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What are you baking these days? June 2011 [old]

Well, we had a busy baking month in May and some nice new discoveries along the way, thanks to all.

June is starting out HOT here in the NYC metro area, but I won't let that stop me, especially in view of souschef's new baking challenge, which we hope others will join in as well:

"The challenge, should you accept it, is to make a 'Brioche aux Fruits'.
As made by a former wonderful pastry shop here (the Swiss owner unfortunately died many years ago), it consisted of a brioche with the top knot cut off, the delicious contents of the brioche scooped out, and the brioche shell filled with pastry cream and fruit, then the top knot replaced.
There was a thin chocolate shell on the bottom (inside) to prevent the brioche from going soggy.
The terms of the challenge is that the brioche has to be made, not purchased, and it should be done by July 4th, 2011."

So, how about you, want to play along? Please do. Otherwise, what are you baking these days?

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  1. For us eastcoasters JUST beginning to feel the dog days of summer, baking means getting an earlier start! At 6am I fired up the ovens and baked fresh NJ strawberry bread; sixteen loaves. Banana and strawberry crumble now waiting to be sliced and enough strawberry/kiwi smoothies for the gals to get motivated.

    Now...it's time to get crackin on the salads for lunch! Orzo with shrimp; grilled chicken and wild rice; fruit compote in coconut cups.

    Enjoy your day, CH's!

    5 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      Are you baking for the freezer, or an event? Care to share the strawberry bread recipe? Had some Phillips Farms NJ berries this weekend, and they were quite nice.

      1. re: buttertart

        Scaled down for one 9x5 loaf pan:

        1.5 cups sugar

        1 ¾ cups ap flour

        ½ tsp. salt

        1 tsp baking soda

        1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

        2 eggs

        2-3 ripe bananas, mashed

        1/3 cup buttermilk

        ½ cup grapeseed oil

        the seeds from one vanilla bean

        1/3 cup sliced fresh strawberries.

        Mix together dry ingredient list.

        Mix together wet ingredient list; add to dry

        Fold till incorporated and then fold in strawberries.

        Bake at 325 for an hour; hour 10

        (Neither, these days I am providing menu items for a handful of NJ catering companies and theaters per diem. This week, heavy rotation.)

        I was really pleased with the berries @ Battleview Orchards, Freehold.

        1. re: HillJ

          Thanks, HillJ! Must go berrying when visiting frineds in that neck of the woods.

            1. re: HillJ

              Can I use canola oil in place of grapeseed?

        2. OMG that brioche sounds outstanding, but this gal shall not be attempting it. My last foray into brioche was actually a chocolate babka, and the results were fully unworthwhile. I think I lack the touch. Basics, okay: but fine work? Not so much. So I commend anybody who gives this a shot.
          My foray today will be another polenta cake, with Meyer lemons. I made a cornbread the other night that was texturally perfect....as cake. The crumb was exactly correct for it, as in, I've made polenta cakes proper and not enjoyed the texture as much. So now I need to play around some with flavorings and sugar proportions. And I will indeed report back.
          Thanks for the craving setup, by the way. I want one of those brioche for breakfast.

          29 Replies
          1. re: mamachef

            Made this according to the cornbread recipe again, subbing olive oil for vegetable oil and adding a T. of minced zest. Baked it in a 9" round. Delicious; texture and flavor were perfect. And because I switched out the oils, what WAS cornbread has now become Italian Lemon Polenta Cake. : )

            1. re: mamachef

              First post in this thread - I used to bake quite a bit, haven't in a while, want to get back to it (just in time for record high temp in NYC.) Started easy with blueberry buckle, recipe from Lee Bailey's Country Desserts - it's basically blueberry coffee cake with streusel topping. Can't mess it up.

              Oops - replied to a "wrong post" - sorry!

            2. re: mamachef

              Brioche in popover pan - this is as close as I have to the fluted brioche pan. I started the dough at 2:30 pm this afternoon; then we went out at 7 pm to a concert, the dough sat quietly in the refrigerator until 11 pm. I preheated the oven to 400 degrees, baked for 10 minutes; reduce to 350 degrees, bake another ten minutes. Remove from mold, cool on rack.

              1. re: Cynsa


                8-3/4 oz all-purpose flour (1-2/3 cups)

                4 oz. unsalted room temperature butter, cut in 1/4-inch pieces

                2 large eggs, at room temperature

                1 Tablespoon of dry yeast

                2 Tablespoons of bakers sugar (I used 2 oz.)

                1/3 cup of warm milk

                1/8 teaspoon of sea salt

                1 egg yolk + sugar for Glaze

                Crystal Sugar for topping

                In stand mixer; mix flour with yeast; add warmed milk and stir together. Add sugar + salt. Add softened butter, one piece at a time, as each piece is incorporated into dough.

                One at a time, add eggs - mixing well between each egg addition. Mix for 10 minutes or until dough is elastic and detaches easily from the sides of the bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place out of drafts for two hours. Mix for 10 minutes. Place in greased molds (I used a popover pan) and let rest for one hour ( I left the house and set this in the refrigerator for 4 hours).

                1. re: Cynsa

                  That looks great, C. Thanks for posting the recipe; that's what I'm going to be using in my attempt.

                  1. re: souschef

                    I think I'll add an extra egg yolk to the dough; I'd like it eggier. To follow recipe, the dough will rise in the greased molds, brush tops with an egg yolk mixed with a dash of sugar, slash cross in top with scissors, sprinkle with crystal sugar and bake as directed.

                    I tasted the one I'd cut in half while still warm from the oven and loved the fluffy, delicate tender texture; now this morning, the other half is completely cooled, dense and less sweet, good with a difference.

                    What's next for Brioche aux Fruits? Ganache, Grand Marnier pastry cream, blackberries?

                    I'm reading other recipes here; chacun a son gout! Should I switch to French butter?




                    1. re: Cynsa

                      Very nice as always, Cynsa.
                      souschef's guiding star, ROSE Levy Beranbaum, says to use bread flour in brioche for maximum lightness. Just ordered up some King Arthur.

                      1. re: Cynsa

                        There's no ganache in the BAF. Certainly GM pastry cream and blackberries if you like. I do not recall the original having GM in the pastry cream, but I'm not a vanilla kind of person, so that's what I'm planning to use.

                        1. re: souschef

                          I might steep lavender in the cream if I don't have enough Grand Marnier. Is the chocolate just a 'shell' to seal the brioche from the pastry cream?

                            1. re: souschef

                              here's the breakfast version of BAF with warm Grand Marnier pastry cream, cold blueberries and Dark French Roast coffee.

                                  1. re: Cynsa

                                    Cynsa, I should advise you that despite its mouthwatering yumminess it does not meet the terms of the challenge as it is popover-sized, not a large brioche. Don't throw out any leftover pastry cream !

                                    1. re: souschef

                                      aha! ginormous gigantis brioche aux fruits - I'll bake in the Dutch Oven next and the popover pan goes back into storage.
                                      Leftover pastry cream goes into cream puffs. My dreams of the Grand Marnier souffle were dashed when my search for the box with the souffle dish failed - the egg whites are in the freezer.

                                      1. re: Cynsa

                                        souschef says needs to be in a grande brioche classique mold. :)

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              Buttertart, if you had met Cynsa, as I have, you would understand that you do not "Duke it out" with that gentle, charming lady....you just use gentle persuasian.

                                              1. re: souschef

                                                I was trying to incite her to duke it out with you - not to duke it out with her myself. ;-)
                                                I'm just happy to have an excuse to buy a real brioche pan!

                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  such subtle arm-twisting while I'm waiting for buttertart to purchase her brioche pan first

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      Me too. I just realized that I lost my brioche pan when I moved a few years ago.

                                                      I was planning to use Cynsa's recipe, but as she has decided that she kneads to tweak it, I will instead use the old recipe that worked for me when I tried it before. It is a completely hand-driven process (no mixer involved). The picture in the book (a Time-Life Book) shows a process ("rompre") that RLB refers to as being used by the Bernachons.

                                                      Cynsa, you have to be the most prolific baker here, so I have no compunction about twisting your arm - remember that I'm the guy who threw you off the canelé boat :)

                                                      BTW I'm still waiting for the two of you to make the chocolate chestnut cake from the recipe that I posted.

                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                        Rompre - break down? In her Bernachon book or the Bread Bible?
                                                        How about reposting that chocolate cake recipe, I bet others would like to have a go at it too.

                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                          It's a folding/slapping down technique. Mentioned in TBB. BTW I did not see any mention in it about bread flour being the best for brioche.

