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Becca Porter

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Everything posted by Becca Porter

  1. Alright everyone, tonight I made Sarah Phillips recipe. I was very careful. I have a 350 watt KA so I just dropped a speed on each step. I followed her recipe *exactly*. 1. Every step went smoothly according to her directions. 2. It baked in exactly 40 minutes. 3. Although I have no pictures I can tell you it looks just like the pictures. (I love it when that happens .) 4. It smells better than any cake I've made. Its very fragrant. Even the batter smelled great, and even before the vanilla. 5. Upon removal from the oven it begin to flatten the slight doming and pull away from the sides of the pan. 6. It also looks very moist. Not at all dry like some are. 7. It rose beautifully to the top of my 9-inch pans. I baked this for my husbands birthday dinner tomorrow. Therefore, I can't tell you the results of the tasting until tomorrow. I will get to have about 10-12 opinions. They are unfortunately boxed cake people, but I have been opening their eyes hopefully. Anyway, I'll check back in tomorrow night.
  2. This is amazing and well worth the effort! Triple-Lemon Layer Cake Adapted from Fine Cooking For the Cake: 9 1/4 ounces (2 1/3 cups) cake flour; more for the pans 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon table salt 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar 2 tablespoons lightly packed finely grated lemon zest 6 ounces (3/4 cup) unsalted butter completely softened 1 cup whole milk room temperature 5 large egg whites room temperature 1/4 teaspoon creme of tarter For the Filling*- 3 ounces unsalted butter room temperature 1 cup sugar 2 large eggs 2 large egg yolks 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest For the Frosting- 8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, completely softened 2 tablespoon lightly packed finely grated lemon zest 3 ½ cups sifted confectioners sugar 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Make the lemon curd first so it can chill. *This lemon curd is actually from an earlier Fine Cooking. I like to use my mixer bowl as a double boiler when making it. That way when its done I can put it back on my mixer and whip it until cool. I think it gives it a creamier , fluffier, texture. Don’t omit the unusual creaming of ingredients at the beginning. Fine Cooking found it eliminated the curdled bits of egg you usually have to strain out. Beat the butter with the sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 minute more, then stir in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled. Do not panic. Cook the mixture over low heat until it becomes smooth, then increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, without letting it boil, until it thickens enough to leave a path on the back of the spoon when you drag your finger through it. If you want to go by temperature, you’re looking for 170 F. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest. Press plastic wrap on surface to prevent a skin from forming and chill in the refrigerate. Make the Cake: Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8 by 2 inch round cake pans. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Pulse 1/4 cup of the sugar with the zest in a food processor until well combined. In a large bowl, beat the butter and lemon sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 1 ½ minutes). Add the remaining sugar and beat until smooth (about 1 ½ minutes). Beat in a quarter of the milk just until blended. On low speed, add the flour mixture alternatively with the milk in three batches, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula; beat just until blended. In another bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer (with clean beaters or a whisk attachment) on medium speed just until foamy. Add the creme of tarter, increase the speed to medium high, and beat until the whites form stiff peaks when the beaters are lifted. Add a quarter of the whites to the batter and gently fold them in with a rubber spatula; continue to gently fold tin the whites, a quarter at a time , being careful not to deflate the mixture. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake until a pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool in the pans 10 minutes. Run a table knife along the sides of the pans and carefully invert each cake out onto the rack. Flip them right side up and let them cool completely. With the palm of one hand pressed on top of a cake layer, cut each in half horizontally, using a long serrated knife. Put one of the cake layers on a serving plate, cut side up. With an offset spatula or a table knife, spread a generous 1/3 a cup on top of the cake layer. Lay another cake layer on top, spread it with another generous 1/3 a cup, and repeat with third cake layer. (You will have extra curd, enjoy!) Top with the fourth cake layer. Make the Frosting: In a medium bowl, beat the butter and lemon zest with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners sugar in batches and beat until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and beat for one minute. (You can make the frosting a couple of hours early and keep it, covered, at cool room temperature.) Frost the Cake: Up to a few hours ahead, spread a thin layer of frosting on the cake, filling in any gaps as you go. Chill until the frosting firms up a bit, about ½ hour. Spread the remaining frosting decoratively over the top and sides of cake. Scatter with bits of lemon zest and silver dragees, or garnish as you like.
  3. http://www.americastestkitchen.com/recipe....s=116&iSeason=4 I guess I need to learn how to post a link, huh! I have made this too and it is fantastic. Just be really sure to use the right brand of animal crackers for the crust. The other brands get soggy. I have a really fantastic triple-lemon layer cake from fine cooking that I'll post. It is the best cake I've ever eaten. Edited to add that I guess I can successfully post a link
  4. Hey, I also live in an area that makes it hard to fine certain ingredients. I never could find King Arthur or anything like that. However, Gold Medal now makes an unbleached AP flour that is very easy for me to find. It is being carried in all my normal grocery stores. It has a brownish label on the front. In some stores they do not place it right beside the bleached AP. Look for it. Theres a good chance you may be surprised like I was! Good luck.
