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

June caught fire here, no thanks to me (I overbaked and we're eating up what I made, will probably bake something this weekend, though). It's 6/15 in most of the rest of the world, so here we go with part 2...what are you baking these days, anyway?
Just for fun: http://belarr.com/bakercat/

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  1. Just made some Amish Potato Rolls to use for hamburgers and some Struan Toasting Bread. Plain, but satisfying and easy.

    1. Red cake, gum drop cookies, Challah.

      1. LOVE that baker cat! :)

          1. The plan is to make salted caramel shortbread some time this month. Maybe tomorrow if the morning stays relatively cool.


            1. I wanted to start my jam-making this week-end, but I realised that I still had half a dozen of last year's jams to use up! I read a recipe on Orangette from Kim Boyce's "Good to the Grain", which looked interesting.. it uses rye flour (and 1 1/2 Cups of jam/preserves). It was a bit of a fuss, with having to make the crust only after freezing it etc so I did it over the course of two evenings. Smelled wonderful and nutty while baking, and it occurred to me that using brown butter might have have amped up the nutty/toasted flavour?
              I enjoyed the pieces that I tried.. will see what my colleagues think today.. brought it into work!

              1. Whole wheat bread. Haven't made it before, only other kinds of bread, and the first try didn't rise high enough in the pan (it did well in the bowl). Not sure whether to tweak this recipe, from the King Arthur Flour site, or try another.

                1. Baker cat made my day, I'm still twitchin' to the music in my head.

                  1. I'm glad you liked bakercat! I thought it was adorable.
                    Probably making a cake tomorrow for Father's Day, seems to me I remember a Herrentorte somehere that might be just the ticket. Appropriately enough.
                    It's also a bread weekend, old dough pullulating in the fridge.
                    Reports anon.

                    1. I am in the process of making an ice cream cake, something I've never done before. For the ice cream, I am making Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Ice Cream from Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream at Home. It is an interesting technique that doesn't use eggs. You first roast the cut up strawberries with sugar, and then cool and puree. You mix whole milk, cream, sugar and a little corn syrup together, and boil for 4 minutes, then you whisk in a slurry of corn starch and water, and boil that until it thickens. You beat that into a couple of ounces of softened cream cheese, then add the strawberry puree and buttermilk. Chill, and then put in the ice cream maker. For the cake portion and technique, I'm using this recipe from Martha:
                      After the cake is cooled, you slice it in half, and put it in a spring form pan, putting the ice cream around the sides and in between the layers with some cut up strawberries and a little raspberry jam. I have the base and the cake cooling now, but I am in no rush -- it's for a birthday celebration next weekend.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: roxlet

                        I've read very good things about Jeni's ice cream... she's been featured in the Kitchn quite a bit. Have you ever made her ice cream before?

                        1. re: rstuart

                          This is my first outing with this book though my husband got it from the publisher a while back. From what I tasted, it seemed like excellent strawberry ice cream. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough for the whole cake, so I'll be making another batch tomorrow to finish it off.

                        2. re: roxlet

                          That sounds awfully good. Must be strawberry weekend, I broke down and made a little bit of jam because some of the berries I got were so little I thought they'd look nice in jam.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            I'm toying with that idea myself since I have the better part of a quart of berries left.

                        3. Crème Fraîche Coffee Cake: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes... (I didn't like it very much) and Budapest Coffee Cake: http://oneperfectbite.blogspot.com/20... (I liked this quite a bit.)

                          1. And now for something a bit different, Tajik naan cooked on a griddle, as buns for Shanxi-style spiced lamb burgers. I made 6 -- the rest of the dough is becoming a loaf of bread, and I need to get out in the kitchen to make my Herrentorte (found one with hazelnuts and sour cherries, using walnuts). http://www.chefkoch.de/rezepte/101864...

                            12 Replies
                            1. re: buttertart

                              Those look great. Is it just a regular bread dough?

                              1. re: roxlet

                                Pretty much. It calls for 1/2 c yogurt -- I had about 1/3 cup of sour cream that I made up to volume with water. It also calls for a cup of lower-gluten flour (used my Monarch cake and pastry that a friend sent from Canada) along with a-p. Otherwise, just a normal, softish, lean dough.

