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What are you baking these days? June 2012 [old]

Well, it's June in the UK and parts east now, so what the heck, here we go with the June thread. Have family visiting this weekend and am thinking lemon meringue pah or maybe tart (anyone have a favorite lemon tart?). More baking will ensue...have some biga that better become bread or may walk out of the fridge under its own steam...how about you? What are you baking these days?

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  1. Lemon, yum. (see now, that will get emails from this thread to me!)

    1. No favourite lemon tart bt but as soon as I read your post, I thought of a lemon curd tart with a anise seed short crust.

      1. My favorite lemon tart is from Richard Sax's Classic Home Desserts. He titles it "The World's Best Lemon Tart (Tarte Au Citron Nezard) and attributes it to Nezard, a patisserie on the Left Bank in Paris near Montparnesse.

        1. There's a great French lemon tart in Saveur. Very easy -- put everything in the shell, and bake. Voila!

          2 Replies
          1. re: roxlet

            Ding ding we have a winner, even easier because I have almond tart pastry in ze freezer.

          2. Just tasted freshly made (couldn't wait for it to cool all of the way) brownies from Ad Hoc at Home. Wow. Made with Cocoa Barry and Ghirardelli 60%. Almost like a souffle. Amazing.

            3 Replies
            1. re: sandylc

              These brownies are ridiculously amazing. My husband has declared that no other brownie recipe shall ever be made in our house again. Do you feel that yours are the tiniest bit greasier than they need to be, though? I was thinking of cutting the amount of butter by a half a stick next time, just to see if it affected them negatively. Mine were practically oozing butter (not that that is a bad thing).

              1. re: biondanonima

                It might work. Even the next day these are so soft as to be custardy. I've wondered if they should be in the fridge.

              2. re: sandylc

                yup - hands down my favorite brownies... haven't made them in awhile so maybe I'll make a batch. I baked a quiche last night but some sweets would be a good idea...

                Thanks for reminding me how yummy they are.

              3. The Pierre Herme/Dorie Greenspan "Most Extraordinary Lemon Cream Tart": http://www.aldenteblog.com/2008/12/th...

                It really is extraordinary - the filling has the most incredible texture. I love lemon curd and really any type of lemon filling but this is so silky, so rich, yet so light - truly wonderful. I use the Dorie Greenspan Pate Sablee crust recipe for a spectacular dessert.

                3 Replies
                1. re: biondanonima

                  I've thought about that one many times but doesn't it have about a pound of butter in it? We just got the last butter extravaganza finished (the praline cake).

                  1. re: buttertart

                    Only 2.5 sticks - not really much at all! :) The filling is a bit dangerous because you would NEVER know there's that much butter in it - the flavor and texture are extremely light and silky, not greasy at all. Worth the calories, IMO.

                2. I went to my first farmers' market of the year, so I am trying to decide what to make with the rhubarb I bought.. next week I'm buying enough to make a blueberry rhubarb maple jam I read about on Serious Eats. This week though I was thinking of either a rhubarb snacking cake from Smitten Kitchen... or maybe one of the rhubarb recipes from "Rustic Fruit Desserts"...they have a number that look good...

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: rstuart

                    the "big crumb" rhubarb coffeecake on smitten kitchen is quite nice, though i prefer a finer textured cake like maida heatter's sour cream coffeecake. i now use her cake and the smitten crumb with the rhubarb in the cake or other fruit and it's delicious.

                    1. re: tastycakes

                      Yes,, I've made the smitten Kitchen recipe before (which i think was originally from the NYT) and really liked it. I just wanted to try something new... that recipe was definitely a keeper though...

                    2. re: rstuart

                      Ah, yes, I was thinking about making that cake this weekend as well. One never finds rhubarb at the FM here but I saw that recipe and saw some decent rhubarb at the grocery store so hopefully tomorrow I'll get it done. A 9x13 pan though - sounds like a lot. Hope to hear how it turns out if you make it.

                      1. re: Bean Counter

                        Oddly enough, I just spoke to my mother last night, who made it last week! She said that it was really good.. I had been thinking of cutting the recipe in half and making it in an 8 x8 pan.. However, I am now leaning towards a recipe that I found for Rhubarb buckle with ginger crumb...

                        1. re: rstuart

                          So I made the rhubarb buckle with ginger crumble (from "rustic Fruit dessert". A very nice everyday buttermilk kind of cake, not too sweet.. the ginger in the crumble gives it a bit of zing. really liked it... seemed to be popular with my colleagues as well..

                          1. re: rstuart

                            Sounds like an excellent choice. I made the smitten kitchen one but with like zest & juice instead of the lemon. I also used all ginger because cinnamon and like sounded weird to me. I liked it but thought the cake was a scoche on the dry side. I did have some syrup left in the rhubarb bowl that I guess I should have poured on. As far as cakes along these lines I like Dorie Greenspan's Italian plum cake the best of the ones I've made.

                            1. re: Bean Counter

                              Ooh... that's good to know. Will keep it in mind for plum season..

                    3. I am making the coconut ice cream from The Last Course. The coconut is infusing in the cream and milk. I will finish making the base today, and will make the ice cream in my new Cuisinart ice cream maker ($24.00 at Costco!!) tomorrow. To go with that, I am planning on making a fresh pineapple upside down cake. I'm still trying to figure out which recipe to use, since I I haven't made this in, oh, say 150 years.

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: roxlet

                        That sounds so good! do you discard the coconut after infusing it? The reason I ask this is because my best coconut cream tart recipe throws away the coconut used in the infusing process, then later adds new toasted coconut - really amazing flavor this way.

