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Everything posted by Lindacakes

  1. I used Valrhona 70 %, by the way.
  2. Sorry -- what I mean is, whatever size you chop them to, that's the size they'll be in the cake. Except that I found a bit of clumping, so my fruit pieces were fruit conglomerates. Only where figs were concerned, though.
  3. I've been trying to perfect my pie and I think I finally have it. My pumpkin pie, despite the butter, the lard, the cream, the eggs, was light and delicious and melted in the mouth. I'd just like to take a minute to own that. And share this: half butter, one quarter Crisco and one quarter leaf lard is da bomb.
  4. You'll get the same size pieces in your cake, and they have a bit of a tendency to clump together. I found the fig pieces were magnets for other pieces of fruit. So, it depends on what you would like in your finished product. The recipe calls for 100 grams of chocolate. My personal taste would be to add more. The chocolate flavor of the cake, as written, is quite subtle. I have yet to try adding a chocolate sauce, but intend to. I'm ageing it and found that I liked the two week old piece better than younger pieces.
  5. I finally made my Chocolate Alcohol Cake after months of marinating. I like the cake, but I'm wishing it was chocolaty-er. It was still warm when I first ate it and I LOVED the melted chocolate part. So, twere I to make it again, or advise anyone else, take the AT LEAST part of the chocolate measurement seriously! Also, I think I might try flouring the fruits or something before mixing -- there are bigger clumps of fruit in my cake than I like. The result is that I like tearing it in clumps and eating those rather than slicing it! I'm trying a bit each day to see how it ages. Tonight I'm going to try warming and buttering it . . .
  6. Egggggggggnogggggggggggg!!!! That's my favorite part! Absolutely splendid! I like the inclusion of the chocolate sauce. Perfect. Every element of delishiousness spoken for.
  7. Stir up Sunday, that's excellent! I'll be making a chocolate fruitcake on Sunday, I'll say my prayers over it. I've actually never tasted sulphur in the apricots -- I have to admit I like the nice color the sulphured ones have, and also the texture . . . Just realized that actually, the term sugarplums means candied fruit . . .
  8. I don't know what all that pressing is about, unless it's supposed to substitute for pie weights. I would recommend using the pie weights. I'm thinking maybe your flutes are falling because of the weight of the foil? I would skip the foil and just use the weights, make sure your crust is nice and cold when you put it in the oven. The only time I've had my flutes flop is when I used one of those Mrs. Somebody's rings that is supposed to keep the crust from burning. The weight of it crushed the fluting, so I used it as a frisbee. Foil has never let me down. Do you know about this site -- Taunton Press? There's good pie stuff here. http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/Tips-Te...list.asp#Baking Also, Wendy DuBord on this site has a really robust pie practicum.
  9. jsmeeker, are you resting your dough after rolling and before baking? Once you have the dough in the pan, put it in the fridge for a half hour before baking. Pie, and pie, and pie and pie and pie! Thanksgiving is a big excuse to make and consume more than one pie -- pumpkin, pecan, and cranberry merengue
  10. Never eaten warm fruitcake? Wow. I like mine buttered and then heated in the oven, wrapped in foil. Warm, buttery, fruity . . . Egggggggggggggggnogggggggggggggggggg?
  11. What is not to like about cake studded with bits of fruit? I don't get that! I'm sure there are a lot of bad fruitcakes out there, but I never met one I didn't like. I used to eat some sort of date cake thingy I got at the A&P . . . Last night I made two more fruitcakes and laid them to rest on my closet shelf next to my first five. The first set was the pictured black cakes. These have ground fruit in them, including the much-maligned electric kool-aid acid candied cherry. For Grandma's fruitcake, the one I made last night, I candied my own sour cherries when they were in season. Jesus, were those beeyooteeful! I drained the juice and froze that for another day. I HIGHLY recommend taking advantage of a cherry crop in this manner. I really, really like glace pineapple. Ordered from Vine Tree Orchards. I'm going to try doing this myself, too. Fruitcake can be a cassata, a granny-style loaf, a pannetone, a tropical mix, a date loaf, panforte, etc. I'm also thinking plum pudding and florentines. Glittering settings to show off that jewel-like fruit . . . someone here posted an image quite recently about slices of her granny's cake, so thin, one could see light through the stained glass like fruit pieces. Sigh. There is a book you might want to take a look at -- Moira Hodgson's Favorite Fruitcakes. I read every recipe in this lately to determine that there are two kinds of fruitcake: one containing alcohol that must be aged, the longer the better; and a non-alcoholic version that is not aged. They tend to be alcohol/dark or nonalcohol/light, as in color. This is an artificial line -- my granny's cake has no alcohol and is aged for a month. The black cake has two fifths of liquor in it and doesn't really begin to taste good until four months. So, here are some thoughts from one who wants to see you rise to the highest heights of fruitcake glory: Personally candied fruit is delicious. Do not fear citron. Think about big presentation -- look at pictures of cassata, very exciting. Angelica is a fabulous thing. Especially with chocolate. A wee bit of flavoring (not vanilla) added to the batter. Chocolate. Think fancy alcohol, like the pear mentioned above, as opposed to rum or brandy. Good luck!
