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Why aren't my waffles crispy? Help!

Yum, just purchased the Vintantonio 1800 from eBay and got delicious crisp waffles my first try baking on high temp as you've suggested! Thanks.

Cake Bible "All Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake" is it?

Thanks for the recipe--maybe I'll continue playing around even if the OP does not!

Cake Bible "All Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake" is it?

While I'm sure this response will be of 0% use for you at this late date, just wanted to share my thoughts.

I've made a couple butter cake recipes from the Cake Bible--All Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake and White Spice Pound Cake--and found that these were both very light and fine-textured. The pound cake really just about dissolves in your mouth, and the yellow butter cake was similar, if less extreme in that respect.

Speaking for myself, i prefer butter cakes with a little more heft and density. (The Cake Bible's yellow cake's texture was beautiful, but didn't scream homemade to me.) The blog Smitten Kitchen's yellow cake recipe fit the bill nicely, in case you're continuing to experiment!

As an aside, I do think that the Cake Bible's method for mixing butter cakes is faster and simpler than the typical butter/sugar creaming technique. And I have used both volume and weight measures on different occasions with good results.

Caramel Ice Cream

Just put this ice cream in the freezer, and the churned custard tastes wonderful. I usually make Philly-style recipes, so this seems extra intense. For my next go-around (and there will be one for sure!) I will consider reducing the sugar slightly. The only change I made to the recipe this time was to follow David Lebovitz's custard-making proportions and use 5 egg yolks instead of 6.

May 09, 2012
Double Gloucester in Recipes

You knew you mastered the fine art of cooking or baking when you ______________.

Yes! For me this happened with salt--salting pasta water sufficiently for the first time was a revelation. I didn't realized that pasta had a taste, or that it could be edible, even quite delicious without a topping.

This isn't so much cooking as product-buying related, but I had another Eureka moment with sugar--that plain white granulated sugar has a flavor that is different from simply "sweet." I started giving up HFCS products and adding my own sugar to things like yogurt when I realized this.

Writing this also reminds about the yogurt that my aunt served me when I visited her in France years ago--she bought these little Dannon-type cups of whole milk yogurt lightly pre-sweetened with sugar. For some reason, I feel that plain sugar-flavored yogurt would not fly in the U.S. (if I'm correct that it isn't available here) but that may be a question for another thread...

The use of sugar in Asian dishes [moved from Manhattan board]

Yes, the question "does this food taste too sweet" is an entirely different issue than "does this cuisine use sugar as a key ingredient." As MVNYC notes, Vietnamese food, for instance, uses sugar in lots of different ways.

I'd add a couple things re: Vietnamese food: the aim of using sugar is not always to achieve balance. Mung bean paste desserts will corrode your tooth enamel on contact! (And they are delicious with tea, although no one will believe me after that description.)

Also, there are the preferences of different cooks, restaurants, families, to take into account. For example, I prefer making pho broth without sugar because that's how my mom does it. But many recipes do include sugar; this variation is hardly a question of better or worse or adjusting for "American" tastebuds, just what that cook happens prefer. I find that nuoc cham, which MVNYC describes, can vary a lot in sweetness, too.

But while I find it tough to generalize about these things, my Vietnamese mom has no hesitation about labeling all of Japanese cuisine "too sweet"! (Uh...see bean paste thing above)

Why does organic milk taste "richer" than non-organic milk?

That's very interesting, as I haven't yet had the opportunity to compare different kinds of organic products. My post was about comparing supermarket organic to local smaller farm non-organic. I have no idea what the smaller farm is feeding their cows as their website doesn't say. While I am spending more, it's not all that much, and for me the taste and convenience are well worth the extra dollar or so.

Loved your story about comparing clover to rye pastured milk as a kid! I can't picture what that difference must have been like--very cool.

Why does organic milk taste "richer" than non-organic milk?

I know this is an ancient thread, but I found the discussion super interesting, as I recently switched from organic ultrapasteurized to a local pasteurized brand. This move was not for taste/health reasons: the store that sells non-organic milk is simply closer to the apartment I just moved to, and I don't have a car, which can make carrying heavy cartons tricky.

