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What are you baking these days, November, Part One [OLD]

Buttertart, who is buried at work, asked me if I would start the November baking thread for her.

My own baking activities have been curtailed by Hurricane Sandy, who has left us without power. I am particularly upset since tomorrow is my husband's birthday, and I bake him a coconut cake every year. This year, we will be putting candles in something from the bakery, fear.

On the 11th, I will be having a party for my son's birthday, and I am in the baking planning stages right now. We will be having about 30 friends and relatives, so I will definitely be making more than one cake. Always on the menu for his birthday, however, is the Epicurious Double Chocolate Cake. I am in the research phase of one or two more cakes.

What are you baking these days?

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  1. I see cookies and another one of those Braker almond cakes in my near future, as thank yous to people at work who have been kind enough to offer lifts to and from...the worst part of the storm for us (and we were incredibly lucky) is its effect on the public transportation system.

    This weekend should be quite bake-y!

    4 Replies
    1. re: buttertart

      There is no better gift than baked goods! Too bad about NJ transit...

      1. re: rstuart

        I can't really complain...yikes.

        Thinking that the Braker almond cake could be made marble, with a couple of oz of choc in part of it?

        1. re: buttertart

          WOW! Between the damage and the unexpected objects on the line (boats? Portapotties?).. I can see that it will take a while to get back to normal!

          1. re: rstuart

            Scary stuff but it seems that they have been able to clean a lot of it up. Herculean labours dep't.

    2. Oh, how disappointing.. but life gets in the way sometimes. What other cakes are you thinking of for your son's birthday?

      3 Replies
      1. re: rstuart

        I am thinking that one of them has to be the coconut cake, but it is the third that I think I will experiment with. I am powering up outside the house today, but when I get back home, I will peruse some of my recent baking acquisitions to see if I can turn up something new and exciting. All suggestions will be considered!

          1. re: buttertart

            Yes, thankfully. The power went on yesterday evening, but teased a bit by going on and off several times before deciding to stay on. Sadly, we have some friends here who are still lacking power.

      2. At the end of the month there's a cookie exchange. Going to make my green tea shortbread. But am also using that event as an excuse to get a ton of xmas baking out of the way early. So I will also be making candied pecans, peppermint bark, and maybe something else that isn't a cookie to give out :)

        For another dinner, I'm either making a pandan cake with gula melaka frosting or Sugar Shack APDC's maple mille feuille.

        Green tea shortbread (my recipe): http://www.foodpr0n.com/2009/12/27/gr...
        Pandan cake (someone else's recipe): http://pickyin.blogspot.ca/2012/05/pa...
        Maple mille feuille (photo): http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/7...

        For Halloween, I made Witches' Hats from Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery cookbook. Not hard, but laborious due to the components (speculoos, marshmallow, enrobing, decorating). They did turn out really well though! I'm just not sure I need to do that again, but of course, my sister and I were already talking about Christmas and how we could make them into trees... >_<

        15 Replies
        1. re: jlunar

          Wow, the maple mille feuille looks great!
          What's this Witches' Hat? You mentioned speculoos and marshmallow.. sounds wonderful!

          1. re: rstuart

            rstuart > Witches' Hats are like viva puffs, minus the filling. Done with nicer ingredients, of course :) I really went a little overboard doing this recipe. I didn't like the way the first batch looked so I did a second one (twice the pain!). They turned out much better (more hat, less poop-swirl) and I even ended up doing a video on the marshmallow piping (... since that's what I screwed up originally - go me!). Anyway, there's a photo of it attached to this post. Cute, non? I don't know if I'd do it again, but it was well-received so it was worth the effort (kinda sorta).

            The maple mille feuille has been the best dessert I'd eaten in 2012. Really incredibly good. Flaky pastry layers, delicious maple custard, fresh whipped cream... huuurrr... so good.

            http://www.foodpr0n.com - food. is. love.

            1. re: jlunar

              Wow.. good to hear about. Viva puffs are definitely one of my guilty pleasures!
              I'll have to get Bouchon out of the library..
              Oh, just found your picture on your blog. I don't know I'm ambitious enough to try something like that (although I would for sure eat it!)

              1. re: rstuart

                Just to clarify - it's Keller's newer Bouchon Bakery cookbook! He's been touring around doing promo for it, so if you're interested in seeing him, it may be worth looking up. He just came by Toronto this past Monday.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    It's a cookie with marshmallow and some sort of filling ( my favourite is caramel!), dipped in chocolate. Very trashy....

                    1. re: rstuart

                      You had to remind me...I've had more of those than you've had hot dinners ;-)
                      They sell a similar cookie here, Mallomars, but the Dare ones are better.

