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  1. Only use 300 degrees if you have a convection oven. Personally, I would not go below 325 otherwise. The browning again depends on both the color of the pans, the heat and the recipe itself (sugar and/or baking soda amounts.) PS (edit): The real reason you should not go below 325 is because as the heat lessons, you get tinier air bubbles in the batter. I find at 325, this is desirable, producing a finer, more even crumb. Anything below this (convection oven aside) the air bubbles are too small and impede the rising process. Consequently, anything above 350 usually results in larger pockets (from air) in your crumb. Again, I am talking about layer cakes here. There are other types that this rule may not apply to.
  2. Magic strips are key. You can also use the more dangerous, but old-timers way of wetting a towel(s) and securing it around the pan, but this could catch fire, so don't leave the kitchen. With that said many people on the cake forums use the towel method. I don't. Another safer homemade way is to wet paper towel and fold them inside aluminum foil and fold them into strips as not to expose any of the paper towel. Pin as many as you need together around the outside of the cake pan. I also bake most of my cakes at 325. I don't really think this method produces flatter layers per se, but it makes for a moister cake. What you do not get by using this temp is the deep brown crust usually unless there is lots of sugar in your cake recipe and/or baking soda. Something I am willing to give up, as the moist cake is more important to me.
  3. You are correct, way to much sugar. I am sure with the amount called for in your recipe, it is probably turning into a sticky syrup. I created my own cake using 1 cup cream of coconut. To do that, I had to break down the cream of coconut which is mostly sugar and lessen the sugar in my recipe. I don't have my notes with me on the breakdown, but something like 1/4 cup or maybe less was actual liquid, the rest sugar in cream of coconut. Try the Cook's Illustrated Coconut Layer Cake recipe, very tasty and it has very good proportions, and not sticky.
  4. In the latest issue of Cook's Illustrated, they worked up a fudge-like brownie recipe. Here is their modified recipe (second post, also the third post/recipe sounds good as well): http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/326411
  5. Now that is one soup that would be mighty tasty. Please keep us posted on your findings.
  6. I write and test recipes all the time and as such I play around with different fats. It all depends on the recipe itself. There are some American layer cakes that you want the rich taste of butter, such as the white and yellow varieties. You don't get that with oil. However, cakes that do work well with either, to name a few, are chocolate, carrot, apple and any nut or cornmeal textured cakes. Carrot cake is one variety that sort of straddles the line. I would image the real reason oil is used in so many carrot cake recipes is due to the typical cream cheese frosting, hence refrigeration. Cakes made with oil do not cause the layers to seize up in a hard mass like butter, so you can basically eat them straight from the ice box. I always use oil with nut cakes and cornmeal/polenta types because the oil actually keeps penetrating the cornmeal kernels and ground nuts, making it softer texturally the longer it sits. These types of cake with oil are much better the next day, or the next. With that said, butter is always my first choice. Butter is a flavor base, an enhancer, so it not only tastes good, but it makes what ever flavoring in your cake tastes that much better.
  7. thanks for that clear explanation rodney. if you made a ganache with invert sugar, water and chocolate, would that increase shelf life then? since you're increasing sugar levels? this is hypothetical as i assume you'd want that clean flavor if you're bothering to make a ganache with water in the first place. ← Hi there. Invert sugar is basically simple syrup with acid. You would be again probably adding more water to it, more than sugar anyway, so I don't think that would increase its shelf life, infact it would do the opposite. Plus, I found this recipe in another piece online that stated the following regarding adding sugar to it: I haven't used or played around with this recipe, so it is all new to me as well.
  8. Higher water content will promote bacteria growth. I believe the rule states that if something contains 65% or more sugar than water, it can be shelf stable. Since this ganache is definitely more water than sugar, well...
  9. The only so-called water ganaches I have come across still have cream in them, usually with rose water added, but this is intriguing. Sounds delicious. Here (edited to add link)! Just found a recipe for one, at the bottom of this page; http://www.deliaonline.com/messageboard/8/29012/thread.html
  10. I would not add the baking powder, unless you want it to be like a self-rising flour. You can substitute, and I have before, 7/8 cup bleached (not unbleached) all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Again, this is a substitution as cake flour is made from soft wheat, so the real thing is best to use.
  11. RodneyCk


    I have been experimenting with different waffle recipes lately. Nothing beats the yeasted waffle, crispiest waffle hands down. I also discovered that to have that crispy on the outside waffle, tender on the inside, they must be cooked at the highest possible heat for a very short time. Many commercial waffle makers do not make the cut. There are a few brands that work ok, Villawear brand does a fairly good job, but they can be pricy. For the yeasted waffle, currently this one is unbelievably good and my pick so far; http://www.crispywaffle.com/2005/01/perfect-waffle.html Note: her recipe calls for 1 tsp of instant yeast. You can use, despite what she claims, 2 tsps of Active dry yeast instead, whichever you have on hand. The reason being that there is more active yeast cells in instant yeast, so you have to double the active to make up for it. (Abridged explanation) For the same-day waffles she (pointing to the website mentioned above) likes Alton Brown's recipe(s). I do not. My favorite out of this bunch went to the Cook's Illustrated "The Best Buttermilk Waffles" and "Almost-As-Good-As-Buttermilk Waffles", again using the highest heat setting. Recipes found here; http://www.astray.com/recipes/?show=The%20...rmilk%20waffles http://www.astray.com/recipes/?show=Almost...rmilk%20waffles Note: these recipes are included in their New Best Recipes Book, unfortunately with typos calling for the incorrect amounts of baking soda and tartar. This is something that plagues their cookbooks quite frequently, which is a shame. You would think being the meticulous writers that they are, a proper editor would be in order. Their Baking Illustrated book is riddled with errors as well.
  12. RodneyCk

    Bundt pan

    Depending on the type of cakes, I spray the pan, then put down parchment in the bottom, then give the parchment a light spray. Again, never have I ever had a problem with sticking. A tip that always works for me… I sort of discovered this with my muffin opus. Most recipes say to let the cakes stay in the pan to cool from 5 to 15 minutes, before turning out. I always let them rest 3 minutes, enough to pull away from the sides, then run a knife around the sides, then turn out. More times the most, the knife is not even needed. During the muffin opus, I learned from author and Chef Madeleine Kamman, muffins that stay in the pan after the first few minutes from the oven begin to stick to the pan and are harder to release. I just applied this to my cakes and works perfectly, at least for me. Plus, they do not continue to cook in a hot pan.
  13. No, I think only the groom can fork the bride. ← ROFL!!!
  14. I seriously doubt that dress would be priced for the budget bride. So, do you just follow the bride around jabbing a fork at her?
  15. Those cookies look so good. I think this might be the recipe; Olivia's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies From Leslie Mackie's Macrina Bakery & Café Cookbook, Sasquatch Books http://www.parentmap.com/aug_04/0804_1.htm
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