                              2. re: buttertart

                                Is this a Fuschia Dunlop recipe, perchance ;)

                                1. re: rstuart

                                  Nope, it's from "Beyond the Great Wall" by those annoying Canadians Alford and Duguid (the bread, that is) and the meat that went into them was an attempt to come close to a sandwich sold here at the Xi'an Foods minichain. I served it with a Fuchsia salad, however!

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    I have friends who have all of their cookbooks and love them.. they are smug though! Alford and Duguid that is, not my friends..

                                2. re: buttertart

                                  Herrentorte...awfully good even though I forgot the Kirschwasser.

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      It's a German cake for gentlemen (tee hee) (characterized by bittersweet chocolate, supposed to be less sweet than regular ones -- there are savory ones too) -- melt 200 gm butter, let cool; 125 gm flour, 125 gm hazelnuts, processed toegther to grind the nuts; 180 gm sugar and 2 tsp baking powder (actually calls for one of those packets they sell it in in Germany, I happened to have some), 1/2 tsp salt blitzed in, 100 gm bitter choc broken up and processed into the dry ingredients into little crumbs; buttter, 4 egg yolks and 3 tb Kirsch added and processed to blend; beat the egg whites stiffish, fold in, put half of the batter in a greased and floured 9" springform, dot with sour cherries (I used about 1/2 lb from the closely-guarded and dwindling stash), put the rest over top, bake at 375 for about 35 mins. Paraphrased from the recipe I linked above but I left out the evil cinnamon the nice lady who posted it included. I threw about 2 oz of bar bittersweet choc on top and let it melt, then put sliced hazelnuts on top for pretty. (Was going to make it with walnuts but come on already, everything in this house is walnut.)

                                      1. re: buttertart

                                        It looks awfully good! I'd like a piece for breakfast, thanks, and I'm no herren!

                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          I like that ..........evil cinnamon. I keep looking for raisin bread without the stuff, but can only rarely find it. Should make my own.

                                          I googled Herrentorte, and was amazed at the variety of recipes. It can be a yellow cake, or a chocolate cake, or a layer cake....

                                          No baking for me for the next few days; with the humidex it's over 110°F!

                                    2. re: buttertart

                                      Beautiful BT! Care to share the recipe? I would like a good griddle bread I can adapt for ME/Med food or for Indian dinners...

                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                        I will, soon! The rest of the dough made excellent toasting bread.

                                    3. Baker cat! I should show that to the feline who tried to walk off with my vanilla beans ... hehe.

                                      I'm baking Singapore chicken thighs at the moment. I have a sour cream chocolate cake ready to go in the oven once the chicken is done. Oh, and I made a double batch of avalanche bars yesterday.

                                      1. I made a buttermilk pound cake to use for strawberry shortcake with local strawberries.

                                        1. It's hot today so we're not baking, but I made lemon ice cream from an old family recipe (original recipe is for 2 gallons, so I cut it down a lot). It's a favorite that gets made a couple of times every summer. Great with fresh berries for a cool dessert.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: sarahjay

                                            Could you share the cut down version? As the recent owner of an ice cream machine, I am collecting recipes to try!

                                            1. re: roxlet

                                              This is the quarter recipe. It makes a little too much for my cuisinart maker, so sometimes I cut it in half again

                                              1 3/4 C sugar
                                              1/2 C fresh lemon juice
                                              1 tbsp lemon zest
                                              1 pint whipping cream
                                              1 pint whole milk
                                              (or use one quart half and half)
                                              1/8 tsp salt

                                              Combine everything together. Process in the ice cream machine.

                                              That's what the recipe card says, but it got shorter from the original newspaper clipping from the 50's.

                                              I blend together the sugar and zest in the food processor or with my fingers, then heat the milk and add the sugar and salt to dissolve. Then I cool it down and add the juice.

                                              1. re: sarahjay

                                                Thanks, sarahjay. It has no eggs, and nothing to thicken the base. I'm curious about the finished product -- what is the texture?

