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FoodMan

"Baking: From My Home to Yours" (Part 2)

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I made the Swedish Visiting Cake the other day when I only had a 10 minutes to spare. And just as the intro promised, I was able to whisk it together in no time. Unfort., I was without any almonds or almond extract, but substituted orange zest and then made cute little dollops of raspberry jam on the top.

It is a must-try recipe (almond or jam or however you decide to amend it). Simple, and with an inviting, dense, buttery--almost chewy--consistency. Very more-ish as the English say.

I trained as a pastry chef, so my husband has eaten a lot of cake over the years; he claims this to be his favorite...

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Hi Dorie,

I've been following this thread for awhile and it's been such an inspiration to try so many recipes from your book. Everything I've made so far has been such a treat! The sables, world peace cookies and espresso chocolate chip shortbread were some of the best cookies I've ever made. The choco-nana bread was great and this weekend I went a little crazy and made your brioche, sticky buns and extraordinary lemon cream tart. All were superb. Thanks so much for putting together such a great collection! I look forward to trying the rum-soaked vanilla cakes as soon as my new vanilla bean shipment arrives :)

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I made the pumpkin muffins this weekend. I used canned pumpkin (tsk tsk) and have about half the can left, so I'm going to make them again either tonight or tomorrow. As with all the other muffins, straight from the oven they're a bit meh, but let them sit for an hour or so and the flavours and spices mingle and settle and WOW. They have a wonderful pumpkin-pie-like flavour.

I'm slowly making my way through all the muffin recipes.

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Two more questions...

I made the rum-drenched vanilla pound cake (I only made 1/2 the recipe) and froze it. I still want to do the rum syrup. After I defrost it, should I heat the cake a bit before I start drenching it in the rum syrup?

The lemon curd calls for the juice of 4 lemons. My research has turned up anywhere from 2-3 tablespoons juice/lemon. Is there a recommended amount? I ask because I once made a lemon curd recipe asking for the juice of (how ever many) lemons, and I guess my lemons were too juicy, because the curd was very very tart. I didn't like it at all! I'm leaning towards 2 T/lemon, but I'm worried the sweet/tart balance might be off.

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At her request, I made the Black and White Chocolate cake for my daughter's birthday. The fillings came out beautifully and I especially liked the method for the dark chocolate one.

However I had a problem with the cake. The batter looked fine when I put it in the pans but the finished layers have a texture more like a coffecake or quick bread. When I split them I found that there were bubble holes instead of the velvety texture that appears in the photo. Cake was rather dry although it baked exactly 28 minutes as per instructions. I think I should have taken a test at about 26 minutes because it had already pulled away from the edge of the pan when I took it out.

I was very careful to not over-mix and did the final stirring by hand for that reason.

My oven usually takes a few minutes longer than recipes call for so I doubt the the oven being off temp is the problem.


Edited by BarbaraY (log)

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At her request, I made the Black and White Chocolate cake for my daughter's birthday. The fillings came out beautifully and I especially liked the method for the dark chocolate one.

However I had a problem with the cake. The batter looked fine when I put it in the pans but the finished layers have a texture more like a coffecake or quick bread. When I split them I found that there were bubble holes instead of the velvety texture that appears in the photo. Cake was rather dry although it baked exactly 28 minutes as per instructions. I think I should have taken a  test at about 26 minutes because it had already pulled away from the edge of the pan when I took it out.

I was very careful to not over-mix and did the final stirring by hand for that reason.

My oven usually takes a few minutes longer than recipes call for so I doubt the the oven being off temp is the problem.

based on your description of the cake, i would automatically assume it was overmixed. although you state you were careful not to overmix and that you finished stirring by hand, i think the term "overmix" can be subjective and difficult to pin down.

it could also be the particular flour you used. it might be higher in protein than the one used in the recipe. so any, even very slight, overmixing could cause too much gluten development causing the large air bubbles different texture.

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It was a new box of Softasilk cake flour so it should be low in gluten.

I usually have very good luck making cakes so I was surprised by this happening.

I like the flavor of the cake very much.

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I made the Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins today - layers of bright lemon flavor (love the rubbing of sugar and zest together with your fingers) and enjoyed how the thick icing doesn't "disappear" into the muffin.

gallery_51259_4126_68167.jpg

I also added a dollop of raspberry jam in the middle before baking - will have to try these again with blueberry!

gallery_51259_4126_20804.jpg

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"rubbing citrus zest into the sugar" -- isn't that the coolest technique??? It makes SOO much sense, and it had never occurred to me at all.

