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What are you baking these days? August 2011, part 2 [Old]

Well, here we are in the second half of August already - time to think about lunchbox treats (and my birthday cake...). Apples will be here soon, and I have a lovely Apfelkuchen recipe from a friend in Germany that I'll share when the time comes.
So...what delightful treats are making your kitchen smell divine these days?

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  1. Hi Buttertart... bought some less than ideal cherries ($1.99/pound!) and had to bake something to use them up. Ended up making a cherry almond yogourt cake.. easy (if you discount pitting and chopping the cherries...), and wildly popular at the office.

    7 Replies
    1. re: rstuart

      That sounds great - recipe or link? Cherry and almond are two of my favorite flavors!

      1. re: buttertart

        From a blog..
        here we go.
        I used fat-free yogourt, because that's what I had, and it was just fine. The roasted cherries look wonderful, but I haven't tried that yet...
        Also made pear and raspberry coconut cake last night, largely because I had some pears and raspberries that were going off! Interesting recipe; no butter/oil or mild, but a can of coconut milk. Very handy for me since I hadn't taken any butter out of the freezer! We'll see what my colleagues think..

        1. re: rstuart

          That really looks terrific. Are you paying attention, kattyeyes?

          1. re: rstuart

            Interested in how this turned out??Ive used coco milk in a recipe that calls for coco milk and a cake mix, not usually a big fan of cake mix cakes, but this one is really delish. I know the fat content is really high in this milk... report, please :)

            1. re: slcook

              It was actually really good! So easy and quick as well. Only thing is that it didn't last as long as baked goods usually do. Made it Wednesday night and my mother had a piece on Sunday, said that she thought it was off (???). Recipe was found using a google search for pear and raspberry cake... think that it was from an australian site. Can find it if you're interested..

            2. re: rstuart

              Thanks for linking the cherry almond yogurt cake recipe, rstuart. I made it today, and it's delicious (quite almondy, with the wonderfully complementary cherries to boot), and also moist and tender. I added some orange zest to the batter, which was a nice addition, and sprinkled sliced almonds on top. The linked recipe said to use an 8- or 9-inch pan; I used the former, and it rose right up to the top edge of the pan, but no more.

              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                Wow... looks gorgeous! Orange zest and the sliced almonds on top look like great additions! I used an 8 inch pan, and didn't have any over-flow.. thanks for posting the picture..

        2. Peanut Butter Pie for #pieformikey

          1. made brownies this week, so today i made black mint ice cream to fold the brownies into, plus a fudge swirl. i was thinking of making double chocolate cookies for sandwiches, but that might be overkill. i also made a stone fruit coffeecake using the sour cream coffeecake (w/o raisins) cake recipe from maida heatter's cakes and the crumb topping from smitten kitchen's big crumb coffeecake. it was a perfect combo texturewise, though some of the larger crumbs did sink into the cake.

            i find the cake in the original big crumb recipe to be too dense, but all the crumb topping stayed on top. anyone have a solution for this problem? with the lighter, fluffier base, the crumbs sink.

            1. With all the wonderful fruit being in season I have been making cobblers (peach, blueberry, and cherry ones so far) I also did a peach version of the french classic apple tatin. I used the recipe from Ina Garten and used peach jelly instead of the apricot and omitted the sugar as the peaches were plenty sweet on their own. The luncheon guests raved about it!

              1. Birthday cake decision: the Blitztorte from the mid-70s Joy of Cooking (yellow cake topped with almond-studded meringue), cake enriched with either almond paste or white chocolate, filled with lightly-cooked and sweetened raspberries barely scented with a drop of rosewater.

                31 Replies
                1. re: buttertart

                  You are mere hours away from the auspicious occasion, but have not yet made your final decision? I'm surprised, astounded even !

                  I take it the rosewater is for the aroma rather than the taste.

                  I have to make a cake for an advance birthday party tomorrow, and am leaning towards the amaretti torte again as it's so easy. If I do make it, I will use just cream and chocolate for the glaze, avoiding Dorie's sugar water. I toyed with the idea of making the Hermé chestnut pie instead, but who wants pie for their birthday ?

                  1. re: souschef

                    My brother. Pumpkin, no less.

                    Queen of procrastinators here...
                    The rosewater is just for that little soupçon of exoticism, that je ne sais quoi. I don't want it to taste of rose, just to have the rose whispering away in the background. Like the Berthillon sorbet of fond memory.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      I suspect that there are many people people who want pie for their birthday. My father once asked for a tray of his wife's homemade Nanaimo Bars...

