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rjwong

"Baking: From My Home to Yours" (Part 1)

598 posts in this topic

Today is my birthday. So last night, I deided to make myself a birthday cake and I also decided to have a piece, one day early.

I made the cake on the cover of the cookbook. Wow! It was very chocolatey but not too much. The frosting was light and just the right combination with the chocolate. Instructions were perfect and it's such a pretty little cake. I've GOT to learn how to post pictures!

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I recieved Dorie's new book last week.  Its a large book, with 300 recipes, and I can tell already that I'm going to have a lot of fun baking from it, for a long time to come. This past weekend, I tried my first recipe from it -- the caramel peanut-topped brownie cake (p. 264). Its delicious!

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Oh, that one drip of caramel down the side... PERFECT!


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Absolutely stunning work Patrick! My only complain: where are the rest of the pictures?! This is a tease.

I'd be happy to show you some more pictures. :raz:

I'm also going to start adding links to my larger and higher-quality images on Flickr, since ImageGullet always resamples my images to lower quality/smaller file size versions. Here are two more images of the caramel peanut-topped brownie cake.

Photo1

Photo2


"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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Absolutely stunning work Patrick! My only complain: where are the rest of the pictures?! This is a tease.

I'd be happy to show you some more pictures. :raz:

I'm also going to start adding links to my larger and higher-quality images on Flickr, since ImageGullet always resamples my images to lower quality/smaller file size versions. Here are two more images of the caramel peanut-topped brownie cake.

Photo1

Photo2

Need a piece, can u DHL to me over here? :wink:

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Wow Patrick, I just love that picture with the fork.

Now I have to make that cake!

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I tried the marbled banana/chocolate loaf cake over the weekend, and it is also very good, if a little dense on the bottom (probably should have mashed the bananas more). I have a picture of it on Flickr.

ETA: Here is the smaller, ImageGullet version:

gallery_23736_355_44593.jpg


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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Another gorgeous picture Patrick. Very inspirational. Now I have to make that cake too.

Meanwhile, I made the tarte Tatin last night and it was the best ever -- and I've made hundreds of tarte Tatins. I should have snapped a picture because it tasted as good as it looked. Thank you Dorie!

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Just bought mine from Costco yesterday...and was hoping someone had started a thread on it! Thanks for your reviews so far!

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Finally got my copy!

So, because of Patrick's picture perfect..err...picture of that caramel peanut chocolate cake, I had that combo on my mind. Who doesn't love it, like the Geico geko would say 'It's peanuts and caramel AND chocolates for free'. Well not really free, but you get the idea.

I also did not want to bypass all 300 recipes and make that same cake. Then I stumbled on (sorry book is at home and I am not sure of the exact name) the chocolate ganache tart with a layer of caramel peanuts called something like "Crunchy Posh chocolate Tart"! perfect!

Since there is no way I can take better pictures than Patrick or make a better looking pastry, I opted for quantity over quality. So, I give you four, count them FOUR non-Flickr pictures of this gloriuosly rich tart instead of just one. It is absolutly awsome but I did like it more slightly chilled rather than at room temperature as recommended by the book. A little cool the tart does not feel as rich and the peanut-caramel layer gets nice and chewy and a little crunchy. Also I rolled the dough instead of pressing it in the pan which in my experience takes longer and is never even. Rolling it was a breeze between two lightly floured wax papers and took no more than 4 or 5 minutes.

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E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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It is absolutly awsome but I did like it more slightly chilled rather than at room temperature as recommended by the book. A little cool the tart does not feel as rich and the peanut-caramel layer gets nice and chewy and a little crunchy. Also I rolled the dough instead of pressing it in the pan which in my experience takes longer and is never even. Rolling it was a breeze between two lightly floured wax papers and took no more than 4 or 5 minutes.

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That looks great, Elie! This is one of the first recipes that caught my attention when I first looked through the book, and even though I just made a recipe with the caramel/peanut/chocolate, seeing your tart makes me want more. . .


"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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Yesterday afternoon I spent some time with my new book (Sam's Club) and decided to mix up the Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread Cookies. I must insert a disclaimer here: My friends and family often make comments like, "You know, that Lori is a good cook, but her cookies..." I'm known for my spread-out cookies, I'm afraid.

I was seduced by the lovely photo on pg. 126 -- sharply squared cookies with their homey little fork prick marks marching across each one. Dorie's baking instructions were comfortingly precise -- "bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the mid-way point. The shortbreads will be very pale -- they shouldn't take on much color." They spurred me on to unwarranted cookie confidence.