                                                          Here's the permalink to the chocolate chestnut cake recipe; my wife prefers it to even the fig cake. I also posted a picture in the post immediately below the recipe. BTW it's not a challenge. It's easy to make but is terribly time-consuming.


                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                            Rompre is one of those swell words that sound like they mean. Thanks, souschef.

                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                          Best souffle I ever had was a Grand Marnier souffle, soooo good. One of these days I must make it. Souffles are not that difficult, although intimidating as all heck. Just like those popovers, I put it off and put it off, once baked I was amazed how easy.

                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                            You're a better baker than I am. The very first thing I tried to bake was a Grand Marnier soufflé since I like it so much. It took about half a dozen attempts before I got it right, but after that it was a piece of cake. SInce then I have made a variety of different ones - chocolate cheese, pear, etc.

                                            1. re: souschef

                                              Oh stop. You heard about what I did those scones. My neighbors have yet to say wth was I thinking. But I hear ya, I know about all those attempts, I don't give in too easy either. Wish it were cooler I am so hot, I don't want to go near the oven. Thanks for the vote of confidence though!

                      2. Giving myself the benefit of Pacific coast time, yesterday i made the New York Times recipe for rhubarb upside-down cake, and am very happy with the results. Also made it in a new springform pan, with no hexes on it! The recipe is arranged badly, I think. Some of the steps combine other operations and are confusing. However the result is delicious.

                        1. I've never made Brioche...I'll have to try it and then see if I can gussy it up more as the challenge calls for. Could be interesting. More likely, could be a disaster:)

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Carpe

                            Hmmm..come to think of it, I don't know if I've ever had brioche. Any ideas where I can get a good one in NYC? Would one bought at Fairway be an accurate representation?

                            1. re: Carpe

                              I'd vote for brioche from Silver Moon bakery (105 & b-way), but I'm a fan of everything they make.

                              1. re: Carpe

                                There have been a few threads on buying brioche on the Manhattan board, but I almost never buy any baked goods so I can't vouch for any place in particular.
                                This thread seems to be the most helpful (not all of the places discussed are on the UES):

                            2. No way am I going to make a Brioche aux Fruits. Less-than-perfect brioche makes out-of-this-world bread pudding though, and anyone taking up this challenge who is left with a large quantity of such bread pudding should call me and I will be supportive by coming right over, spoon in hand.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: THewat

                                Ha ha, THewat, save a bite for me!

                              2. I have been behind in baking since my mixer broke. Will be doing a few breads in the coming weeks.

                                1. My friend, Rebecca, sent this bundt cake recipe for her Chocolate Buttermilk Cake and last night I baked it. It's a moist, dense cake and fills the chocolate void.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Cynsa

                                    And you post a pic and no recipe? Cynsa?

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      Give her a break Buttertart. She probably had to put her feet up after that baking.

                                      1. re: souschef

                                        Or maybe she has to ask if it's OK to share the recipe...I presume Cynsa types sitting down?

                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          Rebecca's Chocolate Buttermilk Cake requires a large bundt pan, and mine is too small - so I baked half the recipe and fudged on the baking temperature and time since it's not indicated on her original recipe; here's my half version -

                                          6 oz. room temperature softened unsalted butter (1-1/2 sticks)

                                          1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

                                          3 eggs (if you double this, use 5 eggs)

                                          Cream butter and sugar until very pale; adding eggs one at a time, continue to beat until light and fluffy.

                                          Mix liquids together and set aside -

                                          1/2 cup buttermilk

                                          1/8 cup water

                                          1-1/2 Tablespoons of whiskey, creme de cacao, or framboise (or your fave booze)

                                          1 teaspoon vanilla extract

                                          Mix dry ingredients together; sift and set aside -

                                          1 cup all-purpose flour

                                          1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

                                          1/2 teaspoon salt

                                          1/4 teaspoon baking powder

                                          Stir dry ingredients alternately with the liquid mixture into the sugar-butter-egg mixture.

                                          Spoon into greased-floured bundt pan and bake at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake tests done. DH is happiest when baked things are underbaked. I satisfied my urge for chocolate last night with this very straightforward recipe.

                                          Fortunately for buttertart, I don't type recipes with my toes — chocolate is on the list of approved foods for gout while I'm psyching myself to bake brioche. I can stand upright now.

                                          Rebecca's cake is double the ingredients listed above, except it's 5 eggs - and a very large bundt pan. I am curious if half of her recipe changes her original cake. She says, "bake in a buttered and floured pan. takes forever! one hour at least."

                                          Served warm after a 15 minute rest from the oven, the cake was slightly boozy. Today, not a hint of the alcohol remains.

                                          1. re: Cynsa

                                            Very glad to hear that you're feeling better, and thanks very much for taking the time to post this.

                                  2. i am making this amazing chocolate cake - my aunt made it for my birthday months ago and i have not been able to get it out of my head. it is so moist and stays fresh in the refrigerator for a week. i should know because it took half of it home from the party (everyone else was preoccupied with fresh strawberry pie, fools) and ate a piece every day until it was gone, not even sharing with my husband.


                                    i also baked the infamous brown-butter method chocolate chip cookie but used white chocolate, toasted macadamias, and coconut in one batch and a mix of dark and milk callebaut chocolate, espresso powder, and dried apricots in the other. on this list for this month:

                                    strawberry swirl cheesecake to use up all the berries i overloaded on @ the farmers market

                                    cherry upside down cake
                                    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... - i use this recipe for all my upside down cakes and it is fantastic - you seperate the eggs and fold in the beaten whites so it is much lighter and bakes faster than most.

                                    not baked, but salted caramel ice cream and a version of heavenly hash are on my to-do list

                                    1. Today was my son's last exam and last day of school, and he came home with 8 friends, most of whom will be having dinner with us tonight. For dessert I made homemade chipwich ice cream sandwiches with my chocolate chip cookies. And left over chocolate chip cookies are, of course, the by product of chipwiches!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: roxlet

                                        Lucky boys! You must be the most popular mom of all.

                                      2. I just made lemon cardamom scones in my new mini-scone pan -- what fun! And served them with homemade strawberry jam made from farmers' market Gaviota strawberries.

                                        1. Last night, I made vegan cinnamon rolls, using allrecipes Clone of a cinnabon recipe and using Earth Balance, flaxseed meal/hot water in place of eggs and soy milk. It turned out okay. My vegan buddies like it. The bun was denser and chewier than I want it to be and there was a bit of a chalky taste.

                                          This was the first time I made something purposely vegan.
                                          Any suggestions on how to make a fluffier vegan bun with less of a chalky taste?

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Eat.Choui

                                            I think KingArthurflour.com has some vegan flours that might taste better...

                                            1. re: roxlet

                                              Grain flours are by definition vegan, I think. I might try using almond milk in place of soy milk. I'm no expert, but I'm not crazy about soy milk and have found almond milk to have a pleasant, neutral flavor.

                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                I think I misspoke all around -- KA had gluten free flours, not vegan flours as I mistakenly noted...

                                          2. My CH baking mentors would be proud of my latest success with "Almost Famous Rosemary Bread" (like the loaves they serve at Macaroni Grill.) Used rosemary from our herb garden. As someone who still has more failures than successes (but I'm getting better), I was nearly giddy over how lovely these tasted.

                                            1. Kahlua chocolate cupcakes.. but with what? Some ideas please?

                                              I had originally really wanted to frost with a buttercream frosting swirled with a salted caramel sauce.. just because I love salted caramel anything. But I tried a taste of the caramel with some of the cake and that would overpower the lovely kahlua flavor of the cupcake. I don't want to do a kahlua buttercream since there will probably also be a bunch of kids eating these cupcakes too. Maybe just a dusting of powdered sugar? Although I was really looking forward to piping something over these babies.. any suggestions? TIA!

                                              1. I had a milestone birthday yesterday, and once again made my own cake, once again to my wife's chagrin. Well, since she stopped baking when she lost the recipe for toast, she can hardly complain :)

                                                s usual, I made the chocolate fig cake, which is my absolute favourite. I have made it dozens of times before, but this time something different happened: what you do is beat the butter with the sugar, then beat in the eggs in a thin stream, and the mixture looks separated. You then fold in the melted chocolate, and keep folding and folding, and it never seems that it will get uniform, but after a long time it becomes homogeneous.

                                                Well, this time it did not look separated and after I added the chocolate it came together very quickly. This was the very first time after dozen of times (as I said before) that this happened. The only difference I can think of is that it was very warm when I made it, so the butter was softer than usual. Does it make sense that the difference was because of the temperature? I'd like to get the opinions of the expert bakers here.