                      1. re: rstuart

                        Hmm. Makes me think...Nanaimo bar cake...how to make? Has any enterprising Canadian baker done a cake riff on the Nanaimo bar?

                        1. re: buttertart

                          Ooh... sounds good. I'd be surprised if there wasn't.. I'll have to turn to my friend google..

                            1. re: buttertart

                              Canadian Living website has a namaimo bar ice cream cake....mmm...

                              1. re: foodie_guru

                                Yes.. that looks good! Also found a few nanaimo bar cheesecake recipes, and the most promising is a nanaimo bar cupcake recipe from a Canadian blog..

                                Hmm... someone should really try it and report back!

                                1. re: rstuart

                                  This is fun! You could make a cake of the cupcake recipe.
                                  That's what I love about these threads - collaboration and inspiration!

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    I know! Will have to add it to my increasing list of recipes to try.. at this point, I fear I could bake something new for the next year and still not through all of the clipped/bookmarked/printed recipes that "look so good"..

                                    1. re: rstuart

                                      Join the club! And then I go and make something I've made a million times before.

                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        But they're the ones that everyone wants!

                                        1. re: rstuart

                                          Ain't that the truth, However, I'm really glad I made your biscotti. They were wonderful.

                    2. re: souschef

                      I remembered that the birthday girl does not eat chocolate after dark (something about gremlins), so a birthday pie it was - the Pierre Hermé chestnut pie, the link to which was provided to us by that wonderful baker Buttertart.


                      I don't enjoy working together eggs and butter with a wooden spoon, so I made the crust in the food processor; it worked great. I was amazed at how soft the dough was, even after an hour in the 'fridge.

                      I used a 9.5-inch pan. Pressing the dough into the pan - what a concept! I liked it, but was concerned I would get a crust of uneven thickness. As it turned out it was fairly even, though I would have liked it thinner on the bottom, and I didn't press it enough into the corner, as seen in the picture.

                      I tasted a chestnut after cooking them in the butter/sugar mixture, and it seemed a bit rubbery to me. I think I should have let the sugar caramelise.

                      I used 250gm of chestnuts instead of 300gm, as that's what each vacuum pack contained. I chopped them all and put them on the bottom instead of leaving some whole as I did not want a rustic look.

                      Working chestnut purée by hand requires the arm of Hercules, so I used the food processor (I'm a mere mortal). It all went well until I added the eggs; then it separated. In the future I will add the eggs by hand. I used the separated batter all the same; the finished product did not look bad. In retrospect it would have recombined into a smooth batter had I poured some cholcolate in (next time?).

                      The amount of batter was just right. After baking the required 20 minutes the pie was still very liquid; I had to bake it an additional 20 minutes. 

                      Comments on the pie: I thought it was not chestnutty enough; something was missing - I think it needed more salt in the filling. Everyone else enjoyed it, remarking that it was just right as it was not too sweet, but I would have liked it a bit sweeter; more crème de marrons and less purée the next time. I have tons of both left over, so the next time will be soon.

                      Sorry for the mediocre iPhone picture of the slice.

                        1. re: souschef

                          I made mine in a 10" pan and everything was accordingly thinner - it made a gorgeous tart in its attractively beige way with little chestnut bumps dotted over the surface. You might want to think about using some of the Turkish candied chestnuts instead of the plain ones in it. I think I fudged the purée/crème de marrons proportions since I had more of the latter, so it was definitely sweet.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            No fair! You tweaked the recipe but didn't tell me :(

                            I have not seen Turkish candied chestnuts anywhere here, but then I've not looked for them specifically. I may well try the "confisage" process of marrons glacés on the already-cooked ones that I have, and use them.

                            BTW crème de marrons contains déchets de marrons glacés.

                            How did your belated birthday cake turn out?

                            1. re: souschef

                              Still belated, I barely went into the kitchen all weekend. About halfway back to human today.

                              Previous discussion on the tart, but I don't mention having rejiggered. Memory is dim. I may not have. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/520620

                              More fun for chestnut nuts:


                              http://turkishdelightusa.com/ - Kafkas brand is the best, other ones are very good however. A kilo box of individually-wrapped Kafkas ones was brought to our office a while back (direct from Turkey, haven't seen its like here) and disappeared (save for the 5 I have squirrelled away) within a day.

                              http://www.notquitenigella.com/2008/0... just for fun

                              1. re: buttertart

                                So I'm in co-possession of a kind of special jar of about 20 chestnuts preserved in excellent honey. Serving suggestions? Things I can do with them other than serve them straight up? I know nothing about preserved chestnuts, although I've been following the discussions on these boards with interest.

