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What are you baking these days? August 2014 Edition, Part 1 [old]

Once again, the end of the month has trapped buttertart in her office, both early and late, so here is the new thread.

I have not baked much lately, but buttertart has been busy. She told me about a goose pie made with filo, which sounded fabulous, as well as some walnut shortbread squares. Apparently, these cookies are the latest in a long line of attempts to replicate a cookie that Mr. buttertart remembers from his youth. Alas, these were not them, but they were delicious nonetheless, which they should be since they were made with both butter AND lard!

What's keeping you in front of the oven?

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  1. I rarely bake in summer but today plan to make a blueberry version of Smitten Kitchen's strawberry summer cake. It is made with half barely flour which gives it a nice silkiness.
    I love simple cakes like this which show off the great fruit we have right now.

    2 Replies
    1. re: magiesmom

      Did you see the new Smitten Kitchen post, which was for a new blueberry cake?

      1. re: roxlet

        I did ( I get the emails,) but I like this one:)

    2. Yay, back to the baking thread! I've been MIA for a few weeks, but there has been a decent amount of baking.

      First up was a recipe that I became obsessed with after seeing some blogger's post on Instagram. The only caption said "Yeasted Sugar Cake." So I Googled that and came across an Epicurious recipe for "German Sugar Cake." It's a fairly loose yeasted dough which is baked in a cake pan. There is a thick sprinkling of sugar atop the cake, which caramelizes in the oven. The flavor of this "cake" is delightful--somewhere between a crème brulee and a coffee cake--but I did not particularly enjoy the texture.

      Next up were some mixed berry hand pies for the bf. These had blackberries and raspberries.

      A cross-section of my favorite pie dough is shown, which is rolled and folded several times to produce something like a very tender puff pastry dough. It has sour cream and butter in the dough, and is just the most delightful stuff to eat.

      I made a trio of mini muffins for a weekend trip with the bf. Bouchon Bakery's Blueberry Muffins (minus the crumble), a new ABSOLUTELY F*CKING DELICIOUS zucchini muffin recipe (which I've made literally 5 times in the last 3 weeks), and an old favorite--Cappuccino Chocolate muffins.

      I make Smitten Kitchen's cream scones often, but usually skip the rolling and cutting unless they're for company... I've gotten into a bad habit of adding chocolate chips *swoon*

      Next photo is of a new recipe for coconut macaroons, which were fantastic. I had to make a bday cake the day before (German Chocolate--forgot to take photos) and had tons of leftover coconut, so I made "German Chocolate Macaroons" by dipping in tempered chocolate, topping with a brown sugar glaze and toasted pecans. The bf adored these and ate a dozen in 2 days.

      Lastly, an old standby--made my favorite Lemon Loaf cake.

      There has been much more baking, but I don't have pics and can't remember it all. Lots of cookies, and another cake somewhere in there.

       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
      14 Replies
      1. re: nothingswrong

        Would you mind posting the zucchini muffin recipe?

        1. re: lukfam

          Yes, no prob! There isn't anything really unique about this recipe, but they are for some reason above and beyond all the other zucchini recipes I've previously tried. Exactly what I was looking for. They are better the second day I think, as they get very very moist and tender. I've been storing them in the fridge after the first day since it's so hot and humid here.

          I've tried these in regular sized muffin tins and vastly prefer them in the mini size. I will do half or 1/3 of the recipe since it makes a lot and it's just me eating them.

          These are supposed to taste like the ones from Starbucks, if anyone is familiar. They do taste like them, but the texture is much better.

          ZUCCHINI WALNUT MUFFINS
          Makes 2 dozen regular muffins or 4-5 dozen mini

          -3 eggs
          -1/2 cup veg oil
          -1/2 cup applesauce
          -1 3/4 cups sugar
          -2 cups grated zucchini (not drained/squeezed)
          -2 teaspoons vanilla
          -3 cups flour
          -3 teaspoons cinnamon
          -1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
          -1 teaspoon baking soda
          -1/2 teaspoon baking powder
          -1 teaspoon salt
          -1 cup walnuts, toasted for 5-8 minutes at 350 F

          Beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, and sugar. Stir in grated zucchini and vanilla.

          In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Stir in toasted walnuts.