                                                This time I used Felchlin gianduja made with dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. The glaze was richer and not as sweet. It was as delicious as usual.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: souschef

                                                  souschef! Happy belated birthday, I wish I'd known it was coming up. Hope it was delightful.

                                                  On the cake making, I would expect that to be the case. I really don't remember a curdled stage when I was making it, oddly enough - probably my butter was as usual past that beau idéal stage of 68 deg F and "plastic" that I never seem to achieve.

                                                  I must make that cake again soon...

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    Thanks Buttertart, it was really delightful. Here's what the menu consisted of (made by yours truly):

                                                    Shrimp salad
                                                    Puff pastry squares with goat cheese, tomatoes, and tapenade
                                                    Leek and onion strudel
                                                    Peas with onions and prosciutto
                                                    Salmon, dill and cream cheese crostini (sort of - did not toast the bread)
                                                    Lamb kebabs
                                                    And of course the cake.

                                                    I got lots of boozy gifties and amazon gift cards, which are to be used exclusively for music CDs - as you know, I have a moratorium on recipe books.

                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                      Lovely. Sounds absolutely delectable.

                                                2. using up some leftover cheeses... it's a day of souffle and dough...
                                                  Ricotta souffle (sweet)
                                                  Cheese Souffle (savory)
                                                  White Pizza (with ricotta, spinach, mozzarella and parmesan, and a cornmeal-accented crust)

                                                  also baking off some cookies to finish off some dough... cheesecakey cookies and my latest take on chocolate chip.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      ha... yes. these are proving slightly problematic, as the first time i made them, i didn't measure a thing, and just kept adding stuff til it smelled and looked right... and of course, wouldn't you know it, they were great...

                                                      1 - 1 1/4 c cream cheese
                                                      2 tbsp unsalted butter
                                                      1 1/4 - 1 1/2 c sugar
                                                      1 egg
                                                      1 tbsp vanilla (or a little more, as i'm quite heavy handed with this)
                                                      1/8 - 1/4 tsp salt
                                                      1 tsp lemon juice
                                                      1 3/4 - 2 c cake flour

                                                      beat softened cream cheese and butter together til smooth. add in sugar, then egg, vanilla and lemon juice. mix salt and flour. add in. it's a very soft dough. i let it sit in fridge, preferably overnight to firm up as much as possible. it's still pretty sticky/tacky and almost a foamy soft. i dollop it on the baking sheet with almost an oversized peanut marshmallow shape... and bake til golden brown on the bottom and edges... ive been going back and forth between starting at 350 and lowering to 325 when they start to color, and aren't yet firm enough. or starting at 325 and raising to 350 to make turn golden... crispy edges with a light interior. really good when they on, but i'm still refining the *exact* measurements to produce the cream cheesey, not overly sweet dough. easy to adjust myself, just harder to give out a recipe... if you try em or some variation, hope you like em!

                                                  1. I recently got the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook, and as I was looking through it this afternoon, I was struck by....pudding cake. This book has several recipes for one bowl quick cakes, and the pudding cakes are among them. There are a bunch of variations -- from vanilla, to maple to lemon -- but I chose to make the chocolate. As promised it was brainlessly easy to put together, and it is now baking in the oven. I'm not sure how the cake turns into pudding, and although it tells you to bake it for 45 minutes, there is no description of what the cake is supposed to look like when it is done. Apparently, if you eat the cake warm, it is more of a sauce, but if you wait for it to cool off, the sauce turns into a pudding.

                                                    18 Replies
                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                      I'll be interested to hear how it comes out - I think that style of cake is best eaten up quickly, from my very few experiences with it. Doesn't age well.

                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                        Is this awesome, or what? We call it Hot Fudge Pudding Cake in these here parts. Next time, add a small dash of espresso powder w/ the cocoa powder - just to deepen the flavor. And when it's done, it should look a little shiny, be pulling away from the edges, and it will definitely have separated into two layers - surface will look a little pebbly, with some airholes.

                                                        1. re: mamachef

                                                          I loooooove the lemon one of these.

                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                            Me too - and i have a berry version. I think of this as a version of that "Impossible Pie" from so many years ago. :)

                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                              Me want recipe!!! Me want recipe!!!

                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                Me send! Promise! When I get home! :)

                                                          2. re: mamachef

                                                            It looks and smells pretty good. My son's coach is leaving on Tuesday, and I wanted to bake something quick that he's never had for tonight. Tomorrow, by request, I will make the large Epicurious chocolate cake with flour frosting.

                                                            1. re: mamachef

                                                              Oh, yes, chocolate pudding cake was a staple of my childhood. My mother's version was made w/milk and oil, but no egg, and the cake part was flavored with cinnamon but not chocolate, with chocolate in the pudding/sauce portion. As roxlet says, for the sort where you pour boiling water over before baking, if you have it warm it's more saucy, and once cold, it forms a pudding layer. There's also the sort where the eggs are separated and the whites are folded in, like the citrus recipes I've made.

                                                              I'm going to seriously consider buying this cookbook just for all the pudding cake variations roxlet mentions!

                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                This one is made with oil, water, and does not have any eggs. I like the cookbook for all of the old-timey recipes it has. In fact, the whole book -- which is a paperback printed on off-white paper -- has an old-fashioned feel to it. I also love that it has recipes for flour paste and flour clay, which I remember making with my mother when I was a child.

                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                  Well, I ended up ordering the book due to a buy-one, get-one offer with free shipping from The Good Cook. Two books for $20.84 including tax. Look forward to getting a look in person.

                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                    I was a little disappointed with how the recipe turned out. It tasted ok, but no pudding. I suspect I over cooked it. There've been some great deals on tgc lately. Looks like you got one!

                                                                  2. re: roxlet

                                                                    I see what you mean about the look of the book, roxlet, now that I have received it. I haven't had a chance to really look at it, but I flipped to the section on pudding cakes, and was surprised by how different the recipes' technique is from the one I grew up with. My mother's recipe is a batter made with flour, sugar, leavening, milk, oil, which you put in the pan, then sprinkle with brown sugar and cocoa powder, and pour over boiling water, which is NOT mixed in. It's this layer on top that sinks to the bottom during baking and becomes the pudding/sauce.

                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                      I probably over-baked the pudding cake, but I wish that there had been a description of how the cake should look before it is removed from the oven. Clearly you don't want a toothpick to come out cleanly, so should the cake jiggle slightly? Should it be still soft in the middle? This is where this recipe falls down. However, it is so simple to make, that I will definitely try it again.

                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                        I'd be happy to share my (super-simple) family recipe, if you're interested.

                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                          bring it on, girl, now's the time! :^)

                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                              As I mentioned above, the cake part of the family recipe isn't chocolate; however, I have used the below recipe modified to have chocolate cake + chocolate "pudding" by replacing 1/4 cup of the flour in the batter mixture with cocoa. I've added a bit of instant espresso powder when doing that, too. I usually do this in a Pyrex pan. Doubling the recipe for a crowd, it works well in a 9x13 or similar size oval baker, too.

                                                                              This is a homey and simple cake, not rich or sophisticated in flavor, but easy to whip up with pantry ingredients when you want a little something.

                                                                              1 3/4 cups flour

                                                                              3/4 cup sugar

                                                                              2 tsp. baking powder

                                                                              1/2 tsp. salt

                                                                              1 tsp. cinnamon (optional, but nice)

                                                                              2/3 cup milk

                                                                              2 T. neutral oil or melted butter

                                                                              1 tsp. vanilla

                                                                              1 cup brown sugar

                                                                              1/3 cup cocoa

                                                                              2 cups hot water.

                                                                              Preheat oven to 350ºF. Whisk dry ingredients together, then whisk in milk, oil, and vanilla. Turn into 8-inch-square baking pan. Stir brown sugar and cocoa together in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over batter in pan. Carefully pour hot water over all. Do not stir! Bake 40-45 minutes, until cake springs back to the touch.

                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                Thanks Caitlin! I'll try this one next time.

                                                              2. This weekend has been cool and damp. We were having friends in for dinner so I made these ginger sandwich cookies tonight. I used the lemon buttercream I made last weekend as the filling.

                                                                The cookie dough sat a bit while I baked garlic bread and I think that might be why I had a few spread a bit too much - otherwise these were perfectly light and once completely cooled they were crisp but not crumbly. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/gi...

