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


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Aloha Steve, report back on your purchases at E. Dehillerin, one of the greatest places to shop EVER!

Very long story short:

We got to the airport, waved goodbye to Nicolas our five year old, unloaded our luggage,

stood outside the terminal, never walked in, called our ride (Grandma) to come

back and pick us up. We had been ambivalent about going for a good part

of the time the trip was planned. Then I thought, "We've got to go to

see if we really do not like going any longer." LOL a little nutty thinking.

It was a 16 day trip, joining a tour in Paris, (we got to stay at our flat during it, two days in Limoge and finishing up in London.)

It was going to be centered around our hobby of the last 10 years, but at the moment is not fun for us.

I think it may be time to sell the flat.

I do so regret not being able go to E. Dehillerin & Herme

While I have been eating Macaroons for the last 5 years, I've never been to his place. I just bought his book too :biggrin:

I just made quiche yesterday for the first time and it came out really well, with new 9.5" tart pan, thank you Dorie and will try my favorite flavored Macaroon, Pastiche, by the end of the week.

I Promised Reader's Digest version of why we did not go, so I'll stop here. Thank you Linda for asking

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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Pulled this book from the bookcase for the first time in quite a while last weekend and made the Great Grains muffins. I was not impressed with the results. I used a mix of dried cranberries and cherries for the fruit plus some walnuts. I think the problem was partially that I used a coarse grind cornmeal for the cornmeal component and it never hydrated and remained gritty in the finished muffin. Plus for me, something just seemed off in the flavor profile, maybe needing some spice with the maple syrup, or maybe no maple syrup at all.

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Rickster, I think I had the same problem with my Great Grains muffins when I made them. I used a coarser grind of cornmeal and ended up with not so tasty muffins.

Here's my Cherry Fudge Brownie Torte. It was delicious but quite rich. It's basically a brownie with a light topping of cream cheese and whipped cream. I opted to leave the pepper out of the brownies and whipped the heavy cream first before folding it into the cream cheese/marscarpone mixture. It's a nice change from my usual layer birthday cakes!

cherryfudgebrownietorte1.jpg

cherryfudgebrownietorte2.jpg

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Add another one to the list.

It's plum season and I tried the Flip Over Plum Cake. Another winner! Easy too. It does, in fact, have a rather puddingy texture with a delicious caramelized, buttery outer ,um, how to describe it?.. skin? Crust doesn't seem quite accurate given the texture. It's actually a bit chewy.

My plums were quite tart so I decided to go with the full amount of sugar suggested in the recipe. We did find it overly sweet for our tastes; so, next time the sugar added to the fruit gets halved. I'm wondering if the sugar in the batter could also be diminished somewhat without affecting the texture.

A topping of some lightly whipped and barely sweetened cream complemented it perfectly.

Kathy

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  • 2 weeks later...

Since I'm not much of a baker, I'm not going to page through 45 pages for an answer to my question.

If I want to make some lemony Lenox Biscotti, she mentions rubbing the zest into sugar. Do I microplane it? Rub it in and not remove it? I'm going for serious lemony for a friend who is a serious lemon fiend.

Oh, and when I've made these before, they spread like crazy when I bake them. Should they? Should I make my dough "bricks" higher and narrower? Or, is really thin and wide the way they should be?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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If I want to make some lemony Lenox Biscotti, she mentions rubbing the zest into sugar. Do I microplane it? Rub it in and not remove it? I'm going for serious lemony for a friend who is a serious lemon fiend.

Put your sugar in whatever bowl it's destined for, then add the lemon zest (I use a microplane). Rub them together with your fingers. The oil from the zest will flavor the sugar nicely. It's a great trick that I picked up in Dorie's Yogurt Cake recipe, and I've used it ever since in other recipes.


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I'm having the chocolate biscotti with tea. Delicious. I did have to bake a bit longer than the recipe suggested, and I used pistachios because that's what I had. Still a winner.

Edited by lperry (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Currants should work, though you need to consider that they are moister and sweeter than cranberries. Taste them and adjust the sweeteners as needed.

They are? I didn't know that! I always imagined they were tart--tarter than cranberries.

