HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


What are you baking these days? June 2014 edition, part 1! [through June 14, 2014]

It's June several places I'd rather be ;-)...so awaaay we go! I bought some Kerrygold butter today, to make kouign amann with, inspired by the Bon Appétit article...not sure if they'll get done this weekend or next, but they sound like a fun project. What's hotting up your oven these days?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Ooh! Kouign amann!!! Let me know how that goes - I've been looking at that recipe, too. One of my favorite bakeries does them really well.

    1. I am going to try to make hamburger buns, we'll see how it goes. I'm using dough from the artisan bread in 5 mins a day--and some of my sourdough starter. I've never done it before, so this will be an experiment. Anyone have tips on hamburger bun baking?

      I'm also turning my dry cookies into a strawberry lemon fool.

      1 Reply
      1. re: SarahCW

        Challah hamburger buns are very good! But, they're a bit different. Sweeter.. fluffier?

      2. I adore kouign amann, and I daren't make it. I know that it is something I absolutely cannot resist!

        1. Yum! Can't wait to see pictures..

          1. Today I made mango doughnuts (don't have pictures up yet). But recently I've also made caramelized banana souffle, devil's food cake, and a key lime tart :)

            14 Replies
                  1. re: IlanK

                    Thanks folks. If anyone wants a recipe lemme know :)

                    1. re: IlanK

                      Sure! Is it from somewhere, or your creation?

                        1. re: foodie_guru

                          Hi, sorry I posted a link earlier but it was against forum policies so it was removed. If you'd like, you can find them on my blog (IronWhisk). Sorry about that!

                          1. re: IlanK

                            thank you, Ilan. I'll make your mango curd.

                            I served a strawberry rhubarb puree with my apple pie last night.
                            The mango curd will be an interesting match with coconut pie.

                            1. re: Cynsa

                              Oo, that does sound interesting!

                      1. re: IlanK

                        These are the mango doughnuts I was talkin' about! They were sooooo soft and the mango curd was awesome. My only issue is with the colour of the curd; the egg yolks made it quite yellow.

                        1. re: IlanK

                          That is the cutest little blob of curd coming out of there.

                        2. re: IlanK

                          I made a coffee, hazelnut, and caramel entremet cake!

                          The hazelnut cake layers were sooo fluffy. I loved them a lot. There was also a layer of caramelized hazelnuts which was really good. To make that layer, I mixed the hazelnuts into a butter & corn syrup & sugar mixture and then baked them + topped it all with coffee & white chocolate mousse.


                          1. My daughter and I are working on a gingerbread castle for a school project. It's in the "stuck together and drying" stage now, awaiting tomorrow's decorations (aka the fun part). And I just made a snicker doodle coffee cake to take for lunch with friends tomorrow.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: P_penelope

                              Nice! Making the template for that must have been a pain.

                              1. re: IlanK

                                Oh jeez no, we didn't get ambitious. She is seven. It was a rather dilapidated castle! The towers were ice cream cones. The King Arthur Flour people's construction gingerbread recipe is great, by the way.

                              2. re: P_penelope

                                Snickerdoodle made my ears perk up like a dog at treat time... What is in this snickerdoodle coffee cake??

                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                  I think you'll like this! I adapted the James Beard recipe (http://www.jamesbeard.org/recipes/sni... -- note that the pan size is wrong, his recipe makes an 8x8 cake). I made a 9x13 cake with these ingredients:

                                  3 cups whole wheat flour
                                  1 cup brown sugar (not packed
                                  )1 cup white sugar
                                  2 tsp. baking soda
                                  2 tsp. baking powder
                                  2 tsp. cream of tartar
                                  1 tbsp. cinnamon
                                  2 tbsp. buttermilk powder

                                  mix all dry ingredients together. In another bowl, mix together 2 large eggs, 1 cup milk [or you could use buttermilk and omit buttermilk powder, or you could just use regular milk -- I wanted the cake to have some lift to it to counteract the whole wheat flour], and .5 cup melted butter.

                                  Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and pour into a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Mix together some white sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes.

                                2. re: P_penelope

                                  Fun! My 11 year old and I made a gingerbread Viking ship for school early this year. It was fun trying to mold the curled sides!

                                  1. re: Tam38

                                    How cool! Did you take photos?

                                3. For the last night of May (last night!) I made a no-bake cheesecake I found on the BBC food website. I'd never made a no-bake cheesecake before and it was remarkably easy and quite delicious.

                                  The base was digestive biscuits crumbled and held together with melted butter and pressed into a springform pan. The filling was 250g of soft cream cheese (Waitrose), 300g of marscapone and 300g of double cream, all whipped together till solid. Added the juice of one lemon and a teaspoon of vanilla and 100g of icing sugar. It's really a glorified whipped cream when you think about it.

                                  I filled the pan, let it chill throughout the day and served the cheesecake with sliced strawberries. Everyone loved it. I think next time I will up the amount of cream cheese to make the filling just a bit tangier.

                                  Cheescakes aren't what I normally bake or eat but this was an easy dessert and very appreciated by our guests. And perfect for the 100+ degree weather we have where we live.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Roland Parker

                                    No bake cheesecake filling is delicious. I like to justify it as eating whipped cream in a more sophisticated manner than just standing in front of the fridge with a bowl and a spoon.

                                  2. Oohh, I've been eyeing recipes for kougin amann for a while now. I just need to stock up on enough butter... ;)
                                    Tonight I finished making a batch of Brioche Polonaise based on the Joe Pastry guidelines -- http://www.joepastry.com/2013/making-...
                                    They aren't beautiful, but since I was trying to keep an eye on my nephew at the same time I'll let my terrible "frosting" skills slide. Other dough went to cinnamon rolls and bacon jam & cheese scrolls. Good eating here this weekend!

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Ama658

                                      I don't know if I can ever forgive you for introducing me to the Joe Pastry website.... now a whole summer of baking beckons! And I'd planned to do nothing but lay by the pool with a book and a cold drink.

                                      1. re: Roland Parker

                                        He makes it look so terribly easy & doable doesn't he :-)

                                        1. re: Roland Parker

                                          Great website; I found it a while back and bookmarked maybe 10 recipes.

                                        2. re: Ama658

                                          I would just use a torch to brown the meringue. Much easier to control!

                                        3. Technically made in May, but I finally cut some rhubarb from the patch in my garden and made these rhubarb cream cheese bars http://www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com/2013.... I have only had a nibble so far, but they are tasty and I am hoping a good way to turn my not so rhubarb loving family on to rhubarb. The creaminess of the filling mellows out the tartness of the rhubarb.
                                          Got up early this morning and made banana chocolate chip muffins for breakfast - bananas ripen so much more quickly now that the warm weather is finally here!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: cheesymama

                                            Those are very good! Just made that recipe a few weeks ago, and it was very popular..

                                            1. re: cheesymama

                                              Oh I'll save to save that, I have some rhubarb in my garden.

                                            2. Rhubarb sour cream pie with rhubarb from my garden, hopefully there's enough.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: julesrules

                                                Is there a recipe to share on this?

                                                1. re: Ruthie789

                                                  I use this basic template from all recipes but generally add vanilla to the filling and cinnamon (and salt if using unsalted butter) to the topping. This is probably my all time favourite pie!

                                                  On this occasion I ended up making a strawberry rhubarb crisp instead because I did not have the time to bake and then completely cool a pie. We ate it warmish but I found the filling a bit wet/soggy and prefer it cold out of my fridge the next day.. no ice cream necessary that way ;)

                                              2. Another colleague unexpectedly leaving the team, so in the interest of fairness (and not, of course, my desire for another excuse to bake) I want to bring in a dessert for our last team meeting on Wednesday. Last month I made Ina's Outrageous Brownies with a cookie dough topping that got raves, so I feel like I have a rep to protect now.

                                                As the weather is finally warming up, and I don't want to seem like a one-trick-chocolate pony, I am thinking something refreshing like lemon bars. It doesn't feel "special" enough though, so I was then thinking maybe lime bars with a pretzel crust (a play on a margarita?) ... I dunno.

                                                Anyone have any recommendations for stellar recipes for fruit or citrus based desserts? Something bar-like is best, since I'll be baking it in one of those disposable trays with a lid and then lugging it on the subway.

                                                8 Replies
                                                1. re: charmedgirl

                                                  Have you considered making something like eclairs, profiteroles, or mini-tarts? Those are pretty easy to share.

                                                  1. re: IlanK

                                                    Thanks for the suggestion! Since I'll be making them on a "school night" and lugging them in via public transportation, I'm thinking I'll stick to something I can bake in one pan, cover and bring in. But eclairs ARE on the "to do" list one of these days!

                                                  2. re: charmedgirl

                                                    The lemon bars sounds fantastic. I love them and I wouldn't think them inferior to brownies or anything fancier. People will always appreciate something simple that's extremely well made.

                                                    1. re: Roland Parker

                                                      The more I thought about it while running errands this afternoon, the more I was inclined towards this thinking as well. Nice to have some reinforcement!! I did a search on this board and found a few threads devoted to "the best" lemon bars. I think I'll pick one of those and hope for the best!

                                                      1. re: charmedgirl

                                                        I would definitely consider lemon bars fancier than brownies. I'm sure they will get rave reviews!

                                                    2. re: charmedgirl

                                                      I made Ina Garten's Lemon Bars. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                                      I was a little worried about them, because I had some trouble pressing the shortbread into the pan and forgot to chill it before baking it. Then, the disposable pan I used wasn't quite 9x13, so I had a bunch of filling left over which, when I cooked it on the stovetop, seemed a little bitter. Plus, with the wrong pan size, I had to guesstimate the cooking time. When they came out of the oven the top looked more cake-like, which was surprising since I was expecting more of a lemon curd-like look/texture. But I dusted the powdered sugar on top and hoped for the best.

