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What are you baking these days? May, 2014 edition, part two! [Through May 31, 2014]

Since the threads are exploding, in a good way, here we are with a second part for May! Rhyme not intended. I haven't been baking since the weekend, but I bet you have. So...what ARE you baking these days?

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    1. I have to admit, I have purposely not been baking so as not to tempt the boyfriend from his diet. Which--above all else--includes the stipulation of "NO SUGAR" (!!!!).

      To help me with my sweet tooth, I prepped a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough the other day, complete with 3 types of chopped chocolate in the batter. Scoops were frozen on wax paper and are safe in the freezer, ready to bake for my nightly fix.

      I've had enormous cravings for brownies, angel food cake, cornbread, fruit pies, and homemade puff pastry, but I'm sitting on my hands.

      6 Replies
      1. re: nothingswrong

        Oh dear.. is there anything that he really hates that you can make? Sometimes, you just have to bake.

        1. re: rstuart

          That man has never met a sugar/flour treat he didn't like!

          Lucky for me, it's been 100 degrees or higher every day this week, so despite the urge to bake, I don't want to turn on the oven.

        2. re: nothingswrong

          I just read a book that uses maple syrup and honey instead of white sugar, perhaps he will relent on the no sugar rule if it comes from a different source. Just a suggestion.

          1. re: Ruthie789

            Yes, thanks for the suggestion. I'm trying to be supportive of this diet, as even though the few pounds (5 or 6?) he's gained don't bother me in the slightest, I see it bothers him. He is not at all overweight, btw. I would find the whole diet unnecessary if he weren't so bothered by how he feels physically. He is a real sweets lover (like me) and will get up in the middle of the night and sleep-eat cookies or cake or anything else I leave on the counter.

            His diet does allow maple syrup in small amounts (with oatmeal, for instance) and dark chocolate. His problem is moderation. I've been putting a little bag of nuts and dark chocolate covered espresso beans in his lunch every day, which he loves, and it's been stopping him from grabbing a Snickers bar or donut for an afternoon snack.

            1. re: nothingswrong

              Almonds are a good snacking item - salted off course - they fill you up

              1. re: lhawkes

                He'd been buying unsalted roasted almonds and finally finished them off. I went and got salted because they're tastier. Also cashews. Because they taste like butter :)

        3. I want to make some loaf cakes, something other than banana bread, any suggestions?

          16 Replies
          1. re: Ruthie789

            Perhaps this one:
            http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2013/0...
            but use coconut milk instead of cow's milk and use coconut oil instead of butter to make it even more intensely coconut flavored.

            Or that Maida Heatter (sp?) lemon loaf with the lemon glaze...

            1. re: soccermom13

              I just made a coconut tea cake and loved it, so I will be baking with more coconut milk.

              1. re: Ruthie789

                Take a look at Taste.Com.Au, it's a cooking site sponsored by Australian cooking magazines. The recipes are a little different from typical U.S. recipes. The recipes are metric, however. Here's a link to their recipes using coconut milk:

                http://www.taste.com.au/search-recipe...

                1. re: Antilope

                  I don't mind metric at all. I have some of the woman's magazines..

              1. re: roxlet

                That is quite a bit of lemon but as I love lemon I will be giving it a try. I have a recipe I use that uses 2 lemons and it is quite tasty so more appeals to me.

              2. re: Ruthie789

                Gingerbread. Pumpkin bread. I know these are considered fall/winter foods, but DANG they're good...:-)

                Lemon. Lemon poppyseed. Date Nut. I used to do a coconut tea cake loaf in the blender...I should dig that one up; wonder if it would work with unsweetened coconut...my mind is wandering here...

                1. re: sandylc

                  The coconut tea cake in the blender sounds very interesting.

                  1. re: Ruthie789

                    DISCLAIMER: I have not made this in a LOT of years; I honestly don't remember how good it is (or isn't). I might have to give it a retry soon - I do remember liking it a lot eons ago.

                    Celia's English Coconut Tea Loaf
                    1 egg
                    1 1/2 cups milk
                    1/2 t. vanilla extract
                    1/4 t. almond extract
                    1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
                    3 cups flour
                    3 T. baking powder
                    1/2 t. salt
                    1 cup sugar

                    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

                    Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

                    Throw the egg, milk, extracts, and coconut into the blender and blend for 30 seconds.

                    Pour the blended stuff over the dry stuff and stir to barely mix only.

                    Pour into a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan.

                    Bake for 70 minutes. Let cool entirely, then refrigerate before serving.

                    If anyone makes this oldie, please report back!

                      1. re: sandylc

                        Inspired by your blender recipe and suggestions on what to make for a loaf cake, I found a very easy Coconut Tea Cake in that Dorie Greenspan book that I dug out based on another suggestion in this thread. I made two of them! As well I made a banana bread. I am sending one of to the hospital that treats my Dad, one for the office kitchen counter, and one for someone who has been very kind to me over the last year. I will give the above a try soon. I also use unsweetened coconut based on suggestions from a prior thread.

                  2. re: Ruthie789

                    I highly highly recommend Dorie Greenspan Cocoa banana bread with the one change to her near perfect recipe. Please blend up the bananas instead of leaving them lumpy mash. This way you get the most decadent fudgey chocolate cake that is bursting with natural sweetness with moderate amount of fat. It was so good and so easy to make. Best chocolate banana bread ever!

                    1. re: Nevy

                      I have a few of her books, it is time to dig them out and make something from them.

                      1. re: Ruthie789

                        The recipe can be found in her Baking from my home to yours. It's in the breakfast section which I think it's fantastic. Chocolate cake for breakfast.... I'm in!

                      2. re: Nevy

                        I just had a baking marathon, and did make this loaf. It looks very good, will give it a try tomorrow.

                        1. re: Nevy

                          This recipe is amazing. It is like eating a chocolate truffle flavored with banana. Now am going through the book and getting lots of inspiration.

                      3. Strawberries. We also have been dieting and this is a lighter version of a strawberry tart. Using light cream cheese and I cut the sugar and butter( in crust) to very little. Ive made it 4 times in the last month.

                         
                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Sfspicegirl

                          That looks terrific! What kind of jam (or gelatin?) are you putting over the strawberries?

                          1. re: roxlet

                            Hi-- Recipe is pretty basic--

                            Crust:
                            36 honey graham crackers (about 9 sheets) I package
                            2 tablespoons sugar (i dont add this)
                            2 tablespoons butter, melted
                            4 teaspoons water
                            Cooking spray
                            Filling:
                            2/3 cup light cream cheese-- One package-I sometimes use 1.5
                            1/4 cup sugar $
                            1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
                            1/4 teaspoon almond extract
                            Topping:
                            6 cups small fresh strawberries, divided $
                            2/3 cup sugar $
                            1 tablespoon cornstarch
                            1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice $
                            2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
                            Preparation

                            Preheat oven to 350°.
                            To prepare crust, place crackers in a food processor; process until crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, butter, and water; pulse just until moist. Place mixture in a 9-inch round removable-bottom tart pan coated with cooking spray, pressing into bottom and up sides of pan to 3/4 inch. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.
                            To prepare filling, combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and extracts in a medium bowl; stir until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over bottom of tart shell.
                            To prepare topping, place 2 cups strawberries in food processor; process until pureed. Combine strawberry puree, 2/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; cook 1 minute. Remove glaze from heat, and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
                            Combine 4 cups strawberries and juice; toss to coat. Arrange berries, bottoms up, in a circular pattern over filling. Spoon half of glaze evenly over berries (reserve remaining glaze for another use). Sprinkle nuts around edge. Cover and chill 3 hours.
                            Note: You can use either an 8 x 12-inch rectangular pan or a 9-inch round tart pan. The recipe also works with a 9-inch springform pan and a 10-inch pie plate.

                            1. re: Sfspicegirl

                              The strawberry glaze will freeze. I used it for 2 pies.

                              1. re: Sfspicegirl

                                Very nice sounding and relatively light.

                          2. My neighbor invited me to help myself to rhubarb so I did! Boy that is a hard plant to picture as edible but tomorrow or Saturday I'm making giant rhubarb strawberries muffins using a recipe from Food and Wine.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Berheenia

                              Chatelaine magazine's May edition had a rhubarb coffee cake that looked delicious. I am waiting for my stalks to come up.

                              1. re: Ruthie789

                                I'm tickled I can get Chatelaine for my iPad through "Next Issue". Wish that Canadian Living would sign up too!

                            2. Hmm.. still considering what to make what to make for my birthday, which is fast approaching. I have made Nigella's nutella cake for years, and that is wonderful.. but I wanted to try something new. So I am considering either this chocolatey cake:
                              http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe... or Nick Malgieri's coconut cake with Roxlet's cooked flour frosting.. suggestions? Votes? I can't make both (this time)..

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: rstuart

                                I happen to love the coconut cake, but that blackout cake looks terrific too. Either one will be fabulous.

                                1. re: rstuart

                                  I vote for the black out cake, but I hate coconut, so clearly I'm biased.

                                  1. re: rstuart

                                    Both look great... I guess it depends on if you're in a chocolate or a coconut mood.

                                    And pssst, happy early birthday!

