Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by skyflyer3

  1. I've been at Lark almost every month for the past two years, and on Sunday, I had the best dessert there ever. It was a brown sugar persimmon cake, with vanilla custard. The cake was slightly caramel-ly, a little nutty, and very, very luscious - and I don't like nuts in cake, or fruity cakes, even. I'm going back again this weekend in hopes to see it again.

    If you haven't been to Lark in a while, go. It's worth the visit to eat this cake.

  2. Strangely enough, I was wondering the very same thing this week, and ended up making freezer peach jam last night with the Ball freezer pectin and containers. It was very fast - took me about an hour from fruit prep to finish, and I love how easy it is. We don't eat much jam at home, but I do like to preserve peaches and nectarines to mix with my yogurt throughout the year.

    I love the freezer jars - they look like they can be reused for a variety of things. But I didn't like the pectin at all. It tastes a little funny, and didn't set well. I think I'll try SureJell next.

  3. Stopped in for the first time on Sunday - and was so impressed I came back the next day. Actually, that's not true - my son ate my chocolate layer cake that I brought home, and I had to go back and get another slice. Man, is that cake good - while the layers are dark, they are perfectly moist and have a very well-balanced chocolate flavor.

    But hands-down, I love the Phoenix dessert. Pear mousse, 70% mousse, hazelnut layer, and chocolate genoise, covered by caramel mousse. Texture is light, yet rich, and the flavors really meld together well. This is an amazing dessert.

    Croissants were ok, baguettes were fine. I'll have to come back next week for coffee and macarons.

  4. I'm going to be at Stanford this Thursday afternoon until Sunday morning, and essentially I'm going to cut out of the stuff I'm supposed to do on campus and go into San Francisco because I've never been. That's right. So please help me plan my trip.

    Here's the facts about me - Lifelong Seattle-ite, MBA-student in my early thirties, I'm coming by myself, I looove pastry/baked goods but really I'll eat just about anything. And I can walk everywhere.

    My tentative schedule:

    Thursday - walk around Stanford and eat something snacky (dinner is covered for me that night).

    Friday - Go to Downtown SF, Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf.

    Saturday - Venture to Berkeley.

    Sunday - Brunch in Palo Alto, then fly home.

    I'll be taking public transportation, although I have no idea how long it takes to get anywhere from Stanford, so advice is much appreciated. I want to eat fairly inexpensively, since I'm a grad student, and I have to hit at least two bakeries (Acme? Bouchon?). I've been told to go to Cha Cha, and get cocktail buns somewhere in Chinatown. And I want to get some great coffee. I know you've got places in mind for me already - thank you.

  5. I've had one of these for a couple of years and wrote about it in an earlier topic about coffee.

    I even bought a second one to keep as a back up, just in case this was discontinued. 

    I use it all the time and love it.  I have also given 4 or 5 as gifts and the recipients all have found them very handy (and safe to use). 

    It is not a single-purpose item, it can be used for many things other than just frothed and heated milk.

    I gave one to one of the women who works in my office after she fractured her jaw in an auto accident.  With her jaw wired shut her diet was very limited and she found she could mix soft custards, cheesy mixtures as well as frothy cocoas, and etc.

    I'm wondering what these other uses might be for a frother. Smoothing ganache or soups, like with an immersion blender?

  6. Forgot to mention that one time I went, they had this tasty looking danish stuff called "nazook". People were grabbing boxes of it like crazy. I didn't feel like pastry that day (what was wrong with me, i didn't know) but now I regret not trying it. Anyone seen this nazook?

  7. Everywhere I travel with my parents, they have to go to Costco. I don't know - maybe it's an Asian thing. But we've hit quite a few.

    In Hawaii, I've seen logs of sushi available for sale, and it always looks quite good. My mom loves the seaweed salad you can get there in bulk.

    In Canada, they carry the best parchment paper. And the food selection in their food court is waay better than the Seattle-area Costcos - you can get chicken teriyaki, french fries (with gravy/poutine), montreal smoked meat sandwiches and italian calzones.

  8. I made the Cake Raven recipe, with a few tweaks as well. I doubled the cocoa, used .5 oz maraschino cherry syrup and .5 oz red food coloring, doubled the vanilla, and used full-fat sour cream instead of buttermilk.

    The batter was a crazy, fake blood red. I probably only needed to use .25 oz. And then today I happened to stop by Whole Foods, which carried all natural red food coloring. But of course, day before Valentine's day, they were out. Bummer

    By the way, the cake batter tastes totally different than it cooked. Batter tasted awful - no flavor whatsoever. Cooked, the cake's not bad. But I do taste the food coloring. Even my fingers had a scent. Gives me the heebee jeebees.

  9. There are so many variations of this delightful, easy loaf of bread. I make this bread about every other day, and it gets gobbled down. Thought I would post pictures of my clay pot, during cooking, and final product.

    As a farmer, this loaf satisfies the feeding of the family, as well as my time constraints.


    30+ year Römertopf Clay pot


    "Look Ma!, I am a big bread loaf now!"


    Yum, especially made into a bologna sandwich.

    Andi, did you soak the Romertopf first?

    When I tried it in my Romertopf, I soaked mine.

  10. I suspect they were "missed" due to the fact that they've been around forever.

    I'm very fond of Nielsen's Bakery. I didn't know about them until they became a customer of mine sometime in 2005, so feel free to take my opinions as hopelessly biased.