                        1. re: sandylc

                          Yes, I just tossed it in the trash. I'm not sure if I will add additional coconut, but probably not. I think with the pineapple upside down cake I'm going to haven enough going on. Maybe a sprinkle for garnish, though. My piña colada concept dessert!

                              1. re: roxlet

                                This reminds me - at a Turkish restaurant last night I had a dessert called "keshcool" that was wonderfully creamy, but was ruined by the coconut garnish. This was one instance where a textural contrast was not necessary.

                                1. re: souschef

                                  I blow hot and cold on coconut, but would not have wanted it there either.

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    The ice cream is very intensely flavored. According to my son, it tastes like coconut cream pie. To keep the pina colada theme going, I might just add some lime peel as a garnish.
                                    For the cake, I used the recipe in the CI Illustrated (red) book. You cook the fresh pineapple in brown sugar, remove it, drain it, and continue cooking the juices until a caramel is formed, then you add in some butter and vanilla, and pour it into a prepared 9" pan. When the pineapple cools, you press it into the caramel, and then top it with the batter. It smells divine. I think that a small piece of cake with a small scoop of ice cream will be in order. Too rich for more than that!

                                      1. re: roxlet

                                        That is SO pretty, kind of reinvents PUC for a new century. I might have to make one...
                                        And coconut ice cream. I like it with toasted sesame seeds in it:)

                                        1. re: gingershelley

                                          Toasted sesame seeds? Doesn't it fight with the coconuttiness?

                              2. re: roxlet

                                the coconut sorbet in that chapter is amaaaaazing - not really sorbet because it uses milk as the base, but it is wonderful.

                                1. re: tastycakes

                                  Have you ever been a midnight baker? Sometimes, late at night, I get the urge to bake. Actually it works out well during the hot days of summer. Last night I baked a batch of Cook's Illustrated Lemon-Anise Biscotti. They are really good with breakfast coffee.

                                  1. re: Antilope

                                    There is definitely an adrenaline rush to midnight baking. I was somewhat glad when I finally got my own apartment so that no one thinks it odd when I bake so late.

                                    This might be 'not-baking' but I needed an emergency 'teen-food' for a group of my students.. and made them this cookie-dough delight:

                                    (that is NOT my website though)

                                    1. re: GraceW

                                      Cookie dough is sooooo good, who ever thought to bake it. ;-)

                              3. Not able to bake due to my living situation, but I would love to have banana walnut bread sometime soon. Reminds me of my childhood - my aunt always made the best, wrapped in wax paper and delivered to our house fresh from the oven.

                                1. I made half a batch of Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies last night to see how they compare to other recipes I've tried. I also made the Kahlua Coffee cake recipe on Bakedbree's website to bring to my brother's when I visit. It smells amazing!! But I did have some trouble with the top of the cake adhering to the pan. Any tips or suggestions on how to make sure the whole cake comes out smoothly? I also made "the best chocolate chip cookie" recipe from another thread on here. And OHMYGOODNESS they are amazing!! I am retiring my Martha Stewart recipe and replacing it with this one.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Redstickchef

                                    We really like Ina's recipe as well Redstickchef. For those of you that are curious, the recipe comes from Ina's "The Barefoot Contessa" cookbook. It's also available here:


                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                      Ina's secret must be a nuclear powered oven. ;-)

                                    2. re: Redstickchef

                                      Yes, those Ina Garten brownies are fantastic! I make the tray and then freeze the rest for later. They are decadent and worth it! Nothing else compares in my book. By the way, what thread did you happen to get that recipe from if you don't mind me asking. I am still on the hunt for a bakery like cookie that is not chewy but cakelike. I recently tried The Best Recipe (an old Cooks Illustrated book) cccookie recipe and you know what, it sucked and I was mad that I wasted good ingredients on it!! The dough still sits in my fridge b/c I don't have the heart to throw it out. Anyone try the cccokie that they make at Chik-fil-a? Those are good and I want to be able to duplicate them.

                                      1. re: chocchipcookie

                                        Chocchipcookie here is the link to the Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe I was refering to earlier:


                                        I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

                                        1. re: Redstickchef

                                          Thank you very much! I will definately give these a try. It is amazing how many thousand different ways one can make a stinkin chocolate chip cookie! I am going to bribe the cookie lady next week at the farmers market for her recipe-it is totally different than any I've ever made- I promise not to mass produce, I just want a good recipe different than the original tollhouse!

                                    3. I am making Dorie Greenspan's "The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart" but using this crust, which is an adaption of a recipe from David Lebovitz (which he in turn got from Paule Caille):

                                      The crust, even though I docked it thoroughly, puffed up quite a bit. Less room for the filling. I should have ignored the directions and baked it with pie weights. Oh well, the taste should not be altered.

                                      Oh, and I will probably make a blueberry sauce just because that sounds good to and I have some excellent blueberries in the freezer (picked by DH last summer---I made him pick the tiny ones. He has more patience than I.)

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: soccermom13

                                        I have to say that Dorie's M.E. French Lemon Cream Tart filling was outstanding! Hardest part of making it was getting my old blender down from the cupboard over the refrigerator. I will try making it next time in my KA, which is on my counter. And I LOVED the David Lebovitz crust---so easy and so flaky.

                                        I used a rectangular tart pan so it was very easy to slice nicely. At the last moment I realized I had no serving tray that would accommodate it. I improvised, but I need to figure out something to put the finished tart onto...

                                        1. re: soccermom13

                                          The filling is insanely good, isn't it? I was lucky I had enough left to fill a tart shell after all of my "testing" with a spoon!

