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FoodMan

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

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The only cocoa that my local grocery store carries is Fry's. When I want the good stuff I need to make a special trip to Meinhardt's or Gourmet Warehouse. I guess I'll have to stock up on some decent dutched cocoa now and do a little experimenting.

I'm currently using Cacao Barry Extra Brute. I found a 1KG bag ($16?) at Ganache Patisserie in Yaletown. I like it much better than Bensdorf and it's cheaper.

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I've had trouble with the applesauce spice bars; the texture came out a little rubbery, and they were extremely difficult to cut (rough, raggedy edges.) Has anyone else had this trouble? I am wondering if the problem is overbaking, overbeating, or irregular sized apple chunks...

they were delicious though. I can't get enough of the caramel topping.

Just a guess since I haven't made them yet but I would say the rubberiness is from overbeating. And to get a precise cut, throw them in the freezer for awhile before cutting.


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

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I'm currently using Cacao Barry Extra Brute. I found a 1KG bag ($16?) at Ganache Patisserie in Yaletown. I like it much better than Bensdorf and it's cheaper.

Thanks Rhea, I'll check that out!


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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Welcome Barbara!  I hope you're going to really, really enjoy baking from the book.

Lisa Antonia -- I can't explain the texture of your bars, but I think that cutting militarily precise bars is hard because the cake is soft and the apples are, as you said, irregular.  Fortunately, this is not a dessert in which looks count for much -- I think the taste makes up for any raggedy edges.

Thanks!

I made the topping again yesterday and put it on ice cream...delicious :)

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We received our copy of the book yesterday. I do have a problem and that is deciding which recipe to make first.

I made the madeleines first on my husband's request. he saw the photo on the inside cover when it arrived and called me at work and requested them so I picked up a pan on the way home. I used clementine zest instead of lemon zest because that's what I had. Perfect.

And I made the buttermilk biscuits twice. the first night we had them for a late night supper with some nice ham that I fried crispy and eggs (scrambled for him and over for me.) He wanted them again last night and we ate them with jam and butter. It took about a half hour from start to eating. I'd NEVER made real biscuits before, I was always afraid to start because my kitchen's teeny and I don't really have room to knead and roll. i had nothing to worry about.

I think I'm gonna do the rum soaked vanilla cakes next.

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Those sweet potato biscuits are excellent. I had a couple of sweet potatoes that needed to beused up, so I cooked them and used them to make those biscuits. Excellent flavor and fluffy texture, not to mention the color.

gallery_5404_3609_108318.jpg


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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<img src="http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/lcampbel/images/figricotta.jpg" border=1>

This is the fluted ricotta cake from the book. I didn't have a 10.5 inch tart pan, so I used a 10 inch cake pan. It came out fine, but needed about 10-15 minutes longer in the oven.

The taste was a nice contrast of delicate honey-sweetness and dark, rich figs. I love how rustic it looks :)

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I think I'm gonna do the rum soaked vanilla cakes next.

And I did, last night. One of those batters where you have to really discipline yourself to eat no more than what's on the bottom of the bowl. And they baked up so beautifully and fragrantly. I did use a foil tent to be on the safe side, so they got no darker than golden. When I took them out of the oven, a bit of the top of one got on the foil and it reminded me of a tres leches cake, so I thought about using a sweet milk mixture to soak one of the cakes. I ended up using all the rum syrup on both of them. I loved how the cake slurped up the syrup, very satisfying. One is half gone, (hubby LOVED it) and I wrapped the second in two layers of plastic wrap as another member posted way upthread. I may still try a milk "sauce" to serve on the side, but the cake is just so delicious exactly as it is, the lily needs no gilding.

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I made the choco-nana bread last night. Like someone else upthread, it took forever to set up at the top – I think I had to bake an extra half hour, so it's got a bit of a hard crust around the edges as a result.

I used Scharffen Berger cocoa and Callebaut semi-sweet chips. So unbelievably rich and chocolatey. I'll make it again, definitely.


I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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I made the white chocolate blonde raspberry brownies last night. I only had a pyrex dish the right size and that was a major mistake - I'll be going out this week to buy a metal baking pan. They took much longer to cook. I also couldn't wait for the brownies to cool before trying one - that too was a mistake, they were much better for breakfast this morning. I also subbed blackberries for raspberries.

Last week I made the other chocolate layer cake, the one not on the cover. It was wonderful! One of the best I've had, tasted like a rich chocolate candy bar. I iced it with a cream cheese/butter cream icing and piped on red hearts for Valentines.

I also monkeyed with a good thing (gasp). I added more salt to the World Peace cookies. I used a generous teaspoon of very granular Celtic sea salt and a heaping half tsp of French Country Sea salt. I figured my salt was probably not the same as called for in the recipe but it was what I had or I liked my chocolate a little more salty. My one friend calls these cookies the ones that make his mouth water.


Edited by Kayakado (log)

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I also monkeyed with a good thing (gasp).  I added more salt to the World Peace cookies. 

When I first made these cookies, I completely forgot about adding the salt with the dry ingredients. I ended up tossing it in when I added the final chocolate bits and really noticed (not in a bad way) the note of salt when eating the baked cookies.

