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Your Daily Sweets (2005-2012)


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So, for some reason, I have a plethora of box cake mixes in the cupboard....it seems I have an obsession for them when they go on sale 10/$10. :laugh:

Anyway, the older I get, the less I like the taste of the mixes. So, I googled and found a few ways to make them taste less "boxed". Such as replacing the water with milk, oil with butter and separating the egg whites and beating them before folding them in. Oh, and adding vanilla.

By the time I did all of this, I could have made these from scratch. :hmmm:

Cupcakes made with yellow mix and dollop of peanut butter in the middle. Topped with chopped up Mr. Goodbars from the Halloween candy bowl. :smile:

Cupcakes 9 11.jpg

Those look really good, Shelby. I actually use cake mixes fairly often for yellow and white cakes (I haven't yet found a dependable 'go-to' recipe for those yet) - and when I get a surprise "We need a cake" request. While I prefer the taste of a scratch cake, I really love the texture of mixes. It looks like you got a nice crown on those. My cupcakes (even mixes) tend to flatten on me.

They actually have big dents in the middle. Thank God for chocolate frosting. :laugh:

edited to add: I liked these....I guess in some of mixes I taste some sort of weird.....boxy...twang....

Maybe I'm just weird. :blink:

Edited by Shelby (log)
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For my b-day over the weekend... Mrs Nopales baked individual 3 Leches cakes according to the Paulina Abascal recipe (Pasteleria.MX)... we are taking sponge cake (Cake Flour, Sugar, Egg Yolk, Vanilla Extract... no milk, butter or fats, or baking powder)... soaked in 3 Leches.... dressed in Chocolate ganache, wild blackberries & chasers of home-made Rompope (Eggnog Liqueur)

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Anyway, the older I get, the less I like the taste of the mixes.

See if your local library has a copy of The Cake Mix Doctor. She starts with a box mix and adds different ingredients. My mom has this recipe book and loves it.

 

“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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photo%252520%25252872%252529.JPG

For my b-day over the weekend... Mrs Nopales baked individual 3 Leches cakes according to the Paulina Abascal recipe (Pasteleria.MX)... we are taking sponge cake (Cake Flour, Sugar, Egg Yolk, Vanilla Extract... no milk, butter or fats, or baking powder)... soaked in 3 Leches.... dressed in Chocolate ganache, wild blackberries & chasers of home-made Rompope (Eggnog Liqueur)

Oh my!

RWood, the strawberry cream cake is gorgeous - so clean!

Shelby, those cupcakes look delicious! Great swirls!

Happy Birthday, EatNopales! Your cake looks fantastic! I love individual cakes.

Thank you! I need to give them away. I keep eating them :unsure:

Anyway, the older I get, the less I like the taste of the mixes.

See if your local library has a copy of The Cake Mix Doctor. She starts with a box mix and adds different ingredients. My mom has this recipe book and loves it.

Thanks! I'll check it out!

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Last week I took a class on French Macarons at the Culinary Institute of Kansas City. It was pretty funny being the only male in a class full of suburban ladies. Apparently a huge novelty to have a man in one of these classes, so when they found out I actually knew how to cook I was like a beloved pet monkey/alien for the rest of the day.

I don’t do a lot of baking, and most of the other classes they offer are way too basic, so I figured if I’m going to learn a specialty “hey look what I can make” pastry, macarons were a great choice.

The class itself was pretty good considering they only allotted three hours. I definitely could not have executed the pastry correctly from reading a cookbook or watching a video...the instructor had a list of about a dozen special tips to help you out as you go through the process. Much easier than I expected in many ways, but mise en place, pristine work space and timing were the biggest things I took away from it...absolutely critical.

With the holidays approaching, I think these will be a big hit as gifts. I can see where I’d need to set aside a couple of days to make a large quantity...one day for the various fillings and one for pastry. Lots of room for error, these little babies do require your full attention.