                                1. re: THewat

                                  I would serve them with vanilla ice cream. Yes, I know, unimaginative.

                                  1. re: souschef

                                    I would too, anything else would be a waste.

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      Thanks to each of you. What about with Fromage Frais?

                                      1. re: THewat

                                        That would also be wonderful, as long as the cheese wasn't too tart.
                                        Where are they from? Italy?

                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          Yes, Piedmont, made by a woman named Cantine Ascheri. They're all packed in nicely with acacia honey.

                                          1. re: THewat

                                            Bet they're gorgeous. Hmm, maybe ricotta salata as a counterpoint?
                                            (Good thing it's acacia honey, i have some chestnut and it is just plain weird. Not sure if it's it, me, or a bad do of it.)

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              It's not just you. I got gifted some chestnut honey and only tried it once. I'm still trying to figure it out. Chestnut honey tastes like ___________. I still can't finish that sentence.

                                              1. re: maplesugar

                                                Those weird pink and orange plastic rulers we used to have when I was little, melted, would taste.

                                            2. re: THewat

                                              Serving suggestion - send them to me ;)

                                              1. re: souschef

                                                And you'll split them and send some to me, right?

                      1. I'm the one that is being baked in this insufferable heat. I won't be doing any baking until the daily high temps around 60 Fahrenheit. Then it will be le focacce, le pizze, e le ciabatte (all are plural words).

                        1. salted oatmeal cookie dough chilling: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/re...

                          I've got a leg of lamb marinating & made some mint jelly today, in preparation for my father's birthday party tomorrow. I know zip about lamb, so a blessed chef-friend has talked me much of the way through.

                          I was supposed to get peaches to go with a cake my sister is making, but blew it & nothing I could find today will be ripe tomorrow. I've just learned that the cake will be chocolate, from a gluten-free mix. Any thoughts on what I might be able to pull together that would be a) nice with lamb, b) a little celebratory and c) non-competing with the cake that's already coming - if ya know what I mean. I have two boxes of figs that will be mostly ripe...

                          9 Replies
                            1. re: THewat

                              The grilled ones or figs poached in Sauternes or other sweet wine? Figs are brilliant with chocolate - much better than peaches (and go well with lamb). As much as I love peaches.

                              1. re: buttertart

                                I like that idea. Thanks. And Happy birthday. Sorry to hear about the missing raspberries - may the next batch be more delicious than the first. :-)

                                1. re: THewat

                                  Thank you. One of those GRR how did I do that moments!

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    Poached figs a hit. Dad had seconds. And I ended up with some dynamite reduced poaching liquid to take home. Score.

                                    1. re: THewat

                                      I hear poaching liquid makes good sorbet.

                                      1. re: souschef

                                        I bet it does. I want to roll around in this stuff - it's just port & sugar flavored with peppercorns, vanilla & lemon peel. And fig. I clearly don't poach nearly enough.

                                        1. re: THewat

                                          Ooh, yum. Just had to say that. The sorbet sounds like a fabulous idea. Glad the idea went over big!

                                          1. re: THewat

                                            "I want to roll around in this stuff "

                                            Too much information !!!

                              2. I made cupcakes, on a whim. I had 8 egg yolks left over from another project and made lemon curd, then thought about filling lemon cupcakes with that (although that is more spring-y than what probably suits this sweltering August weather where I live). After a *disastrous* attempt yesterday (new recipe and heck who's to say it wasn't my fault), I started over today and it went well. Moist yellow cake (with whites beaten separately and folded in to prevent the weird rubber balls I got yesterday) with just a bit of lemon curd inside...but the frosting! It blended cream cheese, powdered sugar, and lemon curd, and then you fold in whipped cream...the result was light and rich at the same time with just enough lemon. Now I am imagining its use in other applications...with other flavors.
                                Right now, though, I'm making swirled chocolate chip cookies because my son asked me to (he was not impressed by the lemon curd).

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: auburnselkie

                                  Those cupcakes sound great, and the frosting...yum!
                                  How is a chocolate chip cookie swirled?

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    I found out by accident about the cookie...if you make a browned butter cookie and the dough is still warm when you add the chips, they start to melt as you stir them in. I thought that was neat, so now I zap the dough in the microwave for 20 seconds or so before stirring in the chips to heighten the effect. You end up with streaks of chocolate rather than bits, and the cookies look swirled. Now it's the only cc cookie my family wants.

                                    1. re: auburnselkie

                                      I like that! I bet my non-cc-loving husband would like that too.

                                  2. Jordon Marsh Blueberry muffins

                                    1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUTTERTART !!!

