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brooklynsabra's Profile

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Cherry Buttercream Frosting: What would you have done?

i don't agree re: oils and flavorings generally not being good...the lorann raspberry one i used in combination with cooked down, pureed and strained frozen raspberries was great--it added just the right kick of flavor i was looking for.

Jul 18, 2015
brooklynsabra in Home Cooking

Cherry Buttercream Frosting: What would you have done?

sorry...i had throught you meant dried like with raisins.... not freeze-dried... i tired trader joe's freeze dried strawberries for a frosting..wasn't sure if they had cherries too, but i will check it out. thanks!

Jul 18, 2015
brooklynsabra in Home Cooking

Cherry Buttercream Frosting: What would you have done?

thanks! i will give it a try.

Jul 18, 2015
brooklynsabra in Home Cooking

Cherry Buttercream Frosting: What would you have done?

caitlin, i think i will try your seuggestion of flour frosting...but am wondering how long it would stay fresh? the buttercream i made was fine for several days and since we are a small family, we tend to pick at a cake over the span of 4-5 days...

Jul 18, 2015
brooklynsabra in Home Cooking

Cherry Buttercream Frosting: What would you have done?

thanks for the tip!

Jul 18, 2015
brooklynsabra in Home Cooking

Cherry Buttercream Frosting: What would you have done?

just thought of another possibility...does anyone know if there is such a thing as freeze dried cherries? i pulverized freeze-dried strawberries recently and added them to frosting with some success recently... maybe cherries would work the same way?

Jul 18, 2015
brooklynsabra in Home Cooking

Cherry Buttercream Frosting: What would you have done?

i tasted the frosting before using it and there really was not discerning cherry flavor..so i don't think the chocolate overpowered it... i may try concentrating down the rest of my frozen cherries via cooking like i did so successfully with raspberries (though are are lots of good ideas here--thanks everyone for such different takes on this)! i will add a bit of almond extract instead of vanilla as suggested here... and maybe i will try a flour frosting instead of buttercream... the cake i made was still really good btw thanks to the cake component and the icing tasted like vanilla. my kid was happy but i got caught up in trying to figure out why the frosting was so lacking in cherry flavor.

Cherry Buttercream Frosting: What would you have done?

like the reduced juice idea! i reduced frozen raspberries, pureed them and strained for raspberry buttercream and it worked really well with a couple drops of raspberry oil... (and if anyone knows of a good cherry flavoring would love to know)

Jul 18, 2015
brooklynsabra in Home Cooking

Cherry Buttercream Frosting: What would you have done?

OP here--I like whipped cream but did not want a whipped cream frosting for this cake-- I wanted something a bit heavier in texture and something that would keep well--something that reminded more of a classic american birthday cake if that makes any sense though yes,it is less sweet. Re: buttercream-I have always liked either chocolate or coffee/mocha buttercream which cuts the sweetness--but whenever I have tried to stray from that, I wind up struggling with sugar overload.

Jul 17, 2015
brooklynsabra in Home Cooking

Cherry Buttercream Frosting: What would you have done?

yes...jam would have made it too sweet for us...i used raspberry oil from lorann along with a cooked down and strained puree made from frozen raspberries to make a really amazing buttercream not long ago; i also added a bit of lemon.... so i figured i'd have the same luck with the cherry...not so much! kirsch is an interesting suggestion though not something we have on hand.

Jul 16, 2015
brooklynsabra in Home Cooking

Cherry Buttercream Frosting: What would you have done?

am intrigued by the idea of using a flour frosting instead, though am also a bit hesitant. i have never tried making one due to my fear of it tasting "floury," though people seem to rave about the stuff. i did make an uncooked "cookie dough" frosting using flour once that was quite good...

Jul 16, 2015
brooklynsabra in Home Cooking

Cherry Buttercream Frosting: What would you have done?

the almond v. vanilla observation is one that would never have occurred to me! vey iinteresting. the recipe i used appparently was one that sprinkles cupcakes uses though i cannot imagine how they achieve any sort of discerning cherry flavor. the idea of sour cherries is ineresting as well though i don't often see them at the supermarket.

Jul 16, 2015
brooklynsabra in Home Cooking

Cherry Buttercream Frosting: What would you have done?

So this past week, my son requested a chocolate layer cake with cherry frosting for his b-day. i wound up making my go-to chocolate cake recipe (oil and buttermilk work magic on chocolate cake but that's for another post) and that component turned out great.

For the cherry frosting, I used this recipe: http://www.eatrunread.com/2011/04/cak... it uses a ton of butter and also pureed frozen pitted cherries. I stayed pretty true to the recipe. My original plan had been to add a few drops of lorann cherry oil to amp up the cherry flavor...All I can say is I am glad I only tried that idea with a small amount--the stuff tastes like cough syrup! I have had great luck with the raspberry flavor so was disappointed this was so bad. At any rate, to make a long story short, the cherry puree added no flavor whatsoever. though it tinted the frosting a lovely pink. No food coloring necessary. But also no cherry flavor.

