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What are you baking these days? February 2014 edition! [Through February 28, 2014]

Well, January was a bang-up month for "What are you baking" -- almost 400 posts! -- and no wonder, with the horrid weather here and elsewhere. February is starting up pleasantly in my neck of the woods (above freezing, imagine) but like you, I'm sure, I'll be in the kitchen happily baking away whenever I get a chance. So what's building a fire in your ovens these days?

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  1. I'll start this off with the most mundane of baking -- chocolate chip cookies. I made lemon bars yesterday for my son's team (at his request), and they went over like a lead balloon. So for Monday's match, it will be back to the same old, same old. If I have the time, maybe I'll try Kenji's very involved method on Serious Eats.

    5 Replies
    1. re: roxlet

      I saw your lemon bar post. You gave them so much extra care, I thought you'd salvaged them!
      I'm making chocolate chip cookies at some point today as well. I think I'm trying a new recipe I found on the NYT site. It calls for bread flour and an overnight rest. Hope it's worth it.
      http://gastronomyblog.com/2011/04/12/...

      Eta: not the link I found them on, but seems to offer good details. Doing this one handed!

      1. re: rabaja

        Oh, they tasted OK, but the kids didn't go for them the way they go for CCC.

      2. re: roxlet

        I was planning on making kenji's cookies this coming week.

        1. re: roxlet

          Bummer about the lemon bars! I too thought they'd end up working out.

          I wouldn't call CCCs "mundane." They're always welcome 'round these parts :)

          1. re: roxlet

            Mmm, CCC. I think the Litmus test for a good bakery is how good their CCCs are!

          2. I just pulled chocolate olive oil cake out of the oven, approximately two minutes before the potluck I made it for was canceled due to weather. I had considered adding some Grand Marnier this time but decided not to for this particular crowd. Now that I'm a crowd of one for the evening, I'm kind of regretting that decision.

            http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/C...

            1. I just pulled a Crack Pie out of the oven and will start on the Ultimate, Moist, Fluffy, Ridiculous Coconut Cake as soon as the butter and eggs are up to room temperature.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Njchicaa

                Do Tell, Njchicaa---where can I find the recipe for that coconut cake? I am drooling as I read the name of it ;0)
                Thanks.

                  1. re: rstuart

                    She posted it on last month's baking thread, I believe. This is the link she shared:
                    http://willowbirdbaking.com/2013/04/0...

                    1. re: roxlet

                      Duh.. I even copied it then! Thanks Roxlet!

                      1. re: rstuart

                        what rstuart said! i think i saw this one last month too but didn't remember.

                        Njchicaa-pls let us know how it turns out. thanks!

              2. Made some glazed vanilla bean scones for breakfast for the bf. I may or may not have eaten 3. I have a tummy ache :(

                 
                 
                1. I started making brioche dough this afternoon hopefully to make russezopf that looks at least something like this http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...
                  I haven't had too much luck with the cutting rolled up dough in half, it's fallen apart on me when I've tried in the past, but I'm going to try again.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: zitronenmadchen

                    Why hello snow day, you're the perfect day to enjoy a tasty treat. Look how pretty it came out!

                     
                     
                     
                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                        Wow! I would love to spend a snow day at your house.

                        1. re: cheesymama

                          I figure we'll burn off plenty of calories once we start shoveling, so a highly caloric treat is in order. I'll still probably bring most of it to work tomorrow.

                    1. My husband saw an episode or Mexican Made easy in which Marcela made a Cocoflan cake. He had been bugging me for ages to make it so I gave in. It was delicious. Nicely moist chocolate cake with a flan top, drizzled with Mexican caramel and chopped pecans. The only problem was I liked it so much I was having it for breakfast!

                      1. Last Saturday I make Baklava from The Periyali Cookbook and it was delicious. The recipe had me putting a clove in the middle of each slice - looked very festive and special in a good way:)

                        This morning I baked Lemon-Almond cake from "In the Hands of a Chef" that someone here recommended. The cake batter is simple but then you put dollops of lemon curd around the perimeter and in the middle - the result is very tasty - neither too sweet nor too sour, just lovely. Everyone loved it and the hosts kept the leftovers! It is very attractive looking dessert too and was perfect ending to a lovely lunch.

                        I need to get myself a device to take photos - any suggestions?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: herby

                          Smart phone? It's easy, and quick to post.

                        2. Made French bread tonight for subs....

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Cherylptw

                            Made some French bread baguettes for dips on Super Bowl Sunday. I have started adding 10% White Whole Wheat flour to my recipe, remainder of flour is half All Purpose and half Bread flour. Adds more flavor and body to the French bread.

                          2. I made a chocolate chip banana bundt cake last week. It was an Carol Walter recipe. She can be a bit fussy about her directions, but it turned out to be a nice, light cake for a bundt. I did not have the banana extract and the banana taste was fairly light. Boys devoured it.

                            Made the Turkish Coffee brownies someone mentioned in last month's thread. I also used Alice Medrich's method for creating a lightly cakey with a wet center. It kind of freaked my husband out. I would also say the taste is heavy on the cardamom (which I love but others in my house don't) and light on the coffee, even though I opened a fresh container of espresso.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Tam38

                              I feel the same way about her directions (the brown sugar has to be "absolutely fresh" for example), but I do find that her recipes are very well-tested, and always work out.

                            2. This afternoon I made cheese (jarlsberg) & dill scones using a Carol Walter recipe. They're very good and will be even better toasted with breakfast tomorrow morning.

                              I also made the Lazy Daisy Cake from Vintage Cakes. Super easy recipe, oatmeal based, great result. Nice moist crumb, good flavor.

                               
                              1. For the last few weeks I've baked a loaf or two of King Arthur Flour's fruited sourdough sandwich bread. It is a wonderful base for grilled cheese or turkey sandwiches. I also just made a batch of chocolatey pretzel and peanut cookie bars from the January Martha Stewart Living magazine. The bars are more a confection than a cookie.

                                1. LEMON BLUEBERRY BUNDT CAKE - The Best of Cooking Light Everyday Favorites - p. 380

                                  We over-bought blueberries this week so when I searched EYB for a recipe this one became the quick favourite as it called for two cups. I purchased this cookbook from a thrift store last year but this was the first time I've cooked from it.

                                  First of all the cake turned out beautifully. Moist and tender with a distinct eggy flavour that made this "light" cake seem rich and sinful! I also took the time to look through the book while having my coffee this morning and I'm really impressed. There are many enticing recipes in here and I liked the book well enough to give it a coveted spot on the small shelf of books I keep in my kitchen. I'd be curious to know if others have cooked or baked from this book?

                                   
                                   
                                   
                                  5 Replies
                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                          I have quite a few Cooking Light cookbooks, but not that one.. I use their website quite a bit.

                                          1. I made another banana chiffon cake and took it to work. It went down very well. I don't even pretend I'm going to eat the bananas I buy these days.

                                            1. I made a quince, pear, and caramel pie last week. We've not tasted it yet. It is out in the cold on my screened porch. Neither of us is in a sweets mood right now so it may just get pitched. I cannot fit into my freezer.

                                              3 Replies
                                                1. re: Candy

                                                  Do you have a neighbour with a sweet tooth? Take it to work? Shame to pitch - sounds like a great flavour combination.

                                                  1. re: herby

                                                    We are retired. We each ate 1 slice and it was very good, but we just aren't up for sweets right now. The rest of it went out to day. Shame!

                                                2. I baked an applesauce snack cake from the new CI baking book. They have you simmer chopped dried apples in cider, them purée it with the applesauce to up the flavor. There's a suggested ginger-cardamom variation, so I did that, but with twice the listed amounts of spices, and a lot more than the 1 T. minced candied ginger they want for the sugar topping. Added some chopped pecans, as well. I did need to stir in a few splashes of milk to get it to come together; as is it was, it was more dry dough than batter. Good flavor (though I forgot the vanilla), and very tender but also quite crumbly, perhaps because it was barely cool when I cut it. I'm not entirely convinced the rigamorale with the apples is worth the trouble, at least if using flavorful homemade applesauce.

                                                  10 Replies
                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                    Thanks for the review.

                                                    I baked an applesauce cake last week with rave online reviews, but found it pretty dull and didn't enjoy the texture.

                                                    I'd seen the CI recipe calling for the boiling of apples in cider and wondered if it was worth the extra fuss but sounds like it's not.

                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                      Where do you find dried apples? I've looked all over and have never been able to find them in bigger quantities than snack packs that have Disney characters on them.

                                                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                        My local market has them in the bulk bins, but it has a large bulk section. Maybe try a natural foods store or the bulk section at a Whole Foods?

                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                          Thanks for the tip, my new job is across the street from whole foods, so I'll have to walk over there to check.

