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sugar plum

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Everything posted by sugar plum

  1. Rickster, I think I had the same problem with my Great Grains muffins when I made them. I used a coarser grind of cornmeal and ended up with not so tasty muffins. Here's my Cherry Fudge Brownie Torte. It was delicious but quite rich. It's basically a brownie with a light topping of cream cheese and whipped cream. I opted to leave the pepper out of the brownies and whipped the heavy cream first before folding it into the cream cheese/marscarpone mixture. It's a nice change from my usual layer birthday cakes!
  2. I'm about to finish off the Cherry Fudge Brownie Torte but I had a question for anyone that's made it. For the mousse, do you not whip the heavy cream separately and fold it into the marscarpone/cream cheese mixture? The way the recipe is written it sounds like you just dump the heavy cream in, as is. That doesn't sound very "mousse-like" does it? Also, I left out the pepper from the brownie. Has anyone tried it with the pepper? I just couldn't bring myself to put it in! I guess my palate has not matured enough to appreciate this combination...
  3. Er, this is to correct the post below. My sister and I popped over to see if the Experimental Cocktail Club was open last Saturday at 7pm. We waited until 7:20pm and gave up. They didn't seem to have any interest in opening up and serving us so we carried on with our evening elsewhere. From our experience, I wouldn't suggest going too early (we were hoping to get a pre-dinner cocktail but alas, it wasn't meant to be!). ←
  4. Hopefully this isn't too late. It looks like it opens at 6pm. See here: http://thecocktailguru.wordpress.com/2009/...tal-experience/
  5. I've booked Market for Sunday over opentable and L'Atelier Joel Robuchon on the holiday Monday (also over the internet). I've received confirmations for both so I hope they are both open? Most shops don't open on any Sunday, and yes a lot (if not all) will be closed on a holiday Monday. ←
  6. Can I ask if basically everything in the city is shut down on those two days? We're headed to Paris next week. I noticed museums/major tourist attractions are open but can we expect that all shops will be closed on the 31st-1st as well? I was hoping to check out E. Dehillerin on our trip.
  7. Sadly, I didn't actually get to try any! The reports from my co-workers (I baked this for one of their birthdays) was positive. My mother used to make 7 minute frosting when I was growing up and I actually prefer buttercream. I find it too sweet for my liking.
  8. After taking a break from this recipe, I returned to it again today...with success this time around! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this thread, eGullet! I'm so happy with the results. With this attempt, I ignored America’s Test Kitchen's complicated instructions. All I did was quickly blend the egg whites, lemon juice, water, corn syrup and sugar together and then continue to mix it using an electric hand mixer over a hot water bath for 6-7 minutes. I stopped when I achieved the right consistency. I didn't bother with thermometer. Worked like a charm! Now I just hope I don't give anyone salmonella... ←
  9. I've always loved Moosewood's Low-Fat Favourites. It's a fantastic cookbook. As a gift, I've just received Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave. I've tried a few recipes and I'm impressed so far. I also like the Looneyspoon's series...I'm not sure if they are available in the US? Probably not.
