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Ever start making one thing, end with another?


Janedujour
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A few weeks before Thanksgiving I decided to bake pumpkin bread, one of my son's favorites. I decided to try Mark Bittmans recipe from "How to Cook Everything" and I doubled it, or thought I did. I'm sure it was my fault: I left something out or didn't double an ingredient , or maybe my leavening was old, because the result was three brick like loaves that really were pretty awful and very bland.

(since then I made great pumpkin bread by using an apple cake recipe and substituting the apple for pumpkin)

I didn't feel like just throwing the bricks out, or giving them to my son for paintball targets, so cut them into little squares and spread over cookie sheets with exta cinnemon and sugar and baked in a low temp oven till crispy. I then processed all these crunchy squares in the cuisinart to use (later) like graham cracker crumbs for a cheesecake.

I passed the crumbs through a sieve, and was left with little hard crunchy nuggets of pumpkin flavored bread that reminded me of Grape Nuts, so put them in a baggie just to much on. They're really good, but you gotta watch the teeth!

About a week later I was watching "Unwrapped" on Food Network late at night and Marc Somers was interviewing a woman from Post Cereals about the history of Grape Nuts, how it's the oldest(?) packaged cereal, and the recipe hasn't changed. A film clip followed and she proceeded to say " well, we actually get grape nuts by baking loaves of bread! Twice! 'till they get really hard and crunchy, then the loaves get chopped and tumbled in a big cylinder" etc. etc. I just started laughing out loud :laugh:

Anyway, I hope someone else appreciates my blunder.

Any other good one's out there?

JANE

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Very funny story. Glad you shared it Jane! As a teenager, I seem to remember making two big batches of marshmallo fluff by totally botching a divinity recipe. I made it wrong the first time, tried again, botched it up AGAIN and, not knowing exactly what divinity was, assumed it was marshmallow fluff! “Do you want a piece of divinity?” “Oh, no thanks, I don’t have a spoon.” :laugh: Years later I figured it out.

--therese

Many parts of a pine tree are edible.
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Sounds good. Do they call for almond extract? If not , add a few drops.

Therese, i love the divinity/fluff story.

I've never made anything like that or homemade marshmallows or crunchy meringes(with almonds!), but they're all kind of the same thing, just cooked at different temps, right?

I tried making Jamie Oliver's glossy sesame bark, but mine was more like sesame crystals!

I guess I need a candy thermometer huh?

JANE

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In my jelly making days I occasionally made a batch of "pancake syrup". :laugh:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Well this is sort of minor, but yesterday, my mother asked me what was in this little jar. I smelled it and said "it's my ginger syrup I made for you." She said she'd have some ginger ale then! Then she asked me if I were sure it was ginger syrup, as it tasted buttery. I tasted it, and after a minute, I realized it must be the concoction we used to make roasted spicy ginger nuts with ginger, butter, cayenne, worchestershire, bla bla bla. Oops! :biggrin: Not a good iced beverage.

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I've been working on the perfect "ding dong" by trial and error. Not a copy of the horible Hostess thing or the disapointments I've had elsewhere, but something really good!

I've got the filling and glaze down, but the cake is not quite right. The morning of a potluck I tried again. I found that chocolate sponge doesn't work, so instead turned the whole thing into a buche de Noel which made everyone happy, but wasn't the ding dong I was looking for.

Oh well, glad I have friends who like to eat!

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I've got the filling and glaze down, but the cake is not quite right. The morning of a potluck I tried again.  I found that chocolate sponge doesn't work, so instead turned the whole thing into a buche de Noel which made everyone happy, but wasn't the ding dong I was looking for.

I strongly recommend trying Rose Levy Beranbaum's "Perfect All-American Chocolate Butter Cake" recipe, on page 54 of The Cake Bible. I made some cupcakes this weekend with that recipe and my wife frosted them with a very, very sweet frosting, and inside out they would have been very much like (but very, very much better than) a Ding-Dong. I made that observation while I was eating them originally, in fact!

Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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That's really funny - I've been playing around with making an adult version of the Hostess Snowball. You know, the chocolate cake covered in marshmallow and coconut. I tried making marshmallow with coconut milk, but the fat inhibited the foam a bit so it came out chewier than I wanted, so I'm going for a rich, moist chocolate cake with a raspberry marshmallow outside (no coconut). I went through several cake recipes, including a detour into brownies, but I think Rose's chocolate fudge cake from the Cake Bible has the richness I'm looking for.

By the way, mklynch - what did you come up with for the filling? Is it whipped cream or something more substantial?

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I had thought about tackling the snowball next as I've been having fun making marshmallows.

My ding dong filling is a blend of mascarpone cheese with a vanilla whipped cream folded in. It tastes really good and holds up great.

I used the triple layer devil's food cake recipe from the Cake Bible last time and thought it was a bit too dry. She says it's essentialy the same as the "Perfect All-American" but I see the difference is the devil's food uses whole eggs and the perfect uses just yolks - may be enough of a difference to give me what I want.

Next time I'll give that a try.

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mklynch,

have you thought of moistening the cake with a bit of simple syrup or liquer. this would take care of the dry cake problem and add another yummy dimension. and the cake would stay moist longer, if your thinking of keeping them in the fridge for a few days

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  • 2 weeks later...
That's really funny - I've been playing around with making an adult version of the Hostess Snowball. You know, the chocolate cake covered in marshmallow and coconut. I tried making marshmallow with coconut milk, but the fat inhibited the foam a bit so it came out chewier than I wanted, so I'm going for a rich, moist chocolate cake with a raspberry marshmallow outside (no coconut).

I don't remember snowballs as having chocolate in them--more of a sponge cake with a raspberry coconut coating so they were pink and fuzzy looking. Am I confusing them with Red Zingers? They always used to advertise them using Peanuts characters. But I digress...

I made a bar cookie last year with a rich shortbread base that used only the yolks of the eggs. The crust was baked, and then a layer of raspberry preserves was spread across the cookie. I topped it with a meringue made out of the egg whites and sugar, blended with some coconut, and sprinkled additional coconut on top, and baked again. The taste brought back a lot of the old memeories! If you don't mind losing the chew of the marshmallow, a meringue might do the trick.

If you're really feeling nostaglic, you can tint the meringue and coconut pink! I didn't.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm having one of those days.

Today I needed to be rid of the last of a tub of sour cream. Struesel cake/coffee cake -- easy, right?

Somehow or another I was researching recipes for what was on hand that needed to be used. Having carefully printed, read and selected *the* one, I proceeded with my now room temperature block of butter. One reason or another 3/4 of a pound stuck in my mind, so I proceeded to weigh and cream it with the sugar. I sift my dry and alternate with the sourcream and dry ingredients. I double check on my berries and fold them into the batter. They are in beautiful shape -- plump, sweet but a few tart.... perfect. I grab the recipe (a Curtis Aikens) and nearly jump out of my skin!

3/4 of a cup! Not 3/4 of a pound!

Meh. At this point I figure I need to proceed and hope for the best.

These individual "cakes" turned out lovely -- a nice rise, moist, tender insides with a nice browned delicate, satisfying crust.

Whew!!!!!! :wacko:

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The summer after I got out of college, I was living with two friends in an apartment very near the greenmarket at Union Square in NYC. These friends were also vegetarians and owned a juicer, so often that summer we had a LOT of fresh fruit juice and smoothies and the like.

One rainy day I came home and found they had made this INCREDIBLE lentil soup. It was light enough for summer, but warm enough for a rainy day, and had this REALLY unusual flavor to it. I loved it and asked them for the recipe. I actually asked a few times, getting increasingly suspicious as they tried to dodge my question. Finally one of them blurted out, "we don't know how we made it."

Turns out what happened was -- one of them had tried making vegetable juice in the juicer, out of a variety of green leafy vegetables. The resulting juice, apparently, tasted terrible. So they decided to try turning it into soup, by dumping the juice and the pulp into a pot, dumping in some lentils, and in their words, "just adding spices until it tasted good." They couldn't even remember what they'd used because they were in a panic of "grab it off the shelf and let's try that".

I hadn't had as much practice in the kitchen then to try to recreate by taste, and it's too long ago now to recall the flavor accurately enough. This is one of my great tragedies.

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