HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


What are you baking these days? July, 2012 [old]

Greetings from the great (and boiling hot) midwest! A short family visit for my darling and amazing MIL's bday (shh, I didn't tell you this but she just turned 89, and she's rustling up blueberry muffins for breakfast at the moment). Am planning the torta bianca Caprese from Nick's A Baker's Tour to take to another party tonight. How about you? What's shakin' and bakin' chez vous?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I cranked up the oven yesterday despite the 95+ degree heat and made a batch of 7-layer bars and a bacon baklava recipe from Food & Wine. Haven't tasted either yet but I'm concerned that the baklava is a little short on filling - I followed the recipe but I felt that it could have used twice as much bacon and maybe double the amount of nuts as well. We'll see how it tastes. Tonight I'll be making Ina Garten's lemon cake - all of this to be transported to a friend's lake house for the 4th!

    18 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima

      Tasted the bacon baklava - it's quite good, but I would definitely use more bacon and nuts next time, and maybe bake it a little less - I like my baklava to have a little chewy softness, and this one was totally crisp. I tasted a corner piece, though, so that might be why.

      I made Ina Garten's lemon cake in a 8-cup bundt pan last night - it's a non-stick pan with a fancy pattern, and I sprayed it well with cooking spray. However, the cake is CEMENTED into the pan - there is no way it's coming out in one piece. Has anyone else had this problem with this type of pan? I'm just going to take it to the lake in the pan and serve it out of the pan in scoops - hopefully no one will care that it's an ugly mess, because I must say it tastes great!

      1. re: biondanonima

        I have a follow-up question that is related. I finally bought myself a heritage nordic ware bundt type pan. It's the one with the swirly ridged design. 10 cups. I'm planning to use it for the first time for a family event. And want to be sure it comes out in one piece. I've seen different advice. Use Pam spray. OIl then flour. What is the best advice. That will give 100% results.

        And I know there was some good advice on this thread for other months on good recipes to use with this pan. Think a cake with some body to it. I'm open to all possibilities -- a cake with some almond paste? Lemon? Chocolate? Know there were recommendations here but haven't been able to find by searching.


        1. re: karykat

          I use Wilton Cake Release, which you brush on. It gives 100% results, even on old baking pans where the teflon no longer works. It might be overkill on the Heritage Bundt since it has a non-stick coating. However, I like to err on the side of overkill when I've gone through the trouble of mixing up a great cake.

          1. re: roxlet

            I have used Wilton Cake Release but I didn't have any in the house - I should have made the effort to buy a new bottle. The lemon cake was well received anyway - so well, in fact, that we baked another one after the first one was gone!

          2. re: karykat

            Before I used my heritage pan for the first time, I bought a bottle of Wilton Cake Release, which poster roxlet had been recommending. It's an oil and flour formula in a squeeze bottle that you brush on with a pastry brush (I love my silicone brush for things like that). The cake slipped out 100% perfectly, without a crumb left on the pan. I also used on my mini rose bundt pan, which has lots of intricate detail, and for the first time got a really great release. If you have a Michael's craft store near you, they stock the Wilton stuff.

            As for what kind of cake to bake, it seems to me that one that doesn't have a lot of glaze or icing is best, both because you don't want to obscure the shape and because it's harder to glaze because of the swirls (or so people have said; I haven't tried). A dusting of powdered sugar looks nice. And not that I wouldn't bake a chocolate cake in it, but you can see the shape better with lighter-colored cakes.

            1. re: karykat

              There's also Pam for Baking, which has flour and oil in the spray. I've never used Cake Release. The baking spray makes if very easy to tell that you have covered the entire surface. If you are baking something chocolate, use plain Pam and cocoa powder instead of flour, so there's no hint of white on the crust. Though it may sound counterintuitive, you can also use Pam and white sugar. You'd think it would stick or burn.
              It doesn't. It makes for an easy release and has the added beneit of making the crust crisper and tastier.

              1. re: greygarious

                I've used Baker's Joy and Pam for Baking for years, and still do use them on regular baking pans, but the Cake Release does a markedly superior job, especially on pans with fancy patterns. I've also been using it whenever I bake something that has a sticky component, like pieces of juicy fruit that can adhere to pan sides. You also need less of the cake release than of the spray, and it's clear. I've read posts here that suggest that a facsimile can be made by combining equal volumes of vegetable oil, shortening, and flour, but I've not tried that.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'm going to try that cake release. I do have a Michael's near me so that will be handy.

                  Looking forward to trying this. As soon as this heat breaks!

              2. re: karykat

                I have many of Nordic Ware pans. I've never bothered with anything else except a pastry brush, butter and flour. Works every single time. Hope this helps.

                1. re: karykat

                  I would recommend what I think of as one of the greatest cakes I have ever tasted......it's a recipe from Stonewall Kitchens website, Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake..it's absolutely divine, simple but so incredible. It's one of those recipes that the end result is way more than the sum of its parts.....you can use any wild blueberry preserve as well, doesn't have to be Stonewalls brand.

                2. re: biondanonima

                  Am looking at the Ina Garten cakes for my upcoming event. Did you make the one with yogurt and oil or the one with butter and buttermilk?

                  That one is here and is the one I'm thinking of. http://smittenkitchen.com/2006/10/lem...

                  1. re: karykat

                    The one you linked (with butter and buttermilk) is the one I made. I didn't have buttermilk, though, so I just used a little half and half with a splash of vinegar - came out perfectly. It really is a delicious cake, although I wouldn't exactly call it a pound cake - the texture was a little fluffier than traditional pound cake. Also, I agree with Smitten Kitchen on the syrup absorption issue - the second time I made it, I made it in a 9x13 (so it was relatively thin) and aggressively poked the cake with a skewer before pouring on the syrup, and it still didn't really penetrate more than about a half inch. I'd love to try the syrup and glaze with a good lemon sponge cake (and maybe add some limoncello to it).

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      It sounds like the shape of the bundt cake complicates getting the syrup to sink in.

                      I'm inclined to try this one anyway. Esp. with the Wilton cake release to be sure it comes out. The texture sounds good.


                      1. re: karykat

                        With the bundt cake, it actually worked out ok because I soaked the bottom of the cake with the syrup, then glazed the top (piece by piece, since I couldn't get it out of the pan whole, but the principle holds). That way, both the top and bottom of each piece had that intense lemony moistness. With the sheet cake, I poured the syrup on the cake in the pan and then poured the glaze on top of that, which meant that the bottom of the cake didn't have anything on it (it was still tasty, just not as evenly flavored).

                        1. re: biondanonima

                          This makes sense. Soak the bottom first, then soak the top, hoping it comes out in one piece.

                          Thanks much. Will do.

                3. re: biondanonima

                  B.A.C.O.N. B.A.K.L.A.V.A? I am drooling just reading that . . Bacon. Baklava. Bacon. Baklava.

                  1. re: JerryMe

                    The bacon baklava (from Food & Wine: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ba...) was a big hit, but I will definitely make some changes to the recipe if I make it again. I felt the dates were totally unnecessary and added a flavor I didn't care for (I like dates, just not in this), but the filling overall was not generous enough. I would probably triple the nuts and use 1.5x the bacon (making sure to use a really good, thick-cut bacon), and make just two layers of filling rather than three. Also, I would probably use honey + maple syrup instead of the sugar + maple syrup called for, as I felt like the syrup was just a bit too sugary. Finally, I would cut the baking time slightly - the baklava was VERY crisp, and I like a little bit of chew.

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      Great recipe! Definitely doable and thanks for the tips!

                4. Baking a Swabian red currant kuchen today. http://nadelundgabel.wordpress.com/20... Off to buy some butter.

                  Happy Birthday to your MIL!

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: prima

                    Buttertart, I have been leaving messages for you in several threads. I went to the library and got the Abby Mandel book that had her fudge brownies in, if you still want it, please let me know.

                    1. re: prima

                      Thanks! Please, yes, I would like that very much.

                      1. re: buttertart

                        Fudge Brownies

                        1 cup walnut pieces
                        4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces
                        1 1/4 cup sugar
                        1 stick unsalted butter, cut into quarters , room temperature
                        4 large eggs
                        1/4 tsp salt
                        2 teaspoons vanilla extract
                        2/3 cup unbleached A/P flour

                        Preheat to 325. Grease a 9 or 10 inch square pan and coat with flour and shake off excess.
                        With metal blade of food processor, chop the walnuts coarsely and reserve. Chop the chocolate coarsely .. Add the sugar and process for 1 minute. Add the butter and process for 1 minute until well creamed. Add the eggs, salt and vanilla and process for 30-40 seconds, or until itis fluffy. Add the flour and nuts and combine the batter pulsing 4-5 times.
                        Spoon and spread in pan. Bake for 22-25 minutes for fudge like and 3-5 minutes longer for firmer cake-like brownies. Cool and cut into 1 1/2 inch squares,
                        36 brownies
                        Abby Mandel...Cuisinart Classroom

                        1. re: angelsmom

                          Thanks, I will definitely try this.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            I owed you one......made the Chinese cucumber salad and it was a huge hit. TY again.

