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Everything posted by Lindacakes

  1. Wow, thank you so much! That's it, not quite melted, so decadent, actual butter. I will try those two sources.
  2. Midwestern pea dishes: tuna, peas, wagon wheel pasta, onion, oil and vinegar dressing the compartments in the wagon wheels hold on to the peas my mother used to make a dish that was ground beef with mushrooms and peas, very gravy-ish, spooned over a bed of mashed potatoes
  3. Can someone point me in the direction of a recipe for pain au sucre? I just came back from my first visit to Paris, primarily a pastry orgy, and this was the big revelation for me (besides kougin amman, which I also loved and would like to attempt to replicate). The one I had was round, and had thumbprint-size indentations. Filling the indentations was what seemed to me to be butter and sugar creamed until light and fluffy. Not wholly melted, either, just blobs of sugary butter. That was the most outrageously delicious thing and should be sold on street corners of New York from those little quilted metal carts . . . I bought a kougin amman from the corner pastry shop by the metro, took the metro to Fauchon and bought another kougin amman. Went outside to eat it. Threw the first one away and then went back in to buy three more. With no embarassment whatsoever.
  4. No problem, thanks for the help. I was excited by the concept that I could "put up" the fish ahead of needing to serve it. And I really liked digging around in that pickling jar, trying to find the fish. When I look at the picture and consider recreating it, I'm thinking there needs to be some sort of cheesy bread in the picture, like a blue cheese popover kind of thing. Herb biscuit.
  5. Thank you! How long can you keep this -- the 3 days mentioned?
  6. I'm hoping someone can help me solve a delicious mystery . . . I just got back from a trip to Paris and Corsica. I was served a fabulous salad in Corsica that consisted of a simple mixture of endive, carrots, cauliflower, red onions, frisee, some lettuce greens. Next to the salad was a pickling jar propped open with a cinnamon stick. Inside the jar were three pieces of salmon pickled in olive oil, star anise, capers, thyme, rosemary, carrots, some other unidentified things. I hope I'm properly attaching the photograph. Does anyone know what this is? Where I can get a recipe for it? Maybe it was the setting, or the wine, but it was truly one of the great dining experiences in my life and something I'd like to serve to guests. Thanks for your help!
  7. Exceptionally tasty, the Moroccan carrots from Chez Panisse Vegetables.
  8. I wouldn't necessarily trust photographs of food from an enterprise like Martha Stewart Omnimedia -- a food stylist working for the camera can put all sorts of stuff in food to make it photograph beautifully . . . The photograph of this cake that I remember reminds me of that old commercial where they take a can of frosting and use a paper knife to spread it. By the way, how does it taste?
  9. Ah, sweet dreams are made of this: Dorie Greenspan's snack pack for travelling.
  10. I think you can roll them flat with a rolling pin, cut to size, stack, and use them as shims.
  11. I did the brown sugar bundt cake with hazelnuts and double pear (fresh pear and dried pear instead of prunes) for a brunch yesterday. Absolutely delicious cake, I loved the hint of hazelnut, although I heard someone who took a piece (this was pot luck) say, "Needs more hazelnut and less pear." The pear made the cake a bit damp and heavy, especially at the bottom, but I couldn't stop eating it.
  12. Most excellent, I'm looking forward to the documentation! There's another thread with some of this in it, I think it got called The Fruitcake Thread. I think we should start The Fruitcake Club since there are so few of us . . . Also, if you do King Arthur Baking Circle, there's a thread in there I started about plastic buckets (I ended up using plastic but I'd love to have a crock for this) that got quite lengthy and involved some Islanders. I got inspired by Laurie Colwin's Black Cake recipe, which is where most of us non-Islanders get the bug. I used a Baking Circle member's recipe, which is mostly Laurie Colwin with a couple of changes based on other recipes. My eternal question -- do you ice your cake? How do you serve it? I don't ice mine, but I've tried various things with it, I think the most successful being mascarpone. Did you know you can buy them on eBay? I can't imagine denying myself the fun of creating the cake, or gifting the delighted, or controlling the contents, but you can indeed buy a black cake on eBay! Of course shipping a three pound cake adds up!
  13. One I've always wanted to try -- grape pie. It ain't easy, but imagine how delicious. Make sure you do one of each type -- cream, fruit, nut, squash, etc. There's a book available from Dover with many, many recipes. There's the triumvirate of cream pies -- coconut, banana, chocolate. What fun you two are going to have. Splendid idea.
