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What are you baking these days? February 2012, part deux! [old]

Hi everybody, I'm very tickled the baking thread has gotten so much play this month. For ease of opening and so our scrolling fingers don't get worn to nubs, here's part two...so, what ARE you baking these days?

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  1. While not actual baking I did make chocolate dipped strawberries today.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LEsherick2007

      I made those as well, to my son's absolute delight. I made a bunch on Wednesday when I found some unusually delicious strawberries, and yesterday, when he came home from school, he wanted to know if the chocolate-dipped-strawberry had come again, so I made the rest of the container, which were promptly devoured. I used dark Calebaut caillets, and they made a read difference.

    2. I am baking (stovetop, of course) my first ever batch of English Muffins right now!!!!

      3 Replies
        1. re: THewat

          Not bad....a good start! I relearned that my stove (all of the stoves I've ever had, actually) is hotter than the stoves of those who write recipes!!

          I also relearned that I like some whole grain in my bread products - I like the extra flavor. The muffins are pretty good, though! Thanks for asking!

        2. re: sandylc

          one of my favorite things to make for guests at breakfast/brunch time!

        3. I inaugurated my heritage bundt pan with a saffron almond cake, flavored with saffron and orange zest steeped in hot milk, plus almond paste. The saffron is the chief flavor (though it's nice and mellow), with the almond paste in the background. Bright yellow interior from the saffron. The several saffron fanciers I served it to raved, and all agree that the almond pairs very well. I'm considering the possibility of cutting the butter a bit to bring up the almond paste flavor, plus perhaps the addition of a touch of almond extract, but then, I'm an almond fanatic. Not exactly an inexpensive cake to make, with a good whack of saffron. (And almond paste, which I gather has become quite dear in many markets. I am thankful to be very blessed in the almond paste department.)

          This pan did put the fear of sticking in me, so before I used it I went and bought a bottle of Wilton Cake Release ($3.99 at Michaels, or $2.40 with the 40% off one item coupon from their circular). Cake slipped right out of the pan.

          Then on Valentine's Day, I baked a few dozen quick and easy mini chocolate muffins for my housemate to take to her evening class for their tea break. I added finely chopped dried cherries, but really they were too finely chopped and didn't have much presence.

           
           
           
          5 Replies
          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            That looks lovely, Caitlin. It's such a great pan! Everything I've made so far looks so special.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              Caitlin, How much is a good whack of saffron? I have this much left from a Penzey's purchase.

               
              1. re: blue room

                The recipe is for a 6-cup bundt pan, and calls for 1/2 tsp. saffron. I doubled the recipe, so used 1 tsp. Would still be good with a bit less, too, I'm sure. Let me know if you're interested and I'll post the recipe.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  I see a couple online (maybe the same one twice)

                  http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/almon...

                  or http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/20/din...

                  Are these about right? I do have enough saffron if it takes 1/2 tsp.

                  1. re: blue room

                    Though I got it from a cookbook, the recipe in your links is the same one I used. The amounts in the linked recipe are equivalent to the doubled recipe I made, except for calling for less saffron and milk (I used 1/2 cup milk total). The batter amount in the linked recipe will work in the heritage bundt pan.

            2. Pumpkin muffins. I knew I should have left it at 1/2 cup of pumpkin (just like taking tests--go with your first answer), but NO...I added 3/4 and it altered the consistency of my usual muffins. It's OK, they still taste fine, they're ultra-moist and it's fun to play and practice...and to validate, "Hey, I DO know what the hell I'm talking about!" HA HA. Happy Friday, baking friends!

               
              1. This is my colored Zebra cake I told everyone about in the What are you baking these days? February 2012 Part 1

                 
                 
                 
                1 Reply