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FoodMan

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

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I am planning to mail a care package of baked goods this weekend, an excuse to try out a few of the recipes in this delightful book.  The tin should arrive at its destination in 2-3 days during a relative lull in this week's spell of high temperatures and humidity.

If anyone has particularly strong recommendations, I'd love to hear them.

The chocolate biscotti is delicious, and as Dorie says - by their nature, they're great keepers! I've made them twice. Just be aware that the dough/batter is very sticky for when you're forming the logs on a baking sheet.

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Thank you for the visual. Those look quite thick compared to what I'm talking about. I've got a bunch of frozen rolls of WPC and I've been trying different things. The 325 degree oven worked better, it did not work well to start with frozen (mainly because I will eat an entire batch of not-baked-enough cookies before I decide they weren't baked long enough, I just can't wait).

Baking is rarely a challenge for me, particularly cookies, but mine ain't that puffy. Maybe my baking soda is too old or something.

All the same, it is no chore to chew through them.


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

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Those are truly beautiful cookies, by the way. Picture perfect. I even used the paper towel roll trick and mine are not that uniform. Well done.

I can't remember if I posted this question, but I'll try anyway:

Anyone have a secret for chopping chocolate nicely? I used a brick of Valrhona and ended up with some big chunks, some shavings, etc. Not that this is a big problem in a dark cookie, but it would be nice if the chips could look more uniform.


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

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Desert Culinary, your cookies look great!

Lindacakes, about chopping chocolate: I find that it's best to use a long serrated knife. I don't think you'll get evenly sized pieces of chocolate, but I think you'll have a little more control. It's funny, what I like about chopping my own chocolate -- in addition to using great chocolate -- is the fact that the pieces aren't uniform. I like that element of surprise, sometimes a big chip, sometimes a little one, but if you don't, try to cut the chocolate into bars and then to cut the bars into even chunks.

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Hi Linda,

There is a thread on chopping chocolate here:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=93468&hl=

To break my cold brick of Callebaut, I use a hammer and a chef's knife, but if I were more patient: if the chocolate were close to body temp (no problem here), a knife would go through it like butter.


Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Thank you both for the help -- I agree with the serendipitous delight inherent in chunks of different sizes, but chocolate shards and dust is another story. It may be the shards and dust factor that added to my cookie's flat chests.

Thanks for the tips -- I particularly liked the armpit support system one of the posters describes. I have a warmish body, so the end of the chocolate stuck in my armpit would collapse, leaving me unsupported and probably stab my own eye out with the serrated knife, but I'm anxious to go back and try the serrated knife. I was using a chef's knife.

:wink:


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

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Lindacakes, along with the serrated knife option, please cut starting on the corners. this way, you have less chocolate to cut through and have to use less force. when you run out of corner (it becomes too flat/wide) turn the bar/chunk of chocolate and attack another corner. it's all about working smart...not hard :smile:

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Using fevres makes the process easier. I use Valhrona, but I think a couple other brands also come in fevres. Cutting up coin sized bits is WAY easier. The possible downside is that they only come in 3 kilo pkgs. Personally, that's not a problem. :blink::blink::unsure::rolleyes::unsure::blink:


"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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I've invited a friend to help me work out some issues with resizing a knitting pattern on Thursday morning (two days from now), and I'd like to have something coming out of the oven when she gets here. It needs to be something I can get mostly prepped tomorrow night, and then just do the last-minute mixing while my oven preheats on Thursday morning. (Or if there's something that could be made and baked the night before without suffering, that's also fine.) And because we're going to be busy with swatches I've made as well as measuring tape, calculator, pencil, and paper, I'd prefer something that stays relatively neat (much as I love them, I don't want my knitting covered with chocolate swirls or cinnamon sugar). I'll probably have about an hour and a half from the time I wake up till the time my friend arrives and whatever goodie I make must be ready to eat.

Any suggestions for suitable recipes from this book?

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Here are the Milk Chocolate Mini-Bundt Cakes.

gallery_16307_2558_45841.jpg

If you, like me, run out of milk chocolate and need to sub some semi-sweet, be sure to (unlike me) add a little extra butter to compensate for the additional cocoa solid content.