So, yesterday I mixed and rolled them in their clever zippered bag -- "This is fun," I thought, because I hate rolling out cookie dough the traditional way -- and moved them to the fridge for their overnight sojourn. Bright and early this morning I carefully preheated my oven and nursed my first cup of coffee while I waited for the official ding of proper baking temperature reached. I used my ruler and bench scraper to cut precise 1 1/2" squares of dough. I pricked lovingly, whisked my baking sheets into the oven, and set my trusty timer. Nine minutes, rotate and switch pans, nine more minutes. I eagerly opened the oven door to find...

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...not beautifully square, just-kissed-with-golden-color cookies, oh no! It was the old story -- my careful quadrilaterals had oozed into vague, slope-sided, over-browned short-thins. Some were merely medium tawny, but here and there were decidedly dark cookies.

I’m ok. I don’t need your pity. Really. One of my sons tasted a homelier specimen and said, “Wow, Mom. This is good!” It just goes to prove what I’ve always believed – some of us must be content to produce a lifetime of cookies with unfortunate complexions and figures who turn out to be beautiful on the inside, after all. In my case, I’m blaming it on the oven.


~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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I made the coconut tea cake last night (sorry, no pictures yet). Very simple to put together. Moist, very coconutty, sort of like a coconut pound cake. Drizzled with a little chocolate sauce, it's even better. Another winner!

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...

I was seduced by the lovely photo on pg. 126 -- sharply squared cookies with their homey little fork prick marks marching across each one. Dorie's baking instructions were comfortingly precise -- "bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the mid-way point. The shortbreads will be very pale -- they shouldn't take on much color." They spurred me on to unwarranted cookie confidence.

...

The Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread sound good and I think they look pretty nice as well.

Whenever I bake cookies, even a recipe I've made before, I take extra care with the first batch to check on the timing that day with the dough and oven rather than relying on any written instructions. I'll set the timer to go off *five minutes* before the recommended time in order to check visually how the cookies are looking.

Then I'll stay at the oven and check periodically to get them just right. Usually the subsequent batches can be baked pretty much according to the time needed in the first batch.

Thanks for sharing your results on these cookies; I really like brown sugar/pecan combos.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Hi. I've been hitting the book off and on for the last week. I started with the World Peace cookies, which were pretty easy to make and came out nearly as described in the book. Warning: they are INTENSELY chocolatey, too much so for my family (although not for me), so I still have half a batch in the freezer. If you're baking for a crowd, be aware that most people will not want to eat more than one at one sitting. Seriously. They're that rich. On the other hand, if you're serving a group of die-hard chocoholics, this is the one.

My second foray was the blueberry cake with cinnamon crumb topping--fantastic! I substituted pecans for the walnuts, in part because I was feeling too lazy to chop my walnut halves, in part because I really like the blueberry/pecan combo. I used frozen blueberries that we'd picked earlier in the summer, and they worked fine. Dorie writes that this cake is best on the day it's made, which is true, but that led me to believe that it'd be only so-so by day two. Wrong--it was still good, and still very moist, on day four! (The fact that it was still around on day four shouldn't be taken as a sign of resistibility--it's just that my husband and I are the only ones who were eating it, and much as I love to bake and LOVE to eat baked goods, I have to resist for the sake of my wardrobe, self-esteem, etc.)

Yesterday I made the double-apple bundt cake for a Rosh Hashona dinner tonight. I used pecans (recipe recommends pecans or walnuts), and toasted them for extra crunch. For some reason (maybe Dorie can explain here?), the recipe recommends removing it from the pan after five minutes. When I did that, half the darned thing stayed in the pan. Distinct silver lining here: I got to dig in, and it was very tasty. I made another one last night, this time buttering and flouring the pan (which was non-stick) and leaving the finished cake in for more like 10-15 minutes. It dropped out like a dream, and if it's as good as the first effort, should be a big hit.

I'll try to post a picture after I've drizzled a bit of frosting on tonight.

So far, I'm three for three with these recipes, with many, many more on my list to try. An excellent addition to the cookbook shelf.

Susan

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I'm going to try to play catch-up with this post.

Elie -- I love that you made the Chocolate Crunched Caramel Tart, it's one of my favorites. In fact, there was a moment when the tart was going to be on the book's cover. I'm also glad that you played with the temperature of the tart and found the one you liked best. I like the tart at room temperature, because that's the temp at which I enjoy the chocolate ganache the most, but I get what you're saying about the chewiness of the caramel when it's a little chilled. Actually, as you probably discovered, the tart's not so bad cold either -- really, when could chocolate, caramel and peanuts not be good?

Lori -- I thought your shortbread cookies looked eminently munchable, but I think you've got hot spots in your oven. See how some cookies are so much darker than others? That's not you -- that's your oven. What you might do, is bake one sheet of cookies at a time, rotate the sheet midway through the baking and, if you see that some cookies are browning way ahead of others, pull those cookies off the sheet when they're done and keep baking the others. (The darker ones are probably the cookies in the back of the oven, yes?) The other solution is to keep doing what you're doing and to send the really dark ones to my husband -- those are the ones he likes best. One other thing -- don't worry about getting precision-straight sides on the cookies. If you take a closer look at the picture in the book, you'll see that, as pretty as the cookies are, their sides aren't really sharply straight.

