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What are you baking these days? September 2011, part 2 [old]

Here it is 9/15 and cooool weather is sneaking our way at long last. Can't wait to get into a cool bed (after spending some time in a warm kitchen, of course)! Hope things are shaping up to your liking in your little corner of the world too.
And...what ARE you baking these days?

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  1. I just pulled an Apple Cake out of the oven. It's cooling on the counter, and suddenly the kitchen smells like autumn. This is one cake that has to be cooled completely in the pan, and every time I make it, I am thankful for Wilton Cake Release. Getting it out of the bundt pan used to be an iffy thing before I discovered the cake release.

    In case anyone is interested in a super easy, delicious apple cake, here is the recipe:

    APPLE CAKE

    Pare and slice thinly 6 small Macintosh apples and mix with ¼ cup cinnamon sugar (do not use any other apple types). Set aside. Butter and flour a bundt pan extremely thoroughly, or use a tube (angel food) pan. (I find the Wilton easy release mixture works very, very well. Heat oven to 350 degrees
    (I make this batter in a single bowl using a whisk. Easy clean up!)
    -Beat 4 large eggs and add 1 ¾ cups of sugar
    Add in:
    -1 cup vegetable oil
    -¼ cup of orange juice
    -1 teaspoon of vanilla
    Then mix in:
    -3 cups of flour
    -3 teaspoons baking powder
    -½ teaspoon of salt.

    Use a little less that one third of the batter and drop by spoonfuls on the bottom of the prepared pan. It should just cover the bottom of the pan. Distribute ½ of the apples over that, and use just enough of the batter to cover the apples. Repeat with the remaining batter/apples, ending with a layer of batter. This batter is very sticky and is best dropped by small spoonfuls over the apples since it doesn’t flow.
    Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
    Let cool completely in the pan before removing, otherwise it is liable to fall apart. Dust well with confectioner’s sugar. This cake improves with age and is best the next day – or even the day after!

    27 Replies
    1. re: roxlet

      Where did you get your Macs? My farmer's market doesn't have them yet. I will make this soon.

      1. re: buttertart

        I got them from Stop and Shop. They had little paper bags of them from NY State orchards.

         
        1. re: roxlet

          Gorgeous. I love those little paper totes, so old-fashioned.

          1. re: buttertart

            Hmm... only Macs work? Looks like a good recipe.. will have to try it.
            I just bought some apples from the farmer's market in a paper bag marked "1/2 Peck".. so much for the metric system!

            1. re: rstuart

              Ontario ones? No metric mark at all?

              1. re: buttertart

                Yep... from an Ontario orchard... and I'll just bought a 3 L basket of peaches, too!

                1. re: rstuart

                  What type? Elbertas? You're killing me with my home peaches.

                  On apples - have you ever seen a Lobo apple "up there"? They're fairly big and kind of squashed-looking (not very tall). An early September apple. Terrific for eating.
                  (PS I'm from London, ON originally and went to UofT.)

                  1. re: buttertart

                    Trying to remember.. think red havens? Excellent freestones.. basket was $6.. probably had 12 or 13 giant peaches. I don't think that I've seen Lobos.. my favourite apple stand at the market has had Galas, Gingergold, Honey Crisps (my favorite).. some Jonogold... think some Macs...
                    I live and work close to U of T.. grew up in Wpg.
                    where are you now?

                    1. re: rstuart

                      If they are huge and mainly yellow, they're likely Elbertas. Red Havens are usually earlier.
                      I'm in NJ now, have lived in a number of places in the States for a long time (peril of meeting an American at UofT)...

                    2. re: buttertart

                      Reminds me, BT, I have a BIL who owns an apple orchard just South of Montreal. I should visit him and pick up some Lobos and Honey Crisps (my favourite), free of course.

                      Back to baking: I intend to make Cynsa's Arizmendi sour cherry scones this weekend. As I predicted, she has already made them, and is pleased with the results. However, I plan to use raisins instead of sour cherries; life is too short to eat sour anything.....except maybe tamarind.

                      On the subject of scones, I have some Devon cream, in a jar from England, and on the jar it says that it should be consumed within 5 days of opening. 5 days seems very short. Does anyone have any idea why ? How much longer can I go safely?

                      1. re: souschef

                        So somebody else knows about Lobos? Hurray. They were always a back-to-school treat, like blue grapes. I'd love to get my mitts on some.

                        Devon cream is cooked, so I'd think it could go a bit longer than that, myself.

                        1. re: buttertart

                          I have some Devon cream that is 2 weeks old. Would you risk it? If I try it and perish, I'll leave you my favourite conical sieve and digital scale.

                          1. re: souschef

                            Me? Yeah. I always use stuff way past date if it smells ok, isn't discoloured, and isn't moving on its own.

                          2. re: buttertart

                            I'm going to ask the apple guys about them this week at the farmer's market. I'd like to try the Dorie Greenspan recipe "Marie-Helene's Cake" from her newest cookbook... wondered if anyone else had tried it??

                            1. re: rstuart

                              I think there was a thread for the cookbook, and I remember reading several CHers comments on the recipe, which were positive as I recall.

