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Dorie Greenspan

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Everything posted by Dorie Greenspan

  1. I want to catch up on all the posts and the great pix, but I don't have bunches of time now. I'll try to post more later tonight, if I can, but ... I agree with Lori -- you gotta love a man with a timer around his neck. Especially one who makes such good-looking cookies. Sugarplum -- if I had included a diagram showing a sunburst pattern, it would have looked exactly like the one on top of your Apple-Coconut Family Cake -- it's perfect! I hope you like the cake -- it's very simple, but I think it's satisfying in a homey, comforting way. Once again on weighing a cup of flour -- when I aerate the flour, scoop and sweep, the cup of flour weighs about 4.8 ounces or, as Patrick figured, about 5 ounces. Of course, with this method, a cup is sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more, but on average it comes in at about 4.8. About hosinmigs' bittersweet brownies -- to everyone who posted about foil and baking stones -- you were right. My recipes were not tested with a baking stone. I've only used a stone for baking bread and don't have an idea of how it would affect cakes and brownies, which are so much more delicate and don't need the kind of bottom heat breads do. However, as others have said, it's my guess that if you've got a stone in the oven, you have to preheat the oven for a much longer time to be certain that the stone comes up to temperature. As for the foil, I use it to line the pan when I'm baking fragile brownies. It makes removing the brownies from the pan so much easier; ditto cutting them to size. To everyone who has been baking so enthusiastically -- THANK YOU! THANK YOU! AND THANK YOU AGAIN!
  2. blackcat, sorry about the typos and omissions. Here's the info: For the sables -- 2 yolks go into the dough and one yolk is used to "glue" the decorating sugar. For the Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops -- the oven temperature is 350 degrees F. Seth -- nice to hear from you again. Pat W -- I can't tell you how happy I was to read your comments about rediscovering the pleasure of baking. I talk about the pleasures of baking all the time -- I'm always talking about how everything about baking, from the way the raw ingredients look when they're lined up on the counter to the joy of pulling something wonderful out of the oven, is pleasurable and about how satisfying it is to bake and to share what you've baked. It's wonderful to hear someone else say it -- thank you. Patrick -- please never not post because you think your pictures aren't perfect -- they're always soooooooo appealing. The tatin looks scrumptious! Glad you liked both tarts.
  3. Becca, your desserts look gorgeous! It's so wonderful to see the Cardinal Slice -- it's a spectacular cake, but it's not one of the recipes that gets made very often.
  4. Laniloa, your comment just made me feel like a little kid. When I was very young, I'd come home and report all the problems I'd had at school and then, when my mother would ask if anything good happened, I'd pull out a paper with a gold star! I seem to have grown up just a little, because I have passed along to my publisher everyone's extraordinarily generous comments -- and she's thrilled!
  5. cjs -- self-rising flour has salt and baking powder in it. I saw a reference online that said you could add 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of baking powder to 1 pound of flour, but I've never done this. What is it that you want to make that calls for self-rising flour? Pam -- I'm touched by your comments -- thank you very, very much. And skyflyer 3 -- I''m not sure what adding another banana would do to the texture of the cake -- it might through it off. However, I like the idea of sprinking the cake with turbinado sugar.
  6. It's great to see croissants "back in the news again". As I mentioned earlier, after I got my croissant lesson from Esther McManus, I made them five days in a row. This is really a case in which practice makes perfect. In fact, this is true with doughs in general, I think. At the beginning, each time you make a dough, a bread dough, puff pastry, croissants, pie dough, tart dough, you learn something about how to mix it, to knead it, to roll it, to shape it. Doughs are very physical and I think you really have to get to know them, to understand how to treat them. That said, doughs are pretty finicky too -- they can rarely be counted on to behave the same way every time. It's why bread bakers used to keep (and some still do keep) diaries, recording the day's temperature and humidity as well as the results. Of course, there are the days when I think that the only thing that really affects the dough is my temperament, but that's another story ...