                                                                1. Joy the Baker's oatmeal chocolate chunk pecan cookies. Excelent. Expect nothing less from her. Also made the raspberry bars from the other what's baking thread(I think). The batter is made w some white chocolate. Rasp and chocolate...a classic delicious combo. These bars disappeared in minutes!

                                                                  1. Nick Malgieri's A Baker's Tour beckoned this morning. I was going to make the white chocolate, lemon, and almond Torta Caprese (a big hit) but happened onto a recipe I had wanted to make when I first got the book, for a Swiss almond pound cake, "Marguerite", that uses almond paste and is glazed with apricot and a cooked powdered sugar icing.
                                                                    It's sort of a "poundoise" - pound/génoise - you add melted butter to the quite stiff batter and then fold in whipped egg whites.
                                                                    Cake is cooling (made a very cute one in my 8-cup Gugelhupf pan (Kaiser, from Marshall's a while back). Will post pics later.

                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                      The cake is fantastic. Firm crumb and the 2 glazes really make it - but don't go load the dishwasher while the apricot jam is boiling, I burnt part of it (the rest was fine.
                                                                      The cooked icing sugar glaze was very runny but I think my Pyrex measuring cup's 1/4 cup is a bit generous.
                                                                      If you make this (and it is terrific), be sure to put the cake on something rimmed to catch the overflow of the second glaze - I had it everywhere, not fun (and why no photo is forthcoming).
                                                                      When you eat it the sugar glaze kind of moves around on the jam one, the same effect you get with really good Danish pastries. Fun and exciting to eat.

                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        requesting recipe, please, for the fantastic cake, firm of crumb with 2 glazes -

                                                                        We devoured the brioche popovers before I could fill them with chocolate, Grand Marnier pastry cream and fresh blackberries.

                                                                        This morning we noshed on warm Apple Walnut Raisin muffins before dashing out the door now.

                                                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                                                          Will do tonight, remember it but want to be sure not to mess it up by winging it.

                                                                        2. re: buttertart

                                                                          Marguerite - Nick Malgieri, A Baker's Tour (my favorite of his books)


                                                                          4 oz canned almond paste

                                                                          2 tb water

                                                                          3/4 c sugar (will be divided)

                                                                          6 eggs, separated

                                                                          2 tsp grated lemon zest

                                                                          1 2/3 c ap flour (he measures by spooning into the cup)

                                                                          6 tb unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

                                                                          Beat the almond paste, water, and 1/2 of the sugar until smooth in mixer with paddle attachment.

                                                                          Beat in egg yolks one at a time beating well after each and scraping the bowl often - when all are in, add the lemon zest and beat for one additional minute (this raises the volume of the mixture a remarkable amount).

                                                                          Fold in the flour and then the butter with a large plastic spatula (the batter will be quite stiff).

                                                                          Beat the egg whites to a a very soft peak and beat in the rest of the sugar, to a soft peak.

                                                                          Fold into the cake mixture (I did this in several "goes", the batter doesn't want to accept them very nuch).

                                                                          Bake at 350 deg F for 40 mins (unt il raised and golden) in 8 cup Bundt or other tube pan, buttered and sprinkled with dry bread crumbs. Allow to cook completely on a rack.

                                                                          Glaze 1: 3/4 c apricot jam with 2 tb water - cook until melted and then until a bit reduced and sticky, 2 mins or so. Pour over cake and allow to dry for 30 mins.

                                                                          Glaze 2: 1/4 c water and 2 c powdered sugar - combine and cook until hot (he says 140 deg F), pour over cake which you have put on something with a lip so that it doesn't run over all creation (yours may be thicker than mine, I do think the measure of water was off.

                                                                          llow to set for 30 mins or so.

                                                                          Notes: I did the egg whites first and transferred them to another large bowl, and I added 1/4 tsp salt and a shake of cream of tartar to them before beating. I always do this IF the egg whites have sugar in them because they hold well for the few minutes before folding them in.

                                                                          I added 1/2 tsp salt to the flour as well.

                                                                          The cake itself is not very sweet and the glazes really give it the old je ne sais quoi (even for me, the I'm not crazy about icing girl).

                                                                          I hope you like it!

                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                            That looks great, and I am saving it for the future, although I do not own the right size pan.

                                                                            I don't own a stand mixer, but I do the same thing re beating the egg whites first with my hand-held so I don't have to wash and dry the beater blades before beating the second mixture as I would if I did butter, yolks, etc. first.

                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                              This didn't anywhere nearly fill the 8-cup (maybe 2/3?) when done, so a smaller pan would do. May also be overenthusiastic egg white folding on my part, but the cake isn't heavy. One of those moreish cakes, not as rich as the Hesser, but terrific.

                                                                            2. re: buttertart

                                                                              shopping tomorrow for eggs and almond paste. thanks bt, :^)

                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                Buttertart, I was thinking that folding the egg white into the cake mixture would go easier if you treated it like soufflé, i.e. beat a bit of the white into the cake mixture and then fold the cake mixture into the white, I think it would make a lighter texture, but is that what you want?

                                                                                I'm being spooked these days. Made the Golden GM cakelettes from TCB, and they did not want to easily leave the safety of the pan; I had to coax them out. Never happened before. Hafta get me some of that fancy cake release WD40.

                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                  You may well be right - I had thought of doing that (the heavier into the lighter) but thought it would collapse the whites more. I did add about 1/4 - 1/3 of the whites to the cake mixture and mixed well before getting going on the folding. One of these days I'm going to try the Fannie Farmer Baking Book (I think it is) method of stirring the whites in at very slow speed with the paddle attachment.

                                                                          2. Finally made the "Salted Butter Break-Ups" from Dorie Greenspan's "...French Table" book.
                                                                            Yes, wow, I can't imagine anyone not liking this stuff. I think it would make a good "gift from your kitchen" type recipe for the holidays. I bought premium butter, used kosher salt -- I'd consider special fancy salt next time.
                                                                            Here's a pic -- this is a half recipe for the two of us -- and here is a link to the recipe online

                                                                            23 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                I love "trompe l'oeil", visual puns, etc. The platter is from

                                                                                Care for a chocolate? 100% ceramic--never fails to fool.

                                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                                  Fishs Eddy - fun place. I used to browse in the shop and bought a few things there when I lived in NYC.

                                                                              2. re: blue room

                                                                                Contrarian view: If you like that, make the sablés from the new "Best Recipe" red CI tome - we like them a lot more. This got stale and was thrown out, the sablés only last a couple of days. Must make again soon, come to think of it.

                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                  Not contrarian! Helpful and appreciated!

                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                    :) The texture of the CI ones is perfect (you use a hardboiled egg yolk in them - the only other place i've seen that mentioned was in Paula Peck, a book I should never have gotten rid of).

                                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                                        Yep. I don't bother with the sugar coating on the outside, though. Hope you love them.

                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                          I like finding recipes that make you think "this is as good as it gets".
                                                                                          I looked @ Amazon -- inexpensive Paula Peck books aplenty.

                                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                                            I really must break down and buy it again.

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                              $4.00 including shipping for the Peck, you know I did it.

                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                And the shipping is $3.99, right? No wonder we all have so many cookbooks. I've had many a one-cent tome sent to-me too. :)

                                                                                                That's only $245 less than I paid for my shiny new mixer this morning! 800 watts, shiny black I chose.


                                                                                                Soon I'll be purchasing bowls and spoons and everything!

                                                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                                                  Congrats, blue room. It looks like a fabulous object and I can't wait to hear and see the wonders you create with it!

                                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                                    Yes, a whole $0.01 for the book. I'm looking forward to seeing it, I had it when i was juuuust starting out to bake and it seemed tremendously daunting.
                                                                                                    Yay!!! Great!!! That's the line I'd buy from if I were to replace this one. The problem is my strong sentimental attachment to it and to my 1984 DLC-7 "Super Pro" (that part kills me) Cuisinart.
                                                                                                    Black is IT!!!

                                                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                                                      Fresh out of the box! I'll have a fun day.

                                                                                                      1. re: blue room

                                                                                                        Lovely! I hope you enjoy cooking with it.

                                                                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                                                                          Gorgeous. Have fun! You will love it and wonder how you ever got along without it.

                                                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                                                            congrats! It's lovely - you will soon wonder why you waited :^)

                                                                                                            1. re: blue room

                                                                                                              Handsome!! Hope you love, love, love it!

                                                                                                              1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                Apropos of nothing, when I got it unwrapped I flashed on
                                                                                                                see the resemblance?
                                                                                                                Now I have to quit fooling around and start baking..

