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hummingbirdkiss

Black Cake and Browning

100 posts in this topic

HBK, the cake is making you sad? I think I've missed something.

This thread just cheered me up, since we're looking at possibly having to leave France due to a recurrence of my husband's cancer, and this thread just reminded me that there would be at least one advantage to returning "home" and that's that I left a big jar of fruit soaking in the garage and might finally make black cake.

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HBK, the cake is making you sad?  I think I've missed something.

This thread just cheered me up, since we're looking at possibly having to leave France due to a recurrence of my husband's cancer, and this thread just reminded me that there would be at least one advantage to returning "home" and that's that I left a big jar of fruit soaking in the garage and might finally make black cake.

I have been fortunate enough to have eaten Hummies black cake and I can say that it was awesome! It was a nice way to begin a weekend morning with an excellent French roast coffee. I still have a bottle of browning that I bought for the bird but have yet to ship to her......


"We do not stop playing because we grow old,

we grow old because we stop playing"

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Abra I am so sorry about your husband, please accept my best wishes that he do well

I am grieving (and may very well be doing that for the rest of my life) the bad part about grief is there are so many freaking triggers, I knew the holidays would be bad ..but Jesus how bad I had no clue!

black cake is one of the triggers and I really want to get beyond it! and honor the momories with cooking these kinds of things, instead of feeling this pain I want some joy in the memories!!

..this magnificant young man adored my black cake.

food is my life and if I loose the motivation to cook I am not sure where I will be!

sorry to be such a bummer I am going to snap out of it I promise!!

Chef and Rob thanks so much your flattery helps for sure :)

maybe next weekend I can pull it together

thanks


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Reviving this topic yet again!

I didn't make my black cakes in time for the holidays, but figured a little mid-winter pick-me-up wouldn't be a bad idea anyway.

A couple of questions on baking times though --

1. I wasn't sure why some recipes in this thread (and others I've seen) call for baking times of 2 or 3 hours, while some say 45 minutes to an hour? There also seem to be slight differences in temperature, but I'm not sure if they're quite enough to explain the time discrepancies.

2. If I want to bake some of the black cakes in much smaller pans (say 5 or 6" diameter), does anyone have an estimate on what the baking time might be for those?

Excited about this! This is a terrific thread.

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wow no one answered your question I am so sorry! ...the timing on the cakes has to do not only with the temp but the type of cake you want ..some are low and slow kind of give you a steamed cake (if you cover it with foil it turns out like a plum pudding ...and some are a little more cake like

I am happy to say ...I am going to make a cake this week

I have it "in" me again ..thanks GFRON1, ABRA LINDACAKES CHEF...ALL OF YOU!!! who made this thread a really nice one..I am so glad I looked back!

things have changed places and people change ...

I am not myself yet but much much better ..acceptence is finding its way back into my life ...

my black cake this year has several advantages ..the first being emotions and desire to do making the best cake ever!!! ...second the age and quality of my fruits ...the rough edges are gone and they are so mellow and wonderful

third I have a very good source for the best of while spices and my own fresh ginger :)

I have a plan and it begins this week

anyone else thinking of starting fruits now?

I will be back when I see my black cake lovin friends again :)

GFRON1 make one :)


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I have just finished reading the entire thread. Wow! Wonderful! If only...if only...

I just found the posting by Lindacakes on the current Artisanal Gift thread last night and thought to myself...I've had Black Cake once at Christmas at a Bajan Christmas dinner and loved it. (We brought a French Canadian Tortiere made by my DH, his Christmas specialty.) I could make a Black Cake. :rolleyes:

Our daughter's boyfriend is from Grenada and is an incredible cook. I thought what a wonderful surprise for him. So I bought the fruit, ground it up, and it's macerating in rum and wine and NOW I find out that I am too late to make it for this year. :sad:

I told my daughter last night that I was making it for Derek. What do I do now? Give him a promissory note?

Where are the other Black Cake persons?


Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

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Keeping my promise to Lindacakes, Black Cake maker extraordinaire, today I was finally able to buy Mixed Essence and Burnt Sugar Caramel from a Caribbean market in Toronto. All steps are now in place. Unfortunately I started the entire project too late...but that's life. I'll make it anyway. :wink:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Three posts in a row. Sorry.

I have a question for the experienced.

The crushed fruit has been sitting in rum and wine for one month. It was too late to start, I know that now. Would it be better to leave the fruit for another month and make the cake at the last minute? Or make the cake now and let it sit for until Christmas? Or what should I do? I really need some help on this. Thanks. :huh:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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I would make the cake with the "not so tipsy" fruit now, and then soak it a bit for the time before you serve it.

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OK. One for 'make the cake now'. Thanks, Heidi :smile:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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I was making Guyanese Black Cake today, and the recipe sets out a method for making your own browning or burnt sugar, by melting brown sugar over moderate heat, then boiling for 1 minute.

It seemed to take a long time to get to the melting stage, then the brown sugar was a beautiful caramel colour, but it still wasn't boiling. After a few minutes, it finally started to boil, and I waited a minute. Suddenly, the melted sugar on the sides of my saucepan started to burn, and even as I removed the saucepan from the heat, the sugar at the bottom of the pan started to darken. I poured the sugar into my rum-soaked fruit, and I realized that my most of my sugar had reached the hard crack candy stage, and some of it was at the hard thread stage as I stirred the mixture. Hard crack chunks of burnt sugar amongst my rum soaked fruit. I removed the bigger chunks of sugar that I could find, and crushed them, and added them back to the fruit. Not sure if the sugar was too burnt, and if this will result in a burnt tasting cake, but after soaking fruit for about a week, I decided I'd rather just go through with it, and see how it turns out.

Has anyone made a black cake recipe that involves stirring the burnt sugar (rather than a burnt sugar syrup) into the fruit? And has anyone had any experience with accidently stirring in hard-crack stage burnt sugar into the mix?


Edited by phoenikia (log)

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No advice to give to you but hope that others can help you.

The promise I made to those who had already made Black Cake was not to try to make the burnt sugar syrup but to buy it...which I did. I can now see what can go wrong. :sad:

My Black Cake never got made...this Christmas did not turn as out we had planned...but I do have the loveliest rum-macerated fruit sitting waiting for me along with commercially purchased burnt syrup and mixed essence. Soon, I hope.

All best to you, Phoenikia


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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I have a huge gallon jar of fruit that has been soaking for about two years in Wray and Nephew overproof rum and red sweet table wine. When I make the cakes, my recipe usually yields about six eight inch cakes. I was wondering how to cut the proportions so as to get one or two cakes and leave the rest of the fruit to soak. Is there any recipe that calls for a specific amt of soaked fruit by weight or volume? Thanks for any help, I am hoping to make it soon for a post Holiday bash.

Thanks

Heather

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Thanks Darienne! Will let you know how it turns out. The batter tasted pretty good once I added the other ingredients, so I'm hoping that's a sign that the end result will taste pretty good. I hope there won't be any noticeably burnt tasting or crispy bits in the cake when I pull it out of the oven in 3 hours!

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What is the total weight or volume of the soaked fruit for each recipe? I didn't really measure it going in when I set it to soak two years ago, and want to make the cakes now, to enhoy post Christmas! Thanks.

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Six 6" round and two 8" round cakes are in my ovens now, and tasting the fruit beforehand I can tell you that they are going to be some gooooooooooooooooooood eating! I have enough to share AND enough to be glutton should I desire!!

I tallied up the total costs of these babies and they are NOT inexpensive. They cost about $25 in fruit, and approximately an additional $25 in booze. Not to mention the rest of the ingredients. YIKES! I saw them sold in the local Caribbean market for $20 per 6" cake, unfrosted. That is pretty reasonable, as they are a witch to mix. Such large volumes don't fit in the KA, so I cream the butter and sugar in the KA, add as much fruit as will fit,the dozen eggs, and then dump the whole shebang into a huge crock and add in the rest of the fruit and the flour. It takes quite a while to mix as I have to take breaks!