Thanks for the tip! My order is coming in on Sunday, so I'm hoping to get my cake made sometime next week. I love the cranberry upside downer! I think it's my favourite recipe from the book so far!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dorie--

If you are still monitoring this thread, I have a couple of unrelated questions.

On your polenta and ricotta cake, do you still have the original recipe without the flour? I have friends and relations who can't eat gluten, and this sounds like a great treat to offer them. Could I just replace the flour with polenta?

On the bittersweet brownie recipe, which we have discussed before, I curious about the unusual baking technique--the 325 degree temperature and the baking sheet under the pan. It does produce a wonderful, creamy brownie. I am wondering how you developed that technique for that particular recipe?

Thanks!

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Catherine,

I'm sorry, but I wouldn't even know where to start searching for the original polenta and ricotta cake. It was from a French magazine from years ago and I had it in another Paris apartment (which means it probably got tossed in the great clean-up before we moved).

About the Bittersweet Brownies, I can't remember what gave me the idea to bake them in a slow oven. I just checked the recipe for brownies by Rick Katz in the Baking with Julia book, thinking that perhaps that's where I learned the technique, but no. As for the baking pan under the brownies -- at last a question I can answer. I bake many things on a sheet pan because I think it gives you a more even bake (it's also convenient and neat if there's the risk of bubble-over). And when I'm baking loaf cakes that will be in the oven for a long while, I'll often bake them on a stack of two sheet pans, a technique I learned from Pierre Herme --it keeps the bottoms from over baking.

Prasantrin,

I've never baked with currants -- I've only used fresh currants to finish tarts and desserts -- so I don't know how they'll react under heat, but I'll be interested to hear about it. (Sorry, wish I could be more helpful.)

Snowangel,

The dough for the Lenox Biscotti spreads like mad and it's fine, but (just as an aside) these days, I'm finding that I like to leave the cookies in the oven a little longer for their second bake.

Sugarplum,

Your torte looks gorgeous!

Rickster,

You're right -- if you use a coarser cornmeal, you won't end up with tasty muffins. It is, as you said, a question of hydration.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The Ones We Have NOT.  I'm sure some of you have made some of these.  Can I move them to other column?  Like the rice pudding, vanilla ice cream, Katz brownies.  Surely someone has made those.  I think I'll do the Brioche Plum Tart next week.

