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Anna N

Your Daily Sweets: What are you making and baking? (2014)

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I bet that cheesecake is fantastic, Kim.

 

Over here, we made a chocolate orange cake that I've been dreaming up for a while. 30-odd years ago, and once only, I made Delia's Squidgy Chocolate Log, a South Park episode-in-waiting if ever there was one. The chocolate flavour was too strong for my tastes then, though it did make a lovely cake. I wanted to borrow her sponge, but to use almond powder in place of the cocoa, and flavour it with some of the vanilla essence I've been infusing. I love chocolate and orange together - who doesn't - and I thought, triple sec (Cointreau) in the whipped cream, chocolate mousse for the filling, and poured chocolate and candied peel ribbons for decoration. The juice of the orange made a light syrup that started with the leftover syrup from candying the peel, and I poured that over the inside of the sponge before filling it.

 

I subbed the two ounces (~57g) of cocoa in the sponge with 10g cake flour and the weight made up with almond powder. It worked so well in the end, that I'll use almond-powder-only next time. I went with the suggested 20cm x 30cm tin. Next time I'd go bigger.

 

Without looking back in detail at Delia's recipe, I'd decided to use a standard chocolate mousse - an egg per ounce of chocolate - for the filling. Reviewing afterwards, I'd go back to Delia's chocolate, water and less eggs. Particularly as I seized two batches of chocolate for the filling, trying off-the-cuff to incorporate Cointreau into that, too...

 

Probably less melted choc for covering, next time, too!

 

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We're all about the organic presentation here at Casa Blether.


Edited by Blether (log)
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Buttertarts, my wife made for the Worlds Biggest Bake  Sale today in K-W Ontario.   proceeds for charity

 

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We celebrated my mother’s birthday last night.  Last November one of our honorary nieces made a fantastic Reeses Cup cheesecake and my mother loved it and said that she wanted nothing but that for her birthday.

I'm not generally tempted by flavored cheesecakes, exciting ol' plain is my favorite by far, but I love most things peanut butter so this is throwing some strong temptation my way.

 

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I made coconut macaroons, immersed in bittersweet chocolate.

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Amazing, merstar.  That's exactly what I have planned to make today. My recipe comes from eGulleter, Deensiebat.

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Amazing, merstar.  That's exactly what I have planned to make today. My recipe comes from eGulleter, Deensiebat.

Great! I use my own recipe - Love the combination of coconut and chocolate!

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Well, I would love to see your recipe, please.  Either online or PM. 

 

My macaroons, which I have already made successfully 4 times, were a disaster this time.  I'm going to start a thread to see if someone can help me with whatever I did incorrectly.


Edited by Darienne (log)

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I'm not generally tempted by flavored cheesecakes, exciting ol' plain is my favorite by far, but I love most things peanut butter so this is throwing some strong temptation my way.

 

Apparently we share a palate!  Plain, dense cheesecake is my favorite, too.  But I'm a fool for anything that contains peanut butter!

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Licorice-cranberry cookies. Mmmmm

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Well, I would love to see your recipe, please.  Either online or PM. 

 

My macaroons, which I have already made successfully 4 times, were a disaster this time.  I'm going to start a thread to see if someone can help me with whatever I did incorrectly.

Darienne,

What was wrong with the macaroons? Were they too runny/flat?

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They simply came apart.  It was as if you had put several small antagonistic magnets together...they simply came/fell apart.  I was able to stick some of them back together again using two silicone spatulas to push the mixture, but even so, amounts of them came apart again.  Never seen anything like it before.  Very frustrating.  No idea why.
 


Edited by Darienne (log)

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I looked up the recipe you used, and noticed it calls for unsweetened coconut, which is drier than sweetened coconut. Did you use a different brand, by any chance, or did you use sweetened in the past, and this time you used unsweetened?


Edited by merstar (log)

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I looked up the recipe you used, and noticed it calls for unsweetened coconut, which is drier than sweetened coconut. Did you use a different brand, by any chance, or did you use sweetened in the past, and this time you used unsweetened?

Just looked it up myself at the source again to make sure I hadn't made a mistake.  The recipe calls for sweetened coconut which is what I used. 