                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                      Yes, that's the problem.. they both look great! B-day isn't for 10 days, but am planning ahead..
                                      Knowing me, will get the ingredients for both and decide at the last minute..

                                      1. re: rstuart

                                        That's exactly what I would do, but I didn't want to force my agenda on you :)

                                    2. re: rstuart

                                      I made myself two cakes on my birthday in October. A chocolate sour cream cake and a coconut cake. Looks like we have similar tastes!

                                       
                                       
                                      1. re: Jpan99

                                        Yes! Totally something I would do. Looks delicious.

                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                          I think that you're right! Unfortunately, I don't have enough people coming to justify two cakes...
                                          how was the coconut cake? what kind of frosting?

                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                            Ended up going with the chocolate fudge blackout. Kind of a PITA, but less so than some other blackout cakes I considered. And the "frosting" is just a ganache, which always love. Will post a photo later

                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                Thanks. The cake was good.. but don't think that I would make it again.. worth a try though (and I forgot to take a picture before it got eaten!)

                                            1. re: buttertart

                                              A simple, elegant cake that would probably be delicious with sliced strawberries.

                                          1. re: THewat

                                            It is good. There's nothing showy about it, but every time I go past I take another slice. Good depth of flavor, not cloyingly sweet, nice consistency. It has a full tablespoon of baking powder in it, which gives it a faint aftertaste that I'm not crazy about, but it's still a keeper. I ended up making the ricotta, since it seemed faster than going to a store. If I had had ricotta on hand, it would have been blindingly fast. Bet it will be good for breakfast, too. :)

                                            1. re: THewat

                                              What brand of baking powder are you using?

                                              Thanks for the report, BTW.

                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                Probably Bob's Red Mill - I'm not at home so I can't check, but something without aluminum. Doesn't a tablespoon seem like an awful lot?

                                                1. re: THewat

                                                  I quite like Clabber Girl baking powder.

                                                  1. re: Ruthie789

                                                    I grew up with Clabber Girl, but it does have aluminum and will contribute a metallic tang to your baked goods.

                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                      Yes it definitely does. My store ran out of the other brand I used to buy so I've been using Clabber Girl for a few months now. I definitely taste it if I don't sift well, or recipes call for a lot of BP in proportion to the other dry ingredients. It's pretty icky!

                                                        1. re: Ruthie789

                                                          I used to use Rumford, but I've switched to Argo.

                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                            What do you prefer about Argo? I'm a longtime Rumford user, so I'm curious, though I don't know that I've seen Argo sold around here.

                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                              It seems to give a little more lift. I read an article about different leaveners and which brands had which ones, and it did say that the Argo one had a little bit more oomph power over the Rumford.

                                                              Could be my imagination!

                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                I really like the Argo baking powder, also.

                                                                But twice, when I've used Argo baking powder with 1/4 tsp of baking soda, to balance out buttermilk when making biscuits, I didn't like the results. My biscuits didn't rise as high, had an odd flavor (amplified baking soda taste), and an odd crumbly texture. The same recipe works okay with Calumet or Clabber Girl baking powder.

                                                                The same recipe also turns out great when the baking soda is left out and only Argo baking powder is used. So, maybe some strange reaction between the Argo baking powder and the baking soda?

                                                                1. re: Antilope

                                                                  Hm-mmm, I haven't noticed that. Have you tried it with Rumford?

                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                    No, haven't tried Rumford. I really like the Argo baking powder. Superior rise, no metallic taste, great results. I will continue to use it in all my baking. I just will leave out the baking soda.

                                                            2. re: sandylc

                                                              I don't think it is available here.

                                                              1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                It's a relatively new product here and comes in a large-ish container. (Calumet was what my mom used, I use it or Rumford).

                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                  Trader Joe's sells an aluminum free baking powder under their label. I like it a lot.

                                                      1. re: THewat

                                                        A tablespoon does seem like too much for just 1 1/4 cups of flour.

                                                        1. re: THewat

                                                          Shirley Corriher says 1 teaspoon per cup of flour.

                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                            Thanks. I'll go to 2 teaspoons next time & see what that does. I'm always hesitant to change the leavening without making it once as specified...

                                                  2. Today I plan on making a batch of chocolate chip cookies from the Nieman Marcus recipe.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Sam D.

                                                      I made them once, many years ago. They were quite good, if I recall correctly.

                                                    2. I want to make mini muffins for an early morning with my nieces--last time I made full sized muffins and they were less interested in tackling the whole thing. They are 4 yrs old, so I figure a nice chocolate chip muffin and a strawberry muffin will be a crowd pleaser, Especially if they are little.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: SarahCW

                                                        What about cookies? Either decorating or making their own flavors.

                                                        Decorating--I was asked to entertain a boatload of kids at a Christmas party for several hours (!) while the adults ate and drank. I baked off dozens of cutout sugar cookies, then set up a table with butcher paper and various colors of royal icing in piping bottles, and little dishes of sprinkles and candies. I had those kids completely occupied for a good 2.5 or 3 hours!

                                                        Making their own--I often do this to keep my boyfriend quiet. I will not make the bf-child comparison ;) Anyway I make up a batch of cookie dough, then separate it into several smaller bowls. I have a whole cabinet filled with mason jars of cookie add-ins--various chocolate bars/chunks/chips, nuts, dried fruit, choc-covered raisins/espresso beans/sunflower seeds, etc. I let the bf go in there and add whatever he wants to his dough, then bake them off. For the kids, I think they'd have fun rolling their dough into balls before baking, and you could set out healthier options (nuts and dried fruit?).

                                                      2. I'm making dark chocolate pistachio choc chip cookies with sea salt

                                                        1. Has anyone ever made this Paula Deen recipe for Sour Cream Pound Cake? http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pa...

                                                          I'm looking for one to make next week, and have come across the same recipe with high reviews on a few other sites. I'm planning to make it as specified, but with cake flour, a little extra vanilla/vanilla bean paste, and a heaping measure of the sour cream. Maybe will bake at a lower temp too.

                                                          Don't want a fussy recipe, but want to try something new.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                            Okay, I made a trial half recipe in a mini loaf pan. This cake is super moist, as I was hoping. Just what I wanted.

                                                            The crispy edges are kind of caramelized and almost too sweet for my liking. The crumb is nice, good buttery vanilla flavor (I doubled the extract). Would be great with unsweetened whipped cream and/or berries.

                                                            +1 to Paula Deen.

                                                            ETA: I did use cake flour, eyeballed the sour cream, and baked at 325 to be safe and avoid that awful dry pound cake syndrome.

                                                             
                                                          2. Wish I hadn't waited so long to make the Torta Barozzi from The Splendid Table - the flavor & texture are incredible (the hardest part was creating the stencil!). The recipe links all show slightly different quantities of the ingredients vs. those from the book (which I used), so I'm posting one along with the "correct" amounts of the following (in order):

                                                            http://www.food.com/recipe/torta-baro...
                                                            2T xxx sugar, 3T cocoa (not Dutch process), 3 1/2 T peanut butter, 5 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate, 1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, 1 1/2 T instant espresso powder, 1 1/2 tsp. dark rum, 1 tsp. vanilla.

                                                             
                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: lesliej

                                                              I've been wanting to try this one, along with some of her other desserts!

                                                              1. re: emily

                                                                I think you'll love it! It does take awhile to cool (the interior is somewhat fudgy - make sure your cake tester does have moist crumbs attached), but the wait is worth it.

                                                                1. re: lesliej

                                                                  Thank you, always on the lookout for good chocolate recipes for my chocolate fiend guests.

                                                            2. Kermakakku, cardamom sour cream cake, Time-Life Foods if the World Scandinavian volume. Have made this many, many times.

                                                               
                                                              5 Replies
                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                  Aha, found the recipe where you related it in a WAYBTD thread a couple of years ago: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8662...

                                                                  Does sound very nice.

                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                    I went looking for it too but no luck; you are a super sleuth!

                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                      Reminder, there should be 1 tsp baking soda in the dry ingredients. And do use the breadcrumb coating in the pan, it makes a nice crunchy outside.

                                                                    2. re: buttertart

                                                                      Oh, I have that book I'll have to try the recipe it looks great.

                                                                    3. http://www.bhg.com/recipe/pound-cakes...

                                                                      made this yesterday to bring to a dinner party. used all blackberries, added lemon zest to the batter, finished the cake with a lemon glaze and served it with fresh whipped cream.

                                                                      it was devoured and a not-too-sweet cake. came together in a snap.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                        Love blackberries and lemon combination. I just made a loaf cake which usually calls for cranberries and I substituted the blackberries.

                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                          That recipe looks great. I love the sound of the cornmeal and basil, and adding the lemon is a good call.

                                                                        2. I am on a loaf cake marathon. I made a banana bread from a church recipe, the Cocoa Banana bread from the Dorie Greenspan book, and a lemon loaf using blackberries. As well two boules of raw bread dough have been made for a slow 18 hour rise. Last year at this time I fell ill, had surgery and treatments, being able to do the baking tonight is my way of claiming my life back. I have my Saturday night bake this is my third week run. I will give some slices of loaves to friends.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. Last weekend for a Mother's Day BBQ, I made two desserts.

