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What are you baking these days? New Year 2013 edition! [old]

Boy, am I glad 2012 is over (at least in my other favorite parts of the world), some seriously sucky things came down the pike during it...hope yours was less of a rocky (and wind-blown) ride.
What's up your sleeve for the celebrations, and what other delights will you get up to?

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  1. Tonight I'm baking honey whole wheat challah from Insider the Jewish Bakery with wheat flour I ground myself. It's almost ready to pop in the oven.

    8 Replies
    1. re: rasputina

      you ground it yourself? wow! That's impressive!

      1. re: rstuart

        I just used the vitamix dry container and it took no more than a minute to do. I have to say I was surprised by how fine the flour was. I debated for ages buying a separate grain mill. We will see how I like the results I just popped the bread in the oven.

        1. re: rasputina

          That's very cool! I've been wondering about how much I'd use the dry container.

          1. re: Chocolatechipkt

            Me too! I just got a Vitamix for Christmas. My daughter has been going crazy making various green smoothies, as a baker, I was wondering about getting the dry blend container for grinding various grains. I may hold off a bit but I am curious to hear feedback from those who have it.

            1. re: nadiam1000

              I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how well it ground wheat berries into flour. The challah came out wonderful. This was the first time I'd made one with wheat flour.

              1. re: nadiam1000

                We've had a Vitamix for years, but recently we bought a smaller container that they're now selling. It's great, and it's much easier to scrape things out of it now.

            2. re: rasputina

              ha! i bought my OH a Blend-tec for xmas... i was looking through the recipe book that came with it... lots for grinding flours and seeds... we shall see!

              1. re: rasputina

                I use a much older sidewinder Vitamix for grinding wheat and rye. If you freeze them (grains) beforehand they will shatter more easily. I sift out the result and grind (vitamix) the large ones again. Sifting w a strainer is your friend

                I also use a kitchenaid coffee/spice mill to grind the most resistant pieces after sifting. So I am using two grinders. I am only making whole grain breads with both sourdough starters and yeast. Refrigerated for three days *delayed fermentation* then baked

                My older KAid spice/coffee mill http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/red-b...

          2. I have two large sheet pans of rosemary rolls in the oven, and they smell divine. I use the rosemary bread recipe from Carole Fields's Italian Breads. Since we have a new year's day party, the rolls are to go with my husband's home smoked turkey and the ham that is currently baking in the oven. I've made these for years, and they're a sure winner for me. Everyone always loves them, and I get frequent requests for the recipe. My sister always sneaks a couple in her bag to go as well. :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: roxlet

              Baked on the last day of 2012 for New Years Eve.... Dorie Greenspan's corn muffin recipe baked as corn bread to accompany the black eyed peas and greens that friends were serving. I also made panettone for the first time from Carol Field's "The Italian Baker", including the candied citrus peel. It was spectacular - a perfect hostess gift (okay, perfect to keep a loaf at home too) along with a bottle of homemade limoncello. Happy new year, all!

            2. My sister started a lovely tradition of baking bread on New Year's Day and I decided to do the same. Have honey wheat dough rising. Planning to add raisins and walnuts to it. Great way to start the year

              1. Since we were "saved" from the fiscal and dairy cliffs ($7 for a gallon of milk they were threatening!) I've decided to celebrate with chocolate salted caramel cupcakes from the brown eyed baker's website http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2012/05...

                3 Replies
                1. re: zitronenmadchen

                  AAARGH!!!! I just showed these to my daughter - home from college - and she is now poised to spend her day creating these! thanks so much for the wonderful idea!!

                  1. re: rmarisco

                    Anything to spread a little salted caramel love ;-)

                    1. re: zitronenmadchen

                      ok she made them....
                      there goes my first new years resolution...
                      MY GOODNESS THEY ARE FABULOUS!!! thank you so much for the recipe referral: i wouldn't have thought of it, and it was a great mid-range skill level recipe (she's trying to get more comfortable reading recipes).

                2. For New Years morning I made Jeff's Chocolate Muffins w/Midnight Glaze from Carole Walter's Best Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, etc. So far absolutely everything I've made from this cookbook has been stellar and these chocolate muffins were no exception. Not too sweet, they paired well with fruit, coffee and parade watching :-)

                  I'm about 3/4 of the way through making the Shagilicious Cake from Demolition Desserts...genoise, filled with passionfruit diplomat creme, frosted with whipped cream and finished with unsweetened coconut.

                  This is a first time cake for me and, I'll admit, it's been a while since I've made genoise. The cake turned out pretty well, except it stuck to the pan pretty seriously. I managed to get it out with only a few tears in it. Trimmed it up and cut it into 3 equal parts. First layer went onto the serving tray and got a good douse with simple syrup flavored with rum, lime juice and a bit of vanilla; really delicious. The passionfruit creme is also divine. Layered the cream, genoise and rum syrup, now in the fridge chilling. All I have left to do is the finishing whipped cream and coconut. So far all the components have been pretty darn good; I'm optimistic that the finished product will be as well :-)

                  Last night I also did another dessert from Demolition Desserts. Something called a veil of vanilla, though there was very little vanilla actually in it, there were 5 different components, 3 of which I chose to do.

                  While this dessert was, ultimately, extremely successful, there are some things in hindsight that I should have done differently. One of the components was a pecan caramel sauce that used honey and molasses as part of the finishing steps. I subbed vanilla ice cream for the honey semifreddo and I probably should have subbed clear corn syrup for the honey because I found the honey undertones in the final caramel sauce a little too forward. Had I actually made the honey semifreddo, I think the caramel sauce would have been fine.

                  The second component was apple cubes cooked in a dark, thin caramel syrup to create tart tartine like apples. The method was pretty easy and the end result totally delicious. The apples release their juices and then reabsorb it along with the caramel and turn a gorgeous deep, deep amber color. I probably should have cut my apples into larger cubes, especially for presentation purposes, plus I probably cooked them just a little bit too long. The apples were finished with a sprinkling of vanilla and salt. I cut back on some of the salt and would reduce it even a little bit more.

                  The final component I made was a blue cheese pastry crumble. All I can say about this one is...OMG awesome. We were all snacking on it everytime someone passed through the kitchen.

                  In the original recipe this was a plated dessert, I can't say my plating was very good ;-), but I can say that even though I made a few little errors along the way (or found things I could have done better/differently), what I finally served was knock out good. All the components worked beautifully together and with the Haagen-Daz Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. I would definitely make this again, and in fact, I may need to in order to use up all the leftover blue cheese crumble :-D