          Spoon into greased/lined muffin tins, filling almost to the top. Bake at 350, rotating tins halfway through. For mini muffins, they take me about 12-15 minutes. For regular sized muffins, they take about 20.

        2. re: nothingswrong

          Was that the Moravian sugar cake with mashed potato in it? I used to love that one, but found it too sweet and rich the last time I made it.

          1. re: pavlova

            No, but I did see that one! I LOVE potatoes but I tend to avoid baking recipes with them. I just can't do it :)

            1. re: nothingswrong

              Funny--I don't like eating potatoes but find they add so much to cakes and breads that that's the only time I use them!

          2. re: nothingswrong

            I just googled German Sugar Cake, and came up with this interesting cake that is very different than what you describe.

            http://www.quick-german-recipes.com/b...

            Where is the recipe you used from?

            1. re: roxlet

              I think it was this one: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              I misplaced the recipe, since I don't think I'll be making it again. For some reason I thought it was titled "German" or had that label in the notes, but this one doesn't...

            2. re: nothingswrong

              please share the zucchini muffin recipe! i have some to use up and that sounds perfect.

              1. re: tastycakes

                Just posted it above. They are really tasty; I just had several for "second breakfast."

                ZUCCHINI WALNUT MUFFINS
                Makes 2 dozen regular muffins or 4-5 dozen mini

                -3 eggs
                -1/2 cup veg oil
                -1/2 cup applesauce
                -1 3/4 cups sugar
                -2 cups grated zucchini (not drained/squeezed)
                -2 teaspoons vanilla
                -3 cups flour
                -3 teaspoons cinnamon
                -1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
                -1 teaspoon baking soda
                -1/2 teaspoon baking powder
                -1 teaspoon salt
                -1 cup walnuts, toasted for 5-8 minutes at 350 F

                Beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, and sugar. Stir in grated zucchini and vanilla.

                In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Stir in toasted walnuts.

                Spoon into greased/lined muffin tins, filling almost to the top. Bake at 350, rotating tins halfway through. For mini muffins, they take me about 12-15 minutes. For regular sized muffins, they take about 20.

              2. re: nothingswrong

                What type of cake loaf is the last picture? I find it intriguing...Looks good from here! You seem to be a wonderful baker.

                1. re: Ruthie789

                  Thank you!

                  It is a lemon loaf cake. Just a pretty standard cake recipe with white sugar, butter, eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon zest, etc. but I use cake flour in place of AP for a nice and tender loaf.

                2. re: nothingswrong

                  Praise the Lord! I was about to ask this group for a new ABSOLUTELY F*CKING DELICIOUS zucchini muffin recipe because I am baking for my son and his family (new baby plus other grandma have just arrived). Please post this recipe! There are so many out there that I was lost but now I'm found!

                  1. re: Berheenia

                    Lol. Well, I personally think this one is f*cking amazing. I have tried so many... It doesn't have butter though, which I know is a bad thing to many 'hounds.

                    ZUCCHINI WALNUT MUFFINS
                    Makes 2 dozen regular muffins or 4-5 dozen mini

                    -3 eggs
                    -1/2 cup veg oil
                    -1/2 cup applesauce
                    -1 3/4 cups sugar
                    -2 cups grated zucchini (not drained/squeezed)
                    -2 teaspoons vanilla
                    -3 cups flour
                    -3 teaspoons cinnamon
                    -1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
                    -1 teaspoon baking soda
                    -1/2 teaspoon baking powder
                    -1 teaspoon salt
                    -1 cup walnuts, toasted for 5-8 minutes at 350 F

                    Beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, and sugar. Stir in grated zucchini and vanilla.

                    In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir just until incorporated. Stir in toasted walnuts.

                    Spoon into greased/lined muffin tins, filling almost to the top. Bake at 350, rotating tins halfway through. For mini muffins, they take me about 12-15 minutes. For regular sized muffins, they take about 20.

                  2. re: nothingswrong

                    Those all look fabulous and the German Sugar Cake is intriguing. I might have to try baking that. I'm always looking for recipes to celebrate my German heritage.

