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rjwong

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

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Just made the carrot muffins and sampled for breakfast. Carrot cake is my husbands favorite dessert so I thought this would be a great morning treat. And guess what.....they were! Just as Dorie says, they're not too sweet but have all of the components of a carrot cake. The rest go in the freezer so that I can move on to another muffin and have a nice assortment for brunch with guests. Well, maybe I'll save two for tomorrow. :wink:

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Seattlites, Dorie will be at 2 Cooks and Books events at Macrina Bakery on First Ave. on Nov. 15th. Call there for times and reservations (206 448-4089).

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I'm trying to be patient and wait for Santa to bring me this book, but ya'll are making it very difficult!

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I'm trying to be patient and wait for Santa to bring me this book, but ya'll are making it very difficult!

I'm with you on that one. I thought I'd wait till it hit Costco in Canada but it's getting very hard to be patient.

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After viewing Patrick's picture of the rum soaked vanilla cake, I HAD to make it. It was the best and easiest to make cake of its type I've ever made. I soaked one in rum (no little guys around our house, Patrick) and left the other plain and stashed in the freezer. The rum soak puts it over the top! I was thinking of making a lemon curd for the other one but since there is rum in the batter, (but I haven't tasted the cake minus the soak) I'm wondering if that combination won't be good. Dorie or Patrick, what do you think?

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I'm trying to be patient and wait for Santa to bring me this book, but ya'll are making it very difficult!

I'm with you on that one. I thought I'd wait till it hit Costco in Canada but it's getting very hard to be patient.

Yes, this would have been a great Christmas idea & I tried my best to hold out for it. But after wavering for at least a week, I broke down & placed the order. I couldn't help myself. I think it was the biscuits that finally did me in.

pat w.

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So I made the basic biscuit recipe from Dorie's book.  I used buttermilk and added the baking soda as directed.  I didn't have any parchment, so I used my silipat and I froze them.

After baking:

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They were good.  They were damn good.  They're the best biscuits I've ever made.  But I don't think they rose to the fluffy biscuit height that I've seen others achieve.  I worked the butter in with my fingers, and I had all the requisite chunks and pebbles.  I think I did everything right.  So I'm thinking maybe I patted the dough out too thin to begin with?

Just a thought, but do you think the difference could be because Canadian AP flour is different than American AP flour.

Having baked for years in the states and then moving to Canada, I've noticed a difference using Canadian Flour. I know for a fact, the protein levels are different, but I'm not sure who's is higher.

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Canadian flour is distinctly higher in protein than American - something like 20% I think.

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It could be. I wonder if it would make a difference if I used some Canadian flour and some cake flour. I had intended to use cake flour in these but completely forgot and ended up using all AP.

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:wacko: I want to make Dorie's biscuits to accompany a Butternut Squash and Apple Soup I will be making next month. Will the biscuits be just as delicious if they are PARTLY baked, frozen, and completed on Thanksgiving?

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Aprongstrings -- I don't think partially baking the biscuits, freezing them and finishing them off on Thanksgiving is a good idea. I've never done it, but my guess is you'll really lose height and texture that way. My suggestion is to either freeze them raw and bake them when you need them, or bake them all the way thru, cool them and freeze them. On Thanksgiving, bring them to room temperature and then warm them.

Jean -- what to serve with the Rum-Drenched Vanilla loaves? Hmmm. I like berries, but if you can't get berries now, how about a great chunky jam? Or maybe some sauteed apples? Whipped cream or creme fraiche is never bad. You might even think about a chocolate sauce. Milk chocolate is nice with rum. Of course, by the time you decide, you might not have any cake left!

I'm so touched that so many of you have said "thank you" -- I'm the one who should thank everyone on this thread. It's such a thrill for me to see what you are baking from my book and to hear you say that you and your family and friends are enjoying what you've made. To all of you: THANK YOU!!

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I made another Honey's Apple Cake, except that this time it was a Pear Cake. I used Bartletts, almost but not quite ripe, this time. And it worked beautifully well. I kept the cinnamon in, and was quite happy with the result.

The little Seckel pears were more delicious, with almost a spicy flavor. But the Bartletts were soooooo much easier! They were much bigger, so the peeling and seeding part was less onerous. And because the Bartletts were firmer than the Seckels, they were easier to handle overall. I did like the way the Bartletts held their shape, probably because they really needed about another day or two to ripen. Next time I'll try with riper big pears of some kind, I think, and see how much of a difference that makes in the overall cake, or whether the filling turns to mush very quickly (in which case maybe turning on the convection to my oven might help?). Part of me says to just use the Seckels despite the size issues, because they disappear in short order but we can get Boscs and Bartletts and other big pears for more of the year.

Oh, did I mention that it's great for breakfast?

MelissaH

edited to be more specific.


Edited by MelissaH (log)

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I was thinking of making a lemon curd for the other one but since there is rum in the batter, (but I haven't tasted the cake minus the soak) I'm wondering if that combination won't be good.  Dorie or Patrick, what do you think?

What about a lime curd? With the rum that might compliment a tropical bent...

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I just ordered a copy of the book...and I can't wait to start playing with you all!

Dorrie...I also just noticed you will be here in Seattle in November. I'm so excited! With any luck I'll catch up with you at a book signing...and a well worn copy of your book. :)

Cheers!

Traca

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Lime curd is an excellent idea! Dorie, hopefully I'll be able to catch up with you in Chicago. By the way, I think the rum vanilla cake is even better the next day.

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My second attempt at Dorie's biscuits tonight. This time I used the 1 3/4 cup flour and 1/3 cup cake flour. I also used buttermilk again and added the baking soda. I cut them a little thicker than last time. They certainly rose higher, but I found them somewhat drier than the first batch. My first clue should have been the dough. I felt the dough was drier this time when I was bringing it together, but kept going anyway:

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^Those biscuits rose pretty high, just a bit unevenly.

