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Cala Massey

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Posts posted by Cala Massey


  1. Thanks for your reply. I did read McGee, Cookwise and others and I am aware of what happens to the flour, leavening, air pockets etc. when the stuff goes into the oven. None of these books mention what happens to chilled batter as it relates to the leavening ability of baking soda in particular...and moreso over an extended period of refrigeration. Well, I haven't found it. Will someone please post the pages of the book where this is discussed.

    Having said that, thanks kitchenimage for providing some sort of explanation but is there more to this I wonder? would this refrigeration work for all kinds of cake batter? Had I not sealed the container holding the batter, would all the CO2 have 'escaped'? what if I had brought back the dough to room temperature before baking? Hoepfully, as you say, someone wil come along to shed more light.

    thanks

    CM


  2. On Friday night I made up some batter for carrot cupcakes. AP flour and whole wheat pastry flour, oil and applesauce(no butter), brown sugar, grated carrots, walnuts raisins etc. the amount of flour totalled 1 1/4 cups and the leavener was 1 tsp baking soda only.

    I got really fatigued(I am a new baker and the process was exhausting) and decided to refrigerate the batter until the next day. This was about 8 pm. I stored it in an airtight container.

    On Saturday, I was reading a couple cookbooks and most of them said that batters with baking soda should be baked immediately upon combining the soda with the liquid and the acid, since as time passes the efficacy of the leavening agent is reduced. I panicked because I was nowhere near home.

    Anyway, when I got home at around 9 pm( some 13 hrs after refrigerating the batter), I decided to go ahead and bake rather than discard the batter. As I opened the container, there was a sigh as though gases were being released(kind of like when you punch down bread dough?). There were bubbles on the surface of the batter. I used a number 20 scoop to fill the muffin cupsand proceeded to bake at 350 degrees(Note that one muffin cup was filled wih water). BTW, I baked right out of the refrigerator, just added some nuts and gave it a stir.

    Get this....the cupcakes rose even more than they had previously, when I had baked cupcakes immediately after blending the batter(made this recipe once before). Why did this happen? All the research suggests that the cupacakes should have baked flat.

    I hope someone can explain

    Thanks,

    CM


  3. Hi guys:

    i need help with my cupcake recipe. The taste of the cupcake was great; it was relatively soft but it was a tad drier than I would have liked. I would also have liked it to be richer, perhaps? Hope that makes sense. Here is the recipe, please help me make adjustments and please explain why(ALSO, please recommend the size disher or ice-cream scoop that I would need ):

    1 1/4 cups cake flour

    1/2 tsp baking soda

    1/4 tsp baking powder

    1 stick butter

    1 cup sugar

    1/2 cup sour cream

    1/4 tsp salt

    2 whole eggs PLUS 1 egg yolk

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    1/2 tsp almond extract

    I used the creaming method. 12-cup regular light colored muffin tin. filled it 2/3 of the way up. perfectly acceptable dome shape after baking. 350 degree oven, middle rack.

    Thanks for your help.

    CM.


  4. Thanks. I will try with and without four. Did you see my following post about the syrup, lemon essence and how the addition the syrup post baking affects the granola?


  5. Also about the Lemon Granola:

    1. Are the 3 TBS of sugar for the syrup separate from the half cup for the crumble?

    2. Is the syrup of ginger, etc. and lemon essence for the post baking phase as well as pre-baking phase...or...? I was a tad confused.

    3. Part of my question above, I think. How hould adding the syrup after baking affect the "crunch"..would it be sticky or....I guess this is candymaking 101 but I am still figuring things out...


  6. I have been lear to make this and have a few questions:

    1. I am confused about the crumbly consistency as opposed to the granola consistency. This is a little silly, but can you pls explain clearer how you get either and what it should look like? If this has something to do with the flour added please say.

    3. Wheat germ. Should I add the toasted wheat germ after the the mixture is baked and cood OR would I add it before? Would the toasted wheat germ burn....or what? Maybe use untoasted wheat germ?

    3 Another method someone suggested: Toast each component separately and then mix together toasted components with the butter and sweetener. That wouldn't be crunchy, would it?

    I hope you can help me here...I bought all my ingredients yesterday after I say the Barefoot Contessa - Ina Garten - make it.

    Thanks.


  7. My simple-stupid question is about aromatics. Sometimes I want to prepare something that I have done before and I remember the main ingredients(eg. spinach, lentil, tomatoes,chicken, whatever) BUT, I dont remember how much onions, carrots, celery, garlic, or whatever, was used for flavoring. I guess mosttimes one can adjust seasonings like salt and pepper at the end but you cant go back and saute additional onions, garlic or otherwise that would add depth of flavor.Could someone provide some guideline for me on how to determine a reasonable amount of aromatics to be used given a certain quantity of main ingredient to be used? I can't seem to gauge this from different recipes, it seems so random, you know?