                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                  The ice cream is fantastic the first day, but not as great later, it does freeze quite hard if you let it go overnight. I usually just freeze for about 3 hours after the churn. This was never a problem for us because we always made it for large gatherings, but I've been working on a thickened base with the same flavor. I think a cornstarch base might be the fix, because the custard version i tried (same recipe, tempered in eggs like for an anglaise) was much richer than I grew up with.

                                                  1. re: sarahjay

                                                    Mine seems to have held up pretty well. I had made a custard base coconut ice cream before I make Jenni's strawberry, and I haven' discerned any appreciable change in quality in either one. I think it's very good, and I'm happy there aren't so many eggs in it.

                                                    1. re: sarahjay

                                                      sarahjay, you might try -( heaven forfend!), a tip I heard just yesterday on NPR; in an interview with a very popular local ice cream place in Wisconsin that makes up flavors all the time; she suggested 2 tsp. of gaur gum into any home recipe to help with keeping from freezing rock-hard, and smoothing texture.

                                                      Have not tried; but interesting coming from a dedicated small-batch purveyor who seems to keep quality and flavor in mind. It is a natural product, I am just used to going 'ick!" when I see it in sour cream, etc. as that is usually from commercial large producers. Perhaps it is an ingredient worth looking at for the home cook under the right circumstances.....

                                            2. For Father's Day, I made the Chocolate Swirl buns from Smitten Kitchen. They turned out really good, definitely babka-inspired. My 6 year old reports they were more than muffins or something similar, but they worth doing all the steps!

                                              1. I was all baked out for a whole because I went on a cookie spree! But now I've been doing a lot of cupcakes, I'll be making some angel food cake cupcakes with homemade strawberry filling this weekend for my niece's graduation party :)

                                                1. Cinnamon rhubarb muffins... they're very light and cakey... have to save the rest of the rhubarb for jam!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: rstuart

                                                    Or rhubarb sauce cold with hot buttered toast for breakfast. I miss my mom, that was a favourite of hers.

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      My mother loves stewed rhubarb, which I think smells like glue.
                                                      It's funny the food that we associated with loved ones who are gone; whenever I see blackberries I think of my father, who loved them beyond reason!

                                                  2. Baking today while it's cool (mid-90s expected for the rest of the week), and I want to use up some stuff. Just took cheesecake swirl brownies out of the oven and have two pans of double layer macadamia-chocolate brownies in now.

                                                    1. Hope to finally get around to making a strawberry rhubarb crisp tomorrow.

                                                      1. CI coconut cream pie (as little jar pies) and, oddly on this very hot day, Basler Brunsli. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7408... (it's taken me since Christmas to get kirsch.)

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: THewat

                                                          jar pies? I'm curious about this recipe!

                                                          1. re: Transplant_DK

                                                            Transplant, most of the coconut cream recipes I have fall into two categories - the ones you cook in the oven vs the ones where you make the filling on the stove, pour into a pre-baked crust & chill. The CI pie is the later, so you can make whatever size you want without worrying about winging the cooking time if you make tiny ones. I've been doing them in individual sized, wide-mouth jars. They are great travelers because they stack (with lids on) / easy to give away. And not as overwhelming as an entire custard pie...

                                                        2. Still trying to use up last year's jam.. made a strawberry streusel bar with white chocolate drizzle. Not a complete success, but my own fault for using more jam/fruit that the recipe called for.. a bit wet!

                                                          1. Cookies, cookies and more cookies. Peanut butter, coconut coffee chocolate chip and peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip graham cookies.

                                                            1. Made the Buttermilk Biscuits with Parsley and Sage from Flour by Joanne Chang. They had great flavor, but we're very dry. I never had seen biscuits baked for 40 minutes. I was disappointted.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: angelsmom

                                                                That seems just plain wrong.
                                                                Your cucumber salad recipe awaits you...

                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                  Again thanks......most interesting I wrote to Lisa is cooking the blog where I saw these and subsequently bought the book. I asked if she baked them for 40 minutes and she said she had made them twice and yes did bake them that long.

