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Your Daily Sweets (2005-2012)


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Omg, please tell me if you work in a bakery or restaurant  because I want to eat there on my next trip to Toronto!!!

Hi Randi, I only buy and eat stuff from bakeries or restaurants. At most, I might help cater (or host my own) an event .

I have a little fun in my kitchen from time to time (actually it's quite often). It also helps to have frequent gatherings to attend, where I can bring treats, thus allowing me to play with different recipes (I think I'll post those next). If anything, it becomes almost half expected to show up with something each time (at least when a birthday rolls around or for our church choir practices)! Christmas is my favourite time of the year as I can make a tonne of treats and have them packed to go. It's become an annual event and it's almost cute/funny how those I know look forward to seeing what may be new each year. I'm going to miss that when I have less time to bake.

LOL, if you come up to Toronto, let me know :wink: That may be another reason to "play." :laugh:

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You're welcome Rob :) The cake looks very good. I'm guessing the main inspiration for the design is New Mexico? What's the flavor of the buttercream? Please do tell what the customer thought of it!

Goodness, someone should restock the spice racks here better... I have no idea what fennel tastes like :raz:

I'll let you know what she thought...I'm hoping she says, but I'm afraid to ask. There's more to that story....

And as far as fennel - John nailed it but I would be surprised if you don't know. If I have my terms correct, in India they call it Soaf - sugar coated fennel. So maybe you have soaf? At many Indian restaurants they have them in a bowl at the entrance for you to cleanse your mouth after a meal.

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Renka, I wish I was at you house when you made all those! They look absolutely stunning!  :wub:

Yesterday I made Banana Bread...with yeast. I felt like experimenting, so I made up a recipe and gave it a whirl. I've only ever had this kind of bread with baking soda or baking powder, but It was actually...good! I feel like it could have been a bit sweeter. If I ever made it again I would definitely change the recipe a bit.

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Haven't cut into the loaf yet. I'm very curious how it came out though!

I would LOVE this recipe too. Did you eat it straight up, or use it for sandwiches and such?

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Renka, I wish I was at you house when you made all those! They look absolutely stunning!  :wub:

Yesterday I made Banana Bread...with yeast. I felt like experimenting, so I made up a recipe and gave it a whirl. I've only ever had this kind of bread with baking soda or baking powder, but It was actually...good! I feel like it could have been a bit sweeter. If I ever made it again I would definitely change the recipe a bit.

gallery_55196_5615_31357.jpg

Haven't cut into the loaf yet. I'm very curious how it came out though!

I would LOVE this recipe too. Did you eat it straight up, or use it for sandwiches and such?

We ate it straight up, mostly. I did toast it and put strawberry jam on it which was good. My dad did cinnamon and sugar, which he said was good. I tastes best warm, so I'd heat it in the oven or toast it very lightly, maybe with some butter.

This was the recipe I had written down, I ended up needing a lot more flour, maybe about 4 cups in total. I was really winging it.

2 cups of flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 oats

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons melted butter

About 3 1/2 or 4 bananas, mashed

3/4 cup warm milk

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 cup chopped walnuts

Mix together flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon, salt, and bananas. Melt butter, pour into the mixture. Warm milk to dissolve ADY. Pour dissolved yeast-milk mixture to flour mixture and let sit for a few minutes. Then I used a dough hook to mix together a bit before putting on floured counter and kneading. The dough should achieve a satiny and smoothish texture. When your almost done kneading, knead in walnuts. Put in lightly oiled or greased bowl, cover, and let rise for about 2-2 1/2 hours. (In all honesty, it didn't rise much, but I seem to have bad luck with that. It puffed up real nicely during baking.) Divide the dough as desired and shape. Cover and lets rise for about 1- 1 1/2 hours. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes and sheet pan. Rotate and bake for about 20 more minutes.

Side notes: Probably didn't need the oats. I had oats, so I felt like putting them in...haha. I used brown sugar, but granulated would probably be good too. I actually used buttermilk, but I think whole milk would be better. Those are the things I would change. Also, I just looked up banana yeast bread, found some recipes similar to mine. LOL.

If you decide you want to try it, please let me know how it turns out!

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Renka, I wish I was at you house when you made all those! They look absolutely stunning!  :wub:

Yesterday I made Banana Bread...with yeast. I felt like experimenting, so I made up a recipe and gave it a whirl. I've only ever had this kind of bread with baking soda or baking powder, but It was actually...good! I feel like it could have been a bit sweeter. If I ever made it again I would definitely change the recipe a bit.

gallery_55196_5615_31357.jpg

Haven't cut into the loaf yet. I'm very curious how it came out though!

I would LOVE this recipe too. Did you eat it straight up, or use it for sandwiches and such?

We ate it straight up, mostly. I did toast it and put strawberry jam on it which was good. My dad did cinnamon and sugar, which he said was good. I tastes best warm, so I'd heat it in the oven or toast it very lightly, maybe with some butter.

This was the recipe I had written down, I ended up needing a lot more flour, maybe about 4 cups in total. I was really winging it.