    The best thing about Nielsen's is the croissant-like pastry made with poppy seeds. The "potato" is also interesting, though very sweet thanks to a marzipan topping; it reminds me of a cream puff, but it's turned into a deception of an ordinary potato. Their Danishes are also quite respectable. They also have the Sarah Bernhardt (Danish rum ball?), which you can find variations of at places like B&O. Most of the pastries are thankfully more modestly sized than most bakeries around town, so I can sometimes handle two.

    That being said, they sometimes use a heavy hand with sugar, and they don't have much in the way of savory pastries save for that poppy seed thing. You will need coffee. They also have a lot of items not available anywhere else, other than some overlap with Larsen's, which for me features unfortunately monstrously large pastry.

    Read Greg Atkinson's lovely article on Nielsen's Danish this weekend - how is it we have missed it? Anyone try it lately - is it worth the trip?

    on 2nd, QA

    I've been going to Nielsen's since they were in the space that used to be the Benaroya Hall - for those Sarah Bernhardts. They're almond macaroons topped with chocolate mousse, then dipped in ganache. Devastatingly good, especially the day they're first made as the combination of textures (chewy, creamy) and tastes are at their peak. Anything they make with almond paste is truly fantastic - especially those cookies that are shaped like hats, or little chocolate dipped horns. I haven't been in a while, since Queen Anne is out of the way for me, but I will try and make a trek soon.

    By the way, I hear their cakes are amazing.

  11. Put a dime on the bottom of your mixer.  Using very small increments, work your screw on the height adjustment (I don't know anything about this, I never had a stand mixer before).  The whisk should move the dime around a quarter, a half turn, but not move it in a full circle.  If this is accomplished, then this is the right height.

    If a mixer can't whip a stick of butter all by itself, then it's not worthy.  99 out of every hundred baking recipes start with that . . .

    Is this just for pivot head machines, or is there a similar fix for bowl-lift machines? I remember working in a pastry kitchen, and being taught to hold the bowl up to the whisk in order to get it to whip a stick up butter properly.

  12. I was a little nervous baking it in my Romertopf (stories of cracking) but I soaked it for a couple of hours, put it in the oven as it heated, and did half batches in the Topf and my Le Creuset oval dutch oven. The Romertopf takes the cake! Better overall crust (more crackly and even), less bottom burning, and best part was no staining on the clay (my LC is slowly getting darker and darker each time I do this). I did 1.8 rye, 1.8WW and the rest AP, and this time the flavor is getting more developed. Still working on it, though.

    I know others have said that you can adapt any bread recipe to this methodology. Does that mean I just keep similar wet to dry proportions and long rise, or...?

  13. for post-concert drinks, you'll do well at the Sitting Room, right by Seattle Center. They have a long wine list, fun cocktails that are unusual, a sort of Parisian ambience and a great cheese plate.

    Also, if you REALLY like cheese plates, the 35th Street Bistro in Fremont is only a short drive from Seattle Center and have the best cheese plate in the city (seriously, it's intensely fabulous) and cocktails. Not sure how late they're open.

    Yeah, I second 35th street bistro, as well as Salumi for lunch on Friday (they aren't open on Saturdays). I'd do brunch on Saturday at Geraldine's, but that's just me. And after the concert, consider Licorous or Union (which is downtown); great drinks and "snacks".

  14. I can't get soba that's made so perfectly it needs nothing more than a house-made tsuyu and a couple of bites of pickled vegetables to accompany it, or a nicely done bibimbap, or piadina, or whatever... the kind of food you might spend $5-12 for here. The specifics of the cuisine aren't so important as the focus on quality (instead of, for example, size and speed).

    There are, I think, pockets of this attention to detail in Seattle, but it's far easier to find in service of making coffee than it is to find in food. The minimum bar for quality in Japan or Korea, in my experience, is much higher, even on the most ordinary of foods. It's hard to survive by selling "big", for example, instead of "good."

    One of my Korean students told me that some decent bibimbap was to be had on Aurora somewhere, and I've had great Korean food at both Hosoonyi and a little hole in Pioneer Square. I agree that fresh, minimally processed, well-done items are spread out, but they are there, and many really high quality items are found at the farmers markets. That's where I get great cheese and yogurt, aforementioned oysters, fresh vegetarian cheese quesadillas, seafood chowder, and in the summer, the very best stone fruits and berries one can have. And let's not forget taco trucks!

  15. Tried it this weekend with 30% whole wheat, the rest unbleached AP, SAF instant yeast and 1.75 tsp salt. First rise at 18 hours, second rise at 3. Baked at 450. Texture was ok but a little heavy, and moist, crust was fantastic. Flavor was meh. Has anyone tried rye with commercial yeast, vs. plain with a starter, to see how flavor might develop better? Or is cold retard the way to go?

  16. I'm curious - has anyone tried stovetop frying turkey parts? I know, you might as well do chicken if you're going to go that route, but I just want to see if I can get the same effect doing just the breast or a leg, without going whole hog. Thanks....

  17. Made the maple cornmeal biscuits last night. Why? Because I really wanted to eat biscuits and I didn't have a biscuit cutter. These drop biscuits came together so fast and easy, and were just the right sweetness. Great buttery flavor, but not too rich - just perfect. Now if I can just find a biscuit cutter....

  • Create New...