  14. Cleo, I am very very interested in your testing, and how the winner compared to Nick Malgieri's Supernatural Brownies. Nick's are my favorite, in part because I have the recipe memorized. I can get it together very quickly and always keep appropriate chocolate and dark brown sugar in the house to make them. I've mailed these all over the world to people as gifts . . . Like most everyone, I prefer a fudgey, chewy brownie with a shiny crinkly top. However, there is a bakery in Hoboken that makes a very good brownie, or at least, when they're fresh, they're very good -- the bottoms are somehow dusted with granulated sugar and this adds to the texture, they're a wee bit on the cakey side, and they're frosted with a very soft milk chocolate frosting. No one has mentioned frosting. For some, this is gilding the lily, but I like that texture/taste thing that happens when the teeth come down through the soft fluffy icing and then hit the harder fudgy part with denser darker chocolate. I once had a very charming conversation with a woman I met while browsing cookbooks (I do this a lot, chat me up in your local B&N) about our favorite Maida Heatter recipes. She swore by Maida's Christina's Brownies, which I've yet to make but haven't forgotten. I don't think folks have really mentioned what chocolate they're using, which I think is important. I use a 70 percent Valrhona. I also had an absolutely haunting espresso brownie once, at the Taste Bud catering shop on Third Avenue. Once. Still remember . . .
  15. Here I am! Funny this topic comes up right now because I have it on my calendar to start my fruit. I am very curious about your recipe, if you care to share, Hummingbirdkiss. I've been making black cake for a few years now, and gave my new boss one this year for Christmas. He was floored because he's Trinidadian and hasn't had black cake in ten years and didn't know anyone in the states had even heard of it. He says it tastes the same as the ones his grandmother made. With one exception -- I grind my fruit to a paste, grandma's was chunky. I'm curious about chunky but afraid to change because I love the texture of my cake so much. It's sort of like a pudding -- smooth in its finish, which I think adds to the exotic taste. I buy my burnt sugar at Kalustyan's -- someone I've talked to tried doing their own sugar and felt it didn't taste the same. It's a hard enough cake to make, so I don't complicate it by doing my own sugar. I've found the greatest influences on my cake are the booze and the length of time the cake ages -- I use 750 ml of Myer's dark rum and 750 ml of 25 year old Port. Regardless of the recent news in the Times that the quality of booze doesn't matter in cooking, I think it matters in fruit-soaking. I grind my fruit and I use raisins, plums, cherries, citron, orange peel and lemon peel. I allow this to soak in the booze for at least four months. Once I bake the cakes, I allow them to age for four months before I give them away. I've found that if you eat them earlier, they taste too boozy and have too much of an alcohol effect. I like my cakes to elevate the mood without making you knock over the glassware . . . I use orange marmalade in my cake, and am curious about the rosewater. Too bad they take so dang long to make, and cost so much, a person could do a little bit of experimentation. If you like, at Christmastime, I'll swap you a piece.
  16. This is probably a stupid question, but does it have to be the two cakes you mentioned? When I read the title of this thread and got curious about it, it was because it sparked a memory of the best coffee go-with I've ever had: a date bar. The best date bar I ever had. Someone put a little independent coffee-and-cake stand in the lobby of a building I used to work in. They later got pushed out by Starbucks. Not that Starbucks wanted the space, but that Starbucks wanted no competition in the vicinity. It was a horrible thing to watch, everyone cared about the people running the stand. At any rate, I would go down to buy a cup of coffee and would buy these date bars. Just thinking about them fills me with longing! I'm wondering why the coffee shop is packaging desserts to go that are not very go-ish . . . maybe something that would travel better would sell better? Something you can grab easily at the counter, slip in your pocket and not have to take too much time to eat?
  17. Excuse me, but I'm boggled on the entertaining possibilities of a pastry vs. confections militarization process (see first post). You got a croissant in my chocolate! No, you got chocolate in my croissant! The army of the confectioners is dressed in brown. The army of the pastry is dressed in either white or yellow, I'm not sure. The guns of the confectioners shoot enrobed chocolates. The guns of the pastry people shoot 1 tablespoon balls of cookie dough. Who will win?
  18. Lindacakes