                                                      (While reminding myself that THIS is why you don't try new things when serving others, but whatever.


                                                      Success! Lots of comments about how refreshing and not too sweet they were, and everyone at the meeting had seconds. The bottoms were a bit too brown, but I don't think it hurt them any. I'd definitely make this recipe again; it tasted great and any issues I had were due to my own failure to pay attention to detail.

                                                      1. re: charmedgirl

                                                        Always a win when something you're worried about comes out well! For me, paying attention is 75% of baking.

                                                        1. re: charmedgirl

                                                          It might come out better in a real pan since the disposable is much more thin. (Later, you could cut them and transfer to a disposable pan.)

                                                      2. Oh please do report back on the kouign amann! It's been on my to-do list for months and I was curious how the BA recipe.

                                                        1. Just a reminder that you can find a full recipe index of every month's baking recipes at the Recipe Index thread found here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/974196

                                                          I just posted May's recipes!

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                            Sorry, I'm new. Am I supposed to post links whenever I discuss a recipe in this thread?

                                                            1. re: IlanK

                                                              No, nothing like that; nothingswrong has taken it upon herself to compile whatever recipes are linked or provided after the monthly baking threads are through, so it's easier to find them after the fact.

                                                              1. re: IlanK

                                                                What Caitlin said.

                                                                Although if you'd like to include links to recipes, feel free.

                                                                If the recipe is your own, or you have no link to it, you can always type it out too.

                                                              2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                Thanks again for doing that! Given the wonkiness of CH's search function, I wonder if there is a way to have a permanent link to this.

                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                  I've just bookmarked it in my browser's CH folder.

                                                              3. Just made the CH Rustic Blueberry Tart recipe.....killer! I subbed 1/2 WW Pastry flour, cut the sugar in half, and subbed half the butter with Spectrum Organic Veg shortening. I make a lot of pastry, but this was one of the best tarts in recent memory!

                                                                1. Today is the boyfriend's birthday. He usually requests something with peanut butter and chocolate, but this year asked for a mixed berry pie after much contemplation.

                                                                  I made my new favorite all-butter pie dough. Mixed together blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries with a little flour and sugar.

                                                                  Since he'll be the only one eating it, I baked him two small pies in deep-dish mini pie pans (about 5" in diameter). One for tonight and one for tomorrow.

                                                                  Confession: this was my first time making a double-crust pie. My crust crimping technique can use a little help.

                                                                  They smell absolutely divine and are cooling now on the counter. They'll be served with vanilla bean ice cream.

                                                                  1. Two cakes for a friend's birthday, both from RLB's Cake Bible. Or actually, three cakes. I made RLB's Orange Glow Chiffon and promptly destroyed it when I inverted it to cool (the plop when it hit the counter was just heartbreaking, LOL). So, I had to put another cake together with ingredients I had in the house, and decided on her White Velvet Butter cake, with some orange zest and juice added. It turned out BEAUTIFULLY - the name is very apt! Frosted it with my new favorite cooked flour frosting (with orange juice instead of milk). Fabulous! It doesn't rise much, though, so next time I think I would make 1.5 times the recipe and do it in three 9" pans (or maybe even 8" for extra height). In this case, I split the two layers to increase the height slightly, but it was still fairly low.

                                                                    The second cake was a riff on RLB's Scarlet Empress, which is a charlotte-type cake where you line a mold with a sliced up jelly roll cake, then fill it with cream. For the jelly roll, I made her Biscuit Roulade (which turned out well but was VERY sweet), but instead of filling it with jam I used some whipped ganache. For the filling, I made cheesecake batter and then cooked it sous vide at 176 degrees for a couple of hours, then piped it into the mold, layered with dulce de leche. Popped it in the fridge and crossed my fingers!

                                                                    I unmolded it at the party and it was a HUGE hit. The cheesecake filling was super creamy - almost too much so, in fact. I would probably cook it at a slightly higher temp next time - 180 or maybe 185 - but the sous vide technique is GREAT for cheesecake, and it makes it possible to do really cool things with it (like use it to fill a charlotte, LOL!). I was a little bit short on spiral slices so I added a couple of strips of leftover cake at the base and I think that was a mistake from an aesthetic perspective - next time, I would take the small bit of cake I had left and make it into a smaller roulade to keep the design intact. Still, it's a gorgeous and impressive presentation, and really not hard at all to do.

                                                                    15 Replies
                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                      Wow, both cakes look fantastic. Great job!

                                                                      Maybe I'm a bit dense, but how do you sous vide cheesecake filling? And then get it into the cake mold?

                                                                      Regardless, I've never seen anything like that and I would be hovering over it impatiently if I saw it at a party, just waiting to dig in. I don't think you mucked up anything aesthetically.

                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                        I just made the batter and put it in a ziploc bag, and then submerged it in water to help get all the air out. It still tended to float in the water bath, so I eventually put a weight on the bag to keep it completely submerged. Cooked at 176, it thickens up but doesn't set until it gets cold, so I just cut off the corner of the bag while it was still warm and squeezed it right into the mold. Once it got cold, it set up nicely - not quite as firm as a normal cheesecake, but I think that was due to the temperature I chose. You could also put the batter in a glass jar or other vessel, anything that seals up and can be submerged in water.

                                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                                          I see. I was imagining the filling getting too thick to pour.

                                                                      2. re: biondanonima

                                                                        Those look fabulous! What lucky friends you have!

                                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                                          Wow, wow, wow! Super job on these! But I'm confused -- is the top cake that is sort of scalloped piping?

                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                            The sides of the top cake were piped with a medium-sized round tip - I just piped a generous dot and then used a small spoon to smear it a bit to one side, then piped the next dot on top of the smear. It sounds a lot more time-consuming than it was - it really didn't take long, and it was WAY less frustrating than trying to ice the sides smooth. I am TERRIBLE at smoothing the sides of cakes so I always try to pipe or do a soft, billowy look with peaks and swirls!

                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                Do you have a cake turner? That and an offset spatula are all you need!

                                                                                (BTW, beautiful cakes. I love that cook book but haven't been as brave as you to try so many different recipes! The chiffon cakes are amazing though.)

                                                                                1. re: Torina

                                                                                  Thank you! I do have a cake turner, and an offset spatula (along with every other decorating tool imaginable). Doesn't help. I just don't have a steady hand! I did a four-tier, octagonal wedding cake for a friend once and I nearly lost my shit trying to get the sides smooth.

                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                    An octagon sounds super tricky! I usually just try my best to center the cake (like a potter with his wheel) and spin, spin, spin away while holding the other hand steady.

                                                                                    In any case! You've found great, creative ways around the whole issue :)

                                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                Very beautiful!! In fact, the Scarlet Empress brings back memories of a dessert I made from an old issue of Bon Appetit (must have been as far back as the late 70's, I believe), called "French Pinwheel Cake". It also called for raspberry-jam filled cake slices, and the filling was a bavarian cream. I remember my cake ending up a bit tough and being thankful it soaked up some of the cream (there was also a raspberry sauce, which helped!). I really need to dig-up that recipe and try it again because I love your idea of using ganache to fill the jelly roll.

                                                                                1. re: lesliej

                                                                                  That is exactly what RLB's original recipe calls for, actually - Bavarian cream filling and raspberry sauce on the side. Her recipe is all over the internet so you might try her cake and see if you like itself better - IMO it wasn't at all tough.

                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                    I will do that (although I'm sure the texture of my cake had more to do with the baker :) ).

                                                                              2. Houston here, unless we get a juicy tropical depression/storm or small hurricane the oven will remain off until November.

                                                                                1. My hamburger buns turned out nice--smaller than store bought ones, but I figure they are for sloppy joes at a work pot-luck so small is just fine. The first batch didn't brown up so I added some sugar to the eggwhites I was brushing on them. I hope it doesn't make them too sweet!

                                                                                  It isn't baking, but I turned the dry cookies I made last week into individual lemon strawberry trifle like dishes. Cookies crumbled at the bottom, then strawberries, then roasted strawberry and lemon puree, then lemon curd folded into whipped cream, repeated to fill container. Yum! Though I always forget how rich cream is--it is light and fluffy, it shouldn't feel so heavy in my belly!

                                                                                  1. I baked a lovely cardamom cake from My Bombay Kitchen, which was last month's COTM. It's just bursting with flavor from a tablespoon of lightly bruised, and in my case freshly decorticated, cardamom seeds and has a lovely, slightly crunchy crust of sugar and sliced almonds, and a soft and moist crumb.

                                                                                    I especially commend this recipe to ms. buttertart's attention (and that of other cardamom lovers). The link below has a reprint from the book; I reduced the sugar by 1/3 cup, and found that to be a good decision.


                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                      Oddly enough I just made the ground meat curry Kheema from that book this weekend, Must make this.

                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                        You really need to make this one, pal. Also the crisp cashew wafers, which can be made from all kinds of nuts (I used almonds), and also have bruised cardamom. Super quick and simple, just bung it all in the FP and scoop onto baking sheets. They didn't spread out for me, but leaving out the flour (only 2 T) should maybe fix that. Lots o' commentary on these recipes here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/974169

                                                                                      2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                        I made that cake today. I'm going to try to post a picture of it tomorrow.

                                                                                        I have to say I'm surprised that my cake turned out twice as thick as yours. It's easily 2 1/2 - 3 high. I'm wondering why as I followed the same recipe as yours, although I kept the full amount of sugar.