  10. Thanks so much for this. It's nice to know I'm not on my own with this baking disaster!
  11. I've just had a very frustrating evening. I was almost done making America's Test Kitchen's Lemon Layer cake from their new baking handbook when it all went horribly awry. They top this cake with a 7 minute frosting. My attempt at it did not produce the stiff peaks as they describe in the recipe. Could anyone tell me why this might have happened? I thought it was because it was too warm like other frostings and so I popped it in the fridge. This did not help and I still had a soup-y mess on my hands. Argh! Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  12. I've just returned from a food-filled weekend in Chicago. What a wonderful city to dine in! I did the necessary eGullet research beforehand and we hit up three fantastic restaurants during our stay there: Sepia, Blackbird and Custom House. First off, at all three restaurants, baby octopus was featured on the menu! What's up with that? Are they breeding in Lake Michigan?! At Sepia, we started with their mushroom and garlic flatbread. It was very tasty but I wouldn't probably order it again. It's a very small portion for what you pay for. My husband had the red kuri squash starter and I had the salad. I don't recall either of us being overly impressed with them. My husband followed with the roasted cobia boar sausage and loved it. It seemed like a strange combination but in the end it was a winner. I opted for a vegetarian night and had the farro "risotto" with roasted vegetable. It was very bland and the veg from my starter re-appeared in my main. We finished the meal with a lemon tart and vanilla gelato. I found the tart curd to be too sweet but the gelato was delish! We drank red wine by the glass. Our server was very good at helping us out with our selections. She knew her stuff and impressed us both. Although I enjoyed Sepia's ambiance and service, I probably wouldn't return again. The food was decent but not that impressive. All told with 3 starters, 2 mains, 1 cocktail and 3 glasses of wine and 1 dessert I think the bill came to $150-ish? The next evening we dined at Blackbird. This restaurant was probably my favourite of the trip. I loved the professionalism of the staff and the high level of service from the get-go. I would say my only non-food complaint would be that this restaurant is really cramming the clientele in. We sat VERY close to other diners. They are trying to make the most of their square footage for sure! I started with the Taleggio salad and my husband had the baby octopus. My husband's comment was that the portions were very small. This is a finer dining restaurant and we're used to that but I think that night he was overly hungry or something. They had a nice touch of beginning the meal with an amuse buche and finishing of with mignardises. Both starters were excellent. I followed with the butternut squash polenta. I'm a reformed vegetarian that occasionally falls off the wagon. This veg main was perhaps one of the better I've had in a non-vegetarian restaurant. Usually it's the standard veg lasagna, pasta primavera or some sort of risotto. The polenta was very tasty. I can't recall now what my husband had but by the time we left the restaurant, he was still hungry! I finished the meal with the white chocolate mousse. Absolutely perfect and loved the contrast of the mousse with the green tea streusel. If you go to Blackbird, make sure you go to the bathroom. It's hilarious! Our meal again was around the $150 mark with 2 starters, 2 mains, 1 dessert, 1 cocktail and 3 glasses of wine. My husband's favourite spot of our trip was Custom House. Here I started with a salad with pumpkin seeds and a perfectly balanced vinagrette and my husband had an antipasto type of dish with cured meats from the Seattle outfit Salumi. We followed with a braised short rib for him and a Waygu sirloin for me. My husband loved the short rib so much he's requested it for his birthday this year. Anyone know a good recipe? We chose their mushroom gnocchi and green beans almondine as sides. All the food was phenomenal at Custom House however they do really get your wallet with the way their menu is set up. With the above, dessert (chocolate parfait) and 2 glasses of wine each the bill was $180. This was the priciest meal yet and I think by this point in the trip we were both feeling overfed/over-boozed and poor! Nonetheless, Custom House had wonderful food and excellent service. I would definately recommend this restaurant to any carnivore in the Chicago area.
  13. For other owners of Nick Malgieri's latest "The Modern Baker", I had a disaster with my attempt of the Triple Chocolate cake and emailed the source for advice. He replied with some corrections for a few typos in the book that I thought I would share with everyone: "I attempted tonight to make the cocoa genoise for your Triple Chocolate Cake from The Modern Baker. I don't know what happened but the resulting batter was much too dry. I didn't bother to bake it through as it didn't look anything like the photo in the book for the classic genoise. I'm wondering if it's because I'm using Canadian flour or there's a typo in the dry ingredients for the cocoa genoise? The dry ingredients (including sugar) in the classic genoise is ~1.25 cups whereas the dry in the cocoa version ~2 cups. I would like to try this recipe again and would appreciate any help you can forward my way." and his response: "The coca version has a typo - it should be 1/3 cup flour. The icing for the devilsfood cake on the cover should have 1 1/4 cups sugar, not 1.cups."
  14. I had a look through my baking books and found two, non-frozen peanut butter pies (in Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook and The Buttercup Bake Shop Cookbook). Both of the recipes have an Oreo cookie crumb crust. Is this what you're looking for? Or more of a pie pastry crust? Both of my recipes also have chocolate on top of the pie. If you're still interested, contact me directly and I'll send you the recipes. Another option is...do you own Dorie Greenspan's latest cookbook? Her recipe for a peanut butter torte is divine.
