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Chris Amirault

Baking 101

331 posts in this topic

Hi, the more I learn, the less I know...... :wacko:

I am making cookies for my 5 yr old's BIG KINDERGARTEN PROMOTION (woohoo). I am using a standard plain old sugar type cookie recipe and plan on using sprinkles (colored sugar, colored non-pareils and cute little flowers) to decorate them. SIMPLICITY is the key here-I'm a "mommy-cook" not a chef!!!

Question: Does anyone have a easy, quick icing that I can dip the tops of the cookies in that will take the sprinkles and harden? OR after I cut the cookies, what can I brush on the top of the cookies such as some kind of "wash" then sprinkle my goodies on and bake?

Thanks!!

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Here's something from Martha Stewart:

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar + 3-4 tbsp milk, water or lemon juice (whisk in 1 tbsp at a time until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon). Spread over cookies with the back of a spoon, add other decorations, then let harden (about 20 minutes).

You'll be fine! Good luck!


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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When your spring-form pan does not have an airtight seal, what compensations do you make?

Should I line it? Hope for the best with heavy coating of EVOO and breadcrumbs? Or play it safe with a regular pie tin?

This is a vegetable torta*, so it's bulky, but there are 3 eggs and a little sour cream.

*pound of finely chopped green beans, mushrooms...


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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When your spring-form pan does not have an airtight seal, what compensations do you make?

Should I line it?  Hope for the best with heavy coating of EVOO and breadcrumbs?  Or play it safe with a regular pie tin?

This is a vegetable torta*, so it's bulky, but there are 3 eggs and a little sour cream.

*pound of finely chopped green beans, mushrooms...

I'd chance it, as long as the mixture itself isn't runny (batter is fine) then it should hold until the heat solidifies the mass.

If seepage is a concern, then line the outside with sheets of aluminum foil.


Baker of "impaired" cakes...

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When your spring-form pan does not have an airtight seal, what compensations do you make?

Should I line it?  Hope for the best with heavy coating of EVOO and breadcrumbs?  Or play it safe with a regular pie tin?

This is a vegetable torta*, so it's bulky, but there are 3 eggs and a little sour cream.

*pound of finely chopped green beans, mushrooms...

The breadcrumb and EVOO idea is a good one. I'd use the bottom of a measuring cup or ramekin to really press the crumbs down firmly, and make a better seal. Depending on how bad the seal is, another thing you can try is laying a sheet of parchment over the bottom of the pan before clamping the top on. If its a tiny leak, that could seal it.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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When your spring-form pan does not have an airtight seal, what compensations do you make?

Should I line it?  Hope for the best with heavy coating of EVOO and breadcrumbs?  Or play it safe with a regular pie tin?

This is a vegetable torta*, so it's bulky, but there are 3 eggs and a little sour cream.

*pound of finely chopped green beans, mushrooms...

The breadcrumb and EVOO idea is a good one. I'd use the bottom of a measuring cup or ramekin to really press the crumbs down firmly, and make a better seal. Depending on how bad the seal is, another thing you can try is laying a sheet of parchment over the bottom of the pan before clamping the top on. If its a tiny leak, that could seal it.

I've done both...wrap the springform in foil pretty tightly along the bottom so that whatever oozes out usually cooks and seals the leak. If it's really runny, I'd try both for extra protection.

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When your spring-form pan does not have an airtight seal, what compensations do you make?

Should I line it?  Hope for the best with heavy coating of EVOO and breadcrumbs?  Or play it safe with a regular pie tin?

I have a talented baking friend who addresses leaky springforms in this manner: cut a piece of parchment larger than the bottom of the pan; place the parchment over the bottom disk while the pan is disassembled, and reassemble the pan while catching the overhang of parchment between the ring and the disk. My friend swears it works, but I' haven't tested it yet.

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I already thanked Sanresho via a PM, but thank you Patrick, KM & Ruth, too. All excellent suggestions! I had vague recollections of the parchment trick--just wasn't sure whether to go with interior or exterior sealing.

Given the density of my mixture by the time all had cooled and been assembled, my worries brought on by holding the pan under running water to test the seal were for naught.


Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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When your spring-form pan does not have an airtight seal, what compensations do you make?

Should I line it?  Hope for the best with heavy coating of EVOO and breadcrumbs?  Or play it safe with a regular pie tin?

I have a talented baking friend who addresses leaky springforms in this manner: cut a piece of parchment larger than the bottom of the pan; place the parchment over the bottom disk while the pan is disassembled, and reassemble the pan while catching the overhang of parchment between the ring and the disk. My friend swears it works, but I' haven't tested it yet.