                                                                                        It does taste lovely with a mild cardamom flavor. If anything I'd have liked a stronger cardamom flavor, so it's possible my pods may have been stale.

                                                                                        1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                          You used a 9-inch pan and your cake was over 2 1/2 inches thick? Wow. I used a pan ~9.5 inches, and I did fold gently so as to not deflate the batter. My cardamom was extremely fragrant, and the flavor really shone in the cake.

                                                                                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                            Here's two pictures.

                                                                                            When I made the cake the recipe called for cardamom seeds, and I had bought whole cardamoms and was crushing the pots in the mortar when I wondered if she really meant us to include the husks along with the black seeds? So I removed the husks and only used the black seeds. Did you include the husks in your cake?

                                                                                            I still enjoyed the cake very much. Ever so easy to bake, not too sweet and a nice buttery texture. I will make it again.

                                                                                            1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                              I'm pretty sure you aren't to include the husks. It was hard for me to crush the seeds in the mortar thing so I grind them slightly in the coffee grinder.

                                                                                              I don't know why your cake is taller than mine. Did you use the large size eggs called for? When I whip my eggs I have to do it twice longer than recipe calls for; how long do you whip yours?

                                                                                              Everyone I've served this cake to loves it.

                                                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                                                I beat the eggs for about 7 minutes, I think? Slightly longer than the 5 minutes required in the recipe.

                                                                                                I used large, but not extra large eggs.

                                                                                                It did take longer to bake in the oven. The recipe said 30-35 minutes, but my cake took 50 minutes before I felt comfortable pulling it out. It does imply the shorter height in Caitlin's pictures may be the "correct" height.

                                                                                                It is a lovely cake and I will make it again. I love the contrast between the sugary crust and the less sweet, buttery cake. I'll have to work on the cardamoms more carefully next time. The recipe said to bruise the seeds but perhaps grinding them will do the trick.

                                                                                      3. I'm appealing to all the fellow bakers out there:

                                                                                        On Sunday we are throwing a small BBQ (about 25 people including us) for my son's HS graduation. SInce I'm in charge of the potato salad and coleslaw, which will be made on Saturday, as well as vats of guacamole, which will be made on Sunday afternoon just before the guests arrive. I am trying to figure out some desserts that I can make on Friday that will be ok or better on Sunday, or that I can make quickly early on Sunday. They can't be anything that's refrigerated since the refrigerators will be overflowing with the salads and meat. The menu is ribs, pulled pork and brisket, plus Brunswick stew and all the salads. All suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

                                                                                        48 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                          I love Cook's Country (at least I think it's CC; might be Cook's Illustrated) Texas Sheet Cake. Super easy to make, serves an army, and it's delicious.

                                                                                          I'll send up prayers for good weather! Have fun.

                                                                                          1. re: soccermom13

                                                                                            Thanks. I have that book, and I'll check it out.

                                                                                          2. re: roxlet

                                                                                            This Strawberry Cake is easy and while it's not Strawberry Shortcake, the flavors are right on if you serve it with whipped cream. It's also a cake that holds for 2 to 3 days at room temperature. I baked it last night just before dinner for dessert.

                                                                                            Strawberry Cake
                                                                                            - preheat oven 350°F/butter 10-inch springform pan
                                                                                            6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
                                                                                            1 cup sugar
                                                                                            1 egg
                                                                                            1/2 cup buttermilk
                                                                                            1 teaspoon vanilla
                                                                                            1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
                                                                                            1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
                                                                                            1/2 teaspoon salt
                                                                                            16 oz. strawberries, sliced (I used 20 oz.)
                                                                                            2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar

                                                                                            Cream butter and sugar for 3 minutes until pale and fluffy. Add beaten egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix to combine.

                                                                                            In a separate bowl: mix flour, baking powder, salt - set aside. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Pour into prepared pan. Arrange sliced strawberries on top of batter and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.

                                                                                            Bake for 10 minutes at 350°F
                                                                                            Reduce oven temperature to 325°F and continue to bake for 50-55 minutes or until firm to touch.

                                                                                            It's simple to assemble.
                                                                                            Nice with whipped cream and extra sliced strawberries.
                                                                                            Serve with mixed berries and mint leaves for a garnish - add blackberries/raspberries/blueberries for another option.

                                                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                              That's interesting. It could be one of a couple of desserts. Don't think it would serve 25!

                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                haha, roxlet. no, certainly not 25; 4 for dinner's dessert last night and two for breakfast this morning. It's a dense cake and the strawberries bake to jammy goodness. I actually liked it better this morning without the extra whipped cream and berries... just plain cake with my morning cuppa.

                                                                                            2. re: roxlet

                                                                                              I always think of double crust fruit pies as something that can be made ahead and left at room temperature -- for one day at least, not totally sure about 2. You mentioned no fridge space, but what about freezer space? You could also make some homemade ice cream, either to serve alone or with pie if you went that route. Along the same lines, if freezer space is not an issue, you could whip up several batches of cookie dough, roll into balls or logs, depending, and then pop into the oven from the freezer on Sunday morning. Finally, it is not summery at all, but I know the Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread recipe is definitely better the longer it sits. Maybe a similar poundcake-like recipe would work?

                                                                                              ETA: found this thread which mentions a bunch of cakes that improve with age; maybe something here will help? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/476096

                                                                                              1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                Great ideas on that thread. Also, you might consider chocolate chip cookies and/or brownies (or other cookies/bars) - I find that most of them hold pretty well for a day or two and they're perfect for picnics, especially if there will be a lot of teenagers present. Much easier to just grab and eat than a slice of cake or pie.

                                                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                  Yes, not a lot of kids at this party. My husband wanted me to make cupcakes, but the problem is the storage.

                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                    Hm, could you make the cupcakes earlier in the week and freeze, then defrost and decorate on Sunday morning? If you have time to make frosting and decorate them that day I would think the cakes themselves would be fine after a short freeze.

                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                      I actually have done that in the past, but the problem is that my husband is always buying large quantities of meat, sealing and then freezing. I don't think there would be an inch of room, otherwise I would do that.

                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                        As a low-carber and new owner of a sous vide machine, I cannot possibly relate to that. ;)

                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                          Your husband's priorities are all wrong! Freezers are for for baked goods, not meat!

                                                                                                    2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                      Brownies age well. The bacardi rum cake actually needs to sit at least overnight and gets better as it ages (I do it as individual muffin tin cakes for a work potluck so as to avoid messy slicing).

                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                        All of your New Year's desserts would be possible,

                                                                                                    3. re: roxlet

                                                                                                      Roxlet, how about just doing a couple different flavors of Bundt or pound cakes? Kept tightly wrapped in foil or plastic, they only get moister and more flavorful with a couple days' rest. The last of the pound cake I've been obsessed with (Paula Deen) just got eaten yesterday after sitting on the counter for 2 days and it was definitely better than day one.

                                                                                                      For a crowd, you could do one double-chocolate Bundt (chocolate with chocolate chips, maybe a ganache over the top, or just powdered sugar?). One lemon (I know you like the CI lemon recipe). Maybe a cinnamon with streusel in it?

                                                                                                      Not the fanciest things in the world, but certainly easy to make and need zero fridge/freezer space. Also I think they're generally liked and would be well-received.

                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                        Yes, I have been mulling the bundt cake route since I have some very pretty pans. I was thinking of serving with some fresh berries and whipped cream to make them more festive. I make an apple cake that keeps exceptionally well, and maybe I could do a lemon, and chocolate too. Hmmmm.

                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                          Was also going to pipe in with a bundt suggestions..

                                                                                                        2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                          I was just going to mention the pound cake from Bon Appetit, Y'All. It's my favorite - you could serve it with strawberries and whipped cream to make it more festive.


                                                                                                        3. re: roxlet

                                                                                                          I like a variety so if you're making a few desserts I wouldn't do all cakes. The sheet cake is a good idea, I would also do a bar cookie. I like the 7-layer bars, (magic cookie, whatever else they call it, with graham cracker and butter crust and everything else layerd.) Keep them in the pan, covered in foil and cut the day of the party.

                                                                                                          Lemon squares might be a good option and if you don't have a fruit salad I would include one if you have room in the fridge. If you did have the room in your fridge I would suggest cheesecake bars or a cheesecake. Better the longer it sits. Any chance of using a neighbor's fridge?

                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                            I'm kind of getting to this point -- pecan tassies, brownies, and some sort of pound cake served with berries. My son mentioned my apple cake, which does improve with sitting. Still thinking...

                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                              I was thinking brownies and ice cream!
                                                                                                              but certainly on the pound cake route... Candy's Chocolate Pound cake is 'best' and it truly improves the next day! I can never wait.

                                                                                                              advice? keep it simple. one dessert.

                                                                                                              or, a fruit salad drizzled with honey; with yogurt on the side.

                                                                                                              big basket of cookies

                                                                                                              big basket of assorted candy bars! who can resist? - the graduating senior can choose his fave candy bars for the big basket -

                                                                                                              huge bowl of 'm and m' candy pieces!
                                                                                                              chocolate covered raisins.
                                                                                                              nuts and dates.
                                                                                                              yogurt covered fruit candies.

                                                                                                              make some more's with graham crackers, chocolate candy bars and toasted marshmallow

                                                                                                              wrap in foil and throw on the grill: banana - slit and filled chocolate pieces and mini marshmallows


                                                                                                              this would probably take too much time: grilled fruit; love grilled pineapple slices; grilled peach halves; grilled apricots with blue cheese and walnuts

                                                                                                              haven't thought of this in years: remember the fruit dip made with 8 oz. cream cheese and one jar of marshmallow fluff and 1/2 tsp. vanilla? a BBQ staple!

