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What are you baking these days? November 2013 edition! [through 11/30/13]

A little birdie reminded me I needed to get the November thread up...oops! This should be a busy baking month, what with American Thanksgiving and early holiday baking...always a good time to make fruitcake to have it ready...
This weekend I made pasties with the leftover Salsa Genovese I made from a recipe in the current Cook's Illustrated -- it's an onion-heavy braised beef sauce that I wasn't all that keen about on pasta, but noticed it tasted pretty much exactly like the filling for the beef and onion pies we used to sell at the fish and chips shop I worked at while at UCB. They turned out very nicely.
With the remainder of the pie dough (half of the famous TenderFlake lard crust recipe makes enough for 7 pasties plus a 9" pie crust) I made a crumble-topped cherry pie with some of the husbanded stash from this summer. The topping is from the recipe in Jane Grigson's Fruit Book, for an apple crumble tart from Normandy, Tarte Bon Acceuil. I used walnuts instead of almonds, because Mr. Cherrylover loves walnuts almost as much. (110 gm each butter. flour, chopped nuts, 200 gm sugar, dry ingredients buzzed up in the FP and the butter pulsed in.)
If you don't know Jane Grigson's books, you have a fabulous treat in store. I adore her.
So...what are YOU baking these days?

Photos to come.

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  1. My husband claims that one of his notable cooking failures concerned making dacquoise, so when I saw an interesting recipe for dacquoise in the new Cook's Baking Book, I proposed it as hia birthday cake. His enthusiasm convinced me it was THE ONE. He's not much of a sweets person, so his enthusiasm was unexpected. Unfortunately, I never really read the recipe before starting in yesterday, which was his birthday. It soon became clear that there was no way that I would be able to complete the recipe in a single day, so I quickly made the golden cupcakes from the same book in order to have something on the day. I added some coconut to the batter, and frosted the cupcakes with vanilla cooked flour frosting dipped in coconut since coconut cake has been the usual birthday cake for years. So this morning I resumed making the dacquoise, which is now done and sitting in the fridge to be sung over tonight. I think it's going to be amazing (at least all the components were!), so I'm excited to taste it after dinner.

     
    25 Replies
    1. re: roxlet

      I just found it online: http://www.treats-sf.com/2013/11/choc...

      Looking at the recipe, how could it not be wonderful?

          1. re: buttertart

            It is super delicious. Fabulous, really. I'd do it for a party since you could feed a lot of people with it. It's not too sweet, and the hit of bitterness from the chocolate balances out perfectly.

            1. re: roxlet

              For the love of God, why did I open this thread?

              I absolutely have to make this.

          1. re: roxlet

            ooooo - dacquoise may be my favorite all-time cake. I've never made a successful one, but I've made an impressive flop. I'm excited to have a recipe you've tried & loved. I'm ready...

            1. re: THewat

              Just plan ahead, and it's very doable. Cook's Illustrated recipes tend to be fool proof, so I felt confident making it. My son's comment was most appropriate: "This isn't a cake. It's pastry!"

              1. re: roxlet

                CI Dacquoise in process. The merengue, which I blew on an earlier effort (another recipe) came out well as far as I can tell. But this time I blew the buttercream. So I tossed the first batch & made a batch of Italian meringue buttercream (from a recipe I've used before.) On to the cutting & assembly!

                1. re: THewat

                  Was it the buttercream from the CI recipe? I'm sure it won't make any difference which buttercream recipe you use, but I'm a bit surprised if it was the CI one because I thought it was quite straighforward.

                  1. re: roxlet

                    Roxlet - yes, I don't know what I did wrong, but neither the volume nor the consistency was great. It was also a little heavy on the coffee for me, probably because I used the full amount of instant coffee & didn't have great volume. I figured if I was going to eat that much butter in one shot, I better love every mouthful, so I remade the buttercream using a recipe from Wedding Cakes You Can Make by Dede Wilson. I ended up using the CI ganache only between the layers, and not as a final coating. The final cake was outstanding. And gluten free! I'm really grateful to you for posting the CI link - it got me through the merengue & the whole layering process - it was great. I feel victorious and very, very well fed.

