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emmalish

"Baking: From My Home to Yours" (Part 3)

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I got my copy of this book last December and i absolutely love it! I've since made several things from it.

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The first thing i made from it- the devil food cake with marshmallow frosting. This was so much fun to make. I didn't get a chance to taste it but the close friend whose birthday it was for offered to invest when i start my own bakery  :laugh:

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The chocolate chocolate cupcakes i made for my little cousin's 4th birthday. I swear she ate her weight in them.

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Mini madeleines and the chocolate cupcakes once again for a small dinner party i threw. I loved the madeleines- they were really soft, moist and had a nice crust.

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The cocoa buttermilk birthday cake i made for a joint birthday party my best friend was hosting. I wasn't crazy about the slight grainess of the frosting but my best friend got back to me saying everyone loved it- someone even thought she bought it from a bakery!

I've stopped baking from this book for a while but this thread has got me all revved up to start again!

I am about to make madeleines...wonder if yours domed nicely.

After the long rest, do you have to bring the batter back to room temp before baking?

Thanks :smile:

iii

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Since it's what I have in the house, can anyone tell me if Horlicks hot malted drink mix is an acceptable substitute for plain old Carnation malted mix powder. I NEED to make the malted milk cake.

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Since it's what I have in the house, can anyone tell me if Horlicks hot malted drink mix is an acceptable substitute for plain old Carnation malted mix powder.  I NEED to make the malted milk cake.

I used Horlicks to make the chocolate malted cookies (or whatever they're called), and they were awesome!

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I'm working at home today, and it is cold enough that I figured I would bake something to warm up the house. Good enough excuse as any, right? The Lenox biscotti are in the oven. I wish I had an upcoming event to make another cake.

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Dorie,

I have a question. In some recipes--for instance, the Bittersweet Brownies and the Chocolate Oatmeal Drops--you call for melting chocolate and butter but not "so hot that the butter separates." I'm not sure what that means. I've had great success with the brownies, using a Pyrex double boiler, but the butter certainly melted all the way each time. I'm about to make the drops, and I realize they have the same instruction, so I thought I'd ask.

I add my thanks to those of everyone else for your fantastic work.

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Hi Dorie,

First off, thanks so much for giving so much advice to novice bakers such as myself. Your recipes are easy to follow yet never fail to produce amazing results!

However, I came upon a snag this weekend. My normal go-to dessert when I'm short on time are blondies... unlike my recipe for cookies, I don't have to wait for a long time to make these. They usually are easy and delicious. I've probably made them close to 8 times without a problem.

However, this weekend I baked 2 batches for a bake sale at my church, and they came out incredibly gooey! I don't know what I did wrong! I remember reading somewhere that some people had this problem if they used a silpat under the pyrex 9x13 dish, but I've always done that and never had a problem. So I made a THIRD batch, following all the instructions meticulously and opting not to bake them on top of a silpat, and even baked it a bit longer than normal...

and they were still gooey!!

The blondies are crisp on the top, yet unfailingly gooey in the middle, so much that it resembles pecan pie or cookie dough. Do you have any idea what I might have done wrong? I even checked my baking powder (both the powder and soda are brand new, and I tested the powder with water to make sure it was active). I don't know why this normally foolproof recipe is suddenly failing on me! Please help :)

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I have a question. In some recipes--for instance, the Bittersweet Brownies and the Chocolate Oatmeal Drops--you call for melting chocolate and butter but not "so hot that the butter separates." I'm not sure what that means. I've had great success with the brownies, using a Pyrex double boiler, but the butter certainly melted all the way each time. I'm about to make the drops, and I realize they have the same instruction, so I thought I'd ask.

I can only guess, but I know if you heat butter to a high enough temperature, the solids coagulate and drop to the bottom - it's how you make clarified butter. I'd guess she doesn't want you to take it this far.

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I had a real problem making the chocolate oatmeal drops. They taste great, but the dough was very oily, and I just couldn't get the butter to emulsify into the dough. It might be because I replaced a tablespoon or so of the cocoa with King Arthur Flour's black cocoa. I melted the butter and chocolate in a double boiler. Next time, maybe I'll melt and then cool the chocolate and then beat in softened butter. I'm still hoping Dorie will chime in on this, because her instructions are so lucid that I suspect I just have a blind spot.

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I made Dorie's Coconut Tea Cake, adding the zest of a blood orange and a few drops of pure orange oil, to welcome new members to our church. A few snips of forsythia added a bit of color. I got my Heritage Bundt pan from Kerekes (bakedeco.com). This cake is becoming a favorite!

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Edited by baroness (log)

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I made Dorie's Coconut Tea Cake, adding the zest of a blood orange and a few drops of pure orange oil, to welcome new members to our church. A few snips of forsythia added a bit of color. I got my Heritage Bundt pan from Kerekes (bakedeco.com). This cake is becoming a favorite!

