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Need help with high altitude cake problems!!

Are you definitely interested in doing a chocolate cake? I do my own incarnation of a WASC cake, using my own homemade "cake mix" instead of the box variant. I tweak a few other things here and there, and can easily suggest modifications for a chocolate variation, if you're interested. At 5400, I know people make no modifications at all to the WASC basic formula, but you might try a WASC, from the internet or I can post a formula. You can knock down the sugar a bit, up the flour and liquid a bit, and knock back leavening by a bit. You might try baking thinner layers (which you don;t have to split later :) ) at a higher temp to promote quicker setting and less time to over inflate and then subsequently deflate.

Sep 27, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking

What are your favorite recipes for bake sales (making and purchasing?)

Okay, so I have done a lot of events in which the estimated numbers have been close to what you're facing. Sometimes event coordinators are on, sometimes not. Depends how many other "vendors" will be there. not everyone will pass by your table. I'd aim to be able to offer 2000 total? I assume you won't be doing sampling?

Some tips -- The professional kitchen will allow you to make big batches of things in Hobart mixers (or another brand); however, unless the kitchen has a dough depositor, I caution you to be mindful of how many things you make, especially individual servings, that will require portioning. This will take up a significant amount of your time. I'd focus on bars and things that can be baked in large batches, then cut down. brownies, bars, cake squares (bake in sheet pans with extenders, frost, fill and stack and then cut up, faux s'mores (sandwich together graham crackers with marshmallow fluff and dip end in melted chocolate). if you do cookies, i'd highly recommend using a basic dough that you split up and vary the additions - it will save you on time and allow for more variations on a theme.

you've got a ton of savory suggestions as well - they will sell more slowly, but they'll be a respite from sugar from some. frittata cut into squares, lavash crackers (can be baked in sheet then broken up), flavored/spiced pumpkin seeds (onion and salt, or cinnamon, etc), maybe spanakopita (presumably these aren't all children looking for sugar), cheesy crackers, etc.

For the pups, try mixing peanut butter, some egg, some oats, some salt, a dash of cinnamon and/or parsley if you feel like it, cooked grains, etc spread and press thinly onto sheet pans and bake, scoring the bars for cutting before or half way through baking.

be patient if you've never been in a commercial kitchen or that one specifically. do test batches and make sure the ovens are baking properly. not that i say this from experience or anything… ;) good luck!

Sep 23, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking

Recipe for best pancakes ever (Cafe Luluc)?

I'm thinking of sending my SIL who lives in Brooklyn for recon, but… if I were to give it a go, i would try 2 different ingredient/production processes and 1 cooking method:
Ingredients/Production
1. using cake flour, and separately beaten egg whites that are folded in at the end, and possibly baking powder…. possibly. i'd beat together my yolks and sugar. gently mix in cake flour (and salt and baking powder if using) alternately with milk or slightly beaten cream (?), then fold in some melted butter. beat egg whites with a little sugar and pinch of cream of tartar, and fold in.
OR
2. a genoise cake batter method --- beat eggs and sugar until really pale and of a ribbony texture. then fold in flour/salt alternately with milk or cream / melted butter.
Cooking
I'd try a flat griddle surface heated with a goodly amount of butter, pour on batter let cook for 30-60 seconds then cover with a lid and allow the steam to cook and set the rest, then remove the lid for 10 seconds at the end to crisp up edges once again. a massive pancake like that needs time to cook through, and needs to do so before the other side (the face down side) burns

Sep 22, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking

Home made hummous just not as good as restaurants

Ha… OH = Other Half for me…

Rye Lavash
100 g bread flour
90 g rye flour (you can increase ratio of rye to bread flour if you like)
½ tsp. dry yeast
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. honey
⅓ - ½ cups water (i usually only need the lower end of this)
Flaked or coarse grind sea salt
Caraway seeds

Mix it all up, using as much water as needed to get a moist dough that isn't sticky.

Knead it until it passes the windowpane test.

Let it rest for 90 minutes in a greased bowl.

Roll it out to about 1 foot x 15-16" -- i like mine as thin as possible. Let it rest for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the top with flaked sea salt and as many caraway seeds as you like. Dock the cuts you want to make after it's baked. (Depending upon size of pieces you want… Sometimes I just bake the thing inserting a few holes to stop it from puffing up to one big bubble, and break it apart.)

Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes, until it's golden. The thinner you roll it, of course, the less time it will take to bake.

Hope that works!

