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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.
        http://thekitchensinkrecipes.com/2010...
        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...
                              http://www.canadianliving.com/food/na...

                              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..
                                http://www.cccakery.com/2010/07/nanai...

                                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.

                      http://fxcuisine.com/default.asp?Disp...

                      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://www.turkishcookbook.com/2009/1...

                              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?