                                                                                                            2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                              Cakes with an oil base keep longer and stay moister than butter based. Carrot cake comes to mind, though without cream cheese frosting if no refrigeration for a long time. You could Bundt it and dust with powdered sugar.

                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                Some crisps are really good in summertime and you could make a large pan of them. You could have some nice ice cream to top them off. It is a casual dessert which might go with your menu. Pineapple upside down cakes always keep well over a day or two, or any upside down cake. I like comfort food and do find guests appreciate the retro dishes.

                                                                                                                1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                  I suggested a crisp, but my husband nixed it. I love comfort food too!

                                                                                                                2. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                  Canadian Living often has great suggestions for BBQ.

                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                    Congratulations on your son's HS graduation. It's a very special time.

                                                                                                                    In addition to the suggestions you've already received, what about making a variety of cookies and serving it with ice cream and fresh berries? Perfect for summer weather.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                                                      Thank you! It's a happy/sad time.

                                                                                                                      I'm sort of partially in the direction of cookies. I just baked brownies and pecan tassies that are small enough to be easily storable in the freezer. With ice cream I have the no freezer space problem. I will probably make at least one additional cookie of some sort, and then make a pound cake to serve with berries or a fruit salad. I'm still searching!

                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                        What about some fruit galettes? Hand-held pies?

                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                          I think it's too many people for that, but I adore them!

                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                            I thought so, but they would look nice on the buffet table. I have a machine to make the hand-held pies but have never used it yet. Bought it last year. I had good intentions.

                                                                                                                          2. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                            Would be lovely! But roxlet would need an army of helpers to prep those things.

                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                              I don't need an army -- just a couple of the wonderful bakers who hang out on this thread -- and maybe Ruthie789"s machine!

                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                doughnuts! there's a machine for that, too. ;^)

                                                                                                                                waffles...a chocolate batter. with jams/syrups/whipped cream/sprinkles/ice cream for diy

                                                                                                                                if you're liking fruit; clafouti is easy and three can be baked in the morning to serve 25.

                                                                                                                                Serve cream puffs; bake ahead. Fill with whipped cream/custard on the day... or, profiteroles with ice cream.

                                                                                                                                madeleines to go with your pecan tassies and brownies. peanut butter cookies dipped in chocolate are also a fave.

                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                  I would totally help if I could! I actually like making hand pies, though I've never had to make more than a couple dozen at one time. Seems like it would be something fun to do while drunk--err, I mean while having a drink with your girl friends.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                    It's a Wolfgang Puck confection. I bought it watching the Shopping Channel. I just cannot watch it without getting drawn in on the kitchen goods. Nothing better than cooking with a bunch of bakers.

                                                                                                                          3. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                            Both tassies and brownies are done and crammed into our over-full freezers. I have decided to make Ina Garten's lemon pound cake and have my husband pick up a flat of raspberries at the Restaurant Depot to serve with the cake. I think that will be refreshing after the richness of pulled pork, brisket and ribs. I may make one additional cookie that doesn't have nuts in it, although no one who is coming to this has a nut allergy as far as I know.

                                                                                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                              Sounds perfect, don't fuss too much!

                                                                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                Lemon and raspberries a perfect combination.

                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                  Oh I love that lemon cake, great choice!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                      It went very well! The lemon cakes were perfect two days later, and delicious served with fresh raspberries and whipped cream. They disappeared as did the tassies. Just a couple of brownie bites left at the end of the party, which is how I like it!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                        Indeed, nothing better than no leftovers,, but I'm not surprised that it was all great!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                    I did the lemon pound cake today. They have a lemon sugar syrup poured over them, which makes them super moist. I wrapped them in waxed paper and put them in plastic bags until Sunday, when I will glaze them.

                                                                                                                                    A shout out here for the King Arthur Flour bread bags. I bought a package of them last year about this time, and used them all year. I find that when I used to freeze a loaf of bread after slicing it, the slices never fit properly in the zip lock bags. The bread bags are perfect, and also great for things like bagels. I really recommend these bags, and the amount you get is huge. It will be at least another year before I have to buy them again.

                                                                                                                                  2. I had some kerrygold butter, and went in a similar viennoiserie direction, pain au chocolat! There are some ugly ducklings among them, so these are the pretty ones.

                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                        My favorite sweet thing ever! Yours look great. Send the ugly ones my way.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: P_penelope

                                                                                                                                            Thanks, I made them for my husband to bring into work. They have to give presentations about their findings out in the field, and the person presenting usually brings in a treat, so he had the fanciest treat of all, with lots of chocolate.

                                                                                                                                        1. I was busy all weekend and no kouigns were amann'd ;-) Next weekend, maybe. I WILL do these.

                                                                                                                                          1. Made the cookie cups from this recipe http://www.spoonfulofflavor.com/2014/... this morning in mini muffin tins. They are for my book club tomorrow night, so I will make the filling and assemble tomorrow afternoon. I will plate them up with some of the rhubarb cream cheese squares that I made on the week-end - they are holding up beautifully in the fridge!

                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: cheesymama

                                                                                                                                              How did the cups turn out? I've tried to make cookies cups like that before, but they puffed up too much to be useful.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                They totally puffed up, but I used my teaspoon measure to push down some of the cookie (while still warm) and get a decent indent for the filling.

                                                                                                                                            2. My mother gifted me this gorgeous cast iron mini Bundt pan a while back. I've never used it, as it weighs like 10 lbs. and I was worried it would be hard to unmold or wouldn't bake evenly or something.

                                                                                                                                              My newly widowed neighbor dropped off a shopping bag full of oranges from her tree last night. So I decided to make mini Bundts with the intention of gifting her one.

                                                                                                                                              I used my favorite lemon cake recipe, subbing in the oranges. Cakes released with ease.

                                                                                                                                              I did have a mishap where I used a half recipe but forgot to halve the milk. Didn't realize til it was too late. The bf heard me cursing in the kitchen and said "Just bake it anyway." So I did. Surprisingly, the cakes came out totally fine. WTF?

                                                                                                                                              Glazed out of the oven. One cake missing for requisite taste testing. Not sure I like the orange flavor. The bf thinks they're out of this world delicious, so maybe it's just me.

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                Ooh, pretty! I like the ones on the left especially. I can understand not wanting to use a cast iron Bundt pan, but I seriously lack upper arm strength.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                  I've seen that pan, and these look great!

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                    She was going to throw it away! I happened to be over at her house and went "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"

                                                                                                                                                    Poor mom has bad arthritis in her hands and could barely lift it up, so it's been sitting in her cupboards for years and was brand new. I've wanted one like that for ages but couldn't bring myself to spend $40 or whatever on it. I love it!

                                                                                                                                                2. Joy the Baker has a recent post on the most beutiful looking sandwich buns. Check it out.


                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. Calling all baking 'hounds!

                                                                                                                                                      I've been asked to bake a cake for a birthday party this weekend. White cake with a white frosting. Last year, this guy wanted white cake with cream cheese frosting, so I may do a repeat.

                                                                                                                                                      First question: the cake needs to serve at least 25. How big should I make it? Should I do a layer cake or sheet?

                                                                                                                                                      Second question: while the cake last year was really good and the bday boy was happy, I can't remember exactly which recipe I used. I believe it was KAF's tender white cake, but I recall tweaking the recipe enough that it turned into something else entirely. Unfortunately I didn't write it down with the changes. Anyone have a white cake recipe they can really vouch for?


                                                                                                                                                      32 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                        I just made the White Velvet Butter Cake from the Cake Bible - it was excellent. I did tweak it to include some orange juice and zest, but I think it would have been equally good as written. Personally, though, when I am making just white cake with white frosting, I prefer a recipe that includes either buttermilk or sour milk, just for a little hit of flavor - I find white cakes too sweet otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                        You can do either a layer cake or a sheet cake - I prefer layer cakes myself, as I think they're more impressive and give you more options for decorating. You'll need a fairly large one for 25 people, though - four full-sized 9" layers should do it. That will make a nice tall cake for a gorgeous presentation!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                          Thanks. I Googled that White Velvet cake recently and it does sound good. Maybe I will do a trial run today.

                                                                                                                                                          So when you say "full-sized" layers, how tall do you mean? I have several 9" round cake pans, 2ish inches high. Would four of those be enough?

                                                                                                                                                          I've never done more than a 3 layer cake. I prefer a layered round to a sheet cake aesthetically and I agree it makes for a nicer presentation. Last thing I want though is to show up with too little cake for the party! That would be awful. I also don't want my cake to collapse on the long drive over. Transportation is my second biggest worry right now. It will be just me alone for a 30 mile drive through L.A. on the freeway. Stop and go traffic has been the demise of a layer cake for me in the past.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                            The White Velvet Cake makes just two 9" layers, so you'd want to double the recipe. This particular cake doesn't rise much, either, so even with four layers your cake won't be ridiculously tall - I made it in two 9"x2" round pans and the final layers rose to somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 up the side - I'd say each layer was maybe 1 1/4" thick. Here's a page with some photos of a finished White Velvet - it looks like this person doubled the recipe to make four layers - so you can get an idea of how high they'll end up: http://funwidfud.blogspot.com/2013/01...