That being said, it is a joy to make and give these cakes to people who appreciate them. I made the mistake a few years ago to give them to some family members before they have had an oppoortunity to taste them. I found out later that they got THROWN OUT. Ouch. Lesson learned.

Hope you all enjoyed yours, and am happy that Hummingbirdkiss got her black cake groove back.

Hugs to all

Heather

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It all sounds really good Heather. Let us know how they turn out.

Phoenikia....how did your cakes turn out?

I'm going to make my cakes...someday...I just don't know when, but I'll post it for sure.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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The cake turned out well. I'll make sure I stir in the fruit mixture a little more carefully next time- there were a couple pale spots where the batter and the fruit weren't fully mixed. But the flavour was great- it got better each day! I brushed the cake with rum daily for about a week, until New Year's Eve when we had some guests over, when I covered the remaining half with rolled out marzipan. We still have about 1/5 of the cake left.

Next time I make the cake, I'll either look for burnt sugar syrup in a WI store, or I'll make a syrup with the burnt sugar, rather than my recipe's approach which just had burnt sugar stirred into the soaked fruit. Will also probably try another recipe next time.

Definitely worth the effort, but it is a considerable effort!


Edited by phoenikia (log)

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Good going!

You won't have any trouble buying the burnt syrup in TO. There are so many WI stores around. I got mine in Scarborough.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Thanks Darienne!

Which WI stores would you recommend in Scarborough, or elsewhere in TO?

I sometimes pick up WI groceries when I see them in Kensington Market, and my local Loblaws carries some WI condiments, curry powders, produce, and beverages, but I don't really have a go-to WI grocer!

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You might try asking this question as a thread in the Ontario Cooking and Baking part of Regional Cuisine for a more useful answer than I can give you. Many eGulleters live in Toronto and know it well.

I don't know Toronto well at all and the place I go to, Charlie's, I found because it's on Morningside across from Lee Valley, just north of the 401.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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WOW …this thread brings back memories  ..grief stricken I was the last time I posted here …you who reached out know who you were and I thank you so much ..it was a tragedy I would never wish on anyone and my life remains with a sad shadow… but I can finally think back with joy at my memories not the horror of the loss and YOU know who you are ..food heals …..thank you ….it found a place …acceptance is a real thing and for anyone else deeply sad…it finds a place I promise …you are not alone…

 

BUT there is always cake..and RIGHT????  reading this is so sweet!

 

soooo is anyone making a black cake this holiday season? I found a gallon of fruit I had stashed now  I have a spare  gallon of prime boozy fruits  ready to go …I need to find other uses for so if anyone has any idea what to do with them? Besides black cake and over  ice-cream… just eating them out of the jar? please share your ideas?   . I had tucked it away with the disaster kit ..because you never know!!! there could be volcano eruption or earthquake any moment .. I wanted to make sure I had those valuable boozy fruits….. for medicinal reasons ..when have a cold I love to eat them out of the jar warmed in a glass with the juices ..yummy boozy and so so good …

 

anyway I wanted to try something different this year and then in the purging of the cabinets ect I ALSO.. found a case of 12 pint jar black cakes I made during that last visit above in this thread..…life's events derailed "the plan" of giving them away that year and I forgot they existed ….HAPPY SURPRISE THAT IS!!! … ..they are sealed jars so I am sure they are really amazing at this point if aging makes them better and it does! I can not wait to taste  one ….maybe tonight 

 

 

these  will be the gift cakes this year if they are as good as I think they will be 

 

Since currently I am with out an oven …I love the whole cake in a jar thing for black cake it was the best "bright idea" I ever had regarding black cake and my friends form Trinidad have all copied it now (YAY flattery) …the gift size is just the right amount for serving of four and if someone does not like it a pint of cake is not a big waste I guess ..to me even a bite thrown out is a waste …so how do I steam them I wonder ? I had tried in the past but used a plum pudding pan and it turned out great 