                            1. re: angelsmom

                              I was happy to help. So fun to see the old issues and remember our life then (we were living in Taipei and my mom continued the subscription I'd had since I was 16, having them sent there). Every issue was an occasion.

                                1. re: angelsmom

                                  She knew her daughter very well :)

                      2. re: prima

                        Prima - This cake looks absolutely gorgeous. I love currants. It will be tangy, like rhubarb, I'd bet. And the crisp topping looks great with it.

                        Have you made this before?

                        This is on my must try list. As soon as our currants come into the farmers market.

                        1. re: prima

                          That does look amazing, but the challenge would be to find red currants!

                          1. re: roxlet

                            Indeed. I thought I'd keep my eyes open for them to come into the coop and then maybe make a smaller version of this. So I wouldn't need as many.

                            1. re: roxlet

                              They had red currants at the Union Sq Greenmarket 2 weeks ago, so if you have a farmstand near you, maybe?

                          2. I baked two Sweet Basil Cheesecakes and made a delivious lime semifreddo with pretzel crust.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: angelsmom

                              Made scones for breakfast the other day, but no half n half so I had to use chocolate soymilk with fresh blueberries. A little too crisp on the bottom but otherwise eminently palatable.

                              Made three Tarta de Santiago flourless almond cakes last night.

                            2. Just received this recipe from my herb farm, sound yummy to me.
                              Drop Scones with Rose Petals and Pistachios.....

                              1. I've been making homemade candy (caramels; hard candy; candy bars, Torrrone, etc) lately, that is until my thermometer died on me and in the middle of cooking sugar for a birthday candy bar. It wasn't pretty. Now it's on to German cakes and pastries. It may not be as hot in the midwest here in NYC, but it's muggy ontop of hot ... eew! And soon, pies. Then for the Fall season Italian cakes and pastries. And the winter (with the new thermometer), more candymaking. Gifts, gifts, and more gifts!

                                1. With slightly cooler weather today, I decided to pick up a gauntlet that had been thrown by my son. He is taking an intensive physics course this summer, and he said that one of the assistants had brought brownies in for everyone -- some 56 kids and adults. Since I have developed somewhat of a reputation as a baker with all the baked goods I send in with my son, my son insisted that I make brownies to show what a real brownie tastes like (he suspects that the other brownies were from a mix). A pound of chocolate later, I have two pans of Nick Malgeri's Supernatural Brownies cooling in the kitchen. I'm cooling in the sunroom, watching Wimbledon.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    When I used to bake for my office and M's departmental secretary, I used to double that sucker and bake it in a half-sheet pan. Atsa lotta brownies.

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      I didn't even think about using a sheet pan! I have two 9X12 pans, so I just did two.

                                    2. re: roxlet

                                      Just made these with BT's suggestion of the additional tsp of baking powder. Yum yum! Nicely fudgy. I didn't have any vanilla (it was $12 in the grocery store!) but I don't think it suffered too much.

                                    3. Banana Bread. Bananas don't last very long on the counter in this weather.

                                      1. Our rhubarb crop is in -- strawberry rhubarb pie.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: PattiCakes

                                          Yum! Rhubarb! It's >$5.00 / pound here! Enjoy that you have it in house.

                                        2. I didn't bake a single thing in June, thanks to the vagaries/travails of my life, so remedied at least that on July 1 with a cherry-almond bundt cake. I've had my eye on this recipe for a long time (I love how wonderfully almonds and stone fruits complement each other); the cherries are cooked into a compote, so frozen would have worked but given that locally grown cherries are at the farmers' market, now was clearly the time.

                                          Cake has some almond flour (meal) and extract, cherries are cooked for a bit with a little sugar and citrus, and it all works predictably well together. Next time I'll reduce the sugar by 25-30% and skip the glaze, which doesn't contribute much, in favor of a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Perfect with a cup of tea. Would be terrific (maybe even better) made with sour cherries, if you're lucky enough to have them - would just need to add a touch more sugar to the compote.

                                          18 Replies
                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                            Where is the recipe from? It looks super!

                                            1. re: roxlet

                                              It's from the little bundt cake book Cake Simple, which I bought because it has some intriguing flavor combinations, and upon looking through it I thought it would at the least provide inspiration. (It also has plenty of takes on classics.) A spin through the index using Amazon's Look Inside feature shows all the recipe titles. This is the fourth recipe I've made from the book (the others were Vanilla Pink Peppercorn, Saffron Almond, and a slight tweak of the Coconut minis), and I have been pleased with the results.

                                              Here's the recipe, paraphrased. I don't keep cake flour on hand, so I used 1 3/4 cups AP and 1/4 cup cornstarch instead. Next time I'll reduce the sugar in the cake to 3/4 cup (it's not grossly sweet at all with 1, but I prefer less-sweet sweets as a rule). She calls for a thin powdered sugar glaze, but as I said, I think just a sprinkle of powdered sugar would be a better way to go.

                                              Cherry Almond Bundt Cake

                                              For the compote:

                                              3 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) sweet cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
                                              1/4 (50g) cup sugar
                                              2 T orange juice
                                              1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
                                              1 tsp lemon zest (I used orange, since I was squeezing it for the juice)
                                              1/4 tsp almond extract
                                              pinch salt

                                              Stir everything together in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil on med-high heat, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the juices thicken and it's reduced to about 1 cup (I stopped when I had a bit more but it was nicely thickened). Set aside. (I made it a day ahead and refrigerated it.)

                                              For the cake:

                                              2 cups (260g) cake flour
                                              2/3 cup (110g) almond flour
                                              2 1/2 tsp baking powder
                                              1/2 tsp baking soda
                                              1/2 tsp salt
                                              3 T unsalted butter, softened
                                              1/3 cup canola oil (I used sunflower)
                                              1 cup (200 g) sugar
                                              2 eggs
                                              2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I used 2, not wanting to upstage the almond)
                                              1 tsp almond extract
                                              1 1/4 cups Greek yogurt

                                              Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 10- or 12-cup bundt cake pan (I used Wilton Cake Release). Whisk together flour, almond flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. In a mixing bowl, beat butter, oil, and sugar until creamy, then beat in eggs and both extracts. Beat in dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with yogurt in 2 additions (ending with flour). Pour just over half the batter in the pan and smooth it out, then spoon the compote over the top. Add the rest of the batter and smooth it carefully, then use a table knife to swirl the cherries into the batter. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a tester comes out with no crumbs (it might have cherries on it). Mine took less time to bake, but that's the nature of my convection oven. Let the cake cool completely in the pan on a rack, then run a knife around the edges and invert on a plate.

                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                  Thanks Caitlin...Looks great. Will be trying that soon (if I don't eat all of the cherries first..)

                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                      Thanks so much for posting this, I think I'm making this today. I just bought cherries and I have greek yogurt that needs to be used up. Perfect!

                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                          just in case someone else doesn't catch this, i assume you mean 50 g (1/4 cup) of sugar in the compote not 500...

                                                          reicpe looks good... look forward to trying.

                                                          1. re: Emme

                                                            Whoops! Thanks, Emme, for catching my slip of the keyboard! I requested that the correction be edited in.

                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                              no problem... just wanted to be sure someone didn't look only at the metrics and have a saccharinely sweet issue...

                                                          2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                            I'm looking at another recipe using almond paste and it got me wondering. What different effects do you get when you use almond paste vs almond flour?

                                                            The almond paste cake texture may be heavier, I imagine.

                                                            What about taste?

                                                            1. re: karykat

                                                              almond paste (at least the way i make mine) has sugar and egg whites in it, so all else held constant, almond paste makes it sweeter. should also be more binding than just ground almonds.

                                                              1. re: karykat

                                                                I don't think almond meal/almond flour makes for all that much almond flavor. You need extract or marzipan or almond paste for that amaretto-like, strong almond flavor.
                                                                I wonder if this is because these may use apricot kernels (as in amaretti cookies) rather than actual almonds.

                                                                I have a very almondy, buttery cake recipe from the back of the Solo almond filling label. If it is not still there, it should be on the Solofoods.com website. It's dense, pound cake like in texture but keeps in the fridge for weeks, tasting just-made.

                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                  This makes sense to me. Maybe it was part of my apprehension about the almond flour recipe.

                                                                  I looked on the solo site. They have a bundt cake that uses their almond cake and pastry filling but not one using the almond paste. I'll scout around more. Know there are lots of almond paste recipes out there.

                                                                  1. re: karykat

                                                                    Here's a link to two recipes I posted that use almond paste, the gugelhupf and the biscotti. I've made the gugelhupf a few times, and the biscotti many times, and like them both.


                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                      Ii don't even like biscotti, but I love those. (It's so annoying when people say I don't even like x but..., isn't it!)