I would be hesitant about increasing the salt in fear of over-salting them. Perhaps if you try adding the salt later in the recipe it'll have a stronger presence for you.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I made the linzer sablés last night to bring to work today. I didn't finish making them til quite late so I didn't take a picture, but I'm wishing I had. They look great. The cookies held their shapes beautifully and the sandwiches fit together perfectly. I cut out heart shapes with smaller heart-shaped windows, and saved the wee cookies to bake as well. I used the chocolate ganache to fill the sandwich cookies, and put what was left in a pastry bag and piped it onto the smallest cookies. I also made a few small ones sprinkled with red sugar. They look fantastic all together on the plate.

I didn't get a chance to try one last night, but I'm having one now with my coffee – this recipe is another winner! The flavour of the nuts is subtle but noticeable (I used almonds), and the chocolate ganache is a wonderful complement to the cinnamon and cloves.


Edited by emmalish (log)

I'm gonna go bake something…

wanna come with?

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I also monkeyed with a good thing (gasp).  I added more salt to the World Peace cookies. 

When I first made these cookies, I completely forgot about adding the salt with the dry ingredients. I ended up tossing it in when I added the final chocolate bits and really noticed (not in a bad way) the note of salt when eating the baked cookies.

I would be hesitant about increasing the salt in fear of over-salting them. Perhaps if you try adding the salt later in the recipe it'll have a stronger presence for you.

Too funny - I add the salt last at the same time as the chocolate chips. I love that bite of salt, like salty chocolate covered pretzels. They are not too salty for me and I've heard no complaints from my tasters. I also was mistaken and corrected myself. I was using Celtic sea salt. In my haze celtic means Irish or Scottish, I never connected it with French Sea Salt. I only realized it when I had to replenish my supply. I am going through it making cookies.


Edited by Kayakado (log)

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I made the Perfect Party Cake and loved the Swiss Meringue Buttercream! It was so smooth! I want to use this recipe for a cake this weekend, but was unsure if this buttercream can sit at room temperature for 2-3 days. Thanks!

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I made the pecan sour cream biscuits yesterday. These were the first biscuits I've made other than the Bisquick drop biscuits of my youth.

I think I overworked the dough, and the result was that these were not as flaky and light as I would like. The flavor, however, was great. I'll keep trying with this and other biscuit recipes.

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Hello,

I have made the rum soaked vanilla cakes and they were a huge hit with my family! I don't have any pictures as they were eaten so quickly! I have the brioche doing it's final rise as we speak and it looks wonderful. I just love this cookbook so much!

I'm hoping to make that lovely caramel peanut topped brownie cake tonight but I don't have an 8-inch springform, just a 9-inch.....will that make the cake too thin? Could it be baked in a regular cake pan or would that make topping it with the caramel and peanuts too difficult? Thanks for the advice.

Tonya


Edited by doughgirl (log)

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I managed to salvage a few of the cookies from the office for photographing...

Those are beautiful emmalish!

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doughgirl-the only springform I have is 10 inch, so I just made mine in a regular 8-inch cake pan. I just unmolded it and then topped it with the caramel goo. I had a little issue with the topping spilling over, but I put wax paper underneath and scooped some back on afterwards, and it turned out fine and still looked lovely.

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I want to make the Chocolate Crunched Caramel Tart for my mother's birthday. I would need to make it tonight, though, for tomorrow's dinner. I'm nervous because the recipe says to make it the same day and the instructions also call for it to chill 30 minutes and then rest at room temp. til served.

Do you think the tart crust would get soggy if I make it tonight or would the texture be off if I keep it the the refrigerator overnight?

Maybe this question belongs in the baking basic thread! Thanks for any advice.

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Colleen, Here are a couple of possibilities:

You can make the whole tart tonight, cool it completely, cover it and refrigerate it overnight. Tomorrow, pull it out of the refrigerator about an hour before you're going to serve it. You'll lose just a little by chilling everything overnight, but you're still going to have a fabulous dessert AND you're going to be calm for mom's birthday.

Or, you can make all the pieces of the tart and assemble it tomorrow. Bake the crust and keep it uncovered at room temperature. Make the ganache and keep it in the fridge -- follow the directions for re-warming it in the microwave tomorrow. Make the caramel, cool it and keep it covered at room temperature overnight. Tomorrow, warm the caramel in the microwave (look at the directions in the book), fold in the peanuts and spread it over the crust. Chill the assembled tart for 30 minutes, then let it sit out while you get the table ready.

Hope this helps and really hope that you and mom enjoy it.

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Dorie-

Thanks so much for the quick, very helpful reply!

I knew I could keep the ganache overnight, but wasn't sure about the caramel. So, that is what I'll do--make everything tonight, but assemble it tomorrow. You hit it right on the head--I'm a beginner so I don't want to be too overwhelmed tomorrow. I can't wait to try the tart. Thanks again.

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I baked the cakes for Perfect Party Cake this morning and they didn't rise much at all but the crumb still looks pretty good. Are they supposed to be thin or have I done something wrong? I know my baking powder is good.


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

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It's me again. :smile: I'm hoping that someone can guide me on the buttercream that goes with the Perfect Party Cake. Does anyone know if it can be left at room temp for a few days? I believe it's a Swiss Meringue. I'm guessing if I can leave IMBC at room temp for 2 days then I'd be able to leave SMBC at room temp too. Thanks in advance for any input.

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Last night's project was the choco-nana loaf. Again it perfumed my apartment beautifully all evening. I didn't cut into it until this morning, and I dare say so far it's my favorite. Great texture, completely unlike the vanilla rum loaves...almost chewy and bready and the banana and cocoa flavors together are a winning combo.

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