Sep 03, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking

good places for "Meet & Greet" dates -- Brentwood/Westwood/WLA/Santa Monica

no longer doing the dance, but can suggest…

208 rodeo - nice outside patio and interesting people watching

via alloro - on canon has a nice patio/lounge/restaurant with good happy hour

scarpetta - at the montage happy hour nice patio

sidebar - which is at the beverly wilshire next to cut, good cocktails/drinks and great food

and of course, the obligatory and ageless, nic's martini lounge

Aug 03, 2014
Emme in Los Angeles Area
1

Whole Foods recommendations

I know for certain Beverly Hills. I believe Fairfax/3rd. Likely Wilshire and 23rd. I'd call the North Hollywood/Studio City location and Sherman Oaks as well since you're on that side of the city...

Jul 25, 2014
Emme in Chains

What is this vegetable?

looks like my bolted bok choy….

Jul 07, 2014
Emme in Gardening

Kick-Ass Cupcakes for Grad Party

if not coconut lime, key lime is always a nice summer refresher… scoop out a little filling reservoir in the top of a graham flour or vanilla bean (with or without lime zest) cupcake and fill with key lime curd, top with a swirl of lightly sweetened whipped cream and sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs

peach cobbler -- vanilla or almond cupcake filled with peach preserves and topped with a streusel

drumstick cupcakes? topped with buttercream dipped in a magic shell of sorts, sprinkled with nuts, and topped with a cone… or bake in a cone

cheesecake cupcakes?

May 18, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking

chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips??

one of two ways -- i generally make my own nutella (so i can make it dairy free)…

i either make the nutella and let it set in fridge, then form into my desired ball/chip sizes and freeze before mixing into and baking cookie dough.

alternatively, i make my nutella and mix with a little melted coconut oil, then let it set and proceed to make chips and freeze as well. the coconut oil just helps with shape preservation, though i more commonly use the above method sans the coconut oil.

May 11, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking

When only SALT will do?

i forgot my favorite thing i eat every day… roasted seaweed… i get the individual snack packs from costco...

Apr 29, 2014
Emme in General Topics

BOGO's -- how do they work where you are?

Ralph's here in So. Cal is this way. A great number of items are "79 cents each… Must by 8" and what's worse is if you buy 10, the last two are at the other sale price, somewhere between the 79 cents and the original price. Very frustrating. Sometimes I don't want to buy 8 bottles of Powerade… I much prefer the deals where it's buy 10 of the items around the store that are in the particular sale bracket, and you get the sale price.

Most stores around me don't have a lot of BOGO, but when they do, it's buy one get one free, not buy one for half price...

Apr 28, 2014
Emme in General Topics

When only SALT will do?

for me, cold cuts turkey or chicken. or roasted chicken or turkey breast with smoked salt sprinkled on.

back in the day, a cheddar/jack quesadilla...

Apr 28, 2014
Emme in General Topics

Any recreations for Peppone Restaurant's cauliflower recipes out there?

Steam it, and try making a hollandaise or make a roux with butter and flour, and add lemon to taste…

Some rave reviews for it… http://www.yelp.com/biz/peppone-risto...

Apr 10, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking

dehydrating

we do carrots, cucumber, tomatoes…

also, i make OH fruit roll-ups by pureeing fruits (strawberries, or other berries, or apples, or pears or a combo, etc.) that i've cooked slightly enough to soften to puree, with a little agave and unsweetened applesauce. spread on a piece of parchment to be dehydrated on our trays… spread it as thin as you like, but try to do it evenly, or it won't cook at the same rate. i rotate my trays as they cook.

Apr 04, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking

Calebressa Bread

http://amyriolo.com/?page_id=513
http://foodcult.com/calabresebread.php

Why not try mixing and kneading it in the machine, then allow it rest in there. Pull it out, shape, proof and then bake in the standard oven?

Mar 31, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking
1

Using up Cream Cheese

I second the rugelach suggestion… Such a delightful dough to work with, and you can even freeze the disks.

I use cream cheese in my rolled sugar cookie dough as well.

The sweet possibilities abound… cheese muffins, coeur a la creme, yeasted cheese coffee cake, a giant bowl of cream cheese frosting (served with a spoon), cheese mousse, etc.

On the savory side...
Great mashed with potatoes or cauliflower. with a little sour cream and/or butter, salt, pepper, chives, etc.

Quiche? http://moroccanfood.about.com/od/eggr...

A nice spinach and mushroom sauce for eggs?
http://www.ourbestbites.com/2012/08/e...

Crockpot Stroganoff?
http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/ga...

Haven't made this, but cream cheese flan does intrigue me… http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cr...

as does this Miso Cream Cheese… http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/mi...

Mar 29, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking

what is your favorite homemade post-exercise meal/snack recipe?

at least you got some protein and fiber in! ;)

Mar 27, 2014
Emme in Special Diets
1

wonder if you're familiar with these 2 things

they're ridiculously good. OH isn't allowed to buy them because i can't eat them anymore.