                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        Yeah, I'm so annoyed at you, Bittertart :)

                                                        2. 5 am Baking: oatmeal raisin cookies for museum's volunteers weeding the Sculpture Garden.

                                                          1. Went with an Amazon chocolate cake, pierced all over witth a skewer and a thin ganache (chocolate chips melted in half and half) poured over. My BIL is a man of conservative, non-foofy tastes. Everyone liked it and wants the recipe (simplest thing in the world). The foofy cake Tuesday night.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              What's the goofy cake going to be?

                                                              1. re: pilinut

                                                                The fancy one was going to be a white chocolate torta Caprese, but since nuts are iffy and we were busy, I didn't. It's a Nick M A Baker's Tour recipe.

                                                            2. this....
                                                              But does it count as baking? My kids told me to leave the cherries out.....

                                                              1. I'll be baking sourdough English muffins this evening. So far this summer, even being kept in the refrigerator, my sourdough starter Bob has been extremely active. It was threatening to overflow it's container yesterday, since I hate to throw starter away, and I'd already made a loaf of bread on Sunday, English muffins it was. I'm using a recipe from chocolateandzucchini.com that I'd tried once before. People didn't believe that I'd actually made the English muffins last time, claiming they looked "too much like the real thing."

                                                                1. Just made this


                                                                  Because woo hoo! It's only 103 today! I have French Vanilla ice cream to go on it, if necessary, which is very rare treat in my house (the ice cream and the 'low' temp).

                                                                  Have never made clafouti before but it only takes 1/4 cup of sugar (which I'm running out of) and two (2) eggs (which I'm running out of as well). Hope it's good!

                                                                  Needed to edit that I tried the Chow trick with the paper clip for pulling the cherry pits out and it worked like a charm although I do have to say that I had a moment when I had a memory of a scene from Witches of Eastwick!

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: JerryMe

                                                                    How did the clafouti turn out? I would like to try that....

                                                                    1. re: peppermint_sky

                                                                      The clafouti was received very well and devoured. There were no leftovers.

                                                                      I thot it bland and needed more spices (cinnamon, ginger maybe some clove or something) and I would've used a larger pan. All I had was a casserole dish to put it in. My pans tend to wander to SO's house and not return. The recipe is indeed a keeper. Quick and simple.

                                                                      1. re: JerryMe

                                                                        (I understand that as I am one of those SOs with lots of pans and dishes that don't belong to me!)

                                                                    2. re: JerryMe

                                                                      I made a far breton, which is a clafouti with prunes. It was so delicious and not too sweet. The recipe from epicurious works well. i din't have alcohol to soak the prunes so I soaked/steamed them in the microwave with golden raisins and a touch of cinnamon (first time), then some star anise and tangerine peel the next time.

                                                                    3. I had bags of freezer burned berries from last summer clogging up my freezer, so decided to try a triple-berry bundt cake from smitten kitchen my mother had just raved about. Alas, after softening the butter and dragging out said baggies of fruits from the deepest, darkest recesses of the freezer, I realised that my buttermilk had gone from tangy to, er, funky. So instead I made mixed berry cobbler pie bars. Believe it's originally a Pastry Queen recipe, found it on Joy the Baker a few years ago. The crust didn't quite work because, despite sticking the butter in the freezer.. it was still too soft to cut in well. It might be a bit of a disaster, but it will still taste good!

                                                                      1. I am baking crumbles using seasonal fruits and especially with a rhubarb combination. I have found a great recipe that uses melted butter for the crumble topping instead of solid butter. It is a faster method and no difference to the end result. Also on top of the fruit mixture the recipe uses cinnamon, it adds another level to the crumble. I usually only use cinnamon with apple but really like it with berries and rhubarb. Brought my crumble to church buffet on two occasions and it got gobbled up.

                                                                        1. Almond squares and Blueberry pie. And zucchini bread, zucchini bread, zucchini bread.


                                                                          1. Hot weather means a strict embargo on my oven - I won't even use the toaster oven other than late at night when the temperature is lowest. But I needed something sweet and realized I had stale rice krispies and an unopened container of Fluff that has to be at least a decade old. There was no expiration date but maybe they never do. (Fluff has to be an ingredient cockroach.... something that would survive a massive extinction event.) My eyes fell upon Trader Joe's freeze-dried banana slices and inspiration struck. The RKTs are great with the banana add-in - a new favorite.

                                                                            I also realized this is something to keep in mind for next Memorial and Independence Days - RKTs with freeze-dried blueberries and raspberries (or strawberries). Optionally, white chocolate chips and/or the FD banana could be included if one wanted an add-in whiter than the color of the traditional RKT.

                                                                            1. For July 4th dinner, I made a peach cream pie (details on WFD) and a blueberry tart from ALice Medrich's new book, Simple Desserts, or something like that. In any event, it was very simple.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: rstuart

                                                                                    Thanks! If you have the Medrich book, that blueberry tart is a winner -- and it's super easy!

                                                                              1. I baked a biscuit for berry shortcakes later this evening! Yum -- light and crispy, couldn't resist trying the biscuit as it cooled.

                                                                                Question -- I cooked this biscuit in an 8 x 8 square pan, per instructions. The recipe called for taking the cake out of the pan upon removal from oven, and then setting to cool on a rack. I did this but, as predicted, the cake split a little it in a few places. I would have ignored that step and just let it cool in the pan, but we thought taking it out would maintain the crispy edges of the biscuit which could possibly steam in the pan and get soggy during cooling? I don't know... anyone who can weigh in? Not serving to guests, so it's fine tonight, and I could make individual biscuits on a cookie sheet next time. But I just wonder if it is indeed necessary to get the hot cake right out of the pan to prevent sogginess (or something else that hasn't occurred to me, LOL).

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: peppermint_sky

                                                                                  If the pan has a removeable bottom just take the cake out of the pan and let it cool with the bottom of the pan in place. I had to do this with a cake with which I had a similar problem even after it had cooled for 10 minutes.

                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                    Thank you, souschef. I cooked it in one of those glass 8 x 8 dishes. I guess I could do it in a springform pan, but the square shape is convenient for cutting.

                                                                                    would it harm the biscuit to let it cool in the pan?

                                                                                2. Been baking mostly work related this week, except for salmon croquettes and lavash crackers to take to the Hollywood Bowl yesterday.

                                                                                  Last weekend, I ended up making a ricotta cheesecake tart, a fruit'n'flan cake from Unforgettable Desserts (really a yellow butter cake with a pastry cream filling and fruit), and also from UD, the Chocolate Velvet Pudding Cake (it was so easy as to be ridiculous).

                                                                                  Planning on cracking open my newest collection addition by Flo Braker...The Simple Art... we'll see what catches my eye, but if anyone has any favorites...

                                                                                  i know i'll be making carrot cake with a browned butter cream cheese frosting for a friend's birthday on friday, but nothing else really set in my mind. guess i'll have to see what ingredients need using up...

                                                                                  1. After a 5 months in Manila without a kitchen of my own, I finally managed to bake a few things this past week or so: a frangipane bing cherry tart, a pie shell for some fresh Blenheim apricots, brown butter madeleines (thanks again to souschef), and a Meyer lemon chiffon cake from the Baker's Dozen cookbook.

                                                                                    What I've learned:
                                                                                    1. a Spanish almond paste, 50% almonds, yields a fragrant frangipane, but a rather heavy and sticky one. Starting with freshly ground blanched almonds yields a better texture;
                                                                                    2. pie dough does not like going in and out of the fridge several times as one's baking plans change over the course of a couple of days;
                                                                                    3. there are other reasons for buttering madeleine pans very generously, aside from not having them cakes stick--the flavor of the extra butter and the crisp, nearly fried edges;
                                                                                    4. using standardized weights (20g per yolk, 28g per eggwhite) for the 6 eggs, separated, + 2 whites called for in the Meyer Lemon Chiffon Cake recipe, I found that I needed all of 8 "Large" eggs to get 120g of yolks and 250g of whites. I wonder if the yolks were unusually small. The cake itself came out lovely, and the perfume and faint tang of the Meyers were the perfect complement to the apricots and whipped cream I ate with the cake.

                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: pilinut

                                                                                      Welcome back Pilinut!

                                                                                      Thanks for the tip on the Madeleine pans.

                                                                                      Buttertart, are you listening? Here's someone else who weighs eggs, so finally I've been vindicated.

                                                                                      On another food board I read a recipe where flour and butter were measured in teacups! For good measure (sic), one of the ingredients was specified in grams. Boggles the mind!

                                                                                      I made the hazelnut spritz cookies in "The International Cookie Cookbook", using pistachios instead of hazelnuts. They were not as good as when I have used hazelnuts or almonds.

                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                        Of course I'm listening! I really like the cake release for madeleines, have buttered my pans up the yinyang and still had them stick.

