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Everything posted by joaquin

  1. My home ice cream making is a lot easier once I adopted this standard base recipe for whatever flavor I'm preparing: (2) cups heavy cream; (1) cup half and half; (1) cup sugar; one vanilla bean, heat to near boiling, cool down, refrigerate overnight or a minimum of four hours, and spin in ice cream machine. Real ice cream; not frozen custard without the mess of egg yolks. Unbelievably delicious vanilla. If you want chocolate, add 3/4 cup cocoa. strawberry, add 1 1/2 cups mascerated berries, etc.
  2. Your Meyer Lemon sorbet would probably taste better if you ate it right after its cycle in the ice cream maker. It loses the beautiful fluffy texture you have in the picture once you freeze it and serve it later. If it is too soft to serve right from the machine. just put it in the freezer for ten minutes.
  3. The best lemon curd needs the best lemons...Meyer lemons in this case. We have them in California. But if they are not available to you, try 2/3 regular lemons (Eureka) and 1/3 orange juice. But do seek out Meyer lemons.
  4. Assuming you get it back to life, once a week should be the outside limit to go without refreshing. And you might consider adding just a tiny pinch of baking soda to your starter
  5. Did you use rice flour to get that dusting effect on the crust?
  6. Your cupcakes may not be underbaked timewise but maybe your oven was not preheated long enough. That would create the same effect.
  7. I would not fill your cupcake batter all the way to the top of your tins. That can result in overflow that will make the cupcakes hard to remove from their pan and give them a flat look. I think the standard advice, which works well for me, is to fill about 2/3 of the way to the top...maybe you could go to 3/4. But that will give you what you are looking for...the high rounded top effect.
  8. One of the easiest to put together Christmas cookies is the chocolate snowflake. Prep time less than five minutes, two hours in the fridge to firm up, and bake for less than 10 minutes. Penzey's Spices has an excellent recipe on its website.
  9. The best source for dried fruits is www.oldriverfruits.com in northern California...apricots, pluots, several varieties of peaches, cherries, raisins. Reasonably priced, free shipping for orders over $24. Vastly superior to Trader Joes or any other source.
  10. Mmmmmmm.... those Barefoot Contessa Coconut Cupcakes are incredible. They bake up very big and full looking, and with the cream cheese frosting and sprinkling of coconut they look just as irrisistable as in the photo. I made them for a party and folks were moaning in ecstacy. Note though, that the frosting recipes makes at least twice as much as you need for that amount of cake (and I piled it on). ← I just made these Barefoot Contessa Coconut Cupcakes. I found the amount of frosting to be about right. But her recipe calls for about 1/2 a package ( 1 1/3 C.) of sweetened coconut to dip the finished and frosted cakes in. That was not enough. You will need an entire package to have the proper amount of coconut atop your cakes. Skimpy on this finishing touch does not make it.
  11. A search of Food Network for Coconut Cupcakes turned up only Rachael Ray and not the Barefoot Contessa that was well reviewed here. Does anyone have the link?
  12. A gift of great homemade fruitcake will be remembered forever by those who receive it. Since I live in California where great dried fruit is available at modest prices (www.oldriverfruits.com) I like to mix up the varieties---peaches, pluots, cherries, etc---and note them on the gift card. Mascerating overnight is usually enough to impart good flavor but if you want to go longer, I recommend adding 1/4 cup of alcohol every other day to keep the fruit at maximum moistness. Also when you bake remember that you can use various loaf pan sizes or even make fruitcake cookies to distribute among friends and neighbors.
  13. To RedHermes who asked about the KitchenAide Attachment, I have tried it and rate is as okay but the recipes that come with the machine do not really fit the bowl...that is they make too much ice cream and overflow the bowl. Not really that serious a problem because you can eat the excess while the rest is freezing. But I would use recipes that call for less finished product. Also I got it when it first came out and used a discount and free shipping coupon.
  14. The Alton Brown recipe listed above is excellent. I have been baking and giving out friut cakes for years. People will remember the gift forever. I live in California and get excellent dried fruit from Peteluma; very fresh. Traditional fruits as well as pluots, several varieties of peaches, cherries, etc Mail order available with free delivery over $24 at www.oldriverfruits.com Also you can use your fruitcake batter to make drop cookies and distribute to those who are not "worthy" of their own cake. You can probably get about 24 good sized cookies out of the Alton Brown batter.
  15. joaquin


    Can you tell us what's in the mix, or where you got it? I'm always looking for ways to cut the carbs in my baked goods, for my diabetic father. ← Make jam! Easy to do with those nice ripe peaches; 10 minute task. Take one pound of peeled and cored peaches, add one cup of sugar, one tablespoon of lemon juice. Squeeze it all together with your hand so that it is well blended. Some chuncks are okay. Cook on high heat stirring constantly until it thickens; about 7 minutes. The minute you sense that it is thickening take it off the heat and keep stirring for about three minutes. When it finally cools it will be a wonderful consistency that you can use immediately.
  16. A favorite treat, even when in season. Like little bites of frozen cherry heaven. ← Here is an excellent use for frozen cherries especially when the temperature is over 100 as it is now in the Central California Valley. Put a cup and a half of frozen cherries, two ice cold cans of 7-UP, about four scoops of sorbet or sherbet and the juice of half a lemon. Blend it and pour it into a glass that has been sitting in your freezer for several hours. Use a spoon that has also been in the freezer. This is the most refreshing drink you will ever taste. We used to call them "freezes" but I don't see them around any more. You can also use strawberries or peaches but too me cherries make the best freezes.
  17. I live in California's San Joaquin Valley where we grow the best peaches, cherries, nectarines, etc for pie baking. But it is also consistently above 95 degrees every day. So the only possible time to have pie crust work out is early AM with everything ice cold. Special tricks include the leaf lard mentioned by "Chef Peon," an unglazed pie dish and fearlessly using the maximum amount of water. Marion Cunningham, I believe, recommends dumping the entire amount into the flour/fat mixture and never looking back. It seems to work. P.S. The special pastry flour offered by King Arthur helps, too.
  18. Ditto to the recommendation re the Cooks Illustrated Recipes. Last year I enter the C.I. blueberry muffins---using the lemon sugar topping variation----and won 1st at the California State Fair. I tried the buckle from a recent addition and agree that it was fabulous.
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