  15. Thanks everyone for your help and suggestions!
  16. I'm planning on baking Martha's chocolate macadamia nut tart this weekend: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/ideal-...rt&rsc=header_3 Stupidly, I bought salted nuts instead of the unsalted version the recipe called for. I've just read in Rose Levy Beranbaum's Christmas Cookie cookbook that you can de-salt macadamia nuts. She recommends rinsing them under hot water and then popping them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-10mins (to "re-crisp"). I was wondering--before I go and experiment with $13 worth of nuts--if anyone has tried this before?
  17. Hope this isn't too late...it's 1 cup of sugar.
  18. I've been interested in this difference between Canadian and American flours for awhile. Most of my baking cookbooks are American and I have had a few flops along the way (blaming the flour not my abilities, of course!). I was at a baking class last week by Nick Malgeri and he spoke about it (he hates Canadian flour, quelle surprise!). It's sparked my interest when he said he didn't like King Arthur flour but never disclosed which AP flour he used himself. This past weekend, I did a little research on Cook's Illustrated and they actually recommend KA's unbleached and Pillsbury when compared to other American brands like Gold Medal and Lily White. I think you can buy KA flour at Whole Foods here in Toronto. Is it really worth it? Frankly, I usually make do with Robin Hood or whatever is on sale.
  19. Yesterday I baked for an upcoming baby shower (sorry, no pictures): Ina Garten's Lemon bars (I'm no expert on lemon bars but I'm very impressed with this recipe...it always turns out) Dorie Greenspan's Brownie Buttons Martha Stewart's Dried Cranberry shortbread hearts (from her Cookies book) Carole Walter's Blueberry Pound Cake (from her Great Coffee Cakes book) Canadian Living's Milk Chocolate Cheesecake (holiday baking magazine 2005) According to the recipes--except for the lemon bars (here's hoping)--they were all freezable. I've never frozen a cheesecake before. Has anyone had any luck with this?
  20. I baked the Peanut Butter Torte last week for a co-worker's birthday. It was very well received! My attempt doesn't look as lovely as it does in the cookbook but it sure tasted delicious. Dorie, thank you for the advice with this recipe. Tonight, I'm baking the Brownie buttons. This is such an easy recipe! I don't know why I've waited so long to make them!
  21. Thank you Dorie for clearing that up for me!
  22. I was wondering if anyone has made the peanut butter torte on page 282-283? I'm thinking of making it for a co-worker's birthday next week. I was wondering about her instructions to process 24 Oreo cookies for the crust...is that the whole cookie or just the chocolate wafers? From the picture in the book, it looks like you process the whole cookie. Just wanted to check with someone before I go and possibly waste 24 Oreos! Thanks in advance.
  23. I went to Madelaine's this past week with a friend. The food was very good and served "family style". I had just been to Jamie Kennedy's the month before and I preferred my food sharing experience there much more. Madelaine's decor seems to give off a middle eastern vibe but that's not where I would describe the menu is coming from. It's sort of all over the place so if you like variety this is your restaurant. We ordered a portobello mushroom salad, french bean almondine and Portuguese white snapper with a tomato stew. All were delicious but the dessert was a little bit of a disappointment...a rather boring molten chocolate cake with an overpoweringly tart apricot jam. We didn't have anything to drink and the bill came to ~$85 without a tip. Great spot for the food but I don't think I'd go back (would rather check out Lee's next door first). It's not a place for a romantic dinner or a meal catching up with a friend. There were two really noisy groups in the middle of the restaurant making it almost impossible at times to converse.
  24. Rickster, My cookies turned out so-so. They don't have the boozy taste to them (as you reported) but they also don't have the shortbread-y texture that I would have liked. They didn't spread too much but didn't keep the lovely shape that's shown in the book. My theory is that I didn't drain the currants enough. The dough was very wet for a cookie dough. I actually like them and will probably give them another try next year. I found my dough to be very wet also, which is what led me to think I made a mistake with the recipe, either not enough flour or my butter was too warm. ←
  25. Ha! That's exactly how I felt about Martha and her gingersnap palmiers! What a waste of money and time. I don't go anywhere near cookies that involve piping. Bad experience with spritz cookies years ago. Did you use the dip and sweep method to measure the flour? Maybe the dough was too stiff because there was too much flour?
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