                      1. re: buttertart

                        I've always wondered what Mallomars were like.. now I know!

                        1. re: rstuart

                          The Mallomars don't have a filling, just cookie and marshmallows coated in (dark) chocolate.

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                            Ah, so the Witches' Hats are more of a Mallomar than a Viva Puff!

                  2. re: rstuart

                    Errr... I'm having problems posting that photo. Sorry! They're really cute, I promise. Well, they're cute as long as you pipe the marshmallow right!! Otherwise... poop-swirls.

                    The kids I tested these on really enjoyed shouting that one loudly. In public spaces. Sigh.

                  3. re: jlunar

                    Pandan cake recipe please please please, I have a bottle of extract...

                    1. re: buttertart

                      I made my comment confusing - the recipe I followed is linked above! It was good. The frosting is what really makes it though. Love that gula melaka!!

                      I also like making kaya from pandan - a coconut custard spread that Malaysians eat on toast.

                  4. It's November -- time to think about Christmas and birthdays...

                    It's Mr. Vuitton's birthday this month and he's asked for cherry pie, so that is first up. I have been marinating cherries in plum brandy since the summer so I will use those for the pie. The original plan for those cherries was to be chocolate dipped (dark, semi sweet, milk and white) for the holidays, but I just am not going to have time with my current work schedule.

                    Mr. Vuitton's cousin also has a birthday this month, so she has asked for a spice cake,so some version of that will be made. Perhaps Gramercy Tavern's gingerbread cake recipe? I haven't quite decided yet.

                    Later this month I have a Christmas cookie exchange. Chocolate peppermint crinkle cookies. And i have been asked to make a baklava for the event as well.

                    It will be a fun month I really find baking relaxes my mood :)

                    6 Replies
                      1. re: CocoaChanel

                        We love that Gramercy Tavern's gingerbread. It got rave reviews at a "Friendsgiving" last year, even though everyone was stuffed.

                        Those cherries sound great, no matter where they end up. :-)

                        1. re: CocoaChanel

                          Any kind of cherry pie is great in my opinion, but using those marinated cherries sounds absolutely spectacular! Were they fresh cherries?

                          1. re: modthyrth

                            Yes, they were fresh. By the time I had finished pitting them, my kitchen counter looked like the scene of a murder ;)

                            1. re: CocoaChanel

                              Yes, I find that pitting cherries is best done in old clothes, even with an apron :)

                        2. Likewise, Sandy has curtailed all kitchen activity. What is your favorite coconut cake recipe? DH loves coconut and his bday is the 14th.

                          14 Replies
                          1. re: angelsmom

                            I used to work at a bakery in Atlanta and we made the best coconut cake. It started with 2 10" yellow layers cut in half(well, you could use any size). Soak each layer with Coco Lopez. Ice each layer with Cream Cheese icing and sprinkle coconut on each frosted layer - I prefer toasted coconut. Cover the whole thing with Cream Cheese icing and toasted coconut. Yummers!

                            As part of my quest to continue to deplete pantry and freezer in preparation for moving, I made Rice Krispie treats, extra gooey and I have an Apple Brown Betty (so old fashioned) from Fannie Farmer Cookbook, baking in the oven right now. My house is so clean right now, to prepare for sale, that I almost hate to mess up the kitchen, almost......

                            1. re: angelsmom

                              I use Nick Malgieri's recipe, which is the best I have found. It uses both coconut milk and shredded coconut in the cake. For the frosting, I use flour frosting made with the remainder of the coconut milk and finished with large curls of coconut. I have been making coconut cakes for my husband (who is from Atlanta) for 30 years, and it is his contention that this combination of cake and frosting is the best ever. I think that the picture below is of a double recipe made in 3 nine-inch pans.

                              Coconut Cake Layers
                              Adapted from rom Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri

                              1 ¾ cups bleached all-purpose flour (spoon into dry measure cup and level)
                              1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
                              ¼ teaspoon salt
                              12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) of unsalted butter, softened
                              1 1/3 cup sugar
                              1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                              1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
                              2 eggs at room temperature
                              2 egg yolks
                              ½ cup Thai coconut milk
                              1 cup (about ½ a 7 ounce bag) sweetened shredded coconut, finely chopped

                              2 8” cake pans, buttered, floured, and with parchment on the bottom (the Wilton release works well here – that was all I used)

                              1. Set rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350.
                              2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl
                              3. Place butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until soft and light. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest, then beat in the eggs an yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.
                              4. Reduce the speed to low and add one third of the flour mixture, and then half of the coconut milk. Scrape down the bowl and repeat with another third of the flour, the rest of the coconut milk, and the final third of the flour. Scrape down the bowl and beater again.
                              5. Use a rubber spatula to give the batter a final mixing, and then mix in the chopped coconut. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans.
                              6. Bake the layers for 30-35 minutes until they are well-risen and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on racks for 5 minutes, then unmold onto racks to finish cooling.