That's what I was suggesting also, though I didnt explain it as clearly as you did. It works fine if you have a tiny gap, plus it makes it easy to transfer the food.


Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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That's what I was suggesting also, though I didnt explain it as clearly as you did. It works fine if you have a tiny gap, plus it makes it easy to transfer the food.

And the dumb things don't stick together as much when you are taking off the side part!

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That's what I was suggesting also, though I didnt explain it as clearly as you did. It works fine if you have a tiny gap, plus it makes it easy to transfer the food.

I'm sorry, Patrick -- I was reading fast and missed your post. If you endorse this method, I will certainly try it!

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I was reading through some pie crust recipes and came across something I had never seen before. There was a recipe that suggested using the yolks of hard boiled eggs in the crust. It said to discard the whites, push the yolks through a sieve, and then add them to the crust recipe. Has anyone ever done this with a pie crust? How is it different than using a raw egg or egg yolk? Thanks.

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I think it's an Austrian technique, and it's not for pie crust so much as it is for tart crust. I believe it's supposed to result in a very sandy texture--like sable cookies.

If I could figure out what to do with the hard-boiled egg white, I'd give it a try.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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I think it's an Austrian technique, and it's not for pie crust so much as it is for tart crust. I believe it's supposed to result in a very sandy texture--like sable cookies.

If I could figure out what to do with the hard-boiled egg white, I'd give it a try.

Eat it! Very Atkins. :smile:

If there are a lot, you can add a single/few whole eggs and make a less rich egg salad.

Alternatively, you can separate the eggs, freeze the whites, then zap the broken yolks in the microwave.


Edited by jumanggy (log)

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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I think it's an Austrian technique, and it's not for pie crust so much as it is for tart crust. I believe it's supposed to result in a very sandy texture--like sable cookies.

If I could figure out what to do with the hard-boiled egg white, I'd give it a try.

Eat it! Very Atkins. :smile:

If there are a lot, you can add a single/few whole eggs and make a less rich egg salad.

Alternatively, you can separate the eggs, freeze the whites, then zap the broken yolks in the microwave.

You do not understand.

Hard-boiled eggs are evil. Plus my brother told me that if I made a less rich egg salad, he wouldn't eat it.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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i have a baking question: why is tapioca always recommended for cherry pie? i'm making one this evening, and every recipe i've found calls for quick cooking tapioca. i have corn starch, potato starch, arrowroot, gelatin, agar, flour--every kind of thickener i can think of EXCEPT tapioca. now on one hand why not complete the pantry and buy some? but on the other hand why can't i use one of these others?

the joy of cooking says that to thicken a fruit pie, you mix the corn starch with water (and sugar for some reason i also don't understand). then it says for fresh cherry pie use tapioca.

so my question is: 1. why, and 2. can i substitute cornstarch for tapioca, and 3. if so, what's the ratio?

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i have a baking question: why is tapioca always recommended for cherry pie?  i'm making one this evening, and every recipe i've found calls for quick cooking tapioca.  i have corn starch, potato starch, arrowroot, gelatin, agar, flour--every kind of thickener i can think of EXCEPT tapioca.  now on one hand why not complete the pantry and buy some?  but on the other hand why can't i use one of these others?

the joy of cooking says that to thicken a fruit pie, you mix the corn starch with water (and sugar for some reason i also don't understand).  then it says for fresh cherry pie use tapioca.

so my question is:  1. why, and 2. can i substitute cornstarch for tapioca, and 3. if so, what's the ratio?

I don't know why tapioca is supposed to be better for cherry pies. But because my husband doesn't like the texture of tapioca, I blitz minute tapioca in my spice grinder and use the resulting tapioca flour to thicken my cherry pies.

The obvious answer is to do a test: make a cherry pie with tapioca, a cherry pie with arrowroot, a cherry pie with cornstarch, a cherry pie with potato starch...and then invite the neighborhood over to eat cherry pie. :wacko:

MelissaH


MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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I think it's an Austrian technique, and it's not for pie crust so much as it is for tart crust. I believe it's supposed to result in a very sandy texture--like sable cookies.

If I could figure out what to do with the hard-boiled egg white, I'd give it a try.

Eat it! Very Atkins. :smile:

If there are a lot, you can add a single/few whole eggs and make a less rich egg salad.

Alternatively, you can separate the eggs, freeze the whites, then zap the broken yolks in the microwave.

You do not understand.

