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What are you baking these days? June/July 2013 edition (Through 7/31/13)

The June thread took off like a rocket, and we have almost 400 posts...not sure why June would be so big when the cooler months were not very. Oh well, rather like me always wanting ice cream in the winter.
I'll be baking for my mother-in-law's BIG birthday celebrations in a few days, cakes and I'm not sure what else. What's in your oven or on your baking schedule?

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  1. Made ghiradelli chocolate chip cookie today, to be turned into ice cream sandwiches after dinner.

    1. I made Jacques Torres' chocolate chip cookies, but needed a salty fix, so I added pretzels.

      1 Reply
      1. Not baking much this month, since we're moving, but in baking news, my stand mixer no longer lives under the bed! First thing I put together in the apartment was a kitchen cart (a wood one from Ikea) and put my mixing bowls, rolling pin, and the stand mixer. I've got about half the kitchen moved in, and will finish this weekend and then bake something in my new, never been used oven!

        1. I was on a cookie binge earlier this year for a group I was in. I made oatmeal raisin, peanut butter bacon, double chocolate and some good ones I found on the Whole Foods Site that weren't touted as Vegan - but they were (and good, too). My next . . . for summer . . . "Pink Lemonade". I saw a box at the store and got inspired. I 'usually' cook healthy, but once in a while (hence the peanut butter bacon). I came online tonight to peek around about these. I will start a new post. But that's my next baking!

          1 Reply
          1. re: blythe

            Please, I must have the Peanut Butter Bacon Recipe please!

          2. I made Nanaimo Bars! My first time, they came out great!

            I wasn't intending on making them. I had two cookouts to go to last weekend, and I saw this great recipe online for Raspberry Lemonade Bars, so I thought perfect! Cool, refreshing, citrusy! I'll make them for both cookouts.

            http://www.sophistimom.com/bake-sale-...

            Made them first on Saturday. But because it was so hot out the confectioner's sugar melted into the bars and they looked murky. Not appetizing at all.

            So forget it, I wasn't going to make them on Sunday. So I tried to find a recipe online I could make with ingredients I had on hand and voila, there were the Nanaimo Bars. I had read about them on Chowhound, so figured they'd be good. It was a great way to use up some of that Bird's Custard Powder I've had on hand for a long time.

            http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/01/...

            3 Replies
            1. re: TrishUntrapped

              Canada Day is coming, after all (July 1).

              1. re: buttertart

                Sheesh, I didn't even know that, guess I l'll have to make them again! They're definitely a crowd pleaser.

            2. http://www.canadianliving.com/food/ba...

              Just in time for Canada Day department...These are fun, although some of them a just regular old desserts with strawberries arranged on them in the maple leaf pattern. Nanaimo bars and butter tart squares included!

              1. I baked challah this morning for only one reason: because I have tons of gorgeous peaches and I got it in my head to make mascarpone, peach, and honey grilled cheese sandwiches. Dear God, heaven on a plate. I'd call that experiment a big success. Must plan many brunches now to have excuses to make them again.

                 
                 
                6 Replies
                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                    OMG it really was divine. I think I have to make one for lunch again today. I tried it with strawberries, too (you know, for science). Equally delicious!

                    1. re: modthyrth

                      Now you have me wanting to make challah, despite the heat (and hour.) Maybe tomorrow? Challah is one of my favorite things anyway, and with peaches and mascarpone? Aiya.

                    1. re: modthyrth

                      That challah and the grilled cheese idea = awesomeness!

                      1. re: modthyrth

                        Wow. Looks great! Definitely borrowing this idea.

                      2. For my son's friends, and for some neighbors who were stopping by to pick up the BBQ my husband is making for them, I reprised the Smitten Kitchen blueberry pie bars. It really is an almost effortless recipe, and great for a summer dessert. Plus, these bars are best stored in the refrigerator, making them a cool and delicious treat in the hot weather.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: roxlet

                          Are these the blueberry crumb bars or something different? I made the former this weekend and they really were great, and super easy.

                          1. re: girlwonder88

                            I'm not sure about what you mean. Are you asking if I've made these before? I have, and it's the same recipe.

                            1. re: roxlet

                              No, you called them blueberry pie bars and I was wondering if they are the same as her blueberry crumb bars....just made those and they were great.

                              1. re: girlwonder88

                                Oh, my mistake. It must be the same recipe...

                          2. re: roxlet

                            I made those blueberry crumb bars for the first time a couple of days ago (with fresh, local blueberries, finally!). It's true - they are great fresh from the oven as well as chilled, but I also loved them warmed in the microwave for a few seconds after being taken out of the fridge...not sure why, but the blueberries seemed more flavorful after a day or two.

                            1. re: lesliej

                              I've found that these keep really well. It's an excellent recipe!

                          3. Made those yeast waffles that you said are delicious, and they were, and supper easy to make.

                            7 Replies
                              1. re: buttertart

                                Yes as you said they have a crusty exterior and a soft center. I find the regular no yeast recipe soft in comparison. It was fun to do wanted to make some for awhile. I used a recipe by Melissa Clark from the book she coauthored called Perfect Finish. Thanks for the inspiration Buttertart!

                              2. re: Ruthie789

                                Where can I find this recipe? We love yeast waffles in the summer with fresh fruit. TIA

                                1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                  IIRC, the discussion in last month's thread was about the Marion Cunningham Fannie Farmer recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                  1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                    I used a recipe from the book Perfect Finish but if you did a search for Swedish waffles am sure you would find one that had yeast.

                                2. Made a flourless chocolate cake because we were looking for something to do, had the ingredients on hand and had never made one before. It's cooling now...smells HEAVENLY!

                                  1. I made chocolate mousse with raspberries today. It was too warm to turn on the oven, but I'm pretty sure it's never too hot for chocolate mousse.

                                    1. Mmmm...made a plain Sandkuchen and some pastry cream and picked a bunch of strawberries. So yum.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Tam38

                                        Care to share the Sandkuchen recipe?

                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          I got it from The German Pastry Bakebook. Its been out of print for awhile but the author posted many of the recipes on a website.

                                          http://www.germanpastrybaking.com/san...

                                          The in-laws liked it. It was more buttery and dense than a standard sponge. I'm not sure I'd make it to eat with strawberries again, but it was a good plain cake without too much richness.

                                      2. This raspberry buttermilk cake from Epicurious was recommended on another thread - I made it this weekend for breakfast, subbing peaches and a bit of cinnamon. BIG WIN. One of the moistest cakes I've ever had, and extremely easy to throw together.

                                        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                        I also made a gorgeous "red fruit" crumble - I was staying at a friend's lake house, and she had two enormous patches of rhubarb, so the fruits in question were half rhubarb, half hand-picked strawberries (most of which were no larger than your average cherry and INTENSELY flavorful), with a handful of blueberries and sweet cherries thrown in. I only had about 2.5 tablespoons of tapioca for thickening (for enough fruit to fill a 9x13 pan), so the filling was super juicy and oozy, just like I like it! Tart, too, since I used barely a cup of sugar. Walnuts and NO oatmeal in the topping. Fabulous.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                          That crumble sounds absolutely heavenly! I love tart fruit desserts, and adore rhubarb in particular. I want to live in a climate where I can grow those things again!

                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                            I think that I first saw that buttermilk cake recipe on Smitten Kitchen.. and it's great. everyone loves it, and not too sweet.

                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                              And oddly enough.. I made the raspberry buttermilk cake over the week-end while at my mother's.. was going to a friend's for dinner, and want to bring something quick, easy and light for dessert. As always, this fit the bill...

                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                I made this last week, too, after having a bunch of raspberries to use up. Super simple and really great.

                                            2. In honour of Canada Day today, I'm posting this strawberry custard cake that I made over the weekend for my Cake Day party with friends. Throw some blueberries into the fray and you've got yourself a Fourth of July cake!

                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                              11 Replies
                                              1. re: TorontoJo

                                                Beautiful! I love strawberries--this would be my dream cake

                                                  1. re: TorontoJo

                                                    That cake confection does honour to Canada Day!

                                                    1. re: TorontoJo

                                                      Jo, is that Bird's Custard on the cake? I've got a bunch I need to use up.

                                                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                        No, it was a standard pastry cream recipe that I lightened with whipped cream. But Bird's Custard would totally work.

                                                        And the cake was Rose Levy Berenbaum's White Velvet Cake. Perfect base for the custard and berries!

                                                        1. re: TorontoJo

                                                          Thanks, another great recipe from this board to add to my list.

                                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                                            White Velvet Cake, sounds amazing.

                                                            1. re: Ruthie789

                                                              The White Velvet Cake is indeed amazing. It's my perfect white cake -- fine, tender crumb, not too dense, not too light. It's beautiful. RLB comes through for us yet again!

                                                              1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                I have been making cakes lately, now will have to give this one a try. I keep passing her books up I should buy one.

                                                                1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                  You should, they're very good -- and that cake recipe is great.

                                                        2. re: TorontoJo

                                                          Gorgeous! I am drooling on my keyboard..

                                                        3. I made Fudge Brownies that my friends made for me while I visited them.. they were not as good as theirs. But still rich without being too heavy.

                                                          1. It was my father-in-law's birthday last week, and he's partial to French Silk Chocolate Pie, so I made the Cook's Country recipe. It was my first time making something like it, but it was WONDERFUL (though I confess I used a boxed crust. Next time I'll do it properly, but there just wasn't time.).