1.  All American All Delicious Apple Pie

2.  Apple Apple Bread Pudding

3.  Banana Coconut Ice Cream Pie

4.  Banana Cream Pie

5.  Brioche Plum Tart

6.  Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

7.  Café Volcano Cookies

8.  Chestnut Scones

9.  Chockablock Cookies

10.  Chocolate Armagnac Cake

11.  Chocolate Banded Ice Cream Torte

12.  Chocolate Blueberry Ice Cream

13.  Chocolate Cream Tart

14.  Chocolate Spice Quickies

15.  Citrus Current Sunshine Muffins

16.  Coconut Butter Thins

17.  Coffee Ice Cream Tart

18.  Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies

19.  Crème Brulee

20.  Date Nut Loaf

21.  Double Crusted Blueberry Pie

22.  Dulce de Leche Duos

23.  Fig Cake for Fall

24. Flip Over Plum Cake

25.  Floating Islands

26.  Fluff Filled Chocolate Madeleines

27.  Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake

28.  Gingered Carrot Cookies

29.  Granola Grabbers

30.  Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte

31.  Honey Almond Fig Tart

32.  Honey Nut Scones

33.  Honey Wheat Cookies

34.  Kugelhopf

35.  La Paletter’s Strawberry Tart

36.  Lemon Cup Custard

37.  Lime Cream Meringue Pie

38.  Lots of Ways Banana Cake

39.  Low and Lush Chocolate Cheesecake

40.  Marshmallows

41.  Mixed Berry Cobbler

42.  Mrs Vogel’s Scherben

43.  My Favorite Pecan Pie

44.  Pecan Powder Puffs

45.  Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits

46.  Puffed Double Plum Tart

47.  Raisin Swirl Bread

48.  Raspberry Blanc Manger

49.  Real Butterscotch Pudding

50.  Rice Pudding

51.  Rick Katz’s Brownies for Julia

52.  Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Cookies

53.  Strawberry Rhubarb Double Crisp

54.  Summer Fruit Galette

55.  Sweet Potato Biscuits

56.  Tarte Fine

57.  Toasted Coconut Custard Tart

58.  Tourtely Apple Tart

59.  Translucent Maple Tuiles

60.  Tropical Crumble

61.  Vanilla Ice Cream

I have the burnt sugar ice cream base in my fridge and am planning to churn it tonight -- will report back! And I have made Dorie's marshmellow, but I didn't have great results -- I do better with non-egg-white marshmellows (I'm sure it's a character flaw of some kind).

Moving to the Made List:

24. Flip Over Plum Cake

15. Citrus Current Sunshine Muffins

29. Granola Grabbers

31. Honey Almond Fig Tart

40. Marshmallows

50. Rice Pudding Hmm, I had Arborio rice pudding on the original Made List, not sure if there are two different ones...

6. Burnt Sugar Ice Cream

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just finished making "My Favourite Pecan Pie", the version without espresso, chocolate, or cinnamon.

Question--if I accidentally forget to add the melted butter to the pie mixture, is that really a bad thing? :unsure: I just took it out of the oven, so I can't taste it, yet.

I made the Good for Everything pie crust with all butter. I used my food processor, and I underprocessed it, I think. I could see dots of butter in the dough, some bigger than others, but the recipe says "If, after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn’t look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water as necessary, or even a few drops more, to get the dough that will stick together when pinched. Big pieces of butter are fine." so I figured I was OK.

But I got a lot of shrinkage, and quite a bit of butter seeped out of the crust making the pie pan rather greasy. Oh well, it's a good thing a like grease. And if I'm lucky, some of the butter from the crust seeped into the filling where it was definitely missing!!

I will have to try again to make a proper My Favourite Pecan Pie.

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Prasantrin, whenever I've made an all-butter crust it's always slouched a little in the pan. Before baking, you could chill--even freeze--the dough-lined pan, then pop it all into a hot oven. That method seems to help the all-butter crust keep its shape. But the best solution, when the crust has to keep a firm shape, is to use a piecrust recipe that contains both butter (for flavor) and shortening (for texture). I use a combination of butter-shortening piecrust whenever I'm fitting a crust into a tart pan or pie pan. For freeform galettes or smaller hand-size pastries, I go for the all-butter crust.

This was the weekend of second attempts for me. I baked the Honey Nut Scones, and one minute after they were in the oven I saw the chopped nuts still on the counter. Oops. No nuts in the Honey-Nut Scones. I made them again today, with the nuts. So now I can testify that these scones taste good with or without the nuts.

HoneyNutScones_1355.jpg

These scones were something of a surprise. I thought they would be sweet with a strong taste of honey, but they're not. They're like light, buttery whole-wheat biscuits, with a faint taste of honey, really not sweet at all. I served them with jam and hot milky tea.

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Thanks, djyee100. The original recipe calls for both butter and shortening, but I didn't have any shortening. It's actually a bit difficult to find in Japan. I had some lard that I rendered, but I thought it might be a bit too piggy tasting.

And to answer my question about leaving the butter out of the filling recipe. . . it still tastes good, but it falls apart very easily. Oh well. All crumbled up, it would probably make a great topping for ice cream!

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I had some lard that I rendered, but I thought it might be a bit too piggy tasting.

Prasantrin, As long as the lard has been rendered properly, I suggest you use the lard. Good lard is even better than shortening. There's a distinctive aroma to old-fashioned lard piecrust that shortening doesn't provide. A chef-teacher I know once did a blind tasting in his baking class. He baked the same pie with a lard piecrust, a butter piecrust, and a combination of lard-and-butter piecrust, and presented all three to his students. The hands-down winner was the lard-butter combo. It wasn't even close.