                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                              The one I can walk to in 15 minutes? I understand, I missed it when I lived in NY (and there are places in NY I miss).

                                                          1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                            Bulk stores carry all kinds of dried fruit.

                                                              1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                I am Canadian so the Bulk Barn is where you can find many bulk goods.

                                                          1. Forgotten cookies. I've wanted to try them since I first saw a post about them on this board. Tonight seemed like as good a night to forget cookies as any. http://www.healthyfood.co.nz/recipes/...

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: THewat

                                                              With good chocolate & good nuts, these are kind of great. Took me ten minutes to put them together last night. Fun!

                                                              1. re: THewat

                                                                How many cookies did that make? It says it serves 16, is that 1 cookie per serving?

                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                  I used all the batter to make 20 on one cookie sheet (they don't really spread.) Pretty easy to eat two at a time.

                                                              2. re: THewat

                                                                My Aunt used to make these for St. Patrick's day using green food coloring. (No idea why she only made them for that holiday!) We always loved them!

                                                                1. re: meatn3

                                                                  Great idea. I need to bake for 2 Valentine's bake sales, red or pink food colouring with white chocolate would be perfect!

                                                              3. I am making what is probably one of the best cookies I have ever made. The Momofuku's Cornflake Chocolate chip cookie. http://relishingit.com/2013/04/22/mom...
                                                                I have made these a few times, and they really are that good. This last time I made them, I froze the dough and baked them from frozen. It may be my imagination, but I swear they were even better!!!!!
                                                                Please try them....anyone.....

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: jennaroo

                                                                  Oh! Bookmarked! Thank you for sharing.

                                                                  I had to buy cornflakes for another recipe last week but have half the box left and no idea what to do with them. Don't like them much on their own.

                                                                  Thanks for the recipe!

                                                                  1. re: jennaroo

                                                                    I have the book; I just need cornflakes!

                                                                    1. re: jennaroo

                                                                      I am all over this one this weekend!

                                                                    2. I took the excuse of the cooler weather where we live to do some baking (highs of 70 has been normal weather recently).

                                                                      The most recent attempt was cinnamon gooey butter cake from David Lebovitz's website.

                                                                      It was delicious, buttery and strangely addictive. We normally don't care for very sweet baked goods but the family and friends wolfed down the pan in one sitting. Eeeps.

                                                                      Since I had bought Lyle's golden syrup for the cake (you can use corn syrup) I went ahead and made another batch just to use up the syrup but this time I accidentally left it in the oven for an extra ten minutes. This cake wasn't as sticky or gooey or addictive as the first one but it was still quite good and buttery. In a way it was better because we didn't finish the pan in one sitting!

                                                                      I know this really belongs in the January category but two weeks ago I made the sticky buns from Pioneer Woman but left out the maple glaze and substituted an orange-sugar glaze from Joy the baker (I adapted her adaptation of Pioneer Woman's original recipe). Everyone enjoyed them but I found the actual dough to be unremarkable if perfectly fine. I've made better sticky buns before, and I wasn't surprised to find that the finished product was sweeter than I'd have liked, given it's a Pioneer woman recipe.

                                                                      Edit: in rereading the above it sounds like I'm nitpicking. The truth is that the buns came out fine and was appreciated by all who ate them.

                                                                      1. I just made a heart shaped log of brown butter shortbread that is resting in the fridge until I decide to bake them up. I may throw it in the freezer and bake next week since I went to the trouble of making it heart shaped!
                                                                        In the oven is a batch of congo bars (blondies) from the Cafe Beaujolais cookbook. I subbed in brown butter and left out the nuts so that I can send some to school with my kids. The rest will go to work with me.
                                                                        I have been playing with brown butter lately. When I brown the butter it smells so good I just want eat it as is. But when I add it to recipes for baked goods I don't get the full impact of the flavour. This is why I decided to try it in shortbread, a recipe where the butter is the star. I hope they are as good as the smell of the browned butter!

                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                        1. re: cheesymama

                                                                          I'm crazy about browned butter. You have the Cafe Beaujolais cookbook too, eh?

                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                            :-)
                                                                            A very good friend gave me that cookbook when we graduated university together over 20 years ago! It has a very long, rambling and sweet note on the inside cover. It's one of the cookbooks I will keep forever. Not to mention the Congo bars, amazon chocolate cake, mocha butter cream recipes and her coffee cake recipe which I am often asked for when our school has a ,morning bake sale.

                                                                          2. re: cheesymama

                                                                            There is no better smell than browned butter! I have found blondies one of the best routes for browned butter. This recipe from Smitten kitchen also lets the browned butter shine:
                                                                            http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/0.... The original recipe with raspberries is also great..

                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                Thank you both for the recipe links. I will try each of them out in the coming weeks.
                                                                                I made some no knead brioche dough yesterday and am thinking of turning some of it into cinnamon or sticky buns and making a browned butter icing for them.

                                                                                1. re: cheesymama

                                                                                  I like to make round buns out of brioche dough and bake them, then stick the end of a pastry bag into them and inject with pastry cream that's been lightened with some whipped cream. After, I roll them in melted butter and then sugar. It's a great not-so-sweet treat.

                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                    That sounds really good. Last night I filled some with nutella and baked them off for the kids this morning. They loved them and it was a quick easy treat.
                                                                                    I still have lots of dough left and will probably make an apple filling and make a braided filled bread.

                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                      Ooh, that reminds me of brioche polonaise, with a few less steps. I'd love to make them, some day.
                                                                                      http://www.joepastry.com/category/pas...

                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                          He does see this. On my to do list! I've made the components at various times. Now to make them together.

                                                                                          Up for a challenge, Mein Konditormeister?

                                                                              2. I have been baking bread, bread and more bread this miserable east coast weather almost mandates it. Due to schedule mostly no-knead versions (I keep a crock of no-knead refrigerator bread at hand) but I have a nice sourdough starter going too for weekends. Its nice having warm fresh homemade bread for dinner and a buttered slice for breakfast on cold dreary winter days.

                                                                                1. I usually lurk here admiring your efforts and looking for recipes. Yesterday while working at home I made two chocolate chocolate chip banana bundt cakes. It was requested by my DH's coworkers so they got one and I schlepped the other to my office.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                    Welcome to the baking thread, AGM_Cape_Cod!

                                                                                  2. For a team dinner for my son, I baked chocolate cupcakes. I used the epicurious double chocolate cake recipe and vanilla cooked flour frosting. I think they were the most perfect bite of food I have ever made. The cupcakes cooked up perfectly in 25 minutes. My husband, who is not much of a cake eater, shared one with me and said that they were a perfect bite, and that I could win a cooking competition with them! High praise, indeed. The cake was meltingly tender, with just the slightest crunch on the top. And the frosting was perfect with them. (NB that this batter is quite thin, so I used a pancake pen from W-S to squeeze the right amount of batter into each cup.

                                                                                     
                                                                                    26 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                      Love your rosettes (and LOVE that chocolate cake recipe!)

                                                                                      1. re: lesliej

                                                                                        It's been my go-to chocolate chip recipe for years. Has never failed me!

                                                                                      2. re: roxlet

                                                                                        I commend the uniformity of the baked goods and their pretty presentation. Looks delicious.

                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                            So how did you like the cooked four frosting, I haven't gotten around to trying it yet.

                                                                                              1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                Yes, it's fabulous. My husband, who detests butter cream, really likes this frosting a lot. buttertart is right: you have to try it!

                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                  Have you tried freezing cakes with this frosting on them?

                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                    I have frozen cake with the cooked flour frosting (not a whole cake, but slices that were left after a party). Defrosted just fine.

                                                                                                  2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                    Ok thanks for the recommend. I'll put it on my baking to do list.

                                                                                                2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                  Which Epicurious double chocolate cake recipe?

                                                                                                  1. re: smfan

                                                                                                    Here's the link:
                                                                                                    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                                                    It calls for 10" pans, but I use 3 9" pans instead, since I don't have 10" pans. Or I make cupcakes with the extra batter.

                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                      This is the one that is basically the same as the Hershey's Black Magic cake recipe (times 1.5), plus a few oz of melted chocolate and a couple of other small tweaks. It is insanely good - and that little bit of melted chocolate really enhances the flavor and texture. Your cupcakes look gorgeous!

                                                                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                        Thank you! I usually make this as a cake, but cupcakes were better for the occasion. I think it's a bit different than the Hershey's Black Magic. That doesn't have coffee either, I think. I think the coffee makes a huge difference. The only gripe I have is that the cake makes a big mess when you mix it.

