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What are you baking these days? Happy winter's almost over, I hope, March 2015 edition!

If you didn't slice off the top, flip it and glaze it with chocolate butter, it's not a Reine de Saba!

Sorry! Couldn't help myself :)

Mar 08, 2015
souschef in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? Happy Valentine's Day February 2015 edition! [OLD]

You won't get booted so long as you make the pudding yourself :)

Mar 01, 2015
souschef in Home Cooking
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What are you baking these days? Happy Valentine's Day February 2015 edition! [OLD]

BUTTERTART!!! You love chocolate and chestnuts, but have yet to make my chocolate chestnut cake! What are you waiting for?

What are you baking these days? Happy Valentine's Day February 2015 edition! [OLD]

Don't forget to post pictures. I love palmiers.

Feb 21, 2015
souschef in Home Cooking
1

What are you baking these days? Happy Valentine's Day February 2015 edition! [OLD]

How do you serve it? Please don't say "Very carefully"! :)

Feb 13, 2015
souschef in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? Happy Valentine's Day February 2015 edition! [OLD]

The texture of the buttercream depends upon the temperature of the butter you use. It works best with room-temperature butter. Also, I find buttercream easier to make if you beat the butter first, but it's a nuisance unless you have two bowls and beaters.

What are you baking these days? Happy Valentine's Day February 2015 edition! [OLD]

Never thought of that. I'll give it a try the next time.

Feb 02, 2015
souschef in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? Happy Valentine's Day February 2015 edition! [OLD]

Me? Why me? I thought Mme Buttertart was the Grande Dame of Madeleines, having to ensure that M. Buttertart was always supplied with same.

What's the big deal about Madeleines? When done right they're pillowy soft, but unlike a marshmallow, which uses gelatin for its sleep-inducing texture; unlike a Génoise as it does not need the assistance of a soaking syrup for peristalsis; unlike a pound cake, which can be carefully wrapped and enjoyed later.

No, a Madeleine is fleeting. It has to be enjoyed Cynsa-style, straight out of the oven; the experience has to be immediately repeated if your name happens to be Buttertart.

Buttertart and I digress when it comes to anointing the confection with cough-inducing (to me) confectioner's sugar; besides, it does not need it.

Klinger, why don't you post the recipe you used so we can check it out.

Sorry, didn't mean to write an epistle.

I have a question related to transferring a cake: you have a cake that's glazed on a rack with some sort of chocolate cream, and want to transfer it to a cake board. I use a 3" pancake turner/spatula combination, but it invariably ruins the bottom edge of the cake where the pancake turned has been. How do you avoid this? I could always pike a decorative border, but what if I'm too indolent to do so?

What are you baking these days? Happy New Year January 2015 edition! [OLD]

Any excuse to bake a cake is a good excuse....but darn, I missed my half birthday. Time to celebrate my 2/3 birthday....today!

What are you baking these days? Happy New Year January 2015 edition! [OLD]

You can do crème caramel and petit pots de crème that way.

What are you baking these days? Happy New Year January 2015 edition! [OLD]

But the flour does not end up on the surface. I think you need a flour barrier between the batter and the grease on the pan. Any time I have missed small spots that were not greased (hence no flour there) the batter has stuck to the pan.

It's strange, but the only cake that has caused me problems with a Bundt pan is Medrich's Brandied Apricot Loaf. I've used the same pans (not non-stick) dozens of times with RLB's GGM Cake and with the gugelhupf in the Chocolate Bible (not an RLB publication, for anyone panicking about not having it) with no proble. BTW that gugelhupf has marzipan in it, CMcG (I think, like me, you're a fan of marzipan).

Jan 22, 2015
souschef in Home Cooking
1

What are you baking these days? Happy New Year January 2015 edition! [OLD]

Glad to be here. I find flour indispensable, even on a non-stick pan.

Jan 21, 2015
souschef in Home Cooking
1

What are you baking these days? Happy New Year January 2015 edition! [OLD]

Did you tar and feather.....er, sorry, I meant did you apply flour after buttering your butt off, and did you use a non-stick pan?

What are you baking these days? Happy New Year January 2015 edition! [OLD]

Wish I had considered that - I would have thrown in some cold butter.

Jan 04, 2015
souschef in Home Cooking
1

What are you baking these days? Happy New Year January 2015 edition! [OLD]

To frost a cake I made buttercream using Swiss meringue, butter, and vanilla - a frosting I have made many times before with no problem. This time it looked separated.

The instructions clearly tell you that the butter should be soft to the point that it's shiny, or the buttercream will look separated. I didn't actually check that the butter was shiny, but it was out on the counter for maybe 12 hours, and was plenty soft.

Does anyone have any idea of the mechanics of this thing? Maybe I should join RLB's blog and post the question there?

Jan 04, 2015
souschef in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition, part two! [Old]

I made dark chocolate pots de crème, and served it with almond tuiles.

I've never seen vanilla paste. Is it just the inside of the vanilla bean?