                                      I hope your baker delivers on that cake :)

                                      We need pictures!

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: souschef

                                        Thank you dear souschef!
                                        My inner baker is mad at herself because she left the raspberries for the cake at some point on her route home last night, and more are not immediately procurable. So she's sulking and won't make the cake until tomorrow.
                                        Pics will be forthcoming.

                                        1. re: souschef

                                          Oh, happy birthday! Is everyone going to bake a cake in your honor today?


                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                            Thank you! That would be supercalifragilistic.

                                        2. I don't know yet but it is going to involve the Lemon Curd I made. Maybe Nigella's Lemon Meringue Cake?

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. Triple-layer carrot cake (with spiced pecans) and cream cheese frosting.

                                            1. This morning I had to whip up something quickly to bring to a friend's brunch. Ended up going for Caitlin McGrath's cream scones. The recipe I have (below) was written up by another hound. I added diced dried mission figs, a teaspoonful of vanilla bean paste, and several good shakes of dried ginger. They were great---very tender.

                                              "I love these cream scones posted by chowhound Caitlin McGrath:
                                              2 cups all-purpose flour
                                              1/4 cup sugar
                                              1 Tablespoon baking powder
                                              1/2 teaspoon salt
                                              1-1/4 cups heavy cream
                                              Preheat oven to 425°F
                                              Sift dry ingredients together and then stir in your choice of currants, finely diced crystallized ginger, mini chocolate chips, dried cranberries, orange zest, chopped and toasted nuts... I like dried pear and hazlenuts.
                                              from Caitlin: "Pour in 1 1/4 cups cream and stir to incorporate all the flour mixture. If you can't incorporate all the flour in 10-15 strokes, drizzle in a bit more cream (I often need about a T extra). Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead gently once or twice to bring together. Pat into a half-inch thick round, and cut into wedges with a floured knife, or cut with a floured biscuit cutter. (This will make 8 or so 3-inch round scones or around 15 2-inch round.) Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat, and bake until just golden and firm on top, about 15 minutes ".
                                              Resist the urge to eat the scones hot out of the oven. Letting them cool for at least 10 minutes firms them up and improves their texture."

                                              Recently, I also made cherry clafoutis using another CH recipe: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4153...

                                              Added a smidge of almond extract but followed the recipe otherwise. This was quite good, too! I preferred it cold, when it had a more cheesecakey texture and flavor.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                                James Beard has a recipe for baking powder biscuits made with cream and no butter or other shortening. You just use the usual dry ingredients and enough cream to get it to biscuit dough consistency. Good with plain old cream and the ones I made with slightly soured raw Jersey cream from a friend of my father's farm - years and years ago - are still some of the most delicious baked goods I've ever had or made.
                                                Have only made clafoutis once and didn't like it very much.

                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  Your note about slightly soured cream has me wondering whether sour cream (full-fat) could be substituted for the cream.

                                              2. I wanted to make some scones one day and sitting on the kitchen couter was a package of Trader Joe's Chocolate Covered Orange Stick candies. The filling is an orange flavored gel.

                                                A light bulb came on and I created this recipe. These are really good and my family has requested these on many occasions.

                                                Vanilla Scones with bits of Chocolate Orange Sticks

                                                I came up this recipe and made these one morning (in a toaster oven, because of the hot weather) and boy are these good with coffee!

                                                These vanilla scones have a sweet orange, chocolate and slight vanilla flavor.
                                                For those that don't know, a scone is just a biscuit with sweet things added like sugar, vanilla, dried fruit, chocolate, etc.

                                                During mixing, the chocolate coating separates from the orange gel
                                                center of the cut-up orange sticks. Small bits of chocolate coating
                                                are distributed throughout the scone along with the larger orange gel bits.

                                                3 cups all-purpose flour
                                                4 teaspoons baking powder
                                                1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                1/3 cup vanilla sugar*
                                                4 tablespoons cold butter
                                                2 tablespoons cold solid shortening
                                                3/4 cup milk
                                                1 egg, beaten into milk
                                                8 Trader Joe's Chocolate Covered Orange Sticks (any orange stick brand ok)

                                                Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
                                                In a mixer bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
                                                Using mixer, cut in the cold butter and cold shortening until mix is reduced to fine crumbs.

                                                Divide the 8 Trader Joe's Chocolate Orange sticks into 8 pieces each and add to dry ingredients. Mix well.

                                                In a cup, beat the egg into the milk and stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients with a rubber spatula.
                                                Mix with rubber spatula just until ingredients come together.