  12. Fruitcakes definitely improve with age. I would guess, though, that there's a point of diminishing returns . . . Fruitcake was developed as an early method to preserve food -- sugar and alcohol both being good preservatives. Fruitcakes travelled with the Crusaders. So, we're talking about years. Where's our resident food historian, Janet?
  13. Natasha1270, I have those Fiesta Ware bowls -- they were my grandmother's and I don't use them -- I have them on top my kitchen cabinets and they add nice color. I used to use them for fruits and vegetables, also very colorful but high maintenance to keep up. This is an interesting thread; it made me realize how very particular I am about bowls and how many I have. My mother had the mixer pictured above, I loved that glass bowl. Hers was an off white color, and I still remember how the little exhaust vent smelled . . . My favorite mixing bowls are a set of 7 graduated white melamine that I got from Crate and Barrel. They often have this set in revolting colors. I bought white as a concession and now I can't imagine living without them. I keep them on top of my refrigerator, the white blends with the white. I also have a set of plain glass graduated bowls that I use for indoor picnics -- I fill each one with something, usually something that can be eaten by hand, and set them on the floor or coffee table for an indoor picnic. I also have a really, really useful set of three pyrex bowls -- blue, yellow and red. They're clear with a painted coating. I got them for ten bucks or so in a discount store; I've seen them in an antique store for a hundred. I like the Mason Cash -- do they hold up well, no chips? Are they impossibly heavy when full? This is why I like the melamine -- really light!
  14. Cookman, Janet hasn't seen your question, apparently about her cake. I have done the macerating, so maybe I can help -- I used a cup of Grand Marnier and the honey and the amount of fruit called for. The fruit entirely absorbs all of the liquid and becomes a wonderful gob of honeyed fruit. I have had mine macerating for several months and am about to make my cake, perhaps this weekend. Will most likely end up freezing it as it is not an ageing type fruitcake. Linda
  15. Gingerbread is one of my favorites . . . I think the most successful dessert I ever made came after a spectacular standing rib roast and included gingercake, a bittersweet chocolate mousse and date cookies. Accompanied by both plain and cinnamon whipped cream. My two favorite ginger recipes are for: Gingerbread Tiles http://www.estarcion.com/gastronome/archives/001633.html I made these as a present for a friend who'd given me a springerle rolling pin. I want to try them again this year with a spekulaas mold. The glaze gives a snowy look to the finished product. I think you could probably make men with these, too, but the texture is sort of cookie, sort of cakey. The men would probably blob up. The cake recipe calls for fresh ginger cooked in melted butter and powdered mustard. I can't remember where I got it, I can post it if you're interested. Some folks don't care for it as it has a bite, I love it. I use Steen's syrup instead of molasses. I would especially like to know how it stacks up against Julia's recipe. Has anyone tried the triple ginger cookies at Trader Joe's? I'm thinking the triple ginger (powder, fresh, candied) is probably the way to go.
  16. A Christmas pudding is very much like a black cake -- I use very good port and dark rum. I've also soaked fruit in Grand Marnier to excellent effect.
  17. You know, guys, I'm a Pastry and Baking regular, and I pop on over here to see what the rest of the world is up to, you know, just a little rest from six tiered wedding cakes and the best dusting agent to dry and soften the pillowy marshmallows, and just how do I cut my pates des fruits into perfect squares and the best method to candy a ginger slice and here you are . . . Reaching dizzying culinary heights of humorous indulgence. I commend you. I raise my glass of simple syrup to you. Long may you wave.