                                                                            One inspired by the roxlet/CI Strawberry Cake. The other one Mini Pavlovas. Both of them could use some improvement, but it didn't stop my family from gobbling them up.

                                                                            I made Mini Pavlovas so it could be more easily portioned for a big crowd. I layered meringue, lemon curd, blackberry sauce, whipped cream & fresh blackberries. I let the meringue bake for a little too long, so it was more crunch and less marshmallowiness than I would have liked. After serving this two times, I think Pavlova has become my family's favorite summer dessert.

                                                                            For the Strawberry Cake I roughly followed this recipe http://foodiewife-kitchen.blogspot.co... except subbing Smitten Kitchen's Best Birthday Cake for the cake, as I much prefer yellow cake to white. I also left out the kirsch and instead used a little vodka in case there were any alcohol soluble flavors to be brought out. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but the cake was dry. If I overbaked it, it wasn't by much as I was testing it frequently. Maybe I need to check my oven temp. Good flavor, but the dryness was an issue. Two days later I was going to take the leftovers to work, but I couldn't even feed the work scavengers something so dry.

                                                                             
                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: aimeekm

                                                                              Try giving the Cook's Illustrated recipe a whirl next time. The cake wasn't dry at all!

                                                                              1. re: aimeekm

                                                                                have you tried Rose Levy Beranbaum's white velvet cake? every bit as delicious and buttery as yellow cake but with a beautiful white crumb for these type of shortcake cakes.

                                                                              2. I baked chocolate-almond cupcakes for my brother, whose birthday was this week (rather than a cake, he requested something in individual servings, thus easier to share neatly with a couple different groups of friends). Used a recipe from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, with cocoa and almond meal in the batter, and lots of chopped bittersweet chocolate stirred in, which mostly melted into the cake. Very moist (made with a combo of melted butter and oil, as well as sour cream), very chocolaty.

                                                                                I decided to do cream cheese icing because I know he's very fond of it, and had the idea to make an almond version by including some almond paste (we love us some almond paste in this family!). I have to pat myself on the back, because this stuff is pretty freaking great. There was a bit left over, and I may have spread some on a piece of toast for breakfast this morning...

                                                                                Cream 4 oz almond paste with 4 oz softened butter, 8 oz softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup sifted confectioners' sugar, pinch salt, 2 T amaretto (which you could skip or sub with a dash of almond extract). I used the food processor, so it only took a couple of minutes, but obviously a mixer would work as well. This frosted a dozen cupcakes (with a bit left over for toast).

                                                                                 
                                                                                1. Made the bf these cookies: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/... on the rec of someone in another thread about vegan recipes. They fit into his diet--oats, bananas, coconut, almond flour, dark chocolate, etc. They are vegan and GF incidentally.

                                                                                  He loves them! They are definitely not a regular CCC, but he's been doing well so he deserves something sweet and they really made his day.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                    My son's girlfriend is vegan and I'm sure she would appreciate this recipe (they look delicious!) so I sent the link along to her. Thanks!

                                                                                  2. http://www.malt-o-meal.com/recipe/mag...

                                                                                    It's breakfast time and I don't feel like breakfast food. Something sweet..
                                                                                    Chocolate Malt-o-Meal Muffins? With chocolate and mint chips in them?
                                                                                    OK. A Sunday morning experiment. I'm game.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: kitchengardengal

                                                                                      Well, the mint chips were a mistake, but DH loved them anyway.
                                                                                      I took a bite and had an English muffin with cheddar instead.
                                                                                      Mint is just wrong for breakfast.

                                                                                    2. I just made a giant pan of baked oatmeal, with peaches and raspberries. They were going to go into a galette, but I changed my mind and made oatmeal instead. I still have some pastry dough I made for the galette, so I'll have to figure out something else for the filling. Maybe blueberries.

                                                                                      1. I'm making a rosemary flax baguette from healthy artisan bread in 5 minutes. My baguette shaping skills are very poor, but we'll see how they turn out.

                                                                                        In addition, two more galettes will be baked--one with beets and goat cheese and the other will be a clean out the frozen fruit from the freezer galette.

                                                                                        1. Just found the last of the 2013 rhubarb in my freezer. While it's still cool here, I have to believe that spring is coming, so I used it up by making rhubarb cream cheese crumble bars, and sour cream rhubarb muffins..

                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: rstuart

                                                                                            I am just waiting for the stalks in my garden to come up a little more, both recipes sound delicious.

                                                                                            1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                              They are! I also have a coffee cake that is really good with lots of rhubarb. I mostly use it in jam. Jealous that you have a yard.. I have to buy rhubarb, which always seems wrong to me!

                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                We used to have a really large rhubarb patch it took up a quarter of the yard. My Dad dug it up! I have three small plants,

                                                                                                1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                  We had a row of it about 20' long and 2' wide in London. I miss it.

                                                                                                2. re: rstuart

                                                                                                  You are going to hate me too but I have two large rhubarb plants. Could you post the coffee cake recipe? TIA

                                                                                                  1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                                    It's really good, but doesn't actually use as much rhubarb as I remember:
                                                                                                    http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/0...
                                                                                                    This recipe looks really good too, but I haven't tried it..
                                                                                                    http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/rh...

                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                      Thanks- can't wait to try them. Maybe a Memorial Day baking event with the cake going to work with me Tuesday.

                                                                                                      1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                                        A great way to spend a long week-end! The rhubarb cream cheese crumble squares that I made were really good.. can't find the exact recipe, but very close to this one:
                                                                                                        http://www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com/2013...

                                                                                            2. I've been playing with rhubarb a bit this spring. I haven't really cooked or baked with it much before, though I've always enjoyed the rhubarb desserts I've eaten. It doesn't seem to have as big a presence here in California as in some other places and I didn't seek it out when I lived in NY.

                                                                                              I made a batch of lovely rhubarb curd, which is gold in color (the rhubarb I've found at the farmers' market is green just tinged with red, so cooked, it doesn't have that brilliant dark hue, and the pale pink puree couldn't hold its own against the egg yolks), and combined the remaining puree with strawberries and made sorbet, which is more rhubarb-flavored than strawberry. Used some of the egg whites left post-curd to make small meringue bases, and made mini pavlovas layered with curd, sliced and chopped strawberries, and sorbet. Really delicious and spring-y!

                                                                                               
                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                Wow! Gorgeous! Looks like spring to me..

                                                                                              2. Cook's Illustrated Lemon Pound Cake with a lemon glaze tonight for my coworkers. I haven't baked anything in ages and they have let me know that it's time to get back into the groove!

                                                                                                1. Made cheese souffles for dinner, they were well received by the kids!
                                                                                                  And I have the dough rising for nothingswrong's yeasted coffee cake. My plan is to shape it tonight and let it rise in the fridge. I'm an early riser so I should be able to get it put and let it sit at room temp for a bit before adding the topping and baking. I'm excited for this one!

                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                    Cheese soufflés sound yum!

                                                                                                    And I'm excited for the coffee cake too. Let us know how you like it. I'm also curious about the refrigerated rise--I've never tried it before, but it would make life easier in the future. I just was asked to make some for mother's day last week and it was quite a scurry to get it all prepped and baked before heading over.

                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                      Love the coffee cake! I will definitely be making this over and over again.
                                                                                                      I took it out of the fridge and it had risen maybe half way. I turned on the oven then created a tent with dishtowels on the stove top and let it rise there. That took about an hour, I turned off the oven once it was nice and warm on the stove top.
                                                                                                      Next time I will leave the loaf to rise in the cool basement for the night and see how that works.

                                                                                                      1. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                        Another convert! So glad you liked it!

                                                                                                    2. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                      I love that coffee cake...a little too much!

                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                        It makes me happy to hear that! It was my first time trying to come up with my own yeasted recipe.

                                                                                                    3. I made a blueberry galette, but it had way too much liquid and it came through the crust. It tasted ok even with the soggy crust.

                                                                                                      This weekend I baked three galettes, with three different crusts--one with olive oil, one with light butter/butter, and one with butter and yogurt. The last one was by far and away the best, and the filling worked the best with it. I guess I'm learning! It was a beet, onion, and goat cheese galette. So yum, even if my tummy is a bit twitchy.

                                                                                                       
                                                                                                       
                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                        That's an interesting write up for the pastry crust comparisons. How did you do the butter/yogurt one?

                                                                                                        As for the blueberries, I think I recall you saying you were using frozen? Those suckers can release a LOT of liquid! Looks great though!

                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                          Well I was using this Martha Stewart recipe http://www.marthastewart.com/1049680/..., when I realized it was not going to make enough crust for the galette, so I added a cup of whole wheat pastry flour, more of the baking powder and salt, and four tablespoons of Greek Yogurt and cut it in with two knives. I added buttermilk based on how much it needed to come together, and then chilled it for hours. I rolled it and then put it in the freezer to chill again. I had added rosemary and thyme at the beginning. It was kind of salty, but went well with the savory filling.

                                                                                                          1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                            Interesting. As much as I love butter, I'm always looking for ways to cut a bit of it out in baking recipes (as long as it doesn't sacrifice the final product too much).

                                                                                                            My whole beef with savory galettes is all the butter in the dough. I can't justify pairing that with the veggie fillings for what should be a somewhat healthy vegetarian meal.