                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                          I'll vote with souschef on this: the nonstick pans are better for madeleines. I have both, and the non-sticks yield as golden-brown a product, with better texture--at least for my recipe. I do butter and spray both the tinned and the non-stick, but the tinned gets more butter.

                                                                                          1. re: pilinut

                                                                                            My pans are 20+ years old, must look into the nonstick ones. Didn't like the silicone ones at all.

                                                                                        2. re: souschef

                                                                                          Hi, Souschef! It's nice to be back in the baking saddle again. I was starting to hallucinate pastries, having been away from my baking gear for so long.

                                                                                          Having substituted weights for almost everything in a recipe that was more than a couple of teaspoons, the uncertainty of eggs was rather galling. All those iterations for canelés made me realize how much eggs could vary. This last recipe confirmed that even the proportions of yolks to whites in eggs differ very considerably. I am now getting a bit paranoid that the pros who write the cookbooks weigh everything but are oversimplifying the recipes they put out for amateurs like me.

                                                                                          1. re: pilinut

                                                                                            souschef has made me more observant (and careful) in my baking, and you are absolutely correct in the egg business.

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                              It was Rose's influence :)


                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                I know you love the Rose. I love how her recipes work out. I think that even someone who had never baked anything could make something delicious if they followed her instructions to a T.

                                                                                      2. Still too hot to bake, but I made two kinds of ice cream yesterday: coffee with oreos, choc. chips and toasted almonds, and vanilla fudge ripple with choc. covered peanuts.

                                                                                        1. Its so hot here and muggy to, my dad would think I was mad If I baked anything now and only beingable to use my window AC for a few glorious minutes a day I really don't want to be cooking or baking for very long. On top of that I was sick the first part of the week with a stomach flu, I have only made a Strawberry Coconut Ice cream , good timing though as I proved to my self today that I cannot stomach cow's milk anymore. But I have yet to try the Ice Cream, after Churning I put it in a freezable container and stuck it in my kitchen freezer, I checked on it about 2 hours later and it was softer than it was when I churned it so I quickly stuck it in my big standing freezer in hopes it does freeze more solid. I have two bag fulls of sweet cherries that were on sale, We ate 1 bag already but I am so tempted to make a baked cherry dish, clafoutis are good but I want to do something different.
                                                                                          These sound good if I don't find anything else now just to wait for a cooling thunderstorm then I will bake and the AC will be my reward for my hard work. But I eventually need to make the best ever chocolate chip cookie recipe to sell at a flea market to benefit a new dog park trying to open in town, fortunately I can make the batter, roll out into balls then freeze, and bag and bake when I need to before the 19th when ever it does cool down a bit.

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: LEsherick2007

                                                                                            That does look good! Caitlin McGrath also posted a wonderful looking cherry almond bundt in this thread that looks fabulous, if you're looking for more cherry ideas...

                                                                                            1. re: rstuart

                                                                                              It does look good the bundt cake just not sure if I'm into cake right now but little cherry crumble bars yes.

                                                                                          2. I wanted to make a little dessert to take over to dinner with my father and stepmother, but was short on time. I had a round of pastry in the freezer, so I used it to make a petite nectarine and Bing cherry galette, the perfect size for three. I scattered some crumbled almond paste and bits of almonds (the dregs of a bag of sliced almonds) on the center of the crust and tossed the fruit with just a tiny bit of sugar and a slosh of creme de peche liqueur, brushed the edges of the crust with beaten egg, and sprinkled it with turbinado sugar. After it was baked, i brushed the fruit with the liqueur and sugar remaining in the bowl. Came out delicious.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                              Caitlin, that looks and sounds fantastic. Want!

                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                I made a really terrific crumble yesterday from a recipe in a Nigella book. I don't have the actual title because we took the book back to the library yesterday. It's something like Nigella at Home...

                                                                                                Anyway, she claimed that this was a good recipe for using up less than stellar strawberries. I happened to have bought a clamshell of strawberries for 99 cents at Berkeley Bowl yesterday. They were cheap but quite a bit less than stellar.

                                                                                                The recipe is quite easy. It's a mix of almond meal, butter, sugar and a bit of flour. This mix is tossed with the strawbs. That mix is dumped into a pie pan and covered with a topping of sugar and sliced almonds.

                                                                                                Here's a link to the recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ni...

                                                                                                It turned out to be quite delicious with some homemade frozen Pavel's frozen yoghurt.

                                                                                              2. I've been making lots of variations of clafoutis (recipe by Chef John of foodwishes on youtube). I'm a big fan of this dessert--custardy, puddingy, bready all in one. Although, I think that a couple dashes of alcohol (brandy, kirch, etc) really makes it spectacular. Especially when you top it with some homemade sour cream/creme fraiche.

                                                                                                1. More peanut butter cookies. More lemon poppy seed blueberry muffins. Everyone is asking for them. :)

                                                                                                  1. No-knead freeform with half white, half whole wheat, and 1/4 c potato starch is on the counter, rising. Added the potato starch to see if it would keep the bread fresher longer (see the newest CI for their remarks on potato in bread doing that).
                                                                                                    The Ur-cookie project still needs more tweaking, but the present go-round is awfully tasty (CI sablé with hardboiled egg yolk and browned butter dream cookie dough made separately, with an extra 1/2 c of flour, as icebox cookies about the size of a 50 cent piece...which from those two last word choices my age can be adduced...).

                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                                        :) Did they ever have them in Canada? I forget.

                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                          They did.. my father got me some when I was a kid ;) Sure that I have it somewhere along with the first loonie and toonie.. he would put them in those cylindrical plastic film canisters (I'm dating myself there).

                                                                                                    1. spent the day in the kitchen today.. 2 batches of strawberry jam, cherry scones (my cherry pitter was one of my best purchases EVER). One batch of strawberry jam made more than I anticipated, so I looked for a recipe to use it up.
                                                                                                      Doubled this:
                                                                                                      Although it barely fit in my 9 x 13 (maybe I should have used my bundt pan instead? I knew I was pushing my luck volume wise!). Looked pretty much done after 1 hr and 5 minutes.. we'll see what my co-workers think of it!

                                                                                                        1. Not been baking much this month, but I did an angel food cake to go with some great strawberries we got yesterday.

                                                                                                          1. I made Rehrucken courtesy of Flo Braker yesterday. It has a lovely gooey underdone interior, and was supposed to be glazed with chocolate and garnished with almonds. I ended up leaving off the glaze and almonds. It was very well received. I might try the recipe with white chocolate... It reminded me of the tunnel of fudge cake, not quite the same as that gooey fudgy interior, less viscous, but just as lovely.

                                                                                                            Also made a Baked Ricotta Rice Pudding which next time I will whip the egg whites up a bit, and add a bit more milk or cream.

                                                                                                            Lastly, did a batch of a Zingerman's chocolate chip cookie that turned out nothing like what was pictured, or what I expected. I even used vanilla bean rather than extract, and was quite disappointed, both in the lackluster result and my waste of bean... Oh well.

                                                                                                            25 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Emme

                                                                                                              I love Flo Braker. Which book is that from?

                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                Simple Art of Perfect Baking! ...i just got it from AbeBooks (thanks to you roxlet!)

                                                                                                                1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                  I have a Rehruecken pan, and I got that book because roxlet made me, what am I waiting for? (Pan from Marshalls ages ago.)

                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                    I have the book, I missed that recipe, and what the heck is a Rehruecken pan???

                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                      it has special ridges... shhh but i made it in a loaf pan...

                                                                                                                      The Rehrucken pan...

                                                                                                                      1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                        I have one. Now i know what the heck it's called!

                                                                                                                        1. re: karykat

                                                                                                                          It's supposed to look like a loin of venison roast, larded. The lardons are slivered almonds. Reh is a type of deer, Ruecken is back/loin. Those madcap Germans with their trompe l'oeil food.

                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                            thank you! i knew about the venison part, but didn't know about the lardons!

                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                              Wow.. that is kind of creepy.. I just don't want my baked goods to look like wild game. Or is that just me ;)

                                                                                                                          2. re: Emme

                                                                                                                            Well, that does it, Emme! I'm calling Flo Braker and telling on you!

                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                              aw nuts. i was already in the principal's office once today. wait, no i lied. twice.