2 cups of flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 oats

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons melted butter

About 3 1/2 or 4 bananas, mashed

3/4 cup warm milk

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 cup chopped walnuts

Mix together flour, sugar, oats, cinnamon, salt, and bananas. Melt butter, pour into the mixture. Warm milk to dissolve ADY. Pour dissolved yeast-milk mixture to flour mixture and let sit for a few minutes. Then I used a dough hook to mix together a bit before putting on floured counter and kneading. The dough should achieve a satiny and smoothish texture. When your almost done kneading, knead in walnuts. Put in lightly oiled or greased bowl, cover, and let rise for about 2-2 1/2 hours. (In all honesty, it didn't rise much, but I seem to have bad luck with that. It puffed up real nicely during baking.) Divide the dough as desired and shape. Cover and lets rise for about 1- 1 1/2 hours. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes and sheet pan. Rotate and bake for about 20 more minutes.

Side notes: Probably didn't need the oats. I had oats, so I felt like putting them in...haha. I used brown sugar, but granulated would probably be good too. I actually used buttermilk, but I think whole milk would be better. Those are the things I would change. Also, I just looked up banana yeast bread, found some recipes similar to mine. LOL.

If you decide you want to try it, please let me know how it turns out!

Thanks, I will let you know how mine turns out. I'm thinking about using some whole wheat flour and cutting back on the sugar to make it more savory.

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Renka - I am just astounded. I just assumed that you were a pastry chef! Please never stop posting your photos! I can't eat a lot of sweet stuff, so I get my 'fix' here and your sweets are gorgeous. I made La Bête Noire, too and was so pleased with the results! I'll be trying those brownies - brownies are my favorite dessert! Those hazelnut studded chocolate cupcakes really caught my eye!

gfron - no apologies for your cake! It is beautiful! I'd certainly be proud to be able to do that!

jumanggy - it really was very much like pound cake - that's really why I thought I'd like it more - poundcake is probably my favorite cake. Well, I'll try a little tonight again - a test :wink: !

Kim

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This is sapin-sapin (er.. "layer-layer"), which I did not make, but I had to show (if only to make Rona jealous? :laugh: ). It has 2 of 3 flavors I'm not a fan of (ube or purple yam, and coconut).

Ha! I don't even like sapin-sapin, so I'm not the teeniest bit jealous about it! If you'd made carioca or cassava cake, that might be a different story, but sapin-sapin? No way!

This, on the other hand, makes me drool... :wub:

My very small contribution, I spent all day Sunday making more than 200 shortbread cookies for my S3 (US-speak=high school seniors, CDN-speak=12th graders) girls who are finishing next week. I don't always bake for my students--only when they've been a very good group (last year's S3 girls certainly didn't get anything homemade!). I won't be handing them out until the 29th, and they'd better appreciate them!

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That's a lot of shortbread!

I spent yesterday making two birthday cakes, a chocolate roulade and a three-flavor Japanese-style pound cake.

The roulade was a scaled-down recipe from Helge Rubinstein's Chocolate Book, and is very good and simple - a moussey roulade made with sugar, egg, and just a little cocoa, spread with melted chocolate, and filled with cream and whatever you wish. It turned out looking very handsome, and got a big smile from a friend of my son's who shares his birthday, and who had actually forgotten it was their birthday till we rolled up.

The pound cake was marbled with a plain dough with azuki beans, a kuro-zatou (black sugar) dough, and a matcha green tea dough, served with chestnuts and cream - my son's request for HIS birthday cake. The cake was wrapped straight out of the oven, and left while we delivered the other cake, so it had lost it's just-baked dryness by the time we were ready to sample it.

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A lot of awesome baking going on!

I did a couple cakes over the past few days but I don't have the pictures to prove it. Cake one was what I'm calling strawberry tallcake. A good friend asked me to make a birthday cake for her husband (also a good friend) on saturday. She wanted a strawberry shortcake type cake but not the strawberries-and-whipped-cream-on-a-sweetened-biscuit type (that's not a disparaging remark, I like that type). It also had to be fairly large for the crowd she was feeding. I made two 1/2 sheets of vanilla and orange zest poundcake and halved those to make four 8x12 layers (after trimming). I topped each layer with fresh strawberry puree thickened with a bit of gelatin and stirred until spreadable, vanilla-white chocolate custard, sliced strawberries marinated in a little sugar and orange flower water and stabilized whipped cream. Then I coated the whole thing in the whipped cream and topped it with more berries. A night in the fridge let the cake pull in some of the moisture and flavor. They were very happy with it.

Tonight I made cake two for her son's birthday tomorrow. He wanted chocolate and lots of it so I did four layers of chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream, a disc of aerated chocolate in the middle and discs of chocolate butter ganache with unflavored pop rocks (gotta make it fun) in the other two spaces.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Banana Bread...my family ate 1/4 before I got to snap a picture :wacko:

Next time I may add more coffee as well as adding nuts

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Edited by Mota (log)

a very hungry college kid

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Here's a Brickle Bundt Cake that we tested out last night...

gallery_51259_4126_3068.jpg

It went over quite well at my partner's office - I was happy to see that the layering of toffee bits, sugar, toasted walnuts and cinnamon inside the cake held up so well.

gallery_51259_4126_58904.jpg

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You're welcome Rob :) The cake looks very good. I'm guessing the main inspiration for the design is New Mexico? What's the flavor of the buttercream? Please do tell what the customer thought of it!