                                                                                                            Like I always say, I like to save my butter intake for pastries, cookies, and cake :)

                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                              I don't know how folks can eat all the good baked stuff on the thread without gaining loads of weight--so I'm always trying to make mine a bit lighter, not just to avoid putting weight back on, but also because I have a bad reaction to really high fat content meals, my gallbladder just can't handle the rush of fat all at once.I just had a slice of the leftover galette for an early lunch and the crust was still buttery tasting even with only half the butter!

                                                                                                              1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                I avoid the butter for the same reason--stomach can't handle it all. Wish it could!

                                                                                                                That's good to hear that the crust tasted so buttery. I often reduce the butter (within reason) or sub with half applesauce in recipes that seem excessive and have never had them turn out bad. Friends and family always comment that these things are "sooo buttery and delicious!" I have a general rule of thumb that all recipes get reduced to 1 stick of butter and that's it (aside from large cakes, or 1 stick in the cake, and 1 for the frosting).

                                                                                                                Lately when making pie crusts and pastry dough I've been omitting a tablespoon or two of butter with nothing in its place just to see what happens and it's still plenty buttery and flaky.

                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                  I have exactly the same rule about butter (even down to the large cakes exception)! I've never heard of anyone else doing this. If something is really rich, I will just make a small quantity of it. For pie crusts, I roll very thin.

                                                                                                        2. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                          I've never heard of yogurt in a crust. Sounds interesting!

                                                                                                        3. I made no-bake cookies for a bake-off I was informed of tonight that is tomorrow at 7pm. It would have been nice to have more notice, but the real point is to share food, so I made something fast with ingredients I already had. I hope they make it until tomorrow, a few are already missing!

                                                                                                          1. Made the bf a WW baguette for dinner. No idea what I was doing; the only thing I ever use WW flour for is making dog biscuits.

                                                                                                            Followed my regular baguette dough proportions, but used honey instead of sugar and added flour just until dough came together.

                                                                                                            It baked up nicely but I'm worried it will be very dense/heavy. Regardless, it smells and looks better than the damn Ezekiel GF bread he's been eating. Will report back once he's tried it.

                                                                                                             
                                                                                                             
                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                              Did you use 100% whole wheat? Was it fresh?

                                                                                                              100% is hard to make delicious - I do one with sourdough that's pretty good, though.

                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                Yes it was 100% whole wheat. Not freshly ground, previously bought from the store and frozen immediately since I don't use it often.

                                                                                                                The boyfriend ate the entire thing (sans butter or oil) with his salad! He said it was excellent and was very appreciative. We had a little talk about WW vs white flour over dinner and he said he thinks he prefers this WW baguette over the regular one. So I guess I'll be making it more often.

                                                                                                              2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                Your baked goods always look so delicious! That crust looks really nice!

                                                                                                                1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                  Thanks Sarah. The crust did bake up nicely. I'm glad, as I'd never made this before. Wish I'd taken a photo of the interior, the crumb looked excellent. I wasn't feeling well last night so I didn't taste it... I was expecting some to be left over today, but I guess that's why the bf is on a diet. He loves him some carbs!

                                                                                                                  For anyone wondering or wanting to give it a try, I believe I made it as follows (was just eyeballing for one 8" x 4" demi baguette):

                                                                                                                  -1/4 cup lukewarm water
                                                                                                                  -1 teaspoon instant yeast
                                                                                                                  -squirt of honey (maybe 3/4 tbspn.)
                                                                                                                  -1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                  -1+ cup WW flour

                                                                                                                  Proof yeast (unnecessary with instant yeast, but I do it anyway) by dissolving honey and yeast in water. Let sit 5 minutes until foamy.

                                                                                                                  Stir in the salt and half the flour. Continue adding flour until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Dough should be just barely tacky and easy to handle.

                                                                                                                  Knead for a few minutes until fully incorporated. Spray with oil/Pam and cover in a bowl. Let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

                                                                                                                  Deflate dough and press into a rough 5" by 10" rectangle on a sheet of parchment. Roll up (with the 5" side facing you) tightly and pinch seam to seal, then pinch and taper the ends slightly. Cut slits in top with a knife. Spray with Pam and cover with plastic; let rise until very puffy, about 40 minutes.

                                                                                                                  Bake @ 375 until golden brown and hollow when tapped, about 20-25 minutes. Cool at least 30 minutes before slicing.

                                                                                                              3. Raspberry crumb bars in the oven, to be frozen for next week's party. and biscoff toffee cookie dough sitting in the fridge, to be baked after I run some errands.
                                                                                                                Not a typical way to spend the Monday of a long week-end, I realize!!

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. These days I'm baking bread on my gas grill. The bread isn't unusual, but my oven is out and using the grill as a substitute bread oven is new for me. It's been working out surprisingly well. When my new oven comes I may still use the grill during the heat of the summer.

                                                                                                                  I use a pizza stone on the grate, and a 9" by 13" pan upright (not upside down) on top of the pizza stone. I put the bread dough on a cookie sheet and, after the grill is partly preheated, put the cookie sheet on top of the pan and close the grill. The pan provides some insulation so that the hot stone doesn't burn the bottom of the loaf. Baking time is about 50 min for a peasant loaf made from ~6.5 cups flour. I cook it until the internal temp of the loaf is about 200F, monitoring the temp and adjusting as needed to stay below about 425F. The crust is good even though I don't spray it with water or take other measures to humidify during baking.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. I'm baking ANYTHING and EVERYTHING with lemon. It is my current obsession and a perfect way to enjoy spring and summer (IMHO)

                                                                                                                    -- everything tastes better with butter

                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: CRMjen

                                                                                                                      Lemon is very refreshing and vibrant.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                        Hubby became enamored of hot honey/lemon water during a recent cold and he now makes it sometimes when he wants a hot beverage without caffeine.

                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                          That is my Mom's remedy for a cold, did it work?

                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                            He wasn't sick for very long - ?!?!

                                                                                                                      2. re: CRMjen

                                                                                                                        I'm craving lemon meringue pie. I made one for Easter for the first time and it was so good.

                                                                                                                      3. I just made biscuits with soymilk instead of regular milk. Just need to use up some soymilk that my son doesn't like. (I personally wouldn't touch the stuff, but he drinks it.)

                                                                                                                        1. I'm hosting a BBQ/dinner party tomorrow night and figured I'd get some of the food prep done today.

                                                                                                                          The birthday boy requested a cookies'n'cream ice cream cake, so I baked off the 2 layers of chocolate cake for it. The recipe said to bake one and slice it in half, but boy do I hate slicing cakes in half. Although the two cakes baked up higher than I think they should have, so I'll end up having to trim them down anyway. They smell delicious; I've never used this recipe before.

                                                                                                                          The second dessert will be a re-do of the Paula Deen sour cream pound cake I tested last week. I reduced the sugar by a full 1/2 cup and added some vanilla bean paste (which looks so pretty in light colored cakes). It smells divine.

                                                                                                                          Can anyone tell me what the hell happened with that giant dome in the middle?? Lol.

                                                                                                                          The third dessert will probably be baked late tonight for the GF guests, and the low carber. They are brownie-like cookies made with almond flour and Nutella.

                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                            That giant dome in the middle means the baker used a pan that was too small so that (s)he would have to trim it and eat the trimmings.

                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                              Nothingswrong -- do you bake all your cakes in disposable pans?

                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                I do about 80% of the time.

                                                                                                                                Although yesterday, I just somehow managed to lose my loaf pan. I thought I had two even, but can't find them anywhere.

                                                                                                                                I keep disposables in the cabinet for all sorts of things--marinating/transferring meats, making granita, etc. I often give away or bring my baked goods to people, so I find it easier to just leave the pan with them (and it's easier to transport).

                                                                                                                                The other thing I notice is that they keep my cakes from browning too much or getting a hard/crispy crust in the oven. Not sure if it's just my oven, but they turn out better in the aluminum. I'm not sure how well they conduct heat, so I will usually slightly lower the baking temp and bake for longer. They inevitably come out great--very moist interior without being overdone on the outside.

                                                                                                                                Long answer to a simple question, sorry!

                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                  I bake pies in disposable aluminum because the bottom crust browns better in them.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                    Interesting! My mother says the same, and uses aluminum pans for pies too. But hers are very thick, and even though labeled "disposable," she washes and reuses them.

                                                                                                                                    Well then maybe it's my cake pans. They are dark nonstick, a gifted set from my mother. They are attractive and easy to clean, but they do seem to make a tough(er) crust on my cakes.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                      Dark pans will always make a darker and harder crust. Personally, I have gotten rid of any I had like that.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                        I really want to get rid of them, but I feel bad, as my mother gave them to me and I've barely used them.

                                                                                                                                        I find they work well for focaccia, which I'll do small batches of in the pan instead of a baking sheet. It's one instance where a nice crisp crust with moist/chewy centers is preferred. Aside from that, I'm stumped.

                                                                                                                                        Too bad I have like 8 of them. One would suffice.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                          I just made a loaf cake from the Dorie Greenspan baking book the other day. She recommended putting two cookie sheets under the loaf pan which prevents burning. Worth a try!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the tip, I'll give it a try next time!