                                                                                                                1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                  Exactly - I learned to sew on my mother's machine that was maybe a few years younger than that one.

                                                                                                              2. re: blue room

                                                                                                                My first use of the new mixer resulted in a Tiramisu cake (a Dorie Greenspan recipe).
                                                                                                                Too warm for the mascarpone/whipped cream frosting, but otherwise very good.
                                                                                                                I'm delighted with the machine, wish I had a really big family right now!

                                                                                          2. Today I made that old epicurious double chocolate cake recipe with flour frosting. I was having a dinner party and made the whole recipe in three 9" cake pans, which worked out really well as opposed to the 2 10" pans the recipe specifies. I made 11/2 recipes of flour frosting, which was enough for a crumb coat and a nice final coating. With 10 diners, it was almost completely finished, with two people coming back for seconds. I used a decorating comb, and it was really pretty. I'm only sorry I didn't get a photo before it was cut into :(

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                              I'm sure it was terrific. Vanilla frosting, I take it?

                                                                                            2. I can't seem to get my photo on here, but I made a great cake from Epicurious, "Inside Out German Chocolate Cake." Great on my first try, but I can't wait to try it again with a few tweaks. See the photo here:

                                                                                              1. Here are some pics of my recent output: Hungarian Coffee Cake, raspberry and lemon tart, and what was left of the epicurious chocolate cake with flour frosting.

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                  WOW! They all look so good! Did I miss the recipe for the raspberry lemon tart?? Recipe pretty please!? :)

                                                                                                  1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                    Actually, maplesugar, there is no recipe for the raspberry lemon tart, but here's the method. Make any tart dough you like (I think the "cookie" type is best for this), fully blind bake the tart shell, let it cool, fill with lemon curd (either bought or homemade -- mine was from a recipe from Around My French Kitchen I think , but you could use the pre-made lemon curd that everyone is talking about from Trader Joe's, for example), and top with fresh raspberries. This would work with any fresh berry -- blackberries, blueberries, or tiny strawberries would be great too. Just before serving, I sprinkled the whole thing with confectioner's sugar.

                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                        One method, endless possibilities - thanks roxlet :)

                                                                                                  2. Well I tried brioche for the 1st time, with mediocre results. I used Sherry Yard's recipe from "The Secrets of Baking". She specifically has a *food processor* brioche method. It wasn't satisfactory, the butter didn't mix, wouldn't mix, I had a big non-uniform lump and had gone way past the mixing time she mentioned and my food processor was starting to smell hot...
                                                                                                    so I took the very buttery loose dough out and kneaded it by hand (too warm! big no no) until it was at least sort of homogeneous. Let it rise, punched it down, let it chill overnight. Baked it in a Pandoro mold (don't have a brioche pan, but they're similar). Results below -- a little too oily, tastes a tiny bit too yeasty. Not horrible! Beautiful yellow and tender, "bouncy". But too dense.
                                                                                                    Again vowing to buy a stand mixer.

                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: blue room

                                                                                                      Do it, you won't regret it. I've had mine since 1987 (K5A Kitchen-Aid).
                                                                                                      You might have done better to have refrigerated the dough when it wouldn't come together and knead then.
                                                                                                      This is a very interesting post on brioche - I saw it here somewhere, thanks to the poster: http://www.imafoodblog.com/index.php/...

                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                        interesting link; the Joe Pastry method incorporates a sponge - that's next for me. :^)

                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                          Thank you, buttertart. I *was wondering at the time* if re-chilling would fix anything -- but next time I'll just do it right to begin with. I did start with a sponge, and used bread flour.
                                                                                                          There are just two uf us, I often halve recipes, so have resisted a stand mixer for so long. But I'll have to give in I suppose.
                                                                                                          I think the Older Kitchen Aids are superior (built then by Hobart, but no longer--something like that.) I read the stand mixer threads on the Cookware board all the time! It makes me crazy when I read "for small batches it's useless". I want heavy duty on a small scale and I don't think they make 'em.

                                                                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                                                                            Listen, it's me and him only, at least 95% of the time. Get the mixer.
                                                                                                            I still have the Hamilton Beach hand mixer his parents got us when we were first married and use for small jobs like whipping cream IF the big boy's bowl is in use.
                                                                                                            His mom thinks it's quite amusing since she's on at least her 15th mixer since then (she does a lot of cooking and baking to this day - for groups of 6 to 16 people depending on the occasion - and her 88th birthday is in a few weeks).

                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                              "Listen, it's me and him only, at least 95% of the time. Get the mixer."

                                                                                                              Haha thank you!

                                                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                I figured that'd get your attention! ;-)

                                                                                                      2. I just made Reinhart's cornbread for the second time that was recommended on this board, but I cannot remember by whom. So thank you to all who recommended it. I used spicy smoked sausage instead of bacon - it and it was delicious (although it would be wonderful, I think, with no meat.) It is unlike any cornbread I know - more of a meal.

                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                              The first Cynsa listed Leites's Culinaria. If I think of it again I'll have to thaw some more. Sorry I didn't know he had more than one corn bread - silly me.

                                                                                                              1. re: mscoffee1

                                                                                                                silly me, you wrote, " I used spicy smoked sausage instead of bacon." and that was the first clue I missed. will add to my short list. :^) thanks for the alert, mscoffee1

                                                                                                          1. Third shot at Hertzberg's bread. 1st time: dull. Then I had an excellent version made by my brother, so I took another stab at it. Made loaves on day one & day two. Day two was better, but still "eh." My brother is using 1/3 cup of rye per loaf, so I'm trying that this time around - third time is a charm, right?

                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: THewat

                                                                                                              I'm up and down on that recipe. It really seems to me to be trickier than a straightforward one like the Peter Reinhart French bread with old dough from Crust and Crumb. I've gone back to it, or to some variation on it (this week about 2 c leftover pizza dough that stayed in the FP all night, whizzed up with 2 c water, stirred in enough flour to make a medium dough, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp yeast - did not knead - let sit about 5 hours total, with one punchdown, formed loaves (boules), baked 45 mins in 9" cake pans at 425 deg F with pan of water in oven. Made lovely, light bread.

                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                Thanks Buttertart. I've just saved the Reinhart recipe. I've also just had another slice of my brother's bread, which is really, really good... I mixed two loaves of the Hertzberg bread this morning, and then promptly abused the dough by leaving it around for many hours while I did errands. I put half of it in the refrigerator for tomorrow, and I baked half in a cast iron casserole. (No steaming water needed. This is what my brother is doing.) My first loaf is cooling & it's clear I'm not getting nearly the rise he is, nor am I getting the fermentation bubbles. (Both could be from my dough mistreatment.) I might have to go over there & watch while he does it. He's making a loaf a day (same day mix & bake) and the flavor is great. I SO want to make great daily bread.

                                                                                                                1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                  Big grin. OK, not as good as his. But way better than my earlier efforts. And yummy toasted.

                                                                                                                  I used 1 1/2 cups water
                                                                                                                  1 package red star yeast
                                                                                                                  3/4 tablespoon David's kosher salt
                                                                                                                  13 oz white ap flour (KA)
                                                                                                                  2/3 cup whole rye (organic, "farmer ground")
                                                                                                                  4 tablespoons multigrain mix (Paul's Grains) - my brother uses one of the Bob's Red Mill multi grain mixes.
                                                                                                                  cornmeal for pizza peel

                                                                                                                  Mix water, yeast and salt.
                                                                                                                  Mix in flours to incorporate. Dough should be wet.
                                                                                                                  Allow to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse. If you remember to give it a fold or two during this rise, I imagine it helps.

                                                                                                                  I put half in the refrigerator at this point to bake tomorrow.

                                                                                                                  Preheat the oven to 450, with a cast iron casserole in it, open.

                                                                                                                  Shape a boule & sit it on a cornmeal covered peel for about 40 minutes.

                                                                                                                  Unceremoniously dump the poor dough into the heated casserole, dock (carefully so you don't burn yourself), put the top on, and stick it in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, take the top off (remember it is filled with steam from the baking bread - I burned myself pretty badly the first time I did this) and put the uncovered bread back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so.

                                                                                                                  makes two small, friendly loaves (total). good toasted.

                                                                                                                  1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                    Congratulations! The time I did it "right" - but the recipe called for 500 deg F - I used my old le Creuset Dutch oven that had 30+ years of food stains in it, and used the parchment sling to transfer the dough (Cook's illustrated). Every smoke alarm in the house went off and stayed that way for at least 15 mins (cue husband up on ladder getting one shut up while the others start up again, NOT happy). The paper and the bottom of the loaf burnt black, but the crumb was wonderfully holey and waxy. It's the dang smoke alarms that stopped me doing it right again.

