Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Recommended Posts

we're all used to the Wednesday/Sunday food sections of newspapers far and wide, national and local. I see corrections in the local or regional columns when called for, but there's never a way to critique the ones published on a national scale because the content is behind a paywall. I get the WSJ, but don't want to pay additional (I should get access to it all on line for free-the newspaper is not cheap) for their online edition. Very frustrating to try a recipe and have major problems with it and not be able to point out some serious issues. Specifically, the WSJ published a recipe from Dee Retalli, a pastry chef in London who's recipe is in the cookbook 'Rustic' by Jorge Fernandez and Rich Wells. 

I have made this cake 3 times.

First time was a total runover disaster, which I should have foreseen. This cakes calls for a 10" springform or if you don't have that, a 10" cast iron skillet. I went for the latter because that is what I had. Almond mixtures tend to really smoke when they run over, just so you know.

Tried again later with a deeper than normal 9 " springform. Happened again. Think it has to do with the 2 teaspoons of baking powder and quick activation in a 350º oven.

Invested in a 10" springform for '3rd times a charm' try. I was successful, but not because I followed the directions, rather I became a little obsessed with making this work. Checked my oven, followed with the recipe and eyed it warily. It came up to the brim...and stayed. 45 minutes later it was supposed to be done but while it was beautiful, it was a bowl of jello in the center. It was also browning at an alarming rate- the almond flour again? So I placed a sheet of tinfoil over it (beautiful top crust) and turned the oven down to 325º and carefully watched and tested for almost another hour. That's a big time difference. 

I found the recipe on cooked.com - credited to the above authors and cookbook albeit in Euro style measures and temps. All seems the same, so what are the odds that the recipe was misprinted twice from 2 different media?

All I can think of is somewhere down the line (in the cookbook itself?) the cook time and temp were off. The time on both reads 45 min. The recipe took at least 1hr and 45 minutes. methinks someone left out the hour...

The temp. thing is a little more obvious. Celcius to farenheight 350ºF does not equal 180ºC, more like 176ºC. Over almost 2 hours, I think that could make the difference between cooked and burnt? Sooo, I turned it down when I saw how fast it was browning to 325.

The cake stays in form while you pour the honey over it, then orange water, then 2(!!!) cups of sliced toasted almonds. I put 1 cup and there is no way another cup would have stayed on that cake. I cup settled up to almost an inch on a 10" cake...

Has anyone else tried this recipe or have the cookbook? It's a wonderful cake if you correct the time and temp., But I'd be really curious to see if anyone followed it exactly as written with success?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the original yield is off.  If a pound of butter, 8 eggs, 4 cups of flour, etc  makes a 10" cake, it must be 4" tall!  I've been working on a wedding cake, and similar amounts of my vanilla cake have made two  9" x  2" round layers or one shorter 14" round.  Maybe in the restaurant it was baked as a half sheet and a little thinner, with more surface area for the almonds on top.

 

I agree that 2 TB of baking powder seems excessive, I stick with roughly 1 tsp per cup of flour.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I do have access to the WSJ and there are 12 comments on the recipe, all reporting the same or similar issue.  Editing to say that after I re-read the comments, there were a few unrelated to that issue, so most but not all of them had problems.

 

Quote

Vesuvius made a smaller mess in Naples than this made in my oven.

 

Quote

I used a 10 inch Lodge iron skillet, and after about fifteen minutes in the oven, I started smelling something burning.  The batter had risen over the top of the skillet and splattered onto the floor of the oven.  I took it out, transferred the batter into a larger pan, and everything came out fine.  

 

 


Edited by blue_dolphin to clarify that not all the WSJ article comments had the same issue (log)
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get the digital edition of the NYT.  I made a comment once on a recipe to the effect that no one seemed to address the fact that the recipe didn't work as evidenced by the number of negative comments.  I got an email some days later saying they would not print my comment.  Neither did they address the fault with the recipe.

  • Like 1
  • Confused 2
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So good to know that it wasn't just me, thanks for that-

I would definitely share my experience with WSJ, if allowed access- if just for other's education. I take it that no-one has corrected it on line either? even with all the comments? Sounds like lazy editing. 

On the bright side, now we know how to make it without the mess!

 

Did they mention the excessive amount of almonds?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, highchef said:

Did they mention the excessive amount of almonds?

 

No mention of excessive almonds.   I'll put a link here to the WSJ version of the recipe.   After clicking through the advert to subscribe, it let me view the recipe and comments without logging in. 