                                                                                                                                                            For transportation, I usually buy a board and a box to make sure the cake is secure and protected - you want one that's a bit bigger than the cake. I used a 14" board and box for the one I just made and it was fine - I could have gone with a 12" as well, but a 10" would have been too close to the sides of the cake for comfort. Put a bamboo skewer through the center of the cake to secure the layers if you're worried about them sliding off, but that's usually unnecessary for a cake of this size, unless you use a very slippery/melty filling between the layers.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                              Great, thanks. I'm looking at cake boxes online... I do have a few of these but not sure if the cake will fit in them once assembled and frosted: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/wilki...

                                                                                                                                                              I also have cake boxes that are 12" square, but again, not sure they'll be high enough.

                                                                                                                                                              I've never thought to stick a skewer through the cake!

                                                                                                                                                              I'm going to do a trial run of the white velvet. Thanks for the link.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                Yeah, if you're going to do four layers and any type of decorating on top I'd be worried that would be too low. I usually use white cardboard boxes with a hinged lid - that way you can cut the lid off or prop it open if the cake is too high.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                  Where do you get the white boxes? I imagine that would be perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                    Not biondanonima, but speaking as someone who uses white bakery-style cake boxes and cardboard cake rounds whenever I need to transport a cake or tart, I usually buy them at a local cake-supply place, but have also bought them at Michael's craft stores, which has a whole cake/candy supply department.

                                                                                                                                                                    For sure, the most stable way is what biondanonima suggests, getting cardboard cake boards the same diameter as your box width, and at least couple of inches wider than the cake. That way, the cardboard can't slip around in the box. If you smear a bit of icing on the center of the board before putting your cake down, it will help anchor it.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                      Ditto! We have a cake supply store right around the corner, but it's rather pricey, so I try to buy these things at Michael's (or order online) when possible. The cake store is great for last minute needs, though!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks, I have never seen cake boxes at my local Michaels for some reason. I've checked a few times.

                                                                                                                                                                        There is a cake supply store but it's on the other side of L.A. and I probably won't have time to get over there tomorrow or Saturday.

                                                                                                                                                                        I do buy cake boxes and containers online, but they won't fit this cake, and I just checked and can only buy big ones in bulk (at $60 a case) which I can't afford and don't want at the moment.

                                                                                                                                                                        I do smear the icing beneath the cake, and use a board that fits snugly in the box usually. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                          You might be surprised at the baking supplies that the dollar stores carry.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                            Mine doesn't have any! They do have large platters though (glass and plastic) that are great for transporting or bringing to a potluck so you don't have to worry about getting it back.

                                                                                                                                                                            The only other place I can think of is The Container Store. I may have to pop in and see if I can find a box in the right size.

                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for all the help everyone!

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                              I'm kind of surprised you've had no luck at Michael's, as the ones I've been in have had substantial cake-supply sections chock-full of Wiltons products, but definitely including boxes, etc. Might be worth calling and asking what's up.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                Ohh, yes, they do have Wilton supplies. Pans, decorating stuff, and some of the smaller boxes. Just no larger ones.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm sure the selection varies by store. I've not needed boxes larger than 12", and I imagine the very big/tall ones are easier to find via mail order or at cake-supply specialists that cater toward those baking wedding cakes and such (my local shop is quite small but has a great selection of boxes and such, as well as chocolate).

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                I'm pretty sure I've seen those in the container store. They're always much more expensive than they should be, but then you can buy only one!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                  I found one at the Container Store website that's 14" square and 7" high. It's like $6.

                                                                                                                                                                                  The problem now will be trying to get over there today or tomorrow... It's 15 miles away, which in L.A. speak is like driving to another state.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                  I have bought cake boxes from a pastry shop.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                I've found cake supplies as local craft and party stores. IIRC Wilton lists where to buy their products locally and those locations almost always have cake rounds and boxes.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: rasputina

                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, you're right, they do... I just can't seem to find any Wilton boxes that are big enough! I already have a stack of 12" round and square boxes in the pantry but they will be too small.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm tempted to drop over to the UPS store nearby and just pick up a moving box, line it with wax paper or something, and transport it in there.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                    Good idea. They're more interested in the cake than the box!

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                      That's what I did when I had to transport a wedding cake--I just cut down the box and cut holes for handles and put plastic wrap over the top. It worked really well.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                    I would fear that a double recipe of that cake, with 4 9" inch layers, will become uneven and topple, even if it is skewered. That would be a very tall cake and difficult to slice!

                                                                                                                                                                    If you can get 12" in pans, a double recipe would make two cakes that you could stack together and would be beautiful.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: milklady

                                                                                                                                                                      As I mentioned in my post, this cake doesn't rise much - as long as one trims the layers to even out the surfaces four layers should pose no problem. A 12" 2-layer cake is going to be very low and not nearly as nice a presentation.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                        That is not my experience (I have made 4 layer cakes with 9 inch pans regular recipes that make cakes nearly 2" high that have indeed toppled), but I'm glad it works for you. I look forward to hearing how it goes for the original poster.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: milklady

                                                                                                                                                                          I just ordered two 12" pans from Amazon. I may just go with 2 or 3 layers of 12" cake instead of 4 of 9".

                                                                                                                                                                          Biondanonima is a gorgeous cake decorator and knows her stuff, but I am less experienced at decorating and am quite sure my 4 layer cake would fall apart, lol. I feel safer making a wider, shorter cake.

                                                                                                                                                                          And let's not get started on my decorating skills. Ugh. I know I can make an excellent tasting cake, but they aren't always the prettiest things in the world.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                            12" cakes have their own challenges - you may need a flower nail or something else metal to put in the center to make sure that the batter cooks through fully. A longer bake time at a lower temperature may help as well.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                              I'm going to try a longer time at lower temp. Fingers crossed it all works out smoothly.

                                                                                                                                                                              I'm planning to do the cake layers on Saturday and frost Sunday morning, then let it sit in the fridge til the party. Not sure what time it's at yet (afternoon or night). If it's in the afternoon I'll probably just frost the night before so it's all nice and set by the time I leave the house.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                How did it turn out?

                                                                                                                                                                                I made a 2 layer 12" cake this weekend. I will try to post a photo later.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: milklady

                                                                                                                                                                                  I posted below, but I ended up doing a 4 layer 12" cake. Each layer was about 1.5" thick once baked (filled the pans about 1/2 way with batter).

                                                                                                                                                                                  The cakes took about 22-24 minutes each to bake. They were perfectly cooked in the centers without the edges getting dark or tough or crisp.

                                                                                                                                                                                  The resulting cake weighed like 10 lbs! But it was impressive in terms of sheer size, and once it was cut into, everyone came scrambling into the kitchen for a slice. King Arthur Flour's Tender White Cake recipe is wonderful; I use vanilla bean paste in the batter for those pretty specks. Frosted it with a cream cheese frosting. It was delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes! I baked lower, at 335 I believe. Set the timer for 10 minutes, rotated pans, then set it for 10 more and watched it for the last few minutes until they looked done.

                                                                                                                                                                  3. I baked fougasse with bittersweet chocolate chunks, toasted hazelnuts, dried sour cherries, and orange zest using a recipe in David Lebovitz's new book. Nice breakfast/tea-time treat.

                                                                                                                                                                    More details in this post: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9775...

                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                      You are quite the baker Caitlin, all pictures that you post look delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                        Thank you, Ruthie, that's very kind. I love taking inspiration from and sharing it with the incredibly talented and accomplished bakers that hang out here!

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Strawberry Rhubarb upside down cake. The rhubarb patch has been very slow to mature after our first round. Only 9 stalks this week - 3 cups diced. I used half for another batch of orange rhubarb pecan muffins, then paired the last 1.5 cups with about 2 cups diced strawberries for the upside down cake. Added 2 tsp. cornstarch to compensate for the extra moisture, still used the mix of brown/white sugar & cinnamon with the fruit.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. here's a mini-baking rant - I got a gift card from Amazon, so I went to look at baking cookbooks. Half of the top 10 cookbooks were 'dump cake' books. Really people?

                                                                                                                                                                        and unranting, I made sourdough English muffins yesterday. They're really easy.

                                                                                                                                                                        11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: joycebre

                                                                                                                                                                            I had to look up what a dump cake is, and I don't really understand the need for more than one book about them.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                              I don't understand the need for even one book about them. Look at one recipe on the internet, vary the mix or the dump. That's it, you're done. And apparently people are paying MONEY for these books, since I wasn't looking in the free section. I guess I should write a 'cookbook'. (Meaning something where I don't actually have to cook all the things)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: joycebre

                                                                                                                                                                                Today I saw an infomercial for a dump cake book. It features an older woman going "Just dump, bake, and eat!" and shows her pouring a package of frozen fruit into a baking dish, then a box of cake mix, then a can of soda over the top.

                                                                                                                                                                                It also shows a reenactment of what it's like to REALLY bake from scratch: a young single mother with a screaming baby, hand beater in one hand, wooden spoon in the other, flour and batter flying everywhere, her hair all soaked with sweat and flustered.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                  Blech, soda? I'm not anti soda, but baking or cooking with soda really bothers me, plus wouldn't that be really sweet with the sugar in the cake mix and the sugar in the soda?

                                                                                                                                                                                  But you do have to love the infomercial version of real cooking, everything is always "what a mess". I remember one for some sort of egg cracking device that had a poor woman helplessly digging through her bowl for all the shell pieces. If that happens every time, you're doing it wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                    "If that happens every time, you're doing it wrong."

                                                                                                                                                                                    Lol, yes. I've never seen that infomercial; sounds like a winner!

                                                                                                                                                                                    I've never done a dump cake with a can of soda, but I've seen recipes for it online. Or, rather, "recipes."