                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                          Oh yes, the Black Magic does, indeed, have coffee. They really are the same cake except for yield and the addition of chocolate in the double choc. cake. When I don't need a huge cake, just 9" layers, a 9x13, or a bundt, I just do the Black Magic with the addition of melted chocolate (usually just pour the hot coffee over chopped chocolate and let it melt, for ease).

                                                                                                          Hershey recipe, to compare: https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/reci...

                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                            Yes, almost the same except for the chocolate and a bit less leavening in the Epi recipe. So, so good. And now I'm craving chocolate cake!

                                                                                                          2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                            I finally succumbed to temptation - I have a 1/3 recipe of the Epicurious cake in the oven right now. I'll frost with whipped ganache when it's cool. The batter was AMAZING as always!

                                                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                That's fabulous as a loaf cake! It would be great for a party that way.

                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                  Yes, one-third of the recipe fit perfectly in an 8" square pan. I trimmed the edges and then cut it in half and stacked it. So cute! I think there's enough left for DH and his daughters to have for a birthday cake in a few weeks - I'm going to be out of town when they visit, and his oldest is turning 19. I'll pop it in the freezer so I don't eat the rest!

                                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                    Reminds me of the Sara Lee choc cake of my childhood.

                                                                                                    2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                      What is pancake pen? Sort of a syringe?

                                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                                        No, it's just a fancy name for a plastic container with a small nozzle at the top that allows you to control the flow of the batter. You could use an old ketchup bottle or some such, but I like this because it unscrews on both ends and is easy to fill, and easy to clean. I totally unnecessary bit of kitchen gear, but I like it!

                                                                                                        http://www.williams-sonoma.com/search...

                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                          Oh, I love it :) WS wants $10 to ship to Canada - disgusting! But next time I am in Toronto or NY I'll pick one up.

                                                                                                    3. Caramelized Bread Pudding with Chocolate and Cinnamon, from Sunday Suppers at Lucques

                                                                                                      http://globalgourmet.com/food/special...

                                                                                                      This turns out to be a layered pudding, with chocolate on the bottom, a thick layer of custard in the middle, and thin layers of bread on top. The flavor was nice, but if I make it again I'll use thicker slices of brioche/bread to soak up more custard (which defeats the point of the recipe, I suppose, but that's just me).

                                                                                                      The New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

                                                                                                      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/din...&

                                                                                                      This replaces Alton Brown's "The Chewy" as my new favorite! (I also noticed someone up thread had tried them). I didn't use chocolate disks - just coarsely chopped Ghiradelli bars.

                                                                                                      1. Haven't baked much the last week or so. Finally got up off my butt last night and made 2 demi baguettes from a recipe I'd never used. I don't know why, but I've gotten very lazy with my yeast baking and keep looking for fairly quick recipes. These guys only needed about 80 minutes rise time total, no cold ferment or biga.

                                                                                                        But they were mighty tasty fresh out of the oven! I finished one off today and am going to freeze the other.

                                                                                                        I also made (for the millionth time) my favorite Lemon Bundt. This one's in a 6 cup pan, perfect size.

                                                                                                        I've been tinkering with the recipe a bit and the cake is now so moist and tender, it's difficult to cut. Maybe not ideal for a Bundt cake, but it sure beats a dry, stale, brick of a cake any day.

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                            Both pictures show great talent. I love the look of the bundt cake.

                                                                                                          2. Today I am making Alex Guarnaschelli's yellow cake with chocolate frosting and caramel topping. It is a riff on Dobos Torte and totally delicious. My friends up the block with a new baby requested something "desserty" so that should fit the bill.

                                                                                                            1. There hasn't been a lot of baking so far this year, but I did make a small lemon meringue pie for my sister/roommate's birthday. There's just the two of us, so I only made a 7" pie with a 2/3 recipe. There was a little extra lemon filling, and it was great on toast the next day.

                                                                                                              1. Mini muffins, all kinds. Lemon blueberry and apple, fruit and nut bread mini loaves. Yesterday I did Banana, Pecan and Toffee mini's and they were a big hit with my husbands colleagues. I love them because you can be so versatile with what you put in with what you have on hand and they only take 10 minutes in the oven and another ten to cool.

                                                                                                                1. I have been evilly thwarted by my doctor, who has instructed me to limit carbs (due to a minor liver condition). I am however still baking, just not as much :( Rye bread tomorrow -- whole grains being better for one and all that...

                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                    Uh-oh, not good. Hope you heal well and quickly.

                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                      Don't whole grains have just as many carbs? I thought the health trend was to get away from grains altogether and eat more protein/veg combinations. Paleo, I think it's called. There's always almond flour and it's yummy.

                                                                                                                      I hope you recover soon.

                                                                                                                      1. re: amoule

                                                                                                                        Just started experimenting with almond flour, and I love it. I "splurged" on an expensive bag of finely ground stuff instead of just grinding my own, which I've done in the past. But the flour I bought is amazingly textured and bakes up well. So far, I've used it to make cookies and a pie crust and was really impressed.

                                                                                                                        Buttertart--sorry to hear the news! I hope your liver is okay and that you are back in the land of the carb freaks soon.

                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                          Thanks, everyone. It's a limitation, not an outright ban, in any case. :)

                                                                                                                    2. Orange Syrup Cake from Jerusalem via David Lebovitz. This has lots of orange zest and ground almonds as well as an orange juice/lemon juice syrup pored over the cake when it comes out of the oven. The added lemon has a terrific impact in this cake. I liked this a lot (much, much better than the Orange Kiss Me Cake that I tried last week). Yes, I have many oranges to use.
                                                                                                                      http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2013/04/...

                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: mscoffee1

                                                                                                                        Funny you should mention this. I made Claudia Roden's Orange Almond Cake yesterday. Yum.

                                                                                                                        It has no syrup but it's flourless and made from ground almonds and two whole oranges.

                                                                                                                        1. re: amoule

                                                                                                                          How did you like it? There seem to be several versions on the web. What version did you use? I made an orange cake with boiled orange last month (no almonds) that was excellent.

                                                                                                                          1. re: mscoffee1

                                                                                                                            I used the version from the New York Times. I had one problem: it was supposed to bake for an hour and I smelled a bit of burning at 47 minutes. I took it out immediately. The bottom of the cake was very dark, but not quite black. After cutting away that portion, it was delicious. I'd like to try it again with Satsuma tangerines and see how that differs. It's very sugary - I'm also tempted to try a reduced sugar version as muffins. It would be lovely to wake up to (with less sugar).

                                                                                                                        2. re: mscoffee1

                                                                                                                          That sounds fabulous. I candied some orange / tangerine peel this Christmas and it came out dry, so I ground it up together. Wonder if i could use this for part or all of the sugar???
                                                                                                                          I don't like the Roden boiled fruit cake, I find it too damp. What the heck are you supposed to do, drain/press out the moisture once the fruit is boiled? Hmm...microwaving in closed container?

                                                                                                                        3. The week of school projects for ds11.

                                                                                                                          First we made a Viking ship out of gingerbread. Then the dog ate it so we made another Viking ship out of gingerbread. I made a mold for the bottom and we cut out the end pieces. I found a great recipe on CHOW for that. It started out cooking a caramel and added flour and a ton of spices once it came to a boil. I loved the taste and I'm usually not a gingerbread fan (maybe the lack of molasses and the pumped up spices helped). Royal icing, filled tuiles for oars and mast, some fun cutouts. A great project to do with an 11 year old.

                                                                                                                          This weekend is the Cell project. I made the 2-layer cake from the back of the Swans Down flour box (eh...a little sweet). Frosted the top of the first layer with vanilla cooked flour frosting. Cut a giant hole out of the top layer and put that on top. Cake diorama. DS11 made the parts inside and labeled them.

                                                                                                                          It was the first time I've made that cooked flour frosting and I was surprised it turned out so well. The cooked flour and milk seemed lumpy but it all turned out beautifully in the end. Very buttercream rich and not too sweet. Perfect with the overly sweet cake.

                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: Tam38

                                                                                                                            It really is excellent.
                                                                                                                            The dog ate the Viking ship! Too cute.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Tam38

                                                                                                                              To prevent lumps, I mix the flour with the sugar, and then slowly whisk in the milk. Perfectly smooth every time.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Tam38

                                                                                                                                Spat coffee @ the dog eating the ship.

                                                                                                                                Lately the big one's been sitting calm and quietly for hours, facing away from me, just focused on the large rolling container I keep her dry food in. She'll just sit there, not moving and breathing too calmly. We call her "piggy."

                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                  Too funny. We can't leave anything on the counter right now. Blueberry muffins. Baked potatoes. French bread. It's crazy, and so unlike him. I wonder if it's the cold.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tam38

                                                                                                                                    Could be! Either he's got cabin fever or he's wanting to bulk up for winter (ha, ha).