 

has anyone steamed a fruit cake or other cake in a jar?  How do  I lid them for the steaming? can I do the same as when I bake just put the lids on upside down and leave a loose cap? When I baked them as soon as they came out the oven i would take the lids off put a spoon of booze (bourbon or rum) and seal them right away 

 

I could make some brown bread in a lidded jar and try it first I guess? it would not be a huge waste if it bombs 

 

 why couldnt i just put the cake batter  in a jar and put it in a canner to bake/steam? with the lids on correctly ? they do not rise too much 

 

is this just crazy ? 

 

 

so bumping black cake since it is the season for baking it ! I am waxing nostalgic ..sad and at peace ….this will be my first real holiday out of a hole ..I am even decoration this year and have not done that for 10 years …if I can steam the cakes in jars I can make the holiday cakes for spring as well as the winter holiday cakes …right now! I have everything ready to go and plenty of browning now 

 

please post if you are baking a black cake  ..I am excited to see who does 

 

I need to buy the oven now I just can not pick I am down to three and this is a huge purchase ..I am scared 

 

please fingers crossed my counters will be poured this week please please please then the rest is "gravy" .. 

 

Happy Backing you guys and let the holidays begin! 


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Welcome back to the light, Hummingbirdkiss!

 

I haven't made a black cake in several years, so that I could try some other fruitcake recipes.  I've changed up my holiday baking.  Now I bake cookies on Christmas Eve rather than before, that's been very fun!  Always a new recipe rather than the same old ones.

 

You'll have to tell me how you got them baked in the jars in the first place, and how you get them out, but I think steaming them in cheesecloth like a plum pudding.  How about a picture?

 

I think I have a list at home of all the things to do with the fruit that I've collected over the years.  What about black cake cookies?  That's an interesting challenge.

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I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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Welcome back to the light, Hummingbirdkiss!

 

I haven't made a black cake in several years, so that I could try some other fruitcake recipes.  I've changed up my holiday baking.  Now I bake cookies on Christmas Eve rather than before, that's been very fun!  Always a new recipe rather than the same old ones.

 

You'll have to tell me how you got them baked in the jars in the first place, and how you get them out, but I think steaming them in cheesecloth like a plum pudding.  How about a picture?

 

I think I have a list at home of all the things to do with the fruit that I've collected over the years.  What about black cake cookies?  That's an interesting challenge.

Hi Linda nice to see you as well …the light is better but the clouds never leave neither do the tears ..just have to keep pushing them aside and try to "participate" in the world joyfully..even if it is "forced joy" if you do it long enough …the joy comes back… go figure ! 

 

baking cakes in jars is very easy but we all know "easy" is relevant of the moment in time……until like my girlfriend who is an excellent, seasoned and very very smart …baker had a mega DUH moment and  baked cakes in regular mouthed canning jars. There is NO WAY to get the cake out of that obviously ..and after the fact she put so many yummy ingredients in …she realized in the middle of the night and sent us all a panic text ..I had eaten her amazing cake with spoon and a scoop of ice cream out of the jar. Thinking as smart as she was this was how she "intended" it to be :) 

 

Part one "baking in jars" 

 

1. ALWAYS use wide mouth jars LOLOL stating the obvious but who amongst us has not done something similar if you havent you are way too perfect for me LOLOL!!!