  7. Elie -- once again your stuff looks great! I'm delighted that you and yours enjoyed the Far Breton. It's an unusual kind of dessert -- you nailed it when you said that its texture is between a cake and a custard -- and one that is not very well known in America, but I've found that everyone seems to love it when they get the chance to try it. About whipping egg whites: Elie, I think you're right about why your meringues didn't peak -- to get the fullest puff power out of egg whites, they need to be at room temperature or warmer. The next time you want to use straight-from-the-fridge whites, think about warming them in the microwave. Be real careful -- heat them for 10 seconds, stir them, then heat them in 5-second spurts -- just until they feel warm to the touch. The ideal temperature is 75 degrees F, but a little warmer is fine. Sugar Plum -- I'm starting to feel like Anna N -- I've got the book, but every time I see a picture, I'm ready to drop everything and bake what everyone else has baked. I think I've got to do the Midnight Crackles today! JFLinLA -- thank you for your observation about the index. I've passed it along to the publisher. (By the way, I did not do the index. In fact, the only cookbook author I've ever known who did her own index was Julia Child. She and her husband did the indexes for both volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but at some point even Julia gave up on indexing and left it to the pros.) About making batches of World Peace Cookies: JFL, I also make more than one batch of WPC (World Peace Cookies) at a time. While I've never tripled the recipe, I almost always double it, make what I need for the next couple of days, and freeze the other logs. Also, when I've got a crowd and when I'm making lots of different sweets, I'll often roll one recipe of the dough into 3 rather than 2 logs, that way the cookies are smaller and I get more of them from each recipe.
  8. lcdm -- I hope you got to taste the applesauce bars before the family dug in. Sugar Plum -- I think your muffins look great -- hope everyone likes them. Raisab -- glad your picnickers didn't leave you with leftovers. I've been thinking about how to make it a little easier to get the Snickery Squares out of the pan. You could try lining the pan with parchment; you could try heating the bottom of the pan just a little before you cut them (that would soften the butter at the bottom and unstick the crust a bit); or you could try cutting the 8-x-8 square into three or four pieces, lifting the larger pieces out of the pan, then cutting the larger pieces into serving sizes. As for the cracked chocolate -- you could try scoring the chocolate before cutting or leaving everything at room temperature for just a bit before cutting. Kim -- I'm thrilled to be part of your biscuit triumph! Can't wait to hear about your next biscuit-making foray. And, by the way, the maple-cornmeal drop biscuits aren't as flakey as the patted-out-and-cut biscuits. As for the amaretti -- I don't have a package here (a rarity), so I can't measure or weigh them for you. From what you're describing, I think 12 of yours would be the right measurement.
  9. Making your own dulce de leche can only make it better!
  10. Raisab -- JuliaChildish's explanation is just what I would have told you. It is a very thin sugar coating -- more the kind of coating the peanuts have in Crackerjack than the kind they have when they're all bumpy and lumpy with sugar. I hope that even if your peanuts weren't perfectly coated, you still enjoyed the cookies. Welcome FoodieNerd!
  11. Welcome Becca and Fanny the Fairy -- nice to have more bakers aboard. And bravo to juliachildish! Your stuff looks great -- can't wait to see what you do this weekend. Tamiam -- about the Fold Over Pear Torte. It's not so easy to describe, but if you try to imagine the mechanics of the dessert, you'll get it. You're lining a springform pan with pie dough, so that the dough covers the bottom of the pan and then comes up the sides. When you put in the pears etc., the filling won't come all the way up to the top of the dough, so you carefully fold the excess dough down until it touches the filling. It won't cover the filling, it will just make a ruffly border. Take a look at the Cranberry Lime Galette on page 365 -- the fold-over part of the dough on the torte will look like the edges of the galette. Hope this helps. Last night I did a demo for Bon Appetit magazine in New Jersey. It was an Italian-themed dinner and I did a bread salad, fisherman's soup and the Lenox Almond Biscotti from my book for dessert. It was in a Thomasville furniture showroom, so there was no kitchen, just a gas burner put on a gorgeous dining room table. (I was petrified of spilling anything and terrified of burning the tabletop, but all was fine.) I had a handmixer on a long extention cord and a metal mixing bowl, but gave up the mixer after a couple of seconds because it was so noisy I couldn't talk over it, and I made the dough the old-fashioned way with a rubber spatula and a minimal amount of elbow grease. The dough was slighty more compact, but it came together really nicely and it reminded me once again of the pleasure of doing things by hand.