                              Flour Frosting

                              1/4 cup flour
                              1 cup sugar
                              1 cup milk (or coconut milk for coconut cake)
                              1 cup butter cut in cubes (My butter was cool and firm, but I could still leave an indent when I pressed my finger into it)
                              1 tsp vanilla
                              pinch of salt

                              1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar, flour, salt together. Add the milk and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally (I had to whisk constantly or else it started to stick and clump at the bottom) until the mixture has thickened into a paste and slightly bubbly at edges

                              2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; beat until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. If the frosting is too soft, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to chill slightly: then beat again until it is the proper consistency.

                              3. Add the vanilla and continue mixing until combined.

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  Wow.. definitely printing that one.. it looks truly wonderful!

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      Any favorite brand of coconut milk? They vary so much in fat content.

                                      1. re: ChristinaMason

                                        I haven't found that it makes much of a difference, to tell you the truth. My husband buys a case at the Restaurant Depot about once a year, and I just use whatever he buys.

                                        1. re: roxlet

                                          I love coconut, but not too many people in my family do! I miss a good coconut cake.

                                          1. re: roxlet

                                            What are the instructions for assembling please?

                                            1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                              As you like, really. You can split the layers if you will. I have on occasion filled the split layers with either lime or lemon curd. The cake you see here is simply 3 layers, unsplit,
                                              filled with the coconut flour frosting, iced with the same, and then with shaved coconut pressed into the outside of the cake. Although a crumb layer is advisable, this cake with its extravagant coconut exterior hides a multitude of sins.

                                            2. re: roxlet

                                              So the items you are giving us above are for your change to 2-8 inch pans instead of the 2 9inch pans he uses?

                                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                I think roxlet's traveling, but I'm pretty sure based on past comments that she keeps Malgieri's proportions, but bakes the cakes in 8-inch pans because she feels the cakes are too shallow as 9-inch layers.

                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                  Oh okay good to know. The baking time I would imagine would have to be different, but thanks for letting me know. Betcha can't guess what I'm bringing to someone's Thanksgiving.

                                                  Thankful for this helpful community.

                                          2. The nice Indian grocery that just opened around the corner from us (and escaped power outage and damage in the storm, thankfully) carries FIVE ROSES FLOUR!!! Hooray. Now, thanks to my Canadian connection, I have both Monarch cake and pastry and Five Roses a-p indahouse!

                                            10 Replies
                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              This is a very dumb question,,, are Five Roses and Monarch not available in the US? And how are they better (?)/different (?) than what is available in the US?
                                              (I'm Canadian; I lived in New York for a few years, but never noted the flour availability)

                                              1. re: CocoaChanel

                                                Nope. Five Roses is higher gluten than US a-p flour, and pastry flour as such is harder to come by. I've never seen Monarch here but Five Roses is sold in some international markets.

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    So it's a pastry flour?
                                                    And this will reveal how little I know about any real baking--for what sorts of things do you use pastry flour? Anything considered "pastry"? Would you just sub it for AP flour in, say, a pie crust?
                                                    I have used cake flour, but can't recall seeing recipes calling for pastry flour.

                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                      It's a cake and pastry flour - to me it seems a finer texture than A-P flour (though I still double sift - because I am @nal.

                                                      I use it in cakes, pastry crusts, etc
                                                      I use AP for cooking, cookies and breads

                                                      1. re: CocoaChanel

                                                        Thanks, Cocoa--so you would just sub it in 1:1?

                                                          1. re: CocoaChanel

                                                            It's a bit less fine than US cake flour, I'd say about 1 part of lower-gluten US AP flour to 2 parts of cake flour would get you something similar.
                                                            It makes the best pie pastry ever, and pastry is my bugaboo. Helps to have Tenderflake lard, too...
                                                            And it's from where I was brought up and it's what we always had in the house (my mom was a super baker), so it makes me happy to see it in the cupboard.

                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              Ah - sorry.

                                                              I was doing 1 part Monarch to 1 part Five Roses. didn;t even consider the US part of it

                                                              1. re: CocoaChanel

                                                                I actually had nomadchowwoman's inquiry in mind, since she's American.

                                              2. Thinking chocolate chunk cookies as thank you gift...your favo(u)rite recipe(s)?

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  Chocolate cherry cookies (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chocolat...) or peanut butter cup cookies (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/peanut-b...) would both be top contenders for me. Molasses spice cookies (soft-chewy inside with slightly crisp outside) also went over really well when I was doing a thank-you batch a while back.