                                                                                                                                                                                    I have made a dump cake once. There was another thread I shared about this on, for camping recipes. When I was in boarding school years ago, we went on a camping trip deep in the COLD mountains of Utah. After a few loooong days of hiking and hunger, we were rewarded with a dump cake for dessert after our meager dinner. The adult chaperone took out a cast iron skillet, poured in a big can of peaches with juice, then sprinkled a box of cake mix all over the top. Covered it and stuck it on the campfire. 30 minutes later, it had all melded into this delicious but very very sweet cobbler of sorts.

                                                                                                                                                                                    As a starving teenager who hadn't had sugar in about a year, it was fantastic. Like the best thing I'd ever tasted.

                                                                                                                                                                                    So I tried to recreate it in my home oven a year or two ago, just baking at 350 til done. While it wasn't inedible, it was really cloyingly sweet and lacking in the flavor/texture department. I think we ate maybe 1/4 of the pan and tossed it. Wasn't worth the effort to chew.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Then again, I happen to like cake mix cakes. I also like the taste of Cool Whip. Comparing them to homemade cake and real whipped cream is like comparing apples and bananas though. They are different beasts IMO and shouldn't be used interchangeably.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                      I've got nothing against cake mixes, sometimes you need cake, quickly. Pie crust mixes on the other hand...

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                        I've never tried a pie crust mix. I bought one years ago and it just sat in my cupboard til I finally donated it with other items to a food pantry. It was a Betty Crocker "Just Add Water" crust. I couldn't wrap my head around it. They also had a just add water pizza crust. You add water to the mix, then spread directly in a pan. That one I *really* can't wrap my head around.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                          That's how the old Chef Boyardee pizza mix crust happened. It sure tasted good in 1967, ha.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                            Really? Interesting! I guess I shouldn't knock it 'til I've tried it. There must be a reason it's on shelves, aside from convenience. Maybe I will give it a go one of these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: joycebre

                                                                                                                                                                                  There's a book at our second hand bookstore which is all about eggs. But it doesn't look like a comprehensive mayo/meringue/etc book. It looks more like, "put an egg on it". Which is pretty much all I need to know.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Just made Cranberry Nut Cofffee Cake. I've been making this recipe since I was a kid, always great.

                                                                                                                                                                              However, I subbed Greek yogurt for the sour cream and slivered almonds for the chopped walnuts. It tastes great but the batter wasn't strong enough to hold the cranberry (it uses canned whole cranberry sauce) and nuts. The nuts and cranberry all sank to the bottom.

                                                                                                                                                                              It should have a layer of cranberry in the middle and cranberry on the top with the nuts. But as you can see most of the nuts sank to the bottom with the cranberry. Anyone know why the Greek yogurt changed the structure of the batter?

                                                                                                                                                                              11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                                                                                                Can't answer your question, but the cake looks delicious nonetheless!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                                                                                                  Do you have a recipe for this that you are willing to share, it is calling to me, looks good.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                    Here's the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Cranberry Nut Coffee Cake

                                                                                                                                                                                    ½ cup butter
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 cup sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                    2 eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 teaspoon baking powder
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 teaspoon baking soda
                                                                                                                                                                                    2 cups flour
                                                                                                                                                                                    ½ teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 cup sour cream
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 teaspoon almond extract
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 ½ cups whole cranberry sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                    ½ cup chopped walnuts

                                                                                                                                                                                    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch tube pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Cream butter and sugar. Add unbeaten eggs 1 at a time. Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream ending with dry ingredients. Add almond extract.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Spoon half the batter into greased tube pan. Spread ½ of cranberry sauce evenly over batter. Top with remaining batter and then remaining cranberry sauce. Sprinkle top with nuts. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until done.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Cool in pan 5 minutes then turn onto rack and cool another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare icing.

                                                                                                                                                                                    ¾ cup confectioners sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                    ½ teaspoon almond extract
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 to 2 tablespoons warm water

                                                                                                                                                                                    Combine and drizzle over top of warm cake, letting some spill down sides.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you, inspired by your picture, even with the fruit falling to the bottom, I want to make this cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                        Was thinking about this overnight. I think I noticed that when I mixed the yogurt into the batter it started to react with the baking soda/powder pretty quickly, aerating the batter. I don't recall the sour cream doing that. So it could be that air made the batter too light to hold the cranberry filling. Anyway, if you use sour cream you should be okay.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                                                                                                          I will stick to your original recipe. I am anxious to make it.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                            Also want to note that I have a smaller tube pan. It's not the 10-inch size. It's old and I think it's either an 8 or 9-inch size. So if you have a bigger pan it will cook quicker and be more shallow.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                                                                                                              I can't wait to make it, this weekend. We are painting the kitchen, it's a mess right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                                                                                                    What is the fat content of the Greek yogurt versus the sour cream that you usually use? Perhaps it was too thick, I find Greek yogurt denser, heavy, maybe this is why the items fell to bottom.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                      The Greek yogurt has 1/3 the calories as the sour cream and much less fat, 4 grams vs. 45 grams. I'm guessing less fat made the structure softer/less sturdy?

                                                                                                                                                                                      Well, still tasted great and saved some calories so I'd probably do it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I have decided brownies are the most evil food.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Baked a 9" x 13" pan last night.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Half of it is already gone between the boyfriend and I. It's noon. My justification is they're only like 1/2" thick.

                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                        Errr.... Betty Crocker :/

                                                                                                                                                                                        While I eat them in delicious shame, that Sinead O'Connor song plays in my head. "Nooooothing compaaaaares to yoooou."

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                          I'll support you in this. The brownie recipe in my mom's old orange Betty Crocker binder is darn good: fudgy with a crackley top. Heck yeah.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Just came back from a trip to Wisconsin. It was my nephew's birthday and I volunteered to make him a birthday cake. He said he liked chocolate, so initially I thought of chocolate cupcakes filled with whipped cream and topped with a chocolate ganache glaze and a cherry.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Then my mother heard I was baking and she pleaded for me to make a jelly roll. She said they didn't have jelly rolls in Madison. My sister in law said if I was going to make a jelly roll her mom would love a lemon one.

                                                                                                                                                                                      So to make everyone happy I made a Raspberry Jelly and Lemon Cream Roulade for the moms, and a Swiss Chocolate Roll (chocolate cake, whipped cream, ganache, pretty much the same thing I was going to make as cupcakes) for the boy. Everyone at the party was happy. Quite happy. Let's just say I have a lot of new friends now in Wisconsin.

                                                                                                                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                                        Those look really good! I love jelly rolls and cake rolls and never make them. You've inspired me.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Jpan99

                                                                                                                                                                                          Here's my recipe for Lemon Roulade which includes a step-by-step slideshow.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The filling in this is lemon cream, but you can substitute any flavor jelly you like, for a jelly roll. I like raspberry preserves with a squirt of fresh lemon juice to perk it up. For the one I made in Wisconsin, I covered half the cake with the lemon cream and the other half with the raspberry preserves for a nice flavor combination.


                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                                            I need to correct this recipe somewhat. In Wisconsin I peeled off the parchment paper before rolling the cake in the towel and I think that worked better than rolling the cake with the parchment on it. A little less wear on the cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Seems like I learn something new each time I bake. It's how I learn.

                                                                                                                                                                                            When I get a chance, I'll add the parchment thing to the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                                          Pretty cakes, handsome nephew!

                                                                                                                                                                                          Very nice of you to accommodate. Had I been there, I would have had a slice of each.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                                              So pretty! And so impressive: you don't see jelly rolls much any more..

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks RS. Right now, it's my favorite type of cake to make. People really like them.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                                                Aww, thanks. I can almost taste them!

                                                                                                                                                                                                They are very pretty. I've never made OR eaten one, but I know I would love, love, love them. Putting this on my to-do list ASAP.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                                              The jelly roll needs to make a resurgence in popularity, I am tired of cupcakes this is a great alternative.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                I agree Ruthie. Cupcakes, IMHO have had way too long a run in overhyped popularity. Jelly Rolls draw oohs and ahhs and they're pretty simple to make.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Used to watch my Mom roll hers but have never attempted making one, although I would like to.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's fun, hope you will give it a try. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                            3. ARGH! I just put a rhubarb buckle in the oven (recipe here:
                                                                                                                                                                                              http://food52.com/blog/6689-cory-schr...) and realised as i was putting everything away that I forgot the baking soda! What do you think? fatal error? what will happen??

                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                Is there any leavening? The worst that could happen is that it could be a bit denser than usual. You'll be ok.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 tsp of baking powder.. my mother just told me that it would be terrible and wouldn't rise, and I should make another one now! But I peaked in , and it looks like it's rising a bit..

