Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle Tart - p. 226
I made this tart for dinner with friends a couple of days ago and everyone loved it - very chocolat-ee, not too sweet but intense. The shell is pate sucree and I had difficult time rolling it and placing into the tart pan! The result is wonderful and my struggle is most likely user error. I was in a rush needing to free the oven so that the roast could go in and didn't allow perscribed time in the fridge. Will definitely make again!
Carrot cake next.
after trying many many other recipes, flour's banana bread recipe is now my go-to! friends love it and always ask me when i'm planning to bake more. i like that the bread is always perfectly moist without using any butter (i don't mind oil in my breads). the top has a lovely crunchy texture that i haven't been able to achieve with other banana bread recipes.
i recently tried her chocolate chip hazelnut cookie recipe. the combination of flavors and texture was great. i did notice that she prefers larger cookies, recommending 1/4 cup size drops. in my oven baking for the suggested time of 20-22 minutes produced crispy edges but cakey rather than chewy interior. cookie didn't seem to spread out as much as hers. need to experiment some more shortening baking time and/or reducing cookie size. anyone else have this issue?
i love the meticulousness of the cookbook. looking forward to trying her bran and morning glory muffins very soon!
Is there another thread with Flour? I thought I had posted reports on various cookies from the cookbook. But, I can't seem to find the thread. The problem with the search is that "flour" appears in a lot of stuff. There may have been a question mark in the thread title.
The Raspberry Crumb bars are fantastic. You make a shortbread crust and take 1/4 of it and freeze it, and then bake the rest, top with raspberry jam and then grate the frozen shortbread on top and finish baking. Incredibly tender and buttery.
I love the double-chocolate cookies and the carrot cake from the bakery, and will have to give those recipes a try soon.
I'm not in love with the banana bread since the recipe calls for oil instead of butter. It's very moist, but I miss the richness of butter in the final product.
A question for those of you with the book...does she include the recipe for the amazing Boston Cream Pie?
The recipe for Boston Cream Pie is not in Chang's book Flour. I just googled to see if I could find the recipe on line but my cursory search was unsuccessful.
These are the pie recipes in Chang's book:
*Lemon Marshmallow Meringue
*Rich Chocolate Cream
*Toasted Coconut Cream Pie with Lime Whipped Cream
They all look like wonderful recipes. IIRC, people have raved about the chocolate and coconut cream pies...
Angelsmom--So sorry about the biscuits! But don't give up on the book. It's a great baking book.
Leave it to me ......the first recipe I try and it is a flop.
She did respond to me on Twitter when I asked about the long time...I told her mine came out very dry and was this really the amount of time......here is her answer.
@ def adjust baking time for ur oven! Bake till light golden brown. Lmk how they turn out!!
The difference here is that her oven temp is only 350 - typically a southern biscuit is baked somewhere between 400 and 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. At 350 they would have to bake for ???? longer. Otherwise it looks like an interesting recipe, and if I made it I would consider baking them at a higher temp. than 350.
Granola Bars (pg. 154)
I live near Flour 3 and stop there frequently for a post run breakfast. I've finally come to the realization that I don't really like the sweets there all that much. The exceptions are the sticky buns and the granola. But, I have a copy of the cookbook (support local authors yada yada) and was flipping through it. And, saw the perfect recipe to bring on my upcoming NYC girls' weekend trip. Jam Filled Granola bars.
Well, I just made them, with some very slightly modifications. And, I LOVE them. And, they are sort of on the healthy side. Other than the butter and sugar. ;-)
Jam is super easy to make. One cup each of dried apples, cranberries and apricots are boiled briefly with 1/3 cup sugar and 2 cups water (I used less then 1/4 cup since the dried fruit is pretty sweet to my taste). Let sit for an hour and then whirl it through the food processor until it looks chunky jam like. This can be done ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
In the food processor, combine walnuts, oats, brown sugar, shredded coconut (sweetened), kosher salt, cinnamon, butter and flour (I used white whole wheat flour instead of white). Pulse until it all comes together and is evenly combined.
Dump it into a big bowl and add honey. Mix well.
In a lined 9x13 pan, spread about 2/3 of the granola mixture and bake for 30 minutes. Put the rest of the mixture into the fridge. When the bottom layer is lightly browned, spread the jam onto it. Pull the mixture out of the fridge and crumble it with your fingers. Add whole flax seeds, millet and sesame seeds to the oat mixture.