I found that I much prefer my new brand to the organic/ultrapast.; I now understand the latter has the "cooked" taste that phofiend cites above. The cooked flavor doesn't bother me because I mostly use milk for coffee/cooking, but now that I have access to non-ultra pasteurized milk, I find myself enjoying plain milk as a beverage for the first time in years! I have also bought non-ultrapasteurized cream of the the same brand and found that it makes fantastic ice cream.

Now because the variables are not just organic vs non-organic, but also the type of pasteurization in this comparision, I find it difficult to say what role these are playing in my preference for the non-organic milk. There's also the "local" factor (Calder Dairy is apparently a respected brand in MI). Do I perceive the milk as tasting better to square with my (slight) increase in $ spent + feeling-good-about-buying-Michigan-even-if-it's-just-for-personal-convenience?

Question about the famous epicurious double layer chocolate cake

Great tip--thanks!

Question about the famous epicurious double layer chocolate cake

Thanks for the warning! I made some weird miniscule fraction of this recipe a couple years ago, and it came out very well, but I would like to attempt the whole recipe for an event this summer.

Question about the famous epicurious double layer chocolate cake

For 9" pans, what is the appropriate depth? 1.5" or 2"? Thanks!

polish restaurants in greenpoint/williamsburg that do private parties?

I know that Damis on Manhattan Ave does parties; Krolewskie Jadlo does not. Any other suggestions that come to mind would be most welcome. Thanks!

Krolewskie Jadlo
694 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222

931 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222

trim cake or not before freezing?

That makes a lot of sense. Thanks!

trim cake or not before freezing?

I just baked a genoise that I would like to store in the freezer for about one week. Should I trim the crusts before freezing or after thawing. Or is it likely not to matter much? Thanks!

store selling fresh banh pho in queens?

I know that fresh rice noodles for making pho can be found in Chinatown but was curious to know whether they are available at any grocery stores in Queens--around Jackson Heights or Elmhurst, preferably. I live in Greenpoint and train-wise generally find it easier to do my Asian grocery shopping in Queens rather than Chinatown, so that's why I ask.

I am looking for the wide, flat kind of banh pho, not the thinner strands. Thanks!

Beware of Molly Wizenberg recipes

Admitting that I can't speak to any of her cake recipes, one of the most delicious things I've ever made was her leek tart recipe in Bon Appetit. Possibly the leeks slow-cooked in butter plus crispy crust and goat cheese put me in a forgiving mood but then again I've not tried any sweet recipes yet.

dry ice in greenpoint brooklyn?

thanks for the info!

dry ice in greenpoint brooklyn?

Hi--might anyone have suggestion re: places to check for purchasing 2.5-5 lbs of dry ice in Greenpoint? Thanks!

pressure cooker lamb daube help

thank you for both your replies! and for taking the trouble to look up the recipe on google. since i had the time, i actually opted to cook it in the oven (2 hours @ 325F). i would like to play around with similar recipes in the pressure cooker in the future, though, so your comments will definitely be helpful. thanks!
(the dish turned out wonderfully, by the way. i guess you can't really go too terribly wrong with those ingredients).

pressure cooker lamb daube help

seeking help from people w/pressure cooker experience. i've used mine for other things, but this is my first stew-type recipe and it's got me somewhat confused.

I'm trying out a recipe from The Pressure Cooker Gourmet by Victoria Wise for lamb daube. it calls for a "red wine marinade" (red wine, brandy, aromatic stuff) in which you marinate the 2 pound of lamb overnight, so I've got that in the fridge now. Tomorrow, the next step is to (1) brown salt pork , (2) add the lamb to brown, and (3) then add onion, orange peel, garlic, and some anchovy. then the recipe has you bring it to pressure over high heat 45 min, reduce to med. high and cook for 45 min.

my question--the recipe does not state what happens to the red wine marinade. Do I assume that it is discarded, especially since it is called a marinade? I tried to cross-reference w/the beef bourguignon recipe in the same book, which has basically the same proportions of meat, red wine, brandy but has you add the liquids to the meat after browning and cook it all together. but i don't know if this is a good comparison, because in that recipe (bourguignon), the meat does not marinate and the liquids are simply added before bringing stuff up to pressure.

sorry if this is confusing. i don't want to screw up my nice lamb/alcohol mix so I may just cook it on the stovetop or in the oven tomorrow. if people think i should go this route, i would greatly appreciate it if you can suggest cooking times or recipes available online that i could refer to. thanks!

trying to season cast iron - whitish gray "spatter"?