                              1. re: rstuart

                                Here are a bunch of posts about Marie-Helene's Apple Cake. Be sure to read downward from each as they all have replies from more posters who baked the cake.

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7758...

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7758...

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7313...

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7313...

                            2. re: souschef

                              I grew up going picking at Marlin's apple orchard. I just read that they've expanded. I really ought to take the kids for a visit.

                              Roxlet the apple cake looks fantastic! Definitely a chill in the air now so I'll be making this asap. Thanks for sharing :)

                              1. re: maplesugar

                                It was my son's preferred cake for his birthday! I remember making one to bring to his kindergarden class when he turned 6. He's almost 16 now, and he still asks me to make this cake as soon as the fall apples are out.

                      2. re: rstuart

                        You want an apple that kind of breaks down. Though the Macs keep their shape, there is something sauce-like about the texture. I guess that if I couldn't find macs, I might try cooking the apples a bit first until they break down a bit. What you don't want is any kind of crunch or overly solid feel. he apple should be extremely soft, which is why Macs work.

                        1. re: roxlet

                          That makes sense. I'll keep it in mind if I try it. As always, too many good recipes, not enough time!

                2. re: roxlet

                  I just made raspberry-filled chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, a riff on the PB & J combo. My cupcakes were professional looking but a bit staid looking (light brown frosting with a chocolate drizzle across them). They sat next to a cupcake that had pink frosting with a raspberry stuck in the middle. Everyone was buying those. Then someone found out I made the PB & J cupcakes and bought one. Within the hour everyone was raving about mine. Someone even came back and bought 5 to share with his coworkers. Just goes to show you you can't judge a cupcake by it's "cover."

                  I'm planning a pumpkin cupcake next. Maybe with a cinnamon-cream cheese frosting. Still deciding on if I want to fill them.

                  1. re: ttoommyy

                    Please tell me you didn't use a mix HA HA HA...

                    1. re: buttertart

                      I just KNEW you would chime in buttertart! :)

                      1. re: ttoommyy

                        We're all in this together, mister.

                  2. re: roxlet

                    "This is one cake that has to be cooled completely in the pan, and every time I make it, I am thankful for Wilton Cake Release. Getting it out of the bundt pan used to be an iffy thing before I discovered the cake release."

                    Speaking of cake release, you can make your own. Mix equal parts veg shortening, veg oil and flour. Whisk well and keep in an airtight container in a cool dark cupboard for at least a few weeks. Works every time.

                    1. re: ttoommyy

                      Yes, but I'm lazy and happy to pay 3.29 to have Wilton make it for me! Plus it lasts indefinitely in the pantry closet and I don't have to worry about wondering what's in that container in that cool, dark cupboard!

                  3. I made David Lebovitz's "Whole Lemon Bars" this morning and everyone who had it raved about it! It made me look like an excellent baker! (although I overbaked the filling hahaha but it still went down well!)

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: buttertart

                        Here's David's recipe:

                        http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2011/02/...

                        Chunks of lemon, fantastic. I'm always looking for a better lemon bar.

                    1. The cooler weather has brought some energy for baking. More chocolate chip cookies for my Egyptians, who seem to inhale the things. My son doesn't really like them anymore -- I think I've bored him having made them so many times for them! We had a lot of apples hanging around, and rather than making another apple cake, as I did yesterday (the Egyptians apparently like this too -- it's half gone!), I decided to make the first apple pie of the season. I got kind of fancy, and made the top crust out of layered cut out apple shapes made from the pie crust, and then I lightly brushed them with beaten egg white and sprinkled on red sanding sugar. It's it the oven now, and so far, I'm quite happy with how it's baking up.

                      3 Replies
                        1. last night when I got home from work very late, I had a craving for baking a simple cake, so I made the red wine chocolate cake from Smitten Kitchen. It is really good, simple, needs only one bowl, and the wine adds a hint of mystery.. Even better today. I didn't top with confectioner's sugar or with mascarpone whipped cream.
                          http://smittenkitchen.com/2011/09/red...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: magiesmom

                            I had been wondering about that cake.

                            1. re: magiesmom

                              Ooh, intriguing. I definitely need to give this one a try. It's finally starting to cool down here in Phoenix--highs only in the high 90s!!

                            2. It's still hotter than a hubcap in an El Paso parking lot here near San Antonio, TX, but I can't stop baking....just now from my oven pulled two pans of the "knotted rolls" from the latest
                              Fine Cooking mag ( Peter Reinhart recipe) and they are magnificient, if I do say so myself. Easy to mix, easy to form and totally beautiful and delicious. Am taking all 18 of them to a pot luck tonight. I'll report if any are left. Get the mag and make these. You will fall in love.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: amazinc

                                Must get. I love making knotted rolls, they were the only shape I made for the longest time.

                                1. re: amazinc

                                  I think this is the recipe for Reinhart's knotted rolls

                                  http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/kn...

                                  They sure are nicely shaped. It also struck me how simply having 3 different "toppings" (plain and 2 kinds of seeds) makes such an appealing plate.

                                  1. re: blue room

                                    - love these pretty knotted rolls, baked for a potluck meeting last week - none were left because people asked to take them home at the end of the meeting.