Mar 11, 2014
Emme in General Topics

wonder if you're familiar with these 2 things

OH insisted on purchasing the Butterfinger cups which are "absolutely horrible warm, and okay, not so bad, when cold." So that you have the relevant background info upon which to judge his assessment, his favorite candy bars/ candy include Baby Ruth, Snickers, Dots, and Werther's Chewy Caramels.

Birthday Cake Oreos - no different just little bits of sprinkles in the frosting.. wouldn't pay extra for them

Marshmallow Krispie Treats Oreos - golden oreo, with little bits of crushed rice krispies in the filling. no improvement.

Cookie Dough Oreos - just a brown sugar based filling? doesn't taste like cookie dough…

Lemon - we'll pass thanks :)

Mar 11, 2014
Emme in General Topics

HELP with French Macarons

my guess would be too low of a temp… i go right above 300. and underbaking. i actually bake mine a bit longer, and let them get almost crisp through. then after i fill them, i let them sit in the fridge for 24-48 hours, and they soak up moisture from the filling, and have the perfect chew. and FWIW, i have an easier time with the french method over the italian.

some links (the first is my *favorite*):

http://www.syrupandtang.com/200712/la... (there are 4 parts to this

)

http://loveandmacarons.blogspot.com/2...

http://bakerette.com/macarons-tips-tr...

http://notsohumblepie.blogspot.com/20...

Feb 28, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking

Cake Decorating Question

room temperature once the gum paste is dried. you store unused gum paste in the fridge.

here is one option http://www.shopchefrubber.com/Silica-...

Feb 28, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking

Has anyone heard of Pink Champagne Cake?

this is an old post, so i'll chime in.. assuming you're asking in regards to the recipe elle posted above, i'd recommend, based upon volume, using either 3 - 8" pans or a single ½ sheet pan.

Feb 23, 2014
Emme in General Topics

what is your favorite homemade post-exercise meal/snack recipe?

when i could eat gluten and dairy (sigh), one of my favorite post recovery snacks was non-fat cottage cheese (yes i know the fat is good, i just preferred the nonfat flavor as that's what i grew up with), cooked barley (or brown rice), a little sweetener, vanilla and cinnamon, then nuked it in the micro stirring even so often til it just got a little gooey. it was like a healthier proteiny barley or rice pudding.

i've always had, and still have, a passion for egg white (or include a yolk or two) omelets.
or cook the eggs with some green chiles, tomatoes a little cheese and roll up in a whole wheat tortilla.
or some egg (white) salad shoved in a whole wheat pita.

or tuna salad with a little mayo, onion, celery, diced red apple and a dash of curry powder.

Feb 17, 2014
Emme in Special Diets

Best GF spaghetti?

those look interesting… might have to order some, as they only seem to be purchasable in colorado presently…

i quite like the Explore Asian brand of gluten free noodles -- http://www.explore-asian.com/page.asp... -- i like both the black bean and the mung bean. haven't yet tried the soybean.

Feb 17, 2014
Emme in Special Diets

8X8 Pan for Brownies- conversions?

it's totally fine to crush some of your coarse salt… however, personally, i prefer it coarse to provide more contrast. just be careful, if you do turn it into flakes, that you don't use too much.

Feb 17, 2014
Emme in Cookware

Cake Decorating Question

You're better off using gumpaste, purchased or homemade (directly or by adding cmc/tylose to fondant). Make sure to store out of sunlight. I generally store in a air-tight container, and I will also throw in a desiccant pack or two to prevent humidity and moisture, just like i do with isomalt.

Feb 16, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking

What to do with sweetened Ricotta?

ricotta souffle!!!

Feb 11, 2014
Emme in General Topics

I'm trying to bread fish but I don't have any eggs or flour?

that was going to be my suggestion, but a seasoned cornstarch. and/or a little almond flour.

Feb 08, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking

What should I serve with sweet potato gnocchi in sage butter?

i agree with some greens to cut the richness… perhaps a wilted spinach and mushroom salad, or some simple garlic lemon broccoli rage.

if you want to do a protein, i'd personally like a light fish, like sole or tilapia, prepared simply. along with something like mustard or collard greens or spinach or...

Feb 08, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking

Do you remember what the first dish you prepared from a recipe was?

from a recipe? i think the first few things i vividly remember from recipes were monster toast (with food coloring to make faces on the bread -- though i didn't actually care for toast… just liked to make the faces), egg sailboats (deviled eggs just with mayo and salt and a little paprika to finish, then topped with a paper triangle sail taped to a toothpick), and cornflake chicken.

non recipe? i remember making scrambled eggs with my mother from the time i was under 5. again, didn't like them, but liked that it was something i could do with her...

Feb 08, 2014
Emme in Home Cooking