                                                              2. Husband's fondly-remembered cookie from the ladies next door when he was a kid is a sort of shurtbready, slightly nutty, 50 cent piece sized thing the family called "Pfeffernuesse" but aren't. the closest I've come has been to make the CI sablé dough and the browned butter sugar cookies from 150 Best American Recipes separately and mix them together. They were a bit too tender last time so i'm upping the flour a bit and beating the two doughs together a bit longer. We shall see...butter is softening and the browned butter awaits my getting up from this infernal machine and doing them!
                                                                Bread today too, winging it freeform, maybe some darker flour in it this time.

                                                                1. Short Attention Span Baking: I can't focus on reading recipes, searching for ingredients or finding the right sized baking pans; lost my mojo. Here is this morning's tea cake with blueberries:
                                                                  1 cup all-purpose flour, plus one teaspoon of flour
                                                                  1 teaspoon baking powder
                                                                  1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
                                                                  1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
                                                                  1 cup sugar
                                                                  1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                                                  1 cup sugar
                                                                  2 large eggs
                                                                  1 pint blueberries
                                                                  1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
                                                                  Confectioner's sugar for dusting
                                                                  Preheat oven to 350°F
                                                                  Grease and flour 9-inch springform pan
                                                                  Whisk together 1 cup flour with baking powder and salt; set aside.
                                                                  In electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy; add vanilla - about 3 minutes.
                                                                  Add eggs, one at a time, beating each to incorporate at medium speed. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture until smooth. Do not overmix. Pour into prepared pan.
                                                                  In medium bowl, toss 1 teaspoon each of lemon juice and flour with the blueberries and spoon on top of the cake batter. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let rest for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Dust with confectioners' sugar to serve. This is a simple buttery cake - a comfort with a cup of tea.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Cynsa

                                                                    Yum... thanks for sharing Cynsa. I've been overbuying the blueberries recently...

                                                                  2. Yesterday was my overdue play-day, one that after over a month of non-stop work, i was coveting... alas, it was a morning rife with mishap... this overflowing here, that going in the wrong order there, my spilling this here, dropping that there... sigh. nonetheless, i persevered through:

                                                                    baguettes -- these were fine, but i generally prefer a slightly more hydrated dough. i had originally intended to make a dark brown pumpernickel baguette, but realized i was out of rye flour... so i went with a poolish based one instead. despite using steam, they never did get a nice deep rich brown crust... oh well, c'est la vie.

                                                                    alfajores -- i loved these as a kid... the cookie part came out great, but i overcooked my dulce de leche a bit. tomorrow or the next, i'll reheat and thin it with a little cream before i sandwich the rest

                                                                    ricotta mousse -- it didn't set up properly for some reason; i fear draining the ricotta would have helped; the next time i may try cream cheese instead.. something about cream cheese mousse strikes me

                                                                    blackberry pudding cake -- disaster. i was actually reverse engineering it off of a gluten-free recipe, but i made some overly whimsical substitutions, and the result was too "healthy tasting" and not sweet enough... AND it didn't remain puddingy enough... maybe i overbaked it a little, but that didn't seem to be the case when i pulled it out of the oven...

                                                                    AND the final piece de resistance... the Canelé! now, don't chide, but i had hoped to have copper molds delivered but seem never to have ordered them... so i decided i would use a silicone mini mold that i have. i wish i had had one that was deeper (or taller). i did the suggested method of coating with oil then freezing prior to filling and baking. only issue i had (and i am really thinking it had much to do with the lack of depth to the cavities) was that a few of them had sunken tops when i popped them out and inverted them. like there had been a giant air bubble around which they set. that said, they did get a nice rich (almost burnt) crust and retained that gorgeous luscious custardy interior. when i do get my molds, i am looking forward to doing right by these sweet mini-deities. i let the batter rest for about 28 hours this time; next time i might aim for 48. i'm still glad i made them, and can't wait to do it again, properly.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Emme

                                                                      You go girl; whatever the outcome, a day in the life of Emme is quite impressive and awesome.

