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Everything posted by skyflyer3

  1. I've also had great success baking chiffon cakes in regular 9" pans. Have tried it with Spago/Baking with Julia Chocolate Chiffon Cake, and the King Arthur Flour Chiffon Cake.
  2. skyflyer3

    Baking 101

    I know what you mean. I love KA flour - it's such a high-quality product. One thing I am trying to find is a lesser protein flour for biscuits, scones, etc., and currently I use Robin Hood (Canadian) pastry flour, but I'm thinking about using Pilsbury bleached, since it's rated pretty high by Cooks Illustrated. Anyone have experience with Pilsbury flour?
  3. WhiteTruffleGirl - From your posts I understand that you like the texture of the CI Sour Cream Bundt Cake over the Double Chocolate Cake, but because you prefer the taste of the Double Chocolate Cake, you are trying to tweak the texture of it to become more ideal. May I ask, why not tweak the taste of the CI Sour Cream Bundt Cake? Wouldn't the flavor profile of one cake be easier to tweak over the texture of another cake? Just wondering.
  4. A Trader Joe's Breakfast: Swedish pancakes with a dollop of Blueberry Yogurt (in those little cups - they say it's lowfat but it's really not and I don't mind) Crumpets with organic raspberry preserves and organic crunchy peanut butter TJ's Applewood Smoked Uncured Bacon edited to say that the TJ's bacon rocked! I spent at least 5 minutes trying to decide if I should splurge on the Niman Ranch bacon, or try this stuff out. I'll have to do a comparison, next time....
  5. I love my Epicurean board, too! I have the biggest one, and it's great for kneading bread, chopping up chickens and cauliflower heads, and absolutely fantastic for cutting up chocolate, because it is so easy to clean. And I love that you can throw them into the dishwasher. I plan to get a bunch in different sizes, budget permitting.
  6. I'm so glad you liked the cake! What percentage bittersweet did you use? I usually use a 60% cocoa for this cake. ← Merstar - Thanks so much for pointing me to this cake! Two days later, and it's still going strong. It's definitely one of those cakes that gets better each day. I used 72% cocoa in my bittersweet, so that could be why I didn't find it sweet enough. I just made sure that the frosting was sugarfied, and that made it just fine. One thing to note, test bakers, is that this cake needs to be well-wrapped, or completely covered in frosting or ganache at all times, or it can dry out easily. I left out a piece for someone for a few hours, and it was drier upon eating than the rest of the cake that was wrapped. I've considered subbing a little butter with oil next time I bake this, but I don't want to risk ruining a good thing .
  7. As for myself, I didn't try the frosting. I did try the CI bundt cake a while back too, but as I recall I used all dark brown sugar and a very bitter chocolate and ended up thinking it wasn't sweet enough for me (I might have used unsweetened by accident). I'll try it again at some point. ← I did the CI Sour Cream Bundt Cake last night, and it is just about perfect. Better than the Double Chocolate Epicurious cake in texture for sure, and with a little tweaking, just as good in flavor, if not more so. It is moist, dense, and substantial in the mouth, which is exactly what I am looking for in a chocolate cake. The only thing I would do is make it sweeter - I used 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, like it asked, but I would definitely use all semisweet next time. Comparing recipes, the CI cake is all butter, has 5 eggs, and no baking powder, and it rose just fine. Filled a bundt cake pan perfectly. I'm going to top this off with a milk chocolate ganache glaze, drizzle on some caramel sauce, and go to town on this puppy for dinner! Lani p.s. I did change one thing - I used decaf coffee crystals, 2 tsp. So nice to get the coffee flavor without the caffeine hit. And I did something I'd never done before - I ate 2 or 3 spoonfuls of batter before sliding it into the oven, it was so good.
  8. More goodies I've discovered and love: Sugo di Pomodoro Canned Tomato Sauce - excellent for quick lasagna Mango and Ginger Go Nuts Trail Mix (dried mangoes, crystallized ginger, almonds and cashews) Ritter Marzipan and Dark Chocolate Bars Red Aussie Licorice Good, inexpensive Jean-Marie Champagne ($19.99 a bottle) Blood Orange Soda
  9. I think either finish would work well. You can pour any ganache on the cake while its warm, the question is how firm to you want it to become at room temperature. If you want a softer, more glaze-like glaze, I would use about 1C cream to 8ozs chocolate (you can still add butter or liquer too). ← When I baked the Double Chocolate cake last Friday as a bundt cake, I did a ganache glaze with measurements pretty close to what Patrick gave (9 oz choc/8 oz cream). I wanted there to be a good amount of glaze on there, though, so I poured it over once, let it set for a little in the fridge, then poured it over once more, and it was perfect. The cake still tastes great, five days later.
  10. I'm right down the street from you, Arianna, and I really love the fact that Trader Joe's is in our area. I used to have to drive to the UDistrict to get my TJ's fix, and now only have to go a few blocks. I love Trader Joe's because I can spend about $50 to fed my family of three each week, and get some great quality items. Now, I don't buy fruit or vegetables there very often, nor cereal or cheese, but that's what the Safeway down the street is for, or the Madison Market across the street. And I would think that the Safeway down the street is more there to take business from the co-op since it was there before TJ's decided to come into that spot. But I digress.... There are certainly items that I cannot stand at TJ's, like the glass jarred soups that apear tasty but are so not. But I love the sparkling cider, the inexpensive Pound Plus chocolate, the trail mixes, the Soycutash frozen veggie mix, the cereal bars, and the great prices on good quality yogurt, milk, eggs and even doggie food. I also love Madison Market, but they don't have the selection or value that I need on a regular basis. I do think the neighborhood is better for both markets - and with the summer Farmer's market, it's just about perfect. If you do go to TJ's, pick up some of the Banana Crisps (not chips). They are fantastic! And you can eat a bag of them and not get too fat! They were also sold out of them for about four months, so I am very very happy to report they have returned.
  11. My vote's for Zoe's, too. I also liked market Street Grill's.
  12. Ah - this may be it. I beat the eggs for about 3 mins - the recipe says to go for about that long, until they are lemon colored - but I'll try and beat less. Would you say 30 seconds would do - just enough to come together?
  13. I baked it last night in a standard bundt pan, about 2/3 full, and I could have gone a little less than that, it rose so much. I had enough leftover batter for about 7 cupcakes. This time, I made it from the original recipe, except that I used sour cream in place of the buttermilk, King Arthur AP flour for extra protein, 2 tsp of vanilla, subbed some unsweetened for semisweet chocolate, used hot water instead of coffee, and replaced 4 oz. of butter for 1/4 of the oil. I added the cocoa to the boiling water to let it "bloom", instead of sifting it with the flour, and I added the butter to the chocolate/cocoa mixture afterward. The cupcakes came out after 30 minutes, and the bundt cake came out at 1 hour exactly. This time, everything seemed to work well and I finally can see what people are talking about! Moist, well-rounded chocolate flavor, light in texture but rich and melting at the same time. It was a hit at dinner tonight. Fortunately, I found some decaf coffee crystals at Whole Foods, so I can use that in place of the hot water, to further deepen the chocolate flavor. I love this cake! It will easily do three layers, and I'm already dreaming of raspberry whipped cream combinations. The only improvement that I would wish upon this cake is that I wish it were denser. Not chewier, but firmer, as even with the protein from AP flour it is still pretty delicate. Other than that, I'm a convert.
  14. Sakae on Thurlow, right off Robson. Everyone I send there raves about it. Make sure to sit at the bar, if you can - the chefs are very entertaining. They know how much I love toro, and made an entire meal out of different kids of toro. It was a very memorable night.
  15. skyflyer3