This Honey Cake Tastes Trickier Than It Is

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thank you! It shut me out when I tried the recipe the first time and was looking on line...that was last year? but the taste made me want to do it right, so I carried on.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Lisa Shock
      I developed this recipe for a friend who wound up with many cans of Solo brand apricot filling and was wondering what to make with them. I adapted this recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Sour Cream Coffee Cake, found on page 90 of the Cake Bible. The apricot filling works it way down through the cake and winds up near the bottom of the pan, making an attractive top later when the cake is inverted. Please use some sort of ring pan that holds at least 9 cups. You may substitute butter for the toasted almond oil, but remember that the oil adds flavor. I specifically developed this recipe with the home cook in mind, regular salted butter, and AP flour work well here. To reduce the sodium, use unsalted butter.  
       
      Ingredients
      113 grams (1 stick) salted butter
      26 grams toasted almond oil
      200 grams sugar
      6 grams vanilla extract
      4 egg yolks
      160 grams regular sour cream (do not use low fat or fat free)
      50 grams almond meal
      175 grams all-purpose flour
      2 1/2 grams baking powder
      2 1/2 grams baking soda
      12 ounces (1 can) Solo Apricot Filling
       
      12 Servings
      Preheat the oven to 350°
      Spray a 9+ cup tube or Bundt pan with non-stick spray or grease with an oil & soy lecithin blend.
       
      Lightly toast the almond meal in a frying pan on the stove top until it has a light beige color and has a mild fragrance. Allow to cool.
       
      Cream together the butter, oil, and sugar. Add the vanilla and egg yolks, mix until the mixture is even and creamy. Add the sour cream and mix well. Add the cooled almond flour and mix well.
       
      Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture and mix until it everything is evenly incorporated. Do not overmix the batter.
       
      Place 2/3 of the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Place the apricot filling in an even layer on top, keeping a small space between the filling and the pan's edges. Place the remaining batter on top and smooth to create a relatively even surface.
       
      Bake for approximately 50 minutes at 350° or until the top is dark brown and springs back to a light touch.
       
      Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Invert the pan onto a serving plate. Cool and serve. Be cautious about serving this hot, as the apricot filling can cause serious burns. When fully cooled, cover or wrap in plastic wrap to store. Will keep for several days in a cool, dry place.
       
      Nutrition (thanks MasterCook!) 
      324 calories, 15g fat, (7g sat fat, 6g mono-unsat fat, 1g ploy-unsat fat), 5g protein, 43g carbohydrates, 175mg sodium, 101mg potassium,  58g calcium
      42% calories from fat, 52% calories from carbohydrates, 6% calories from protein
    • By Mullinix18
      I'm thinking about starting a blog featuring the recipes of antoine Carême that I've translated from 1700s French? No English versions of his works exist and his work is hard to find, even though he is the greatest chef who ever lived. After I get through his works I'd add menon, la Varenne, and other hard to find, but historically important masters of French cuisine. 
    • By Mullinix18
      I dont believe that any English translation of Carêmes works exist. An incomplete version was published in 1842 (I think) but even the that version seems lackluster for the few recipes it does cover. I think it's time the world looks to its past, but I don't speak great French and it's a huge task to undertake. I hopefully plan on publishing this work and anyone who helps me will get a very fair cut, and if we decide not to publish it, I'll put it out on the internet for free. I'm working in Google docs so we can collaborate. I'm first cataloging the index to cross reference the pre-existing incomplete English version to give us a reference of what yet needs to be done, and from there we will go down the list of recipies and Translate them one by one. Simple google translate goes only so far, as it is 1700s French culinary terms and phrases being used. I'd like to preserve as much of Carêmes beautiful and flowery language as possible. Who's with me? 
    • By Mullinix18
      I have seen referenced in several places on the internet, including Wikipedia, a stat about escoffier recommending 40 minutes for scrambled eggs in a Bain Marie. I cant find where this number is from. On Wikipedia it refers to the book I currently own, the "Escoffier le guide culinaire" with forward by Heston Blumenthal by h. L. Cracknell...specificly page 157 for the 40 minute cooking time of scrambled eggs but it's not in my book on that page! Even tho there is the recipe for scrambled eggs on that page... I've seen the 1903 first edition online.. And it's not in there either.... Where is this number from?? Id like to know in case there is some even more complete book or something out there that I'm missing. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you. 
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×