                                                                      1. re: Cynsa

                                                                        ha! thanks... my kitchen issues bled into work today... somehow i totally miscalculated the amount of butter i needed when at restaurant depot... not pretty when you realize you're a few pounds shy for the final dough prep... sigh. i'm so frustrated i can't even think about what i want to do on my next play-day...

                                                                    2. In preparation for a visit from the parental units next week, I've baked challah. I also made the dough to make jam tartlets (the unbaked dough is in the freezer--I'll bake the tarts the morning of my parents' arrival.). If we arevincluding ice cream, as several have done, I've also made raspberry creme fraiche ice cream.

                                                                      1. It's been too warm to do much baking, but yesterday I made KAF's thin and crisp (and quick) pizza (no yeast, but baking powder). I don't generally have a problem waiting for dough to rise, but I was intrigued, and the pizza (my take on it at least, with sliced tomatoes, chicken sausage, fresh corn etc) was good.

                                                                        1. There's nothing sweet in the house, and I am craving cookies. So I just put my mother's Butterscotch Bars in the oven. She gave me the recipe when I moved out on my own in 1974. The recipe card is speckled and smeared, but I will not rewrite it. So much history there.

                                                                          Butterscotch Bars

                                                                          1/2 cup butter
                                                                          2 cups brown sugar
                                                                          2 eggs
                                                                          1 - 2 tsp vanilla (I like two)
                                                                          2 cups flour
                                                                          2 tsp. baking powder
                                                                          1/4 tsp. salt
                                                                          1 cup sweetened coconut
                                                                          1 cup chopped nuts ( peanuts, pecans or walnuts)

                                                                          In 2 qt. saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat, stir in brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add Vanilla.
                                                                          Sift dry ingredients together, add with coconut and nuts to mixture in saucepan: mix well.
                                                                          Spread into greased 9 x 13 pan, bake at 350* for 25 minutes. Cut while warm. Dust with powdered sugar. Remove from pan when almost cool.

                                                                          I am going to sprinkle the half package of semisweet chips I have here on top when it's done, and spread those around when they melt. It's just not dessert without chocolate.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                            Mmm, those sound very similar to the butterscotch bars my mom used to make.

                                                                            1. re: jmcarthur8

                                                                              As I generally spill and stain (not suggesting you do) would you consider laminating your precious recipe cards? Some of mine have so much "memory" that they've become nearly unusable.
                                                                              They'd also look really nice as a Pinterest Board.

                                                                              1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                I like the idea of laminating them, KB! Thanks. I will certainly do that.

                                                                            2. Chocolate zucchini bread to use up last weeks CSA. Tonight's dessert were the blueberry hand pies that I made to justify the mini pie mold that I bought at Sur la Table.

                                                                              1. It's been over 100 degrees here for a couple of weeks, and I'm baking sweet nothing. 8^)

                                                                                1. I made parmesan-zucchini tots, crispy little bites of cheese and zucchini and other good things.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                    I love that! What recipe do you use?

                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                      I don't have the link handy at the moment, but it was:

                                                                                      1 c zucchini, grated and squeezed dry (use a towel)
                                                                                      1 egg
                                                                                      1/4 c finely diced onion
                                                                                      1/3 c parmesan (or other cheese, like cheddar)
                                                                                      1/4 c bread crumbs
                                                                                      salt and pepper
                                                                                      (you can also add herbs in ... I used oregano)

                                                                                      Mix together all the ingredients and scoop into a mini muffin pan that's been sprayed/greased. This should make 12 (one pan's worth). Bake at 400 for 15 min. or so til golden brown and crispy on top. I doubled the recipe b/c we have big zucchini fans in the house.

                                                                                      1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                        That sound really good!

                                                                                        Did you peel the zucchini?

                                                                                  2. Rhubarb-strawberry cheesecake for boyfriend's birthday and pepper jack cornbread, which I made on a whim and it turned out amazing!