    Can you tell us what the brand name is on the package? From your text alone, it sounds like you have superfine fructose. Since fructose, or fruit sugar is sweeter than sucrose, or table sugar, I don't think you can use it for the same application without some taste or texture differences. However, if you're pressed for time and have a little table sugar handy, try tasting each one and see if the fruit sugar is sweeter. By the way, Wendy, I use C&H's Baker's Sugar almost exclusively for baking, and it produces consistently good, even-textured results. It gets a little wonky when I use golden castor sugar, though - my baked goods taste great, but are denser and flatter. skyflyer
  16. Ok, I'm going to try the tweaked Double Chocolate Cake again tonight. I'm really concerned about how delicate it is - are people finding that it holds together better with AP than with cake flour? If so, would a high-protein AP like King Arthur Flour be ok, or should I go with Pillsbury bleached AP? One last thing, I love using instant espresso for flavor, but cannot deal with the caffeine at all. Is decaf instant espresso as tasty, and if so, where does one find it? Thank you....
  17. Tried the recipe again this week. Sifted (well, took the ingredients for a spin in the food processor, a la Alton Brown) three times, used C&H Baker's Sugar, Robin Hood Pastry Flour (it was the lowest protein flour I had on hand), beat extra and poured into a Bundt pan. This time it turned out exactly like everyone's pictures - light and lovely, pale, even crumb, crunchy good crust, moist. But not as moist or dense as the version I did with KA Flour and Golden Castor Sugar. It was a nice experiment that proves that good stuff can be made from non-specialty ingredients.
  18. I tried that back in Jan 05, and also loved it. IIRC, Fernwood loved it too. If you want to make it more dense, maybe you could just leave the whites unbeaten, or use less whites? ← Patrick - Do you like it better than the other cakes tested on this thread? Let me know your thoughts on the comparisons.
  19. So, SweetSide -- Please give us your Good Stuff brands for chocolate and brown sugar. ← For "store brand" chocolate, I use Ghirardelli, but at store levels, volume ends up being pricey. I also like Valrhona Guanaja for 70% chocolate and Cacao Barry Mi Amere 58% semi-sweet and Guittard L'Harmonie 64% chocolate. For brown sugar, I like Billingtons and India Tree. Not cheap at $5/lb. For kids and the bake sales, where most people won't notice the difference, I go for the standard fare. For special occasions or where I'm serving people who know good food, I spend the extra $$. ← Oh my goodness, Sweetside, you and I could be the same people. My go-to store brand is Guittard L'Harmonie (although I save it mostly for straight eating), and I use Billingtons and India Tree exclusively for my cookies while simultaneously complaining about the $$$. Ok, I lied. My go-to brand is Trader Joe's Pound Plus Bitterweet. It is supposedly Belgian, and the only thing resembling quality chocolate at $3/lb. With the amount of baking I do, I need to buy good chocolate for cheap. Is it possible to get better prices for better chocolate, without having to purchase 20 lbs at a time? Actually, I could probably do 20 lbs....Oh, and I've had bad experiences with Ghirardelli, so I don't go there.
  20. skyflyer3