  12. FYI -- I contacted the publisher about Scarlett's post saying that amazon reported the book is on backorder. As far as the publisher knows, amazon still has stock, which is what amazon lists when you go to the Baking From My Home to Yours page. It's a puzzlement. Great story about the Honey-Nut Brownies, Laniloa. And Patrick, a friend called and didn't know what she should make to top off a chicken dinner, so I sent her your pictures of the Applesauce Spice Bars -- she'll be serving them Saturday!
  13. Thanks for the giggle Steve. Actually, the thread that's got all the recipe stuff is the one that says Baking, From My Home to Yours, "Post your recipe notes here." Hope I'll see everyone there.
  14. Nina, I think you'll be fine with soft plums -- they might meld into the cake a little more, but how bad can that be?
  15. It's such fun to see this thread active again. I've been posting on the thread about my new book, Baking, From My Home to Yours, but now that I know you Julia-ites are baking again, I'll check in often. As always, the pictures look fabulous and it's so great to see what you've made -- greater to see how closely what you've made matches the pix in the book! About the croissants -- I think it is an extraordinary recipe! Esther McManus is a great teacher and so conscientious. She came to my apartment before we worked at Julia's to show me exactly how the dough should be prepared and what it should look like at the various stages. And, she brought finished croissants -- a treat my husband made short work of. After she left, I was so inspired I made croissants five days in a row! (My neighbors and everyone who works in my apartment adored me that week.) When Esther got to Cambridge and made the croissants for Julia, Julia loved them. They brought back wonderful memories of her time in France -- they tasted that authentic, even with American flour and butter! I'm really, really happy that you've tackled the recipe -- it's not hard, but it does take time and patience, but I think it's really worth it.
  16. Di, you can freeze the bars without their glaze, but if you freeze the glaze it will get gloppy (I think that's the professional term) when you defrost it. Fortunately, the bars are good without glaze, so I think you should jump in and bake them. Pat, the biscuits look soooooooo good. It's always risky when you've got a time-treasured recipe and then you try something new (if it weren't risky, it wouldn't have taken me way too long to get that terrible stringbean casserole off my Thanksgiving menu!), but I'm delighted (and relieved) that you and yours were happy.
  17. To all of you have baked and posted -- thank you! The pics of the applesauce bars and muffins look great. The Applesauce Spice Bars have been in my kitchen notebook for decades, but I never tire of them -- I'm glad you liked them. And I was tickled to read that Chihiran's Japanese friends were happy to have American muffins. To Tamiam about silicone baking pans. I would never advocate tossing out your metal pans for silicone -- in fact, the majority of my bakeware is metal and I use metal the vast majority of the time. But, I do think the silicone molds are good for cakes with curves, for example, Bundt cakes and madeleines; I like them most of all for madeleines. The only other time I use silicone is for muffins -- and then not all the time. (In fact, I think that the only times silicone pans are mentioned in the book are for muffins, Bundts and madeleines.) You're right that because the silicone pans are floppy you've got to put them on another pan (except you shouldn't do this with any pan that has a center opening -- the opening is there so the oven's heat can circulate), but I like to bake most things on a baking sheet. And, because I line my baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper, there isn't the issue of extra clean-up. Whether you use metal or silicone, you should be fine -- just have fun baking!