                                                                                                                            2. I baked a buttermilk white bread from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads. I learned to bake bread from this book a long time ago but I'd never tried this recipe. I wolfed down three slices hot from the oven, it's so good. It will make a great sandwich loaf or toast.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                Bernard Clayton was a treasure - I was sad when he died a few years ago. Did you know that he tested a good many of his recipes while traveling in a motor home?

                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                  Wow that's quite a feat. I can't imagine trying to test recipes in a motorhome

                                                                                                                              2. Been thinking about the Cook's Illustrated Almond Cake that Buttertart mentioned...so I found what I think might be the recipe on the CI site and baked it today in anticipation of my daughter's return for summer break (also have the NYT's CCC dough resting in the fridge). The almond flavor is wonderful and I love that it has lemon peel throughout. Very moist, as well. I was able to access the CI link to the recipe without being a member (so far, anyway!):
                                                                                                                                http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recip...

                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: lesliej

                                                                                                                                  Almonds are so pretty on baked goods for some reason.

                                                                                                                                  Looks great!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: lesliej

                                                                                                                                    That's the cake, roxlet please note...isn't it good?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                      We loved it! My daughter noted immediately that it was made without almond paste (she has obviously eaten more almond cakes than I have) and thought the texture was wonderful. It also seems to keep well - there's about 1/4 left and it still tastes so fresh.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: lesliej

                                                                                                                                        We loved it too. Even stale it's good.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                        It looks great!! But I have't made it...yet!

                                                                                                                                      3. re: lesliej

                                                                                                                                        I made this cake today, and took it to a dinner party, where it was liked by all.

                                                                                                                                        I figured you can never have too much almond taste, so I used almond oil instead of vegetable oil.

                                                                                                                                        It was really moist, and there was a very nice taste of almonds, but I found it a bit too sweet.

                                                                                                                                        I don't like the crunch in the teeth of raw sugar, or the taste, so I should have skipped the sugar/lemon zest topping. When I saw that it did not get incorporated into the cake but stayed as is, I used a pastry brush to get rid of as much of it as I could; but it was still too much.

                                                                                                                                        All that aside, I really enjoyed it.

                                                                                                                                        I served it with whipped cream, which it does not need at all.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                          I just tried a piece of the cake after slicing off the sugary top layer. The sweetness is a lot more acceptable, but the next time I will cut down the sugar to 7oz (1 cup) from 1-1/4 cup.

                                                                                                                                          I really like the texture, so will definitely make it again, and perhaps use orange zest instead of lemon.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                            Orange zest does sound like a nice way to change it up - I think I'll try that next time, too.

                                                                                                                                        2. Jacquy Pfeiffer's spice bread is delicious! It's from The Art of French Pastry. Whole wheat and rye flours give it robustness and home candied orange peel and freshly ground spices give it loads of flavour. It looks like this is going to be more than just a Christmas season bread here.

                                                                                                                                          A link from NYT for the recipe:

                                                                                                                                          http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/hea...

                                                                                                                                          1. Dorie Greenspan's Cocoa Banana Bread

                                                                                                                                            Next up: Grasmere Gingerbread

                                                                                                                                            1. Some strawberry topped vol-au-vents filled with pastry cream.

                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                              1. I have a rhubarb tart in the oven right now.

                                                                                                                                                1. I mixed up a double batch of chocolate chip cookies using the Barefoot Contessa recipe and then scooped them out on sheet pans to freeze. I did bake one pan of 8 cookies which we ate.

                                                                                                                                                  1. Okay, worst picture ever, but it was dark out back where we ate. BBQ was a smashing success, and the ice cream cake went over super well. Everyone kept saying "How do you MAKE an ice cream cake?" They were in awe for some reason.

                                                                                                                                                    The birthday boy--who is notoriously picky--ate two slices. I've baked him cakes for three years in a row, and this is the first year that happened. Yay!

                                                                                                                                                    Chocolate cake topped with vanilla bean ice cream which I mashed with crushed Oreos, then frosted with vanilla whipped cream. Very easy (I bought the ice cream) in a springform pan.

                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                    1. Baking three smallish loaves of French bread and Rose Levy Berenbaum's Cinnamon Cloud Nine Crunchies.

                                                                                                                                                      13 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                        Cinnamon Cloud Nine Crunchies?? What are those?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                          THEY'RE HEAVEN!!

                                                                                                                                                          Heaven in cookie form.

                                                                                                                                                          I got the recipe in the Christmastime baking thread. They're a yeasted cookie that rises for an hour in the fridge. Very buttery and delicious, and rolled twice in cinnamon sugar. Not fussy at all.

                                                                                                                                                          Don't be fooled by their appearance. These are the most addictive little bastards... Last time my boyfriend and I ate the whole batch within 48 hours.

                                                                                                                                                          They taste IMO just like a palmier ("elephant ears"--the puff pastry treat from a bakery). Definitely one of my favorite baking recipes now.

                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                            D'oh, I meant to post the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                            I will paraphrase the process.

                                                                                                                                                            CINNAMON CLOUD NINE CRUNCHIES

                                                                                                                                                            by Rose Levy B.

                                                                                                                                                            -1/3 cup warm water
                                                                                                                                                            -1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
                                                                                                                                                            -1/2 teaspoon sugar

                                                                                                                                                            Proof for 10-15 minutes til foamy and set aside.

                                                                                                                                                            -2 cups sifted AP flour
                                                                                                                                                            -1/8 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                            -6 tablespoons sugar

                                                                                                                                                            Pulse in food processor.

                                                                                                                                                            -2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 3/4" pieces
                                                                                                                                                            -1 teaspoon vanilla

                                                                                                                                                            Pulse in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add yeast mixture and vanilla and pulse a few times to combine.

                                                                                                                                                            Place dough in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

                                                                                                                                                            Mix cinnamon sugar in a bowl for rolling:
                                                                                                                                                            -roughly 2/3 cup sugar
                                                                                                                                                            -1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

                                                                                                                                                            Roll dough into scant tablespoon sized balls and then coat in the cinnamon sugar. Roll between your hands again, and coat in cinnamon sugar again. Place on baking sheet, spacing a few inches apart. Repeat with remaining dough (work quickly, or keep remaining dough in fridge so it doesn't get too sticky).

                                                                                                                                                            Bake @ 350 for 22 minutes, rotating halfway through.

                                                                                                                                                            Cookies will crisp up as they cool.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                              I really need to make these after reading your recommendations - I own the book but have never tried them (must get it out of my head that the recipes are only for Christmas!).

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: lesliej

                                                                                                                                                                Yes, try them! They are so good and really not much more effort than any other cookie--dough's made in the food processor, and the hand-shaping doesn't take too long.

                                                                                                                                                                I think the hardest part is convincing people to try them, since they don't stand out too much in appearance. The first time I made them, my bf was like "Oh, no chocolate?" I shoved one in his mouth and he's hooked. He woke up in the middle of the night last night and ate 6 or 7 with a glass of milk. He told me this morning that he kept pouring milk so he could keep eating one more cookie. So much for his diet.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                  They're based on a Belgian cookie John Thorne said was the best in the world...

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                    Interesting. The flavor is reminiscent of Belgian butter cookies, but they aren't as dense or shortbready due to the yeast.

                                                                                                                                                                    2 sticks of butter in the dough, and my yield was about 45 cookies. So that's like a teaspoon of butter per cookie.

                                                                                                                                                                    I like to keep things like that in mind when eating them.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                      It's not how much butter is in each of them, it's how many I would eat!!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                        Lol I know, but I try and keep my consumption down to how much butter in its raw form I would eat in one sitting... like slathered on bread. When I visualize it that way, I HAVE to cut myself off at 1 tablespoon or so.

                                                                                                                                                                        That being said, yesterday I ate 8 cookies. And that was with restraint.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks nothingswrong!! I am a bit afraid of baking with yeast (I know, I need to get over it), but this looks like a "safe" place to start!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                    It is, especially because you just mix the dough in the FP and then refrigerate. It doesn't really rise, and you don't need to worry about kneading it at all. It's just like cookie dough; you don't even notice the yeast honestly.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                              Three demi baguettes out of the oven. One will stay on the counter, and two were sliced and frozen. I always eat the end pieces though :)

                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                  Wow, precise and beautiful apple slice placement. Great job!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                        This comes from For Love of the Table. The description (on that blog) of making Short Crust Pastry has improved how I make all crusts - not just this one. http://www.forloveofthetable.com/2011...

                                                                                                                                                                      2. I made lemon cupcakes recently. With a lemon cream cheese frosting. I've been craving lemon desserts lately. That never happens with me!

                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.yummyreads.com

                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: NancyChin

                                                                                                                                                                          I can't be around a sliced lemon without craving something lemony. I love lemon pound cake/loaf and will make it once a week if I have lemons around.

                                                                                                                                                                        2. just made a broccoli salad...going for lobster dinner tonight - small portions and no to the melted butter

                                                                                                                                                                          1. i have some chocolate crinkles based on a recipe by kattyeyes in the oven...stuffed with sea salt caramels. The first batch didn't chill ong enough, we shall see how it comes out. Leaving the rest to do tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                              The colder dough was somewhat easier to work with, and the cookies are dee-lish! I put a piece of sea salt caramel in the middle of them, and it made them hyper-chewy.