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: apilston

                                                              I don't understand why a shortcut is something that requires a confession. I am sure it was delicious.

                                                            2. Oatmeal Fudge Squares from Joy of Cooking. Made them as teacher presents this year and have put them on the make again list.

                                                              Press 2/3 of the dough on the bottom of a 9x13 pan, top with a mixture of chocolate and sweetened condensed milk, then scatter the remaining dough over top. Bake & cool completely in a foil/parchment lined & greased pan. Next time I might add a little shredded coconut to the base to change it up a bit.

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: maplesugar

                                                                I've seen similar recipes on various blogs.. didn't realise that I could also find it in the good old Joy of Cooking..

                                                                1. re: rstuart

                                                                  Lots of gems in the ol' standby :)

                                                                  The proper title (was writing from memory earlier) is Chocolate Oat Bars, and they're on p. 764 of the 75th Anniversary edition. I was out of foil (oops) and used parchment, I think I would use parchment again anyway since I find it tends to rip less than foil when used as a sling.

                                                                  1. re: maplesugar

                                                                    I have the 1973 edition! Doesn't seem to have it ( although it does have instuctions on how to cook a bear)..

                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                      Chocolate Oat Bars

                                                                      Cookie base & topping
                                                                      3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temp.
                                                                      1 & 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
                                                                      1 egg
                                                                      1 egg yolk
                                                                      1.5 teaspoons vanilla
                                                                      1 & 3/4 cups all purpose flour
                                                                      3/4 teaspoon baking soda
                                                                      3/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                      2 & 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (I used quick, with no issues)

                                                                      Filling:
                                                                      1 & 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips/rough chopped chocolate
                                                                      1 & 1/4 cups sweetened condensed milk (which is Joy's long way of saying one 300ml can)
                                                                      1 & 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
                                                                      pinch of salt
                                                                      3/4 teaspoon vanilla
                                                                      3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I was making these to send to school so left the nuts out)

                                                                      Base:
                                                                      1. Grease a 9x13 lined with foil/parchment.
                                                                      2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt, stir in oats and set aside.
                                                                      3. In a large bowl/stand mixer, beat together 3/4 cup butter and brown sugar, then beat in egg, egg yolk, and 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
                                                                      4. Add dry ingredients to sugar mixture and beat until combined. Set aside.

                                                                      Filling:
                                                                      5. Combine sweetened condensed milk, chocolate, butter and salt in a small sauce pan, and stir over low heat until smooth (don't ignore it or it will scorch)
                                                                      6. Once smooth, remove from heat and stir in vanilla (and nuts if using).

                                                                      Assembly:

                                                                      7. Press 2/3 of the cookie mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan.
                                                                      8. Pour chocolate mixture over the base, using the back of a spoon to push it in to the corners.
                                                                      9. Here is where Joy says to "dot with the remaining batter" I flattened spoonfuls of dough in my palms first then scattered them across the top.
                                                                      10. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 25 min (I thought 25 min was enough--I used an aluminium baking pan) the cookie topping will be lightly browned. Cool completely in the pan set on top of a wire rack.
                                                                      11. Use the parchment/foil overhang as a sling to lift out the bars and cut into whatever decadent size you like :)

                                                                      1. re: maplesugar

                                                                        Thanks Maplesugar.. looks much better than the recipe for bear!

                                                                        1. re: maplesugar

                                                                          There was a bakery near my high school that sold something like this - I think I lived on them for a couple of years. I can't wait to try this - if it's close, I'll be DELIGHTED.

                                                                2. I went overboard on buying rhubarb, and my freezer is full. So made some cinnamon rhubarb muffins.. uses sour cream, and is very light. I also made some biscoff oatmeal cookies as a thank you for one of my friend's husband's: I'm taking her to a music festival to revisit our youth, while he is looking after their 3 children under the age of 3.5 for the day. Although, when I told her about them, she claimed that he would be happy with a bag of Oreos and that he never had to know about the cookies...

                                                                  1. The component parts of Summer Berry Trifle (Cook's Illustrated). My father is going to compose individual servings tomorrow to serve on the fourth. Pressure is on to make it taste "like it used to..."

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: THewat

                                                                      Component parts labeled & delivered. I deserve a daughter prize.

                                                                    2. I went old school and made Red Velvet Cupcakes with Ermine Icing (Boiled Icing).

                                                                      Red Velvet Cupcakes

                                                                      Ingredients:
                                                                      1 1/2 cups of sugar
                                                                      1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
                                                                      2 eggs, room temperature
                                                                      2 1/3 cups cake flour
                                                                      1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
                                                                      1 teaspoon baking soda
                                                                      1 teaspoon baking powder
                                                                      1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                                      1 cup buttermilk (reduced fat)
                                                                      1 1/2 tablespoons (a one ounce bottle) red food coloring
                                                                      1 teaspoon vanilla
                                                                      1 teaspoon white vinegar

                                                                      Directions:
                                                                      1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer for 3 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.
                                                                      2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
                                                                      3. In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla extract, and red food coloring.
                                                                      4. Add a fourth of the dry ingredients to the sugar and butter mixture, and mix, then add a third of the wet, and mix. Continue adding in a dry, wet, dry pattern, ending with the dry ingredients.
                                                                      5. Scoop into cupcake papers, about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
                                                                      6. Allow to cool for one minute in the pan then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 24 to 30 cupcakes depending on size.
                                                                      7. Frost with Ermine Icing or other frosting.

                                                                      Ermine Icing

                                                                      1/4 cup all purpose flour
                                                                      2 cups whole milk
                                                                      2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter (softened at room temp.)
                                                                      2 cup confectioners’ sugar
                                                                      2 teaspoons vanilla extract

                                                                      Directions:
                                                                      1. Over medium heat, in a small saucepan cook the flour and milk, stirring until it comes to a low boil and thickens. Remove from heat, scrape into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing so the wrap covers the entire surface, so the mixture won’t form a skin. Let cool at room temperature (DO NOT REFRIGERATE) approximately 30 minutes. Make sure the mixture is at room temperature before next step. If it is hot it will melt the butter and won’t mix properly.
                                                                      2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the flour/milk mixture until fluffy. Chill for 10 to 15 minutes if necessary to firm, otherwise icing can be used immediately.

                                                                      To decorate the cupcakes: I used a 1M decorators’s tip attached to a pastry bag and whirled it around the cupcakes in circles. Topped with assorted sprinkles/colored sugars.

                                                                      https://patriciagay.wordpress.com/201...

                                                                       
                                                                       
                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                        Love the pictures and the choice of flavour.

                                                                      2. Made some delicious apple and oat scones from a Martha Stewart recipe and some sweet cornbread to eat for breakfast during the week. Definitely not typical summer baking but I like my freshly baked goods 24/7 =)

                                                                        1. Since it has been over 105 F here in Sacramento for the last 4 days, and will be for 3 more days, I "baked" no-bake chocolate oatmeal peanut butter cookies.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Antilope

                                                                              Actually those are my "go to" for the summer months, however, I'm almost out of oatmeal and I'm saving the rest for breakfasts. They are the bomb though!

                                                                              No baking here. It's to be 111 I think. Even too hot for the grill.

                                                                            2. Nothing. It's been over 100 degrees for weeks. That's my story and I'm stickin' with it.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                It was 105 for about a week and a half, but the rains came so it's time to bake bread! We had pita (cooked on the griddle) last week since it was too hot to turn on the oven.
                                                                                I have an order for some Wonderland themed cookies this week, so will be baking those as soon as the bread comes out.

                                                                              2. A cranberry lemon loaf and two loaves of banana bread all at 6 am this morning. I call that my Morning Madness.

                                                                                1. Last weekend, I made an orange lavender almond cake, with a ricotta topping flavored with orange zest and orange-blossom water. Turned out wonderful. Very moist, great balanced flavor, delicate on the lavender with a stronger hit of orange. Had to stay in the fridge due to the ricotta icing, but turned out to taste great cold (all the more so because it was in the mid 80s here!).

                                                                                   
                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                    And that's hot where you are, I know only too well from our third-floor oven, I mean apartment...

                                                                                      1. Tomorrow I am making a peach pie and challah for our backyard shabbos dinner. Hope the peaches ripen in time!

                                                                                        1. Sour cherry pecan crumble just came out of the oven. I picked the cherries near Newburgh today - still plenty of Montmorency cherries left, but the Morellos were pretty picked out. I managed to get a pound or so to eat straight - they are my FAVORITES. Fior di latte gelato made with raw milk firming up in the freezer.

                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                            Just a quick report back on the sour cherries - they are some of the best I've had in NY. I mixed a few Morellos into my mostly-Montmorency crisp and I think they were the key - they are so flavorful, and just that tiny bit sweeter than the Montmorencys. I used maybe a tablespoon less sugar than I otherwise might have and the results were outstanding. They're still not MI sour cherries, but for NY, they were excellent!

                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                              The season seems to be ok this year, thank goodness.

                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                Are you sure? We had pretty wet June that was predicted to ruin the season. The stand I was buying from earlier this month doesn't appear to be selling sour cherries anymore.

                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                  Must be a regional thing, cherries...all fruit really...are great in the central Midwest...much better than last year. It was a tough winter with no apple crop. Everything with an early to mid bloom time was killed in a hard frost last year.

                                                                                                2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                  Yes, the season is fine this year, if a trifle later than usual. My husband bought about 6lbs at our farmer's market, and they said that they would have more this week, then that would be it.

                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                    Thanks for the tip. I have just over a gallon of cherries at this point, but after this weekend's cherry pie, I think I will want to get another gallon just so I have enough to last me through Mardi Gras when I a sour cherry king cake would really add to the bons temps.

                                                                                            2. A 4th of July cake ... a 6-inch vanilla cake filled with whipped cream-cream cheese frosting (my new favorite), raspberries, and blueberries.

                                                                                               
                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                  Beautiful! Care to share your frosting recipe?

                                                                                                  1. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                    Thanks!

                                                                                                    This frosting is super-easy.

                                                                                                    Whipped cream-cream cheese frosting
                                                                                                    (for a regular-sized layer cake--I used half for a six-inch)

                                                                                                    8 oz cream cheese, at room temp.
                                                                                                    2 c heavy cream
                                                                                                    2-4 Tbs sugar
                                                                                                    2 tsp vanilla

                                                                                                    In a bowl, whip the cream cheese for a minute or two, til light and fluffy.

                                                                                                    In a second bowl, whip the heavy cream, and then add the sugar and vanilla.

                                                                                                    Add the cream cheese to the whipped cream, and then beat til combined. (Note: I added a little extra cream as I combined the two, so you might want to hold back a Tbs or so when you whip the heavy cream, so you can adjust at the end.) Check the sweetness, and adjust if nec. Enjoy!

                                                                                                    1. My sister's birthday is coming up and I'm going to make this:

                                                                                                      David Lebovitz - Chocolate Idiot Cake - (Flourless Chocolate Cake)
                                                                                                      http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2007/01/...

                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                        Just don't tell her the name of the cake.... ;-)

                                                                                                        1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                          Baked the flourless chocolate cake. Served it and I have to say if anyone is thinking of baking one of these, this particular recipe was just

                                                                                                            1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                              Somehow the message got cut off.

                                                                                                              This particular recipe was just what I was looking for. It made a really rich, delicious, easy flourless chocolate cake. I will make this again.

                                                                                                              1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                Phew...

                                                                                                                I imagined what got cut off might have been something like:

                                                                                                                "...dreadful, under no circumstances make this or you will make everyone sick!"

                                                                                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                  The hardest part is baking with a springform pan in a water bath. I had a new pan and didn't trust it, so I covered the bottom with foil. That whole process is just a mess. I wish it were easier.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                    I made one recently (not this recipe), and made it in a regular 8" cake pan. Came out just fine. I'm wondering if you could have used a regular 9" cake pan instead?

                                                                                                                    This recipe looks great! I'm going to have to give it a try!

                                                                                                                    1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                      Next time I'm just going to bake in a cake pan.

                                                                                                                      For chocolate I used Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chips.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                        I was just careful to grease it up well, and it came out fine. My cake pans are those Gold Touch ones that Williams Sonoma sells...

                                                                                                                    2. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                      I hate leaky springform pans. I have a ton of crappy ones and finally bought an expensive Kaiser La Forme pan which is better than the usual run of the mill ones but will still leak under certain circumstances, so I always use heavy duty foil around whatever I make in a springform pan.

                                                                                                                      Really, someone needs to truly invent a leakproof one.

                                                                                                                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                        I'm surprised that Buttertart has not chimed in here. I think she's the one who puts her springform pan into a silicon cake pan, making for waterproof baking.

                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                          I don't know if buttertart does that, but I know it's what Rose Levy Beranbaum now advocates.

                                                                                                          1. Nothing, but I probably could bake pizza on the sidewalk or the hood of my car!

                                                                                                            Fa malvagio tempo (the weather is evil)!

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                                                              Here too. Too damn hot and humid, and will be for the foreseeable future. ICK...

                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                "It was so hot in LA today you could cook a tofu-based cruelty-free egg substitute on the sidewalk" - Jimmy Kimmel Live.

                                                                                                            2. I made a cake with a cooked yolk buttercream ( forget the designation of what type that is). Anyway it was the first buttercream I made that had egg yolk and sugar milk syrup concoction. Was well received - better than the powdered sugar creamed with butter frosting I have made in past.

                                                                                                              1. Making a ganache-glazed marble cake from The Canadian Living Complete Baking Book, pub. 2008...has white and dark chocolate in it. For guests tonight.
                                                                                                                This book is a gem, I saw a number of great almond. lemon, and even black currant (Caitlin McGrath? check this puppy out: http://www.canadianliving.com/food/ba...) recipes in it. They test their recipes like mad and I've never had one come out wrong.

                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                  Oh, yum. Recipe saved, thank you! I even have a jar of black currant jam in my pantry at the moment...

                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                    It had your name all over it.
                                                                                                                    Check their website for lots of almond recipes, too

                                                                                                                  2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                    Ooh.. that looks great. My mom actually just picked this up at a garage sale. I have a number of their cookbooks but not this one!

                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                      It's a goodie. I have a pic of the cake but my phone isn't uploading to Photobucket for mysterious reasons...

                                                                                                                  3. We're at the peak of the short season for fresh apricots here, so I made a tart with locally grown Blenheims and a marzipan crumble both beneath and atop the fruit (you can never go wrong pairing almonds and apricots, in my book). Came out great, and was gobbled up appreciatively at a family gathering.

                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                      It's gorgeous, and Blenheim apricots are sublime.

                                                                                                                    2. I hope to get up early tomorrow and make a chocolate zucchini cake from Food TV Magazine, my obsession while waiting for the cable guy.

                                                                                                                      1. I had a half crust in the freezer, so I decided to make a raspberry and blueberry cream pie. It didn't take too long to blind bake the crust, and I did it this morning, so the oven wasn't on in the heat of the day.

                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                        1. Easy Homemade Sourdough Starter
                                                                                                                          .
                                                                                                                          I've used Carl's Friends Oregon Trail Sourdough starter for about 5 years. It's really good, very vigorous. But I wanted to try something else.
                                                                                                                          .
                                                                                                                          I tried several times to create a starter from wild yeasts, even using the pineapple juice method. Either it wouldn't work, or I would get a really weak starter. Frustrating.
                                                                                                                          .
                                                                                                                          In desperation, I decided to try something else. I read years ago in Sunset magazine about a pure yogurt starter. That sounded interesting, but I didn't want to use a pure yogurt starter that required feeding with yogurt.
                                                                                                                          .
                                                                                                                          Here's what I came up with. I have started this sourdough starter twice, as an experiment, and each time, within 5-days, I was baking sourdough bread.
                                                                                                                          .
                                                                                                                          I use buttermilk, yogurt, a little rye flour, a pinch of yeast and all-purpose flour to get the sourdough starter going, but I only feed the starter all-purpose flour and water to sustain it. I give it all of these cultures to start with and let them fight it out. In the end, it makes a starter as good as Carls Oregon Trail starter.
                                                                                                                          .
                                                                                                                          Buttermilk Yogurt Sourdough Starter
                                                                                                                          .
                                                                                                                          1 cup Buttermilk, make sure the label says live cultures
                                                                                                                          3 Tbsp Plain Yogurt, make sure the label says live cultures
                                                                                                                          1 cup All-Purpose Flour
                                                                                                                          1 Tbsp Rye Flour
                                                                                                                          pinch of Instant Yeast
                                                                                                                          .
                                                                                                                          Mix well. Allow to sit on counter in loosely covered container for about a week.
                                                                                                                          .
                                                                                                                          Feed daily 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour and 1/4 cup Water. Mix well. Discard excess, if needed. It will bubble up and overflow sometimes, so I keep the container sitting in a pie tin to catch any overflow.
                                                                                                                          .
                                                                                                                          After about 4 or 5 days of feeding, the starter will smell sour and be very vigorous.
                                                                                                                          .
                                                                                                                          I use 1/2 a cup of the starter to make sourdough bread.
                                                                                                                          .
                                                                                                                          When active, bubbly and sour smelling, store covered in the fridge if you are not going to make some bread.
                                                                                                                          .
                                                                                                                          Revive Sourdough Starter and make a loaf of bread at least once a week.
                                                                                                                          .
                                                                                                                          Remove starter from the fridge, stir in 1/2 cup of flour and 1/4 cup water. Bring to room temperature and allow starter to get bubbly. Use 1/2 cup to make bread.

                                                                                                                          1. I have been really into Biscotti and Granola lately! If anybody is interested in biscotti this is a wonderful book:

                                                                                                                            http://bellacucina.com/biscotti.html

                                                                                                                            The stories of the harvest and traditions are just wonderful!

                                                                                                                            1. Bought a flat of raspberries last night, and so made baked meringue circles (because we have a ton of eggs with our chickens right now) and served with raspberries tossed with a tiny bit of sugar, and unsweetened whipped cream. A deconstructed Boccone Dulce or pavlova-one of my favorites and super easy.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: girlwonder88

                                                                                                                                I would love that. Break up the meringues, stir in the whipped cream and berries, and you have Eton Mess.

                                                                                                                              2. Homemade cream puffs with vanilla pastry cream and topped with chocolate. Sort of a mini eclair.

                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                    Sure! But I can't guarantee you won't lose a hand whilst reaching for it. ;) My hubster is kind of possessive when it comes to sweets.

                                                                                                                                1. Not really baking but I made strawberry jam using Christine Ferber's technique (I think I got the recipe from the Chocolate and Zucchini blog). I flavored them cardamom, Grand Marnier, and balsamic. I also made a pan of biscuits. Very, very good, although I think the sugar was still a bit high for me. The strawberry pieces tasted perfect but the syrup was a bit sweet. :)

                                                                                                                                  I may try again this week with a cup less and see if I like that better.

                                                                                                                                  Alice Medrich's brown butter cocoa brownies. Good. Better than I thought, although I couldn't really taste the brown butter after baking (I could taste it in the mix). I nice mix between cakey and fudgey, although I did leave it in an extra 5 minutes or so.

                                                                                                                                  1. I have rhubarb and I have strawberries. I bought a pastry cutter. Now I just need to get a kick in the arse to make the strawberry-rhubarb pie that everyone claims is so delicious.

                                                                                                                                    I've never had rhubarb before and I'm askeeered.

                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                        Rhubarb is lovely. Just keep it simple. Here's a few tips and tricks for you:

                                                                                                                                        1. Cut rhubarb and strawberries into bite size pieces.
                                                                                                                                        2. Consider using Minute Tapioca to thicken the pie.
                                                                                                                                        3. Don't be concerned with your pie
                                                                                                                                        "looking" perfect. The filling needs to come to a boil and may exude from the top that's fine.
                                                                                                                                        4. Rhubarb needs sugar but don't add too much. Oversweet pie is not good. I use less sugar than the recipe on the tapioca box calls for.

                                                                                                                                        https://patriciagay.wordpress.com/201...

                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                          Ditto to most of what Trish said. The only thing I would change is to say not to cut your rhubarb too small - 1" or even 1.5" pieces are best, IMO. It cooks down quite a lot, so if you want to have recognizable pieces of rhubarb left when your pie is done (and as Trish said, it REALLY needs to boil!), you want to leave them a little larger than you might think.

                                                                                                                                          Tapioca is definitely a great thickener. Toss it with the sugar and fruit and let everything sit for at least 15 minutes to get the juices flowing and the tapioca partially hydrated. A good (and CHEAP) alternative to Minute tapioca is tapioca flour, which you can probably find in 1-lb bags in your Latin foods aisle.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                            Or in any Asian market. It's the thickener of choice in Taiwanese food. 太白粉 in Chinese -- literally "too white powder", I only recently realized it was a phonetic transliteration (tai bai [tapioca]fen [powder]). Silly me.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                              I've got to try this tapioca powder sometime!

                                                                                                                                            2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                              my go to fruit pie thickener is Minute tapioca ground in a spice (coffee) grinder.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                That's what I bought--tapioca flour. The recipe I found calls for tapioca pearls but I couldn't find them. I found the flour in the natural foods section. Red Mill something or other is the brand.

                                                                                                                                            3. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                              Strawberry and rhubarb pie the best! You might want to consider a crumble as well.

                                                                                                                                            4. It's just too hot to bake! I give up.

                                                                                                                                              For Fourth of July I made an Ice Cream Cake. Not homemade, not using "Creme Anglaise." Just storebought vanilla ice cream, raspberry sorbet and crunchy bits.

                                                                                                                                              https://patriciagay.wordpress.com/201...

                                                                                                                                              Raspberry Sorbet and Vanilla Ice Cream Cake

                                                                                                                                              2 quarts vanilla ice cream
                                                                                                                                              2 quarts raspberry sorbet
                                                                                                                                              14 Lorna Doone shortbread cookies
                                                                                                                                              1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

                                                                                                                                              1. This recipe makes a cake for an 8-inch springform pan. To make a larger cake just use more ingredients as necessary.
                                                                                                                                              2. Place cookies in a small plastic bag, crush with a rolling pan or bottle and set aside.
                                                                                                                                              3. Soften one quart of the sorbet and place in the bottom of the springform pan. Top with half the mini chocolate chips, put foil around the bottom of the pan to protect from leaks. Place in freezer and chill 15 minutes.
                                                                                                                                              4. Soften one quart of vanilla ice cream. Remove pan from freezer. Spread vanilla ice cream over raspberry sorbet and sprinkle half the Lorna Doone cookie crumbs on top. Place in freezer and chill 15 minutes.
                                                                                                                                              5. Repeat with the other quart of sorbet, chocolate chips, then the remaining vanilla ice cream and the shortbread cookies on top.
                                                                                                                                              6. Freeze at least two hours. Cut and serve.

                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. Don't judge me...it's for my son! (The kids have discovered that if they ask me to "surprise" them with a birthday cake, they get a much better creation than they could ever have thought of asking for.)

                                                                                                                                                Here we go...it's a cookie/brownie theme baked in 8" square pans:
                                                                                                                                                Bottom Layer - brownies with chocolate cream Oreos layered into them
                                                                                                                                                Middle Layer - chocolate chip bar cookie (Levian bakery copycat recipe)
                                                                                                                                                Top Layer - Oreo truffle (the filling part)

                                                                                                                                                I'm about to use ganache between the layers and as a frosting and then decorate with some Oreos (mini and regular cut in half).

                                                                                                                                                He better like this thing!!! :-)

                                                                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                    Here it is. I'll try to post a pic of the inside when we cut it tomorrow. I'm slightly nervous about cutting it because the cookie and brownie layers are pretty "dense", but I figure a serrated knife and gentle are the way to go. Although maybe a really sharp knife and straight down would work.... Hmmm... have to think!

                                                                                                                                                    The thing weighs a TON!

                                                                                                                                                    P.S. Don't judge the plate either. I know it's not exactly masculine, but it was all I had!

                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                        I am a grown adult... but I would love it if someone made it for my birthday!

                                                                                                                                                    1. Went gluten free last December and discovered I have a gluten sensitivity.

                                                                                                                                                      So recently have baked a couple of tortes which were well received:
                                                                                                                                                      Torta Caprese
                                                                                                                                                      Lemon Torte

                                                                                                                                                      Also did a no-sugar-added apple pie for neighborhood pie contest on July 4th. People ate that, too! (Not me...)

                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Seeker19104

                                                                                                                                                        Torta Caprese is a very good idea in that case.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Seeker19104

                                                                                                                                                          You might try these brownies too--they are gluten-free. They are on my list of things to make this summer.

                                                                                                                                                          http://gi365.info/food/brownies/

                                                                                                                                                        2. Have starter going for Pane di Como and will be baking for a bbq this weekend, brownies or squares, haven't decided what yet.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Going to attempt a cheesecake this weekend I think. I bought a springform pan like 5 years ago to try to make cheesecake and it has collected dust in the cabinet ever since.

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                              It's really very simple. If the recipe calls for baking in a water bath be sure to wrap the bottom of the pan well with foil, water can seep in.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Not very inventive, I keep making a rhubarb crisp, and now have topped it with ice cream fresh out of the oven.

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                Might as well take advantage of that rhubarb while we have it..

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                  It doesn't need to be inventive when it's that good. I could murder a rhubarb crisp right now.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                    I found this really great recipe somewhere on line...
                                                                                                                                                                    3 cups of fruit
                                                                                                                                                                    juice of 1/2 orange
                                                                                                                                                                    Mixed with 3 tablespoons of corn starch
                                                                                                                                                                    3/4 cup of white sugar
                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                                    1 tablespoon of butter cut into small pieces and scattered over fruit. Although the recipe does not call for it I add 3-4 tablespoons of good quality jam to the mix. Mix all together
                                                                                                                                                                    Topping: 1/4 cup of butter melted, add 1/3 cup of brown sugar and melt together. In a bowl 2/3 cup of flour, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, 2/3 cup of oatmeal. Blend dry ingredients together, add melted butter to top and mix until resembles large pieces. Spread over top of fruit mix. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. I have reduced the sugar in the rhubarb mixture in the past but have found it too sour and so I stick with the excessive amount of white sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                2. The Road Trip took us far from an oven and into high°F+temperatures... baking cookies now to jump back into this thread with peanut butter, sugar, and chocolate chip pecan cookies.
                                                                                                                                                                  Since I missed the 6/29 Toronto Cake Day, I am still dreaming of cake.

                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                  1. Made a genoise for the 2nd time in 20 years. Yummy but not perfect...I think I still need a lot of practice. Ganache plus a soaking syrup was too sweet -- any suggestions for better combinations?

                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: madbaker

                                                                                                                                                                      There are so many things you can do, add alcohol to soaking liquid, make a Bavarian cream a la chad Robertson, a pastry cream to make a Boston cream pie....my ultimate is Tartine(chad Robertson) Bavarian cake, I like a lime and strawberry version.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                                                                                        Hm. There *was* Chambord in the soaking syrup, but maybe not enough to offset the sweetness of the ganache. Would a buttercream frosting have made the dessert seem less sweet?

                                                                                                                                                                        Speaking of lime, I was reading about a mojito genoise idea -- maybe the acidity helps too.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: madbaker

                                                                                                                                                                          IMHO I would skip a buttercream. I like it best with a lightened pastry cream. I mentioned Boston cream pie because it is a cake sometimes moistened with coffee with a vanilla pastry cream and topped off with chocolate ganache. Another option would be to make a marscapone filling, you could make a sabayon and fold it into cold marscapone. This way you could control the sugar. You could use Marsala to make sabayon and a raspberry coulis to moisten cake. This would be similar to a tiramisu....lots of variations. I have tried many.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                                                                                            I like those ideas! So it seems the concentrated sweetness of a buttercream or ganache is best set off by a volume of something else (here, usually cream) that can be slightly undersweetened if necessary. Instead of a hyper-sweet soaking syrup, you're using less sweet liquids; I'll play around to see if lower-sugar syrups hold moisture as well (sugar being hygroscopic). I think ladyfingers are sometimes made with a genoise batter, so the tiramisu idea makes sense. (That said, I may need to start out with the Boston cream pie because I don't have Marsala...yet.) Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. I have pumpkin bread cooling. I make it with lots of spice, both in variety and quantity, because that's how I like it (others seem to, as well). My recipe makes two loaves, so one is destined for the freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Nikki NYC

                                                                                                                                                                          Well ain't that purty! Try Instant Clear Gel as a thickener:

                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

                                                                                                                                                                        2. Made roasted strawberry banana bread for a baby shower brunch on Friday..no idea how good it is, it's in the freezer.
                                                                                                                                                                          Also made a "peanut butter and jelly" bundt cake with some strawberry jam from a few week ago: made more jam than I had sterilized jars for, so had to use it up. It smells good, and the batter tasted divine!!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Blueberry Tea Cake out of the oven and cooling. To frost or not to frost with cream cheese frosting?

                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                              How about a lemony cream cheese icing, or a lemon glaze?

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gloriaa

                                                                                                                                                                                yay! recipe w/lemon cream cheese frosting or lemon drizzle
                                                                                                                                                                                http://leitesculinaria.com/74312/reci...

                                                                                                                                                                                we ate most of it plain and then frosted what remained with the lemon cream cheese frosting

                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                  That looks so good, I have saved the recipe and if I am able going to the local market to buy some fresh blueberries.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                    I remember printing that recipe a while ago... it's a Bill Granger one I believe..

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                I would serve that with some butter and grated orange. It looks VERY GOOD.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. I have been hoarding sour cherries since the start of the season and made my first ever cherry pie with 4 cups of Montmorencies I had pitted. I went very easy with the flavorings, just a cup of sugar, 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon and a splash of almond extract, and wow, what phenomenal fruit. I'd be curious to know how other people flavor their cherry pies. I'd never had one before, but I think I will be going through regular iterations thanks to the bounty I have in my freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                                I did not blind bake the shell. I'm not sure if sour cherry pies are meant to be blind baked, but the bottom crust was wholly ruined. 5 tablespoons of tapioca flour did precious little to thicken the juices so I will need to find another, better thickener.

                                                                                                                                                                                17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                  I often add some jam to fruit mixes along with cornstarch. (Sometimes up to 1/2 cup of jam) Fruit mixes are tricky for the water accumulation. I really think you have to add enough sugar to help with the thickening of the juices. You had a cup of jam seems like a reasonable amount.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                    Perhaps a partial bake with a coating of egg white to create a barrier?

                                                                                                                                                                                    A cherry pie sounds divine. I'm jealous.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                      I usually use a cup of sugar to 6 cups of sour cherries, because I prefer a tart pie. A squeeze of lemon and a touch of rum are the only flavorings I use - I don't really care for cinnamon or other spices in cherry pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                      As for the tapioca - are you sure your filling was thoroughly cooked? It really has to BOIL, all the way through the pie (not just on the edges), and then it needs to cool a good bit to set up. Four tablespoons to six cups of cherries usually does the trick for me - I do like my pies somewhat juicy, though. I make my cherry pies with a lattice crust to encourage some evaporation, too - it's harder to get the filling cooked with a double crust. Some of the other sour cherry lovers on this board use cornstarch and cook part of the fruit for the filling with the cornstarch on the stovetop before putting it all together in the pie crust - this is a nice insurance policy, because you know before you bake that your filling is thickened. A lot of bakers like instant Clear Jell for fruit pies, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't think the cinnamon added much; I only used it because it was recommended by CI. The almond was my addition; I like how the flavor complements stone fruit.

                                                                                                                                                                                        For the filling, I waited over an hour for my filling to boil through the lattice and it never did, meanwhile my crust was overbrowning, so maybe I took it out too early. I also know that the tapioca flour may not have had enough time to set after resting for the 2 hours before we cut into it but in any case, the middle of the pie came out like soup: crust and all. Would longer baking have preserved my crust or do I need to blind bake the bottom crust? I had no idea cherries were going to be this juicy.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't blind bake my bottom crusts - I just start the pie at a fairly high temperature (400) on the bottom shelf of the oven, where the bottom can get a good blast of heat right away. As for the over-browning, that is sometimes a risk - I occasionally have to cover the pie with foil and keep baking to get the filling to boil. I read a post or article recently, though, that advocated covering the edges of the crust with foil while the pie is still cold and removing the foil toward the end to allow them to brown - this sounds like PURE GENIUS to me, since covering the edges of a 400 degree Pyrex pan with foil is NOT easy!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                            My pie crust shield was $5 really well spent, for never having to fuss with little strips of foil again. I've seen silicone ones more recently, but I just have this cheap aluminum one that I picked up at Bed Bath & Beyond years ago. I use it with a 9-inch tart tin, as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.amazon.com/Andersons-Bakin...

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                Good to know - do you have the 9" or 10"? I bake most pies in a standard Pyrex pie plate, but there's always a bit of crust hanging over the edges, so I assume the 10" is preferable?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I have the 10" one, and it works well for the 9" Pyrex pie plates, which is what I usually use, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lots of great help here; I am much appreciative! One of the things I've noticed with my lard crusts is that the edges are sometimes very delicate and will fall off if they are disturbed before they are fully baked. Are the 10" shields light enough that they won't add undue weight/pressure on the crust?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                                        They're very lightweight aluminum, each only weighing a few ounces, so I've never found that to be an issue. With a more delicate crust, I'd definitely pop it on later in baking, after the edges have a chance to set a bit, rather than putting it on at the start and later removing it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                          When it comes to thickening pie fillings, it's all about temperature. The filling needs to come to a boil. So how can you help it?

                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't use cold fruits. It takes a lot longer for cold fruit fillings to come to a boil.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Warm the filling first. For example, I always par-cook apples for pie. Just cooking them a couple minutes warms them enough to get the process started.

                                                                                                                                                                                          For other fruits, such as cherries, I would put the cherries, sugar, flavorings and tapioca all in one saucepot and cook on medium low for a few minutes to start breaking down the tapioca and warming the fruit so it will have an easier time coming to a boil when it's baked in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I can almost guarantee you complete success by helping your filling along at the beginning.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the tips. I wasn't sure if pre-cooking the cherries would make them mushy, but it looks like they survived an hour in the oven so what can it hurt? The trick will be assembling the lattice without having everything melt over warm filling.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                                                                              No, a quick pre-cook of the cherries won't hurt a thing. As for the lattice, what I usually do (whether I've pre-cooked the filling or not) is assemble the lattice on a piece of parchment while the bottom crust is still in the fridge, then just slide it on and crimp it quickly in place after pouring in the filling. Faster and neater than trying to weave over the top of a juicy filling!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                +1 on that. Best way to deal with a lattice.

                                                                                                                                                                                        3. I had to make gluten-free madeleines for a friend, and came across gluten-free flour, which contains stuff that has no business being in a cake.....would you believe garbanzo bean flour and other stuff? You are supposed to also use xanthan gum (seemed optional, though), but I was never good at chemistry, so I left it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Of course I used my (trusted) recipe, not Buttertart's ! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                          There were no peaks to the madeleines. They were flat as a board. The people I took them to thought they were good; I did not. Anyone want to buy a bag of expensive gluten-free flour?

                                                                                                                                                                                          My next attempt will be with almond flour (ground almonds). Since I can't see baking powder getting a rise out of ground almonds, I guess I'll have to use a recipe without baking powder........sigh!.......Buttertart's! I hope it's in the madeleine thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                          It's too darn hot to bake here, so it'll have to wait.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                            The Bob's Red Mill GF flour has garbanzo in it, and the batter always tastes appalling, but it comes out beautifully in most recipes I've tried-blueberry lemon muffins, brownies, and Joanne Chang's lime cornmeal bars, and most recently the CI toasted oatmeal scones and cream scones. They do spread a little more. I wonder if madeleines are a tough one to make GF-might be worth searching for a GF specific recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Just to give myself cred here-I am a huuuuuge gluten fan, and love to bake-but my poor husband can't have gluten, so I've been driven to experiment. I know folks who only eat gluten sometimes forget what the real stuff tastes like, but the above recipes are all ones that still tasted great to me, not just him.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. A Cake A Day until my birthday on Sunday. Today is Texas Sheet Cake with chopped pecans in the frosting.
                                                                                                                                                                                            http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/20...

                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                              A cake a day? Woot! Cake week for you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                                  That is a fun way to celebrate an upcoming birthday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Texas Sheet Cake with edible flowers from my backyard... 3 birthdays on Saturday 7/20 and 2 on Sunday 7/21

                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                                      That is super pretty and will look rather elegant on your dining table. I envision fine linens, tea and great conversations with friends! Happy Birthday!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I am looking for a lemon blueberry pound cake to bake in a never been used Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt® Pan that I got for Xmas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Just took a peach and blueberry pie out of the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I'm looking for a recipe for a Black Forest Cake. I made one many years ago, but was not pleased with it. It was too dry, IIRC.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just saw one in the book "The Chocolate Bible" that looked interesting (lots of pictures; I like pictures), especially since the recipe makes the base cake with melted chocolate and not cocoa. However, there is one item in the list of ingredients that is very strange:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1/2 cup flour mixed with 1-1/8 cups cake crumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                        My dislike of volumetric measurements aside, does anyone know why cake crumbs are used in the making of a cake?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's quite common in German and Austrian baking. I think it originated out of thrift. It gives cakes more texture.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just saw one I thought looked good, where the heck was it???
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh yeah...
                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.canadianliving.com/food/ba...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks, but it doesn't work for me - it's a cocoa cake (you and I are alike there)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I have to talk to my local German baker about the use of crumbs. Maybe I can beg 1-1/8 cups from her !

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I haven't checked out the linked recipes in this thread, but perhaps there's something suitable there?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/854731

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the link, Caitlin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The recipes all specify the use of cocoa, so not of use to me, but there are some interesting comments:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                - make a cake using chocolate, not cocoa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                - one person made a cake from The Cake Bible, and it was horrible. I suspect that it was a Bernachon cake recipe, which I dislike

                                                                                                                                                                                                                - use lots of kirsch. I'm making it for a Baptist, so no alcohol allowed

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I plan to use the aforementioned recipe from The Chocolate Bible. I'll make madeleines to get cake crumbs. BTW, Señor Buttertart would approve of the cake as it uses ground walnuts; I plan to use ground almonds instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The cake is to be a gift for services rendered, but I'll beg a slice so I can taste it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks again, Miz McGrath!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It sounds great, I prefer almonds to walnuts myself. Himself is the walnut man.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. My husband, who will go all over hell's half acre (in the hot as hell weather we're having) to get sour cherries, has been getting enough this year to release 2 boxes of his frozen stock for a pie. One was from 2011 and one from 2012. Both emerged in perfect shape and made one heck of a pie...TenderFlake lard and Monarch flour in the crust.

                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Looks delectable. I have not seen the sour cherries in Montreal markets, perhaps I do not know what I am supposed to look for. I bought a sour cherry jam and loved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ruthie I hear you! I haven't seen sour cherries in Montreal or Alberta markets (I moved out west from NDG)... I did a little digging and found several varieties are grown out here - one being "Evans Cherries" and used that to find a local producer. I found this thread on a Quebec hound's search for sour cherries: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/536661 and http://www.letempsdescerises.ca

                                                                                                                                                                                                              ETA: this is where I found a list of sour cherry varieties: http://www.fruit.usask.ca/dwarfsourch...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you Maplesugar. I will keep an eye out for them in the farmer`s market.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I just saw sour cherries last week in Toronto's farmer's market.. they are usually only for a few weeks. I am going to make jam for the first time with them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sour cherries weren't on my radar until I started reading about them on this board-then I tried sour cherry ice cream at a creamery in BC. I was hooked instantly, but thought they didn't grow in Alberta so the odds of finding them for sale here would be slim... well, it turns out there's a upick 30 minutes from here!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Care to share your recipe buttertart?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: maplesugar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The pastry is the one on the TenderFlake box (I'm assuming you're Canadian) and the filling is 6 c pitted sour cherries, 1/3 c cornstarch, 1/4 tsp almond extract, and 3/4 c sugar -- we like it tart. Baked at 400 deg F for 20 mins and 375 deg F for another 40 appx.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              4. I'm making cinnamon rolls. I looked at a bunch of popular recipes and then made up my own recipe that includes butter, honey, milk and mashed potato flakes in the dough. The cinnamon filling includes Penzey's Apple Pie Spice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm surprised the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls are so popular, they don't include butter, eggs or mashed potatoes in the dough. Just milk, oil and sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Potatoes make any white bread better, in my opinion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I despise eating potatoes, but I have to agree, bread recipes with potato are awesome. If I didn't already have a magnificently tender, moist, flavorful cinnamon roll recipe (no potatoes, but lots of butter and some eggs) I'd have to experiment. But even if you came up with a superior recipe, I don't think I could stray from mine, which has been a favorite my whole life. I don't think anything else would taste *right* to me, no matter how good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Still, if you come up with a perfect recipe, let me know so I could try it. You know, in the name of science. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: modthyrth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The other day, I wanted to make cinnamon rolls. I looked at about 10 popular recipes and took what I thought were the best things from several of them to make a new recipe that came out quite well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I calculated the bakers percentage for the dough of those popular recipes so I could compare them for percentage of sugar, fat, eggs and milk. I was surprised that the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls were so popular when the dough only contained sugar and oil with no eggs or butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In a Baker's Percentage the weight of the flour or flours is taken as 100% then the weight of each ingredient is compared individually against the weight of the flour. Yeast and Salt are usually 1% or 2% the weight of the flour. Hydration is the total liquid weight percentage vs flour weight. This includes eggs, milk, water or juice but does not include oil or syrups. For most yeast dough this should be around 60% to 70%. Higher and you have a wet, sticky or soupy dough. Lower and you have a dry crumbly dough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I ended up creating a recipe that used mashed potato flakes (for rich, tender dough), butter (for flavor), undiluted evaporated milk (for the milk fat, it's 19% fat vs 7% for whole milk), buttermilk (for more tender dough and flavor) and honey (for flavor instead of sugar) along with some cake flour to lighten up the dough. The recipe is linked at the bottom of this message.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here are the results for comparison:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Alton Brown's Cinnamon Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      100% Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      53.94% Hydration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      32.42% Milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      0.00% Water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10.00% Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      15.00% Butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      21.52% Eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1.06% Salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1.23% Yeast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Betty Crocker Cinnamon Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      100% Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      62.74% Hydration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      52.07% Milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      0.00% Water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      14.08% Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      12.11% Margarine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10.67% Eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1.30% Salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2.99% Yeast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bread Baker's Assistant Cinnamon Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      100% Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      69.70% Hydration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      59.40% Buttermilk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      0.00% Water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      20.30% Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      17.20% Butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10.30% Eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1.60% Salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1.40% Yeast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Cook's Country Cinnamon Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      100% Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      62.71% Hydration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      34.46% Milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      0.00% Water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      18.83% Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      32.05% Butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      28.25% Eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1.72% Salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1.32% Yeast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      King Arthur Flour Cinna-buns
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      100% Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      62.21% Hydration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      44.12% Milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      0.00% Water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      18.08% Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      13.54% Butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      18.09% Eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1.93% Salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1.41% Yeast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Paula Deen's Cinnamon Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      100% Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      62.01% Hydration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      26.04% Milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      25.30% Water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10.67% Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      15.98% Butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10.67% Eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1.30% Salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1.49% Yeast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      100% Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      76.48% Hydration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      76.48% Milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      0.00% Water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      15.67% Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      17.56% Oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      0.00% Eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1.43% Salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1.10% Yeast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Saveur's Cinnamon Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      100% Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      58.21% Hydration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      35.50% Milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      0.00% Water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      22.43% Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      33.02% Butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      22.71% Eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1.33% Salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2.04% Yeast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      T0dd Wil1bur Copycat Cinnabons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      100% Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      51.79% Hydration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2.25% Milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      34.84% Water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10.42% Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      10.42% Margarine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      14.70% Eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      0.67% Salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      0.34% Yeast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      USDA School Cafeteria Cinnamon Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      100% Flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      58.84% Hydration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      58.84% Non-Fat Milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      0.00% Water
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      9.75% Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      11.12% Oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      0.00% Eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2.12% Salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2.75% Yeast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I used the website below to convert the recipes from volume to grams, so all would be equal. If a recipe listed weights, however, then those weights were used to calculate baker's percentage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.onlineconversion.com/weigh...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here is the recipe I came up with:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Honey Butter Cinnamon Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://www.recipesecrets.net/forums/y...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        AWESOME analysis. I'm betting my favorite recipe is quite high in hydration, but I'll have to do the calculations tomorrow and see exactly what it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Very impressive work as usual, Antilope! So, the big question, how did they turn out? I know you said "better than cinnabon," but I've yet to taste a homemade cinnamon roll that wasn't!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It turned out rich, light and with a slight honey flavor. Not at all heavy and bready, because of the cake flour. I will try a cream cheese frosting next time as a topping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The hydration percentage in the above analysis has a lot to do with how the flour is measured. A hand workable dough is probably in the 60% to 70% range. Anything outside this range is probably corrected by the original chef during preparation, but they didn't weigh it out. Much below 60% and the dough would be dry and crumbly, much above 70% and the dough would be too sticky to work by hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You are a kitchen wizard, doing the above list and analysis is a lot of work. Thank you and I want to try your recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Antilope it's people like you that really make us all proud to be part of this community. I loved your post, thank-you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Baking with kids today-the chocolate chocolate chip cookies off the bag of Hershey's mint choc chips. Subbed Bob's Red Mill GF flour for the regular flour so DH could partake and they were just divine. Not fancy at all, but rich and chocolatey and still melty on the inside. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I mostly bake and blog gluten-free. Been practicing perfecting macarons, and making lemon curd with the egg yolks. Also made a couple of gluten-free black bean chocolate brownie batches which came out fab! No - you can't taste the beans at all. And No - I don't include bean flour in my gluten-free flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ibonnie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I never realized that mashed beans could replace some of the fat content in muffins and cakes until I saw a show on TV about it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Apple cake. Simplist thing I bake and everyone ALWAYS wants the recipe. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: shaebones

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Especially if it has a little cinnamon with it for me. If everyone always wants the recipe would you be willing to share it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sure, got some in the oven right now.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  350 oven, Gease 8 x8 baking pan.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In a big bowl mix 2 peeled chopped apples, 1 egg,1 c sugar and 1/4 c vegetable oil.Stir in 1 c flour 1/2 t cinammon, 1/2 t baking soda, 1/4 t salt. Mix in 1 cup toasted chopped pecans.Pour in to prepated pan and bake 40-50 minutes or until tester in center comes out dry,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Serve warm w sweet cream ice cream. Oh baby!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: shaebones

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thank you and love that it is fast and easy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. On the hottest day of the year (fingers crossed it doesn't get any hotter than 99!) I made raspberry lime and chocolate tartlets. I didn't really have too much choice about when to make them because I made them to thank my sister for all her help in finding a new job, and she'll be in the neighborhood tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Beautiful result! Hope you're not too wilted...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I did spend awhile camped out in front of the air conditioner to recover, but my sister loved the tart, so it was worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Aw, thanks Ruthie! I think the gelled raspberry puree layer ended up being my favorite part of the tarts. My sister, being my sister, thought the chocolate cover feuilletine was the best part closely followed by the raspberries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It all sounds lovely and merits a lovely pot of tea alongside it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. 57°F here - baking rosewater madeleines

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That does it, we're moving back. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Tonight I made some pumpkin bread to use up some of the pumpkin I froze last fall. I need to figure out what to make with the rest of the pumpkin, just about a cup in this container. I think I have about 4 cups in another container.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For my GF friend, I've made several batches of GlutenFreeBetty's blondies lately. Instead of the chocolate chips, I add some shredded coconut and chopped pecans. These blondies are addictive! They're a little heavy on the salt, but it makes them taste like salted caramels. I don't care if they're gluten free, they are delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Made the whole wheat bread from King Arthur Flour using the tangzhong (roux) method -- I can't compare it to the regular version since I've never made it before, but it was excellent!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And just attempted the pretzel buns from The Chew (a birthday request from a friend) using the pretzel dough from Baking Illustrated. I think I need to be better at following recipe instructions...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: madbaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I keep intending to try tangzhong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would love for a more experienced baker to try this and tell me his/her opinion. :-) I had heard that this method makes for lighter bread, and I figured that an almost 100% whole wheat dough could use a bit of lightening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I forgot, I also replaced the water with whey. Maybe that also made a difference...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: madbaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I will do it next time, promise :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Browned butter tart squares.. half cherry and half raspberry. It's my contribution to a paella party that friends throw every year..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I fired up the oven just long enough to bake a loaf of no-knead sourdough, using the cold-start dutch oven method to keep the heat to a minimum. It turned out quite sour this time, which I like - I'm sure the hot kitchen temperature during the refresh of my starter, preferment and rising periods helped! Very nice crumb, but not quite as thick/crunchy a crust as I would have liked - still good, though!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I didn't know there was a cold start method, details?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You just shape the bread on a parchment sling and plop it, parchment and all, in a cold dutch oven. Cover and place in a cold oven, then turn it on. My loaf was 15oz of flour and 11-12 oz of water, and it took an hour and 5 minutes at 400 in a non-coated, cast iron DO. I could probably have gone a little longer or bumped up the temp to 425 for a thicker crust, but the loaf is quite nice. I usually bake at 425 or 450 when I use my enameled cast irons, but it tends to burn at that temp in the non-coated one, so I was being overly cautious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I find this method gives me excellent oven spring, and heats up the house substantially less!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love it!!! You put it in without a final rise?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, no, sorry. I shaped it on the parchment (just folded it over a few times and shaped it into a boule) and let it rise again for about an hour (I probably could have gone a bit longer) before putting it in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have a similar recipe from Family Circle, makes great bread little kneading and second rise is two hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Sunday's Birthday Brunch cake was this Pistachio Cardamom cake. Frosting was leftover Lemon Cream Cheese with a teaspoon of freshly ground cardamom. Served with Roasted Strawberries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/h...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A-Cake-A-Day faltered - but my cake cravings are satisfied; birthday week was a delight and my friends ate cake with me. Hurrahs!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds great, and happy birthday again!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What does roasting strawberries do to them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Roasting concentrates the sweetness and softens the whole berries with a syrupy sweetness... dust with sugar and roast at 400°F for 10+ minutes... a dash of a good balsamic vinegar won't hurt it, for an ice cream sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I made a roasted strawberry banana bread: it didn't get soggy like baked goods with strawberries often do..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. A triple berry bundt with lemon glaze for a leaving do at work.. used raspberries, red currents and blueberries. Very good, but I will never, ever attempt to to transport ANYTHING with frosting, icing, or a glaze on the streetcar again. Despite generous use of toothpicks, the glaze ended up everywhere!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. It's too hot to bake, but we made ice cream today -- mocha almond chip oreo. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. DH surprised me with a beautiful new Bundt pan yesterday (the dramatic swirl type): http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To thank him, I thought I'd break in the pan by making him a cake, and he has requested rum cake. I've never made one, and all the recipes I've seen online call for a cake mix and a box of instant pudding. I'm fine with that (especially since I won't be eating the cake myself), but if any of you bakers have a tried-and-true scratch recipe, I'd be grateful!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'll ask around. You could always use a good yellow cake recipe, like Cook's Illustrated?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And here's one from our very own kattyeyes...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://kattyskitchen.wordpress.com/20...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This recipe for Bacardi rum cake is the one I always used to make, though I have vague memories that I just bought the mix with pudding in it already: http://baking.about.com/od/bundtcakes...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I know, I know, a mix, but it's truly a wonderful, moist boozy cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: girlwonder88

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the recommendation - that's the recipe I'm making! DH isn't so picky about mixes and this cake is just for him, so I'm sure he'll enjoy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And a photo. I love this new pan, although I think I need to reduce oven temp by 25 degrees (even though it's not a dark color). The cake was done in 45 minutes instead of the hour called for, and it rose a bit unevenly, with a peak in the center. Still, not too bad for this pan's maiden voyage!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Gorgeous. I also love that pan, and it does all the heavy lifting, looks-wise. Everyone oohs and ahs over the cakes thanks to its sexy architectural shape (I always say it reminds me of a Frank Ghery building).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This cake is just lovely!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That Bacardi Rum Cake recipe is as old as the hills and was created by Bacardi as a way to get people to consume more rum. It's a classic, and it is VERY good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I make a variation sometimes, subbing Peachtree Schnapps for the rum. It's good too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That would have been right up my mom's street, she loved peaches.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love that pan, as Caitlin says, everything looks great in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I made per request Margarita cupcakes for a birthday party- really love these on a summer day

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. We had a family reunion last weekend so I made sour cream apple pie bars (Tish Boyle's The Good Cookie). I also made cherry hand pies with some puff pastry I had laying around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Both turned out really well, and we didn't go to the reunion so we just had to deal with them around here. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lots of fresh fruit, and an extra pastry crust, hanging around. I should make some pastry cream and then choose between sweet cherries, raspberries (red, gold, and purple) and blueberries. I love this part of summer!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Tam38

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow. The berries sound terrific.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. One of the Best Corn Bread recipes I have tasted - Peter Reinhart's Corn Bread

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I made Peter Reinhart's Corn Bread recipe from the Bread Baker's Apprentice today. My family and I really liked it. The recipe makes a dense, moist corn bread. It's well worth the effort.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      One caution, you really need an instant read thermometer for this recipe. Make sure all of the corn bread interior is baked to at least 185-F, as recommended in the book. Some people have reported the recipe came out gummy. This is probably from not cooking to the suggested temperature. I baked mine to 185-F and the corn bread was dense, moist and flavorful. I baked the corn bread in a greased (with bacon drippings), pre-heated 10-inch cast iron skillet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Some members of my family did suggest leaving out the bacon and bacon drippings next time. Others really liked the bacon flavor, so that part is a matter of taste. I liked the addition of bacon and bacon drippings. I will be making this recipe again soon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      -----

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      link to recipe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://leitesculinaria.com/7175/recip...

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Good to know, I'm always looking for one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Cool weather today! So I mixed up some chewy chocolate chip cookies (new to me recipe ... very good) and two loaves of challah. And a zuni roast chicken. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. A dear friend's birthday was yesterday, and he requested a Reine de Saba, in part because he loves it (I have baked him many birthday cakes over the years, and if he has a request it is almost always for something chocolate), and in part to accommodate another friend who is gluten-free. Based on a prior recommendation from buttertart, I used the Queen of Sheba Tort 5.0 in Alice Medrich's Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts. It was a simple as promised, one bowl and a handheld mixer from start to finish, with absolutely scrumptious results. She actually calls for 2 T of flour, and I don't know what it accomplishes, but I trust her judgment; however I left it out and just subbed an extra spoonful of almond meal to make it GF. Lovely texture nonetheless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That is a terrific recipe, I'm glad you liked it (and the sub for flour makes perfect sense, I don't know why there needs to be any in it either).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Aha! I just read a note appended to the chocolate pecan torte in that Medrich book, which is just a variation using different nuts. She says the flour gives a creamier texture, but if you want a flourless cake, just leave it out and use more ground nuts (as I did).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Worked out splendidly, and the GF guest just called and asked me for the recipe...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh ho...makes sense. So easy, too, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Baking hamburger buns tonight...I had been craving spaghetti with meat sauce but husband wants to grill burgers. My revenge is the buns :)....happy to do lots and lots of gluten free baking for him, but I sure miss baking bread and am going for it tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I made some chocolate pecan bars from a Hershey's cookbook. They tasted good, but were much too dry. Last week, I'd bought a bottle of salted caramel syrup topping, and I drizzled a good amount of that over the bars, covered them and left them overnight. Next day, perfect!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There's always a way to rehab problem baked goods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Sour cherry and cream cheese coffee cake w crunchy almond streusel topping

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://crepesofwrath.net/

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It does, but pardon me for saying it, that blogger is insufferable. ME ME ME me me me ME food ME ME ME ME ME

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Agree....but the cake was rediculously good. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What bothers me more are the blogs that used to be about baking.. and now they are just Everyday (paid) giveaways or (paid) product-plugs--to the point that they never bake or make a thing anymore.--Pardon the rant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think the blogs are about lifestyle and baking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Chocolate Croissants! They're pretty ugly, but they taste good. It's been a few years since I've made them, and I'm wondering if I need to reduce the yeast at my new high altitude?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I invited a friend for tea yesterday. I made a lemon cranberry loaf, and a recipe for soda bread from Heirloom Booking by the Brass sisters, called Winny McCarthy's bread. As well we had little tea sandwiches, and my friend brought homemade cheesecake. As well another friend who is from Uruguay made me some dulce leche and give me a brand of chocolate cookies called Maria that I was instructed to put the spread on. All delicious. It was chance to break out the china, put a nice tablecloth on it and sip tea and have a nice pleasant afternoon.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have that book but the Brass sisters. Was it good?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How fun to take tea together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Tam38

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes the bread is excellent especially toasted and I do add the caraway seeds. I love that book. I also bought the cooking book by them but do not like it as much as the baking book. I do love to have tea with friends.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Got bored a few nights ago and made Dahlia Bakery's Ginger Molasses Cookies and some brown sugar almond biscotti from one of Donna Hay's books (unsure which one).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The biscotti is only okay. There's a very toasted whole wheat taste to it (I used AP flour). Maybe it needed a bit more sugar? I ended up adding an extra egg to bring it all together too. It was too dry. Eh, back to my standard cherry amaretto ones next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I like the molasses cookies and they use regular ginger...not candied. They have a very small window of being soft and chewy before they're hard. Either way tastes good, but you really have to be on the ball if you have soft and chewy lovers in the house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I love that book, if you're fond of old-school Chinese restaurant almond cookies use their recipe -- and use lard as the shortening.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. BLUEBERRY BUTTER CAKE from The Black Dog Summer on the Vineyard Cookbook. (p. 34)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've had this book for some time now and it's summery theme enticed me to pull it from the shelf. As luck would have it we'd just picked up a 4 quart basket of blueberries from a farm stand on Friday so I was quickly inspired to make this dish. This comes together quickly and the buttery fresh fruit aromas and flavours are heavenly!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If I saw this on my kitchen counter, I would say to myself, that beckons...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'll say.. that looks great! Is that Falcon enamelware?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. We had friends over for dinner, and i wanted to make something that would spotlight sour cherries, so I made a Japanese cheesecake, one of our favourite things.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.food.com/recipe/japanese-c...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I used 8 oz cream cheese and nonfat milk (all I had), and 4 extra-large eggs and 1/2 c cornstarch instead of what's shown here (I wanted a taller cake, in an 8" round with 3" sides). I cooled it for about 1/2 hr with the oven door cracked. The cake didn't crack, and the texture was even better (more spongecake-y).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Made a sour cherry sauce to go with it -- the ones we got last week and froze were rather blah (I think because of the heat the previous 10 days), so I sharpened the taste with citric acid (kept adding a little until it seemed right, maybe 1/2 tsp or a bit more in all to a lb of cherries), and sugar, and thickened it to a little looser than pie filling consistency with a cornstarch slurry.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The cake was pronounced the most delicious thing the guy had ever tasted (which, he being Turkish, I rather doubt).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I really do need to try this someday, as I have an aversion to standard cheesecakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You do, it's nothing like the usual heavy ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How is it different from North American cheesecake?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is the type that I grew up with...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    rather heavy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It only has 7-8 oz of cream cheese in it, and you whip the egg whites with sugar so it's more like a cream cheese soufflé. Really super.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I just remembered I upped the sugar from 1/2 c to 2/3 c too (half goes into the cream cheese mix, half into the egg whites).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I also always add 1 tsp of vanilla.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This gives you an idea of the texture.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2011/...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My friend brought me a cheesecake on the weekend made with greek yogurt and it was light and refreshing. Not as dense as the traditional cheesecake, it was very good. As well it was topped with a cherry, strawberry and rhubarb homemade topping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That topping sounds great.. nice combination..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And one cake + 2 custard cups full from when I made them at M's mom's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Speaking of my mother-in-law's birthday, here are the cakes I made for the open house...RLB's double chocolate Valentine's hearts...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Very nice, Buttertart. I've been meaning to make that cake a long time. What is the texture like?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Very, very tender and downy. Be sure to put the knife right up against the side of the pan or you will lose some of it when unmolding. There's cocoa in the cake but because of the ganache and because the cocoa is bloomed in boiling water it does NOT taste cocoa-y...(souschef being anti-cocoa, in case you others were unaware).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Everyone I've made it for has swooned.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And thanks, all!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  PS you could stud the top of any suitable iced / frosted cake with raspberries this way, for these it took 2 each of the little plastic clamshells they're usually sold in -- 12 oz per?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Coconut mini cupcakes, so a QUESTION FOR ROXLET. I'm test-baking before hosting a tropical-theme dinner gathering a week from now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Roxlet - have you made your husband's favorite coconut cake as mini cupcakes, and if so what was the baking time? Recipe in this 2012 thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8791...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My test-bake this morning for a different recipe - Grandma Yearwood's Coconut cupcakes, from July BHG, that uses crushed Nilla wafers in place of flour - didn't give results I'd hoped. Too tender as mini-cupcakes, and I want that size for ease of serving as a dessert buffet item.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  No, I haven't made them as cupcakes, but for minis, I wouldn't think the baking time would be that long. I would start by using another recipe for minis as a guideline, and go from there. It shouldn't be that different. I've made cupcakes out of other cake recipes, and that's what I've done. In fact, I never understand why cupcake recipes exist as something different than cake recipes! I think all cake recipes should show times for cupcakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good point re recipes showing times for cupcakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the info, Roxlet. Test bake of those will be Friday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Just baked up a batch of rhubarb ginger crumb bars.. and I fear that they are too tart! They were a giant pain because I was using frozen rhubarb, which I forgot loses volume as it thaws... so I kept on having to defrost more rhubarb. May have wasted my precious frozen rhubarb stash on this!! I'll test it tomorrow before I decide what to do with it.. (possibly save it for my mother, who loves tart rhubarb)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Maybe a sweet glaze on top would work to counteract the too-tart filling?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have sometimes seen rhubarb paired with a cream sauce, perhaps a little drizzle of English cream would tone down the acidity. I am sure that they will be yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think that ice cream is the simplest solution for me (although both a glaze and serving with cream sound yummy...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. My 85-year-old mother-in-law's sour cream coffee cake (and it may have been her mother's recipe before that). Rich, tender yellow cake with a cinnamon/sugar/pecan layer in the middle and sprinkled on top. Totally old school, simple and delicious.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          That sounds like my husband's great-aunt's specialty, exactly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ooh, would love to compare recipes! Here's my MIL's:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sour Cream Coffee Cake

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cake:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 c. sour cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 t. baking soda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ½ c. butter, softened
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 c. sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 eggs, beaten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 t. vanilla
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 ¾ c. flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 t. baking powder

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Topping:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/4 - 1/2 c. brown sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 t. cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1/4 - 1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Preheat oven to 350.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Grease and flour an 8 x 8 pan. Combine sour cream and baking soda in a bowl, mix to blend. Set aside (it will double in bulk). Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl. Alternately mix in portions of the flour mixture and the sour cream mixture to the batter, ending with flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Spread half of the batter in the pan. Sprinkle with half of the topping mixture. Cover with remaining batter. Sprinkle with the rest of the topping mixture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bake for 30 – 40 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Seems very similar. I'll hunt up the recipe card...hers makes a 13x9 (big family).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I made Chocolate Buttermilk Cookies this weekend (adapted from this recipe: http://www.bigflavorstinykitchen.com/...). It felt strange not using eggs, but they turned out great - truly delectable. I reduced the sugar to 1 3/4 cups (next time, I think I'll go down to 1 1/2 cups), and I sprinkled them with Maldon salt before baking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pics here:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/27309894...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.flickr.com/photos/27309894...

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