That's beautiful! You've inspired me! I've just gotten the Heritage pan & was wondering what to try first in it.... Looks like it'll be The Coconut Tea Cake... :rolleyes:


I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

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I recently made the Orange Cream Tart with (I believe it was this thread that someone had the idea) the addition of a thin layer of bittersweet chocolate (with a little Cointreau mixed in) between the crust and the orange cream. Very popular and pretty to boot!


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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I made the Brrrrrrrr-ownies yesterday. The brownie part is really quite good, but the flavor sort of reminds me of minty fresh toothpaste. That's not necessarily a bad thing (I used to eat toothpaste when I was a kid), but I'm not sure how well it will go over with my (Japanese) co-workers.

I'll just make sure I warn them first!

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Two things from this book today. First up was the Coffee Break Muffins. Whenever I bake something "plain" that doesn't have nuts, raisins, etc. in it I'm tempted to add some but I wanted to see how the coffee flavour came through. These are really nice - not overly sweet and the coffee is subtle but definitely there. Next time I might add some bittersweet chocolate, or walnuts.

Next was the Peanuttiest Blondies. My failure here is not the book's fault! They baked up beautifully, and I had just placed them on the rack on the counter when my cat decided HE needed to be on the counter. He's a clutz so all he managed to do was pull the whole rack down on the floor, sending brownies all over the floor and scaring the crap out of himself. My first instinct was to think "FIVE SECOND RULE!" :rolleyes: but they were still smokin' hot. I'm sure they WERE good - and next time I make them the cat is locked in the bedroom. :laugh:


**Melanie**

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Sorry to have been so out of touch for so long. However, judging by the gorgeous stuff you've all been baking, it doesn't look as though any of my help was needed.

But, I did see a question about melting chocolate and butter. I melt chocolate and/or chocolate and butter in a metal bowl fitted into a saucepan of simmering water and I always make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. When I say that the ingredients should not get so hot that the butter separates, what I mean is that you should pull the bowl from the heat at the point where the butter and chocolate are just melted (or even a tad before just melted) and, when stirred together, are smooth and shiny. You don't want the chocolate to be so hot that it loses its shine.

Baroness - I love the way the Coconut Tea Cake looks in the Heritage Pan! The last thing I need is another bundt pan, but ...

imac2much - I know the blondie problem you're having, but I'm not sure what to do about it. A friend just had that problem and we were going to try making blondies without leavening, to see if it would change the evenness of the bake, but we haven't had a chance to do that yet. Maida Heatter, who writes the most wonderful recipes, had a recipe in her first book for a lemon cake that was terrific. Then, when the book was reprinted, it wasn't included. Three books or so later, the cake reappeared with a note saying that while she'd made the cake for years without a problem, all of the sudden it just didn't work. When she tried to guess the reason, the only answer she could come up with was "kitchen witches". Maybe you've got "blondie witches".

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Dorie, since I'm living between France and the US, as you are, could you tell me what flours you use for which applications in France? It's the single thing that makes it hardest to use American recipes, and although I guess at it, the results aren't always reliable. The simplest thing, like a brownie or a muffin, can be completely transformed/ruined by the differences in the flour.

Just a note on "kitchen witches" - try having your oven calibrated and see if that helps. It's amazing how often home ovens are significanlty off temp.

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This cookbook was an impulse purchase recently, based on the enthusiasm of its eG fans. I'm looking forward to reading thru this entire thread, but for now let me just say that I am addicted to the French Yogurt Cake recipe. Addicted, really. I made it the first time to use up some leftover yogurt and now there's no going back. I made my third one a few days ago, just for myself. Midweek, no guests scheduled. That might be a first, I don't have a big sweet tooth and baking isn't my favorite thing.

For anyone interested, the second time I made it I followed Dorie's suggestion of using it as a base for strawberry shortcake for the lunch I cooked for my parents on Mothers Day, and it was a huge hit.



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This cookbook was an impulse purchase recently, based on the enthusiasm of its eG fans.  I'm looking forward to reading thru this entire thread, but for now let me just say that I am addicted to the French Yogurt Cake recipe.  Addicted, really. I made it the first time to use up some leftover yogurt and now there's no going back.

Mmm, that sounds good. I have to admit that I keep returning to the same recipes again and again (they're just so GOOD). I was going to make either the mocha swirl bundt or the coconut tea cake again this weekend, but maybe it's time to try something new...


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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Once more I have lugged my copy across the Pacific and back into range of an oven. I always take it with me to Asia in the hopes that I'll end up with an oven, but I'm usually disappointed. (Then my husband complains, because the book weighs 1.5 kilos, which eats into our precious weight allowance :raz: ) I'm making up for lost time, now, though. Three hits this week - I made the French yogurt cake, which was pretty much perfect. I used limes to make a simple syrup for the glaze, as I didn't have any marmalade to hand, and it's just gorgeous with a cup of tea. Last night I made the chocolate bread pudding, which was scarfled down by an appreciative dinner crew. Next time I might split the chocolate half and half between the custard and leaving it in chunks mixed in with the bread - I've had chocolate bread pudding before like this, and I love the contrast of the hits of dark chocolate and the eggy custard. I used some stale raisin bread we had, rather than brioche tossed with raisins, as is called for in the recipe, and I think it worked fine.