                                                                                    1. More decorated cookies! This time a rocket ship and stars. My sister is a camp counselor for a church girl's camp this week and I'm sending up cookies to match the theme as a surprise. Her group is the Buzz Lightyear group (all the groups are light-related) so rockets. I've also made some rounds with the idea of doing faces of the Pizza Planet aliens, but we'll see how that goes ;)

                                                                                      1. I made pioneer woman's blackberry cobbler #1 - so simple and delicious - of course it contained an entire stick of melted butter so duh. ;). I haven't made too many cobblers in my day - usually favor a crisp so I probably can't give as good a report as a cobbler afficiando.

                                                                                        1. Recently baked a strawberry rhubarb pie. Made some shortcakes for strawberry shortcake. Todat I'm baking an apricot almond Galette.

                                                                                          1. Since you all bake more than I do (at the moment) there is a book sale going in my town with the following Malgieri books Bake!, Modern Baker, Perfect Cakes, Chocolate What are your assessments of these books as far as which one is better than the other? I realize that Bake and Modern Baker have more breadth to them then the latter and since I can't get all of them at once...

                                                                                            Thanks for your incite and help!

                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                              Of those the two I like best and use most are Modern Baker and Chocolate. The other one of his I love is A Baker's Tour, international recipes.

                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                One of his more recent books, I don't remember which, seemed to get fairly disappointing reviews somewhere on chowhound. Given Chocolates complexities did you still find it, the book, easy to understand?

                                                                                                I have Modern Baker and Lite Desserts checked out from the library at the moment.

                                                                                                Thank you for responding :-)

                                                                                                1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                  Chocolate was my first of his, actually. It goes into tempering etc but I'm not a candymaker. Most recipes are very simple.
                                                                                                  Did not like Light Desserts but Caitlin McGrath did, as I recall.
                                                                                                  I don't think I've baked from Perfect Cakes.
                                                                                                  Check ABEbooks or other used booksellers before buying, I expect they're available for relatively little.

                                                                                              2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                For me, Modern Baker and Perfect Cakes are my favorites, but I love Bake! as well. I don't make a lot of Chocolate desserts, so I can't comment on that one.

                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                  Still don't have A Baker's Tour? But...but...it has a recipe for butter tarts in it!

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    Actually, I do have A Baker's Tour, but I don't think I've gone through it that carefully. I really use Modern Baker the most of all his books, I think.

                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                      Thanks to you all for the excellent feedback. I will look at ABEbooks as well as half.com.

                                                                                                2. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                  I just ordered Malgieri's long out of print Italian Desserts cookbook for a great price from a seller on abebooks.com for a really reasonable price. It's the one of his I've really wanted.

                                                                                                3. Tonight I am baking a rhubarb cake. My first time ever using rhubarb and looking forward to it.

                                                                                                  I see a lot of people are making ice cream. Last night I made a chocolate peanut butter ice cream that used neither eggs nor cornstarch. It actually wasn't a custard at all, just heated the half and half with the sugar, cocoa powder, etc and took off heat and added peanut butter. I made a similar recipe that didn't have an emulsifier with dulce de leche. I love all of these different ice cream methods!

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: jules127

                                                                                                    I really prefer rhubarb in a cake over rhubarb in a pie.. possibly because I like better as an accent? What recipe did you use?

                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                      I used this recipe and cut down on the sugar a bit. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo... The cake portion was more like a biscuit dough. We just tried it and it was delicious!

                                                                                                      1. re: jules127

                                                                                                        That does look nice... from the late, lamented Gourmet!

                                                                                                  2. I just got back to my home kitchen after 4 months away and discovered all sorts of odds and ends that my husband stashed away in my absence. One of them was a lumpy bag of bananas in the freezer, which was taking up valuable space and generally annoying me - so today I made two loaves of banana bread before work. I used an oil-free recipe I found on another thread here, but with the CI technique of extracting the banana liquid and reducing it first. The bread looks good, but we'll see how it tastes (I am generally leery of low-fat breads but I'm not the one who is going to be eating this one, and those who are are on a fat restricted diet).