 

However, as to brand...I have no idea.  This coconut came from my usual bulk food store and as for what I used before?...I have no idea.  It might have even been some commercial brand from a grocery store.  It was too long ago.  The mixture did not seem dry at all when put into the oven, but I suppose that's what it was.  Looking over the recipe again...no idea.

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Thanks everyone!

 

My goal is to produce desserts that look "professional".    I will try to post pictures as my decorating skills improve.  it did make me wonder how professionals work with sticky dough like the cream cheese cookies which were supposed to be roll out cookies.  I know the recipe was a riff off of the Polish kolacziks which seem to be simply creamed cream cheese, butter and flour.  Any suggestions or recommendations?

 

Since I am new, I am limited to two posts a day, so if I am slow to respond, it's because of this limitation.  

 

How cold is your dough when you're rolling it out?  The chillier the better for the very sticky doughs (the gingersnap recipe I use is crazy sticky, and this works like a charm.)

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Merstar -- I'm intrigued by the Espresso Chews -- what is the texture of them like? Are they cookie-like? Or more fudgy?

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Merstar -- I'm intrigued by the Espresso Chews -- what is the texture of them like? Are they cookie-like? Or more fudgy?

They're chewy and fudgy at the same time. Very deep chocolatey and decadent - nice and melty/gooey. I omit the nuts, use 2 1/2 tsp finely ground espresso beans instead of 1 Tbsp dark roast, and bake them 10 minutes.

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Okay I'm going try this posting image thing again...thanks Smithy and everyone else for the help! I'm not sure whether it works because the pictures don't load in the text editor, so here goes nothing.

 

I had gone on a short trip to Paris some time in Easter (benefits of living in UK: £20 buses to Paris) and was on a 'classics' kick for quite a while even after I came back...spending time at Jacques Genin can really do a guy in. His pastries, and especially his PDFs are unbelievable - it has honestly completely changed my view of gels and jellies forever. 

 

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Lemon tarts! The base was much too thick, though the curd was pretty good if I say so myself. I'm complete crap at rolling and it's something I'm finding difficult to work on, because I don't usually handle that much dough anyway. I'm also not too sure about the meringue - I don't think it's traditional, and I don't really like the fluffy texture here. I torched one and also didn't quite like it - I'm thinking maybe adding dried out crunchy meringues would be a better match. Yeah, some poor french patissier is probably breaking in hives even as I'm suggesting this, but whatever!

 

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(Proof to my parents that heey, I do study)

 

They tasted alright freshly baked and filled, but I was still rather disappointed. Tasting good food can be inspiring, but if the gulf is too big it can also become rather depressing. Plus I am quite annoyed with my oven. It's the cheapish kind with a pretty erratic element and incredibly uneven heating - I've since worked out some kinks which makes baking kind of like playing one of those flight simulator games where you have to do some 10 little button switches and stuff before you get the plane off the frigging ground. For example, I have to place a metal tray to preheat because the bottom element is pretty bad; I also place a large sheet of aluminium foil over the top and little cups of water to get the steam going, etc...it makes trickier stuff like choux a nightmare. And I still can't figure out how patisseries keep their choux crisp for such a long time - I bought an eclair which retained its crispness after several hours despite being filled with creme pat, and this sure as hell doesn't happen for me.

 

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This was a birthday cake for a friend. People are always surprised when I eagerly offer to bake cakes for free or at cost, when to me it's awesome that I get to bake something. It's difficult to find demand...This was with BraveTart's superb recipe and buttercream with loads of wine added. The nice thing about the whole minimalist 'Miette style' decorating is that it doesn't really need skill; ugly rose though. 

 

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And because I am lazy to post in the other thread - chocolates! After two more attempts, I had some decent chocolates...until now. I had serious trouble demoulding this, and had a sad yield of some 13 out of 21 cells, with the rest absolutely busted and made for a crazy cleanup. I'm tempted to say beginner's luck ran out, but I'm thinking it was down to crap capping technique. I cap them with acetate because it's the only way I know - but this time I didn't scrape off cleanly enough. Then again, it might also be lousy tempering - everyone says not to work with less than 1kilo for tempering, but I do it with some 300g anyway. It's the whole budget and demand thing again - friends do find it weird that I keep showing up at school with sweets >.>

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