  5. Okay, my sister just told me about Trinity water. It is a mineral water from 2.2 miles below land in Idaho. My dad and her both say its the best they have ever tasted. I just read the website and I have to try it. They also offer a reduced mineral bottled water. Has anyone tried it? -Becca
  6. I just want to add that this girl from Louisiana enjoyed your insight. It was extremely interesting to see into your life, it seems like a good one. I also loved the picture of you, thanks for including it. This is the first blog that I've followed from the beginning, you can be certain I'll continue. Thanks again!
  7. Your description of black and whites is accurate. To my palate, the black icing is indeed chocolate, but it just occurred to me that the white icing is sugar rather than vanilla, I think? Usually oversized for sure. The cookie part of a black and white is only one color, a sort of normal cookie color. I'd love to visit Louisiana myself, as an adult. Actually, my parents tell me that when I was 2, I spoke with a thick Louisiana accent, though no-one else can believe that. My father was in residence at LSU (Louisiana State University) in Baton Rouge from 1966-67. Of course, I remember nothing of those times, as I was just 2 1/2 when we came back to New York. The time in Louisiana did have culinary effects I can remember, though. When I was a kid, in the days when my mother still ate pig (why she doesn't any longer is a long story having nothing to do with Judaism), my father and mother used to cook up dirty rice sometimes. (Dirty rice is a Louisiana staple that includes scraps of bacon among other things, and I really enjoyed it.) ← Its good to know we made an impression on you. However, since I'm from NE LA, my accent is unfortunately more redneck than cajun.
  8. Pam R, they are a lightly lemony vanilla cookie, with glossy black and white icing. Usually they are oversized I think? This is VERY interesting for someone who's never been farther north than Washington, D.C. I am very jealous of what you have available to you. Hopefully, one day I can see it for myself! -Becca
  9. One more question. I'm rendering lard today, what is the best way to store it? I need it both for short-term use and long-term. Thank you! -Becca
  10. I just got Rick Bayless's Mexico One Plate at a Time. It has got me really excited about mexican cooking. I have a few questions. 1: I need a tortilla press. What is a good source for them in the states and what kind is best. I found an 18 dollar metal one at The CMC Company. Is that good? 2: Can I just use my cast iron skillet until I get a comal, or should I find one now. 3: Rick Bayless never mentions dry epazote. Is it not even worth using. If I order seeds or seedlings from a seed catalog, will it live year-round indoor? 4: Is there anything else a mexican food novice should know? Thanks so much! -Becca
  11. I love the recipe in Bakers Companion. They are almost more cake than muffin though. Absolutely delish. -Becca
  12. Wendy and Nightscotsman, I was wondering about the whipping too. So I went back and read the fine cooking article online. She explained her reasoning and it really makes sense. Here is the address. http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/pages/c00197.asp
  13. Cooks Illustrated's Lemon Curd- 1/3 cup lemon juice 2 large eggs 1 egg yolk 1/2 cup sugar 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter 1 tablespoon heavy cream 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract pinch table salt Heat lemon juice in a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat but not boiling. Whisk eggs and yolk in medium nonreactive bowl; gradually whisk in sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot lemon juice into eggs, then return mixture to the pan and cook constantly with wooden spoon, nutil mixture registers 170 degrees and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in cold butter until incorporated; stir in cream, vanilla, and salt, then pour curd through fine-mesh strainer into small non-reactive bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on surface; refrigerate until needed.
  14. I noticed the Cooks Illustrated link above, but it no longer worked. Has anyone tried their recipe? It is really fantastic. It has a tablespoon of heavy cream, which reallys rounds it out. I'll post if anyone wants to compare. -Becca
  15. Indeed. I believe they are putting a Huddle House up instead. -Becca
  16. I actually now live in Calhoun. My husband says there isn't a truckstop in Calhoun anymore. When is the last time you were here? -Becca
  17. I live in Monroe. We are certainly not known for our food. I know Mayhaw Man is from here, and I am jealous he got out. It is hard to be a food-lover here, but I have managed to come across a couple high points. The first is a small restaurant in the small town of Spearsville, Louisiana. It's called Hollis Seafood and is outstanding. I am not a buffet fan, but this one works it well. People drive from all over to eat there. However, its really not that well known. It has the full seafood spread, all the country vegetables, crawfish etouffee, and the best blackberry cobbler I've had out of my own house. It's got a nice salad bar, boiled shrimp, the works. Just good country food. Spearsville is located right on the Arkansas border. It is housed in an old gas station, which tells you it is pretty casual. If you are in the area, stop by. The second is a bakery that opened up a year ago in Monroe. It is called Daily Harvest. They mill their own wheat each day and specialize in all natural baked goods. They have breads, cookies, cakes, granola, lunchtime sandwich plates. It is quite good. They have these miniature loaves of jalapeno corn bread that is so moist and delicious. Really good chocolate coconut cookies, too. I'd be very interested to know if any of you have ever been to either of these places. Hopefully you will be able to tell us of some of your N. Louisiana favorites.
  18. My absolute favorite is butter, thinly sliced radishes, coarse salt and pepper. Technically I prefer them on a nice sourdough, but they are still good on dainty white bread. Delicious!
  19. Chocolate Pasta Cheese Coffee would be in there, but I assume that falls under liquids.
  20. I have never heard of these outside my family! My mother always used beef rice-a-roni. They actually are not bad either. The first thing I ever baked were chocolate chip cookies when I was about twelve. The first thing I ever cooked was Pot Roast. Yum!
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