                                                                                                    1. Needed something to grab for fast energy, so I made whole wheat-peanut butter-oatmeal cookies. Very simple and very satisfying.

                                                                                                      1. was gifted a big bag of ripe mangos (which i don't love personally, otherwise i might just eat them), so i'm making plans for them... Mango Butter; Curried Mango Scones; Roasted Mango cookies (with white chocolate, a little toasted coconut, and garam masala) -- i haven't fully formulated these yet, but in the works... and then probably some baby cakes with leftover mango butter that i don't gift away.

                                                                                                        and this weekend, i'm really aiming to make Browned Butter Ice Cream with some Butter Brickle bits.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Emme

                                                                                                          All YUM Emme! Let us know how the recipes turn out... I sense your a professional baker, who likes to have family fun on the side:)

                                                                                                          Love to especially hear about the Roasted Mango cookies with the garam. Sounds intriguing....

                                                                                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                                                                                            the cookies turned out interesting. i did a browned butter based that turns out crisp on the exterior and chewy inside. i added the roasted mango bits (i made them pretty small), after i had retarded the dough because i didn't want the moisture or the acidity of the fruit to mess things up. i added the white chocolate bits when i first mixed the dough. before i baked them, i sprinkled them with a bit of garam masala, and some coarse sea salt. (i actually quite like this flavor profile when i use (key) lime zest and a bit of lime juice in place of the mango...).

                                                                                                            Mango Butter turned out well enough, only thing i wish i'd done was add a little less brown sugar. oh well. it's better for my palate, as it tastes less like mango, but not so good for offering to others who do like mango

                                                                                                            Curried Chicken Salad with mango -- had impromptu friends over, and ended up making a curried chicken salad -- celery, scallions, water chestnuts, lemon zest, curry powder, mango, yogurt, browned butter (softened), S & P

                                                                                                            [and yes, i do bake as part of my profession... i consider everything i do in my free time as research ;) ]

                                                                                                        2. Smitten Kitchen's "perfect blueberry muffins" - I have been swapping all of the AP flour for King Arthur White Whole Wheat, and buttermilk for the yogurt/sour cream, and love the results. Been sprinkling a little demerara sugar on top of each one before baking for a little crunch - amazing!

                                                                                                          Cut baking time down to 18-20 mins and they come out perfect - a nice little summer breakfast!


                                                                                                          1. just made William Sonoma Classic Lemon Pound cake....would like to find a recipe with a stronger lemon flavor

                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: foufou

                                                                                                              always a challenge to increase lemon-ness while not increasing the acidity too much, as to the point of making it sour rather than lemony, and not toughening it. try adding zest, and brush with a lemon syrup after baking or create some holes with a toothpick and pour the syrup over so that it will soak in.

                                                                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                thank you.....the recipe called for the addition of zest and also brushing the cake with lemon syrup. after poking holes, but I still found the lemon flavor faint.

                                                                                                                  1. re: shaebones

                                                                                                                    thank you...will try that recipe next

                                                                                                                    1. re: shaebones

                                                                                                                      Ditto on Ina Garten's recipe. It's really very good.

                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                        I am looking forward to trying her recipe.....I believe that I considered it but didn't use it because she uses extra large eggs in her recipe, a size that I don't usually have on hand. The Williams Sonoma cake was good but really lacking that lemon kick.

                                                                                                                        1. re: foufou

                                                                                                                          I find it really annoying when recipes use anything other than large eggs! That said, Ina's recipes be seem to be generally better than Williams Sonoma ones - I haven't like their books particularly.

                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                            I've ~ personally ~ found that Williams Sonoma books are just the Sunset books of this century. Great to look at, but a bit...condensed? somehow.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                                                                                              i think i was 11 or 12 and wanted to make something to take for a school homeroom meeting. i remember we had the williams-sonoma pie and tarts book on the shelf. after leafing through and looking at the pretty pictures. i think i settled on making a black and white tart, and i remember being really unimpressed with the results. my mother was not and still isn't a baker. she never said anything like "well maybe the recipe is lackluster" and instead something like "well you'll do it better next time." it wasn't til years later that i made something else from one of their recipes and realized/learned it wasn't me. it was the recipe. and i haven't made anything since.