So how pathetic am I!? Can you imagine Chefpeon or the others who make a living selling cakes calling all of their customers to see if they liked it. Well, I emailed the customer because my insecurity was getting the best of me and I finished with, "I still have your check, so if the cake didn't meet your expectations, please let me know." I received this response:

The cake was beyond wonderful.  Everyone raved about it.  Thank you so much for making the fondant frosting.  I think it makes for a beautiful decorated cake.  As a non dessert, non chocolate (I know that is unhuman) eater it is hard for me to pick a special dessert for myself, so thanks again. 

OK - insecurity gone, I promise I'll take the check and run next time.

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T2C - grr, each layer sounds increasingly better! I wish you'd taken a pic (you know you're an eGulleter when... all over again) :)

Joe - that is gorgeous-- even the icing cascades symmetrically down each peak.

Rob - HAHAHA! I cannot stop laughing at your emailed invitation to a pity party :laugh: Though honestly, for the first cakes my friends "ordered" from me, I only asked for the price of the ingredients plus about a $5 markup. They keep telling me that's ridiculous and they name their own higher price/ tell me to keep the change. I am SOO glad your customer enjoyed the cake! Congratulations!

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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Hi Rob! It's because you are nice and honest and bake with lots of care and love. That must make your cakes extra special. Being a bit underconfdent isn't always bad, it is "humble" for lack of a betteer word, and I am all for "humble". And it makes us try harder and so we get better quality!!

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Chocolate Delice in the style of the Fat Duck: Test 1.

Heston Blumenthal gives a quick run through this in the chocolate episode of Kitchen Science but doesn't give specific recipes, measurements, etc. so I had to wing it a bit.

It's a base layer of chocolate and hazelnut praline with crushed caramelized puff pastry and unflavored pop rocks. That's topped with a soft ganache of chocolate, cream and butter then wrapped in chocolate and topped with dark mirror glaze. It's plated with cumin caramel, a cocoa nib tuile, chocolate sorbet and a pulled chocolate caramel shard.

I've never been to the Fat Duck to taste theirs so I may not even be close but I'm about 90% happy with the results. The sorbet was too soft and a bit too sweet (I'll reduce the sugar and user a higher percentage chocolate next time) and the caramel was a bit too stiff (which is easy to solve by warming but I'll stop the cooking a little sooner next time). Testing will continue.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Quick and easy last night. Caramel tapioca (I used the recipe on the box of tapioca but increased the sugar by half and caramelized it, cooked it with a vanilla bean and added a bit of butter at the end), sliced banana and some leftover cumin caramel from the chocolate delice. Not a pretty plating. I wasn't planning to take a picture but changed my mind at the last minute and tried to doctor it up a little too late.

gallery_53467_5170_27608.jpg

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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My young helper has struck again. This time a batch of peanut butter cookies ready to go into the oven.

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We cut the amount of butter and sugar from the original recipe and the results speak for themselves.

Keep on baking to all.

Jmahl

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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DesertCulinary - that is a beautiful cake! I love the layers!

Tri2Cook - gorgeous dessert. Caramel and chocolate is probably my favorite combination and I would love that!

Jmahl - what was the texture like on the cookies? How much did you cut the butter and sugar by?

Yesterday was the party for my daughter's 24th birthday (today is the actual day) and she requested Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes:

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Kim

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Kim: please, tell me what a PB&J cupcake is like! I've never had one before. Which part is the peanut butter, which is the jelly? Is there a filling? I'm intrigued! They look really yummy.

I have those same paper cupcake holders!

Edited by Brigid Mary (log)
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Jmahl - what was the texture like on the cookies?  How much did you cut the butter and sugar by?

Kim, the recipe for the peanut butter cookies called for one stick butter - cut to half and the original recipe called for 1/2 cup of brown and white sugar. We omitted the white sugar. The level of sweetness is not the usual American standard of over sweetness - but at this level you can taste the peanutiness - we used a chunky peanut butter which gave the cookies an interesting texture.

Jmahl

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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I've been reading and salivating over this discussion for a long tie. It's time to pitch in. I tried puff pastry yesterday and made a par and almond pithivier. Delicious with Julies organic vanilla ice cream and bittersweet chocolate sauce!gallery_57376_5563_190741.jpggallery_57376_5563_829258.jpggallery_57376_5563_336017.jpg

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Joe - that is gorgeous-- even the icing cascades symmetrically down each peak.

Thanks! I was very happy with how the glaze ran too!

DesertCulinary - that is a beautiful cake!  I love the layers!

Thank you! And might I add your peanut butter cupcakes look fantastic!

Here are some homemade jellies we did - they are kind of like a soft gum drop texture-wise.

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They are intensely flavored with tart cranberries and sweet raspberries! Fun to make, but a pain to get cut!

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