                                                In the bottom of the bowl, knead the dough with your hands until it comes together and has no dry spots.
                                                Add a little flour if its too sticky, but keep the dough moist and not crumbly. It should hold together.

                                                Divide dough into 1/3 cup (for 9 large scones) or 1/4 cup (for 12 medium scones) portions.
                                                Shape each scone into triange or ball and place 2-inches apart on a non-stick baking sheet.

                                                Bake 18- to 22-minutes until tops are golden brown and centers are done.

                                                Serve warm with butter.

                                                *If you don't have vanilla sugar, use regular granulated sugar and add 3/4 tsp of vanilla
                                                extract to the milk and egg mixture.

                                                Makes 9 large or 12 medium scones.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Antilope

                                                  They sound very good. I have been intending to make a Reine de Saba cake with walnuts and small pieces of candied orange peel in it at the holidays - I think these orange sticks would even be nicer and would make it a less "holiday" cake. Could use Grand Marnier or even OJ in the glaze (love orange and chocolate together).

                                                2. It was cool enough when I got up this morning for me to consider baking. Some of my son's friends are coming by later today, so he asked if I would make some cupcakes. I decided to try out Malgieri's recipe for chocolate cupcakes from Modern Baker, and I am extremely pleased with this recipe. First off, it is very easy to make since all you need are two bowls and a whisk. No need to hump the mixer out of the closet for this recipe, and I like that for an impromptu batch of cupcakes. The results are also very delicious and exceedingly moist. Another winner from Mr. Malgieri!

                                                  5 Replies
                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                      This looks like it's the recipe; is it correct? http://thecookiescoop.blogspot.com/20...

                                                      ETA: I see he has a variation on Greenspan's chocolate amaretti torte in the Modern Baker; fewer amaretti, not quite flourless, and uses a mixer rather than just the food processor. If I want a larger version, I think I'll just use souschef's method of using 1.5x the Greenspan recipe.


                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                        I actually used 2x the Greenspan recipe.

                                                        You have to use the food processor to grind the amaretti, so I prefer to just stick with it. I like Buttertart's philosophy - the fewer the dishes to clean up the better.

                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                          Ah, thank you, 2x! Yes, that's my philosophy, and I regularly consolodate or otherwise juggle to avoid dirtying an extra bowl or pan when it makes sense.

                                                        2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                          Yes, CM, that is the cupcake recipe I used from Modern Baker. It was so quick and easy, and I think would be even better with the cooked flour frosting than the confectioner's frosting shown here, and which I did use...

                                                      2. I'm trying (repeatedly) to recreate Kayak's Chunky Chocolate Pecan Salty Oat cookie. I just bumped an ancient thread about them here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4068...

                                                        1. Anyone here ever made the dish known as a Dutch Baby? Is it more dessert like or more for breakfast? I know it is a member of the pancake family. I'm making that soon and Tortilla de patatas.

                                                          7 Replies
                                                          1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                            I've made them for breakfast (topped with sugar and lemon juice). You can make them with apples for a dessert or breakfast. They're only good hot so would be best in cool weather if for a dessert. Basically they're a slightly sweetened Yorkshire pudding.

                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              My mother made those a few times when I was a kid..have to be eaten right away.. On of my favorite restaurants when I was a kid (the Pancake House in Winnipeg) made them with apples. I always order the "baby apple" and was never able to finish it...

                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                Good to know. I guess I didn't think about it needing to be eaten right away as I planned it to be a meal for myself and my wife.. may need to reconsider, but it seemed quick and easy.

                                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                  It makes a very nice brunch dish. Definitely a meal for two, hot.

                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                    Just in time for the weekend ;-) and a nice sized All Clad.

                                                                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                        I seem to recall it deflating when it cooled down. I also think that when my mother made it, we never had any left over to see how it was cold!

                                                              2. Boston Cream Pie cupcakes for A's 10th birthday. At the moment have a bunch of eggs and milk warming to room temp and I'm totally conflicted.

                                                                - can I make a sponge cake in cupcake form?
                                                                - which sponge cake recipe?

                                                                I've read the most recent Boston Cream Pie thread and Martha Stewart's recipe didn't get raves. Advice please?!

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: maplesugar

                                                                  I'm sorry, I've almost never made a spongecake - others? I don't see why any cake batter couldn't be baked in cupcake form, though.

                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                    Decided to go with a full size cake - although Joy's baking instructions left me a bit in the lurch. ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/804054 )Glad I did choose to go big since it meant lining two pans with parchment and not cut out and line 20+ cupcake cavities.