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    I liked David Lebovitz' recipe for "ready for dessert".. it's triple-chocolate (dark, milk and white), but see no reason why it couldn't just be chocolate...

                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                      I made triple cocoa chocolate chunk ones from Carole Bloom's "Intensely Chocolate". Let's just say the batter was a little too scrummy.

                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                        Ah.. sounds good.. glad to hear the batter was good. Quality control is very important!

                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                          They are excellent, very moreish. Maybe too.

                                                  2. Baked a lot of pies recently! Cherry, pumpkin, hand pie, pecan tassies, apple tart. The rose apple tart was by far the prettiest, but next time I make one, I think I'm going to add something else. A caramely custard layer, perhaps? Any suggestions?

                                                    11 Replies
                                                    1. re: modthyrth

                                                      Wow that apple rose tart looks magnificent! Brown sugar, cinnamon and butter as an addition? (as a topping?)

                                                      1. re: CocoaChanel

                                                        excellent notion. Kind of a sticky bun caramel kind of thing. Easy, and the flavors would be spectacular with the apple. Time to experiment again!

                                                      2. re: modthyrth

                                                        Wow, that apple rose tart is super pretty. Could you fill the base with salted caramel? If you're plating individually, maybe just smear it on the plate?

                                                        1. re: jlunar

                                                          Oh man, wouldn't it be just gorgeous as a little individually plated mini tarts? Next time, I'm definitely taking that suggestion!

                                                          I have a delicious salted caramel recipe. I wonder what happens when you bake caramel? Could I pour it on the unbaked crust, layer the apples in, and still bake it without turning the caramel into an inedible brick? I'm loving the idea of a caramel apple tart, though. Maybe on more of a shortbread type crust than the pie type crust I used.

                                                          1. re: modthyrth

                                                            I think it might work if you make the caramel fairly runny before baking. Or if you went with a tarte au sucre - oooh, or hey, tarte d'erable! - type filling, that would bake up fine. That's more egg/sugar/butter though, vs caramel. You could just salt it up a bit more for some contrast. I also dump a bit of vinegar in there to balance the sugar a bit more too.

                                                            P.S. Pictures if you do this!! would look so nice, methinks!

                                                            1. re: modthyrth

                                                              Here is Smitten Kitchen's take on a salted caramel apple tart and discussion of the salted caramel consistency.


                                                          2. re: modthyrth

                                                            Wow, would you mind sharing the recipe for the apple rose tart please?

                                                            1. re: angelsmom

                                                              It's more of a technique than a recipe, really. I just used my favorite pie crust recipe, and layered in thinly sliced apples dressed with some cinnamon and sugar. It was fine, looked great, but lacked...something. I'm loving the ideas I'm getting here, though, and am definitely going to experiment. I'd be happy to share my end results as soon as I have them.

                                                              1. re: modthyrth

                                                                Wow you have skills! The apple rose tarts look awesome. The caramel custard layer sounds great actually.

                                                                1. In the oven is Galley Girls pear tart. I made 1 1/2 recipie in a larger pan. In the pipe line are these blondies which will be stuffed instead with Twix bars leftover from Halloween before I eat them all. I made a double pan, the browned butter makes them sooo good!

                                                                  1. Nothing real exciting lately.... saving up for Christmas I guess :) I am making an apple crisp with oatmeal streusel recipe from here on Chow tonight... apples have been way cheap here lately.

                                                                    1. I'm a new found convert to home made granola. It's tasty, you can control the amount of fats, and it's just too much fun to make different flavors. Recently it was ginger cinnamon raisin granola and (separately) cranberry coffee cake. Because it's cranberry season again and I still had a bag in the freezer from last year!

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: 1MunchieMonster

                                                                        I just bookmarked this recipie...and started stocking up on cranberries:)


                                                                        1. re: geminigirl

                                                                          Oooh, that apple pie granola looks good. I've just bookmarked that too. :-)

                                                                          1. re: geminigirl

                                                                            This is somewhat criminal.. and not 'baking' at all, but I will definitely be making this... because I typically make this with dark chocolate and mini-chips in (green & red) as "Christmas Crack"... so this will now be my "Thanksgiving Crack." My health-crazy relatives are going to kill me (as usual).

                                                                            Cranberry Bliss Bark <NOT my website.>

                                                                        2. I made a nice batch of rugelach from Baking Illustrated... used apricot jam for the filling. They were the perfect snack for the hurricane power outage.

                                                                          1. I don't normally bake, but I had some leftover sour cream from making spinach dip so today made a Sour Cream Coffee Cake to take into work tomorrow.