My marrons glacés pilgrimage got canned this year. I bought 50 large Italian chestnuts, of which at least 30 were tossed because they were rotten, and some of the rest were marginal. So I just tossed the whole darn lot. I've seen some large Spanish chestnuts elsewhere, so I may first buy a few to see the quality.

Dec 26, 2014
souschef in Home Cooking
1

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition, part two! [Old]

Thanks Caitlin. I only saw your post because Buttertart set me straight on what to do, in response to an email I sent her.

Dec 23, 2014
souschef in Home Cooking
1

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition, part two! [Old]

Spritz and shortbread.

I must say I hate the new CH, where you have to page through threads. For some reason all the threads in which I have participated (including this one) show up as completely unread. Annoying!

Dec 21, 2014
souschef in Home Cooking
1

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition, part two! [Old]

I made two different cookies using C&P flour instead of AP as I was out of the latter. I thought it would not make a difference. I was wrong; the texture of both was pasty in the mouth, and not quite as tasty as usual.

Dec 19, 2014
souschef in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition, part two! [Old]

They tend to be a bit sweet, but not "Wildly sweet". Why not just halve the amount of sugar.

Dec 19, 2014
souschef in Home Cooking
1

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition, part two! [Old]

I wonder how that's going to work, as the butter in the batter will have hardened, and the batter has to be fluid to be spreadable.

Dec 16, 2014
souschef in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition, part two! [Old]

Use them egg whites to make tuiles.

Dec 15, 2014
souschef in Home Cooking
1

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition! [old]

It's on Page 242. If you don't have it, I can post it.

BTW, I find rolling the dough, chilling it, cutting rounds, re-rolling, etc too much work, so I just form logs, chill them, then cut them into disks with a ham slicer. The thin blade of the slicer is perfect.

Dec 14, 2014
souschef in Home Cooking
1

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition! [old]

I did a bunch of baking, to take to my niece, who's visiting from out of town:

- crème caramel

- the Medrich cake that's been giving me trouble, made with rum and raisins. Baked in a non-stick Bundt pan and a non-stick loaf pan, both buttered and floured. Both turned out great.

- Hasselnuss spritzgebäck, but made with almonds, from Nancy Baggett's "International Cookie Cookbook". I keep forgetting how much muscle it takes to pipe the darn things. Time to use a larger nozzle. A damn fine cookie. BTW, I can't recommend enough the Lebanese pistachio shortbread from that book; it's my favourite cookie.

One thing I've been wondering about: some Tarte Tatin recipes have you start by spreading softened butter on the base of the skillet and a bit up the sides. I consider it too much work, so I just dump the butter into the pan, melt it, and then swirl it around. Does anyone know the reason for the spreading?

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition! [old]

I made the Medrich cake again last night, this time using one non-stick Bundt pan and one ordinary Bundt pan, spraying both with Bake Easy, and then dusting them with flour. The one in the non-stick turned out perfectly, whereas the other got wrecked, with pieces staying behind in the pan. However, the non-stick one did not rise as much as the other.

I've used the same Bundt pans many times to make RLB's Golden Grand Marnier Cake as well as gugelhupf, with absolutely no problem; they turned out perfectly. I'm done with futzing around trying to make this recipe work in Bundt pans; I'm going to stick to loaf pans for this recipe in the future, using butter and flour for the pans.

Dec 10, 2014
souschef in Home Cooking
1

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition! [old]

I was just looking at Ina's lemon cake recipe. It sounds a lot like the AM one I posted above.

Guess I just have to make the AM cake with orange (prefer it to lemon).

Dec 07, 2014
souschef in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition! [old]

I'm amazed; YOU of all people don't have the book in your great library!

Here's the recipe:

Brandied Apricot or Prune and Armagnac Loaf

Medrich says you should bake it al least one day ahead for best flavour.

1/4 cup brandy or Armagnac
3-1/2 oz minced dried apricots or prunes
12 oz sifted AP flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
8 oz unsalted butter
14 oz (2 cups) sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature

Two 6-cup loaf pans, or ring molds, preferably non-stick (I use Bundt pans)

Oven preheated to 325°F
Do your thing with the pans; Medrich says spray with Pam
Combine liqueur with fruit; set aside
Sift together dry ingredients (I like to triple sift)
In mixer cream butter. Gradually add sugar and vanilla, till fluffy
Add eggs, one at a time only till each is incorporated
Add buttermilk to fruit
At low speed, add dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with buttermilk mix, only until each is incorporated
Chuck batter into pans
Bake 55-65 minutes, till well browned and playing Shrinking Violet with sides of pans
Cool on rack for 10 min, then turn out

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition! [old]

Then it behooves you to try RLB's Golden Grand Marnier Cake. It is super-moist, because of the sour cream and the soaking syrup.

Dec 05, 2014
souschef in Home Cooking
1

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition! [old]

Sorry.....Cocolat

Dec 05, 2014
souschef in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? December 2014 edition! [old]

No I didn't, but will check it out. Are you planning to use Chinese chestnuts?

Dec 05, 2014
souschef in Home Cooking