                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                            It IS good! DH has lost 40 lbs over the last year and has more self control when it comes to food than any other human I know. So last night I serve the dessert---he eats it silently with a look of astonished delight on his face---then when he's eaten the last bite he BOLTS for the kitchen and cuts himself another slice! He did not even offer another slice to your guests, he just bolted! I have never seen him do that!

                                            Bio--do you think this filling could be made well in my KA mixer if I use the whisk attachment? I just hate having to pull out equipment that's been squirreled away in hard to get to places because I just plain have no more easily accessible space to store things.

                                            1. re: soccermom13

                                              LOL - I remember the reaction when I made the filling to fill miniature phyllo cups for a party - the guests SWARMED the tray and didn't move until every last one was gone!

                                              Anyway, as for the Kitchen Aid, I'm not sure. My blender goes WAY faster than my KA ever could, and I'm not sure the whisking motion (which will incorporate air) is really what you want with this filling. You could give it a try, and then if it doesn't seem to be working switch it to the blender?

                                      2. La tarte au citron (with about 1/2 c of filling baked separately). The crust is hazelnut, I couldn't tell until it thawed. Saveur recipe, tweaked as noted. Mine didn't brown because I baked it under foil because the crust was getting rather dark.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          I love those rectangular tart pans. It's a nice presentation when you slice.

                                          1. re: roxlet

                                            I should have unmolded it while it was still slightly warm, it stuck a bit. But gooood.

                                          2. re: buttertart

                                            This was good warmish but fabulous really cold. What a great tart!

                                          3. It's officially summer, which means I will now get calls from my 80 year old neighbor saying, basically 'I Have The Berries."

                                            Which means I will make Nancy Silverton's mixed berry crostada, give her half, keep half, and all will be well.

                                            I'll probably make biscuits, as those are always handy, especially with fresh summer jams.

                                            And my new goal? To make the poppyseed filled bread I saw in savuer.

                                            The description and look matches the killer filled bread I got at a russian grocery - I must recreate it! http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

                                            18 Replies
                                            1. re: happybaker

                                              I will be making strawberry shortcakes for my parent's 65th anniversary party. Do you (or anyone) have a favorite biscuit recipe to share? TIA.

                                              1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                AGM - what type of biscuit do you like?

                                                Many restaurants make their biscuits with heavy cream - which keeps them delicate but makes them a tad greasy, to my taste.

                                                I tend to like a classic baking powder biscuit - light and fluffy on the inside, crisp on the outer.

                                                Are you in cape cod? Or? That will tell me what flours I can rec to you... (white lily versus pastry versus self-rising.)

                                                1. re: happybaker

                                                  Since I am in Cape Cod you can infer that I don't know a lot about biscuits. I tried a cream biscuit the last time and it was very easy but not the finished product that I am looking for. I have made the biscuit recipe from the Fanny Farmer cookbook and for years had good results but something must have changed in the flour because the last few times they were flattish. Any suggestions you can make would be helpful. Thanks

                                                  1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                    The Fanny Farmer recipe (you mean the one edited by Marion Cunningham, right?) is an excellent basic recipe.

                                                    If your biscuits are flat, three easy things to check for - are you rolling out (or patting out) your dough too flat to start with? I always have mine at LEAST an inch thick.

                                                    And if you are using butter or margarine - is it good and cold? That helps it poof and be light, one friend of mine had hers room temp and it literally melted out of the dough as it baked. She was not happy.

                                                    The third item is way easy to check - how old is your baking powder? It can lose strength and that will cause it not to rise as well. I like argo baking powder as it has no aluminum in it and tastes better.

                                                    In a pinch, go to the library and get Marion Cuningham's "Learning to Cook."


                                                    She has great details on biscuit baking there.

                                                    1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                      Hi, neighbor,
                                                      Traditionalists might hate this, but my favorite is actually The Finamore Shortcake in Richard Sax's Classic Home Desserts. It's baked in a cake pan, then cut into wedges, so it's great to do in large quantities. And I must confess that I also like poundcake as a base for the strawberries and cream. My favorite is Dorie Greenspan's version in Baking. You can also layer thin slices of the cake with lemon curd before topping with strawberries. No, it's not traditional, but it is good.

                                                    2. re: happybaker

                                                      I always thought it was better to not use self-raising flour but to instead add baking powder to AP or cake flour since you can then control the amount of baking powder, and you can also enure your baking powder is fresh. I've not see too many recipes of late that specify the use of self-raising flour.

                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                        Some self rising flours use the low-protein wheat. So that bad news is, you can't control the amount of salt in the mix - the good news is, they will be way easy to throw together in a rush and, tender.

                                                    3. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                      AGM - I just checked and Marion Cuninghams Learn to Cook DOES have a strawberry shortcake recipe. It's pretty darn close to what I do so I'd say check it out.

                                                      Why is it so good? Fresh strawberries and plenty of them. You whip your own cream, and the biscuits are not overly sweet, so you have the perfect base and contrast for all the cream, rich, berry joy.

                                                      Good luck on your baking and congrats to your amazing parents!

                                                      1. re: happybaker

                                                        Another question- how far in advance can I make the biscuits? Do I have to plan on it for the morning of the party? Thanks for your help.

                                                        1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                          Day of serving is of course almost always best. The night before would certainly be fine (especially since there will be juice from the berries). That said, I'm wondering how well biscuits would take to freezing, which would give you time to prepare further in advance. I've never tried freezing biscuits, although that sort of baked goods generally freeze well.

                                                          Perhaps someone with more biscuit experience could chime in?

                                                          1. re: lisaonthecape

                                                            Gosh - biscuits are so fast. I've never frozen them!