                                                                            1. So the third cake that I have landed on for the birthday celebration is a lemon one from epicurious.com, which I discovered by searching lemon cake on home cooking. It sounds as if a bunch of people may have tried it, and I wonder if anyone who sees this and has made it would comment on it.

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                This recipe is in The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet. She also wrote the article featuring all those layer cakes. I made it for a dinner party one and I loved that I could assemble it the night before and that the frosting was absolutely delicious. I didn't love the cake layers-mine didn't rise as high as I'd have liked and they seemed a bit floury to me. It also wasn't as lemony as I was expecting. My notes say that next time I'd go with my stand-by genoise recipe and add lemon zest to the cake. That said, my friends absolutely loved it. I'm always too critical of what I make!

                                                                                1. re: pavlova

                                                                                  Thanks, pavlova. I have that book, so I'll check it out in there.

                                                                                2. re: roxlet

                                                                                  She doesn't participate in these threads, but I know that chowser, who's a very experienced baker of cakes, really likes this one. I've seen her recommend it (especially for the frosting) a number of times.

                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                    I don't remember, but it may have been chowser who recommended it on another thread.

                                                                                3. I am feeling blessed to be on the West Coast with no power or other weather concerns.

                                                                                  This weekend I made the new Salted Caramel Apple Tart from Smitten Kitchen. It tasted good, but was not mind blowing. We were 10 for dinner and ate about half (I made about 1.25 recipes). it got a little soggy as leftovers. (I will not mention burning the caramel as I was putting my children to bed, and the ensuing fire truck, as that is certainly not the recipe's fault...)

                                                                                  I also made a cake for my son's birthday - per his request I made chocolate butter cake (3 layers), filled with a mocha filling (quite sophisticated for a 7 year old, no?) and vanilla buttercream. It was decorated with homemade chocolate and red "white chocolate" legos, to look like a baseball. The kids and parents seemed impressed.

                                                                                  1. Wanting some comfort food, I made the golden syrup sponge steamed pudding from The Guardian. Sweet, but delicious! http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: pavlova

                                                                                      My father was from the south of England and had to have Tate & Lyle's in the house no matter what.

                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                        Me too! I always have a jar or two in the house and buy lots if I find it in tins. My everyday use is on toasted, buttered crumpets,

                                                                                    2. I made these Chow spiced pumpkin-oatmeal cookies tonight, with a couple of tweaks (cut both sugars by 25%, made them smaller). They're cakey and a bit chewy, and have a nice flavor. I liked the idea of the maple glaze, and it would give a more finished look to a homey cookie, but even with my reduction of sugar, they are plenty sweet as is, and would be too sweet with a glaze, so they will stay naked.


                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                        Hmm.. they do look good Caitlin. I have a sickening sweet tooth, so I would probably be fine with the glaze!

                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                          That sound delicious! I love pumpkin and oatmeal.

                                                                                        2. 7 Layer bars. I thought they were way too sweet. Hubs, who has an aversion to things too sweet loved them. Go figure. :/

                                                                                          1. I love how easy, impressive and delicious this Pear and Fig galette is for entertaining. I learned about it on the Food Farmer Earth channe on You Tube. They have a new wonderful kitchen segment every week along with info about farms and food. If you haven't checked it out yet give it a look. You'll probably learn something :)


                                                                                            1. Some few days old bread got revived tonight as a zemlovka ( an eastern European bread pudding).
                                                                                              I saw the recipe on a BBC site featuring the Hairy Bikers.

                                                                                              Here's the link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/bre...

                                                                                              It's a delicious, homey recipe and a great use for otherwise old bread.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: jammy

                                                                                                That is nice. I got their baking book and quite like it.

                                                                                              2. Can anyone recommend and link to a stand out Black Forest Cake (not torte) recipe? One that they've made themselves and that isn't overly arduous.

                                                                                                1. I haven't baked anything lately, but I'm baking some red velvet cookies next week.

                                                                                                  1. I'm in T-giving testing mode this week. Today I made a cranberry-almond shortbread tart -- in miniature. I made half the recipe in two mini tart pans. The recipe is great ... tart, not too sweet, with a slight crunch in the crust from the almonds and cornmeal.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                      Your tart looks beautiful. There are almonds and cornmeal in the crust. But what about the topping? The same?

                                                                                                      1. re: karykat

                                                                                                        Thank you! Yes, the topping is more of the same, just crumbled over the cranberry-apricoty filling.

                                                                                                      2. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                        I made this Cranberry Almond Tart last night and it was really nice - I made it in a springform and it worked great. Thanks for the recommendation. Lovely in taste and looks - now I have to get it out of the house.

                                                                                                      3. My electric power has finally been restored and I can begin working on the three cakes I am planning for my son's party on Sunday. First up will be the lemon curd for the lemon cake, then on to the Epicurious double chocolate cake, and I believe I will make the coconut cake the morning of the party.

