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Everything posted by Lindacakes

  1. Hee, hee. I think Janet and I are the resident fruitcake supporters. We support your ravenous chase for fruitcake. Try this book -- Favorite Fruitcakes: Recipes, Legends and Lore from the World's Best Cooks and Eaters by Moira Hodgson. You can get it from Amazon. Dolores Casella's World of Baking (also out of print, but available from Amazon or eBay) has a healthy section on fruitcake. Enjoy your quest for the perfect fruitcake.
  2. I think what we're saying without saying it is that cake mix is a class issue. As food increasingly becomes a class issue -- a global class issue. Last night I went to Citarella to buy fresh fish, organic eggs, organic yogurt and olive rolls. And I gave some money to the man begging out front, the one with one foot. And I was acutely aware of food as a class issue.
  3. Love that cannoli taste? Can't find the shells? You can use the cream for other things -- I served my leftovers with bananas and strawberries for breakfast the next day. And I honestly think it was the best dessert I've ever had!!! Light and very thin vanilla cookies sandwiched with ricotta cream? This might work because the real cannoli greatness is in the thinness of the shell.
  4. This makes me laugh because until a few years ago, I used Duncan Hines brownie mix. Then I discovered Nick Malgieri's Supernatural Brownies. This is the only recipe I have memorized and I can make it nearly as fast as a box. You could not make me eat a boxed brownie again.
  5. Who doesn't like cannoli? Buy the shells, they are not worth it to make. Make the ricotta cream with fresh raw sheep's milk ricotta from an Italian specialty store. If you can swing it, angelica bits in the cream. Chopped high quality bittersweet chocolate. People will follow you home. Not a traditional recipe per se, but hazelnut cake tastes Italian to me all the time, and Nick Malgieri's Browned Butter Hazelnut Financier is one of my absolutely favorite cakes. No frosting required.
  6. The method I used, with my notes: Candied Cherries 1 pound fresh cherries, rinsed, stemmed and pitted 2 cups granulated sugar 1/2 cup water 1/2 lemon 1 cup apple juice In a non-reactive saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Add the cherries and the lemon half. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until syrup is red and slightly thick, about 20 minutes. Cover and let stand 2-3 hours, or overnight. Strain the cherries, reserving the syrup, and set them aside. Discard the lemon half and add the apple juice to the syrup. Bring the syrup to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Return the cherries to the syrup, reduce the heat and cook slowly until the syrup is thick. Heat to about 220 degrees if you are using a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and cool. The cherries can be stored for at least six months in the refrigerator. NOTE: I would do the reduction, then add the cherries for a few minutes at the end, and then allow to cool. A pound and a half of cherries cooked down to one pound, maybe less, based on how shriveled they were at the end. The cherries begin to wrinkle and lose their shape at the end. So, less cooking is optimal. The reduction takes a lot longer and at a higher temperature than is indicated here.
  7. I candied cherries when they were in season for fruitcake that I baked this fall. The cherries sat for six months or so in the fridge, so I kept them in the syrup. When time to use them, I drained the syrup, and froze it. Nightscotsman's recipe at the beginning of the marshmallow thread calls for strawberry puree. I'm planning on adjusting his requirements for the cherry marshmallows. I'm contemplating throwing in some flecks of cherry. The cherry candying experiment went extremely well. I cannot believe how beautiful and delicious the outcome was. I'm looking forward to the cherries in the farmer's market this summer -- I'm going to candy at least three pounds of them. The results are that good.
  8. Help . . . on the BBC Web site, I do not see the particular parsnip soup mentioned. I do like the potato, carrot and parsnip soup on epicurious. Also just tried the minestrone, which is delicious and uses a great amount of very healthy vegetables.
  9. Beautiful cake, beautifully displayed!
  10. Cherry marshmallows with a dark chocolate coating . . .
  11. Robert, this was not a good baking year for me. A more evil and yet more fun topic would be, what horrible thing did you have to eat in a social situation? Really bad sugar cookie cutouts would rate high for me, but tough fudge is a close second. This might be better, even, however, than the plates of cookies that remained uncovered, unoffered, from my sister-in-law's table. Except that I've tasted the contents before, and covered is a good place for them.