                                                            If I am doing strawberry shortcake for a dinner party, I just set the oven to preheat while we are finishing dinner, cut the berries, throw the biscuits in the oven, whip the cream while they are baking (although you could easily do THAT part hours before) and then they come out of the oven - you are ready to go!

                                                            You could make them that am, or pm, and just warm them for a few in the oven and you would be good. Really. As long as they were made that same day and not put in the fridge.

                                                            I know for really butter heavy scones, folks freeze the dough and bake them, but for biscuits, that would not work. And again, you could make them, and the whipped cream in the am, cut the strawberries just before or just after dinner, and you would be FINE.

                                                            1. re: happybaker

                                                              Since I am steaming 19 lobsters doing the biscuits during dinner doesn't seem feasible. Though you say 'throw the biscuits in the oven" have you made the dough and cut the biscuits and just bake during dinner?

                                                              1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                19 lobsters! Gee, maybe I could fly in and be your prep cook...!

                                                                No, seriously, make the biscuits and bake them, maybe a tad undertake them (just with a touch of gold on the top) in the am. Cool on racks, off the cookie sheet. When completely cooled, store in ziplock bags. After dinner throw them in a 400 degree oven for 2 minutes just before assembling to finish the baking and crisp/perk them up.

                                                                The whipped cream can already be done and in the fridge until you assemble. And the strawberries can be done, in the fridge, then taken out at the start of the dinner party to come to room temperature.

                                                                (If you make the strawberries too far ahead, and have them at room them too long, you'll get way too much liquid. )

                                                                Ah hah! I've got it! Wash and cut them in the am or early pm, pat dry, put in fridge. When you serve dinner, pull them out to get to room temp. Then, just before dessert THEN put the sugar on, mush a bit, wait the 5 - 10 mins it'll take to get all your dishes out etc - then they should have made a nice bit of juice without becoming soup!

                                                                I wish you a wonderful, tasty, joyous celebration!

                                                                1. re: happybaker

                                                                  If you're making the whipped cream in advance, you may want to stabilize it with a little powdered sugar and perhaps a bit of cornstarch. That will prevent it from weeping. Rose Levy Beranbaum recommends cooking the sugar and cornstarch in a little cream (The Cake Bible, stabilized whipped cream), which I've never tried. I usually just use powdered sugar myself. If you keep the quantity small, it won't have much impact on the texture or flavor.

                                                                  1. re: lisaonthecape

                                                                    That's an excellent suggestion. But if you use powdered sugar, you probably don't need the cornstarch, as there is some in the powdered sugar.

                                                                    I have also heard of putting whipped cream into a fine strainer over a bowl to drain drippage - I'm not sure if this works or not!?!?

                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                      If you keep your mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer so they are good and cold, you can also whip the cream up pretty quickly right when you need it. But as our Cape Cod party giver is going to be juggling so much, making ahead might be the best option.

                                                                      1. re: happybaker

                                                                        After years in restaurant kitchens I have found that if I beat the whipping cream slowly it has less tendency to separate. All I do is whisk it a few times and it is as good as new.

                                                                        1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                          AGM -

                                                                          So, did your parents have their anniversary? How did it all go?

                                                                          I hope very very well!

                                                  2. my favorite way to do a lemon tart is with a pate sable crust and a lemon curd filling (no cornstarch please), with a little vanilla bean flecked whipped cream or a drizzle of creme anglaise.

                                                    gearing up for the Fancy Food Show in a couple of weeks, so i have limited experimentation/ play time. however, somehow i convinced myself if would be good to enter a local pie contest next weekend, and am going to prep my dough for my crust tomorrow.

                                                    today i decided to replicated that Brunette spread from Le Pain Quotidien, a dairy free version for little ol' me. came out pretty darn close. even if i could eat dairy, i'd still make it myself :)

                                                    really wanted to make some caneles for the past week, and just haven't had the time... mostly because i know how finicky they can be.

                                                    21 Replies
                                                    1. re: Emme

                                                      Emme, what are you exhibiting at Fancy Food Show?

                                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                                        i will be in the new brands pavilion. board rules prohibit me from mentioning or promoting my company, so i will leave it at that we sell baked goods :)

                                                      2. re: Emme

                                                        If you do make canelés, please post comments and pictures. In case you were unaware, there are several long threads on the subject, started in 2010 (or maybe earlier).

                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                          oh i've read them all souschef, but thanks... i will post when i get to it. think that project's gonna have to wait a few weeks. i need more molds and am sourcing these... very excited.

                                                          1. re: Emme

                                                            Keep us posted! These intrigue me....are you going to consider silicon molds?

                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                              i haven't decided... i went to Surfa's today, just to see what their pricing looks like... only they don't stock copper. only aluminum. if i were going to spend 10 or 11 bucks each, i'd rather get the copper (even if i have to spend a little bit more).

                                                              then surfa's managed to frustrate me more... i was looking to get a few more of these 3" cylindrical ring molds (topless and bottomeless) which are great for (sculpted) cakes. they stopped carrying them. so i was forced to purchase one with a removable bottom. i'm sure it will be fine, and it will have to be, as this golf bag cake has a completion date of monday or tuesday next week, so no time to order molds... sigh, i hate when i love something i have, yet can't replace or purchase more.... i think that may explain why i own so many whisks...

                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                In my limited experience, ring molds around here are either too shallow or too expensive. Very frustrating.

                                                                Emme, I just remembered that you wanted a recipe from me - it was during my mom's surgery and I forgot - very sorry.

                                                                Brioche Cream Buns - basically you make muffiny-sized brioche rolls and bake them. Let them cool, then load a bag with a round tip with stiff pastry cream, stuff it in the side of each roll, and fill it up, moving the tip from side-to-side and withdrawing it slowly. Then roll the stuffed brioche all over in butter and white sugar. They are yum.