Thanks, Ambimom. The cast iron pan I'd been using before was seasoned with vegetable oil, not lard, so I was hoping plain oil would be ok! (That was a new pan that came with manufacturer's directions for seasoning so we just followed that and never got overwhelmed with internet research). The appearance of the pan has actually changed somewhat since my initial post--I had re-oiled it and put it back in the still hot (but turned off) oven. It came out looking darker. The splatter looks brown rather than gray now and overall the whole surface looks more black. Anyway I tried using it just now -- fried a couple eggs in a generous pool of oil. Since the eggs more or less sat on top of the oil, I feel like I can't judge the non-stickness of the cooking surface yet, and wouldn't want to yet, but you're surely right that it just needs continual use. The pan was pretty immaculately scrubbed down when I received it so I don't think it was soap scum. So jaykayen might be right that it was from too much heat during the first seasoning attempt. Judging from my experience with the first pan, I will have to reseason in the oven at least one more time, but for now I figure I'll just keep using it for frying.

And yes, I have relaxed.

Jul 11, 2009
Double Gloucester in Cookware

trying to season cast iron - whitish gray "spatter"?

Yes, it was already stripped down when I received it. Should I still strip it down again?

Jul 10, 2009
Double Gloucester in Cookware

trying to season cast iron - whitish gray "spatter"?

Thanks, so you are also suggesting that I don't need to remove whatever stuff is already on the pan. Yes, there are way too many opinions. My sense was that the 250F temp was working better for my pan, though.

Jul 10, 2009
Double Gloucester in Cookware

trying to season cast iron - whitish gray "spatter"?

I know there are loads of threads on seasoning cast iron but I couldn't find one that addressed this issue. So please forgive and/or kindly direct me to one that's appropriate!

I just got a 11 3/4" wagner ware skillet off ebay and had a false start seasoning it yesterday. Per one of the many internet guides to seasoning cast iron, I washed it, heated it with a little oil, and then baked it at 500 F upside down with thin coat of olive oil for 1 hr (there was smoking, and then it went away). This left a greyish sort of spattery stain around the middle the cooking surface (not at the edges) and a few glassy black beads around the rim of the skillet. Also on the cooking surface were black spots that looked sort of like seasoned surface but they were very small and scattered.

Today (per this blog's advice I tried baking it with thin coat of oil at about 250. The blog author recommends this treatment for smooth cast iron like wagner and griswold. Upon removal my pan looked more shiny.

However, I went away for an hour and forgot that the oven was still on! I just pulled out the poor thing and there is now the same greyish white spatter but this time around the perimeter of the cooking surface, not the center. So my questions are: have I totally screwed up seasoning the pan, and if so, do I have to scrub it down to bare iron again and start over, or can I continue to season and cover up the mistakes?

I have used another smaller pan for 2 years so I know what a properly seasoned pan looks like, and this isn't it. I also know that especially in the early stages it will only be good for certain applications--not looking for non-stick here. Thanks chows!

Jul 10, 2009
Double Gloucester in Cookware

Greens - how do you prepare them

Cheese, what a great idea! I tried a greens/beans preparation last night with some lemon juice and balsamic vinegar but was missing a savory piece in there. I wanted to add fish sauce but had none. Maybe mushroom soy would be good too?

marzipan to cover princess cake--make or buy?

Thank you for reading, and for the tip about the cream. Maybe I whipped the cream before turning up the AC, although the cake was of course in the fridge while I wrestled with the marzipan. I will let you know how it goes if I try again!

marzipan to cover princess cake--make or buy?