                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                That looks great! My experiments with stuffing cookies have not gone well..

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Yesterday I baked another loaf of the buttermilk bread I posted earlier. Today I baked the BBQ buns I posted in a previous months thread to serve with the brisket that is smoking and I'm making a fresh strawberry pie. Crust is blind baking in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. Another savory galette with yeasted olive oil pastry. This one filled with chard, mushrooms, leeks, roasted cherry tomatoes, and Gruyere.

                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Making the Saturday White Bread from Flour Water Salt Yeast today. I made it once before and found the inside to be a bit too doughy so I'll let it bake a bit longer this time. The last one was a gorgeous dark brown on the outside.

                                                                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Njchicaa

                                                                                                                                                                                        Do you have an instant read thermometer? If you check the interior of the bread, it should be about 200F

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for that roxlet. I see conflicting info on the web and am never sure. I usually will err on overbaked, which I don't really mind. When the bread is browned and gives a nice hollow thump when I whack it on its bum, I pull it out.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Do you know the temp for enriched sweet yeast breads, like the coffee cake recipe or cinnamon roll type doughs? I've read online anywhere from 180 to 220 and would like to know if there's a magic number.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                I have a funny story about a sweet yeast bread. We used to live in Greenwich Village (actually, the West Village, for those who know the area), and back then the Village Halloween Parade was a modest local affair, and we would have a party every year for our friends. One year, I decided to try a recipe for a Mexican sweet bread that was part of a Day of the Dead bunch of recipes that I had found. I was certainly less experienced a baker back then, and I remember getting nervous when the bread became pretty dark, which, as I know now, was due to the amount of sugar in the bread. Anyway, when the party time came and I cut into the bread, I realized that the middle of the bread was still pretty raw, so I cut a big circle about 3 inches in from the perimeter, and cut the perimeter into small slices. Later, I saw a friend of mine eating this gooey piece of dough, and I asked her why she took that piece. She said it was because she thought the center was some sort of ricotta filling that I was saving for myself, and she wanter to try it! I think I laughed until I cried.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. A mix, actually. I just now had this for Sunday breakfast and it is good enough to require no apologies, and it took me about two minutes to make. Krusteaz Cinnamon Coffee Cake with a pint of fresh blueberries added. The mix comes with the cake part, to which you add an egg and water AND THE BLUEBERRIES, and the cinnamon part that you layer with the cake. Don't knock it till you've tried it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                            I've tried those and they are decent. I used to make them a lot before I got into baking from scratch. Those muffin mixes were my gateway drugs so to speak. I'd doctor them up with my own icings or fillings.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Can't remember the brand, but my mother always made a boxed blueberry muffin mix for us growing up that haunted my dreams for many years. I finally think I've surpassed them with the Bouchon Bakery Blueberry muffin recipe, which takes 2 days to make but is so worth it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I have a batch of icebox cookies in the fridge. It is an experiment. I took a basic recipe and added some dehydrated strawberries, lemon zest, a bit of ginger, and some lemon juice (to counteract the drying from the strawberries rehydrating) I have rubbed some sugar and lemon zest to roll them in before baking. I'm hoping for a strawberry lemonade taste. We'll see.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I have some other projects in mind for this weekend--my days off are my cooking days, so that is pretty much my entire plan for the weekend!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. My neighbor died suddenly in his sleep the other day. Ambulance and 2 fire engines showed up mid-afternoon. I hung out on the porch for a while, waiting to see what was going on. Eventually they wheeled him out on a gurney, doing chest compressions and pumping his lungs full of air, rushing down our shared driveway to the ambulance.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I asked one of the EMTs if they had contacted his wife, if they needed me to call her or lock the house up, etc. He said "She's right there." I turned around to see her clutching her purse, eyes wide with fear, tears streaming down her cheeks. She and I have barely exchanged more than 100 words in 5 years but she ran and grabbed me and sobbed on my shoulder. I didn't know what was going on, so I just said "It's okay, it will all be okay." I didn't know he was already dead.

                                                                                                                                                                                              That interaction has been haunting me since it happened. I've lost family and friends over the years but I've never been face to face with a woman who has just lost her husband of 40 years. It was maddeningly sad.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Today I baked her a Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake. Since it's just her alone in the house now, I split the recipe into a mini loaf pan, and two mini cake pans for me to keep. The cake smells sooo good as it bakes; the raspberries tossed with brown sugar create a sweet jam in the oven. I just dropped it off and her adult daughter was home. They are teary and sad but said they love sweets. It's just such a shame. I'm planning on dropping off things often.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake

                                                                                                                                                                                              (posted before, but in case anyone wants the recipe)
                                                                                                                                                                                              This is a halved recipe for an 8" x 8" or 8" round pan

                                                                                                                                                                                              -1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
                                                                                                                                                                                              -4 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

                                                                                                                                                                                              -1 1/2 cups AP flour
                                                                                                                                                                                              -8 tablespoons white sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                              -3/4 teaspoon baking powder
                                                                                                                                                                                              -rounded 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
                                                                                                                                                                                              -1/8 teaspoon salt

                                                                                                                                                                                              -3/4 cup sour cream
                                                                                                                                                                                              -3 tablespoons melted butter
                                                                                                                                                                                              -2 teaspoons vanilla
                                                                                                                                                                                              -1/2 of a large egg
                                                                                                                                                                                              -1/4 cup milk

                                                                                                                                                                                              -1/2 cup sliced almonds

                                                                                                                                                                                              Toss raspberries with brown sugar and set aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

                                                                                                                                                                                              In another bowl, mix sour cream, butter, vanilla, egg, and milk until smooth, then pour into the flour mixture and stir gently until incorporated.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Grease pan; spread 2/3 of batter in pan, then scatter evenly with the berries. Smooth remaining batter over top. Scatter all over with almonds.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Bake @ 350 for about 40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool slightly, then glaze with powdered sugar + water whisked until smooth.

                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                That's so nice of you, and that looks delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                  You are a kind soul and that cake looks AMAZING.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: NancyChin

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sorry, it is very sad, isn't it?? And so strange not to see him every morning... His poor widow. It is heartbreaking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's coming up soon for our neighbors, too. Any advice you have is welcome.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, I don't think I'm doing too great so far. I was there when the ambulance took him, probably the first person the wife was able to talk to, hug, or tell what had happened. And I've been making sure to walk over and say hi, how are you doing every time I see her. The funeral and services took place yesterday but my boyfriend couldn't get off of work and I didn't feel well enough to go. It seemed a bit strange, as we don't even know their names. It has just been a "Hi, how's it going" type relationship for the last 5 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I sense what she really needs is company in the upcoming months. I remember hearing from my landlord (who lived in this house for 20 years before renting it to me) that the couple was from Jordan originally, and they came here in the 70s and have been in the same little house since. It must be terribly scary and lonely to lose your one companion in a foreign country, even if it's been your home for so long. I notice she doesn't go out much and I've never once seen any friends come over. Just the 2 grown daughters on Sunday evenings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have thought about inviting her over here many times but she is afraid of my dogs, even if they're out in the backyard. Unfortunately my poor health has me tethered to my IV pole much of the day and it's difficult for me to be out and about for extended periods, even if it's just next door. I guess I will just keep saying hello and asking how she is, offering up a hug when she needs one. My boyfriend is going over later to fix her garbage disposal and will do some yard work for her this weekend. He is such a sweetheart.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Baking biscotti...many different flavors. Black & white, barista biscotti with cappuccino chips, chocolate with pistachio, double chocolate. They freeze well. It's nice to have a variety on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: colorqueen