                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                  That Braker book annoys me. Man, is she bossy! Makes RLB sound like a sweetheart.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                    she's only bossy if you read the instructions... read the pictures and you'll be fine ;)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                      Actually, I find Carole Walters to be the bossiest. She is overly detailed and specific in her recipes, yet she doesn't provide weights. I want to know how you can give an amount of 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon without giving weights?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                        Yeah! Roxlet is coming over to my side!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                          hahahahaha. At a recent bread workshop, as we signed in... we were asked to measure one cup of flour - duly recorded by weight, some of us spooned, some of us scooped, some tapped... as the class started, the breadmaker/baker/instructor compared our stats and measures of 'one cup' of flour. Interesting, then we discussed humidity and hardness of wheat. Baking is Insane. hehehehehe

                                                                                                                                        2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                          Flo is actually a sweetie-pie and very encouraging and supportive - gotta love this gal.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                              Flo is a SweetHeart, too. souschef, buttertart, roxlet, Emme + all on this thread/board; all SweetHearts. One and All with Neverending Generosity.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                    can only imagine how much fun it would be to have all the bakers in one kitchen... or maybe an Iron Chef: Sugar

                                                                                                                        2. Since Zitronenjunge and I braved the 90 degree weather yesterday to pick raspberries, and ended with about three and half pounds, I'll be making raspberry lemonade bars from King Arthur Flour's website. I've made them before and they were a big hit with the husband, I'm just going to tweak the recipe a tiny bit and just top with finely chopped white chocolate rather than melting and spreading, since the hard uniform layer of chocolate on top made them difficult to cut last time.

                                                                                                                          11 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                            You're a trooper--yesterday was BRUTAL. Hope it makes those raspberries extra sweet. Did you go to Belltown to pick? :)

                                                                                                                            And you made me look...these sure sound excellent! The promise of the flavor of pink lemonade hooked me!

                                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                              They are delicious, I know one review on their website says they were too sweet, but that person must suck on lemons. They were just the right combination of sweet and tart I thought.

                                                                                                                              We went up to Kuras Farms for the berries, way up there in West Suffield, or West Granby, one of those far away towns. The raspberries are up on the "mountain" and you do get a very nice view of the valley. My tiny hands actually came in handy for raspberry picking, I was able to dart in between the leaves and got more berries, and less scratches than my husband did :-)

                                                                                                                              1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                HA HA re "that person must suck on lemons!" Good to know as I, too, appreciate that fine balance between tart and sweet. And, ah, that IS far away! Hopefully it was a tad cooler on the "mountain," but somehow I doubt it. Bonus points to you both for picking in the extreme heat!

                                                                                                                            2. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                              My lemonade raspberry bars came out great! A little melty in this heat!

                                                                                                                              1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                Servin' up summer on a plate! Don't they look great?!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                        So I also made the raspberry lemonade bars (King Arthur Flour recipe) and the flavor is exceptional. However, mine never quite set enough to be a bar. The raspberry/lemon layer is more like pie filling. I used an 8 x 8 pan, but I ended up cooking for 45 minutes total (ten more than the maximum suggested on the recipe). I'm not sure why? The filling is gooey, more like pie filling. Great flavors, fine to eat with forks, but I'd like to fix this glitch so that I can serve at gatherings. I make a lot of cookies, and these really do burst with delightful zingy freshness. Plus the color is gorgeous.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: peppermint_sky

                                                                                                                                          Since this was the second time I made the recipe, I did tweak it a little bit, I used 3 tablespoons of arrowroot starch instead of the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch as recommended. They set up nicely, but still a bit messy to eat with your hands. I used arrowroot starch just because it ends up clearer than cornstarch, and I had it on hand. If you wanted them to be really firmly set, you could try more starch, maybe 4 tablespoons would do the trick? Or gelatin maybe?

                                                                                                                              2. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                Wow. I have been looking for a raspberry bar recipe using fresh raspberries as opposed to raspberry preserves/jam. This looks like a keeper, especially because I adore lemons (and lemonade). BUT -- I can't do white chocolate. I am thinking maybe a crumble topping? Seems like they would be too gooey to eat without some kind of topping. Raspberries are on sale... I want to try this out! Mmmm. I suppose I could just try the filling inside my favorite berry crumble bar.

                                                                                                                              3. I made blueberry muffins from The Best Recipe but I upped the blueberries. They're excellent.

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                  Just in time for National Blueberry Muffin Day today!

                                                                                                                                2. Wake 'n bake--almond cake! One of my very favorite things to do with extra egg whites.

                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                      Is on my blog, therefore verboten to link here, but I'll tell you it may be even better with 4 egg whites (which is what I had leftover from making gelato) than 5. It's an adaptation from my 2008 calendar of food. Here's a copy/paste:

                                                                                                                                      ALMOND CAKE
                                                                                                                                      ½ cup butter, melted
                                                                                                                                      1 cup ground, blanched almonds (almond flour)
                                                                                                                                      2/3 cup powdered sugar
                                                                                                                                      ¼ cup all-purpose flour
                                                                                                                                      ½ tsp. baking powder
                                                                                                                                      4* egg whites
                                                                                                                                      ½ tsp. almond extract

                                                                                                                                      *I always made this cake with 5 egg whites; however, it tastes just fine (maybe even better!) with 4, which is the number of egg whites leftover from most of my gelato recipes.

                                                                                                                                      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter and set aside. Combine ground almonds with sugar, flour and baking powder. Add egg whites and almond extract and stir. Add melted butter and stir.

                                                                                                                                      Spread batter in buttered 8 x 8″ baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes or till slightly golden and toothpick comes out clean.

                                                                                                                                      You can make it in mini or regular muffin tins, too, but I take the lazy way out and prefer one pan.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                          kattyeyes, this is very similar in ingredients and technique to financier recipes, except that those use browned butter, which I know from your posts you are a big fan of.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                            Yes, yes--so I've learned! I don't have the smaller silicone baking molds, though. I would love to find some in the right size/configuration to make nine or twelve little cakes. I wonder if this would work?

                                                                                                                                            One day I will try the recipe with browned butter (great idea). This morning, I just wanted to melt the butter in the micro and get cake in my mouth faster. ;)

                                                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                              I can understand that sentiment! I like the idea of a recipe where I know the volume works with a cake pan, so thanks.

                                                                                                                                              Recipes for financiers I've seen (there's even one on Chow) often suggest mini muffin tins, and at a bakery in my neighborhood (which calls them almond tea cakes, but they are the same thing), that's what they're baked in. If you prefer silicone, you could get one with 12 cups. Oh, if you want hearts, that Wilton one is mini muffin dimensions (1.5" across x 1" deep).

                                                                                                                                    2. Made some rather good chocolate chip cookies (recipe that I found scribbled on an index card in my notebook, probably from somewhere online) to inaugurate my new apartment (ee!), followed up by healthy blondies (Half coconut sugar, half applesauce for oil, half oat fiber for flour) which were suprisingly delicious considering my substitutions, though more crumbly than chewy, and finally a very delicious orange cake. Someone gave us this tangerine orange juice that neither my roommate or I wanted, so i took the basic vanilla cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (at least, I believe that's where I got it) and subbed 3/4 of the soymilk with the juice. I baked it in a 9inch cake pan. I also made a glaze from powdered sugar, juice, fresh lime juice, and a bit of lime zest. I spooned a layer on while the cake was warm so it soaked in, then another layer as it cooled so it got a crisp glazed top. The texture was fantastic, moist and fluffy, and had a light, floral citrus flavor that wasn't over-the top, but pleasant. Tasting the batter made me think of orange creamsicles. :) Would love to make it again as cupcakes for a birthday or such!

                                                                                                                                      Who says vegan baking can't be awesome!

                                                                                                                                      1. I made a peach pie this morning from peaches from my neighbor. Turned out great!

                                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: sarahjay

                                                                                                                                          How could it not? Loooove peach pie.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                            peaches were 67 cents per pound last week. can I freeze them whole or must I peel and slice first? although they were rock hard, they are ripening now and I need to freeze them when the flavor blooms but before they are mushy. ♥ Peach Pie

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                              How about freezing in plastic- lined pie pans with the sugar needed? I don't think they's be great frozen whole.

                                                                                                                                        2. One of the best cakes I have ever made.....even though it begins with a box.....it's so moist and full of citrus flavor.

                                                                                                                                          1. Sweet cherries were on sale, so I tried to make a cherry pie with them instead of sour. Came out just OK. Really would need to add much more lemon juice next time. I did put in quite a bit, but it still isn't tart enough.

                                                                                                                                            Also, half cheating, I made brownies for my daughters softball team. Ghirardelli mix, but I amended with a "pudding" of black cocoa and espresso powder, and stirred in mini marshmallows and topped with crushed Heath bars. The marsmallows completely cooked into the brownie and caramelized, which gave the brownies a great sticky, slightly elastic texture.

                                                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: sbp

                                                                                                                                              There is a recipe from Cook's Illustrated that calls for two plums to be pureed into the filling mixture for sweet cherry pie - I've been meaning to try it. Supposedly the plums add the tartness that's lacking with sweet cherries. Which are also on sale here. Hm...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                So, I tried it - basically, you puree two plums and a cup of sweet cherries and strain the liquid into five additional cups of cherries, pitted and halved. Add some lemon juice, a half cup of sugar, a little bourbon and 2T. of tapioca and bake as usual (with a full double crust, not a lattice). I didn't think 2T. of tapioca would be enough, so I added an extra half tablespoon, but even so the pie was a bit too runny. It probably could have cooked a little longer, even though I left it in 15 mins longer than the hour called for in the recipe. Anyway, it's fine, good even, but there is no substitute for sour cherries in pie. The sweet cherries are just very one-dimensional in pie - I think their unique flavor is somewhat dulled by baking.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                  Sounds reasonable, with the bourbon adding a bit more bite as well. But you're right; the sweet cherries are one dimensional. We wound up mostly eating the crust.