                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                          Glad you got your power back! I couldn't believe it when I heard about the storm hitting the same area as Sandy. Lemon, chocolate and coconut sound great.. there is something for everyone. I would have a piece of all 3 ;)

                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                            Well, here they are, and there's a lot of WHITENESS, lol. I think I will dust the chocolate cake with cocoa!

                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                              I'd go crazy if i saw them as is on a buffet.

                                                                                                                1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                  Thanks! They look much of a muchness but each is very different -- chocolate cake that's like the most delicious devil dog ever, coconut cake, and lemon cake. I'm really interested to taste the lemon one since this is the first time I've made it. Using whipped cream stabilized with mascarpone and lemon curd is an interesting technique, and very delicious!

                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                      I would be curious what frosting recipe was used.. it looks like it is the very heavy-rich type... the BEST type. Let me know if you have a dynamo recipe, Roxlet.

                                                                                                                      1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                        The lemon cake was amazing. One of the best cakes I've ever made/tasted. I would make it again in a heartbeat. It was light, but with very full lemon flavor. Really kind of heavenly. It's on epicurious if you search for a lemon mascarpone cake. The other two were great too, but I make them fairly frequently, so nothing surprising there.

                                                                                                                        Grace W-- frosting I make is the cooked flour frosting. Basically, you cook 1/4 cup of flour with 1 cup of sugar and one cup of milk until it thickens. You put that into a mixer with the paddle blade and beat until cool. Then, you beat in two sticks of butter bit by bit, and keep beating until light and fluffy. It doesn't taste,as rich and buttery as a buttercream. It somehow seems a lot lighter even though there is plenty of butter in it.

                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                Wow! I'd be so happy to see these!

                                                                                                            2. Chocolate Crinkle Cookies!

                                                                                                              They always come out perfectly sized!

                                                                                                              1/2 cup powdered sugar
                                                                                                              1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
                                                                                                              1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
                                                                                                              1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
                                                                                                              1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                              8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
                                                                                                              1 1/4 cups white sugar
                                                                                                              2 large eggs
                                                                                                              1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

                                                                                                              1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 2 baking sheets with butter or use parchment paper.
                                                                                                              2. Put the powdered sugar into a bowl and set aside.
                                                                                                              3. In a medium bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
                                                                                                              4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until creamy, about 3 minutes.
                                                                                                              5. Turn off the mixture and scrape down sides. Add 1 egg and beat on medium speed until blended. Add the other egg and vanilla and beat until blended.
                                                                                                              6. Turn off the mixer and add the flour mixture. Beat on low speed until just blended.
                                                                                                              7. Using a tablespoon, scoop up a rounded spoonful of dough.
                                                                                                              8. Roll dough into a ball using your hands and roll the ball in the powdered sugar until covered.
                                                                                                              9. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat, spacing the balls 1-2 inches apart.
                                                                                                              10. Bake until the cookies are cracked and puffed, about 10-12 minutes.
                                                                                                              11. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes.
                                                                                                              12. Using a spatula, move the cookies onto the rack and let cool completely.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. Madeleines, maybe? A pah? For us. Need something else for nicey-nice with my colleagues.

                                                                                                                1. I have 2 bags of rolos bought on November 1st at the drugstore (there was a stampede at our office when the first shoppers returned from coffee break, breathlessly announcing bags of chocolate for $1!! We cleared them out by noon).
                                                                                                                  I was sure that I had read a recipe for rolo stuffed sugar cookies somewhere on the interwebs.. but my google search was not very successful (it didn't turn up any blogs/sites that I am familiar with and trust).. anyone ever tried this?

                                                                                                                  16 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                      This website scares me a little.. because it is so JOLLY--but in a good way.

                                                                                                                      Nonetheless, here is a rolo-stuffed PB cookie, that I have NOT made, but it looks good on her baking-blog.


                                                                                                                      1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                        Hmm.. thanks to you both. I have to admit that peanut butter + caramel+ chocolate= a good idea.. think that I might try that one! But I'll clip the sugar cookie one too..

                                                                                                                      2. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                        Try bakersroyale.com I made her pecan pie stuffed cookies and they were a hit (kicked myself for not making more at the time)-ought to be easy to use rolos instead so long as you're gentle. You could also use a thumbprint recipe and swap in rolos where the jam would be. :)

                                                                                                                        1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                          I actually ran across this recipe from her blog:
                                                                                                                          which looks fab. But I don't have any heavy cream, so I'll stick with something simpler!