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh, I was thinking you had no leavening. It should be fine, I think. The soda's in there because of the buttermilk, so you might lose a bit of leavening oomph, but I bet it'll come out. It would be a shame to waste the rhubarb!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks.. it looks a bit flat, but the test will be tomorrow AM when I serve it at brunch! If it's terrible.. I have cookies in the freezer..
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Smells good, that's for sure!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ice cream on top of the buckle is my suggestion to your plight!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks Ruthie! As it happens, it was still really good, so I can recommend it. Very moist. But ice cream (or whipped cream) on top can hide a multitude of sins!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have that book, so potential leavening issue aside, I look forward to hearing about the flavor. The blueberry lemon buckle in there is great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                3. I made four different kinds of no bake pies. All of them are fairly low-brow as far as pies go, and since I didn't bake them I'm not sure I can post them here ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anyway--I did make two pie crusts. One was a pretty standard vanilla wafer crust, the other was a ginger snap crust that didn't work the way it was supposed to, so I kept adding more and more things until it worked. So it is ginger snap, oatmeal, nilla wafer crust.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Inside two are no-bake cheese cake with Greek yogurt cheese and confectioner's sugar mixed with lemon and cool whip (oh, yeah!) and topped with fresh blueberries cooked into a compote, one is a jello and ice cream pie, and one is just ice cream, and will be topped with meringue for a faux baked Alaska.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  They are all mini pies--and they are all following recipes in various cookbooks of mine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. neighbor: I'm making soup; come for dinner.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    me: I have apples; I'll bake a pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    cooked a sauce of puree of strawberries, rhubarb, and sugar. we spread the leftovers on toast this morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I love the edging on your pie crust, Cynsa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Me too! The whole crust looks great. Love the crunch from a sprinkling of coarse sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. For Shavous this past week, I made cheese noodle kugel-
                                                                                                                                                                                                      not low calorie since I used farmer cheese, sour cream, milk, and eggs, crushed pineapple and raisins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Would you mind sharing your recipe? Sounds wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I modified recipe from Jewish Cooking in America by Joan Nathan-
                                                                                                                                                                                                          page 281
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Noodle Kugel Served at the American Embassy in Rome

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I used 2 eggs -omitted other dried fruit and slivered almonds-added canned crush pineapple.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          there are other good recipes in her book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I usually checkout the following for recipes-it is from an older group that I had joined when I first started going online.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: jpr54_1

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Uh oh. I haven't had, or even thought of, noodle kugel since g'ma died, nearly 30 years ago. Now I want some.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                                                                                                            It is delicious and easy to put together-
                                                                                                                                                                                                            I enjoy making traditional Jewish dishes- makes me feel good and to also remember my mom-m.i.l.-

                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Boysenberry pie with boysenberries from the backyard and a leaf lard pie crust.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Where does one buy leaf lard? Kate McDermott of Art of the Pie recommends it, is Tenderflake lard comparable?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I order it from Dietrich Meat's in PA and have it shipped to me. Less $$ than the local options I have which can be as high as $10 for a cup of leaf lard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: emily

                                                                                                                                                                                                                What is the difference between leaf lard and a box of lard? I have never seen leaf lard in Montreal, but we can buy boxed lard, Tenderflake. Maybe it would be available at some of the city markets.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  From what I understand, leaf lard is the fat from around the pig's kidneys and is considered the highest grade and isn't very porky-tasting. Great for pastry. It's usually non-hydrogenated, as well. The boxed lard in the supermarket is usually hydrogenated, though I know nothing about Tenderflake. Our standard grocery store lard is Farmer John - my mom used it when I was a kid for her pie crusts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A quick internet search says that Tenderflake lard is not hydrogenated! This is great news for you...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Most boxed, commercial lard is partially hydrogenated, which makes it inedible if you're trying to avoid frankenfood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Some type of local leaf lard might (?) be of better quality than your Tenderflake, but I'm betting the Tenderflake might not be too bad!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My Mom always made her pies from Tenderflake. I hate foods that have been tampered with, thank you for letting me know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My mom too, and I do as well, when I can get it. It seems to me the packages used to say leaf lard on them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Ruthie789

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Leaf lard is the lard from around the kidneys. Sometimes you can find it already rendered, but most often you have to render it yourself (which is actually very easy). Leaf lard has an extra clean flavor (no porkiness) and it produces fabulously textured baked goods. The boxed lard you can buy in the US can come from anywhere on the pig, is usually hydrogenated and not particularly good. I hear Tenderflake is excellent though - we can't get it here, though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For those in the US, you can mail order leaf lard from Flying Pigs farm: http://flyingpigsfarm.com/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For some reason, they're allowed to sell it rendered at farmers' markets but not by mail. However, they do grind it for you, which makes it very easy to render. And they even include rendering instructions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Chocolate olive oil cookies made with cocoa, white whole wheat flour and turbinado sugar. These were the leader of the pack of winners back at the Christmas baking frenzy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cocoa (Chocolate) Olive Oil Crinkle Cookies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Makes 1 dozen cookies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What you’ll need:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    30 g (6 Tablespoons) natural cocoa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    60 ml (4 Tablespoons) extra virgin organic olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    90 g (1/2 cup) raw cane sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 egg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    75g (1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons) whole-wheat pastry flour (can substitute all-purpose here)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/4 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    30 g (1/4 cup) confectioner’s sugar for decoration

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The procedure:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Whisk together the cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Whisk together the olive oil, sugar and instant espresso powder until well combined. Beat the egg with the vanilla extract lightly and add it to the olive oil mixture.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Place dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to firm up; this makes rolling the cookie dough into balls easier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Place confectioner’s sugar in a shallow bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Roll dough into balls (about a tablespoon amount per ball); then roll each ball in the confectioner’s sugar, making sure all parts of the ball are covered. Place dough on the cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart. Use hands to lightly press down on the balls to flatten slightly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bake for 8 – 10 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. Cookies will crack open while baking and when done will still look a bit shiny in the cracks. Let the cookies sit on the sheet for 5 minutes to firm up slightly before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Ooooh, I finally made something that I'm actually pretty proud of how it turned out! I made a buttermilk/sourdough bread dough and then made three mini loaves with a cinnamon swirl in one, and two with a lemon ginger swirl, and one large loaf just plain. I shared them with my sister, brother in law, and nieces and they all said it was good, except one niece who is 10 months old and just ate hers all up with no comment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Well. This was Godzilla cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I ended up using KAF's Tender White Cake since I know it's deliciously light and fluffy. Frosted with a cream cheese frosting and I made cooked flour frosting for piping.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was so paranoid it wouldn't be enough, so I ended up doing FOUR 12" layers, each about 1.5" thick. We went through half the cake at the party, so there will be plenty of leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'd like to be the first to say that I SUCK AT DECORATING cakes. But I've never had a cake go over so well. Every single person at the party but one stopped me to say it was so good. 5 people told me I need to open a bakery or make wedding cakes. The host of the party took me aside and thanked me profusely, saying she couldn't have gotten anything near as good at a bakery, and that her family doesn't normally eat dessert at all, let alone cake, but they were all asking for leftovers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Phew! It's so nice to hear things like that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I ended up sticking it on a 14" cake board. I found a 14" square box from the UPS store and stuck it in there--perfect fit and the cake made it 25 miles on the freeway with no problems. I broke one of my layers into smithereens but took a risk and just stuck it in the center. I was worried it might collapse with all that weight on top of it, but after a long chill in the fridge, the cake powered through.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I really adore this cake recipe in terms of how light and airy it is; it literally melts in your mouth. But it is a difficult cake to build layers with and frost. I guess it's better that it tastes good than look good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You certainly have nothing to apologize for about the decorating job, nothingswrong (nothing is, with the cake's looks). Beautiful result. (And I know what you mean about that kind of compliment.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Looks gorgeous, and I also love the KAF cake mixes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Years ago, when we used to do huge a BBQ with 120+ people, I would cut corners by making cupcakes from the KAF mixes. One year, one of my guest came over to me and begged me for the recipe, promising never to reveal it to anyone else. I was really embarrassed to admit I'd used a mix, but she was thrilled since she knew that the cupcakes were completely within her reach!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Nice cake! I like that KAF recipe for Tender White Cake too and use it as the base for Boston Cream Pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Great job! Nothing at all wrong with the decorating, either! I'll have to give the KAF recipe a go the next time I need a white cake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Recipe can be found here: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/P...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I took the time to compare this to RLB's White Velvet Cake and they are very very similar. I wanted to try the WVC but was nervous about serving it at a party having never made it before. I'm sure it's delicious, but I just went the safe route last minute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              For anyone interested...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tender White Cake vs. White Velvet Cake:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 3/4 cups cake flour / 3 cups cake flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 2/3 cups sugar / 1 1/2 cups sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 tbspn baking powder / 1 tbspn + 1 tspn baking powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3/4 tspn salt / 1/4 tspn salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              12 tbspns butter / 12 tbspns butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              4 egg whites + 1 egg / 4 1/2 egg whites
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 cup milk / 1 cup milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 tspns vanilla / 2 1/4 tspns vanilla
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 tspn almond extract / ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              KAF's recipe has you mix dry with the butter, then add egg whites and the egg one at a time, beating for a minute or two after each, which whips up the batter with a lot of air. Then you add the milk and extracts at the end.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              RLB's recipe has you mix dry with the butter and most of the milk, then the egg whites with the vanilla and a bit of milk, adding a little at a time and beating well between each.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Both cakes bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I made RLB's cake this past weekend, so this is an interesting comparison. I actually found it ALMOST too sweet, so it's funny the KAF one has slightly more sugar. The KAF one has more salt though, which may help balance that out. What did you think about the sweet level?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also, the RLB recipe also has weights, which is how I baked it. For me, four large egg whites was the right weight, so I didn't need the extra 1/2.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I didn't find it too sweet, but I did sub OJ and zest for some of the milk, which probably helped. I also used salted butter, which I would definitely do again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, I saw you posted that right after me, too funny! Yours looks much prettier than mine, lol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I find a lot of white cakes to be too sweet. I forgot to mention that I reduced the sugar in the KAF recipe down to 1 1/2 cups. I had to triple the recipe to fill all four 12" pans, with one thin 8" layer baked for me to keep at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The cake turned out perfect--not too sweet at all. I reduced the sugar mostly because I was worried that with all that frosting it would get too sweet. Maybe it's from the salt, like you said. That was one of the main reasons I didn't try the RLB cake--1/4 tspn salt just seems like too little. I would probably increase it to 3/4 tspn if I ever try it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      You know, I just looked at the White Velvet Cake recipe, and as printed in my copy of the Cake Bible, it calls 3/4 teaspoon salt, though for some reason the recipe on her website specifies 1/4 teaspoon, so might be a transcription error.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Strawberry cake! At the last minute I had the occasion to bake my brother a birthday cake. It was a bit of a juggle though, so I had to bake it Friday morning with ingredients my mom already had in the house. It then had to be the sort of cake that would stay well refrigerated until Sunday evening, when I would be serving it. I also had NO idea what sort of cake I wanted to make, so I wanted something basic that would go with whatever I later decided to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Inspired by several posts in several recent "What are you baking..." threads, I made RLB's white velvet cake. Flour, sugar, eggs, butter, milk, vanilla, baking powder, salt, DONE. It was one of the prettiest batters I ever made. I was just sorry there was no one home to see it. Anyway, it came out of the oven, cooled on a rack, and then I wrapped it up and headed out of town.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Over the weekend I decided I would do a riff on strawberry shortcake, one of my brother's favorite desserts. So I arrived home around 7 pm (after spending the morning doing a half iron triathlon -- yeah, I love my brother) and got to work while my mom made dinner. Further inspired by you awesome bakers, I decided to try cooked flour frosting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To assemble, I split the layers and put strawberry jam between those. Then, between the layers themselves, I put jam + cut up strawberries from a farmer's market. Iced all over with the cooked flour frosting, tried to get a little fancy (and failed miserably), then called it done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Birthday boy and rest of the family loved it. And so did I. The cake was delicious, with a tender crumb. (Maybe a tiny bit too sweet, actually, but I'm a sweetaholic, so I could take it.) And I loved the consistency of the frosting; this is absolutely my new "go to." I can't wait to experiment with all different flavors!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Great job! It looks fabulous, and I'm glad you love the frosting. I think it's the best!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thank you! And I really do love it. Delicious. I was hoping you could help with some tips though -- about how thick should I be cooking the roux? I whisked mine constantly on the stove and I felt like it took a while to thicken. But then once it started, it thickened super fast and I wasn't sure how long to let it go. At the time I pulled it, and by the time I let it cool, it was not really pourable. Was that too far?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, I was in a rush so I think I didn't beat the sugar and butter long enough; there was still a slight grittiness to it. Do I just need to beat longer, or maybe I should use powdered sugar next time?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I made cooked flour frosting to pipe around the edges of mine, and although it was my first time making it, I came across a recipe online which called for making the roux with flour/milk, then adding in the sugar while it was still in the pan. The author said this would help melt the sugar into the roux to avoid the grittiness, otherwise keeping the recipe the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Made sense to me! The resulting frosting was silky smooth and piped very nicely.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, I (and roxlet, too, I know) do a version that cooks the sugar with the milk and flour, eliminating the worry about grittiness. Works great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well that's that! Sugar into the milk/flour next time. Thank you both!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (I didn't realize there were different versions on CH! Like I said, I was in a hurry, so I did a quick search of the Home Cooking board and found what I thought was the version everyone was using; guess not!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When I make the cooked flour frosting, I cook the sugar with the milk and flour, which eliminates any grittiness. I cook the flour/sugar/milk mixture until it starts bubbling, and then start beating it in my KA. When it's cool, I add the butter a little bit at a time, and it whips up into a delicious cloud of frosting. This si the recipe I use:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Flour Frosting