                                                                                                                                            2. Just made the Reine de Saba 5.0 from the new Medrich, with half milk and half dark choc. Simpler than rolling off a log, since you gotta get on the log in the first place. That is some book.

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                Really nice, but would be better with all bittersweet. Appreciated by its audience.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                  How does 5.0 differ from 1.0 (i.e. the Cocolat version)? Larger log?

                                                                                                                                                  What's special about the book?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                    It's very easy -- you grind the almonds with 2 tb flour, melt the chocolate, beat in the butter, the sugar, and the eggs (cold from the fridge, WHOLE) in one by one, stir in the dry ingredients. Rose beautifully (3" in my 8" pan).
                                                                                                                                                    The book has some new and interesting combinations of things and the recipes are almost all very appealling. The Saba is worth buying the book for.

                                                                                                                                                2. I made a Chocolate layer cake with Buttercream Frosting and Chocolate Ganache for my Dad's birthday, along with pecan bars. Both were a hit! I also made some Blondies which came out very well, and I am thinking about making a Strawberry Chantilly Cake. The only problem I am having is finding a recipe for Strawberry Chantilly Icing. Does anyone have a recipe for this? Thanks in advance!

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Redstickchef

                                                                                                                                                    I suspect that the icing is just Chantilly cream, which you put on a strawberry cake.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Made this


                                                                                                                                                    as it was "only" 101 today and I had plums to use up. I have no idea how it should fit into 8" square pan. I had plums pushing out all over (and I only had six (6)) but it smells good and I'm cleaning the kitchen now.

                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JerryMe

                                                                                                                                                      That's a good recipe.. it's Dorie Greenspan. Not too sweet...

                                                                                                                                                    2. Making Marion Cunningham's sour yogurt rye bread from the FF Baking Book as an hommage. Followed the recipe and everything! Rising in the pans now.

                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                        Followed the recipe? What is this world coming to???

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                          Measured! Everything! It looks quite good.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                            It's very good -- quite like the Danish rye bread I remember from when I was a kid (and lived around the corner from a Danish bakery). Firm, somewhat dense, crying out for lots of butter and smorrebrod toppings.
                                                                                                                                                            No baking this weekend, laid low by evil summer cold.

                                                                                                                                                      2. I made chocolate almond biscotti from a Carole Walter's recipe. My son, who had requested them since they "make a great breakfast" lol, pronounced them perfect. In addition to the almonds, they also have chocolate chips. However, given the damp weather, I may wind up putting them in the freezer to keep them crisp.

                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                          Does the recipe use almond paste?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                            No, just almonds. And I forgot that I had bought whole almonds and left them in the car, so all I had were sliced almonds, but they're ok. A little less almond taste than I'd like.

                                                                                                                                                        2. I know buttertart will appreciate that the Ontario peaches are in, early and very good already. So I made a upside down peach cornmeal cake from Martha Stewart. Pretty tasty concept although not perfect (I did have to make a sub and use a different pan). I liked that it didn't call for peeling the peaches.

                                                                                                                                                          19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                                                            The ones that I got from the farmers' market were all clingstone, which I am far too lazy to bake with. I always wait until the freestone are in. Will have to remember that recipe for when the freestones are out!!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                              That is early. First clings then freestones. Do tthey still grow Red Havens? My absolute favourite. NJ peaches (and tomatoes) can be excellent too, but what I wouldn't give to get my mitts on a 6-qt basket of each, "Ontario Fruit" logo and all...

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                Yep, they still grow Red Havens up here. It's become somewhat difficult to find non-Red Havens in Toronto and southwestern Ontario. Not sure if it's easier to find more varieties in the Niagara region. Working my way through my first 3 l basket.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: prima

                                                                                                                                                                  Elbertas late in the season...love them too.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                    Buttertart: when I was at my farmer's market today I asked what kind I was getting, and it was indeed Red Haven. Another vendor also had Harrow Diamond; I'll get those next week...

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                      I've never heard of those, could you post a pic of them, intact and cut? I'm a peach nut.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                        The Harrow Diamond? sure... when I get them next week.
                                                                                                                                                                        I did find this:
                                                                                                                                                                        From an entire photo gallery of peach varieties.. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, they are very early, apparently because of the heat. I was just speaking to an aunt in Colorado, and she said that they were really early there too..

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                    My MIL gets CO peaches through the Lutheran church in their town. Must ask her if she has new of them, they're usually available in late Aug!

                                                                                                                                                                3. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                  For this recipe I just cut wedges off the peaches, there wasn't too much waste around the pit. And it only called for 3, although mine were smallish so I used 4. It was a very simple recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                4. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                                                                  That cake looks special. I enjoy lavender in baked treats. But I don't have a cast iron skillet. Did you prepare the cake in a regular cake pan or ---? I want to make this cake but I don't know what pan I could use, something that I can start stovetop and then transfer to oven. Hmmm.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: peppermint_sky

                                                                                                                                                                    I think I could just make it in a springform pan lined with parchment paper, as Martha suggests for her plum-raspberry upside down cake. The upside-down part calls for the same layering; melted butter, then the sugar, then the fruit in the bottom of the pan, then the cake batter atop that.


                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: peppermint_sky

                                                                                                                                                                      I confess that I skipped the lavender. I was bringing it to a friend's for lunch so I also made it in a square Pyrex. I did do the fruit/sugar mix on the stove in cast iron, but I transferred the mixture to the Pyrex. It did take about 10 minutes longer to bake, and maybe the sugar didn't get as dark/caramelized? But it was a hit :)
                                                                                                                                                                      Oh I didn't attempt to flip it out of the pan, just cut squares and flipped them on the plate.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: julesrules

                                                                                                                                                                        Interesting -- the skillet peach upside down cake that you made calls for 22 minutes at 350 (plus cooking the fruit and sugar mix 10 to 12 minutes stovetop).

                                                                                                                                                                        But, the plum and raspberry upside down cake, also Martha's recipe, calls for baking in a springform pan, 60 to 70 minutes at 375. Ingredients aren't that different (cornmeal in the peach cake, more flour in the raspberry one). Why such a difference? Would the pan account for such a drastic difference in baking times?

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: peppermint_sky

                                                                                                                                                                          yes, the cast iron skillet retains heat - when I use cast iron for cornbread, I preheat the skillet. I'm rethinking baking peach pie now and trading up to your skillet peach upside down cake recipe - sounds like juicy goodness.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                            I don't have a cast iron pan, but was thinking of trying the upside down cake.. how long do you would it take in a regular cake pan?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: peppermint_sky

                                                                                                                                                                                In a square Pyrex (8 inch) it took 10 or 15 minutes longer than the recipe stated. It's not a delicate cake so I just kept checking visually and adding time until it started to look baked, then started testing by inserting skewer until it came out clean.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. We have a bumper crop of zucchini in rhe garden, so I shredded one of the bats (giant zuccs). Made 2 zucchini breads, doubling the recipe from my "Silver Palate Cookbook". Used whatever was left over on zucchini fritters with dinner. Thank G-d for ac!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Whole wheat sandwich bread. After I discovered "cellulose" hidden in the ingredient list on my supermarket bread.

                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                          It's "diet". Googled it and found out cellulose is a by-product of the paper industry. Somehow I feel better eating food than paper by-products.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: heathpack

                                                                                                                                                                            Cellulose makes up the walls of plant cells. You're eating it anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                              Very true.. for some reason it always makes me think of newspapers! It probably add bulk for fewer calories. I think that bread is just one of those things where the diet version doesn't work...

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                Go big or go home department of foods.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. I am going to attempt to make Kouign Amann this afternoon, on a 100 degree day, perfectly logical. It's for a going away party though, and one of the honorees favorites, so I'll be cranking the air conditioner.

                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                          Old thread, but I hope you are still there....how did the Kouign Amann turn out; any pointers/recipes?

                                                                                                                                                                        2. While I know it is heresy to most bakers including myself, I just had to try this lemon lime cake. It does, however, begin with a box cake. It was truly one of the best cakes I have ever tasted! Sorry to be blasphemous!


                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: angelsmom

                                                                                                                                                                            I want to make this too, and I want my MIL to see the recipe, because it's right up her street. Posted the link on FB as an all-points-bulletin to the fam. :)

                                                                                                                                                                          2. A while ago, I found myself musing that if cakes with grated carrots or zucchini are a good thing (and they are, in my book), why not grated beets? They've got natural sweetness and seem bound to keep a cake moist the way carrots do. So then I thought, why not all three? I finally got around to doing it this week, and made a beet, carrot, and zucchini bundt cake with browned butter, buttermilk, and finely ground hazelnuts, flavored with vanilla and cardamom. And a vanilla-brown butter glaze. I turned out just as I wanted. It's not dense or heavy the way carrot cake can be, but is very moist, with a soft, fairly light crumb. Great flavor, if I do say so, and a good keeper. I should have taken a photo of the interior, because it's colorful!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Time to start a new thread, Buttertart!