Peeve - I don't think we digest whole flax seeds so I pounded them with a mortar and pestle.
Spread this on top of the jam and bake for another 50 minutes until the whole thing is nicely browned. Let it cool in the pan for a few hours so that stays together.
This was delicious. Nutty and sweet. I could cut down on more sugar because it is still a tad too sweet for me. But, it's nothing that a strong cup of coffee can't cure. I think this will go on my xmas baking list.
I was just given this book and was wondering if anyone else has delved into it?
I am also impressed with the detailed nature of her instructions. I think someone who had never baked would be able to make lots of very nice things from it. It's also less arch/cutesy than Fearless Baker, which strikes me as having a rather Young Adult tone to it.
As I mentioned above, I have done the brioche, sticky buns and scones. Each one has been delicious.
Your post has just made me realize, people are coming to dinner tomorrow night!. Generally, I don't make lots of sweet things since they aren't really my thing and there are only two people to polish a full recipe off. But guests means... more people to eat. This is the perfect book to pull out to make a dessert. Thank you for the idea!
Flour is in my neighborhood and right on my way to and from work. DANGEROUS!
The cookbook is good, but not my favorite. I've had a few mixed results, which granted could be my fault. I'm not patient enough to return to a recipe that didn't work the first time. The oatmeal cookies and banana bread were meh, but the xmas sugar cookies (best ever eaten) and the pop-tarts were FABULOUS.
I have been very pleased with this book, and I am not even a sweets person. To date I have made the brioche, sticky buns, cheddar-scallion scones, and a sweet scone.
I have found the directions to be very well written, love that everything is in grams [in addition to volume] and the results have been 100%. Not something you can say about many cookbooks.
The sticky buns have already been requested for next Christmas morning. I never ate one, but the reviews from my guests were stellar. My personal favorite is the cheddar-scallion scones, and now that scallions are in season here, I have made several batches which I store in the freezer already cooked.
It is one of the best baking books I have bought in a long time. The recipes are impeccably tested and accurate for home kitchen (which I cant say for alot of baking books). Instructions are very precise. I have made her Banana bread about 50 times.....everyone says it is the best they have had. If you are looking for a baking book....highly recommend adding this one to your collection.
Another huge thumbs up for this cookbook; it's superb. As Pia and Blancmange have said, the recipes are extremely well written. This might be my favorite baking book (and I have a lot of baking books!)
I've made and loved these recipes:
*classic carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (make two days ahead for best flavor--but good luck trying to avoid devouring it the first day)
*milky way tart--Chang's directions for making caramel--without a thermometer---are so clear and encouraging that I had success with my first attempt at making caramel---I was very caramel-phobic before getting this book. Also, her pate sucree is foolproof and tastes wonderful.
I made but was not fond of the ooey, gooey caramel nut tart but that's only because I discovered I most definitely do not like orange zest in a caramel-nut mixture.
And now that I've leafed though the book again I want to bake from it again--but where to start? There are so very many attractive recipes in it.
You asked this question about a month ago, but since you've only gotten one reply: the book is fantastic. The recipes are so detailed (they say things like "mix on medium speed for 30 seconds") and work perfectly, except that in my oven the baking times are typically a few minutes less than the book says. I have a stand mixer and I'm not sure the recipes would work as well if you don't. I've gotten really spoiled for other recipes.
I've made all the cookies, several of the pies and tarts, and some of the breads and breakfast items. Everything has been great and has gotten raves from everyone who's tried them. I go to Flour often here in Boston, so I already know what I'm not so crazy about: the cakes and the quiche. I haven't tried those, although I have used the pate brisee from the quiche in other savory tarts.
I do think this is a lovely looking book with lots of recipes I'd like to try but I've only baked one so far (too many cookbooks, too little time!). It was 'Double-Chocolate Cookies' on page 106 and it was really good, sort of a cross between a brownie and a cookie. In fact Joanne told me that they call them Chocolate brownie cookies at Flour. I'd like to try several of the scones and muffins recipes, the raspberry crumb bars, the lemon lust bars, and a few of the tarts.
There do seem to be quite a few standards - croissants, brownies, sugar cookies, crème brûlée, snickerdoodles, etc - but I suppose if they are good recipes they are worth including. When I'm looking at a new baking or desserts book I'm generally interested in recipes I haven't seen anywhere else.