                                                                                                                                    Mine will occasionally work together to knock over the kitchen garbage can. They will eat entire sheets of parchment paper that had savory foods baked on them. I find it really interesting to see the aftermath--what they ate and what they avoided like the plague. Last time, they licked clean an entire (almost empty) container of cream cheese but left a whole barely-touched container of ricotta.

                                                                                                                                    Dogs are really entertaining creatures!

                                                                                                                              2. I made the Pioneer Woman's Apple Brown Betty and bleh, was it disappointing. I followed her recipe to the T but it taste like a dryer bread pudding.

                                                                                                                                1. Just made some Biscoff oatmeal cookies for a colleague who just had a baby.. something to feed all of the family and visitors! Am planning on making a coconut buttermilk pound cake to take in to work tomorrow.. once I am done watching the Olympics!

                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                    Had to Google Biscoff oatmeal cookies - what did you think of them?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                      They're really good.. I've made this particular recipe before. Harder to find Biscoff in Canada: I used something called "Cookitini" or something like that I found at Costco (the one time I went!)

                                                                                                                                    2. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                      Can't believe I missed this before. This sounds fabulous!

                                                                                                                                    3. I have nothingswrong's coffee cake rising. It makes two loaves, and I've been giving away one, but I think I will keep both this time since this is my son's favorite breakfast to take with him when he leaves for school. I slice it up, and freeze it, and defrost a couple of slices for breakfast. This time, I formed each loaf into a braid.

                                                                                                                                      26 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                        Glad to hear your son is loving it!

                                                                                                                                        I've never frozen it before. Do you freeze it, icing and all? Defrost on the counter?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                          Can you link me to the recipe? I might have to try this...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                            I ice it, and then slice it, and put it in a plastic bread bag in the freezer. I either defrost on the counter, or microwave for about 15 seconds.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                              Okay thanks! I'd love to have some extra in the freezer.

                                                                                                                                              The coffee cakes they were originally based on (which I've been trying to mimic) were actually frozen by the bakery that made them, then delivered to the grocery store which sold them. The grocery store defrosted the cakes and put them out.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                There's no way we'd get through these loaves without them getting stale, so freezing is the best option, and it works very well. We freeze all our bread, whether store-bought or homemade.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                  We do too! It's a crime to let something get stale, especially if you've spent time, money, and energy making it delicious! We slice and freeze all sorts of things. If it's a quick bread, we put waxed paper between the slices.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                    I've never frozen quick bread either. The wax paper is a great idea. I'm always scrambling to give away my mini loaves of pumpkin bread.

                                                                                                                                                    I do freeze bagels (sliced in half first) and loaves of French/Italian/Sourdough and have them sliced thin at the bakery so I can pop them in the toaster any time to reheat. Not sure why I don't freeze sweet breads, but I'm going to start.

                                                                                                                                                    Over Christmas I stuck in the extras of a few varieties of frozen cookie dough, already pre-cut and ready to bake. I've been whittling away at the stash slowly and it's been dangerous :)

                                                                                                                                                2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                  Did we ever decide if those were Roselyn coffeecakes?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                    No! They're supposed to be like a Heinemanns coffee cake. Just looking at the website photos makes me salivate. Flooded with memories of me and my yiayia eating the cake at her kitchen table in the suburbs of Chicago.

                                                                                                                                                    heinemanns.com/

                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                      Oh, I remember those! I grew up a couple of hours from Chicago,,,,

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                        Really?! They were divine. I would give anything to have an unlimited supply near me.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                          We had great bakeries in our area of Indiana back in those days. People liked their baked goods, and there were many types of items that are rarely seen these days.

                                                                                                                                                          Anyone remember happy face frosted cookies? I see them sometimes now, but the modern-day version is like sugary cardboard.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                            I grew up here in L.A. and there was this old-school ma and pa owned bakery on the corner of my street. Literally a 1 minute walk away. I mean, come on!

                                                                                                                                                            The owners of the bakery lived in the house across the street. They were very old, and they woke in the middle of the night and walked down there daily.

                                                                                                                                                            I probably stopped in there twice a day. Once in the morning to get a pastry for breakfast, and often once after school for a few cookies (or another pastry).

                                                                                                                                                            They had so many types of cookies I never see anymore, all made fresh in house. I remember my mother would give us a dollar or some coins, and even in the 90s, it was enough to pick several cookies.

                                                                                                                                                            They had these neon pink/green/yellow maple leaf-shaped cookies with a chocolate filling. All sorts of butter cookies, some with jam in the centers. Rows and rows of marzipan creations lining the display case. Cakes, Danishes, muffins.

                                                                                                                                                            I always got a chocolate croissant in the mornings, sometimes two (one for breakfast, one for a snack). I had such a sweet tooth as a kid! And my favorite afterschool snack were the mini palmiers. I've still to this day never had a palmier that tasted as good as those ones. They were like caramel.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                              Ah, you are younger than I am! We need to find or write a book on the history of baked goods - that sounds fascinating to me!

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                          I see that it's a much less deep pan...

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                            Yes. I thought I'd mentioned that I normally make them in fudge or cake pans when I give them to others. So they are much less deep.

                                                                                                                                                            Over time, I've come to prefer the bread part much more than the topping so I bake them in deeper pans.

                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                Ok nothingswrong, stop it! I am having intense carb cravings thanks to you, everything you post looks delicious and I enjoy your blog as well.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                  Lol, sorry!

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks for the kind words :)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                    Keep the pictures coming! Perhaps one day I will see a Blitz Torte concoction on your blog. My friend's Mom used to make this and it was delicious. (just a suggestion)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                      Interesting. I've never heard of it.

                                                                                                                                                                      Is it like this: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

                                                                                                                                                                      Cake with a custard middle and meringue on top?

                                                                                                                                                                      I would definitely give this a go. Looks fun (and yummy).

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                        I heard of it as a child, but it was old-fashioned even then, I think.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                          It's the second cake recipe I've come across this week which called for a meringue topping. I find it interesting and am curious about it.

                                                                                                                                                                          I've never particularly liked meringue, though I haven't had it since I was a kid. That bakery on the corner had the only meringues I seemed to like, shaped like little bird nests.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes something like this. My friend's Mom made one with layers of cake and meringue and pineapple and whipped cream. It was a tall cake, and very delicious. The meringue and cake together have a nice texture. Picture please if you try it!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                            I definitely will post if I make it.

                                                                                                                                                                            I'm actually liking that the KAF recipe doesn't leave you with any extra egg yolks or whites. They're all used in the recipe...

                                                                                                                                                                            Next time I pick up some eggs and fruit I'll give it a go.

                                                                                                                                                3. This was posted on the King Arthur Flour Baking Circle.

                                                                                                                                                  It's a homemade baking pan grease to prevent sticking while baking.
                                                                                                                                                  When using this, things fall right out of the pan.

                                                                                                                                                  Baking Pan Grease

                                                                                                                                                  1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
                                                                                                                                                  1/2 cup vegetable oil
                                                                                                                                                  1/2 cup flour

                                                                                                                                                  Add ingredients to a food processor and pulse for a few seconds until well mixed. Place in an airtight container, labeled "baking pan grease", and store in the fridge. This baking pan grease lasts forever in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                  Use it to grease baking pans, to prevent sticking. A silicone brush works well to spread this on baking pan.

                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                    I wonder if butter can be substituted for the shortening...

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                        I would guess no because those milk solids burn easier and cause sticking.

                                                                                                                                                        the flour with grease is interesting. I guess its like greasing and then flouring a pan.

                                                                                                                                                        Is it hard to get on in a thin enough layer?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: daislander

                                                                                                                                                          I wonder this, too. I still just use veg oil spray with flour over it and things pop out well. I don't have an extra-intricate bundt pan or anything, so I haven't challenged tis method thoroughly...

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                            I always use spray and have never had issues with sticking until the other day when I made that lemon Bundt. Not sure why, but my large Bundt pan never sticks at all. The little one I used has one chunk missing when I turn the cakes out.

                                                                                                                                                            Interesting mix here, I never keep shortening on hand, but I'm going to try it next time I do a Bundt.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Have got pizza dough rising, slow ferment in the fridge. Bread flour, yeast, water, salt.

                                                                                                                                                      Will report back with photos.

                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                        Did this a few weeks ago. I think it does give some extra flavour.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                          I do like that ala Peter Reinhardt (among others), but I usually can't wait that long!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Tam38

                                                                                                                                                            I recently made up a batch of Peter Reinhart's Neo-Neapolitan Pizza dough. I put it in the fridge, for what I had intended to be overnight. Things came up and I didn't make the pizzas for 3-days. The dough sat in the fridge for 3-days instead of overnight. That was the best tasting, most easy to handle pizza dough I have ever made. From now on, the pizza dough stays in the fridge 3-days before use.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                              Pizza dough definitely improves after sitting for a while. I've never gone more than 36 hours but I've heard 3 days makes an amazing dough.