                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                      Roaring with laughter. I have no partner so I have to deal with my own smoke alarms, but I also have the luxury of having no witness. This crumb was not wonderful, but the flavor was way better. It's got to be the rye.

                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                        On the bright side, you "self-cleaned" the Dutch oven :)

                                                                                                                        BTW I remember reading on a package of parchment paper that it was good to only 450 degrees.

                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                          THewat, glad to hear it - the smoke alarms are the very definition of arbitrary and capricious, sometimes a puff of steam from deglazing gets them going, but nary a peep to warn me my chocolate tart crust was being burnt to a crisp. !!!

                                                                                                                          souschef, nope, the Dutch oven suffered further staining from this and was a real SOB to get acceptably clean - I was wishing I still had access to the grinder my dad had at his garage.

                                                                                                                          Good to be reminded about the parchment. What a mess.

                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                            Did you try oven cleaner? The DH just used it on some seriously stained le Creuset dutch ovens and they are miraculously clean.

                                                                                                              2. My mother requires a chocolate dessert for her birthday, and as she adores both bittersweet chocolate and almonds, Dorie Greenspan's little flourless chocolate-amaretti torte fit the bill. It comes together quickly in the food processor, with ground almonds and di Saronno amaretti cookies (or I should probably say biscotti, as they're Italian cookies), butter, sugar, eggs, and melted chocolate. I followed her instructions for cooling and turning out the cake, but next time I'll let it fully cool in the pan before removing, as when I turned it out after a half hour, the edges started to crumble, and when I inverted it with the help of a large spatula, it cracked in half. It's just too delicate to move when not fully cooled. A sprinkle of confectioners' sugar over the top to the rescue.

                                                                                                                All tasters agreed that it is terrific. It's an 8-inch cake that's about an inch high, so rather unassuming, but dense and rich and very bittersweet (I used 71% chocolate) - a good choice if you're serving small numbers, as I was. Demands to be eaten with whipped cream, which I spiked with some amaretto.

                                                                                                                Here's the recipe: http://www.post-gazette.com/food/2000...

                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                  That is a very nice recipe - I keep amaretti on hand to make it. Happy Birthday to your mother!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                    Yes, indeed. Happy birthday to your mom and enjoy the luscious cake!

                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                      Have you made that one, roxlet? Very good and very easy. Food processor.

                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                          One of those ace in the hole recipes, good on short notice - it's lovely (but very tender, as noted by CMcG) warm too.

                                                                                                                    2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                      Caitlin - this sounds great. Thanks for posting. I can get Saronno amaretti, but I don't know that they are "large" - I didn't know they came in multiple sizes. Can you lend any clarification?

                                                                                                                      I've made this a bunch of times: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...; I toast the almonds first & go a little easy on the sugar. I like it quite a bit & it's gluten free, which comes in handy.

                                                                                                                      1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                        I take the "large, double amaretti" as meaning the ones that are wrapped in twos in a paper twist, so I used six of the paper twists, for a total of 12 cookies. I've seen tins of mini di Saronno amaretti that aren't wrapped, so I believe the recipe is distinguishing from those.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                        Thanks Caitlin,

                                                                                                                        This sounds delish. I am not familiar wiith the cookies, but will check at my Italian specialty shop. I have to stop there to buy Svordi (sp?) for a Hazelnut Tiramisu I am making soon.

                                                                                                                      3. Came up with a killer recipe for gluten free banana bread last week! Wish I still had some left.

                                                                                                                        Gluten Free Banana Bread

                                                                                                                        4 small bananas (360g peeled)
                                                                                                                        1/2 C. (110g) dark brown sugar
                                                                                                                        1/2 C. (113g) lowfat plain yogurt
                                                                                                                        1 Tbsp. (15ml) vanilla
                                                                                                                        2 large eggs

                                                                                                                        2 C. (272g) gluten free all purpose flour blend
                                                                                                                        1 tsp. baking soda
                                                                                                                        1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
                                                                                                                        1/2 tsp. Diamond kosher salt

                                                                                                                        1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a medium loaf pan with parchment paper, letting it drape over the sides of the pan -- this will make removing the loaf from the pan much easier.

                                                                                                                        2. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.

                                                                                                                        3. Add the brown sugar, yogurt, vanilla, and eggs to the mixing bowl with the bananas. Whisk to combine -- it is fine if there are still some lumps of banana.

                                                                                                                        4. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt to the bowl with the wet mixure. Stir until all the flour is incorporated.

                                                                                                                        5. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for one hour, until the top is well-browned and a toothpick inserted in the loaf comes out clean. You can also check the internal temperature of the loaf for doneness -- it should register between 190°F and 200°F (88°C and 93°C).

                                                                                                                        6. Remove the bread from the loaf pan, peel off the parchment paper, and let the loaf cool to room temperature on a wire cooling rack.

                                                                                                                        Nutrition Information:

                                                                                                                        Serving size: 1/10th loaf (about 3/4" thick slice)
                                                                                                                        Calories: 152 Fat: 1.5g Sodium: 156mg Carbs: 33g Fiber: 3g Protein: 4g Sugar: 14.5g

                                                                                                                        1. My niece and I went strawberry picking on Sunday. Despite my plan to *not* go crazy, we came back with 11 lbs of berries--and they're all gone now!

                                                                                                                          Right off the bat we made strawberry shortcakes (lunch) and then strawberry-lime pie (dinner), with strawberry daiquiris in between (with and w/o alcohol). I also made a big strawberry-blueberry souffle ... so good and fairly healthy, even with the drizzle of dark chocolate.

                                                                                                                          1. One of these: http://www.adinnerparty.net/2009/07/c... (New to me, but now going into rotation) and two loaves of this: http://www.tinyurbankitchen.com/2001/... (a standby.)

                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                              THewat, have you made the vanilla loaf before? Is it to be used as the base for a dessert, or just on its own? It "reads" so good, but I don't know what I'd do with it exactly. Like a sweet roll for breakfast maybe?

                                                                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                I make them regularly. They are better on day two (and beyond) & easy to transport, so think picnic, thank-you gift, meeting food... I also serve them with fruit compote or fresh berries for a quick & classic dessert. And yes, it would be a treat with / for breakfast.

                                                                                                                              2. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                I saved that Al di La pear cake recipe last fall after another Chowhound raved about it. I'll have to remember it when pears come back in season.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                  I had part of a jar of pears a neighbor had preserved for me & used those. I saved the recipe off of one of these boards, too, and it was the first thing in my "to try" pile that I had all the ingredients for last night. It's my kind of dessert - not deadly sweet, not super showy, very good. It would be doubly lovely served warm, half an hour out of the oven, on a chilly night. Provided you have a good mixer, it's easy, too. I did think I'd lost too much volume in the batter, but it turned out fine.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                    You can't go wrong with browned butter.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                      Absolutely on the browned butter. The cake sounds lovely.

                                                                                                                              3. Could someone share a good recipe for Pate e Choux? I'm making profiteroles and I have 3 recipes but I don't remember which one I liked best (its been awhile since I made eclaires). Thank you for you help. This is for a Tony Awards party. I'm making ice cream and probably a fruit sauce in stead of chocolate or salted caramel.

                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                  I have a good recipe, but it's all done by hand and requires a strong forearm; no mixer involved. Buttertart and a few others use a mixer. Please let us know which recipe you would like.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                    I do not use a mixer to stir in the eggs moreover mine broke a few weeks back. Just a trusty wooden spoon. Btw if your recipe calls for milk, what is the trick for not creating a skin on the bottom of the pan? My pots are nonstick and I never get the familiar white crust when cooking the dough. Thanks again souschef

                                                                                                                                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                      Pâte à Choux
                                                                                                                                      Bring 1 cup water + 4 oz. butter + 3 Tbl. sugar + 1/2 tsp. salt to a full boil.
                                                                                                                                      Add 1 cup all-purpose flour (5 to 5-1/2 oz.) sifted - and cook, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until the pan bottom looks coated; you will see a caky bottom on saucepan as it cooks. Remove from heat.
                                                                                                                                      Add 3 eggs, one at a time, stirring constantly to absorb before adding next egg. The paste goes from shiny to slippery to sticky as you beat it.
                                                                                                                                      Pipe dough immediately and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, check it at 10 minutes and proceed to doneness.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                        my method is the same, combine 1 cup water and 8 tbsp butter, and a pinch of salt... boil, then turn to low and dump in flour and stir til it pulls away from the sides of the pan. remove from heat, and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating. and keep mixin til it's glossy. then pipe as desired. i do not add any sugar to mine...