                                                                                                                                                                              1. A recipe but more about how they laid it out for their friend/relative. Marcel DeSalniers chocolate speckled cake.


                                                                                                                                                                                1. There was a recipe in this thread several months ago for an almond cake, and I made it. IIRC it had almond extract but no almonds, but I added almonds to it. Does anyone recall it? A link would be much appreciated. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I made some almond and cranberry biscotti today from a recipe from Nick Malgieri's Italian Baking. They are like cantucci -- very hard, and best dipped in vin santo, but I won't tell my son that! It'll be coffee or tea for him!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. It just plain isn't gonna get cool anytime soon, so I baked a loaf just to spite the heat. New to me, Fig & Pumpkin Bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I found it here:


                                                                                                                                                                                      and it has the nicest flavor! I used brown sugar, not white, otherwise everything else was from the recipe. Sweet and different, a keeper.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. We had more peaches from the neighbors, so I made a peach-blackberry crisp. We had it with honey whipped cream. Perfect summer food.

                                                                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sarahjay

                                                                                                                                                                                          I have never heard of or thought of sweetening whipped cream with honey--how very nice!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                                            I'd never done it before either. I went to the cupboard to get vanilla paste, but it wasn't there, and the honey was. It was really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: sarahjay

                                                                                                                                                                                            I made a peach-blackberry crisp this week, too! Mmmm. Toasted pecans in the topping.

                                                                                                                                                                                          3. For my husband;s fried chicken dinner last night, I made the blueberry tart from the new Medrich baking book. It is quite delicious, and as simple as the book title promises.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I'm breaking in my new sourdough starter today with a batch of sourdough-buttermilk pain au lait. Its rising right now, rather slowly, considering everything I've read says that bread will rise faster at my new, higher altitude. I'll give it some time, though, and see how it goes. I needed something to pair with the cream cheese I made yesterday and the fig butter I got at TJ's.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I made a strawberry, raspberry and red currant jam that made WAY too much, so I had some jam to use up since I once again had not sterilized enough jars! Made a peanut butter shortbread bar that is similar to the classic Hungarian raspberry shortbread. You make the shortbread, divide in 2, then grate it frozen, bake half, top with jam and PB mixture, then top with rest of grated dough. Very good..

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I actually baked yesterday, first time in ages. I made a double-batch of caramelitas with chocolate. They didn't turn out as layered as they have in the past, but they still tasted good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. And bc the mood hit me, I baked a couple of loaves of challah. Hard to go wrong there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I wish I were better at rolling out the the logs before braiding. I can't seem to get them to be smooth or even.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh mine aren't generally perfectly braided -- and these I just threw into loaf pans. I figure the imperfections make it look homemade, lol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I did Saveur's Challot last night and they came out well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Has anyone baked any of the recipes listed off of CHOW from the menu at the top of the page? Which ones did you like? I have a few that I book marked based on the sound of the name like


                                                                                                                                                                                                      But not sure if there are ones that you all have tried that you highly recommend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Today I'm really putting my sourdough starter to the test for the first time. The basic pain au levain from Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day. Replaced the ww flour with some multigrain flakes ground fine in the blender and used the leftover whey from last week's cream cheese in place of the water. It's out of the fridge and coming to room temp and I'll bake it this afternoon. I'll also probably get started on a batch of pizza dough for the freezer and possibly another round of the buttermilk pain au lait since they turned out so damn good the last time (and we ate the last 2 for breakfast this morning).

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

                                                                                                                                                                                                          How did it come out? I have sourdough starter on top of my fridge that I plan to use for bread tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                                                                                            It came out really good, although a tiny tad underbaked in the very centre. My thermometer clocked in at 200F, but it took it a while to get there. Next time I won't take it out of the oven until the instant read temp is at 200F. I'll definitely be making this again, though. The ground up multigrain flakes are really nice and the whey makes for a good, sour loaf. Reinhart suggests adding blue cheese and chives to a similar sourdough loaf, and I'd love to give that a try at some point too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Espresso brown butter blondies with cappuccino and chocolate chips, for a colleague who just returned to our department. Also I wanted to try to use up some of those cappuccino chips...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                            THAT sounds amazing. Got a recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: shaebones

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It was pretty good, but I don't know about stellar... I'll see what the feedback is.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Used this recipe:
                                                                                                                                                                                                              But I cut it in half for an 8 x8, then used 1/2 of cappuccino chips, and 1/4 cup of bittersweet chocolate..

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                              how was the feedback?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Did you use the cinnamon, rstuart? I'm not sure I would care for that in a blondie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: peppermint_sky