Hard-boiled eggs are evil. Plus my brother told me that if I made a less rich egg salad, he wouldn't eat it.

You're right, it was for tart crusts. And I was looking specifically for linzer torte recipes, so it makes sense that it would be an Austrian technique. Two out of two, you are impressive!! :smile:

Can you make "hard boiled" egg yolks in the microwave? Interesting idea, I never thought of that. But then, I never thought of just using the yolks!

Many thanks. (I think I'll give this technique a miss for the time being.)

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I think it's an Austrian technique, and it's not for pie crust so much as it is for tart crust. I believe it's supposed to result in a very sandy texture--like sable cookies.

If I could figure out what to do with the hard-boiled egg white, I'd give it a try.

Eat it! Very Atkins. :smile:

If there are a lot, you can add a single/few whole eggs and make a less rich egg salad.

Alternatively, you can separate the eggs, freeze the whites, then zap the broken yolks in the microwave.

You do not understand.

Hard-boiled eggs are evil. Plus my brother told me that if I made a less rich egg salad, he wouldn't eat it.

You're right, it was for tart crusts. And I was looking specifically for linzer torte recipes, so it makes sense that it would be an Austrian technique. Two out of two, you are impressive!! :smile:

Can you make "hard boiled" egg yolks in the microwave? Interesting idea, I never thought of that. But then, I never thought of just using the yolks!

Many thanks. (I think I'll give this technique a miss for the time being.)

I don't know. I've been meaning to try poaching the egg yolk only.

I've seen a PH recipe with this too, so I guess it must work.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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The obvious answer is to do a test: make a cherry pie with tapioca, a cherry pie with arrowroot, a cherry pie with cornstarch, a cherry pie with potato starch...and then invite the neighborhood over to eat cherry pie. :wacko:

MelissaH

And post the results here. :biggrin:


Ilene

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The yolk cooks in the microwave fairly quickly and has a nice hard-boiled texture without the green color. I make sure that the yolks are pierced with a fork, though the same result might be had with whisking them all together, and I use plastic wrap on top of the microwaveable bowl. It cooks in a short moment.

Egg whites, though, I have too many of... They might find themselves in a Concorde soon.

That cherry/tapioca thing is an annoying curiosity!


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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The yolk cooks in the microwave fairly quickly and has a nice hard-boiled texture without the green color. I make sure that the yolks are pierced with a fork, though the same result might be had with whisking them all together, and I use plastic wrap on top of the microwaveable bowl. It cooks in a short moment.

Egg whites, though, I have too many of... They might find themselves in a Concorde soon.

That cherry/tapioca thing is an annoying curiosity!

Okay. I'll try this. I'm planning to make PH's Parisian Flan pretty soon.


May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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The obvious answer is to do a test: make a cherry pie with tapioca, a cherry pie with arrowroot, a cherry pie with cornstarch, a cherry pie with potato starch...and then invite the neighborhood over to eat cherry pie. :wacko:

MelissaH

And post the results here. :biggrin:

you both have a very good point. however i only had one quart of cherries. so i mentioned it to my coworker who bakes a lot. she made a face and started complaining about how she hates tapioca, and it makes everything too gummy, and how she just puts in cornstarch and it's all fine.

so that's what i did. and the pie is cooling now. but i'm thinking, maybe the reason that people recommend tapioca is for that gumminess. cherries are kind of a big fruit for a pie, and aren't cut, so the filling isn't real homogenous and you want something that will really hold things together...

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Hello... Rather than start a new thread, I thought I would add this here.

What, exactly, is the role of baking powder/baking soda vs. yeast? Why do the prior exist?

Since I've moved to Paris, I have access to "levure" (chemical yeast, in little packets). Should I just use the equivalent amount of that when baking powder or soda is called for?

What happens when you add too much rising agent? (I know with too little it becomes flat...)

Last week I made brownies and added about a teaspoon of levure instead of a teaspoon of baking powder. The batter rose and overflowed and dripped onto the floor of my oven, but afterward, the brownies sank and were delicious.

A previous time, though, the brownies came out flat from the start and not great.

Any ideas? I hear baking is such a precise science, but I am completely at a loss with American recipes here.

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Any ideas? I hear baking is such a precise science, but I am completely at a loss with American recipes here.

I don´t think it is as simple as substituting the amount of yeast for the equivalent of baking powder or soda.

I'm not a master on yeast matters, but somewhere I read that if you have no baking powder, you can substitute each teaspoon of it with 1/4 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar.

Hope it helps!


Edited by alma (log)

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