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/4 cup flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 cup sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 cup milk (or coconut milk for coconut cake)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 cup butter cut in cubes (My butter was cool and firm, but I could still leave an indent when I pressed my finger into it)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 tsp vanilla
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      pinch of salt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the sugar, flour, salt together. Add the milk and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally until the mixture has thickened into a paste and slightly bubbly at edges

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed until cool. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter; beat until thoroughly incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. If the frosting is too soft, transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to chill slightly: then beat again until it is the proper consistency.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. Add the vanilla and continue mixing until combined.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: charmedgirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Looks stunning! Now I want cake for dinner instead of leftovers..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. I made Smitten Kitchen's chocolate chip sour cream coffee cake the other night.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Because I shop at Carrefour (big French hypermarket), in place of the sour cream I used a French soured cream/creme fraiche called creme epaisse, imported from Brittany and sold under the Carrefour label, and which is cheaper than imported American sour cream. I have to admit it may have been a mistake, because the resulting cake was very, very rich. Not overly sweet but very rich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In lieu of the chocolate chip I bought bars of dark chocolate and chopped them roughly. I imagine the original recipe was written with Hershey's basic chocolate chips and the standard American sour cream in mind, and using the French soured cream and higher quality dark chocolate upped the richness notch just too much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The cake was still tasty and incredibly moist and I did enjoy the dash of cinnamon intermingling with the chocolate, but all of us complained of slight digestion discomfort, which I largely attribute to the creme epaisse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Oh well. In a couple of weeks we'll be in the US and I'm looking forward to the farmers' markets and finally making my favorite fruit pies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Roland Parker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Shopping and baking in the Middle East is a real challenge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Buttertart, Cynsa is the queen of Kouign Amman, so she should be able to give you some tips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I bought some here, made by a French baker. I was underwhelmed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've had bad ones and amazing ones. Try another baker - French isn't automatic for wonderful. We have a French bakery here that has amazing-LOOKING stuff that is virtually tasteless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm going to have to go to Montreal to taste other versions; there aren't too many bakeries here that do it......but then, I don't go to too many bakeries, but bake the stuff myself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - must be another cynsa in a parallel universe, souschef... I don't play well with laminated doughs and I am waiting to read the thread on kouign amman by buttertart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We are tasting the many sightings of kouign amman at our local bakeries - it's happy foraging.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Another Cynsa in a parallel universe??? There CANNOT be another Cynsa. Perfection is never replicated! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. I've been making a rhubarb crisp (from a Martha Stewart recipe) and usually adding raspberries. Later this week I'm planning on making some oatcakes I saw on Orangette. And last night we made some granola - oats, pumpkin seeds, unsweetened coconut chips, pistachios, olive oil, and maple syrup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I'm going to make Pasteis de Nata, the Portuguese custard tart, for a recipe request from a friend. From my googling it's just crème patisserie baked in a puff pastry shell in a mini muffin cup. I'm using it as an excuse to try Canadian Living's quick puff pastry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If I've got the concept wrong, please correct me anyone who's familiar with it..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is a really good recipe for pasteis de nata, I've used it before and they came out really well. http://www.joepastry.com/category/pas...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: zitronenmadchen

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The darker, the better IMO - I'd say the ones he says are too toasty are perfect. I'm not the only one who asks for the dark ones at the Portuguese bakery!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Red Velvet Cake with Flour Frosting for work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Baked some French bread last night. And the last of the frozen chocolate chip cookies. Will have to replenish my stash today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've gotten lazy with my freezer bread... I figure since it's going to be sliced, frozen, and stuck in the toaster, it doesn't "deserve" an egg wash. Not super gorgeous but equally delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I made multigrain batards from the Bouchon Bakery cook book, and the only change I made was to replace quinoa with cornmeal, because I don't care for quinoa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Made another Carole Walter recipe - the Butter Crumb Coffee Cake. I see why so many here enjoy it - the streusel is fantastic! (and the ratio of streusel topping to cake is perfect).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lesliej

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I used the recipe from her book but found one online where the blogger adds fruit between the streusel and the cake - sounds like an idea I may try next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: lesliej

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Looks like a great crumb. I'm going to bookmark it, never tried it before.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm sure you will enjoy it - the cake's texture provides a nice balance to that (addictive) streusel.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: lesliej

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Her streusel is the best in the business!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. I made Smitten Kitchen's Coconut Brown Butter Cookies. Since I'd never made brown butter I was a little afraid but Deb explains things well so I took the plunge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Recipe calls for Bob's Red Mill unsweetened coconut flakes. I made small cookies 1 Tbl each. They spread a lot. Mine were thinner than her's but that was fine since I prefer crispy. Not very sweet. I thought they were great and not hard to make.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have that recipe bookmarked. Definitely something that I will try!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also have that recipe book marked. I love browned butter, and found that making it in my mother's 40-year old le Creuset pot is pretty much fool-proof..

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: rstuart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I browned my butter in a Berndes non stick pot. Everything came out ok (I discarded the foam, hope that was right) but I've since read elsewhere that you should brown butter in a light colored pan so you can see when it's getting the right color.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Next time, should I do this in an All-Clad skillet? The only LC I have is a big dutch oven size.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have a cheap little non-stick light-colored skillet from Home Goods that I use to brown my butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. So, some advice is needed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'm seriously wanting to make the kouign amann from the OP. Looking at the directions, making the dough requires about 6 hours of work before it takes a nice long chill in the fridge for 8-12 hours. So a total of 14-18 hours, plus the 30 minutes to bake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What would be a good schedule in terms of starting this dough? I don't know how lax I can be in terms of letting it proof, even though it's in the fridge. I'd hate to go to all that work (and use all that butter) and mess up my dough due to bad timing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'd like to bake them in the afternoon, but that would mean prepping my dough in the middle of the night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Anyone have any thoughts about this? Thanks in advance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't think it's proofing since there's no yeast, but rather chilling. I think that you could definitely start in one day, let it chill for as long as you need to before the baking it the next afternoon. Little difference if it chills 8-12 hours or 8-20 hours or even more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rox, there is 1 tablespoon yeast in the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nothingswrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ah, I'd better take a look then! I thought it was a laminated dough.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It is laminated, but it's a yeasted lami