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well. I had intended it for our whole department.. but the returning colleague kept them all for himself, and refused to share them. He does like blondies though!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                I do like cinnamon with chocolate and coffee, so I kept it in. I used some bittersweet chocolate chips to cut the sweetness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Started a pre-ferment last night for a no-knead whole wheat bread to bake tonight; added the flour-water-salt now and will let is sit in the refrigerator for 8 hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I, um, had a little bit of a crisis this evening, so I did what any crazy baker would do, I crisis-baked myself a souffle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I made a lemon-almond souffle, which was just the thing to lift my spirits even though it didn't rise as high as I'd hoped. The whites never got terribly stiff, plus it's not a real souffle dish, it's a standard ramekin. Either way, it was delicious, with a lovely, pillowy texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  That looks, and sounds, wonderful. Hope the crisis is past, and that the souffle soothed you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you, the crisis is back to manageable size, but I really want another souffle!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been extreme-low-carbing it for the past few months, and this was my first dessert with sugar and flour in ages. it was heavenly. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I always thought that a ramekin was a small soufflé dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Someone told me once that a true souffle dish has slightly higher, straight sides without the little rim on top that the typical ramekin has.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Triple layer brownies - a chocolate chip cookie layer, topped by whole Oreos, followed by brownie batter. It was a chocolate kind of day!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Birthday cake for a friend. I needed to bake it two days ahead due to my own scheduling issues, so I wanted something that would stay in good shape. I did a moist chocolate pound cake, and it turned out to be the perfect choice not only because it is delicious and long-lasting, but also because this particular cake improved on standing. I used a trick from a fruitcake I've made: Cut marzipan (in this case, just almond paste) in 1/4" cubes, lay them on a plate, and put it in the freezer. Then fold the frozen pieces into the cake batter, and they won't melt into the cake as it bakes. So I ended up with chocolate pound cake studded with little cubes of almond paste. We enjoyed it last night with orange-cardamom and mocha ice creams from a local shop, and the birthday boy looked positively gleeful about having the leftovers around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And this is the *almond equivalent* of chocolate chips, butterscotch chips! What a good idea! I wonder now if other things, if frozen first, would withstand baking. Peanut butter maybe? Some form of frozen honey? Cream cheese?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The cake is beautiful -- do you have a particular method for coating the pan, insuring release?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've been using Wilton Cake Release, which was recommended by poster roxlet. It's an oil/flour combo in a squeeze bottle that you brush on with a pastry brush (I bought a silicone one that is perfect for use with anything greasy or sticky because it goes in the dishwasher). The Cake Release is clear and you don't need much. Cakes just slip out of fancy detailed pans perfectly. I bought it at a Michael's craft store. This is it: http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-702-6016...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Regarding the freezing, almond paste/marzipan is much stiffer and denser than those other things, so I'm not sure the method would translate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Absolutely gorgeous. I'm going to remember how nice that powdered sugar looks on a chocolate cake with that pan shape.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have that pan and it will be going on its maiden voyage this weekend now that the heat has broke here. I went to Michael's and bought some of that Wilton Cake Release on your advice and others here, so I'm set.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm figuring on the Ina Garten lemon cake for this first time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I wish I had a friend like you--that sounds fantastic and rings my bell even harder with the addition of almond paste. GEEZ!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Too bad we can't all bake for each other!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I agree--what a baking club that would be! *<:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What an amazing idea (an gorgeous result)! What recipe did you use for the chocolate pound cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  As you know, because you have it, the pan does the heavy lifting in the looks department. I do think a dusting of powdered sugar highlights the shape nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I used Candy's chocolate pound cake recipe (recipe here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/280044, lots of discussion here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/283681), with a couple of changes. Instead of 3 cups of granulated sugar, I used 1 cup of light brown sugar and 1 1/2 cups of granulated, which was just right to my taste. I also used dehydrated buttermilk powder, which goes in with the dry ingredients, and instead of sifting the cocoa with the flour, etc., I heated the water needed for the dry buttermilk plus the 1/4 cup extra called for and bloomed the cocoa (I used Peet's dark, rich Dutch process, which is similar to Valrhona) and instant espresso in it, letting the mixture cool before mixing up the batter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I made a mini loaf with the extra batter, so I got to preview the cake. It is definitely better made a day ahead, and perhaps even more so after two days - moister, flavor rounder and more chocolaty. Definitely recommend letting it sit before digging in to anyone who makes it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Have either been away or under the weather with a wretched summer cold the last little while, so haven't been baking much.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I made some biscuits last night and made An Amazing Discovery, the kind of thing you don't think of until you do it. I had room-temp butter and eked it out to the right amount with room-temp Tenderflake lard (the package enjoins you to keep it at room temp) (not the Amazing Discovery part) .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I used a French whisk to stir the dry ingredients together, and then I used it to cut the fat into the flour. That's the Amazing Discovery part. Worked every bit as well as a pastry blender, and there was only the one utensil to wash afterward. Biscuits rose beautifully and were nice and flaky.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great idea, but the shortening/butter/lard would have to be room temperature, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'd say you could do fridge-cold if it's a good stiff whisk. My mom's (lard, same brand as I have) piecrust was out of this world and she never chilled anything (used cold water and an egg cold from the fridge, that was about it).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yay great tip I had to throw out my pastry cutter because the little blades bent so much on it I will try the whisk next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. OK peach lovers, bite the sugar and butter bullet and make this, the best peach cobbler ever. It's James Beard's recipe from his column in the SF Examiner in the 70's, when men were men (with nice long hair), women were women (ditto), and newspapers had excellent food coverage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Slice 2 c peaches (I use 4 c) and mix with 3/4 c sugar. Let stand 2 hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Stir together 3/4 c flour, 1 c sugar, a pinch (1/4 tsp) of salt and 2 tsp baking powder. Stir in 1/2 c milk and 1/4 tsp almond extract.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Melt 1 stick butter in a deep baking dish (I use a soufflé dish and do this in the microwave). Pour the batter over it, and do not stir. Pour the peaches and their juices over the batter. Do not stir.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bake in preheated 350 deg F oven (325 deg oven if using a glass baking dish) for 50-55 minutes. Check it after 40 mins to make sure the juices are not caramelizing (or let them, if you like it that way).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Serve warm, if you wish with whipped cream or (better) pouring cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Man. It's so good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'll make it, but I'm keeping my hair short! It looks better that way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I made the cobbler yesterday, the peaches just ripened on my Mom's tree (peaches are not something one buys in my family unless you want people with bushel baskets full of them very angry at you) and it was fabulous! Completely eaten up before I could snap a picture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Told you it was good, I'm thrilled you agree. Wish I had a mom with a peach tree!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I made a peach/nectarine/almond clafouti today. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Today I tried a Nutella souffle. I winged it, basically, and know where I went wrong and what I'll have to do to get a better rise next time, but even though I had a few technical difficulties, this was very good. Once I get it down pat, this may be my new go-to dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm still fooling around with soufflés, and yesterday I made two more: a savory cheese soufflé for lunch, and a dark chocolate soufflé for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Today, I'd like to do two goat cheese soufflés, a savory one with chives, and I've been kicking around an idea for a sweet goat cheese soufflé with honey and vanilla. We'll see how it goes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh yes, I also baked a loaf of multigrain bread yesterday. I've been doing an extremely low carb diet for the past 2 months and am taking a bit of a break, as you can see. I really missed baking bread and desserts more than I missed eating them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            if you like ricotta, i do an incredible ricotta souffle that i absolutely love (like i am willing occasionally to be sick from eating it...).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love ricotta! Would you mind sharing your recipe? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                no problem... easy cut paste from macgourmet :)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Egg Yolks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                105 g Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                8-9 g Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 g Cornstarch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ½ cup Milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ½ - ⅔ cup Ricotta Cheese (i always heap quite a bit more than 1/2 cup in...)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Egg Whites
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                38 - 40 g Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                [vary your sugar based upon how much cheese you use and how sweet you like it]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Whisk together egg yolks and 105 g of sugar til pale and light. Add in flour and cornstarch.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Heat milk til it steams. Temper eggs with a little bit, then add the rest of the milk. Pour the whole thing back into the pot, and over low heat, bring to a boil for 1 minute.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Let cool for 20-30 minutes. Stir in the ricotta. [I often refrigerate mine at this point, esp if i make it ahead in the day for dinner]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Beat the whites til soft peaks, gradually add the remaining 38 g of sugar and bring to stiff peaks. Fold in 1/4 of the egg whites to lighten the cheese mixture, then fold in the rest of the whites.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Put into prepared ramekins (I often do this in mini ramekins, rarely one big one). Bake at 350 F... depending upon size... for me mini ones (this recipe makes about 3), bake 15-20 minutes. For a large one, 25-30 generally speaking. Err on the side of underbaking, if you ask me, rather than overbaking. I never make a sauce to go with this... but i'm sure something with citrus or berry would pair nicely. Honestly, no one ever asks for one... Enjoy! Sorry for the vagaries in regards to bake time and dishes, but i do it a bit differently every time...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you! I'll have to try this out soon :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Emme, if you want your soufflé to be lighter, do the following: after folding the egg white into the cheese mixture to lighten it, fold the cheese mixture into the egg white, not the other way round.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    After the ramekins have been filled, I like to level the mixture with a spatula and run my thumb around the inside of the top of the ramekin (to a depth of 1/4 inch), so it makes a bit of a "hat" when it rises.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      you know, i generally do this out of habit... mostly because i don't like having to scrape up the bottom of the bowl, but i'm glad you put it into writing here... a good reminder for me :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i do the hat trick as well :) i remember when i was seven or eight, my mom decided she was going to make souffles, who knows why. i remember her taping paper collars around the ramekins, and even at the time, i knew she had no idea why...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I never do the collars. I wonder if the rise would be more pronounced if I did, although I kind of like the rustic-looking souffles that sort of mushroom out. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BabsW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I never do the collars either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Taking a page from Tamar Adler, I "repurposed" the sauteed green peppers 'n' onions left over from a meal on Friday and made a pizza using them as one of the toppings. Other toppings were pecorino romano cheese, a bit of wonderful Italian sausage, and a handful of Sungold tomatoes from my garden. I used the pizza crust from the ATK Family Baking Cookbook. I like that dough a lot. It's definitely not a fancy dough in any way, but it always turns out well for me. Instead of using all white bread flour, I use about 1/3 whole wheat. This pizza was excellent!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Also, I made rice pudding from a Maida Heatter recipe. You don't precook the rice, you just bake the raw rice in a lot of milk for three hours in a 300 degree oven. The milk kind of caramelizes, and the pudding is just wonderful. I "packaged" it like this, only I used blueberries instead of raspberries and tied it with a bit of blue yarn:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Scroll down to see the rice pudding in darling little jam jars w/ the fruit sauce on top :0


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pls forgive typos and bad spelling. I am typing fast.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Needed to use up strawberries before I went away.. so I made the "strawberry summer cake" from smitten kitchen (a martha stewart recipe I think...), and some muffins from Skinnytaste that used pureed strawberries (I has some sad looking ones at the bottom). THe red batter turned brown after it baked.. it now looks like chocolate muffins!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wonder if any chemists among us can come up with why,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  a simplified explanation - the anthocyanins are pigments in berries, giving them their color. i imagine the batter oxidized the anthocyanins, turning the berries from red to brown.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Emme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I figured that there was some rational explanation! They tasted pretty good...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. had a little playtime this past weekend...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                made a chocolate delice -- basically a thin thin brownie layer on the bottom (i omitted the nuts, and subbed part semisweet for some of the bittersweet chocolate) with a baked chocolate custard/cream layer, topped with a cooked chocolate glaze (using part semisweet again) -- very sweet, very decadent. if i make it again, i'll prolly stick with all dark chocolate in the glaze. not for the faint of chocolate heart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                also did a test run / experiment for a requested white chocolate cake... white chocolate layer caked, layered with a vanilla bean white chocolate cheese mousse. both components fine, but i think when i do it again, i'll prolly brush the layers with a reduced raspberry syrup

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                lastly, made some pain au lait batards. they had a nice delicate tender crumb. for some reason i find shaping the batard to be incredibly therapeutic, perhaps one of my favorites to shape. in this case, i also enjoy getting to score with scissors... half of them i brushed with egg wash and sprinkled with sugar, the others i just left with plain egg wash. i told a friend i would teach her how to make these next week. she's someone who loves the idea of making bread, but professes not to be brave enough to do it on her own. we've tackled "no-knead," now onto the batard and pain au lait... ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. A simple cheese souffle to finish out the month (cheddar, parm, and a touch of smoked gouda)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Made white whole-wheat bread on a leftover pizza dough starter on Sunday, and was informed we are Out of Madeleines so I know what I'm making this Saturday. Starting to feel more human again. Wretched cold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You're going to make M wait till Saturday for madeleines??? Poor guy!!!