I'm sorry for being so slow to report back on my marzipan/princess cake experiment. Thanks again for your responses! Encouraged by them, I did try making the marzipan from almond paste (using Love N'Bake almond paste, as suggested on the boards) and it was delicious and not at all too sweet on the cake.

The process was definitely a fair bit of work, partly since I did not have the food processor called for in the marzipan recipe. I also wasn't sure how much food coloring I wanted to add, and had to knead some of it into the finished marzipan afterwards, which, as Claudette warned, turned out to be quite time-consuming. If I were to make a second attempt, I think it would go much faster, because the desired amount of food coloring is combined with the other liquids in the recipe before adding them to the almond paste/confectioners' sugar combo, and that initial mixing is much quicker than the laborious kneading that's required after the marzipan is fully formed, if that makes sense.

I was doing this in August, and rolling out the stuff proved impossible before I'd cranked up the AC full blast (I guess you veteran marzipan users could have told me that!). I was eventually able to go from a sagging ball of grease to a nice thin sheet that in fact ended up being way too big for my cake--a good chunk got trimmed off. As you might see from the pictures, I did not achieve the beautiful dome I was hoping for. I'm glad, however, that this wasn't the result of the cream collapsing under the weight of the marzipan, which was what I was dreading. I simply didn't have enough cream left to pile into a mound on top. I wonder if the cake layers were widening as I put them together?

But the green beast tasted so good I didn't care at all. This was also my first time using non-homogenized heavy cream, which I think was also key to its deliciousness. Come to think of it, it was also my first time making and eating genoise (used genoise recipe and also modeling marzipan recipe from The Cake Bible). So it was quite a learning experience with techniques/ingredients across the board! A bonus was that the cake froze beautifully--we thawed some slices two or three months later, and they had held their shape (and taste) perfectly. Thinking back on it, I almost feel up to attempting the whole thing again. . . .

yeek! my non-ultrapasteurized cream's sell-by date is Mon. August 25--will it turn bad at the stroke of midnight??

Thanks guys. I did make the cake, and I guess we'll just see how long it holds.

Makes sense that the fridge is the main variable--it has been my experience that at least in the fridge at work milk goes off by one day after the "sell by" (which I know isn't the same as expiration, but that's just what I've noticed). I don't really have a sense of how my home fridge is, because I either use everything before sell-by, or have left the milk for a really really long time to totally curdle. I was worried mainly because I had no idea if the pasteurized vs. ultrapasteurized made a significant difference, since for ultra the sell-by is at least 2-3 weeks in the future.

yeek! my non-ultrapasteurized cream's sell-by date is Mon. August 25--will it turn bad at the stroke of midnight??

I know that stuff is often usable past the sell-by date, but just am worried because I've never tried non-ultra pasteurized cream before, plus I am using for a cake tomorrow (August 22) that has required, for me, significant $ for almond paste, now cream, etc, and I don't know if I will be able to gather any friends to help us (2 people) consume it before Monday.

I bought this cream at the last possible minute but didn't realize that the sell-by date would be so soon (maybe if I were making the cake at the beginning of the week, they would have fresh cream in?).

Am I just being paranoid? Or should I plan on some serious artery-clogging before Monday?

Standard Flaky Pie Crust - really not that hard?

That is my nightmare exactly--adding too much water! I'm not even sure why I'm so terrified of this. And like Avalondaughter, I have no problem ending up with a tasty flaky crust (simple butter/flour/salt recipe, working in with fingertips) but it's really difficult to roll out. I have to roll it between sheets of parchment and then peel it off in the pan--no hope of getting this stuff wrapped around the rolling pin.

Thank you for enlightening me. I'd always assumed this difficulty with handling was the price to pay for an all-butter flakiness. Some happy day I will have fresh lard to play with. . . I have never considered making pie crust mysterious overall, but it's funny to realize there are these things that have gotten into my head as dogma (and made pie-eating a rarer event in my life than it should be!).