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Question to throw out to anyone that is familiar with the Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes...the instructions specify to whisk the eggs into the vanilla-infused sugar until thoroughly incorporated. I whisked until they were well-combined but not too much more than that. When I baked them, they didn't seem to rise to any dome...they baked up flat. Do you think that I needed to whisk the eggs more when making the batter in order to make the cakes rise more when baked?

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It was a new box of Softasilk cake flour so it should be low in gluten.

I usually have very good luck making cakes so I was surprised by this happening.

I like the flavor of the cake very much.

I have the same problem with mine as well and I did exactly the same thing you did, as far as the process and products go. Even though I haven't tasted the cake yet, I know the taste will be fine.

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Question to throw out to anyone that is familiar with the Rum-Drenched Vanilla Cakes...the instructions specify to whisk the eggs into the vanilla-infused sugar until thoroughly incorporated.  I whisked until they were well-combined but not too much more than that.  When I baked them, they didn't seem to rise to any dome...they baked up flat.  Do you think that I needed to whisk the eggs more when making the batter in order to make the cakes rise more when baked?

If you read the "tutorial" on the intro page about pound cakes, you'll find that more is better when it comes to mixing all the wet ingredients.

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If you read the "tutorial" on the intro page about pound cakes, you'll find that more is better when it comes to mixing all the wet ingredients.

Ohhhh....good call. That will teach me to read all the instructions before I start! Thanks for the heads up!

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Chocolate Chunkers - oh yeah....it's like a brownie diguised as a cookie. I substituted bittersweet chocolate for the white chocolate because I didn't have any around...omitted the raisins and used toasted walnuts. These are delicious!!

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My! Oh My! Oh My! Nutty, Chocolaty, Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake is another winner! There's a touch of orange and a whiff of nutmeg, but it's the chocolate in the swirl that grabs you. Deliciously all warm and melty. We love each of the other cakes in this section, but this cake calls us.

Our early morning ritual includes the newspaper and tea in bed. We've now just added a couple of tiny slices of Bundt cake du jour to nibble on. Really lovely.

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I finally got my copy (at last!!) and my first try was the brown sugar bundt cake. It baked up beautifully, texture was great, it come out of the Bundt form without a glitch, all good. Taste wise, it was too sweet for my liking. For those of you that have tried more recipes, are they all on the sweet side or is this an exception (i can imagine it is, being called 'brwon sugar bundt cake)

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Well, now that you bring it up, I've been finding that a lot of them are very sweet. I made the peanut butter criss-crosses last week and would have preferred more peanut taste, less sugar.

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I also find that the items I have made are very sweet...and am playing around with using less sugar. My plan is to reduce the sugar in 1/4 cup increments until I find the perfect point that doesn't cause too much loss of volume, texture and flavour...which means that we have a lot of baking to share with our co-workers and neighbours. It's a sacrifice I am willing to make.

I made the Swedish Visiting Cake last night...dead easy. I didn't reduce the sugar as it's the first time I have made it. Next time, probably tonight, I will cut it by 1/4 cup and see what happens. It's delicious but sweet for me.

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Thanks for sharing your experiences. I often find American recipes too sweet, and as a consequence often reduces sugar. I will experiment with less sugar now that I know! I was added the suager to the cake, KNOWING it would be too much, but I didn't want to tweak the first recipe I tried from this book :o)

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I find most of the items I've tried in this book a bit too sweet as well (I usually cut down 25% and yes, it is probably not *quite* as moist, but not really a huge deal considering I never keep baked goods for more than 12 hours), and always increase things like the peanuts in the Peanuttiest blondies.


Edited by Ling (log)

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That's good to know, thank you. My next attempt will have a 25% sugar reduction as well!

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I finally got around to making the peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chipsters. Yum! Definitely a big hit at the office :).

Has anyone made the tiramisu cake, or the peanut butter mousse cake? They've been on my list, but I haven't gotten around to making them....

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I finally got around to making the peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chipsters.  Yum!  Definitely a big hit at the office :).

Has anyone made the tiramisu cake, or the peanut butter mousse cake?  They've been on my list, but I haven't gotten around to making them....

I made the tiramisu cake. Everyone liked it. I usually don't make layer cakes (in an effort to have my cake and eat fewer calories). This was very pretty for a special occasion dinner party. It was some time ago, but as I recall it was not very complicated or demanding to make. I would make it again except that I usually try a different one each time I bake a party cake.

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I want to thank everyone here for directing my attention to the Apple Spice Bars. So good, and yet if I hadn't read the thread, I would have probably overlooked that recipe.

Absolutely. And if anyone hasn't made them yet and is wondering, yes they're every bit as good as the raves have indicated. and EASY.

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