Then this evening I made the ginger-jazzed brownies for my Dad, who is a big ginger fan from way back, and they were excellent. I have lost my taste for most North American sweets - I find them too sweet, I guess. But Dorie's recipes really strike a nice balance between interesting flavours and more traditional ones.

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ABRA, I have a confession to make: I most often use American flour in France. I bring it with me or buy it in specialty shops in Paris. (But I'm not sure you could do the same in the South of France.) Of course, because I live in NY and Paris, I understand that it's easier for me to do this.

When I do bake American recipes with French flour, I add a little more flour than the recipe calls for. (Unfortunately, I don't have a formula for this -- I do it by feel.) In general, French flour doesn't have as much protein as our flour, so it's "weaker".

The Francine flour in a box, is a lovely flour -- BUT, I find it too fine for most American recipes. Oddly, I have the most luck with rather generic supermarket flours, ordinary Farine de Ble. I wish I could be more helpful, but even after all these years, it's trial and error for me. As I bet you can guess from this, I never test recipes for publication in France unless I've got American ingredients at hand. (And BTW, I bring American butter, too.)

LINDA K, I'm so glad you bought the book and are putting it to good use. Like you - and so many others -- I love the French Yogurt Cake for its taste, its texture and its versatility. It's also the reason the French love it. The French don't bake much at home, but when they do, they'll make a cake like this because, as you found it, they can turn it into just about anything, from a tea snack to a birthday cake. Hope you'll enjoy many of the book's other recipes as much.

EMMALISH, Your comment made me smile. It's funny how we all find favorites and return to them. It's great to have recipes that we feel comfortable with and that make us and the people we share them with happy.

NAKJI, I can't believe you carried my heavy, heavy book across the ocean! Best of all, I'm thrilled that after using up a chunk of your precious weight allowance, it was worth it.

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When I do bake American recipes with French flour, I add a little more flour than the recipe calls for. (Unfortunately, I don't have a formula for this -- I do it by feel.) In general, French flour doesn't have as much protein as our flour, so it's "weaker".

The Francine flour in a box, is a lovely flour -- BUT, I find it too fine for most American recipes. Oddly, I have the most luck with rather generic supermarket flours, ordinary Farine de Ble. I wish I could be more helpful, but even after all these years, it's trial and error for me. As I bet you can guess from this, I never test recipes for publication in France unless I've got American ingredients at hand. (And BTW, I bring American butter, too.)

Wow, and I complain about the weight of the book! I can't imagine what hauling flour and butter across the Atlantic do to your weight allowance :) My husband has been quiet about the book, anyway, since I stuffed his mouth full of brioche I made for the first time from your recipe. I made half brioche and half sticky pecan muffins for Father's Day, which were as I expected them to be - divine. I substituted raisins for pecans since my Dad is not a Nut Person, and they were great - they beat out my mother's vaunted Canadian Living recipe, which has been the last word in sticky bun recipes in our house for several years - it was the brioche dough that tipped it over the edge, I know it.

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Erin, I'm so glad your sticky buns were a hit, although I hope no one told your mom that they beat hers out. I'm making brioche and sticky buns today, but the weather is even stickier than the buns -- I probably should have waited for a cooler, drier day, but when a craving for sticky buns attacks ...

Deliciously Lekker -- what a great idea to use Nutell as frosting. What's better than chocolate and Nutella!

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Erin, I'm so glad your sticky buns were a hit, although I hope no one told your mom that they beat hers out.

She was the one that said they were better! :biggrin: She thought your sticky sauce worked better than the Canadian Living version, which she has always found to be too oily - the brown sugar and butter had a habit of separating.

I made the lemon poppyseed muffins today for my mother-in-law, and they were another hit, even though I was halfway through making them and found there wasn't a scrap of baking soda in the house, not even deodorizing the fridge. The recipe only calls for a quarter teaspoon, so I held my breath and added double that quantity in baking powder. They seemed to come out fine, with a great flavour and a nice rise, but I'll have to make them again with the right ingredients just to compare some time.

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Hey guys. Does anyone have access to their book right now? I'm thinking of making the coconut tea cake tonight and I'll need to pick up a few things on my way home. Does the recipe call for whole milk? Other than the coconut milk and the basics (like flour, sugar, butter, etc), are there any other ingredients?

thanks!


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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Hey guys. Does anyone have access to their book right now? I'm thinking of making the coconut tea cake tonight and I'll need to pick up a few things on my way home. Does the recipe call for whole milk? Other than the coconut milk and the basics (like flour, sugar, butter, etc), are there any other ingredients?

thanks!

http://www.bigcitylittlekitchen.com/2008/1...conut-tea-cake/

Many of the recipes can be found online. I left my book in Canada, so online searching is the only way I can get most of the recipes!


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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