Susan -- I'm thrilled that you're three-for-three -- I can't wait for you to be fifty-for-fifty! About unmolding your Bundt cake -- hmmm. I work with three different kinds of Bundt pans -- one that's pretty lightweight that I bought 100 years ago, a spiffy, heavy, nonstick Bundt from NordicWare (the people who make most of the traditional and fancifully shaped pans we see these days) and a silicone pan that I use for smaller cakes -- and the only time I've had the problem you had unmolding a cake after 5 minutes of cooling was 1) when the cake wasn't fully baked; or 2) when I didn't thoroughly butter and flour the pan. Here's a good rule for unmolding any kind of cake -- wait until the cake has shrunk a little from the sides of the pan. I hope your Double Apple Bundt Cake will make your Rosh Hashona even sweeter.

Lesley -- I can't tell you how delighted I am that you, a practiced Tarte Tatiner, liked mine. I wish I could go on a Tarte Tatin campaign and get more people to make the dessert. So many people -- even experienced home bakers -- are intimidated by the tarte when, in fact, it's easier to make than most desserts many bakers feel comfortable doing. Thanks for posting on it.

Jean -- If you've got some of the Coconut Tea Cake left over, toast it -- I think it's terrific like that.

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Dorie-

Chocolates, caramel and peanuts can never be bad. I hate to sound like Bobby Flay (everything seems to be his favorite flavor/ingredient/cuisine/...), but this has to be one of my favorite flavor combination. Add to that banana and I'm in heaven. I actually have a banana cream pie recipe that does just that, has a chocolate glazed crust on the bottom, then a layer of peanut butter, then banana and banana pastry cream and whipped cream. Some Bourbon fudge tops the whole thing when served!

and

Warning: they are INTENSELY chocolatey, too much so for my family (although not for me),

means that I absolutly have to make those. Your other experiments sound fabulous as well. I just might have to finally buy me a bundt pan.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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...
Warning: they are INTENSELY chocolatey, too much so for my family (although not for me),

means that I absolutly have to make those. Your other experiments sound fabulous as well. I just might have to finally buy me a bundt pan.

I have to admit, SusanGiff's description draws me to these cookies as well. It's exactly the way I like chocolate--in occasional, small, intense doses!

Thanks for sharing the detailed description of your efforts, SusanGiff! And of course, thank you also to Ms. Greenspan. This learning experience is very special.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Dorie,

For those of us who bake by weight: when you measure out a cup of flour by volume, what does it weigh?

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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Dorie,

For those of us who bake by weight: when you measure out a cup of flour by volume, what does it weigh?

MelissaH

1C of AP measured by dip-and-sweep method is about 5oz.


"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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Dorie,

For those of us who bake by weight: when you measure out a cup of flour by volume, what does it weigh?

MelissaH

1C of AP measured by dip-and-sweep method is about 5oz.

Patrick,

I realize this. But presumably, the author of any cookbook measures out the flour in some way, and consistently uses this method throughout the cookbook. For me, anyway, it would be useful to know what a cup of flour weighs, as measured by the person who wrote the recipe.

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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Melissa -- I'm a dip-and-sweep-er -- that's the method I used for the recipes in the book. I always aerate the flour before I dip and -- I just measured -- the weight is 4.8 ounces or, as Patrick said, about 5 ounces. Hope this helps -- Dorie

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I made the cinnamon squares this week. They were unbelievably easy and quite tasty. The texture reminded me more of a light quick bread then a cake. I'm not a coffee fan so I stuck with just chocolate for the middle swirl. I was concerned that the frosting (chocolate thinned with butter) might be too heavy for such a light cake but I was glad to be wrong. This may have been the office treat that disappeared the quickest even with several folks out!

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Melissa -- I'm a dip-and-sweep-er -- that's the method I used for the recipes in the book.  I always aerate the flour before I dip and -- I just measured -- the weight is 4.8 ounces or, as Patrick said, about 5 ounces.  Hope this helps -- Dorie

Perfect -- I'm a die hard "weigher" too, and it isn't often you get to ask the author exactly how she does it! Just got my book this afternoon, have three days off and am anxious to join in on the baking! This is my fourth of your books and the other three are staples to me.


Cheryl, The Sweet Side

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Melissa and SweetSide and other "weighers" -- I'll be interested to hear from you after you make some of the recipes by weighing out the ingredients. Unlike the Pierre Herme recipes -- which were given to me in metric and which I converted to volume measures -- all of these recipes were tested using good old American cups and spoons.

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