                                                                                                                                      2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                        I don't use milk, and don't know how you can avoid the film on the bottom.

                                                                                                                                        My recipe (from "French Cookery School" by Anne Willan) is different from Cynsa's. I hope you are okay with metric; the US equivalent specifies a scant measure of water, which is far from accurate. 

                                                                                                                                        110 gm flour, sifted

                                                                                                                                        185 ml water

                                                                                                                                        1/2 tsp salt

                                                                                                                                        75 gm butter

                                                                                                                                        3-4 large eggs

                                                                                                                                        Put the water, salt, and butter into a saucepan and heat until the butter melts, then bring to the boil and immediately take off the heat. Add the flour all at once and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon, until the mixture forms a ball and pulls away from the pan. Beat for 30 sec over low heat, to dry the dough.

                                                                                                                                        Beat one egg in a small bowl and set aside. Beat the remaining eggs one at a time into the mixture, only adding another egg after the last one is completely incorporated. Add  the reserved egg a little at a time (starting with 1/3) until the dough just falls from the spoon. I find that I don't usually use all of the last egg. The dough is now ready for use.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                          Thank you all for your help. I am glad that you all use water as I am not sure what difference milk makes other than burning to the bottom when trying to boil. 2nd question. Do you dry them in the oven with the door ajar or do you take them out and prick the bottom to let the steam out?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                              How long is that... the time it takes after you turn off the oven before they are ready for use?

                                                                                                                                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                The door gets propped slightly open with a wooden spoon about 20 minutes after they go into the oven, with the oven still on. They do not get left in the oven after it is turned off.

                                                                                                                                                As soon as they are cool they are ready for use. I don't remember how much time that takes.

                                                                                                                                      3. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                        Thanks again. They came out good. I still have some issue with the inside having a slightly eggy taste, but it wasn't overwhelming.

                                                                                                                                      4. oh you'll love this.
                                                                                                                                        Recovering from surgery sucks, but also I've done some pretty funny things. Being on meds, I felt decent enough to try baking and was dying to repay some of the kindness to my wonderful neighbors. They really came through for my hubby and me while I was in the hosp and then home recovering. Some very good food and it was thoughtful. I've always promised to make them my better than Starbucks scones, but was hesitant because a couple times a few of my recipes got claimed as their own. Could be they forgot.
                                                                                                                                        Maybe it was the drugs, maybe a Freudian slip. But I put two sticks of butter in each batch, one blueberry the other dried cherry & chocolate chip. I always use silpat, and have my method down. They were soft and spread a bit, and when I lifted the silpat the sheet was full of butter.
                                                                                                                                        When I brought them over I apologized saying I thought my oven was off. Later I went back and looked at my recipe, LOL 1/2 cup butter not 2. They're tasty but to quote that Japanese judge on FN " they were good, but a little oily."
                                                                                                                                        I haven't heard yet what they thought....oh okay, I'll be nice and redo them.

                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                          wishing you a very speedy recovery, chef chicklet aka butter puddle - glad that you're back in the saddle

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                            Thanks, this has been interesting, I was actually cooking better before surgery. Probably the meds were not as strong. omg. A definite redo. I want to cook so badly!

                                                                                                                                          2. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                                            been there, done that! ...with butter... and once with baking soda... had to start that one over again. the butter mistake actually didn't result in oiliness... and i couldn't decide whether to modify the original...

                                                                                                                                            speedy recovery as well!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                              Baking soda i/o powder = exploding chocolate brownstone cake and huge mess in MIL's oven. Cleaned it up and served cake swathed in whipped cream, no one else the wiser.
                                                                                                                                              chef chicklet, glad you're feeling better, but don't push it. Wanting to get back baking is a good sign!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                thanks emme, I want to cook, bake, make ice cream make anything. Like I mentioned I was still cooking some before the surgery. The increase in medication sure took its toll. Hate that.
                                                                                                                                                But I can relate to the bp/bs situation, and I can't blame it on medication. I was just learning and omg, I was terrible.

                                                                                                                                            2. I just took the winning recipe; lemon bb muffins out of the oven. :)

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: shaebones

                                                                                                                                                Are you willing to share, I have blueberries and lemons galore. thanks~

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shaebones

                                                                                                                                                    Thank you! I will let you know, I hate the oven today. 95F....

                                                                                                                                              2. was playing around this morning... decided on sticky toffee puddings, blintz casserole (never made one of these before, so we'll see) and some ricotta souffles again. going to visit a friend post-op in a recovery rehab today, so i'll be taking something... if not something above, perhaps cookies that she likes.

                                                                                                                                                with the incessant experimentation, and my limited diet, i'm lucky to have generous guinea pig neighbors. ...and you can't buy the honesty of 2 year old twins either..

                                                                                                                                                1. Kind of rainy and thankfully cooler here today, and for some reason, that said oatmeal cookies to me. I just used the recipe off of the Quaker Oats canister, but I sort of feel that I shouldn't have been so lazy and should have looked up a recipe in one of my great cookie books. I think they're just OK. I subbed chocolate chips for the raisins, since no one in my house -- except me -- is crazy about raisins.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                    I don't like that recipe either. Haven't found one I'm crazy about in a long time.

                                                                                                                                                  2. *blueberry mango rhubarb crisp with pistachio topping*
                                                                                                                                                    --served with Breyers vanilla ice cream the first night, then a dollop of snowy whipped heavy cream the second evening. Both interpretations were perfect.

                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: twilight goddess

                                                                                                                                                      Such an interesting combination of ingredients. Sounds delicious!

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: twilight goddess


                                                                                                                                                        And where is it you live again? :-)

                                                                                                                                                      2. I made a Lighter-than-air Chocolate roll last night: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
                                                                                                                                                        I like the Cognac & vanilla version. I served it with the bittersweet chocolate sauce from CI Jan/Feb 2002. Easy, celebratory, delicious AND gluten-free.

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                          I have never made a rolled cake. This one sounds great, I should give it a whirl.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                            It's doubly good with your favorite bittersweet chocolate sauce. I initially served it that way because my father had it that way as a boy & requested it; now it would seem a little naked to me without it. I warm the sauce and like the cool / warm contrast.

                                                                                                                                                            It would be easy to half this recipe, too, and make it in a half sheet pan. It seems like it would be very appealing at that size. The whole recipe serves 10.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Sod all this weekend, perils of a small household and limited baked goods consuming capacity. Too much stuff on hand. Maybe sometime during the week.

                                                                                                                                                          20 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                            me, too. I made joong this morning - a day of wrapping rice and 3 hours of boiling the packets - no baking today. Maybe sometime during the week.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                              I went looking (desultorily) for the brioche mold on Saturday - the W-S I went to only had the 6 or so inch ones. souschef, what size/brand is the one you use?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                non-stick? at Williams-Sonoma $13 Gobel; or 8" aluminum pan for $9.99 at Kamei Restaurant Supply at Clement and 6th Ave. just window shopping for now

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                  Buttertart, my mold got lost, so I have to go look for one as well. I would use the mold that is 6 inches in diameter across the top. Don't forget that it puffs up beyond that diameter. Sur La Table has them up to 8 inches, but I think that would be too large. Cynsa would not have enough pastry cream for anything that large !

                                                                                                                                                                  BTW I find that pastry cream can sometimes be a bit cloying, so I usually lighten it by folding in some whipped cream.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                    how does one serve the 8" or 6" brioche aux fruits filled with pastry cream and fresh fruit? do you slice it crosswise? or cut wedges? or, are we digging in with a large spoon?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                      Wedges. We are not so uncouth as to just dig in with a large spoon :)

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                      6" is a bit on the totie wee side, no?

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                        Looking at it again, 6" does seem to be too small, but 8" seems to be a bit too large. I guess 7" should do the trick, which Sur La Table has. Just depends upon what I find here.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                              It's winging its way to me as we chat. With 2 half-sheet pans so I can retire the old stained ones (or just use them for higher heat stuff). This way I don't have to drag M all over town looking for brioche molds - he's a good shopper but not all that keen on kitchen shopping (don't you have one of those ALREADY?).