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I LOVE biscotti and fall into these phases where I bake a batch like every other day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      How do you freeze biscotti? Raw? First bake? Second bake? Fully baked? Sliced?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I need to know this. I'm stockpiling a really impressive freezer collection of cookie dough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I put the loaves in the freezer after the first bake. Then defrost, slice and do the second bake. Biscotti on demand!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I just bake them all the way and then freeze!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Made Rhubarb Crumble squares today, my first time making anything with rhubarb but it smells delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. My first crumble of the season, used my rhubarb from the garden (yield was not great) and supplemented with frozen berries and cherries. It always feels like summer when crumble hits my table, although it is comforting in fall as well!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Maglieri's Supernatural Brownies just came out of the oven.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Baked a halved recipe in 8x8 aluminum foil pan; baking time was 35 mins rather than 45. I'd set the timer for 20 mins. - did a visual and turned the pan - checked in another 5 mins. - pretty gooey on the toothpick. Baked for another 10 mins. - toothpick clean and pulled them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now comes the hard part - staying away from pan!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Okay, I stayed away from the pan until just now. Left them foil-wrapped in their pan on the counter rather than refrigerating them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                These are some seriously fudgy brownies. I'd certainly take them to a party, but don't know that they are the only brownie I'll make from now on. There's a recipe on the back of the Ghirardelli Ground Chocolate can that's always been my go-to, with or without pecans (I never use walnuts).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Supernaturals taste like they'd be great under ice cream. But then, aren't all brownies? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Does this count??? (Trying to use up some fundraiser cookie dough...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My kids say it counts and want to know when we can do that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. The strawberry lemonade cookies came out ok--a little less strawberry then I would have thought, and a little dry, but pretty good. I'll keep experimenting!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just got invited to a cookout, with my brother in law's family. They are all really picky eaters, so it is a basic brownie for them. No nuts, nothing fancy. The BiL also requested deviled eggs--with nothing fancy. I once made some for them with sour cream--the ATK recipe, and they wouldn't eat them. So mayo and mustard and egg--maybe some paprika for color.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I do have two loaves of roasted garlic bread in the oven. I'm thinking I'll keep it for myself. They wouldn't like it and it doesn't really go with the menu. I made it for my bread this week. It smells delish!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Flourless Walnut Cake (3 ingredients):
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    https://food52.com/recipes/28216-3-in...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Delicious! Made a 1/2 recipe in a 7" pan and having a hard time resisting....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It is! My favorite was Gourmet's walnut cake but I think this one has it beat. Pure walnut goodness.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Yesterday I took a bunch of rhubarb I had frozen added about 6 strawberries (I found them in the bag with the rhubarb) and cooked down into a jam. Made enough for two jars that are now in the frig. This morning we ate the jam on some toasted baguette.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Today I made the TLC cookies from Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery book. Very easy and yummy. Not sure how he only gets six cookies from the recipe. I got 16. Froze the scooped cookies and them baked off four.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. For a casual dinner party I made this buttermilk cake with roasted strawberries. It is very easy!!! The cake part is almost like a muffin batter where you combine the dry ingredients, then combine the wet and finally the wet into the dry. Bakes in a cast iron skillet. Served it with roasted rhubarb and homemade vanilla ice cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://joythebaker.com/2012/05/roaste...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Coconut Lemon Loaf with a lemon glaze to continue my cravings for lemony treats!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Lorry13

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Would you be willing to share the recipe? That looks awesome!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. The brownies I made turned out completely underdone in the center. I think they needed twice as long as the recipe indicated--I cooked them 10 minutes longer, but they could have used probably 10 minutes more. I left the nice pieces for my sister and took the undercooked center home. It is in the freezer and will be used for ice cream yumminess!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: SarahCW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have found that brownie recipes rarely have long enough baking times in them. I now use what the recipe says as a guideline and make sure they're actually done before taking them out of the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I kept testing them, and they came out with a few moist crumbs--but turnd out to be too moist--it was supposed to be extra fudgy, so I wasn't sure. I've not made many from scratch brownies!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I've been sticking to levain-based bread and pizza dough lately, but a friend asked me to make her a birthday cake for a party on Saturday so I've been going through old threads/cookbooks trying to decide what to do! She said she likes lemon, orange, raspberry, dulce de leche and chocolate, in any combination, and the only restriction is no coconut. Otherwise, she trusts my culinary judgment!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's going to be a sizable gathering so I'm now considering doing two cakes - one a variation on RLB's Scarlet Empress with a sous-vided cheesecake filling, which will involve raspberries (and possibly dulce de leche as well). I'm leaning toward citrus for the other, and probably a layer cake, but I'm having a hard time deciding on type/filling/frosting. Thoughts? I have a separate thread going for this but I know all you bakers stop in here frequently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, and on a related note, can any of you with cooked flour frosting experience tell me how it works with citrus? Has anyone tried making an orange or lemon buttercream by subbing juice for some or all of the liquid in the recipe?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I never have tried the flour frosting with citrus, and I don't think I've ever made a citrus frosting at all, just a glaze. Maybe do a trial run with half a recipe? You might also do a lemon curd filling with raspberries, do a vanilla flour frosting, and decorate with raspberries. I happen to love the raspberry and lemon combination. I am currently in love with the CI almond cake, and that might be good as a somewhat lighter alternative just served with sliced strawberries or blueberries. Anything from RLB is bound to be good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, I definitely want a light alternative to the cheesecake Empress - I was thinking of the RLB orange or lemon chiffon cake. The cooked flour frosting came to mind for filling and/or frosting because it seems nice and billowy. I make an orange buttercream occasionally by using concentrate and zest in your standard American style buttercream, and it's delicious but a bit heavy/sugary. Perhaps I will try a half recipe with OJ, just to see how it goes!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      WOWEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just made a half recipe of the cooked flour frosting with OJ - DAMN is that good stuff! The texture is fabulous and it's buttery without being TOO buttery. The OJ flavor (I used fresh-squeezed) is just a little muted for my taste, so I think I'll add a bit of lemon juice and some orange zest for the full batch. This is going to be a new favorite icing, I can tell! BTW, how does it do in the fridge? The party is Saturday but I'm thinking of making all of the icing tonight - will bringing it to room temp and a quick rewhip do the trick?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A - I love this icing; great texture, yes, and neither as OTT buttery as traditional buttercream or as OTT sweet as "American buttercream." B - I, for one, have never been very happy with the texture of the cooked flour icing when refrigerated before being used on a cake. I feel like it does something a bit funky to the texture, so it's not as creamy, but MMV, of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hm, good to know. I put my test batch in the fridge but I'll wait until the morning of to make a full batch, and I'll only use the test batch if I run out. Love this stuff. Btw, have you ever tried adding a little powdered sugar to it? I just wonder if a kind of hybrid might be good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You know, my first encounter with this icing years used a recipe someone posted on CH that did use some powdered sugar (here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/277826), but the texture was pretty much the same, light and fluffy, as was the flavor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thank you so much for the link - and good to know that the hybrid works! My mother is not a butter fan so I think the hybrid style might work better for cakes I bake with my family in mind. I love it just as it is though. Mmmmm butter!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So did you just sub the oj in for the milk? Any other alterations?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nope, straight one-to-one sub OJ for milk. I left out the vanilla, too, although I think it would probably taste good in there (Dreamsicle!!!). Sooooo good!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oooh. Happy to hear it was so good, and that the test batch worked out. I adore the cooked flour frosting. There's no shortage of butter in it, but it never seems as heavy/greasy as some buttercream frostings. Creamsicle icing sounds awesome too!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It seems like every single post about this recipe is a rave. I keep looking for an excuse to make it. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/415619 At least a couple posters turned it into cupcakes, so maybe it would work as a layer cake too?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have this one bookmarked as well - I think it would probably be just fine as a layer cake. I'm guessing it's a little denser than what I'd like in this case, but I definitely need to make it for something soon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I had sent this recipe to my niece in Ireland and she loved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Chiffon cake FAIL. I made the Orange Glow Chiffon from the Cake Bible, and it turned out beautifully - light as a feather. Until I inverted it. Then, instead of clinging to the (immaculately clean and ungreased) pan, it dumped itself out onto the counter with an unceremonious SPLAT.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of course, this is why I never bake a cake the day of, unless it's something super simple. So, I punted and whipped up a quick butter cake with some orange juice and zest, and will fill and frost those layers with my delectable orange cooked flour frosting. The ruined chiffon may become trifle...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ugh, that sucks! Looks perfect for a trifle though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm sure your orange butter cake will do just fine, and your guests will enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It was SO frustrating, especially since the pieces tasted so damn good! The layer cake I made to replace it was delicious, though, so not a huge deal. I'll post pics on the new thread soon!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I want to report that even though most of the things I baked this weekend were more miss than hit, I did knock one out of the ball park. I made a batch of spelt garlic bread from Healthy Artisan bread in 5 mins or less. I added some of my sourdough starter and it turned out SO light and flavorful. I think the spelt is less dense than the whole wheat and rye I've been using. I'm going to have to experiment

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Rhubarb first harvest (at last!), so rhubarb upsidedown cake and also rhubarb orange muffins. Photo shows proper proportion of whipped cream to upsidedown cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Super quick apple galette to use up a Granny Smith and Fuji on the counter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Just tossed with lemon juice, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Crust was all made with my fingers--flour, butter, salt, water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm trying to figure out why my pie crusts used to be so crappy... Always tough and leathery, shrinking up in the oven. I haven't changed my ingredients or my method (as far as I can tell) but they are supremely flaky, tender, and delicious now. I'm so happy! Of everything I do in the kitchen, all-butter crusts were the one thing that just pissed me off and frankly embarrassed me. No longer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds to me like with all the experience, making crusts with your fingers, you have achieved "the touch".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    PS: that looks super-flaky and tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I guess so! It is so satisfying to figure something like that out finally.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now to work on my apple slicing skills...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I made the CI almond cake again, but with a number of changes:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - wanted a gluten-free cake, so I subbed for the flour with an equal weight of almonds
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - wanted a very orangey cake, so I used the zest of two large navel oranges instead of lemons. For good measure I threw in a couple of Tbsp of Grand Marnier
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - reduced the sugar to 1cup (7oz)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      - omitted the sugar/zest combo on top