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Help....I am having a very difficult time rolling the GFAAPS.....I thought I have followed the directions. Used ice cold, water butter and Crisco, and after let it chill in the fridge for 3 hours or so. When I placed it on the flowered Silpat, the disks were hard. When I started to roll, there was no elasticity at all, and the dough just tore into pieces. I ended up using a scraper and just putting pieces on the bottom of my ceramic pie plate and shaping as best I could, same with the top. Put pieces on top and tried to work it so it covered the top. The end result is, the pie top is maybe the best tasting I ever had, the bottom was not as crispy but still tastes good. The insides......fabulous. What am I doing wrong ? I want to fold the well formed, rolled disk, into fours on my rolling pin and then put on and in pie pan and trim excess away. I really feel foolish using my hand to pat the shell into place in the pan.

I have had this problem not only with Dorie's but with the other two three recipes (all basically same) that I've tried.

Too much working of the dough is the processor ?

Too much Crisco ? I did use slightly more than a 1/3 of a cup.

Dough too cold to roll ?

On the very bright side.....All American-All Delicious American Apple Pie pg 400....I have not tasted better. The top crust crunchy and delicious, the bottom tastes good but not crunchy. The filling to die for !!!!!!!!!!!

apple_pie_dorie.jpg

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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After letting the dough sit in the fridge, did you let it sit out to warm up a bit before rolling it out? It doesn't tell you to in the recipe, but normally you let the dough sit on the counter for half an hour or so before you begin to roll it out.

I didn't have an problems with the dough (except my too large pieces of butter leaking out), and it rolled out very easily. The bottom of my crust didn't brown very much, either. I used a pyrex pie plate, so it should have browned nicely. I'm guessing it didn't because of all the melted butter.

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After letting the dough sit in the fridge, did you let it sit out to warm up a bit before rolling it out? It doesn't tell you to in the recipe, but normally you let the dough sit on the counter for half an hour or so before you begin to roll it out.

Nope, not even for two minutes. Can it be, please G-d, as simple as that ?

In the recipe's directions is says that if you've worked fast, you may roll out right away and skip the fridge cooling part. I guess I took that the wrong way, to more of an extreme.

Thanks Rona very much, I will try letting it sit for 30 min next time.

Rona, do you use a flowered or oiled surface or between two sheets of something, to roll ?

Edited for grammar.

Edited by Aloha Steve (log)

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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Aloha Steve, I suggest reading the section on piecrust in Julia Childs' Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The recipe for "pate brisee" in volume 1. It helped me a lot.

I leave the cold dough on the counter and periodically poke it with my finger. When my finger makes a slight indentation, I judge it ready to roll. I roll north-south to flatten the dough and soften it. Turn the dough 90 degrees, do the same big roll. Then I follow Julia's instructions for rolling out dough (start in the middle, roll to the top of the circle, etc.).

Glad your pie turned out tasty. That's the important thing.

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I just rolled it on a floured surface. I made sure my rolling pin was well-floured, as well, and I moved the dough around to make sure it didn't stick to the surface (adding a light dusting of flour when needed).

As long as the butter in your dough is still cool, you can roll it out right away. But if your house is warm, you're better of refrigerating it for a bit. Depending on how warm your house is, when you take your dough out of the fridge, you may be ready to roll it in just 5 or 10 minutes. During late spring in Japan, I have to start rolling within that period of time because it's so warm in my apartment, but during winter, I have to let it sit out for at least 20 minutes, sometimes more, because it's so cold (sometimes it's only about 10 degrees celsius in my apartment).

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  • 4 weeks later...

Made a quarter batch of the Maple Cornmeal Drop Biscuits - I had no eggs, so I had to find a breakfast recipe to fit! I also discovered that I had no maple syrup, so I made them with honey. They were delicious - tender, but with the crispy, toothy edges from the cornmeal. The original recipe was to yield 12, so a quarter recipe should have yielded 3. I only made tow, but they weren't too large - I still ate both of them! :shock::sad:

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Made the vanila rum-drenched cake this weekend, and the results were quite delightful. I do have a question about applying the rum syrup. After letting the cakes cool and unmolding them I skewered each loaf and brushed on the syrup over a period of time so the cake could theroretically soak the syrup up slowly, but it seems like only the top half of the cakes really got a "soak"? What am I doing wrong? Should I be flipping the cakes over to apply the syrup to the bottom?

Cognito ergo consume - Satchel Pooch, Get Fuzzy

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