                  3. Gougeres are in the oven to have with cocktails with new neighbors. I decided to give them some zip and added some Aleppo pepper.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Candy

                      I adore gougeres, and I love the idea of adding Aleppo pepper. What recipe do you use?

                      1. re: roxlet

                        Dorie Greenspan's in Around My French Table. I did not use enough aleppo, next batch I'll punch it up a bit.

                         
                      2. re: Candy

                        Yeah, Aleppo sounds like a good addition. I also want a recipe please!

                        1. re: nothingswrong

                          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                          This is the recipe. It is quite simple. I'm glad it was on Epicurious, so much easier to cut and paste then typing out the recipe.

                          1. re: Candy

                            Thanks! I've never made them before, but those look easy enough.

                      3. Cherry ricotta tart with a pistachio shortbread crust.

                        1. My annual cake day party with my baking friends is coming up in two weeks and these are the two cakes that I'm planning on making:

                          A kueh lapis (Indonesian layer cake) -- I can't wait to try this one. It uses over a pound of butter and 30 egg yolks, yikes! My plan is to park myself next to my toaster oven with a bottle of wine for a couple of hours.
                          http://www.homelife.com.au/recipe/ind...

                          A mocha rum cake (because chocolate, coffee and booze). I'll make this one a couple of days in advance so the rum has a chance to mellow.
                          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                          We're also going to team up that day to make this ridiculous mega cake (it's not huge, it just has a gazillion components):
                          http://tvnz.co.nz/masterchef-australi...

                          16 Replies
                            1. re: TorontoJo

                              Wow, that layer cake looks fantastic! I think that I had something similar in Singapore a few months ago..

                              1. re: rstuart

                                I'm really fascinated by it and looking forward to trying it. My friends with Indonesian and Malaysian relatives love it.

                                  1. re: TorontoJo

                                    It looked very, very labour intensive!

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    !! I'll say! I just followed the link.. that is quite the logistical feat!

                                    1. re: rstuart

                                      That's why this is a team cake! Hopefully by dividing up all the components, it won't be quite as crazy.

                                  2. re: TorontoJo

                                    Oohh-I am looking forward to seeing how the Indo cake turns out! I did a big dessert engagement party and 1/2 of the couple was Indonesian by birth. I made a version of the cake to honor their heritage, but was struggling to get my layers thin enough (too many desserts, too little time) as you can see in the photo. If yours works I may need to save the recipe.

                                     
                                    1. re: TorontoJo

                                      So what does the "mixed spice" in the recipe translate to? And do I really need a grill - is there another way?

                                        1. re: Kosherbyforce

                                          Yes, "grill" means broiler in Australia. And based on other kueh lapis recipes I've seen, I'm planning on using some combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.

                                          I'll report back in two weeks on how all the cakes turn out!

                                        2. re: TorontoJo

                                          Reporting back on the kueh lapis. It's easy to make, but requires a bit of patience. Just separating the 30 egg yolks is trying enough, but baking the layers is best done with a glass of wine and some good tunes playing. The first layer is really challenging to spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Next time I will heat the pan first, so the batter melts and spreads itself. The subsequent layers are much easier: I use a large pastry brush to spread the batter around.

                                          Each layer took 2 minutes under the broiler in my toaster oven. To make my time tethered to the toaster oven more tolerable, I moved it onto a lower table in my living room and sat on a comfy chair with a timer and a glass of wine.

                                          I think I got 19 layers. It's quite a tasty thing, very crepe-like in flavour. It's supposed to be quite firm, but we served it room temp, so it was quite delicate. I imagine that all the butter (almost a pound and a half in an 8" square!) makes it quite firm when chilled.

                                           
                                           
                                          1. re: TorontoJo

                                            Quite a baking feat! Glad to hear that it was so tasty -- and why not with all that butter!

                                            1. re: roxlet

                                              Agree, it's amazing! 30 egg yolks, holy cow.

                                              I love that you moved your toaster oven into the living room TJ. When I make dog treats in bulk, I bring the dough and some baking sheets into the living room and shape them all while watching TV (takes like 1-2 hours) with a drink by my side.

                                              Cake day looks like a success, and your offerings were beautiful and impressive.

                                            2. re: TorontoJo

                                              30 eggs!! I am so impressed... that is quite a feat (and a lot of butter!)