    Baking 101

    Respectfully, I disagree - sometimes you want a little gluten in your cake, it just depends on what kind of structure you want your cake to have. I've done chiffon cakes with cake flour and gotten fluffy, light cakes, and I've done chiffon cakes with AP flour and gotten firm, dense, moist cakes, and both have turned out great - but they serve different purposes for me. I gotta ask - do some people have different types of AP flour for different types of baking? For example, I use King Arthur AP for a lot of my stuff, including cakes that ask for AP, but am wondering if I should use a bleached one like Gold Medal for cakes.
  21. I made the Chocolate Chiffon Cake from Spago Chocolate, and I think it is tops of all the recipes I've tried so far. Good chocolate flavor, nice well-developed crumb, excellent structure - I love it. The only thing I would change is that I wish it were a little more dense, as it is more of a spongy cake. But otherwise, it is fantastic. I filled it with a light whipped milk chocolate ganache with chopped almonds, and finished it with a dark chocolate glaze - so tasty!
  22. Hey - I have some Robin Hood flour I got in Vancouver that is Cake and Pastry, and I always wondered if I could use it is cake flour. I'll check the protein content too.
  23. I think smaller pans are key. Mine tasted great, were very moist, but the 1/2 I put in the large loaf pan sunk, while the ones I split over three loaf pans did better. Although, I'm wondering if my baking powder is kaput. Could that be a factor in a sinking center, or would it be more like overcooking? Edited to day: This recipe is much better than the Perfect Pound Cake recipe in the Cake Bible. I think the heavy cream is key.
  24. Etta's in the market is open later on the weekends, and was quiet last time I went. Dahlia is also open later, but I don't remember if it was quiet. Oh, try Brasserie Margaux, or Tulios.
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