                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                  no worries! hope she's recovering well!

                                                                  and thanks... easy enough!

                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                    Calling souschef on the subject of stuffed brioche...

                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                        Sigh...yes...and it's that time of year, isn't it!

                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                          Yes it is - berries galore. I just bought some Rainier cherries I'm waiting to sample; expensive little buggers. Reminds me - at a party I was offered a bowl of fruit salad containing cherries - unpitted! Was not a fun experience biting into one and finding out the hard way. Has anyone ever made clafoutis using Rainiers? And yes, I do know that it is traditional to not pit the cherries in clafoutis, but I pit them.

                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                              Have only baked with Rainiers (Queen Annes, as we used to call them) once, to the accompaniment of so much moaning that they weren't sour cherries ("real cherries" to you-know-who) that I wasn't eager to repeat the experience. Tasty, though!
                                                                              Made clafoutis precisely once, with unpitted black cherries, didn't like it or the pits. Family verdict: failed pancake.

                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                Thanks! I have looked at clafoutis recipes over the years and scratched my head over how it could be so famous when it looks so.......so-so.

                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                  I made it a couple of times. Not my favourite dessert, but I enjoyed it.

                                                                                  I think it belongs to the class of "rustic desserts" - not something James Bond would serve to "M" !

                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                    I would tend to agree. It's very homemade-y, but nice once in a while as a nostalgic sort of dessert. The browned pastry goes well with the creamy vanilla filling - simple but nice.

                                                                                2. re: buttertart

                                                                                  Our favorite clafoutis is blueberry. Cherries aren't too popular in this house. It's also a fun dessert for a dutch oven cook-out.

                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                    They tend to be so pricy, I just eat them out of hand.. I did once bake them into brown butter bars (recipe from Bon Appetit via Smitten Kitchen), and didn't think that they baked well.. better for eating!

                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                      They aren't the best, definitely. My mom used to make a black cherry pie that would knock your socks off...

                                                              2. I have some bacon and cheddar biscuits in the oven right now. After that, and because I still have buttermilk and blueberries to use up, I'm making blueberry boy bait and a blueberry streusel cake, for comparison.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. We've got a bunch of blackberries sitting in the fridge. Some will become pie, but I'm not sure yet what to do with the rest.

                                                                  1. Recently made a summer berry "pudding," just layers of sponge cake soaked in fresh berry sauce and smushed berries. Was to be topped with creme fraiche, but we skipped that part to keep it more light. Really good for summer!

                                                                    1. I made the Levain Chocolate Chip cookies... Eh. To be honest, they are not as good as NY Times or really any other recipe. I think it is the lack of vanilla extract and the large amount of flour relative to butter-sugar.. it just tastes like nothing. Maybe like flour, but definitely not like cookie dough. ODD!

                                                                      1. Yesterday I baked 16 loaves of zucchini bread from my recent harvests. Sold them all within 20 minutes of bringing them into work. Nice chunk of change.

                                                                        Now looking at carrot cake and chocolate beet cake recipes to help use up those harvests.

                                                                        1. Made Flan yesterday.. today I'll find out if it came out right.

                                                                          1. I had some cream to use up from a chocolate ganache (I have never liked whipping cream, to my mother's eternal regret), so I made some gingerbread blondies that call for cream. Of course, I ran out of molasses and had to run out to get some..so the whole "I'm just using something up" logic fell down there. I've made the blondies before,and they are truly wonderful..possibly because they use an entire cup of butter?

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: rstuart

                                                                              On the contrary, I love whipping cream. Besides ganache, I use it in chocolate glazes and sauces, and for thickening savoury sauces. I cannot stand flour-thickened sauces as they have a glutinous texture I dislike.

                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                I guess that it's more whipped cream that I've never liked! It's also one of those ingredients that I just never have on hand, so I don't have a lot of recipes that use it...

                                                                            2. Cleaned out the freezer and found two big frozen bananas that are now on the counter defrosting. I also found out that they'd been exposed to a freezer ice pack (I make them out of blue food dye and water in ziplocks) that had leaked. So it may be BLUE banana bread, but banana bread just the same.

                                                                              This is the recipe I'm going to try.


                                                                              1. Pourable Pizza Crust from a school cafeteria recipe. It's a very wet dough. Mix it in the stand mixer for 10 minutes, let rise 20 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes to set, add toppings and bake to finish, about 15 minutes. All in a half-sheet pan. Makes a nice, soft bread like crust.

                                                                                Pourable Pizza Crust - half-sheet pan 10 servings

                                                                                Pourable Pizza Crust - 2 full sheet pans & 1 half-sheet pan 50 servings ( original USDA recipe ).

                                                                                Pictures of recipe, step by step, and review on PizzaMaking.com ( halfway down page ).

                                                                                1. Just finished a piece of Indiana Sugar Cream pie. Naughty and yum.

                                                                                  13 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                    I've heard about that for years, how do you make it? Sounds divine.

                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                      INDIANA SUGAR CREAM PIE


                                                                                      1 unbaked pie crust in disposable aluminum pan
                                                                                      4 T. flour
                                                                                      2 T. cold butter
                                                                                      3/4 c. sugar
                                                                                      1/4 c. brown sugar
                                                                                      pinch salt
                                                                                      1 c. heavy cream
                                                                                      1 c. whole milk
                                                                                      1 t. vanilla
                                                                                      freshly grated nutmeg


                                                                                      Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
                                                                                      Place empty half sheet pan on the middle oven rack.
                                                                                      Put flour, butter, sugars, and salt into processor bowl and process until very finely blended. Dump into a large bowl and add a bit of the cream. Whisk a bit, then gradually add the rest of the cream and milk while whisking. Stir in the vanilla.
                                                                                      Pour filling into the pie shell and top with fresh nutmeg. Carefully place pie on preheated sheet pan in oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 45 minutes, shielding the crust edges if they become overly brown.
                                                                                      Cool pie completely on a rack, then chill thoroughly.