                                                                                                                        2. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                          I had chocolate Rolo cookies at an office party some years back. The baker shared the following recipe. I've never baked them, but I wouldn't have requested the recipe unless it was worth trying. :)

                                                                                                                          CHOCOLATE ROLO COOKIES

                                                                                                                          3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
                                                                                                                          2 1/4 cups flour
                                                                                                                          1 teaspoon baking soda
                                                                                                                          1 cup brown sugar
                                                                                                                          1 cup sugar
                                                                                                                          2 teaspoons vanilla
                                                                                                                          1 cup butter, soft
                                                                                                                          2 eggs
                                                                                                                          *9 oz. bag Rolos

                                                                                                                          Combine separately:
                                                                                                                          1/2 cup walnuts, chopped fine
                                                                                                                          1 tablespoon sugar

                                                                                                                          In large bowl, cream sugar, brown sugar, butter and vanilla. Add egss. In separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa and soda. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture.

                                                                                                                          Separately, mix 1 tablespoon sugar and walnuts.

                                                                                                                          Flour hands. Wrap each Rolo in approximately 1 tablespoon of dough. Roll in nut/sugar mixture. Space them out on sheet as cookies will spread out during baking. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. (The dough is less sticky if you chill it first).

                                                                                                                          *Variation: Snickers mini-bites or other small chocolate treats. Get creative!

                                                                                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                            Hmmm.. that does look good too. I dislike walnuts, so would probably just roll in sugar. Did you note how many it made?

                                                                                                                            1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                              Nope, that's the whole recipe as written by e-mail. Come to think of it, I don't remember nuts when I ate them. I prefer my cookies sans as well.

                                                                                                                          2. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                            We always just jam them in the middle of a chocolate crinkle cookie, roll in powdered sugar and bake as usual. Also works with quarters of peppermint patties or mini reeses cups.

                                                                                                                            1. re: sarahjay

                                                                                                                              Another great idea! I won't end up having time to bake until Thursday.. not sure which one I will try yet.

                                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                Oh dear.. giant cookie FAIL. Ended up using this recipe: http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/rolo... from what I have always found a reliable site. I don't know if I didn't freeze the dough balls long enough or what, but the first tray ended up being one big cookies, and when I tried to separate them they fell apart.. and for the others the caramel in the middle made them a bit unstable, and they either oozed out or fell apart. Ended up tossing them :(. I may make this recipe instead with the rest of the cookies...

                                                                                                                                1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                  Should've smushed it all up, poured some creme de cacao or Kahlua over it, topped it with whipped cream. Trifle!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                    I thought of that later.. I probably could have salvaged it. But given the sheer amount of baking I will start soon for Christmas.. I thought that it wasn't worth the calories ;)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                      Could've palmed it off on your coworkers. Maybe w/o the booze.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                        True.. will be at a conference though ;)

                                                                                                                          3. Made the oatmeal shortbreads from the "Cookie a Day" thread --constitutionally unable to follow a recipe exactly, used half and half brown and white sugar.
                                                                                                                            I divvied it up between an 8x8 and a tart pan, for petticoat tails.
                                                                                                                            Added about 2 oz walnuts to the dough for the 8x8 and topped with walnut halves, for the mister. Baked appx 25 mins at 300 deg F, then left in turned-off oven for about 10 mins.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                              Those look really interesting. How do they taste?

                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                Excellent. I love oatmeal coookies and shortbread, so they're the best of both worlds.

                                                                                                                            2. I made Nigel Slater's chocolate beet cake. Having a hard time waiting till dinner to taste it.

                                                                                                                              ETA: I didn't wait--had a slightly warm piece--delicious: moist and not too sweet. Will put it down to quality control when my dinner guest arrives.

                                                                                                                              1. Maple sugar from syrup today! My maple mille feuille failed to stand (fillings were too soft) but tasty. Using the left overs to make maple umn.. pudding. With sticks of pastry. Hee hee.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. I had a frustrating baking experience, of the kind where things don't turn out quite as planned. I made lemon cupcakes, and the baking actually went fine and they turned out well enough, though I wished for a bit more lemon punch. I was planning on the cooked-flour frosting, which I've made before without incident, but for some reason this time it just didn't work - the butter simply would not incorporate with the cooled sugar/flour/milk mixture and stayed weirdly lumpy and grainy, with no increase in volume. Finally, I gave up and decided to thin it with the juice of half a lemon, then brush it on as a glaze. That at least gave a nice flavor boost to the cake, and then the rest of the bowlful got tossed. At least I wasn't making a birthday cake for someone!

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                    Into each baking life a little rain must fall. Looks like a nice save!

                                                                                                                                  2. Southern Tea Cakes.

                                                                                                                                    I'd heard about them off and on, finally found a recipe, made it and - nirvana. It makes tons, you can give away tons - and still, we eat and count until the very last ones in our house are gone.