                                                                                                                                                              The "quick" recipe I use has flour, salt, yeast, water, and olive oil.

                                                                                                                                                              The 24+ hour recipe I use has flour, salt, yeast, water.

                                                                                                                                                              The latter bakes up even in a conventional oven with huge air bubbles, crispy outsides, chewy insides.

                                                                                                                                                              The flavor is unbeatable.

                                                                                                                                                              The pizza I made the other day was spectacular. I did it with just mozzarella, thinly sliced vine tomatoes, and fresh basil from the garden after baking. I brushed the crust prior to topping with some olive oil, garlic powder, and a sprinkling of Italian herbs.

                                                                                                                                                              My boyfriend ate the entire thing and said it was the best pizza he's had in ages. He kept repeating that as he was eating, so I know he meant it.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                Antilope, can you paraphrase the pizza dough recipe? Thanks

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: smfan

                                                                                                                                                                  Here is a link to the recipe on Peter Reinhart's blog:
                                                                                                                                                                  .
                                                                                                                                                                  Classic Pizza Dough, Neo-Neapolitan-Style
                                                                                                                                                                  https://www.fornobravo.com/pizzaquest...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                    That's the hydration ratio that I use, too.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Today I tried Joy of Cooking's quick banana bread. Very delicious.

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: noodlepoodle

                                                                                                                                                              It has dried apricots and nuts if I recall. I like that one too, if I am thinking of the right recipe. I made the quick pumpkin bread twice in the past few months, once with butternut squash though. To my delight both were up to the same standard as the banana bread.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Heart-shaped peanut butter press cookies, using my new OXO cookie press's single & double hearts disks, and the recipe from Mom's Mirro cookie press book - previously posted here on CH http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9236...

                                                                                                                                                              I also borrowed a couple of Mom's Mirro press disks - the Scottie dog & the Camel - and am delighted to report that the Scottie worked just fine in the OXO press.

                                                                                                                                                              This new cookie press is speedy, easy to fill/use, spaces cookies perfectly by having a wide base, and although it requires hand-washing was very easy to clean.

                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                So good to know that my Mirro disks will fit in a OXO press - I always wondered about that. And hard as it may be to replace my beloved Mirro, I'm sure my fingers and wrists will thank me for it.

                                                                                                                                                              2. CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES!!

                                                                                                                                                                I was flipping through the February issue of InStyle magazine and came across a feature on the "Ultimate" chocolate chip cookies. Ok, I know what you're thinking...what the f%*?!@# does a fashion magazine know about cookies? Well, they consulted some people who actually do know a thing or two and one of those people was Dorie Greenspan. Dorie contributed:

                                                                                                                                                                THE ULTIMATE CHEWY (chocolate chip) COOKIE

                                                                                                                                                                Though mine looked more like the Ultimate Crispy Cookie from another page, they were indeed chewy and by gosh, they were delicious! I used Guittard semi-sweet chips for the very first time and we were really impressed with them. Callebaut is our usual go-to brand but these were impressive.

                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                                                  Those look delicious! Is there anything of note in the recipe, or are they pretty standard?

                                                                                                                                                                  I've been using up a bag of Guittard SS chips for the last couple weeks and also love them. Bought on a whim when they started carrying them at my local big name store. They're pretty good eaten plain too.

                                                                                                                                                                2. I made banana bread last week and added some black walnuts I had in my freezer... never again, it turned it into black walnut bread.

                                                                                                                                                                  Yesterday it was sweet potato pull apart rolls. They were very tender and soft. I want to try this next with taro!

                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Crockett67

                                                                                                                                                                      I can't get into black walnuts, I think you have to have grown up with them.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                        Well those that did, can keep them... out of my cookies and any other food for that matter.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. From "Artisan Baking" there are now Acme's Rustic Baguettes cooling on a rack. I forgot how good those are and how bad they are to have handy just before dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                      Also, technically not baking, there is a batch of english muffins.

                                                                                                                                                                      Either will go well with the orange marmalade that's simmering on the stove.

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. I have a batch of forgotten cookies in the (off) oven. I made them pink with white chocolate chips and I think they will go over well at one of my kid's Valentine's bake sale. I'll also make some banana chocolate chip cupcakes decorated up for Valentine's day for that bake sale.
                                                                                                                                                                        Am currently making marshmallows that I will tint pink and layer with popping candy for the other kid's bake sale. I'm hoping the popping candy doesn't do it's thing before making it's way to the kids' mouths. Still trying to figure out how best to use this ingredient. I'll also be making a coffeecake for this bake sale - they do a coffee/breakfast bake sale for the parents before school.

                                                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                  There's a link in THewat's post upthread, which Itself is linked in my post just above.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                    Which apparently means I don't read as closely as I should...

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I found these too sweet for my liking, but the kids love them!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                                                                                                    It helps to use outstanding chocolate. But still.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Dolci di Noci / Walnut Cookies from Southern Italian Desserts:
                                                                                                                                                                            http://cookingwithrosetta.com/simples...

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Not exactly baking, but a rare attempt at dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                              "Ravioli with Red Sauce" sweet pasta filled with cannoli cream, fried & served with raspberry coulis & grated white chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rjbh20

                                                                                                                                                                                I could never say no to a cannoli raviolo!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                  Would that be cannolo raviolo? ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                              2. Made these muffins the other day: http://cassiecraves.blogspot.com/2011...

                                                                                                                                                                                No idea how I came across the recipe, but they were SO F*CKING GOOD.

                                                                                                                                                                                Lots of fat in them, so no wonder: whole milk, sour cream, butter... How the blogger who posted these can stand to smear them with even more butter is far beyond me.

                                                                                                                                                                                The maple flavor was spot on. I ended up eating 3 or 4 (who's counting) and nearly made myself sick. My stomach doesn't do well with too much fat. And then I woke up and was craving them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                Anyway, this was the only photo I snapped because my boyfriend inhaled 3, then hoarded the rest and went running off to stash them at work before I could get the camera out. This was the last muffin, which I hid.

                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                  Gotta love full fat dairy. Looks great!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                    I am a whore for maple - those look great, and I'm not even a muffin fan. Adding to pepperplate immediately!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                      Please do give them a try! They are really surprisingly good. I added them into my "permanent" recipe book.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for that Maple Brown Sugar Muffin recipe. My spouse said "I could eat these all day", and I expect he'll get the majority of them. I used skim milk, non-fat sour cream, full-fat butter and they still rose nicely. I chose to fill the tins slightly more than the recipe suggested, and got a dozen muffins. I liked them quite a bit better after they'd cooled, even though recipe says serve warm. If I were to make again just for myself I'd add chopped pecans to the topping and increase the cinnamon, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I used veg oil spray to grease the tins, no paper liners, and these lifted out easily although I lost some of the baked topping around the muffin edges.

                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yum! I was just thinking of these today. Glad to hear they worked out well with skim milk and NF sour cream. I seriously overdid it on the fat last time. I'm going to try them your way next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Glad your spouse liked them! My bf ate several in one sitting.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Yesterday I made the blueberry muffins from the Dahlia Bakery book. So good, I was in the mood for the more light and cakey Dahlia muffins rather than something more traditional.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Dh left them out on the counter so the dog ate most of them. This is getting to be a normal thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                      So today I made some emergency cookies...oatmeal chocolate chip...to even the score. The dog has not eaten them, yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm thinking of making something with a walnut crust. Did someone post a cranberry tart with a walnut crust? That sounds really good right now. Mmmm...maybe if I can't sleep tonight.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Tam38

                                                                                                                                                                                        So what makes the Dahlia muffins more "light and cakey" than regular ones? I love muffins and crave them all the time, but they really are quite heavy for a snack.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm sure your dog is enjoying himself. Don't let him get into the chocolate desserts!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                          Hmmm...more butter, more sugar, greater creaming time (I think they call for 3 minutes or more). I should probably just face that they are cake in a smaller package. Yummy cake. I usually make much more 'healthy' ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I hope he doesn't get into chocolate! I'm starting to think he has an indestructible stomach.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Epic fail last night trying to make an impromptu apple Danish.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I flew too close to the sun, trying to "wing it" and make an apple braid into a Russian rose shaped loaf, which requires you to roll your dough + filling jelly roll style, then slice in half lengthwise. Then you braid the two halves together and form them into a ring, pinching the edges together.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I've successfully done it with breads, but the apple filling was far too wet. I had drained it but apparently not enough.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The entire mess (one long half, and the other which had broken in two) was just thrown on a baking sheet, hoping it could be salvaged even if ugly, but alas all that handling and moisture caused the dough to deflate and not rise one bit in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I ate a little bit--it tasted okay--but the texture was ruined so I tossed it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        I did salvage the other 1/3 of the dough and made it into a regular braided coffee cake loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The dough recipe was one I made up for monkey bread and has very little fat or sugar. It didn't translate quite so well in this use, but oh well. My boyfriend happily snagged the braid and ate the entire thing already (between dessert last night and breakfast this AM).