                                                                    To backtrack a bit... after Dear daughter requested Boston Cream Pie for her birthday cake I started out reading http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/760141 and thought I'd give the Yankee Magazine recipe a go. Well, after an initial failure with the pastry cream recipe from http://www.yankeemagazine.com/recipes... I followed never-lets-me-down Alice Waters' The Art Of Simple Food's pastry cream, consulted Joy for the cake and followed the glaze from http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2011/02...

                                                                    Even with the less than stellar start to my adventures in Boston Cream Pie I'm thinking it's too bad I didn't make two... because then there'd be some left for me to get in to now that the kids are asleep.

                                                                2. Well hello there to all my fellow baking belles and beaux in the path of Irene, here's hoping for the best possible outcome - I'm making bread and cookies in an attempt to unfray my nerves a bit.

                                                                  9 Replies
                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                    Make that bread (Beard on Bread buttermilk) and (belated bday) cake -

                                                                    1975 JOC p. 689 "Meringue Cream Tart Cockaigne" (why tart I dunno, it's a cake) (and now I know why I have a hard time finding the recipe every time, it's not called a Blitztorte).

                                                                    This is a beautiful and easily-made cake, sort of a shortcut Zuger Kirschtorte.

                                                                    It can be filled with anything from lemon curd (straight or cut with mascarpone) to whipped cream to soft fruit or jam. Or ganache if you must.

                                                                    2 8" cake pans, greased (I use PAM). Oven at 325 deg F for 40 mins, more or less.

                                                                    (Melt 3 oz white chocolate and let cool slightly - this was today's innovation, the recipe doesn't call for it.)

                                                                    Separate 4 eggs. Put the yolks to one side.

                                                                    Beat the 4 egg whites stiff with a dash of salt and add 1 c white sugar a bit at a time, beating well, and beat a couple of minutes longer when all the sugar is in. Transfer to large bowl (so you can use the mixer bowl again).

                                                                    Sift cake flour and measure 1 cup. Resift with 1 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt.

                                                                    Beat 1/4 c butter with 1/2 c sugar until fluffy. (I love these older recipes with less butter.)

                                                                    Beat in the egg yolks one by one.

                                                                    Add 1 tsp flavoring, I used half and half vanilla and almond.

                                                                    Beat in the white chocolate.

                                                                    Stir in the flour mix alternately with 5 tb cream.

                                                                    Spread in the 2 pans.

                                                                    Top with the meringue, spreading it gently.

                                                                    Either sprinkle the tops with sliced almonds or stud them all over with slivered ones.

                                                                    Bake as above.

                                                                    Let cool completely in the pans, turn one layer out onto a serving plate, spread it with the filling, and top it with the other.

                                                                    This is especially nice if the filling is juicy and soaks into the cake part.

                                                                    One of the layers -

                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                      This looks completely wonderful. I will definitely be making this.

                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                        I've been making it since the book came out (when I was 6, ha ha).

                                                                      2. re: buttertart

                                                                        That looks so great-I can't wait to make it! Thanks so much for sharing..

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          Looks great buttertart; I now have the white chocolate for it. I'll have to refer to TCB to convert those weird measures, though :)

                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                            The cake after we had at it last night:

                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                It does indeed. Someone had a big piece, haha. No, I know buttertart shares her baked goodies.

                                                                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                  We had some last night, with some sweetish Spanish bubbly, before hitting the sack (happily Irene wasn't as much of a bitch as expected, and we haven't lost power).

                                                                        2. Hurricane baking: croissants, both plain and chocolate

                                                                          1. I will be making a cake for a milestone birthday tomorrow, and was thinking of two Dorie Greenspan amaretti tortes  sandwiched and covered with Amaretto buttercream (RLB recipe, of course). The tortes would each be a double recipe made in a 9.5" pan (instead of an 11" pan) as I want thicker layers. Comments?

                                                                            Yesterday was chocolate day. I was in Montreal, and needed to stock up on Felchlin chocolate. After a great milkshake in the store I did some tasting - 65% Maracaibo, 64% Madagascar, 68% Bolivia, and a 71% (can't remember the provenance). My favourite is still the Bolivia.

                                                                            The store owner commented on how good the Felchlin white was, so I tried a couple of callets, and was bowled over; it was incredible. I normally dislike white chocolate; this one I loved. It was $27 per kilo; I bought some, and will be using it to make a RLB buttercream. Buttertart, I now know why you like white, but you haven't (yet) tasted Felchlin white!

                                                                            At the Léonidas store I bought some chocolate-covered blueberries made locally by Trappist Monks. I have not tasted them yet, but I have before. Delectable!

                                                                            I also made a stop at Le Maitre Chocolatier; great, as always !