                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                        That sounds great. Why a disposable pie pan, though?

                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                            It's up to you, but I have used every pie pan under the sun and the disposable aluminum ones produce the crispest, brownest bottom crust. This is very important for this pie as it is a very liquid filling and it bakes for too long to blind bake the crust.

                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                              I figured there was a rationale behind it, thanks. (Wasn't expecting because my mom always did it that way, but you never know.)

                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                It may be tacky, but it addresses well one of the typical issues with this pie, which is a gummy bottom crust.

                                                                                            2. re: sandylc

                                                                                              looks great... interestingly enough, i've seen too many recipes for it, and never knew which to pick. the other variations i've seen include just sprinkling the flour/butter/sugar over the crust, then pouring the custard mixture over this, and baking... wonder if you or anyone else has experience with that variation... or experience with both and can expound...

                                                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                                                The sprinkling version is my previous method. It is annoying and it USUALLY works well. The processor/whisk version seems to be more reliable. Also, the original was supposedly all brown sugar, the modern versions are often all white sugar - so now I'm using a combination, since I am unable to choose!

                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                  I knew a woman from Indiana who would expound on the difficulty of getting this right. Sounds like you've got it down pat.

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    There's always another opportunity to fail at Sugar Cream Pie!

                                                                                        1. I just made 2 recipes of The Best Recipe's carrot cake, which I think is the best I've ever had/made. What is different about it is that you mix the eggs and sugar together in the food processor, and then pour in the oil to make an emulsion. Then you fold in the carrot/flour/spice mixture, and bake. What I like about it is that it doesn't have that leaden, oily texture you can sometimes experience with carrot cake. This bakes up lighter, and with a finer crumb than most carrot cakes I've tried. For icing, I am going to make a version of flour frosting beating in a combination of butter and cream cheese instead of all butter as usual.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                            oooooo, I'll have to check that out. Pulled a ton of carrots from the garden recently and trying to find other ways of using them up besides pickling.

                                                                                            This should come in handy!

                                                                                            1. re: Novelli

                                                                                              Had a pastry last weekend that had ham, gruyere, and ginger-carrot-orange marmalade rolled up in it before baking - it was salty/sweet and very good.

                                                                                          2. Right now: Hubby is making Homemade Chocolate Cake http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,176,1... - first time try. Crossing fingers.

                                                                                            Later today: I'm making Chef John's Banana Bread, http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chef-joh... Have to add cinnamon & nutmeg (recipe doesn't call for them) and skip the chocolate chips (don't keep them in the house), but it's one of the best we've tried - thus far.

                                                                                            Sometime this month: Modifying a Lemon Meringue Pie recipe for Lime Meringue Pie.

                                                                                            1. I made a double-batch of SK's chocolate chip cookies yesterday. First time making them, but I had a feeling they would be good, and they were.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                Those cookies, aka. basically the NY Times recipe, are top-notch.

                                                                                                (Her strawberries and cream biscuits look so good...)

                                                                                                1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                  I made them yesterday, they were great!

                                                                                              2. Same peanut butter cookies I made last weekend (from CI). Added chopped chocolate crunch bars to this recipe. OMG, Nirvana!

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    I guess I'm one of the few people who don't like peanut butter anything. I love peanuts, but not the butter, especially in a sandwich, where the darn thing gets glued to the roof of the mouth.

                                                                                                      1. re: shaebones

                                                                                                        Aha. And souschef, most of the Europeans I know no likey either.

                                                                                                  2. Given that I did not care for the Levain cookies--well as much as the NY Times cookies (they were still good, don't get me wrong)..... I made the Ghiradeli recipe BUT used european-style butter. OH MAN.

                                                                                                    Everyone always says it is not about the recipe--it's the ingredients and BOY are they right. The butter-taste is just right.

                                                                                                    1. Went strawberry picking and in addition to eating enough in the fields to feed a small family, we also lugged home a ton. I think the boys just get so into picking we forget SOMEONE is going to have to eat all these berries. Made a strawberry pie, it was pretty tasty, but we still have so many left over. Anyone have some delicious strawberry recipes? Besides warm off the vine of course...

                                                                                                      1. I am trying to go through my baking bucket list this summer and I was able to knock off Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake a la SK this weekend! It sure is creamy peanut-buttery chocolate goodness in cake form! I also made another batch of Ina's brownies, which came out a bit airy, I think I might have over-baked or over-stirred them. But they were still delicious! I also made a batch of Quaker Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins with oatmeal flour instead of oats. They came out well, even though I was worried that they might be a bit dry since I replaced the oats with flour. Looking forward to next weeks item on my list, Black Forest Cake!!! If anyone has any recipes from scratch, or hints when making this I would be most appreciative.

                                                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Redstickchef

                                                                                                          I have long coveted that cake.. I've just always been waiting for the right "occasion" for it!

                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                            Me too! My dad requested a chocolate cake for Father's Day and said that it should incorporate things that my Mom likes as well. So I decided to give both the chocolate peanut butter and black forest cake a try.

                                                                                                          2. re: Redstickchef

                                                                                                            I have two recipes, one of which I made, but was not too impressed with; I thought it was too dry. The other recipe, in "The Chocolate Bible", is weird. The ingredients include 1/2 cup flour mixed with 1-1/8 cups cake crumbs.