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I've invited a friend to help me work out some issues with resizing a knitting pattern on Thursday morning (two days from now), and I'd like to have something coming out of the oven when she gets here. It needs to be something I can get mostly prepped tomorrow night, and then just do the last-minute mixing while my oven preheats on Thursday morning. (Or if there's something that could be made and baked the night before without suffering, that's also fine.) And because we're going to be busy with swatches I've made as well as measuring tape, calculator, pencil, and paper, I'd prefer something that stays relatively neat (much as I love them, I don't want my knitting covered with chocolate swirls or cinnamon sugar). I'll probably have about an hour and a half from the time I wake up till the time my friend arrives and whatever goodie I make must be ready to eat.

Any suggestions for suitable recipes from this book?

MelissaH

Melissa, I hope it isn't too late, but you can't go wrong with the Visiting Cake. Very easy, very quick and very delicious. The recipe is making the rounds in my large, extended family (thanks to email) and the name has morphed into Irish Visiting Cake. One sister uses it for a quick strawberry shortcake, another niece adds fresh lemon thyme and pine nuts, and yet another tried it with Splenda. I'm quite happy eating it as Dorie originally wrote it

Hope you can try it, there won't be a crumb left.

colleen

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I've invited a friend to help me work out some issues with resizing a knitting pattern on Thursday morning (two days from now), and I'd like to have something coming out of the oven when she gets here. It needs to be something I can get mostly prepped tomorrow night, and then just do the last-minute mixing while my oven preheats on Thursday morning. (Or if there's something that could be made and baked the night before without suffering, that's also fine.) And because we're going to be busy with swatches I've made as well as measuring tape, calculator, pencil, and paper, I'd prefer something that stays relatively neat (much as I love them, I don't want my knitting covered with chocolate swirls or cinnamon sugar). I'll probably have about an hour and a half from the time I wake up till the time my friend arrives and whatever goodie I make must be ready to eat.

Any suggestions for suitable recipes from this book?

MelissaH

Melissa, I hope it isn't too late, but you can't go wrong with the Visiting Cake. Very easy, very quick and very delicious. The recipe is making the rounds in my large, extended family (thanks to email) and the name has morphed into Irish Visiting Cake. One sister uses it for a quick strawberry shortcake, another niece adds fresh lemon thyme and pine nuts, and yet another tried it with Splenda. I'm quite happy eating it as Dorie originally wrote it

Hope you can try it, there won't be a crumb left.

colleen

That looks good. But what I wound up doing was a Dimply Peach Cake. (No plums worth buying around here, but the supermarket had adequate peaches.) The peaches I had were so enormous that I only needed two, cut into eighths, to top the cake. I used a smidge of cinnamon rather than the cardamom in the original recipe, and lemon zest instead of orange. And it went over quite well. There are exactly two pieces left after breakfast this morning. :smile:

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Well, I am happy to report that I have finally finished reading through this thread. I started reading it months ago, but I stopped because I was way too jealous of all the delicious baked goods everyone was making. Happily I received both this book and Baking with Julia for my birthday, so I can join in. I am incredibly embarrassed to admit, though that I've made 2 things from this book so far and I have messed them both up. I generally don't get home before 8pm, often 9:30 or 10 and I have been SOO tired lately. So all the mistakes I have made have been entirely my fault because I'm too tired to actually read the recipe. The first recipe I made was the espresso chocolate shortbread cookies (or whatever they're actually called). Wonderful! The mistake I made was in the shaping---I formed the dough into a thick rectangle like an icebox cookie. I also didn't give them enough time in the fridge cause my husband was impatient for cookies at 12am. I was really worried that they were going to be a disaster, but they tasted great and didn't turn to puddles of butter in the oven.

The second thing I made was way more problematic. I made the cardamom orange coffee cake. I forgot the vanilla in the cake, which was no big deal, but then I also completely forgot to put the sugar in the crumb topping. I didn't realize it until the cake was almost done baking. So, I sprinkled some raw sugar on top and put the cake back in the oven, hoping the sugar would melt. It didn't really, but at least it covers up the weird floury taste of the topping. I think I might have even forgotten something else, but I can't remember now. Even with all my bumbling, the cake is quite tasty. I can't wait to make it correctly.

I have to say, I am even more excited about this book now that I have it. I'm not really into sweets, but there are so many recipes in here that I am dying to try. Also, my husband really loves peanuts and peanut butter, and there are a lot of recipes using those, so he will be happy. I seriously think I would be happy baking anything in this book (perhaps subbing out some raisins). Thank you Dorie! I promise to follow the recipe next time.

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Once again I found myself with some ripe bananas begging to be baked up into something, so I decided to try the banana bundt cake after hearing such rave reviews in this thread. It just came out of the oven, and so far I've just tried a little piece, but it's delicious! I can't wait to have some for breakfast tomorrow.