Anyway, made two different colors, both with raspberry filling. Serious beginner Pastry 101 stuff for many of you, but this was quite a leap for me...glad I did it.

macarons.jpg

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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a rain day!!! so time to run errands and tried a recipe i had copied out of a Vegetarian Times. i borrowed mini muffin pans from my neighbor, carol (the joke is she doesn't do a lot of cooking but she has the best kitchen equipment) and made mini ginger cupcakes with honey cream cheese frosting. still waiting for them to finish cooling so i can frost them but the naked cupcakes were very nice and moist. i wasn't blown away with the balance of spices so, next time i have some time, i think i will be working on the formula. i also thought that since they bake up so well another formulation might work well with something buried into the batter.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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EN- Happy Birthday from me, too! Mrs. EN is some cook - that dessert looks beautiful.

Jerry - congrats on the macaron success. You should give a little class next time y'all come to Richmond - I think it would be hilarious and informative. I haven't dived into trying them yet. I will probably miss that bandwagon - but then, I'm used to that - we just started getting cupcake shops here :rolleyes: !

We met some out of town friends for a halfway visit last weekend (halfway between us and them). They brought us some homemade preserves – fig, blackberry, plum, strawberry and preserved whole figs!!! I took them banana bread:

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Mark Bittman’s Banana Bread. Good, but it benefitted from sitting overnight – it was a little bland the day I baked it.

And Lois’ Best Coffee Cake, a recipe from Maggie that I've made over and over (recipe is here ):

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This time I added lemon zest and tiny, wild blueberries that I get frozen from Kroger.

Cake for a co-worker’s birthday this week:

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Daquiri pound cake. Not as pretty as it usually is, but it tasted great. Once it was cut, it didn’t last 2 hours at work! The birthday girl got one piece and when she went back after lunch to get a piece to take to her husband, it was gone!

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For my FIL’s birthday on Friday night I made his special request – angel food cake with caramel sauce:

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Both from Michael Ruhlman’s new book “Ruhlman’s Twenty”. And both delicious. He was a very happy man! As I mentioned over at the dinner thread, I was lucky enough to be asked, along with some others at Marlene’s website, cookskorner.com, to do recipe testing for the book. It was the coolest thing I’ve ever done!

Since I made two cakes for the party, I had 20 (!!!!) leftover yolks. I made 12 Yolk “Angel Food” cake:

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Frosted:

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Slice:

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Close up:

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I need a little help here – or maybe just someone to tell me to give up on this cake. The last time that I made it, I found it a little tough and dry. Kerry suggested that I use cake and pastry flour instead of AP and to fold the flour mixture in rather than beating it in with a mixer. I did that and it helped the texture so much – it was tender and soft and (as you can see) had a nice crumb. But it was still dry. You can see the recipe here. Within the constraints of the recipe, is there anything that I can do to add moisture?

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About a week ago I had my preliminary oral exams as part of my PhD coursework. For my thesis defense I brought some tonka and chocolate scones that everyone really seemed to enjoy. Because cooking relaxes me, I decided to be a little more adventurous for the prelim defense. I made a vanilla bean cake, a cinnamon coffee syrup, a caramel mousse and a methocel F50 coffee meringue.

I made everything the night before and tested it at home. I was very happy. Of course, it was extremely humid out and the next morning the methocel meringue was no longer light and crisp, but chewy (despite two desiccant packets in the container!). I scratched that and served everything else, along with some crepes I made out of frustration.

A picture of the plate in its glory, before the chewy meringue. Now I am going back to the drawing board to figure out how to prevent the problem, if possible.

IMG_1456.JPG

Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

Host, eG Forums

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Kim, I'd be really tempted to try that cake with boiling milk in place of the water - I find that it adds just that little hit of moisture without unduly affecting the crumb. Also, have you tried it with fresh orange zest in place of dried? That's another source of moisture; I've found that dry zest/peel can really suck the moist out of most baked things.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Kim, I'd be really tempted to try that cake with boiling milk in place of the water - I find that it adds just that little hit of moisture without unduly affecting the crumb. Also, have you tried it with fresh orange zest in place of dried? That's another source of moisture; I've found that dry zest/peel can really suck the moist out of most baked things.