    CM


  8. Tyler Always-Looks-Loaded Hamilton. Really, why does that guy always look like he's under the influence. Really. When I can hear what he is sayin, love him. BTW, please get rid of that horrible girl from HTBW, I could do a way better job!

    Is this Tyler Florence you're referring too? I kinda like him, he's cute but I like his go for' the best of' attitude. Yea..we do that here too.

    Yeah I meant Florence and edited. Thx.


  9. Way Beyond the scope of the question, but here's my take on FN.

    That Sandra Lee Lady that does Foul Stuff under the guise of Semi-Home-made. Ewww!

    Rachel EVOO Ray is barely tolerable; Her 30 minute Meals should really be called Semi-Home-made; if I hear her say, "I don't bake" one more time before she assembles a Sandra-Lee like dessert concoction, I am gonna puke!

    Paula Country-Cookin-Makes-You-Goodlookin' Deen; that horrid laugh..ugh! The greasy food...Abominable!

    Emeril Pork-Fat-Rules LaGasse. His day show appeals somewhat, BUT the Vegas-Style night show should be "BAM-ed" from the network.

    Alton Genius-Self-Deprecating Brown. Need I say more. Love the hands Alton.

    Sara Oh-Dear Moulton; just hit the snooze button pronto - if you are not lulled into some semi-conscious state byt that eerie little high-pitched voice, she's A-OK!

    Tyler Always-Looks-Loaded Hamilton. No, not Hamilton, Florence. But really, why does that guy always look like he's under the influence. Really. When I can hear what he is sayin, love him. BTW, please get rid of that horrible girl from HTBW, I could do a way better job!

    Giada, Giada, Giada, You should be on a Crest commercial and not in the kichen. Oh and BTW, did you know that she enhances her boobs with chicken cutlets..LOL..and here I was being jealous. Anyway, of all the chefs on the Network, I try your recipes the most...mmmm, melts in your mouth(in case you don't know she always says this and closes her eyes and as if in a semi-orgasmic state...lol)!

    The Barefoot Contessa. Ina, you rock! I like you and your l'il husband when he appears. Your recipes are right neck-and-neck with Giada's in my kitchen. You make me feel like I can actually learn to cook. But that laugh has gotta go! Guys, have ever heard her laugh? You wil die laughing, trust me!

    Mario Molto Mucho Batali. Mucho EVERYTHING! Head, Belly, Hands, and....his knowledge of Italian food and its origins. A true history lesson everytime!

    OMG...Michael Carmelization Chiarella. Love, Love, Love Him, if only to watch his hands...YUM(SHould have said this about Alton too, minus the YUM...lol)! BTW, he uses that word carmelization just way too often, so now when I watch, its more about counting how many times he says the word and not about the food.

    Ahh...almost forgot Most-Obnoxious-"Awardee" - Bobby Flay! Just not feelin' the guy, especially when is on ICA. Speaking of....

    Iron Chef Japan - one word, Gangsta. Love it. Iron Chef America has a ways to go, don't ya think? Especially Alton and Kevin's floor commentary. Anyway, I learn a lot from both shows

    Those healthy people - Jorge Cruz, George Stella - I just they would be more charismatic; I have to actually suffer through Georgey Beady Eyes' delivery just to learn that cream is good on low carb. I say, "Hey dude, what about my arteries!". In the very next segment, this very morning, Jorge low-fat, no-fat Cruz says "no cream!"...so, who's right?

    The Surreal Gourmet guy just creeps me out but I like his creativity with using tropical ingredients to liven up his dishes.

    The pastry people I don't watch too much..and even less of the 30 minute commercials like Unwrapped and FoodFinds. The show "Recipe for Success" that explores buisness development should be expanded to an hour.


  10. This is what I know about these blenders:

    4500: Hi and Lo speeds only

    5000: Hi and Lo speeds; a knob that allows you to go lower than the low speeds for making chunly uff like salsas, chopped herbs, chunky type pestos. If you ask me, you can use your mini FP for this.

    Super 5000: Tyhe only difference from the 5000 is that it comes with another bowl-like container for doing dry stuff like grains etc.

    You decide if it's worth it. That dealer suggested another blender to me that he says is much better than all the Vitamix blenders but is in the price range of the 4500. In fact, i believe that the recommendation is the one that Jamba Juice uses. He convinced me. it has variable speeds and times pre-programmed.