  12. What a stunning display. I am an eternal fan of Maida Heatter's Sour Cream Pecan Dreams. The best cookie in the world. I had a dry baking year, not much enthusiasm or time. My best success was finding a recipe (from epicurious) for my partner's mother, who wanted to make gingerbread. She enjoyed it, and the results were extremely tasty. Recipe is called Gingerbread Snowflakes, of all things. Triple the spices and cut the cooking time. She cut these out as santa-with-pack, and frosted them, and I couldn't stop eating them.
  13. I cannot speak for that particular recipe, but I would advise against it. Pecan pies are moody. I laughed at my mother-in-law for serving one spooned over ice cream (it was liquid) until it happened to me, this past Thanksgiving. Meaning that you could easily overbake a pecan pie. They appear to be baked when they are not.
  14. Tejon, Would you care to share the crystallized ginger butter cookie recipe? Those look splendid. You could get me to eat my shoe if you sprinkled crystalized ginger on it. L.
  15. I think people associate corn syrup with high fructose corn syrup. I don't like corn syrup pecan pie. I would recommend looking for recipes for chess pie, which is the same thing only better. I have an excellent recipe (not at my fingertips, I'm at work) which is, I believe, all about butter and brown sugar. Take a look at the Thomas Jefferson pie in Joy of Cooking. I made one once, it's unusual and delicious, I offer this up only as a sticky pie ingredient concept meme.
  16. Mmmmmm . . . I would order this, I love all things root beer and root beer floats. However, personally, the cake is a downer. What I like about root beer is the soft creaminess, best accented by vanilla ice cream. So I would prefer a root beer creme brulee, a root beer pudding, a root beer ice cream (there's a twist), a root beer cheesecake, etc. When I think of root beer, I think of the thick glass mugs that A&W serves it in. Accentuation of the general thickness of the beverage . . . A cake version of this might be more like a brownie . . .
  17. Oh, it was nothing too special -- just some cut dried fruit and nuts placed around the top just before baking. I hadn't done this before, but I was in Sicily in the spring and fell in love with cassata and got very interested in the decorating style. So, when faced with my own fruitcakes this year (just these), I put some cut fruit and nut designs on the top. They don't get covered with cake, they don't burn, they get sort of shiny from the heat. You can work to your heart's content, move the stuff around. Doesnt' affect the cake at all. If you can get citron in large pieces (halves or whole) and you want to work with it, it makes a really beautiful addition. Nice color (light lime green) and nice long strips to play with.
  18. Sent to a relative in West Virginia, who opened the package and sent the two cakes to two different addresses now that the aunts have parted after Thanksgiving. Don't know what happened, but I've found the mail to be really slow this holiday. Thanks for caring! It was heartbreaking after all that work and pride, and I decorated the tops so cunningly! We'll see how they hold up to ageing. I'm thinking a nice hot chocolate sauce will moisten them up well if necessary . . .
  19. Here it is, toots -- looks like they've started packaging them in smaller quantities. http://www.dakinfarm.com/xq/aspx/paging.ye.../qx/Product.htm
  20. I'm sorry, I don't know -- I picked it up off the King Arthur threads. I've gleaned that it's important to do your own calibration. Any customer service rep that would do that is an ass.
  21. I was so far ahead -- I had 10 fruitcakes baked and wrapped and resting in the closet before Thanksgiving. I made red velvet cupcakes for a potluck at work. I'm having a small get-together on Saturday night and I need an idea -- I'm thinking chocolate ginger cookies. There will be cheese and nuts and lamb sausage and sopressata and olives and an apricot paste cake thingy, crackers, little smoked salmon sandwiches, that kind of thing. I'm thinking of doing gingerbread in a Santa spekulaas mold I have. Any ideas? Butter? Heh. I've been buying high fat organic butter which is running me ten bucks and pound and using it at a rate that is scaring me.
  22. Fruitcake high: I found my fruitcakes!
  23. Public service announcement -- apparently KA has been, for some time, developing a smaller bowl that will fit on the 6quart machine. Supposed to be out by April.
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