                                                                                                                          2. re: foufou

                                                                                                                            I'll admit that I use extra large eggs for everything. That's what my husband buys at Costco, so I use them for everything.

                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                              I do too, and I've never found that it makes a bit of difference in any recipe. I even sometimes use jumbos, although in that case I use one less egg than called for if the recipe calls for more than 3 eggs.

                                                                                                                1. i've got a Ricotta Cheesecake/Tart in the oven right now. I did it in a streusel crust, that is to say, I took what is typically my streusel recipe (which I eyeball and do by feel anyways), and added a little extra brown sugar, and an extra couple of drops of butter, made streusel and pressed it into my pie plate and blind-baked for about 15 minutes. we'll see how it turns out tomorrow.

                                                                                                                  i've got a small loaf of no-knead bread on its first rise, to which i added some turns of freshly ground pepper on a whim. having people over tomorrow, so i'm planning on making some fresh butter in the morning as well (which i plan to then brown first, let cool, add herbs and let solidify before dinnertime).

                                                                                                                  also planning on making barley and rice pudding on the stovetop after dinner. and also considering make the Chocolate Velvet Pudding cake from Unforgettable Desserts -- that or the chocolate marshmallow graham squares. We'll see...

                                                                                                                  1. Lemon blueberry poppy seed muffins...just out of the oven.

                                                                                                                    1. I have to organize the cookie dough that's been languishing in the fridge into rolls and into the freezer. Baking in the great midwest soon!

                                                                                                                      1. Pinned your bakercat!

                                                                                                                        Today is simply a Bin5 batter batch to cook up starting monday (mixed grains; AP/KA/ Med Rye).

                                                                                                                        A batch of gougeres to serve to gf's who are coming for dinner; stuffed with smoked salmon, fresh dill and a dab of crema fresca, should be delish!

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                            They were great, BT; would be happy to give you one!

                                                                                                                        1. There will be no baking chez moi til the temps come down a bit. However, we did make ice cream, a sort of dark mocha Heath bar combination. Intense but very good.

                                                                                                                          1. Totally cute baker cat bt!!

                                                                                                                            Scottish Oat Scones - mr bc's favourite!!

                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                Thanks bt! I never had the pleasure of meeting my husband's Scottish grandmother but when my MIL passed, I was fortunate enough to receive her Mom's recipe binder which contained a treasure trove of hand-written and other recipes pasted from magazines, newspapers etc.

                                                                                                                                This scone recipe was typed out with a hand-written note that said: "Bev's Pillsbury recipe, better than Gran's" FYI, I tried both and she was right, this is terrific and has been my "go-to" recipe ever since. I did a Google search and found it online, here it's just called Scottish Scones but the ingredients are identical to those in my typed out version:


                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                  I wish I had one of those right this second!

                                                                                                                            1. This weekend I really wanted to make a key lime pie, but I wanted to kick it up a notch. So, I made the key lime cheesecake from epicurious and it was very, very good! Next time though I think I will add more key lime juice because I think it could have been just a tad more tart. I also made a linzer torte during the week that came out pretty good, considering I did not have a tart pan. I do need to get a tart pan though, it would have made things much easier. And I also made a batch of Snickerdoodles from Cook's Illustrated baking book. They came out nice and soft with a little chewiness. I will definitely be making these again!!

                                                                                                                              1. Hi, I'm on an unfamiliar computer and can't permalink to the new thread, but there is one...could someone possibly report this and request it be marked old? Thanks, dearies!

                                                                                                                                1. Lately due to wifely requests, I've been making Tarta de Santiago, though a flourless version whose only ingredients are eggs, sugar, almonds, lemon peel...and wait! That's it. Uniformly light and fluffy, it always hits the spot. Best recipe online comes from La Tienda.

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: chrisjuricich

                                                                                                                                    Fun! I'll try that. I pulled some other things off of the La Tienda site while I was there, too.

                                                                                                                                  2. An chocolate apricot crostata, turned out yummy.