  11. I finally got to read the article in its entirety. Unlike Lily, my mother can cook(and enjoys it though she is a busy professional - in all fairness though, she has a helper during the week); my siblings can cook; I don't know how I developed this particular cooking impairment. That's not true - I know, my father cannot cook to save his ass. Despite what I know - that I am(was, still somewhat) intimidated and afraid - my siblings use to think that this was because I thought it was "cute" not to be able to cook. While they are wrong, I get the distinct sense that Lily thinks its "cute", "de rigeur" or whatever not to cook. Note that her husband justifies his wife's inability to cook by suggesting that she is "enslaving" herself if she spends hours in the kitchen.

    Another point, is that when I started to learn, I would not taste the food. I think this was partly due to the fact that I felt it would sabotage my fitness(you know what I mean). I had to force myself to do it or it would be a waste of time and money. Now I taste like a wine taster (I spit) and then enjoy my final meal, if one can call it that. Because of my experience, I feel that Lily may be victim of her own creation - if she doesn't cook, she'll stay slim. But this mindset is quite erroneous, don't you think? Most fitness people, prepare their own food because they know what they are eating. They also learn how to prepare different things so as not to make their diet montonous and thus limit the desire to stray from that diet.

    I could go on and on but I will end by saying this article does not explicitly explore why people don't cook anymore (or maybe I am missing something). Sure it hints at it but the nagging feeling that you get is not that she is so busy or too afraid or that there are alternative sources for meals BUT that she thinks its "cool". Look at her comment at the end of the article about the turkey. It was not a contemplative statement, it was almost...umm...boastful. If my mother had not cooked for me and made holidays what they were, I would not have some of the memories that I do - she created these meals lovingly with her own hands. What if my mother didn't write to us at boarding school and ask what we wanted our first meal to be when we got home? And trust me, she would leave work early just to satisfy our requests and she was and still is a very busy woman.

    Just my opinion. "Man cannot live by salad alone"


  12. When I started, it all tasted so foul (worst than my first attempt some years ago when I became a fitness junkie). I didn't have salt. That's how I found this board. I was looking to find out which salt to buy because I had gone to the supermarket and they had tons of different types.

    So, what kind of salt did you get? :raz:

    After hours of reading and indecison, I got three: Fleur de Sel(the brand at Williams Sonoma), Diamond Kosher, and fine-grain sea salt from Eden.


  13. Interesting. Prior to 11/04, I never cooked. I didn't know how. I had no interest in learning. I had my "go-to" restaurants in the city. I , however, knew that water was boiling when it started to bubble vigorously. I had recently moved, got sick, had no groceries(fruits and stuff) or leftovers, didn't eat pizza or dry cereal, didn't know about the quality of food in my new neighbourhood, almost died - not from what was ailing me but from hunger. I made a pact with myself that I would learn how to cook once and for all even if I dont do it everyday. It is a necessary "skill". When I started, it all tasted so foul (worst than my first attempt some years ago when I became a fitness junkie). I didn't have salt. That's how I found this board. I was looking to find out which salt to buy because I had gone to the supermarket and they had tons of different types. I do much better now. I just got my first oven burn on my pretty little wrists, I didn't even freak. I was so proud of it, I called my mother to tell her. She still doesn't know that I finally decided to learn(she thought I was fooling around with the stove). I hope to surprise her one of these days. But, learning to cook especially if you don't have a knack for it is intimidating as hell! Maybe it is for other people too - like that lady. Who knows!


  14. I was researching smoking at home last week. I was uncertain about smoking the chicken after applying the jerk rub and it absolutely can be done. How it tastes, I don't know because I have not tried it.

    CM

    Off Topic: I was hoping to smoke it until almost done and then apply a swwet barbecue sauce(to offset the jerk heat) and then stick it under the broiler to finish cooking and to crisp.


  15. Please suggest basic equipment and 1 to 3 very good, detailed and well illustrated books or other information source.

    Thank You.

    CM

    P.S. BTW, I am referring to both Pastry and Baking, when I say "learning to bake". Also, if you live in NYC, is there a live course that you would recommend, should I decide after I dabble at home that I want to attend one)


  16. Sam,

    On a recent cookware thread on the cooking board, you were trying to help a member choose appropriate sized pots for sauces. As a relative newbie to cooking and cookware purchasing, I am quite challenged in choosing the appropriate size for any recipe that I am interpreting. Understanding this would also assist me in making wiser cookware purchases in the future. This may be impossible but can you try to offer some guidelines that will inform me in this case. You may use examples of recipes etc. using liquids and/or grains and/or veggies and/or whatever...Sometimes I am just confused and I start with a pan with a certain capacity and the contents cannot hold in the end and I have to switch pots or it turns out to be too big etc....Dilemma...Yeah, strange but true!