                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                              I'm not a fan of white chocolate either, souschef, so I am intrigued by the Felchlin.

                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                Must get some of that stuff. Sounds heavenly.

                                                                                I love the Léonidas white chocolate Manon Blanc and Manon Café Blanc. I've also had a dark chocolate with Charentais melon (seasonal) and a white chocolate marzipan with a whole walnut on top that are killer too, but I think those aren't exported.

                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                  Buttertart, I don't think that you can get the blueberries at Leonidas in NJ as they are made in Quebec; Leonidas just carries them on the side. There are no Trappist Monks in NJ, just sinners !

                                                                                  I thought about sending you a dozen boxes, but it says "Keep Refrigerated" on the box, and in this heat they would not last :(

                                                                                2. re: souschef

                                                                                  Here's a picture of the cake. As you can see, I am no expert when it comes to applying buttercream or writing with chocolate. In any case, the results were delicious; the combination of the amaretti torte and the amaretto buttercream was great. Everyone loved it, and took leftovers home. It would easily serve 20 (small slices as it's very rich).

                                                                                  It was a long process. I was out of amaretti, so had to make some. It's trivial to make the torte, but when you quadruple the ingredeints it's not so trivial.

                                                                                  This cake is so crumbly on the sides that you absolutely HAVE to crumb coat it first.

                                                                                  I made RLB's Neoclassic buttercream from TCB. It's easier than the Classic version as you don't have to futz with a thermometer or deal with crystallization. The texture is great for spreading and piping. I'm going to stick with this in the future. I used 3 tbsp of Amaretto liqueur.

                                                                                  When my wife tasted the buttercream she asked if I had put some Felchlin white into it. I had not, but it got me thinking that it would be interesting to do so, but to offset the sweetness by using in the cake a chocolate with a higher percentage of cocoa, say 85% instead of the Felchlin Bolivia 68% that I used.

                                                                                  A definite repeat. Y'all, I got a kick out of using 2 lb of butter in one cake. Now if only I had brought home a piece of leftover cake for me, but then I know the baker, so can get some more :)

                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                    That looks beautiful!

                                                                                    Two lbs of butter ... wow (I have no objection to butter, it's just seeing the number that made me pause.)

                                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                      But you don't eat something with that much butter every day. I think that this was the very first time that I used that much butter in any cake.

                                                                                    2. re: souschef

                                                                                      Looks gorgeous, I want a small slice, please.

                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                        It was messy when it came to slicing, because the torte is not supposed to be stacked. I think that when I make it again it will be in just a single layer.

                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                          You'd be better off. Please make MY cake, it may look a little sloppy but it is damn good.

                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                            Yes ma'am, I do intend to make it. I love almonds and meringue.

                                                                                            BTW I once worked with a guy who hated almonds. For some reason unknown to me we all called him "meathead".

                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                              Because he didn't love almonds, or because of "All In The Family"?

                                                                                  2. As usual, my Egyptian guests quietly clamor for chocolate chip cookies when there are none, but my son likes other cookies better. Yesterday, I made something for everybody. I decided to try a different chocolate chip recipe, so I turned to the one on kingarthurflour.com. The main differences were that it used half butter and half shortening, had a touch of almond extract, and also a teaspoon of vinegar. These were crispier than my usual, and the consensus was that I should go back to the other recipe for the next outing. They'll all eat them, but no one was jumping up and down. The other cookie was also from King Arthur Flour's website, and it was a basic vanilla drop cookie that is rolled in sugar before baking. I added a little cinnamon to the sugar, and these cookies were a big hit.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                      I'd like those vanilla cookies (sans cinnamon) but "just plain vanilla" is not the primary cookie eater's favorite.

                                                                                    2. Since I had a few bananas getting ready to explode it seems, I now have a banana bread with walnuts baking in the oven. Hopefully, that will be received more enthusiastically than the poor bananas were!

                                                                                      1. Banana-sour cream streusel coffee cake (but with Greek yogurt and reg yogurt instead). Good but very moist and a little tarter/less sweet than I'd prefer.

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                          That sounds great.. do you have a recipe?
                                                                                          I made the Bon Appetit browned-butter raspberry tart on the week-end (found via the always reliable smitten kitchen). Surprisingly easy, very popular..

                                                                                          1. re: rstuart

                                                                                            Your tart sounds delicious!

                                                                                            I used this recipe as a base: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/1924...
                                                                                            I added three bananas--two would have been better as it almost too moist in the end, but for some reason I really wanted to use up the last fading banana right then--and then used mostly Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and ginger instead of cardomom.