    There's a problem with the Ridley turtle going extinct in Costa Rica because the eggs are sold in bars, to be drunk raw as an aphrodesiac. Most interesting use of eggshells: went to see an exhibit of fairy houses at the NY Botanical Garden. In one of the fairy houses, small pieces of broken egg shell were glued to a miniature kitchen backsplash to approximate a tile look. Very effective. There's your "blown" egg for Easter, and your Ukranian hand-painted version. There's your Greek hard boiled eggs baked into a bread braid. There's little hard boiled quail eggs offered as bar snacks . . . Chocolate filled egg shells . . . I'm picturing some sort of egg pie in which eggs are cooked into a souffle-ish thing, and then broken open and eaten, just a fantasy . . . Some culture out there must be eating embryonic birds . . .
  19. Maybe you can help me with this one -- I placed an order with Zingerman's and it took so long to come they threw in a bag of wild rice for free. Very nice except that I've never been able to find a recipe that appealed to me. It's intimidating stuff. Dark and HARD looking. Ha, I went amok in Aswan with the spices, too, and bought saffron. I kept it for years before I threw it out without ever attempting to use it. But I have to say, that was back in the day when I had an exposed spice rack and I used to love looking at the colors, so I think I got my money's worth. I once discovered a cache of about a hundred little packs of Taco Bell hot sauce. I had already discovered a recipe for a hot sauce I make and freeze for these occassions by then, but the container smelled really good.
  20. OK, maybe I sound like a boob, but can you make a bundt cake in a tube pan? I don't have any bundt pans and I want to make the brown sugar pear bundt cake . . . Dori, you're a peach, by the way. A breath of fresh sugary air.
  21. Lindacakes


    Celery is an essential ingredient in my mother's recipes for both tuna salad and bread dressing. Tuna salad, I can improve on. But the mushroom and celery dressing, uh-uh. Now I'm thinking what about some sort of soy-ish walnut butter in the little celery canoe instead of peanut butter? Chicken soup without celery is like . . . bread without butter.
  22. Lindacakes


    I've always wanted to make Alice B. Toklas' chicken stuffed with golden eggs.
  23. Order it from amazon.com and have it shipped. Save money by buying a used copy. I got mine for $3.00 at an antique store . . .
  24. Lindacakes

    Toast toppings

    hummus, preferably spicy with red peppers any sort of good cheese, melted under the broiler soft cream cheese with lots of green olive chunks in it slices of warm hard boiled egg and salt and pepper butter and Williams Sonoma candied ginger preserve butter and a bit of honey butter and beach plum jelly peanut buttered, then covered with slices of dill pickle
  25. I have a slightly different perspective on this, and it comes from being a buyer, but not a buyer in the food business. Anything I say, therefore, should be taken with a grain of salt. One snag in your situation is that you are doing the selling for your own product, which you care about and feel personally about, so you are confusing the business conduct of a sale with your self esteem. Your bread equals you in this equation. Business is funny and it takes place as the winds blow and you don't know what winds are blowing. In my experience it has been the sales person who does not take the sale personally, but conducts him or herself well in the business of it that makes a difference. Doing business is risky and is an act of confidence. I don't think may of the actions discussed here inspire confidence. Regardless of how your bread tastes, the business end of the deal is about so many other factors to perhaps make the taste of the bread secondary. When I read the first post about the encounter, I thought he laid it on a little thick. Many people, when they do business, overcompensate. It could be that he had no intention of using your bread (again, regardless to how the bread tastes) and just wanted to make you feel good about it.
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