Hmmmm...I tend to use frozen zest. Every time I peel an orange...which is quite often...I zest it first and throw the zest into a little container which sits on a little shelf in the kitchen fridge freezer.

How would you classify that stage of zest? I use it as if it were fresh.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I'd classify it as "frozen" actually, and then use it as if it were fresh. It's not dehydrated, so it's not going to suck the moisture out of whatever you're using it for. Hmmm..... I'll have to try this, actually - I eat a lot of mandarines, and their zest is particularly yummy in things....

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Kim, I'd be really tempted to try that cake with boiling milk in place of the water - I find that it adds just that little hit of moisture without unduly affecting the crumb. Also, have you tried it with fresh orange zest in place of dried? That's another source of moisture; I've found that dry zest/peel can really suck the moist out of most baked things.

Thank you so much! Great ideas - I'll try them next time I need to make this cake.

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White chocolate brownies with salted caramel swirl for my husband's birthday

It's more or less my regular brownie recipe with white chocolate substituted, based on something from Cook's Illustrated.

Turns out pretty well, though I don't think I have the recipe balanced quite right as it stays gooey in the center a lot longer than regular brownies.

Though since they're not brown I guess I should call them something else....SAM_0564_2.jpg

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Macarons again...my first attempt outside of a classroom setting over the weekend was pretty disastrous…dough was pretty much running out of the piping bag and I ended up with mushroom caps instead of feet. It could have been a few things- it was pretty warm in the kitchen, I could have added too much gel coloring, or the most likely thing...a dumb rookie move of adding the powdered sugar to the wrong thing at the wrong time. The only good thing was that even ugly macarons taste great. I’m not the king of home cooks or anything, but for the most part I’m used to nailing something on the first try...but that’s savory cooking...baking is proving to be a decent lesson in humility. BUT with practice-practice-practice-practice it also has a huge appeal to my meticulous Type A perfectionist side.

Soooo I tried again yesterday and it was mostly successful. Organizing everything ahead of time went faster, and on this second try I was able to focus more on the timing of mixing the softball temp sugar into the meringue. Those few moments, to me at least, are the most critical and represent the biggest window for failure. I used no coloring in case that was the culprit the first time around. At the end I did use that glitter powder and hated it immediately…if you’re not careful you can end up looking like a victim of Goldfinger…NOT a fan of trying to keep that stuff off of my face and arms…I’m already a guy who hates sports and makes pastry now, no sense in adding aspiring Showgirl into that mix.

About 1/3 of the batch came out of the oven domed/cracked, but it was totally my fault for overfilling the oven and putting sheets on a very low bottom rack where there was less circulation and even heat.

Nothing too perfect or pretty...YET. This test run was all about getting the macaronage right, so the lemon curd and black cherry mascarpone fillings were just quick and easy things to throw in there. And of course the godawful glitter because the naked un-colored cookies were too much for me to handle. The process is already starting to flow for me much, much better. I’ll be able to get in a lot of practice before we’re in the middle of the holidays. For fillings I’m going to start playing around with fig, peanut butter butter cream with a jelly center, mocha, honey maple...and once I get a level of comfort to try adding flavoring into the cookies themselves I’d like to come up with a good spicy Thai peanut recipe, or curry...something that would mix well with the sweetness but still bring savory flavor.

finishedmacarons-1024x612.jpg

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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  • 2 weeks later...

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Decadent chocolate cake with fudge icing for daughter coming home from camp - probably completely wasted on the 8-year olds. My first attempt to use fudge icing, I was surprised at how quickly it crusts, so the sprinkles would not stick. I quickly melted some white chocolate and thickened it with water for a decorating alternative. First time trying this, definitely not last time - quick and very easy to work with

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