2.  grease discs of parchment and put them in the bottom of the jars

3. pour the cakes in like you would do in a plum pudding steaming pot …fill just enough to allow for a rise to the top of the jar not over (you can cut it off it if goes over it all looks the same after aging …it is up to you if you want to cover the cakes  ..depending on the cake but if you cover them do it very loosely to allow some expansion but remember they are canning jars so they can put up with a lot 

4. I just stick them on a tray and bake at whatever the recipe calls for you are just baking in a glass cake pan think of it that way…you could put them in a pan and steam them as well I have not tried that but my friend did she put a plum pudding in jars and steamed it  and it came out great totally plum puddingish 

5. take them of the  oven ….ATTENTION another obvious but DUHHH moment that could happen  DO NOT PUT THEM ON AN ICE COLD COUNTER LIKE I DID WITH BOSTON BROWN BREAD (and that also cooks up really nicely in jars) every freaking one cracked)

6. put a little shot of booze of your choice over the hot cakes, wipe the jar rims well to make sure they are clean  and put the canning jar lids on they will seal while they cool ..voila' cake for decades sealed in the vault! ..

 

part 2 getting them out

 

1.  open the jar tip it over and see? it may come right out but not likely.. LOL that is why there are more "steps" 

2. run a knife around the rim and it should come out 

3. dip the jar in super hot water this should do it and just kind of hit the bottom like a ketchup bottle

4. get a spoon and give up (honestly this has never happened they are really very easy to get out (as long as you use wide mouth LOL) 

 

I will gladly share and eat this old school  recipe …black cake vintage 2012  later

here is a photo of it in the jar /22547638373_842edcbdc9.jpg

 

… it is just too early for me to eat a black cake but around 3pm with a cup of coffee give me an excuse!!! and since you asked to see it I should slice it and taste for a true showing right? ..and really  it IS  THE "holidays" now ! and i have a few in the pantry from various years to taste but I will start with 2012 

 

so good to see you Linda thanks for posting many hugs sent 

 

black cake cookie sound amazing! worth a try for sure


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
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why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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      On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation with these humble words, “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” Inspired by the renewed freedom gifted to them through Emancipation, a freedom that allowed them to express themselves openly through dance and music, African-Americans led a creative revival that would usher in new forms of dance and music that had never before been seen or heard. The artistic contributions of former slaves and their descendants would forever change the creative landscape in America.


      From this humble beginning in the sweltering, humid heat and back-breaking work of picking cotton, African-American artists penned the notes of a new from of music called ragtime that would eventually evolve into jazz. It was the Cakewalk, unintentionally and ironically, that crossed the bounds of race and class status as it burst into the popular consciousness of America By the 1890’s, African-American actors, dancers and musicians had started forming their own production companies and staged versions of the Cakewalk became all the rage.

      Scott Joplin, (1867-1917), was an early musical pioneer of the Cakewalk style of music. Known as the “King of Ragtime,” Joplin wrote and performed in the style of rag—a combination of dance and marching music entwined with the “ragged” rhythms and soul of African music. One of Joplin’s most famous pieces was “The Ragtime Dance,” (published in 1902), that included a Cakewalk:

      “Turn left and do the “Cakewalk Prance, Turn the other way and do the “Slow drag, Now take your lady to the World’s Fair and do the ragtime dance. Cakewalk soft and sweetly, be sure your steps done neatly.”

      The vaudeville team of Mr. Egbert Williams and Mr. George Walker were two of the first African-Americans to take their musical show on the road in a grand scale. Crowds packed into The New York theatre in 1903 for 53 stunning performances of song and Cakewalk dances in William’s and Walker’s new production “In Dahomey” -- the first all-black musical to be performed on a grand scale in a major Broadway venue. After its raging success in America, “In Dahomey” crossed the Atlantic, performing for seven months of standing-room-only audiences at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London before returning to New York.

      By the turn of the century, Americans were moving off farms and into towns and cities in record numbers. Ragtime music transformed into a new genre called “Jazz,” with emerging talents like Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington playing at the Cotton Club in New York.

      By 1930, the public fascination with dance theatre began to fade as America was lured by the intrigue of other forms of entertainment like talking motion pictures. But the early concepts and the heritage established by the Cakewalk endured throughout the twentieth century and into the 21st, namely, as a contest to raise money at church socials and school functions. The Cakewalk also delivered new words into the American vocabulary-“take the cake,” and “it’s a real cakewalk,” are terms used to refer to something that is “the best,” or a job easily done. Cakewalk software is a cutting-edge firm today that produces award-winning digital audio and recording software to the music industry.