                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I adore the inspired posts on this thread; my baking has been 'no-baking' (the cold-that-lasted-forever, no sleep, no butter-flour-eggs in the pantry) in the times between Christmas-New Year's-'O-Shogatsu'-Chinese New Year's-Valentine's Day'. There were no Christmas Cookies, no pie-cake-bread, no heart-shaped delights. Quick and Easy were the key words as I managed a batch of requested "soft/chewy/no nuts/extra chocolate" chocolate chip cookies.
                                                                                                                                                                                          I am baking Molasses Cookies to mail to Aunt Mary in Kansas for Valentine's Day but I am already too late - It's Wednesday and they won't arrive on Friday...

                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                            YUUUM. I love photos of freshly baked cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                            What's in those? They look like chocolate chip cookies, but with the addition of molasses? Please share if you will...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                              Those are the chewy Michael Mina chocolate chip cookies...
                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.chezpei.com/2006/04/michae...

                                                                                                                                                                                              The molasses ginger cookies were still in the oven when I posted above... what an excellent addition to add chocolate to that recipe!
                                                                                                                                                                                              Molasses Ginger Cookies
                                                                                                                                                                                              3/4 cup butter
                                                                                                                                                                                              2 cups sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                              2 eggs, beaten
                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 cup molasses
                                                                                                                                                                                              2 teaspoons vinegar
                                                                                                                                                                                              Sift together:
                                                                                                                                                                                              3-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
                                                                                                                                                                                              1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
                                                                                                                                                                                              2-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
                                                                                                                                                                                              1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

                                                                                                                                                                                              Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, molasses, and vinegar. Stir in dry ingredients.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Shape walnut-sized balls of dough and roll in sugar. Place on parchment paper or Silpat mat.
                                                                                                                                                                                              Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes. My oven bakes hot so I bake these at 325°F.
                                                                                                                                                                                              I cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 10-15 minutes before removing to rack to cool completely. Store airtight.

                                                                                                                                                                                              optional: add 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate to dough

                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I'm going to make David Leibovitz's white chocolate cake with lemon glaze for Valentine's day. I might actually make it tomorrow if I get really bored with yet another snow day.Our governor was on the 5 o'clock news talking about closures and mentioned that it will be twelfth winter storm of the year, still not as bad as last year with two feet of snow in one night.

                                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                              I haven't made the white chocolate cake, but I have made David Leibovitz's Chocolate Idiot Cake (Flourless Chocolate Cake). It is really good and well worth making. I made one for my sister's birthday at her request.

                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2007/01/...

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                I made the cake yesterday, and it's really good, with an intense white chocolate flavor. I think it has more of a brownie texture than a cake texture, dense and fudgey, but we both liked it. Meanwhile, being bored out of my mind stuck inside for a second day (the snow piles are level with our first floor windows!) I made pate fermentee for baguettes and a firm starter for sourdough bread, along with lasagna.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                  thanks for the link Zitronmadchen.. looks wonderful. I love white chocolate.. think that it gets a bad rap. Looks like the french recipe he adapted if from called it a brownie! I will have to try it..

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not, but I do like the one from Felchlin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I prefer it in cookies, love it combined with dried fruits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Tish Boyle has a good white chocolate and lemon cookie. I think it's tastier unbaked. It's really subtle afterward.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It would be a great flavor for ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                        The lemon glaze went really well with the white chocolate, and they've kept really well. We ate the last two pieces today and they were just as fresh tasting three days later.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I baked a white cake and I'm making fresh raspberry frosting for it. Just waiting for it to cool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I adore white cake -- which recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I used the one out of the 1975 Joy. The frosting was from Southern Living.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        It came out wonderful, but my husband requested extra raspberries please in the frosting LOL. So I used more than the 1/2 cup called for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Bill Granger's recipe for coconut bread just came out of the oven. Let's hope it tastes as good as I remember when I eat it for breakfast tomorrow!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Lorry13

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love anything coconut. That sounds amazing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Lorry13

                                                                                                                                                                                                          What's coconut about it? Is it made with coconut flour? None of my coconut flour experiments have produced great results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: amoule

                                                                                                                                                                                                            It's basically a quickbread with sweetened flaked coconut http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/0...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Never have used coconut flour. Can you taste the coconut flavor? I've mostly baked with flaked coconut, coconut extract or coconut milk for coconut flavored baked goods.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Lorry13

                                                                                                                                                                                                              That bread looks yummy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Coconut flour does taste like coconut, a little bit. It's used more because it's gluten-free and low-carbohydrate. You have to use a lot of egg to replace the gluten. It's tricky to work with because the tiny bits of coconut act like little sponges and absorb the liquid in the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: amoule

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm glad I don't have to worry about being gluten-free. I just love the taste of coconut!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've experimented with almond flour but that's about it when it comes to other flours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: amoule

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's been hit or miss for me too. It does need a lot of egg to hold it together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. A little birdie just pointed out to me that I left the leavener (1 tsp baking soda) out of this cake recipe, when I posted it lo these many moons ago. Cynsa made it and really liked it as it was written, so I guess no harm done, but sorry about that!
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here's a recipe I've made many times and that came to mind when eating divine cardamom ice cream in SF with our dear cynsa...hope you like it!
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Kermakakku (Finnish sour cream poundcake)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oven at 350 deg F
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sift together 1 3/4 cups ap flour, 1 tsp cardamom (or more), 1/2 tsp cinnamon (I don't), 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda!
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Grease 9x5 in loaf pan (or equivalent, I have a longer, thinner one I like) and coat it with dry breadcrumbs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cream 1 stick/1/2 c softened butter with 1 c sugar until light and fluffy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Beat in 3 eggs, one by one, beating well after each. Beat in 1 tsp vanilla.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Add half the dry ingredients followed by 1 c sour cream and then the rest of the dry ingredients.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bake in center of oven for 50-60 mins, or until golden and done.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Run knife around pan to loosen the cake, unmold onto 1 tack and invert on second one so top is up.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cool cake and serve at room temp.This is a really nice cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for reposting - I had pulled this in to my recipe program but hadn't made it yet. Baking soda now duly noted.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                a very lovely cake, noted and corrected ;^)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. More baguettes today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                These used a long preferment. Due to my jotting down the incorrect baking time, they got just a tad more brown than I would have liked them on the bottoms. I also was multitasking (tempering chocolate for dipped strawberries) and forgot to cut slits during shaping/final proof so I had to do them just before baking. They aren't the best looking loaves I've ever baked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                BUT this is definitely the best tasting bread I've ever made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ingredients: water, bread flour, yeast, salt, brown sugar, nonfat dry milk powder.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Egg wash, spritzed with water during baking. Baked at 450 for 30 seconds, then 425 for 20 minutes (should have pulled them at 17 or so).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Looks yummy! A nice pad of churned butter would pair well with picture no. 3.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You are very ambitious! I bet those baguettes will taste good....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    One small thing - I've always read that you are SUPPOSED to slash your loaves immediately before going into the oven....?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's the way I do it and it works great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hmm, I have no idea Sandy! I've been trying new baguette recipes and each has different instructions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This one didn't specify, but the last ones I made said to slash after shaping/before the last rise, and they turned out beautifully. These ones were difficult to slash due to a very slack dough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm noticing slashing right before baking can cause the dough to deflate slightly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They tasted just liked a bakery baguette though, so not all was lost :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I did some reading up on the deflating part. Over at the fresh loaf they said that if your dough deflates when you slash it, the reason could be either it's overproofed or else there isn't enough surface tension, which happens when you form the loaf.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But slashing IS supposed to occur immediately before to loaf is put into the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hope I haven't stepped on your toes here!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You are clearly an ambitious and successful baker...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Very helpful Sandy, thank you! I was wondering about it when I made the loaves yesterday, but got sidetracked instead of Googling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dough wasn't overproofed, it's a matter of shaping I'm sure. I didn't use much tension when stretching and forming the baguettes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you for looking that up. Very helpful for me. And you're not stepping on my toes at all! Everything I've learned about baking has been through trial and error. I am a novice still and welcome any tips or advice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I find it difficult to get baguettes tight enough, too. I use gravity to shape my boules and the surface tension is great on them, but baguette-shaping is a different animal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm going to watch some YouTube tutorials or something before my next ones and see how the experts do it. Honestly I didn't even look up how to shape them, I just kind of guessed. I seriously know nothing about it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Boyfriend reported back that he made a sandwich with the leftover loaf and loved it. He's a sucker for homemade bread and is requesting more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. I'm sure this isn't what you had in mind but I want to comment on the baked custard I made today. The recipe came from Joyce Goldstein in "The Best of Taste" a compendium of recipes from the defunct magazine Taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What is so unusual about this baked custard is that it uses freshly squeezed orange juice in place of milk. I only tried it because a guest couldn't eat dairy but wow! It is delicious! It's made like creme caramel, with caramel poured in ramekins before the custard mixture. Anyone else ever tried something like this? Joyce Goldstein says it's a Sephardic recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: amoule