                                                                                                            Both of them use cloves and cinnamon; I dislike spices in my cakes.

                                                                                                            Hint (as requested): use lots of Kirschwasser!!

                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                              I will definitely use lots of kirscwasser! And thank you for the chocolate cake bible suggestion even if it is a bit weird with the cake crumbs and flour mixture.

                                                                                                            2. re: Redstickchef

                                                                                                              Pirated this -- this would be the recipe I'd use, even if it does use cocoa.
                                                                                                              souschef -- me either on the spices.

                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                Buttertart, instead of cocoa I would use my chocolate Madeleine technique - melt chocolate with the butter and follow the process specified.

                                                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                  Souschef, your dislike of cocoa has changed what recipes I'll try. For the better. Explain more about the Madeleine technique?

                                                                                                                  1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                    My technique for chocolate Madeleines is explained here:


                                                                                                                    BTW there are lots of people here who do like cocoa cakes, so please don't let my preferences deter you from trying them.

                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                      Thanks. I really love chocolate, and your comments about cocoa helped me understand what I was tasting in my own baking. It's made me a better reader of recipes.

                                                                                                                  2. re: souschef

                                                                                                                    Souschef, I will be using your melted butter/chocolate technique for the cake, thank you for the suggestion!

                                                                                                                    1. re: Redstickchef

                                                                                                                      Let me know how it works out for you.

                                                                                                                  3. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                    Thanks buttertart for the link! Especially since I actually have that cookbook!! I can't believe that I didn't think of referencing it for this recipe!

                                                                                                                2. Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

                                                                                                                  I landed on this recipe because it made use of 2 items that are abundant in my fridge at the moment, rhubarb and buttermilk. The streusel topping took them from good to great. Perfect for weekday breakfasts on the go.

                                                                                                                  1. I was asked to contribute a baked good to the reception after my son's piano recital. I made the peanut butter and cocoa cookies with mini peanut butter cups from the King Arthur Flour website. They were inhaled. Fortunately, I kept a few back, so we can enjoy a cookie after dinner.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                      Roxlet, you have a lucky son. I think that you have mentioned this recipe before..and I'm sure that I've bookmarked it...

                                                                                                                    2. Made some spiced applesauce muffins. I also wanted to make some cookies for a care package I'm sending to a friend who just had her third baby (3 under 4!!). I wanted to make something fairly sturdy, with no chocolate chips (might melt in the mail) that I'd made before and knew was reliable.. so I made oatmeal, coconut and sour cherry cookies. Alas, used up the last of my Trader Joe's dried Montmorency cherries...

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                          I'm always up for that ;) Should have bought some when I was in San Francisco last month.. but I was too busy buying their pound plus chocolate!

                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                            You know I was in TJ's today to buy some pound plus chocolate, and I looked for, and didn't find, those Montmorency cherries you mentioned. I saw dried bing cherries, and dried sweet cherries, but no Montmorency cherries, alas.

                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                              I got them in November in New York (half of my suitcase was TJ's products, much to the shock of the Canadian Border Services agent who searched my bag).. I wonder if they are only seasonal? They were very reasonably priced for dried cherries too. Now I"ll have to wait for one of the stands at my local farmers' market to show up (usually July). They have dried sour cherries, but at a higher price...

                                                                                                                      1. Entered a local pie contest today... Didn't win, but I didn't go traditional, so I wasn't expecting to win. Then again, none of the judges, save one, were what I would consider "qualified" or "expert" pie tasters. The city manager, an editor of a non-food-related magazine... Not bitter, just had I know, I would have gone more mainstream... As it was, I made a Caramel Dusted Roasted Peach Frangipane Pie... Flaky Crust, Frangipane layer, Nested Roasted Peaches, and finished with a few sprinkles of Caramel Powder (caramel + tapioca maltodextrin)... Though next time I make this I may use powdered lemon curd instead of the caramel powder... or in addition too.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                          Is that the same pie? Before dusting and after?

                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                            yes... one was pre-baking, just as i put it in the oven. the other, post-bake with caramel powder.

                                                                                                                        2. Howdy all! I'm not a regular poster to these threads (though I'm a regular browser), but wanted to jump in to recommend this brown butter pecan cornmeal cake that I made this weekend for Cake Day (whee!) with my friends.


                                                                                                                          It was sooooo good. Amazing caramel-y, nutty flavour and incredible texture. Not too sweet, and also only 3 Tbs. of white flour, so I'm guessing it could easily be adapted for gluten-free bakers.

                                                                                                                          Also wanted to give high praise for Rose Levy Berenbaum's white velvet cake recipe. It makes a gorgeous white butter cake with a beautiful fine, tender crumb. White velvet indeed. I used it for a strawberry custard layer cake.


                                                                                                                          I really need to make both of these again soon!

                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                            Those look great! White velvet cake? I'm going to have to look that one up. :)

                                                                                                                            1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                              Hey hey T.O.Jo! Nice stuff. Is that the famous frosting, by any chance?

                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                Hi buttertart! Yep, that's the cooked flour frosting. It was perfect for this cake, which cries out for a whipped cream frosting, but I needed something more stable. And given how much the cooked flour frosting tastes like whipped cream, it was the logical choice. :)

                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                  Thanks so much, roxlet. They were both first time recipes for me and I was so happy with how they turned out!

                                                                                                                                2. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                  Well slap me silly. I just figured out why my cake looked so much darker than SK's photo. It's because I accidentally used double the amount of toasted pecans. Huh. I wouldn't make it any other way now, as it was SO nutty good the way I made it.