      + + +
      I’m nearing my 54th birthday in November, some 46 years removed from my second-grade class. I had been lost until that Cakewalk at Yoke’s, yet now I’m found. I’ve learned a lesson in respect through the Cakewalk -- a lesson that taught me how emancipation allowed the enslaved to express themselves through music and dance. A lesson that freedom is an unalienable right bestowed upon all Americans. I’ve gained a deep appreciation for the place that this little ditty we call the Cakewalk plays in the history of America, opening our eyes to a world that was color blind.

      I found my personal truth in the Cakewalk -- a truth far richer and deeper than the dreams of a boy winning a cake.

      * * *
      David Ross lives in Spokane, but works a one-hour plane ride away. When he's not tending to his day job -- or commuting -- he writes about food and reviews restaurants. He is on the eGullet Society hosting team.
    • By JohnT
      I have been asked to make Chinese Bow Tie desserts for a function. However, I have never made them, but using Mr Google, there are a number of different recipes out there. Does anybody have a decent recipe which is tried and tested? - these are for deep-fried pastry which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
    • By shain
      Makes 40 cookies, 2 loaves. 
       
      50-60 g very aromatic olive oil
      80 g honey 
      120 to 150 g sugar (I use 120 because I like it only gently sweet) 
      2 eggs
      2 teaspoons of fine lemon zest, from apx 1 lemon 
      230 g flour 
      1 teaspoon salt 
      1 teaspoon baking powder 
      75 g lightly toasted peeled pistachios
      50 g lightly toasted almonds (you can replace some with pine nuts) 
      Optional: a little rosemary or anise seed
      Optional: more olive oil for brushing
       
      Heat oven to 170 deg C.
      In mixer (or by hand), mix oil, honey, sugar, lemon, egg and if desired, the optional spices - until uniform. 
      Separately mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. 
      Add flour mixture to mixer bowel with liquids and fold until uniform. Dough will be sticky and quite stiff. Don't knead or over mix. 
      Add nuts and fold until well dispersed. 
      On a parchment lined baking tray, create two even loaves of dough. 
      With moist hands, shape each to be rectangular and somewhat flat - apx 2cm heigh, 6cm wide and 25cm long. 
      Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and baked throughout, yet somewhat soft and sliceable. Rotate pan if needed for even baking. 
      Remove from tray and let chill slightly or completely. 
      Using a sharp serrated knife, gently slice to thin 1/2 cm thick cookies. Each loaf should yield 20 slices. 
      Lay slices on tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until complelty dry and lightly golden. 
      Brush with extra olive oil, if desired. This will and more olive flavor. 
      Let chill completely before removing from tray. 
      Cookies keep well in a closed container and are best served with desert wines or herbal tea. 
       
        
    • By Tennessee Cowboy
      I'd like help from anyone on making the best Pistachio Ice cream.  This forum is a continuation of a conversation I started in my "introduction" post, which you can see at 
      I recently made Pistachio ice cream using the Jeni's Ice Cream Cookbook.  I love Pistachio ice cream, so I've launched an experiment to find the best recipe.  I am going to try two basic approaches:  The Modernist Cookbook gelato, which uses no cream at all, and ice cream; I'm also experimenting with two brands of pistachio paste and starting with pistachios and no paste.  Lisa Shock and other People who commented on the earlier thread said that the key is to start with the best Pistachio Paste.    
      Any advice is appreciated.  Here is where I am now:  I purchased a brand of pistachio paste through nuts.com named "Love 'n Bake."  When it arrived, it was 1/2 pistachios and 1/2 sugar and olive oil.   I purchased a second batch through Amazon from FiddleyFarms; it is 100% pistachios.  I bought raw pistachios through nuts.com.  The only raw ones were from California.  If anyone has advice on using the MC recipe or on best approaches to ice cream with this ingredient I'd appreciate them.  I will report progress on my experiment in this forum.
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