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If it goes in the oven and isn't a roast, it's fair game. That sounds excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. My DH requested Maida Heatters' Supremes which we call 'ski trip bar' from when he used to chaperone school ski trips. I am bad and double the filling. These are great for bake sales since they make a lot with a little effort. I make the crust in the FP cutting cold butter into the dry ingredients. http://cookingtwins.blogspot.com/2012...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Then for Valentine's Day for my totally spoiled husband (who only likes cookies when they are warm out of the oven) I made batches of two of his favorite cookies. I scooped them and froze them so he can have warm cookies whenever he wants. I made Mulattos from Maida Heatter ( http://madaboutmaida.blogspot.com/201... ) and Rosie's oatmeal chocolate chip cookies ( http://www.recipelink.com/msgbrd/boar... ) with walnuts, crasins, raisin and raisinettes. It will be interesting to see how this gift progresses over the year since I promised him a year's worth of warm cookies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Supremes link brings back a memory of eating something similar as a child and really liking it - will have to try those.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Holy cow those sound brilliant. I wonder why I never saw that recipe before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I forgot to buy my favorite Trader Joe's Rolled Oats & Chocolate Chip Fiberful Granola bars so am attempting to fill the void with this recipe. We are snowed in and I have all the ingredients.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recip...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm bummed because the TJ bar is half the calories and 3 times the fiber but hopefully these will be so delicious I won't care.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I feel like Goldilocks with my recent oatmeal dessert baking. I made Melissa Clarke's oatmeal cookies and they were too hard and this recipe was too crumbly. I used honey instead of milk and let them sit overnight in the fridge before I cut them but still quite crumbly- just ate all those crumbs. Still looking for "just right".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Has anyone tried Ina Garten's Chocolate Peanut Butter Globs?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://barefootcontessa.com/recipes.a...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm trying to avoid buying butter to stop baking for a while, but these are calling to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            These sound like something roxlet should make for her swell son.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Question for the bakers here. I made my bialy dough and now I decided they would be nice freshly baked in the morning ( it's that or bake them at 7pm) I usually bake them the same day. Now I can't decide at what stage I should put the dough in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They need to rise a second time after shaping, so I was thinking of shaping and then putting them in the fridge. Then I could fill and bake them in the morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Or should I just do the first rise overnight in the fridge? I just put the dough in my proofer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              In my opinion, you should do a normal first rise, then shape, cover, and refrigerate. They will rise overnight in the fridge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Be sure to cover them well, but leave room for rising and make sure the covering doesn't stick. Spray oil on plastic wrap works pretty well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Next morning, take them out and let them sit, covered, at room temp for an hour while heating the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That's what I was thinking. I did the same method for Christmas when I made orange butter coffee cake. But otherwise I usually just put dough in the fridge overnight and then shape and finish in the morning so i couldn't decide.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ok my bialys came out great. I used the recipe from Inside The Jewish Bakery. I shaped them yesterday and put the sheet pans in the fridge over night and they completed their second rise this morning, and then put in the indentation and added the onion filling. Lovely crust and crumb and the onion filling was perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                When I've made these before it was using my old bagel dough recipe, and skipping the boiling step and just baking them after the second rising. But that recipe is not a strict water bagel dough so the bialy were different. They are both good in their own way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I love bialys. Hmm maybe I need this book...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's really too bad Amazon doesn't have a preview for it. But there are a bunch of other recipes I want to try, like the various rye breads. Great information on the history of rye bread and the recipes in the book start with a rye sour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The recipes include good step by step photos for forming some of the unique shapes used. The book has everything, chapters on challah, bagels, rolls ( including kaiser and vienna roll recipes), cakes and pastries ( that chapter includes a reference chart of the different pastries and their dough, filling, wash, toppings and icings) and a chapter on cookies and passover baking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm dying to try the onion pockets recipe from Ratners. They look incredible in the picture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have long wanted to attempt the corn rye (called corn bread when I was growing up in Brooklyn) that I remember so fondly. It was particularly delicious slathered with salt butter. Hmmmm. Maybe I shouldn't get this book, but I will most certainly take a look at it! We would go to a Jewish Bakery after church on Sunday, and get bags of rolls hot out of the oven. I would also love to replicate those..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh I've never heard of corn rye, I'll have to see what I can find on it. I haven't read all of the rye bread section of the book maybe it's mentioned?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's also sometimes known as Jewish corn bread, or just corn bread, which was what we called it growing up.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the report! I have that wonderful book, so I'll give that one a look...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I made the mistake of checking out Smitten Kitchen and saw the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake recipe. I bought the ingredients to make it so I plan to tackle that some time this weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh now I have to go check that out!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I saw that in my inbox and have been trying to ignore it ever since.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Please let us know what you think!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh my...now I have another thing on my to do list!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          After looking at that chocolate peanut butter cheesecake I may have to make it tomorrow. I have everything in the house, except the chocolate cookies for the crust. I may just do it with a traditional graham cracker crust, I'm sure it would still be great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I was going to make brown sugar shortbread, but my mixer died. I put the softened butter in and turned it on and got a horrible noise and no mixing. :(

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sarahjay

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, no!!!!!!!! That is a huge tragedy. What kind is it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's a Breville. It's been having problems since December. I've only had it for a year. It doesn't like to knead bread, marshmallows overheat the motor. It broke the same week as my sewing machine, and my two hobbies are baking and quilting, so I don't know what I'm going to do with my three-day weekend

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sarahjay

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh no. This is the first I've heard of issues with the Breville.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: sarahjay

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sorry to hear about your mixer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I made brown sugar shortbread last week with browned butter and they were amazing. Just a thought...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sarahjay

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I remembered I have a 12 cup cuisinart in the cupboard, so I made a coconut custard pie (with the custard baked in the shell) for a potluck lunch tomorrow, and have bread dough sitting to rise.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sarahjay