  18. Choux, You are right -- the final temperature of the syrup should be 242 degrees F. Because it takes time to reach that temperature and because it also takes time to beat the egg whites until they are the right consistency, the first mention of 242 and beating the whites is to prepare you for what you must do and to give you a way of doing it. Get set up -- put the eggs in the mixing bowl and put the syrup ingredients in the saucepan. Start cooking the syrup. When the syrup reaches about 235 degrees F, start beating the egg whites. The syrup goes into the whites when it is 242 degrees F. I hope this makes it clear and I really hope you enjoy the cake! Let us know.
  19. Aprongstrings -- I don't think partially baking the biscuits, freezing them and finishing them off on Thanksgiving is a good idea. I've never done it, but my guess is you'll really lose height and texture that way. My suggestion is to either freeze them raw and bake them when you need them, or bake them all the way thru, cool them and freeze them. On Thanksgiving, bring them to room temperature and then warm them. Jean -- what to serve with the Rum-Drenched Vanilla loaves? Hmmm. I like berries, but if you can't get berries now, how about a great chunky jam? Or maybe some sauteed apples? Whipped cream or creme fraiche is never bad. You might even think about a chocolate sauce. Milk chocolate is nice with rum. Of course, by the time you decide, you might not have any cake left! I'm so touched that so many of you have said "thank you" -- I'm the one who should thank everyone on this thread. It's such a thrill for me to see what you are baking from my book and to hear you say that you and your family and friends are enjoying what you've made. To all of you: THANK YOU!!
  20. In answer to rjwong's question about booksignings, I'm going to be in a bunch of cities doing various signings and events (including Los Angeles on November 19 and 20 -- I think). As soon as I've got my schedule straightened out, I'll post it because I would LOVE to meet my fellow egulleters.
  21. As always, Ellie and Patrick your pictures are terrific! Patrick, is that natural light on the vanilla cake or do you light the food? It's so appealing. Marlene, you shouldn't lose the biscuits' basic texture if you freeze them. However, I don't think you should refrigerate the biscuits and then bake them. I say this without ever having tried it, but it seems to me that the baking powder would lose some of its ooomph if it cooled down slowly in the fridge. If you decide to refrigerate then bake the biscuits, I hope you'll let us know how it works.
  22. Reading Choux's line about not using nuts reminded me that I never answered SweetSide's question about nuts in recipes. I have never had the experience that you had, SweetSide, making a cookie without nuts and not having it work. I usually think of chopped nuts in cakes, brownies and cookies (like chocolate chip cookies) as optional -- unnless they're the main ingredient.
  23. Anna, you summed up the problem of adding measurements very neatly -- time and money. Interestingly, one of the money problems is the extra pages two sets of measurements adds to the book. When I wrote Desserts by Pierre Herme, I included both volume and metric measurements and, at some point (I think it might have been after copy-editing) the metric measurements were deleted for space. The consensus on the publishing side was that the measurements made the book too long and made it look too scary. It is complicated to add weights to a cookbook whether they are metric or "our" weights and, while Lesley's suggestion that authors could help things along by adding the weights to their books is a good one, it is not practical for many books.
  24. Nice looking muffins Elie. Like you, I've always liked prunes -- I like their chewiness and their sweet-tart flavor. I can't bring myself to call them dried plums. More on measuring. I smiled when I read Beccaboo saying that she didn't think the dip-level-pour method was new. I hadn't really thought about it before, but I'm pretty sure that that's the method I used when I first went into the kitchen -- and that's more than 30 years ago. And, I know it's the method we used on the set for Baking with Julia. Just now, I opened the new Bon Appetit Cookbook and read the following: "one cup of all purpose flour is measured using the 'scoop and level' technique" Yes, yes, it would be easier if we all measured, but, as I've said before, I don't think this will be happening in this country any time soon. In the meantime, the best we can do is read each cookbook to find out how the author measures.
  25. Melissa and SweetSide and other "weighers" -- I'll be interested to hear from you after you make some of the recipes by weighing out the ingredients. Unlike the Pierre Herme recipes -- which were given to me in metric and which I converted to volume measures -- all of these recipes were tested using good old American cups and spoons.
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