                    1. re: THewat

                      Yes, it was so successful here that I am going to make it again as one of the cakes for my son's 18th birthday celebration. It's a keeper!

                      1. re: roxlet

                        Many years ago, my oldest brother made a dacquoise as a wedding cake for a friend - or rather, I think he made eight and frosted them end to end. It was perhaps the most spectacular presentation of a dessert I've ever seen.

                        1. re: THewat

                          That sounds amazing! I will be making this dacquoise, a recipe from Momofuko Milk Bar, and the epicurious chocolate cake for my son's birthday party. Since both the dacquoise and the Momofuko cake can be made ahead and frozen, I am planning on making them this weekend, and doing whatever finishing I need to do next weekend. The celebration is next Sunday.

                            1. re: roxlet

                              Gorgeous! Too bad I live in Toronto, or I'd try to wrangle an invitation ;)

                1. re: roxlet

                  How is the Cook's Baking book? I'm very tempted to buy it.

                  1. re: Njchicaa

                    I really like it so far! I have just made two recipes -- the dacquoise and some cupcakes. Both were good, and there were many other things that tempt!

                  2. re: roxlet

                    Since I volunteered to make a dessert for Thanksgiving, and apple pie is already taken, you've inspired me to try and make a daquoise for the holiday.

                    1. re: zitronenmadchen

                      It's a great recipe, and maybe even more appreciated as something different on Thanksgiving! Allow time to make it.

                    2. re: roxlet

                      Here's my thanksgiving dacquoise. It doesn't look quite as nice as yours, my frosting skills are pretty poor, but it tasted wonderful, and there were no left overs.

                       
                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                        I just made another dacquoise for a party tomorrow. I blew the buttercream TWICE. I was using a recipe I've made about six times before - I was pulling my hair out yesterday. The first time I overcooked the simple syrup, and the second time I think the butter was just too cold (room temperature at my house is about 63 these days.) Anyway - it's done, and in the walk in of the bar where it will be served.

                        1. re: zitronenmadchen

                          That looks fabulous! It's a great recipe.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            I love those pasties. They look so great.

                          2. Thomas Keller's Coconut Cake - not sure why I chose this one since it doesn't have a cream cheese frosting!

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: emily

                              Very, very good. The cake contains a can of coconut milk that's been reduced on the stove - I didn't think it would flavor the cake much, but you can really taste the coconut.

                               
                              1. re: emily

                                That looks wonderful! Coconut cake is the usual default birthday cake around here, and Malgieri's recipe is the one I use, but I'll have to take a gander at this recipe for sure. Which book is it in?

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  Ad Hoc. Just had a slice for breakfast!

                                  1. re: emily

                                    Breakfast of champions! I have Ad Hoc, so I'll have to take a look.

                                  2. re: roxlet

                                    This is an excellent coconut cake recipe as well: http://willowbirdbaking.com/2013/04/0... It is labor-intensive but well worth the effort! I've made it several times and now make a couple of changes but overall it is outstanding.

                                  3. re: emily

                                    I will definitely be trying this one soon! I love coconut cake. I already have a recipe for an insanely delicious one but it takes days to make when I'm working. I realize it is a TK recipe but hopefully it will be somewhat easier to manage.

                                  4. re: emily

                                    I need to try this one....I always think cream cheese frosting interferes a little with the coconut extravaganza tha tI'm looking for in a coconut cake.

                                  5. KAF sandwich bread so far . But I have tomorrow off, and I see more baking in my immediate future.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                      Just made the tequila lime fruitcake that sandiasingh so kindly posted last month. I divided the batter into 5 mini loaves, which are supposed to be doused in tequilla for the next 4-6 weeks. Well, we've already finished one, barely cool from the oven! Thanks for a creative and delicious recipe, sandiasingh.

                                    2. I was hoping to try my hand at popovers this weekend, but then I got sick and at mac and cheese from a box. Hopefully this coming weekend! I need to practice them before Thanksgiving.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Kontxesi

                                        Hope you're feeling better! Popovers are surprisingly easy -- and delicious, of course.