                                                                                                                                    1. Made a pumpkin cranberry bundt cake from myrecipes.com with a couple of modifications. Did not use cranberries or pecans in the filling. Increased the diced apples to 2 cups, added 1/2 tsp cinnamon to the filling and cooked it on the stove for 5 minutes or so and let cool before using. It is a very moist and tasty bundt cake with a maple glaze. I also made the Chocolate Chip cookies from Williams Sonoma Comfort Food cookbook. Half semi sweet and half milk chocolate chips without the nuts. My co-workers will have some goodies to munch on today!

                                                                                                                                      I made the meatloaf from the same cookbook and the macaroni and cheese which both constitute baking, right? I mean they went into the oven : )

                                                                                                                                      1. I made almond financiers from The Last Course. I had made some pumpkin financiers from The Secrets of Baking for Halloween and wanted to go back to the basics this time.

                                                                                                                                        This recipe called for making them in mini-muffin tins for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. I may have gone a minute over 15 minutes, but they were overly browned. They did have browned butter in them but seemed just a bit burnt. At least they looked that way. After they cooled I tried one and the interior was good -- kind of creamy like financiers can get, if that's the right word. And didn't taste really burned but did taste a tad burned. So I don't think I can bring them to the event tomorrow morning. Think I'll try making them again for our weekly gathering next week.

                                                                                                                                        I've looked at different recipes. Some say bake at 350 degrees. This one said bake at 400 degrees.

                                                                                                                                        Does anyone have advice for me? Should I bake at 350 degrees next time? Or bake at 400 for less time?

                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: karykat

                                                                                                                                          Maybe you should make sure your oven is calibrated properly. I have one oven that seems to run hot, and I always either reduce the time or the temperature, but sometimes I do both. Why don't you try it at 375 next time?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                            I think my oven is fine -- no problems with other things. But can check.

                                                                                                                                            I think the solution is to split the difference and go with 375.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: karykat

                                                                                                                                              When the Viking guy came to fix the igniters on the range a while back, I asked him to check the ovens. He said that the ovens were perfectly calibrated, and though that may be so, I still find that baked goods require either a lower temperature or less baking time in one oven. I have no idea why that is, since both ovens were tested and both were supposed to be fine.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: shaebones

                                                                                                                                            Do tell! Shortbread crust? How's that go? :) Would it be these, by chance?

                                                                                                                                            Which seem to be a variation of these:

                                                                                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                                                              Indeed it was...and they are delicious!!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: shaebones

                                                                                                                                                Wait, which recipe did you follow? Kraft or Joy the Baker? :)

                                                                                                                                          2. Walnut Rosemary Bread just out of the oven and cooling on rack.

                                                                                                                                            1. I plan on making a Chocolate Poke Cake, using Lindt's Piccoli chocolate for the ganache. I found this recipe in the Globe and Mail, and Stephanie Eddy food blogger of Clockwork Lemon has provided it:
                                                                                                                                              I hope your life after Sandy gets back to normal ASAP.

                                                                                                                                              5 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                It pretty much has, and other than transportation hassles and work backlog, I really have nothing to complain about. We were very lucky, and I feel terrible about the people who weren't.
                                                                                                                                                That cake sounds good. I hadn't heard of that Lindt chocolate, is it good?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                  Soon to find out, we have a Lindt discount store around the corner from my work. I purchased it at 50% discount. I am making it on the weekend. I usually like Ghiradelli brand for baking.

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                  I just printed that recipe off.. one of my 10 articles for the month I guess! I realised that I was most upset about missing recipes with the Globe and Mail paywall :(

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                    Not sure how that paywall works. I was able to get the link without a login. I am anxious to give the cake a try.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                      I think that you have up to 10 articles a month.. I don't really know how it works either!

                                                                                                                                                3. I just made Fine Cooking's (may I mention other culinary sites here???) Cranberry Tart with the Cornmeal Almond Shortbread crust which is a winner. (HOWEVER, don't think for a second you can fit this into a 9.5 inch tart pan, as specified in the recipe. This has to be an error. You need an 11-inch pan for this one. ) Coming up are a pumpkin and nut stollen for Thanksgiving morning and then the plethora of Christmas cookies begins on Thanksgiving weekend (Oatmeal Lace, Almond Crescents, Moravian Spice, Golden Butter and Bourbon Balls.) My anatomically-correct gingerbread people were also a big hit among those who know me well.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chefpaulo

                                                                                                                                                    I made that cranberry tart too, and agree that it's a winner. I made half a recipe in two smaller tart pans. I had some extra dough leftover, but I used up all the filling.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Time for a new thread for the balance of what is likely to be a busy baking month...