I made biscuits a few times this summer after not making them for awhile. It took me a couple batches before they came out well. (This happens every time I don't make them for awhile... :smile:

What seemed to help me:

Speed in mixing dough, rolling out and getting into oven. (I'm intrigued by this recipe where Dorie suggests the option of freezing the raw dough.)

Making sure the dough was wet enough. I had to sometimes add a bit more liquid than was specified (in the recipe I used)

Rolling/patting out the dough thickly enough. (sounds like you did this; and I also found this to be important)

Cut the dough rounds with a biscuit cutter round. It is open in the middle so that the dough does not get compressed as in the case of using a glass or other closed container. Mine is metal and has a pretty sharp cutting edge.

Cut rounds as close together as possible to minimize the amount of dough that needs to be re-rolled out as these don't usually rise as high as those from the first patting out.

Why do the raw biscuits look kind of misshapen? There seems to be an overhang at the top of the uncooked biscuits. I think this might be affecting the evenness of the rise and final shape.

(As you mention, the raw dough *does* look like it might be a little dry compared to what I found worked well...)

I want some of those biscuits right now!


Edited by ludja (log)

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Thanks! I do have a biscuit cutter and that's what I used. I am freezing the raw dough first but I should perhaps try them fresh. One thing about biscuits is that they aren't terribly labour or ingredient intensive, so I can practice every day!

I think they are mishappen because I'm not very good at patting the dough out evenly, trying as I am to not work the dough too much. Given the differences that I'm hearing about with Canadian flour, it seems like I do need a little more liquid, especially if I'm going to use some cake flour as well. I've also been using my fingers to mix the butter into the dough, but I don't seem to get that "pebbly" effect everyone talks about. Maybe I should try a pastry cutter. Why do I think biscuits are on the menu again tonight? :rolleyes:

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Scarlett/Traca and anyone else who is interested:  I'll be doing a dinner in Simsbury, Ct on October 26, then I'll be traveling a lot in November.  I'll be in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Madison, CT, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Then in December, I'll be in Boston and at the Central Markets in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin.  I don't have my schedule buttoned down yet, but as soon as I do, I'll post it.  I would LOVE to meet as many of you as I can.

I'll be first in line in Philadelphia! To heck with waiting for Santa to bring me the book! :wink:

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I also purchased the book at Costco.

For my first recipe I made the Cardamom crumb cake. I didn't know how orange, expresso and cardamom would work but it did. It was very nice - not too sweet.

I baked it a little longer than the recipe specified (the knife did not come out clean) and the nuts browned too much. Would using a glass pan caused this, maybe I'll use a metal pan next time?

Thanks,

Lisa

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I also purchased the book at Costco.

For my first recipe I made the Cardamom crumb cake. I didn't know how orange, expresso and cardamom would work but it did. It was very nice - not too sweet.

I baked it a little longer than the recipe specified (the knife did not come out clean) and the nuts browned too much. Would using a glass pan caused this, maybe I'll use a metal pan next time?

Thanks,

Lisa

I made this last week, and also thought the same thing. Cardamom and coffee is a lovely combination, but I never would have guessed that orange rind would be so nice together with it. Alas, I left it in the oven a bit too long (note to self: stop watching TV while stuff is in the oven!) so it was a bit dry, but nice anyway. I will bake it again and be more careful about the baking time. I just love cardamom. :wub: Next up will be the madeleines. Every time I make madeleines they taste wonderful and the texture is good, but they don't get that darn hump! I've come to realize that the fault lies not in my recipes, but in myself. :sad: But I will keep trying.

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Jean -- what to serve with the Rum-Drenched Vanilla loaves?  Hmmm.  I like berries, but if you can't get berries now, how about a great chunky jam?  Or maybe some sauteed apples?  Whipped cream or creme fraiche is never bad.  You might even think about a chocolate sauce.  Milk chocolate is nice with rum.  Of course, by the time you decide, you might not have any cake left!

I like a quick sauté of fresh figs with a touch of butter, spices (vanilla pod) and alcohol (rum / sauternes / etc.) and on top a nice dollop of creme fraiche. Yum!

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Dorie,

I want to make the Devil's Food White Out Cake for Saturday and I have a question about the directions for the frosting.

It says to boil the syrup to 242 and the start beating the egg whites. In the next paragraph, it says to beat the egg whites and boil the syrup to 235. Am I correct in assuming that it is meant to say start beating whites at 235, and add syrup to whites when it reaches 242? It does sort of say that, but awkwardly, so I wanted to double check.

Thanks.

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Choux,

You are right -- the final temperature of the syrup should be 242 degrees F. Because it takes time to reach that temperature and because it also takes time to beat the egg whites until they are the right consistency, the first mention of 242 and beating the whites is to prepare you for what you must do and to give you a way of doing it.

Get set up -- put the eggs in the mixing bowl and put the syrup ingredients in the saucepan. Start cooking the syrup.

When the syrup reaches about 235 degrees F, start beating the egg whites.

The syrup goes into the whites when it is 242 degrees F.

I hope this makes it clear and I really hope you enjoy the cake! Let us know.

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I was going to make the madeleines but was seduced by the biscotti instead. (I think it was the immediacy that did it.) These are easy to make and really good biscotti (although a bit on the sweet side for me. If I reduced the sugar to 3/4 cup would that mess up the balance of the recipe?) I love it that they're crunchy and don't break my teeth if I don't dip them in coffee, yet they don't fall apart if I do. I had way too many with my coffee this morning. I gave the rest to the concierge in my building. They really love this book!! (I have to get a camera.)

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