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You can make shortbread by hand, my mom never used a mixer on hers (except for the whipped hind, which are a whole nother animal, really).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Valentine's treats (for friends and local family, as I am currently single): Hazelnut cupcakes, including a portion of ground hazelnuts and made with a combination of butter and hazelnut oil, topped with dark-chocolate ganache spiked with Frangelico.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks; it's actually a table. Countertops are boring beige laminate (or similar), nothing so nice as marble!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    These cupcakes were every bit as good a few days after baking as on day one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Thomas Keller's bouchons. Oh, my.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I made molten lava cakes with a ganache center last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It was uber-chocolately but not too sweet: perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I made coffee cake cinnamon rolls yesterday, using nothingiswrong's delicious coffee cake recipe. One pan for me, one to take to a friend. I'm also going to make salted caramel fudge brownies today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          They are delicious--such a good recipe. And my friend's family was very happy to receive them. With all the crumb topping, the roll shape didn't really work when removing them from the pan, so I sliced it like a pie and that worked just fine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Made Focaccia this morning from the Paul Hollywood recipe. Secret is to follow the recipe exactly although the dough always feels too wet. Ate it with Beaufort cheese for lunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Londonlinda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          First time I made focaccia, I kept thinking "this can't be right, needs more flour!" and flinging it into the dough. What resulted was a BRICK. Just horrible. Learned my lesson!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It was a technical challenge of the first series of The Great British Bake Off - that is, all the contestants were given the same recipe and were judged on the results. They pretty much all did what you described, which gave me the confidence when I tried it to just power on through with the wet dough!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I am gearing up to make macarons. I've had my eggs out at room temp for a couple of days so the whites should be ready. I'm crossing my fingers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Today I made a classic Victoria sponge cake. It's a traditional plain English layer cake. The deliciousness of the cake rests on its simplicity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Five medium eggs plus their weight in butter, sugar and flour. Two tsp of baking power and one tablespoon of vanilla. A sprinkle of salt. Baked in two layers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sandwiched with raspberry jam and dusted with confectioner's sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            One of my favorite cakes of all time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sounds lovely. I've been wanting to try a traditional sponge cake recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              So it's equal parts (weight) of butter, sugar, and flour?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There are variations of the recipe but the classic Victoria Sponge is equal parts weight of eggs, butter, sugar and flour, using the weight of the eggs as the benchmark. The difference from a pound cake is that there's no added milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The trick with sponges is to whip the butter till it's very creamy, almost white, and add the sugar slowly. Then beat in each egg separately and beat for a few minutes after each addition. Finally fold in the flour. Quite simple and easy once you've done it a few times.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, sorry, a bit of vanilla too. A tablespoon generally does the trick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I must remember to check this thread more often!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I did end up making it and added some vanilla and a bit of salt - about 1/4 t. - I know in the UK you don't put as much salt in dessert as we do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It was delicious; it tasted like a big soft sugar cookie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks for the formula! Much better than a recipe!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Interesting, thanks. I had a British friend years ago who wanted a sponge cake for his birthday. I was the person everyone asked to bake their cake at the time. So I was talking to him about it on the phone and he said "I love you, but I'm a Brit, and you probably can't do a sponge like I'm used to." Ha! I'm sure he was right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    He ended up settling on German chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I made a Cinnamon Swirl Bread in a Pullman Pan. I used the King Arthur Flour "Pain de Mie" recipe for a 13"x4"x4" Pullman Loaf. Here are my modifications to the recipe: I added 6 Tbsp of sugar instead of 3 Tbsp and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract to the bread dough. For the swirl filling I mixed 1/4 cup white granulated sugar, 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp Penzey's Apple Pie Spice and 1 Tbsp flour. The rolled out dough was painted with an eggwash before the filling was sprinkled on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                King Arthur Flour "Pain de Mie" in Pullman Pan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                King Arthur Flour Blog about Pain de Mie in a Pullman Pan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It came out beautiful. The perfect square of the Pullman loaf with a cinnamon swirl in the center. A slice is a dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I'm continuing my adventures in gluten-free baking while DH is on his gluten-elimination test. The poor guy was really wanting a grilled cheese when we were out for breakfast this morning, so I was determined to make him one for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Used the King Arthur recipe:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  but with the Namaste Perfect Flour Blend. I was super worried as I was making it, as it bore no resemblance to any bread dough I had ever made, plus it didn't rise as much as I thought it should. But hallelujah, it baked up beautifully and made a pretty excellent grilled cheese sandwich!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I can definitely play around with this basic recipe in the future and go savory as a cheese and onion bread or sweet as a cinnamon raisin bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Gluten free seems like a lot of work and the commercial brand breads look awful. Kudos to you for baking your own!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks, it certainly made DH happy! All my gluten-free friends have warned me away from commercial breads, so this was my best option. Fortunately, the KA recipe was quite easy and the Namaste flour I used already has the xantham gum in the mix, making it that much easier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My Aunt has been gluten free for years due to an illness and she manages to make some great baking items. She always makes her own bread. It took her some time to perfect it to her liking, need to experiment until you get the finished product right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Honestly, I'm hoping that we won't have to be permanently gluten free, but it's good to know that there are options!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So many options now available and some great cookbooks out there on gluten free.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The finished product looks really good for gluten free bread

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The grilled cheese looks fabulous!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How was the texture and taste of the bread?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I haven't tried the specific brand of flour you mentioned, but have been horrified by the off taste of my GF baking experiments. My boyfriend's SIL is GF due to severe Celiac, so I've done a lot of GF baking for her. I'd love to give her a yeasted loaf, but the 1 or 2 recipes I tried were horrid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, and lucky hubby that you've gone to all the trouble. You are so sweet!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The texture was suprisingly good! I was expecting more of a cake-like crumb due to the lack of gluten. But this loaf actually had a nice chew to it. It's not 100% like the chew of a great loaf of wheat bread, but it was still surprisingly good. It was dense, but not in an unpleasant way -- rather more like a soft, but heavier sourdough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The flavor was good -- no weird off flavors (my flour blend doesn't have any bean flour). I'd describe the flavor as somewhere between a plain white sandwich bread and brioche. It made a very good grilled cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think the secret to this particular recipe is twofold: 1) treating this more like a cake batter -- beating the eggs in one at a time, scraping down the sides, and beating the crap out of (3 or 4 minutes on high) to incorporate a lot of air and 2) the double rise to help build the structure of the dough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You should definitely give the recipe a try. I was impressed and DH was so happy. The recipe and associated blog post indicate that this bread doesn't keep well for more than a couple of days, so I sliced and froze the remains of the loaf immediately. It should toast up nicely straight out of the freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the detailed reply. Yes, I think the flour blend I used before must have had bean flour in it. That's exactly what the breads tasted like, which was not at all to my liking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've made several sweets with almond flour and they're awesome. Can't even tell they're GF. But I really wanted to tackle a loaf of bread, as I imagine that's what GF peeps are missing the most.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm bookmarking the recipe with a note to find the flour blend you mentioned and will definitely give it a try soon. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              King Arthur has it's own bean-free flour blend, and the recipe also includes instructions for making your own blend. So you do have options. Good luck! I hope your BF's SIL enjoys it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. My first cookies I baked with my 3 yr old. She cut them out and decorated them. No easy feat as it's 80 degrees in my kitchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Siegal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What a good job she did!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A minimalist! How cute, this must have been fun.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rabaja

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Indeed. We have to do it more often :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Made some sugar cookies for V Day. Handed them out to friends and made some special ones for my bf. His were decorated like those little conversation hearts. Some were slightly vulgar, what can I say. He got a kick out of 'em.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Cookie decorating is really not a forte of mine. How those fancy cookie decorators find the patience is beyond me. I tried doing it in front of the TV with a cup of coffee, but nope. Inevitably, the first dozen look great and it's all downhill from there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What did you have in the coffee besides coffee? Something a bit stronger?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Your cookies look great! I would never have the patience to decorate them individually as you have.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks! The ones in the photo were mini-sized, maybe 1.5" across, so they all looked very cute together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Adding alcohol to the coffee would probably have made things harder. Fine motor skills and whatnot.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I made another batch of kaiser rolls for the family's egg sandwiches. I use the recipe from thefreshloaf.com, and I think I inadvertently put too much yeast in them. (The recipe said 1 teaspoon, but I read 1 package, and used my yeast measuring spoon before I knew what happened. I think they'll taste fine, but they definitely had a lot more spring! Anyway, I also used another method of forming them. I could have sworn that I had bought a kaiser roll stamp at some point, but I'll be damned if I can find it if I did. I saw a you tube video wherein you make a rope, tie it in a knot, and bring the bottom piece to the top, and the top piece to the bottom. It worked very well, but I'm convinced that the only thing that will make the rolls look like perfect kaiser rolls is the kaiser roll stamp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm sure you had one too, I remember you mentioned it here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, I'll be damned if I can find it! I took apart my baking closet as well as some other drawers that have the odd cooking/baking bit. It's a mystery! If I bought it, I never used it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I hate that. There's some little monster that lives in our kitchens and steals rarely-used baking implements, I'm sure of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Various Methods of Shaping Kaiser Rolls in YouTube Videos:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Interesting to see the various ways Kaiser Rolls are shaped. I like the method in the last two videos. The second version, tying a rope of dough in a knot and tucking in the ends also makes a nice looking roll.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  **Using Kaiser Roll Stamp:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shaping Kaiser Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNY7E...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  **Tying Rope of Dough into Knot and Tuck in the Ends:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Kaiser Rolls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHEd_...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  **Flatten Dough into circle, fold over your thumb:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The right way to shape kaiser roll
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX9vA...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  .
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Zubereitung von Kaisersemmeln
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAFSI...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Antilope

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, I've seen all of those. The last time I made them, I did the tying in a knot method. I liked it better than the one where you fold it over on itself, which was my usual way of doing it. When doing it the knot way, the rolls tended to stay rounder, which I like. My kaiser roll stamp arrived yesterday. I have quite a few in the freezer, so I'll have to wait to give it a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I wonder if you could make some twisted bagels by the knot tying method, leaving a hole in the middle with a looser knot? I'll have to try that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Browned butter chocolate caramel blondies are cooling, for a friend who had a baby.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We have an "international" potluck coming up at work, and are supposed to bring something representing our ethnic background/country of origin. Since I have no one particular background, I decided to make something from my home province, Manitoba. I briefly considered something really ambitious (making vinertarta?) but then decided to go for a simpler dessert. Now deciding between puffed wheat squares, peanut butter marshmallow squares, or imperial cookies. I've never seen any of these prairie treats here in Ontario..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  10 Replies