                                                                                                                                  So just a heads up for anyone looking to use the recipe. :)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                    Laughing. Everything is better with double the toasted pecans.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                      Yes, it is! :)

                                                                                                                                      I just made the cake again yesterday, with my double pecans mistake built in on purpose this time. Delicious.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                        I am curious about the texture of this cake....?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                          It's tender and moist, but quite coarse, like a corn bread, but without the "crunch" from the cornmeal, due to the 3 hour sitting time for the batter. The cornmeal really softens up as it absorbs the liquid in the batter. The texture is one of the reasons I love it so much.

                                                                                                                                3. One week away with friends, rental kitchen, nondescript grocery store: apple pie, peach pie, buttermilk scones, buttermilk corn bread, chocolate cake, cream drop biscuits, lemon cake, another peach pie, another round of scones, more corn bread, Bessie's walnut cookies (Thanks HillJ!), toffee. Big grin.

                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                    Your mention of buttermilk corn bread got me thinking ....... Sour cream corn bread would probably be great.

                                                                                                                                    I'm going to try this recipe soon:


                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                      I bet it would. The cornbread I've made most is from The Savory Way:

                                                                                                                                      1 1/3 cups stone-ground cornmeal
                                                                                                                                      1/3 cup flour
                                                                                                                                      1 teaspoon baking soda
                                                                                                                                      1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                      2 tablespoons sugar
                                                                                                                                      1 cup buttermilk
                                                                                                                                      1 cup milk
                                                                                                                                      3 eggs, slightly beaten
                                                                                                                                      2 tablespoons of butter
                                                                                                                                      1 cup of cream (or more milk, or a combination of the two.)

                                                                                                                                      350 oven.
                                                                                                                                      combine dry ingredients in one bowl. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, 1 cup of the regular milk & the eggs.
                                                                                                                                      Melt butter in an 11" oven-happy skillet, spread it around the sides & pour excess into the wet ingredients.
                                                                                                                                      combine wet & dry & stir lightly until combined. Pour the batter into the skillet, Pour the rest of the dairy on top & bake until lightly browned, about 45 minutes.
                                                                                                                                      This makes a neat cornbread with a layer of custard in the middle. Fun!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                        I bought sour cream before I saw your recipe, so I made the sour cream one I linked above. I didn't want it too sweet, so I halved the sugar; should not have done so as I would have liked it a bit sweeter. Needed a bit more salt too. It was moist, but not the best I have tasted.

                                                                                                                                        Next up is your recipe, but it bugs me that I can only buy buttermilk in 1 litre containers, so I end up throwing out a lot.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                          I have to say I was very excited to discover that one of the grocery chains around here sells buttermilk in pints. So much more convenient!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                            I know what you mean about the big containers. I use it for carrot soup, some scones, some irish soda bread, and that corn bread - I think I tend to bake those things in the same time period for that reason. I understand that if you combine four parts heavy cream with one part buttermilk in a covered container & let it stand at around 65 degrees for 24 to 36 hours it will turn into creme fraiche & you can keep it (refrigerated) for a week, but I've never done that. The buttermilk itself does seem to last next to forever.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                              the eternal buttermilk problem. I have found dried buttermilk powder in the past and used it for baking, but it's not just the same! I have had open buttermilk in my fridge for, um, a very long time, and I find it's fairly obvious when it's gone off!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                It apparently lasts much better if you put it in a glass jar. I just let mine rip in the fridge, also usually for a looong time.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, when the green stuff winks at you it's time to toss it.

                                                                                                                                                  I asked a friend who worked for a large dairy producer why they only sold it in such a large format, and the only response I got was, "Buttermilk is good for you, so drink the extra".

                                                                                                                                      2. Chorizo Empanadas from the COTM.

                                                                                                                                        1. Rhubarb Sour Cream Crostata

                                                                                                                                          1. http://www.stayatstovedad.com/

                                                                                                                                            These butterscotch brownies are in the oven now. I'll have to remember this recipe next time I'm short on flour and sugar - they smell great!

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: JerryMe

                                                                                                                                              Hmm... look like blondies to me.. which are definitely one of my favorite quick, easy, and universally loved desserts!

                                                                                                                                            2. I was so happy with a grapefruit poundcake I made recently (from "The Homesick Texan") that I decided to try this grapefruit bar recipe,
                                                                                                                                              Too sweet, I'd say. Doesn't beat lemon bars -- just doesn't...
                                                                                                                                              cannot recommend, though the *idea* is a good one.

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                I tried making grapefruit bars last year, and they just didn't match up to lemon bars. I was really hoping for a clear, fresh grapefuity taste, but it didn't work out as well. I love the idea of grapefruit poundcake ... yum.

                                                                                                                                              2. This past weekend made 2 new recipes that I found on Tasty Kitchen. The 1st recipe was mini nutella swirled cheesecake and the 2nd recipe was suppose to be a chocolate drizzled strawberry cookie. The mini nutella swirled cheesecake did not have a lot of nutella flavor like I wanted so I need to tweak the recipe a bit. I ended up not drizzling the chocolate on the cookie though. It was still pretty yummy very much like a sugar cookie with strawberries added.

                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: vttp926

                                                                                                                                                  Strawberry cookie is a good idea.. will have to scoot over to Tasty Kitchen to check it out!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                    It was really good. I did up the strawberries because I love strawberries!

                                                                                                                                                2. Coconut cream pie (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8535...) and Louisa's Cake from Food52: http://www.food52.com/recipes/10436_l...

                                                                                                                                                  I can't decide what I think of the cake. Fine. Quiet. Entirely eaten at the meeting I brought it to. My effort was a little more dense on the bottom than the food52 photo... I don't know what caused that.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Figured this was getting a bit long, so here's part 2: