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What are you baking these days? August 2013 edition! [through August 31, 2013]

Hi all,
This is the month in which I spend the first 2 weeks deciding on my birthday cake...maybe the Diana Henry rose one...maybe the RLB pistachio one again, splashing out on Sicilian pistachios this time, to see if they really make a diff.
And you? What are you getting up to with butter, sugar, and flour, etc., these days?

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  1. baking oatmeal date walnut cookies now

    1. I am going to make my very first pound cake. I have no idea why I have never made one before. I am going to use a Cook's Country recipe that starts off in a cold oven and is baked in a tube pan (I will use a bundt). Really, I am just looking for a cakey vehicle to support all of the fruit my CSA is giving me. I am getting buried in plums and nectarines and am thinking some sort of plum compote will work.

      5 Replies
      1. re: mels

        I hope your pound cake came out well! I have been considering making some sort of plum tart myself. I love using prune plums at the end of summer, but this Raspberry Plum Crumb Tart from Martha Stewart looks tempting.
        http://www.marthastewart.com/356361/r...

        I love fresh fruit pies; I have never made them with plums, but peaches are very, very good this way.
        http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

        1. re: willownt

          I love fresh peach pie too - so much better to me than the cooked kind. I use an old recipe of my mother's (which I'm sure came from her mother) wherein none of the fruit is cooked; the raw slices are bound by a mixture of Jello, sugar and cornstarch. The idea of cooking part of the fruit sounds good too, though - I'll have to give it a go!

          1. re: biondanonima

            My grandma makes a fresh strawberry pie with jello, but I think cooking some of the fruit with cornstarch gives a good fruit taste and not so rubbery texture. The color is also more .... natural, and usually quite nice. I think being able to adjust the sugar is a plus of making the sauce yourself. Also the recipe calls for a bit of butter, which adds a nice flavor!

        2. re: mels

          I've made their cold oven pound cake many times, it's a keeper IMO.

          1. re: rasputina

            It came out great! Lo and behold, my bundt pan did not have the capacity for the amount of batter (I needed a 16 c tube pan, only had 12 c bundt) so I divided the batter between two 9" loaf pans. It still took about an hour to bake (recipe states 60-80 min. for the tube pan). It is a nice recipe and has the perfect sweetness, moisture and texture that I was looking for. I froze one loaf and have been snacking on the second.

            My compote came out pretty tasty and was a good use of CSA fruit. I put some plums through my food mill (the husband hates the bitterness of plum skin) so I was left with just pulp. To that I added some sugar, a pinch of cinnamon, then simmered it for a few minutes. I pulled the pan off the heat and stirred in shredded raw tart apple (also from CSA). It's a nice combo, good texture, especially because I didn't make the compote overly sweet.

        3. I was in Home Goods today, and there was an adorable 6 cup lemon loaf pan that I bought. It came wil a recipe, but I will be looking for some sort of lemon loaf to make in it.

          7 Replies
          1. re: roxlet

            That sounds very cute. I haven't made a lemon poundcake in a long time...seems to me they've been mentioned in these threads, though.

            1. re: buttertart

              DH is a lemon lover - I have made Ina Garten's Lemon Loaf many many times (makes two loaves): http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

              1. re: maplesugar

                I've made that one too, and it was excellent. Very lemony.

                1. re: buttertart

                  +3 for Ina's. Yum. One of my favorites - just thinking about it has me craving it!

                  1. re: ItalGreyHound

                    Since no one in my house is a big cake eater, I sneaked a taste today left over from Saturday's baking. Maybe more delicious today than Saturday.

              2. I made muffins dotted with chunks of peach and topped them with a mildly gingery streusel. It's been a while since I did much baking and this week I've been enjoying the kitchen, I even made my first new york cheesecake using a recipe from the joy of cooking.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Musie

                  That sounds delicious, I love the peach muffins at Starbucks, am looking for a recipe that is similar.

                  1. re: Ruthie789

                    I haven't been to a starbucks in nearly 3 years since my closest one these days is a 3 hour drive away!

                    I used this recipe from SK for peach cupcakes, but made a few minor adjustments, such as making them a little bigger. I also tossed the peach chunks in a little flour too.

                    http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/0...

                    1. re: Musie

                      Thank you for posting, off to the local outdoor market today perhaps I will find some good peaches.

                      1. re: Ruthie789

                        Nothing better than Ontario peaches and tomatoes...do they grow them in Quebec too?

                  2. re: Musie

                    Yum.. peach ginger streusel muffins sounds great!

                    1. re: Musie

                      Joy's cheesecake is my go-to recipe. Love that stuff!

                    2. Oh, I had forgotten about that RLB pistachio cake! I've just come from a month in Sicily and my suitcase is weighed down with pistachios and pistachio paste. I've got another week to stock up on Swiss specialities and I'll be home and ready to bake! An early happy birthday to you, buttertart!

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: pavlova

                        I'm so jealous that you have Sicilian pistachios. I don't think you can even find them in the US! I was there about 20 years ago, and I still remember how incredibly delicious they were.

                        1. re: roxlet

                          Kalustyan's had them, the last time we were there. (I think they were $44/lb or possibly more.)

                        2. re: pavlova

                          You lucky thing, Pavlova, sounds heavenly -- as is this cake.
                          Re Switzerland --
                          I'm dying to get my hands on a book about Swiss baked goods, can be in either French or German. Could you have a look and see if such a thing exists (and get the ISBN, possibly?). Merci/danke...

                          1. re: buttertart

                            Have you got a title in mind or just a general Swiss baking book? I can check some out tomorrow, as I'm back in Geneva now and I love bookshops! I'll bring my iPod for ISBN photos. :)

                            1. re: buttertart

                              Okay, so I checked out a bookshop today and most books were Swiss cuisine rather than the sweet kitchen, but I did find these:
                              Cuisine Suisse: Haefeli, Alfred ISBN: 9783037804469
                              Desserts de Choix: Bossi, Betty ISBN: 7612643009390
                              One that I missed photographing the title of, but the authors are Andrew Rushton and Katalin Fekete ISBN: 978-3-905-252-17-0. I think it was Swiss Christmas cookies. It was in English, but the recipes were translated from Betty Bossi, so I would recommend finding something by her.