    Thank you for any insight here.


  17. Hi Sam,

    I appreciate your candid response. The "fog" is clearing.

    1. I will definitely purchase a reasonably priced saucepan in 1.5/2qt. This will be a tall saucepan. When I start doing reductions and sauces, I will get a "try me" sautese evasee from Falk(this is a future purchase).

    2. With regards to the saucepan in the 3 - 4 qt range, I will let that go until my cooking skills improve and I can better assess usage. You are indeed correct that I can use my 3.5qt LC oven for rice, polenta etc, as you do. I think that I was unsure as to whether I could use a cast iron pot for that. Relief!

    Thanks again for your help.

    CM


  18. Hey Sam:

    Thanks for your response. You are correct that I should assess my cooking quantities and techniques before I make any more purchases. Based on your lesson, I have gathered that the material and shape of the cooking equipment is important.

    1. From the frypan category, the only pan that I seem not to use much is the saute pan. All the others, I have found, I prefer for different things. Example, for high heat searing of say tuna steaks, I prefer the cast iron; for frittatas, pancakes, scrambled eggs, the non-stick works; for pan roasting chicken and making pan sauces, i use the stainless stelel skillet.

    2. In the liquids category, I use the 8 qt AC stock pot as I only make 6 ounces maximum at any one time. I use a colander in the sink to drain the pasta. I am only thinking of purchasing the tall and narrow stockpot in a larger size in the event that I want to make stocks etc.

    3. Also, in the liquids category, I use the 5 1/2 qt cast iron dutch oven for any stewing and braising like curries and fricasses. The 3 1/2 quart is the one I haven't used as much.

    4. This brings me to the real dilemma in the liquids category. I do not have appropriately-sized non-cast iron pans for making rice, porridge, rewarming soups/stock, etc. So the real question is which material, shape and size should I get for this? Ok let's say, I go for 2 quarts in the small/medium category, is it better to get a saucier or saucepan shape, copper or stainless steel?( BTW, the 3 1/2 qt cast iron dutch oven is way too big for some of the quantities that I make)

    The rationale behind the saucepan or saucier in the 3 - 4 quart range, was to have an alternative size for making large quantities of say risotto , polenta etc. I also wanted the 2 quart and the 3 - 4 quart to be different shapes for more vaersatility

    what would you recommend?

    2 quart saucier or saucepan?

    3 or 4 quart saucier or saucepan?

    what material and brand recommendations for both?

    I just want to get thiese pot purchases over with now....then its over for a few years!

    Hope I am making sense and that you can help me deciper this...

    Thanks.

    CM


  19. Hi Sam:

    I read your cookware article with interest. Great Job!

    Anyway, I am outfitting my kitchen with new cookware and I need your help, particularly in the saucepan/stockpot area, but feel free to comment on everything. as I can downsize or upgrade as per your suggestions. Price is no object. I am cooking for one (sometimes two - infrequently).

    A. What I already own:

    10 1/4" Lodge Cast Iron skillet

    10" AC skillet

    3 qt AC saute pan

    10" Circulon non-stick skillet

    8 qt. AC hybrid stockpot/dutch oven

    3 1/2 qt LC round French Oven

    5 1/2 qt LC round French Oven(do I really need both the 3 1/2 and the 5 1/2? which should I keep and if you recommend that I keep both, why?)

    B. As I said above, I need stockpots/saucepans for porridge, rice, rissotto, polenta, etc.

    What I am looking at:

    1 - 1.5 qt saucepan for melting butter, delicate sauces etc. etc OR the "try me" falk saucier

    2 qt tall straight gauge saucepan - rice, porridge, warming/reheating liquids, boiling eggs etc.(6 diam by 4) - is this ok?

    4 qt straight gauge saucepan(8 dia by 4 3/4) OR 4.5qt copper sautese evasee - whish is better(11 dia. by 3.6) - what do you think? saucepan or saucier? stay in the 4 qt range as above or drop to the 3 qt range? (you see i am kinda small and I have seen comments that suggest that the Falk 4.5 qt saucier is heavy)

    12 or 16 quart tall stockpot (this I will get later but the previous 3 are really important)

    2 1/4 qt LC buffet casserole(for shallow frying?)

    Your comments about my previous purchases and future purchases are greatly appreciated.

    Thank You.

    CM

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