Now the embarrassing part – the recipe is for a 12 cup bundt and my pan is only 10. I didn't think I'd filled it too full, but as it baked it rose up and started to drip over the edge... and right onto the element. Yup, smoke pouring out all over, actual flames at one point. Sigh. It was my first ever oven fire. (hangs head in shame)


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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Now the embarrassing part – the recipe is for a 12 cup bundt and my pan is only 10. I didn't think I'd filled it too full, but as it baked it rose up and started to drip over the edge... and right onto the element. Yup, smoke pouring out all over, actual flames at one point. Sigh. It was my first ever oven fire. (hangs head in shame)

don't worry, at least your oven will now go to heaven when its time has come. It's been baptized, you see.

I came back to Canada to find that my book, which I had been planning to take back to Japan with me, has been boxed up and put somewhere not to be found. Luckily, I was able to get the very last available copy from the library system last night, and I am in the process of copying the recipes I really really want to try when I go back in September. I photocopied a slew of them before I left home last Christmas, but this time I'm entering them in my recipe database.

Now I've got to go through this topic again to see if there are any I missed before!

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just photocopy all of them, you know you'll want them, and it will probably take less time than reading through this thread

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I made the Brown Sugar Bundt Cake last Friday and it was nothing but pure love in my mouth.

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Im arriving home on Monday at 5pm. I can tell you that by 6pm these will be in the oven.

They look fantastic.

Soooo looking forward to monday!

- fanny

whoppercookies-hb.jpg

Dorie's Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops.

I made these last week, and everyone who tasted them exclaimed "Wow, these really do taste like Whoppers!"


Edited by fanny_the_fairy (log)

fanny loves foodbeam

pâtisserie & sweetness

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Last weekend I made the perfect party cake. I took it to a birthdayparty, so that part was taken care of, but perfect, it was not. I had a lot of problems with this cake! The layers did not rise at all. I have to ask though what 'cake flour' means. The cake flour I buy, has rising agents added (I assume baking powder, although it is not the same as selfrising flour). Anyway, I used the cakeflour which is supposed to rise on its own, and added baking powder too, but the cakes did not rise :sad: . maybe in this case, 1 + 1 is 0?? I think the main culprit was the fact that I had to do all mixing by hand (I mean really by hand, without electricity...) because I forgot I had left my mixer at a friends house.

I tried to cut the layers in half anyway, which resulted in layers so thin and fragile that they crumbled all over the table as I tried to assemble the cake. I ended up baking another layer! And used the broken bits and pieces to construct a decent looking cake.

I used my homemade redcurrantjelly, and fresh raspberries, for the filling. The meringue buttercream, by the way, was really really good. I was very proud of that because I had never made anything like it before. And it was very nice to plaster the cake with buttercream, at least from the outside, it looked okay!

gallery_21505_4018_60206.jpg

gallery_21505_4018_824.jpg

Today I made the dimply plum cake, which came out perfect! I love the combination of cardamom and orange, and it really complements the slightly sour plums.

gallery_21505_4018_49187.jpg

gallery_21505_4018_48769.jpg

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Klary, I've had the same problem with the cake recipe and a friend of mine made the chocolate cake recipe in this book and also ended up with a dry cake that didn't rise much. I'm not sure what we did wrong. So I just stick with my tried and true yellow and chocolate cake recipes but use the frosting and filling recipes.


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Here are the Milk Chocolate Mini-Bundt Cakes.

gallery_16307_2558_45841.jpg

If you, like me, run out of milk chocolate and need to sub some semi-sweet, be sure to (unlike me) add a little extra butter to compensate for the additional cocoa solid content.

They look amazing. jittery.gif

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I love the Swedish Visiting Cake.

I thought I was reading the recipe wrong when I saw that there were no leavening agents...but it's fabulous. I see myself making this in the middle of the night when I WANT cake but haven't any in the house. I've only made it once, but I swear I already have the recipe memorized.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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To those of you that have made the Visitors Cake, do you think it would be okay to double the recipe and bake 2 layers with frosting? Or will it be too much? I'm looking for an easy/fast layer cake recipe...

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To those of you that have made the Visitors Cake, do you think it would be okay to double the recipe and bake 2 layers with frosting?  Or will it be too much?  I'm looking for an easy/fast layer cake recipe...

If you're going to frost it, I wouldn't sprinkle the pan or the top of the cake with sugar. I might cut down the sugar a little too--I think I used only 3/4 cup, not 1 cup.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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