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It turned it into a totally different cake. It didn't rise as high (if at all - no surprise); it was more like a torte. It was very moist and dense. The reduced sweetness was more to my liking, and there was no gritty sugar on top. I'm trying to decide if I prefer it to the original.......have to try another piece immediately!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I wonder if it would be more cakey if I used finely ground almond flour instead of the food processor grinding the sliced almonds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      25 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My wife just tried a piece, and said that it reminds her of the filling of Pithiviers. That's exactly what the texture is like.....not surprising as the ingredients are the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Bookmarked to try soon. This cake keeps coming up; must be amazing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm going to use my mail-order almond flour in place of the ground almonds, hope it turns out okay...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I must try this, it sounds just like the tarta de Santiago I had at Sevilla here this past Monday!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Do you have Roden's Food of Spain? There's a great-looking tarta de Santiago recipe in there. Also a walnut-brandy cake that looks like it's made for the man of your house. I haven't made any of them, but was looking at all the nut cakes in there recently, and they all look so good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dreaming of walnut-brandy cake. Is this a cookbook I need to own?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm sorry to say I haven't used the book much as yet, so I can't answer that definitively. I'd be happy to paraphrase that recipe for you, if you'd like, however.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks Caitlin. That would be great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wow, this looks like it makes a huge cake! I'm sure the recipe could be reduced proportionately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Paraphrased from The Food of Spain, by Claudia Roden

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Walnut Cake with Brandy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 lb (4 cups) walnuts
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 lg eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 cup superfine sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      6 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 T brandy or Cognac

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Grind walnuts in food processor, "not too fine." Beat eggs and sugar with electric mixer until pale, thick, and creamy, beat in the butter and brandy, and fold in the walnuts. Pour batter into a buttered, floured 11-inch springform pan and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 45 minutes, or until the cake feels firm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Meanwhile make a syrup by boiling 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water for 5 minutes, then add 1 T brandy or Cognac. As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, pour the syrup over the top. Let stand at least an hour in the pan before serving.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (In my experience, cakes doused in syrup are best left at least a day so it can really soak in, though as noted, I haven't made this one.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Before dousing a cake in syrup I poke holes all over the top; I brush on the syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks Caitlin. It's flowerless - that's interesting. Super easy, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: THewat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The book has several nut-based cakes, with and without chocolate, and I believe they're all flourless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            THANK YOU! I think I'll halve it. I have a wee 6" or so springform.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is in the oven (1/2 recipe) and is taking a long time to bake, more like 45 mins for a 6" springform...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes I do have it, must look, thanks. And yes, the other sounds perfect for himself. I made a few dishes out of it and it is definitely worthwhile having.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There's a chocolate-chestnut truffle torte in there, too...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now you have my attention! Would one of you mind posting it, please, if it's not too much trouble.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I just checked it on amazon.ca. Besides the $30+ copies, there's a used one for $1,450!!! I wonder how these prices are set.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "there's a used one for $1,450!!! I wonder how these prices are set."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I always wonder what's up with that one super expensive used copy. Even if it's signed... no thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Odd about the prices, given it's not out of print. Much cheaper offerings from third-party sellers on Amazon.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Anyway, here's the paraphrased recipe for Chestnut and Chocolate Truffle Cake:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                8 oz peeled chestnuts (fresh, defrosted from frozen, or vacuum packed)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 cup whole milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 tsp vanilla
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                8 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                10 oz unsalted butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1/2 cup superfine sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 lg eggs, separated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 T brandy or Cognac

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Cook the chestnuts in the milk until they're soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Melt chocolate and butter together. Puree the chestnuts and milk in a food processor. Add the melted chocolate and butter, sugar, egg yolks, and brandy and blend until very smooth. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold in the chestnut mixture. Line a 9-inch springform pan with foil and butter it. Pour in the batter and bake in a preheated 325F oven for 30-35 minutes, till just set but still a little wobbly in the center (it will firm as it cools).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sounds excellent too, the chestnut one. Thanks again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Amazon.com is generally cheaper than amazon.ca, but .com fleeces you on shipping to Canada - $17 for books up to 1lb, and $25 if over 1lb. So overall cheaper from .ca

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ouch. That's much more expensive than, for instance, the air-mail shipping cost to the US via Amazon UK.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Leave out the Grand Marnier. There is a slightly bitter note that can be easily traced back to it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think I would also leave out the baking powder and soda.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I made some candied orange peel awhile ago, whenever a recipe calls for orange flavoring I add the syrup to my mix. It has the most intense of orange flavors. Tortes are quite delicious, they have a little crunchy texture, which adds an element of interest to the cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4. Chocolate almond Torte for a dinner party tomorrow. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              An easy standby.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Made the banana bread from Flour. It's very good!! Definitely the epitome of what banana bread should taste like. Strong banana flavor, moist, nice crumb, and not too sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Recipe can be found here but has a few differences from the cookbook: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/fl...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I used the cookbook's directions to bake at 325 for a bit longer, and 1 1/2 cups flour instead of 1 2/3.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Great photo. Looks like your bread pan has scalloped sides? Do you have difficulty getting quick breads to release from that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not at all. I lost my loaf pan (or rather, it's inaccessible at the moment, probably buried deep in the recesses of my cabinets) so I used a disposable aluminum pan. Sprayed it with Baking Pam--that stuff always does the trick for me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It makes for a very pretty presentation, I have to get some pans like this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What a lovely photo. I have that cookbook too and haven't gotten around to baking from it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I finally made the supernatural brownies that everyone loves here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There are VERY good! They are quite similar to the CI recipe that I've used for years - hubby says he likes the CI on a LITTLE bit better - I think it's hard to tell without them side-by-side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They're almost a bit too sweet - and I was short of bittersweet chocolate by one ounce, so I stuck in one ounce of unsweetened. I might reduce the sugar a tad if I make them again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      They were faster to make than the CI ones, so that's a huge plus, and they cut more neatly, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's always the problem with the CI recipes, isn't it? They work very well, but they're frequently very fussy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Try subbing 1/4 c of cocoa for part of the flour, and using half oil and half butter. Also very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I baked Chocolate Chip Banana Cupcakes with Peanutty Buttercream for my daughter's birthday. I stumbled upon the recipe en route to looking up something else, and have now made them twice with great results. Fast, fun and not just for "the guys", even though they're apparently from "The Butch Bakery Cookbook".
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        http://jillbuker.blogspot.com/2011/10...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Looking for a pound cake recipe to use for dipping in Chocolate Fondue. Come to think of it I could also use a recipe for the fondue! TIA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I can definitely recommend this sour cream pound cake. Don't be put off by Paula Deen! It's a very old and classic recipe you can find all over the web. Reduce the sugar to just 1 cup, bake at 330 for a bit longer, and you can use cake flour for a less dense style cake if you prefer: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pa...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've made it twice this month and it reminds me very much (in the best way possible) of the frozen Sara Lee pound cakes I grew up on. Well-balanced flavor, easy to make, stays moist for days, and slices well which would be great for fondue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Don't have a fondue recipe, but I'm sure someone can help you out with that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I like the Cooks Illustrated/ ATK cold oven pound cake recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I'm making parker house rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My frozen chocolate chip cookie dough balls are proving a hit, I think I'm going to have to expand the choices in my freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I made a lemon meringue pie the other day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I am now addicted to the Paula Deen sour cream pound cake I keep mentioning. After recommending it upthread to someone else, I had to go and make it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Although I think it's perfect as-is, I was also craving something with blueberries but don't have any milk in the fridge somehow. So I split the batter in half in the mini loaf pan and did 2 plain mini loaves, and 2 with lemon zest and wild blueberries stirred in. They are cooling on the counter and I can't wait to dig in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Reporting back... I looove this pound cake. It is going in my recipe binder for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The blueberry one was even more delicious. The boyfriend and I finished one of each flavor last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The recipe as-is made 4 mini-loaves? How small are these pans? (Because I love the idea of small cakes I can customize and, perhaps, freeze.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, the recipe as written for one large (9"x5") loaf made four mini loaves, though it could have also made 6 smaller loaves. This is the pan I have: http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's currently on sale for $10 and I'd say it's worth every penny. I use mine all the time for loaf and Bundt recipes. I will halve large Bundt recipes and get 6 mini loaves. I've also used it to bake monkey bread, regular cakes, and quick breads. It makes perfect sized loaves for gifting. I actually rarely use larger pans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The nonstick coating works great; I spray with Pam and have never once had anything stick. I wash it in the dishwasher. The silicone grips on the pan make it very easy to remove from the oven and pick up to turn cakes onto a cooling rack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The only negative I can think of is that with the dark color, I turn the oven down a bit from whatever the recipe calls for (so for the pound cakes I will bake at 330 F instead of 350) just to ensure even baking without toughening the outsides too much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Far more than you asked for, but just thought I'd chime in since I love this pan so much and it's on sale for a good price!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wow! Thanks for your comprehensive response - with pics, even!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Great pan, that - and, as you say, at a great price. I'll have to squirrel one away. My baking is limited right now as I don't have any mixer at all - my Sunbeam took a big hit in last year's remodeling shuffle and hadn't been replaced yet - but that's going to change in the next couple of months. OTOH, given the soon-to-be heat of summer and the absence of central a/c, I won't be doing too much baking for a bit, anyhow. Nothing that requires more than just a little elbow grease and only a quick turn in the oven.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks again very much for the info.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: mcsheridan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ok I'm blaming you when my husband asks me why I need even more baking pans LOL. Your post is the perfect rationale.