  18. Have you tried it? I'm doing Janet's chocolate fruit cake this year (chocolate alcohol cake) and I think I've decided to do Maida Heatter's chocolate pan forte, too. It's an endless round of acquiring and using up citron . . .
  19. It depends on when you need the cakes to be edible. If you are going for Christmas, I would soak for a month only. Your cakes will be two months old at Christmas, which is edible, but better if you wait -- my opinion. I found this out by accident -- I found a piece of cake I'd forgotten about and it was magnificent. So I started earlier this year. Next year I have it on my calendar to start the fruit May 1 and bake the cakes September 1. This means four months on each side. What I do is wrap the completely cooled cake with plastic wrap and then again with foil. Then I set them in the cupboard where it is cool. I do not feed the cakes on additional liquor during the aging process. I am a rebel in this regard. A West Indian woman told me that she'd forgotten about a cake for about a year, fed it for a couple of months and it was fine. Do not freeze the cake -- it doesn't age when frozen. It's lost time. I use a mild variation of Lori Colwin's. Each year I try to up the ante ingredient wise. This year I have $50 twenty-year-old port in the cake. I'm so excited I can't sit still. For an amusing tale of waiting for a fruitcake to age, see: http://www.himonkey.net/holiday/xmas/fcw/index.html
  20. I like Maida Heatter's lemon squares myself. The smell of the crust alone is swoonacious.
  21. I made my black cake on Saturday. I have five of them resting in the closet. Last year I discovered that the cake didn't really taste spectacular until the fourth month, so I decided to bake earlier this year. So, I spent a greater part of yesterday reading comparative recipes and noting the aging process. Most cakes only age their fruit for a day and then the cake itself for a month. Depending on the alcohol content. Janet, are you out there? I have my bucket of fruit for the chocolate alcohol cake still sitting and am wondering when I should make the cakes. Do they need to age, can they keep? I'm curious about this Mee Maw cake . . .
  22. I vote for Chicago Metallic, NOT nonstick, or Pyrex and a shorter list for the beginner: 9 x 13 8 x 8 9 inch pie, two of them 9 inch round cake, two of them loaf pans, two of them jelly roll pans, two of them muffin tins, two of them I had this for years, in Pyrex only (except jelly roll and muffin) and did just fine. I've added Chicago Metallic of all sizes since. Other useful pans: 7 inch by 3 inch round cake pans, 3 of them miniature heart shaped pans angel food with removeable bottom tube pan without removeable bottom miniature pie pans larger or smaller loaf pans
  23. Try Nick Malgieri's hazelnut financier. Absolutely one of my favorite cakes.
  24. Just came back, tried many of the suggestions here. After 16 years of chowing on the Cape, this is what I recommend: There is a new restaurant in Provincetown, across the street from Chester's. The name is something like Devon? With four stars on the sign below the name. Holy God, what a great place. You can sit inside across from the chef and watch her work with flames leaping up now and then to add to the excitement. Do order the bouillabaise. You'll swoon. Brewster Fish House. The chowder, wonderful. Everything wonderful. Mac's Seafood on the pier in Wellfleet. The best, freshest Wellfleet oysters. They walk off the beach and onto the plates. Sir Cricket, next to the Bird Watcher's General Store in Orleans. Fried scallop roll. Nauset Light Ice Cream on Route 6 in Eastham? Pass right by Ben and Jerry's on the corner and pull up into the little mall, next to the package store. Ginger ice cream, like the lady says. So good you're goona cry.
  25. A couple of points to add to the marshmallow compendium: I made the vanilla version for a camping trip. These are roastable, but not quite like the store-bought variety. A stale marshmallow holds up to the torture of the flames better. However, if one cuts the marshmallows in sizeable chunks, and inserts two slim sticks into the marshmallow at intervals, then one can hold the marshmallow over the flames until it is heated to the point, nearly, of melting. The resultant molten marshmallow goo is enough to cause one to howl at the moon. You cannot, however, hold that silken square in the heat long enough, really, to form the special brown crust connoisseurs prefer. The leftover marshmallows were then lovingly rolled in melted semisweet Sharfenberger. Some got devoured immediately after their bath, others were left until the chocolate hardened. Please note, if you arrive anywhere with a tray of these chocolate-covered marshmallows in tow, anyone will follow you home.
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