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                I bought an 8-inch dark non-stick one at the local restaurant supply house for $12.95. That was all they had apart from the miniature ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                BTW W-S is great when it comes to (half) sheet pans. After I had used mine for a few years (heavy use) the finish started wearing off. I took them in to see if that was normal. They gave me new ones, no charge.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                  That was nice re the sheets. The W-S we were in is in the same building as Per Se and has an attitude to match (actually unfair to Per Se because they're very nice and down to earth there).
                                                                                                                                                                                  I was surprised at how reasonable the Matfer one was, expected over $20 at least.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                    I am very proud of your purchasing skills, now preheat your ovens. :^)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                      The proof is in the...brioche? This weekend is the test run.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                        Here's a permalink to a brioche recipe. lilgi has certainly been working on it.


                                                                                                                                                                                        Unfortunately the flour measure is by volume, not weight.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                          I have nine kajillion brioche recipes (well, 156 in the books I've entered so far on Eat Your Books. In honour of you I shall use RLB's most recent, I think (in Heavenly Cakes).

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                              I know she's way up in your culinary pantheon.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                Yup, she and Anne Willan are alone at the top of the pyramid.

                                                                                                                                                              2. A chai cream pie, a first experience for these taste buds and with a glass of iced coffee I'm calling this lunch!

                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                  That sounds great. I was almost seduced into buying Thai iced tea ice cream yesterday - sounds good, doesn't it?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                    Sure does! Refreshing. This pie is so good, not too sweet and really whippy.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Lots of blueberry glace pies,(only have to bake the crust) and peach cobbler. Summer dictates the ingredients to be utilized. Simple desserts that showcase what's in season.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Cool(er) temps today ... I could think about baking again. I was in a coffee mood, so I made cookies two ways:

                                                                                                                                                                    -coffee chip cookies (my fave chewy choc. chip cookie recipe plus 1.5 Tbs espresso powder mixed in with the eggs and vanilla)
                                                                                                                                                                    -mocha cocoa chip cookies (Dorie's Very Best Choc. Chip cookie with both the espresso and chocolate variations, plus a lot of dark chocolate.)

                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                      I like the idea of coffee in these a lot, might be enjoyed by my non-choc-chip-liking better half.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                        Non-choc-chip liking?? Say it isn't so ...

                                                                                                                                                                        But yeah, the coffee makes a nice difference, IMO.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                          Choc chip cookies not a favorite. Coffee, big-time favorite. I'll try these. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. I'm baking Rhubarb Apple Crumble Pie! The rhubarb adds a nice, seasonal spin to the traditional apple pie flavor.


                                                                                                                                                                      Rhubarb Apple Crumble Pie

                                                                                                                                                                      (Makes one 9″ pie


                                                                                                                                                                      One 9″ flaky pie crust

                                                                                                                                                                      1 pound (about 8 large stalks) rhubarb, ends trimmed and sliced 1/4″ thick

                                                                                                                                                                      2 medium apples, peeled and thinly sliced

                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 cup light brown sugar

                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 cup white sugar

                                                                                                                                                                      1-1/2 tablespoons flour

                                                                                                                                                                      1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

                                                                                                                                                                      1/4 cup light brown sugar

                                                                                                                                                                      1/3 cup flour

                                                                                                                                                                      1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

                                                                                                                                                                      2 tablespoons butter, coarsely cubed

                                                                                                                                                                      1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

                                                                                                                                                                      Preheat the oven to 350F.

                                                                                                                                                                      In a large bowl, mix together the rhubarb, apples, 1/2 cup brown sugar, white sugar, 1-1/2 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                      In a small bowl, mix together the crumb topping of 1/4 cup light brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, rolled oats, butter and walnuts.

                                                                                                                                                                      Pour filling into prepared pie dish and cover evenly with crumble mixture.

                                                                                                                                                                      Place pie dish on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                      Serve with vanilla ice cream or yogurt.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Hasselnuss Spritzgebäck aka CHOCOLATE-GLAZED HAZELNUT SPRITZ WAFERS per souschef - note that I've sourced skinless hazelnuts for $9.89 lb. at Andy's Produce Market in Sebastopol in Sonoma County but I purchased the hazelnuts with skins $6 lb and it took me two hours from toasting to rubbing off the skins.
                                                                                                                                                                        Perhaps the star tip on the pastry bag is too small (see the thin cookie) - after one cookie sheet of skinnies, I doubled the piping for each cookie. I haven't glazed these yet. Drizzle tomorrow.
                                                                                                                                                                        souschef's recipe sez "May be stored for 3-4 days in an airtight container." Won't last that long. My apologies to souschef for my poor rendition of his delicious cookie. These are not beauteous but they are certainly delicious. (I have enough hazelnuts to bake the NOCCIOLLETTE tomorrow.)

                                                                                                                                                                        19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                          Cynsa, no need for apologies. The ones I make have more discernable ridges - guess my batter is more stiff, though I have no idea why. I find it very hard on the hands piping them out. I'm glad you enjoy them. BTW I never bother with drizzling chocolate over them.

                                                                                                                                                                          You certainly are a prodigious baker. Let us know how the nocciollette turn out.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                            random drizzle or one-direction? btw, DH had vanquished 1/2 of this batch before the drizzle!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                              About 6 parallel lines across each cookie. I'm sure they taste the same though :)

                                                                                                                                                                              Cynsa, let me guess. You do not sleep. you only bake. It's just after 5:30 am in SFO right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, you do. LOL - I said I baked cookies because I could just eat ONE. not true, for these - betcha can't eat one is the truism. When souschef said they'll keep 3 to 4 days - it's more like 24 to 36 hours and they're gone from the cookie jar. I do think they were better this morning than last night. Today the flavors were richer, nuttier, buttery.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                    Why don't you do as I do and always bake a double batch?

                                                                                                                                                                                    BTW with these cookies overbaking them tends to make them lose some of their flavour, so you have to watch them carefully.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                  I really just want cake; DH would like a pie, cookies are a quick stop gap to pacify his sweet tooth. Can't get myself organized to bake cake. Can't stand still long enough to peel apples for pie. 'tis a fact, I am insomniac. baking at dawn is a solitary pastime. 'tis a fact, I can eat just ONE cookie. I still want cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                    Then I suggest that you bake RLB's Golden Grand Marnier Cake (from TCB), which is a really wonderful cake. I know that you tend to like mini cakes, but I prefer it in the large format - it's more moist. One taste and you'll be hooked. But don't use chocolate chips; use callets or chopped chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                                    LET CYNSA EAT CAKE !

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                      "Qu'elle mange de la brioche" d'après Marie-Antoinette...

                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                  I kinda like your artsy side! looks good to me!

                                                                                                                                                                                4. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't mind plucking the skin from toasted hazelnuts when it's a relatively small amount, but I've been keeping this method posted by janniecooks in my pocket for when I need to do a bunch:

                                                                                                                                                                                  "For 1/2 cup of nuts, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda (the water will spit and spatter a lot), then add the nuts and boil for 3 minutes. Test a nut under cold running water: Its skin should slip off easily. If not, boil the nuts for a couple minutes longer. When they’re ready, rinse the nuts well under cold running water, using your fingers to slip the skins off, then toast them in a 350ºF oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                  This method really works the best; before I found this way I always roasted them, put into a kitchen towel and vigorously rubbed; no matter how hard I rubbed, how long I rubbed etc. much of the skin stayed stubbornly stuck to the nuts. The boiling water/baking soda method is the best, easiest, bar none."

                                                                                                                                                                                  Her post, from a few yeas ago: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5243...

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank You! After 2 hours of rubbing skins of 1-1/4 lb. of hazelnuts, I was slightly crazed. It's good to add another method to the madness.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                      They rub more easily if you let them stand a bit after they come out of the oven. I find they almost shrug themselves out of their little skins if I do that, not if I get after them straight out of the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                        ok. will "wait" before rubbing, also. I did try the wet towel trick - wet towel, wring dry, rub hazelnut skins. then, resorted to scraping off bits of skin with paring knife on each individual nut - not recommended

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                          A pair of those defoliating gloves they sell at bath stores would probably do the trick!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mnosyne

                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.jlist.com/product/CHP085 - something like this, maybe? I'm dying to get my hands on one. Wondering if the Japanese markets here might carry it.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mnosyne

                                                                                                                                                                                                oh my - that's what I want! :^)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I hadn't thought of those but they should work. Some of the thinner gardening gloves with rubberized palms and fingers should too.

                                                                                                                                                                                5. Tonight: pita-naan -- pita that didn't quite puff up as I'd hoped, but still very tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. We're around 250 posts (wow, so fast?) so the scrolling/loading is getting a wee bit tiresome...over and out to June 2011 part 2!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply