toes have mended ; right foot's gout now - I am falling apart at the seams - on crutches. Caveat: don't get old... or, eat dessert first.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lemon Sour Cream cookies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 cups    All-purpose Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 t    Baking Powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 t    Baking Soda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 t    Salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              16 Tbl    (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1.5 cups    Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2    Large Eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 cup    Sour Cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 t    Grated Lemon Zest

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 375° F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter  and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low; beat in sour cream and lemon zest. Add flour mixture and mix until combined.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Refrigerate dough until slightly firm, about 1 hour. Drop rounded tablespoons of batter onto prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies 2 inches apart. Bake until just golden around edges, about 15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Cool on baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. (Cookies can be stored in airtight container for up to 3 days)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Note: good for Tea Cakes: better next day with Frosting (powdered sugar + lemon juice) - we did a batch with frosting and another batch with a Lemon Glaze, just changing the ratio of lemon juice to powdered sugar - remember to sift the powdered sugar!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is a cookie that improves the next day - just out of the oven it was 'blah' but the next day both flavor and texture improved and brightened to our delight. Of course, the addition of frosting made it mo' better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you! and take care of yourself! (My father-in-law, who was a doctor, always said "It's hell getting old"...truer words were never spoken!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. whole grain skillet cornbread for breakfast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            brown rice pudding with 4 eggs and chinese 5 spice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            triple ginger cookies (dough chilling now)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            crispie oatmeal cookies (ditto on the dough)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            still cruising the intertubes looking for that special chocolate dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: toodie jane

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Busy! How did you make that brown rice pudding, intriguing. And which ginger and oatmeal cookies, pray tell!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. My big baking venture for the week was the rainbow cookies that are popular in Italian-American bakeries. I had never made them before and though they were a little laborious, they were quite good. I used the recipe from epicurious with some modifications.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I also made cream puffs and the challah from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: arp29

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have been daunted by the recipe for the rainbow cookie - I admire your fortitude! What's the timing from beginning to tasting?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Haha, it was definitely a labor of love! I was in NYC over the weekend and had one of these cookies (from a bakery) that didn't quite measure up so I was determined to have one that tasted the way I thought they should!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We weighted them down overnight, and then froze them after we topped them with chocolate so it was a full 24 hours until we were able to taste the fruit of our labor. And actually, they improve with age so these work out well if you need something you can make in advance. I also cut out the beating of the egg whites step because I accidentally dropped some yolk in with the whites and didn't have any more eggs. This didn't adversely affect them in any way, and in reading the comments from epicurious it seems that several people skipped this step intentionally. I also found the amount of jam to be too much, so I reduced it by a few tablespoons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  If decide to make them, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Time for my yearly pleasant angst...what cake to make for my husband's birthday (3 May)? Likes chocolate, walnuts, chestnuts, not that keen on almonds, sour cherries (we have some frozen), most spirits except bourbon, European cakes not good ole American...have made reines de saba with sour cherries added, an Opéra, numerous dacquoises, Ilonatorten, RLB's chestnut layers with Medrich's chestnut meringue layers and RLB's chestnut buttercream and quite a few others (this will be the 37th birthday I've baked for). Preferably something that will keep fairly well since it's only us celebrating this time (making a St Honoré less enticing). Ideas, my friends?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  i'm sure in those (wonderful) 37 years you've done it all, but a few thoughts? (and if you're open to not being a "cake" per se...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Hungarian Hazelnut Torte http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Eclairs filled with a Hazelnut or Walnut Cream, and glazed with a Cherry "Ganache"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  -Vanilla Pear Strudel http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ...few ideas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you very much - these are all very good suggestions, and the hazelnut one especially (could be done walnut/sour cherry...).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As it's only the two of you why not make soufflés instead? Chocolate/chestnut or walnut praline, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Because M likes to have it around for a week or so of snacking. That is a good idea though, maybe will do it for the dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey Buttertart, I found the ideal cake. What do you think of "Rum-soaked genoise layers filled with toasted walnuts and rum buttercream"? It's glazed with chocolate. I made it a long time ago, and it's really nice. Interested ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I am, too, interested, that is. :^)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sounds perfect (with Cognac i/o rum, forgot that's the only OTHER offlimits booze). Make with the recipe, good sir!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            PS souschef - did you ever make James Beard's mother's boozy raisin bread?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sigh ! That was a teaser, and you missed it ! Of course I knew you'd want the recipe. It's called Lutèce, and it's in Cocolat, which you have. Cynsa, if you don't have the book (you really should get it - by Alice Medrich), please let me know and I'll post the recipe here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              No Buttertart I have never made that raisin bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks a million for pointing it out.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And why not? Get cracking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think I might make this but substitute boubon and pecans for the rum and walnuts. Wow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As a birthday cake? For me, yes (passionfruit PLEASE!), not his kind of thing though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I know exactly what you could make him... (it is close enough to the event).. check the link below..


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Quite, but not quite his sort of thing. Even though he is my prince...;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You've probably made black forest cake... the sour cherries got me thinking that I want to make a black forest cake! Anyone have a stellar recipe for that?!?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Haven't made one since they were stylish...;-)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think there's one in the German volume of Time-Life Foods of the World, I'll take a shuftie this weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. In an exchange to learn how to make sushi, my cooking friend wanted to learn how to make scones. I made blueberry and cranberry scones with the crunchy sugar topping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. More challah ... worked on my five-strand braid, plus one loaf for slicing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That is something I've attempted once and gave up on. Must try again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ooooooooooh that looks soooo good! I want challah!!! I've only braied it, didn't ever think to make it into a loaf, that's fantastic!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Challah is easy to make but sometimes quite a pain to braid and make it look good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Tried my hand for the very first time at making scones last night, and I have to say that I'm very inexperienced with handling a dough like that. I'm used to bread doughs that you can knead and mush around without much consequence, so delicately handling a dough and shaping it was a bit tough the first time around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    They still turned out buttery and flaky, so I guess I didn't overhandle it at the least, but note to self: don't put them so close together on the pan. I had to perform separation surgery when they grafted together halfway through baking!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Recipe here: http://www.alexandracooks.com/2011/03...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. May is here and so here is the link to the May thread I just started: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/782052 See you all over there, I hope!