                                                                                            1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                              Yum.. my freezer is full of sad black bananas.. it's always good to add to my banana recipe stash. Love the greek yogourt sub too..

                                                                                        2. I made a pre-Irene batch of brownies on Saturday - and unfortunately I decided to give a Ghirardelli mix a go, after reading great reviews on some of the long "best brownies ever" threads. They were ok, but definitely not great and not even the best brownies I've made from a box. Too sweet, not chocolatey enough, and the texture was a bit on the cakey side even though I baked them a good 5 mins less than the box indicated. DH didn't mind though - there aren't any left!

                                                                                          1. been doing a lot of baking for a variety of reasons...
                                                                                            for my non-dairy people-
                                                                                            fudgy/chewy brownies
                                                                                            thick and chewy PB choc chip cookies

                                                                                            tried a new chewy brownie recipe that i was kind of non-plussed by upon mixing, and dreadfully disappointed upon cutting and serving

                                                                                            parmesan custards
                                                                                            an awesome baked mac'n'cheese
                                                                                            sourdough baguettes - i am still having issues getting these to bake up right in terms of shape, and i suck at slashing

                                                                                            choc chip cookies - modifying my personal recipe that i've honed to produce an almost meringue-like crackly crust

                                                                                            browned butter ice cream ...okay so that wasn't baked

                                                                                            cheesecake cookies
                                                                                            key lime white choc garam masala cookies (these need a name)
                                                                                            cocoa espresso cinnamon cookies

                                                                                            later this week, soft pretzels and some other fun stuff i've yet to nail down...

                                                                                            love being inspired by everyone else in this thread! thanks!

                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Emme

                                                                                              Jeepers, Emme, you put us all to shame!
                                                                                              Can you share your pb choc chip recipe, or is it one of your own by feel ones?

                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                unfortunately yes... earth balance, a little skippy, mostly freshly ground pb, brown sugar, white sugar, baking soda, salt, bread flour, a little all purpose, egg, salt... always finish with fleur de sel before baking... and the semi-sweet chips of course.... i'll try and measure next time.

                                                                                                and shame? are you kidding me? these are simple things... i endeavor to do caneles, but i bow to those who have really put the baking miles in...

                                                                                                1. re: Emme

                                                                                                  And why should you not do canéles? Buttertart has really put the baking miles in (she has worn out more sneakers than I have), but she very adroitly sidesteps the question every time I ask her when she's going to make canéles.

                                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                                    A. No molds (...).

                                                                                                    B. Only 2 in the house to eat them and they don't keep.

                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                      A. No molds... i keep side-stepping them at Surfa's
                                                                                                      B. No wax...
                                                                                                      C. Fear mine will come out horribly...

                                                                                                      ...i did digest all of those painstaking threads from a while ago... i'll have to go back for a re-read, and some motivation...

                                                                                                      1. re: Emme

                                                                                                        Send me an address and I will send you wax.
                                                                                                        That's one obstacle out of the way.

                                                                                                        As far as fear is concerned, "Feel the fear and do it anyway" comes to mind.
                                                                                                        That's another obstacle out of the way.

                                                                                                        Can't help you on the molds.

                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                          where do you get your wax? are you a beekeeper in the daylight? :) alright, i'll take the plunge...

                                                                                                          1. re: Emme

                                                                                                            I get my wax at a farmer's market. The closest I get to a bee is the first initial in my name.

                                                                                                            Please update us about your progress. The cheapest place to get copper molds is JB Prince.

                                                                                              2. I doubt I'll have the time or energy for all of these but I plan to make David Lebovitz's Lemon Semifreddo Cake, Queen Victoria Cake (via Saveur) and though not baking I plan to make mochi this weekend.

                                                                                                1. I made some peanut butter cookies Monday. I'm not much of a baker, though.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: danbuter

                                                                                                    All it takes is doing it more to catch the bug.

                                                                                                  2. Birthday cake for my two year old! Chocolate cake with whipped chocolate ganache filling and neoclassic buttercream; fondant decorations all around the cake. I also made a small gluten free cake (from a mix!) with the same filling and frosting for his gluten free friends.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: milklady

                                                                                                      Like. No, love! Happy birthday to your little one.

                                                                                                      1. re: milklady

                                                                                                        LOVE all the way around! You did a kickass job with the fondant! You even captured that rather annoyed look that Bert always seems to have. :) I like how you customized the Sesame Street sign, too. "Sunny day" to you and the b'day boy! No one has to tell YOU how to get to Sesame Street!

                                                                                                      2. Here it is September 1...and here is our new thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/804916
                                                                                                        Come on over, the oven's preheating!