What would you have done? Maraschino cherry liquid? A better tasting cherry oil? Fresh cherries with more flavor?

My family does not like overly sweet frostings..and also would not want a whipped cream frosting as with black forest cake..just a simple buttercream with a pop of cherry flavor...

Thanks in advance!

Jul 16, 2015
brooklynsabra in Home Cooking

ISO Plain Focaccia

i love artopolis, yaxpac--especially their mini chocolate-hazelnut tarts! but i digress...it would never ever have occurred to me to look for focaccia there... i manage to get there every so often from brooklyn and will most definitely look out for their focaccia thanks for the tip.

Apr 24, 2015
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

ISO Plain Focaccia

thank, jen... i was lucky enough to try a muffuletta from the iconic central grocery in new orleans--waaaaay back in the day--i do recall that round loaf which zbs also describes but had heard it was tough to find outside new orleans--but am intrigued by the round loaves you both describe. ty for the gap idea as well.

Apr 24, 2015
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

ISO Plain Focaccia

will wait for curiosity to strike and check out the recipe--thanks, zbs--i do love serious eats fwiw.

and thanks too, for the parisi rec. i will try to check that out.

meant to respond to zbs here but think i replied to jen...sorry about that...

Apr 24, 2015
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

ISO Plain Focaccia

zbs, In theory, it is good to know I can make focaccia on my own so easily. But to be perfectly honest, I'd prefer not to. I cook from-scratch meals 5-6 nights per week--and mostly, I enjoy it. To keep it that way, I need to recharge by either going out for dinner or doing the occasional sandwich night. And I have grown especially fond of the muffaletta, since it is that rare sandwich that actually tastes better as it sits. So I can make it in the afternoon and return home several hours later with dinner done and ready to go. Pure heaven. But I will look into homemade focaccia out of curiosity. Thanks.

Apr 23, 2015
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

ISO Plain Focaccia

Jen, thanks so much for the suggestions. Coluccio's was my first impulse re: finding muffaletta mix, so I will check it out--it is just not often easy to get there, given their (to me) limited hours. La Fornaretta sounds great and I will most definitely try that as well for focaccia. Thanks.

Re: Trader Joe's, I am a big fan of the store, but for specific items. I could see how their rendition of muffaletta mix would not be all that great. And re: Whole Foods, I am a fan as well...but again, only for specific items. Their deli salads, for instance, are appalling. And their breads, are definitely hit or miss, as are their other in-house baked goods. For awhile,they were selling the wonderful scones from Ovenly, and now I only see their in-house scones--so not the same!

Apr 23, 2015
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

ISO Plain Focaccia

Thanks to everyone for your recs. Fwiw, I wound up finding plain-ish focaccia @ Whole Foods--plain-ish because it was sprinkled with rosemary & cheese. I was dubious since I am still recovering from the dry and just plain bad Irish Soda Bread I purchased from WF a few weeks ago...but I decided to take a chance. Once sliced in half, the top part of the bread wound up with a few holes which made some of our sandwiches a bit awkward to eat...but it otherwise worked out well.

I am intrigued by the rec for La Boulangerie--A bit of onion or rosemary would not be a deal breaker--I just don't want tomato or any flavors that would really clash with a muffuletta. I would also love to try Salumeria Rosa--though I rarely go that far uptown.

Muffuletta spread btw is totally life altering when it comes to making sandwiches. We just finished our very first jar of the stuff, which ironically enough, we bought in Montreal of all places. But am assuming it is easy to find here????

Apr 21, 2015
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

ISO Plain Focaccia

Am wondering if anyone knows where I can purchase plain focaccia bread? I would like to make muffuletta sandwiches and had heard that this is closest to the bread they use in New Orleans... I have made them before with ciabatta--and they turned out great...but would love try it this way --and the only kind of focaccia I tend to see are those with tomato. I have a car and am willing to travel...

Thanks in Advance!

Apr 18, 2015
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Oh, Marcus, Why?

Lesson learned, bkeats. Though if I were being really honest, I *may* give Streetbird one more chance in a few months because I really liked the ambience and gentle prices.

If you take a look at Yelp, there are a number of negative reviews that reflect my experience. (yes, I know that Yelp isn't the most reliable source, but in this case, those one and two-star reviews are on the money). I am just really curious to see if this place evolves in any sort of positive way due these reviews.

Apr 17, 2015
brooklynsabra in Manhattan

Oh, Marcus, Why?

I confess that my warm & fuzzy feelings toward Samuelsson are based more on the "appealing narrative" that abbzz mentions than any firsthand culinary experience in recent years. He comes off as very likeable and good pr or not, it really does feel like he is doing his part in terms of contributing to the vibrance of Harlem.

For me, the funky interior of Streetbird comes off as a genuine homage from someone who is deeply passionate about Harlem's history, music, & culture. There is a real joy there. But, the food...What really bothers me is that on the one hand, Samuelsson is offering up a celebrity-chef experience at prices pre-gentrification Harlem residents (and real people like myself) may actually be able to afford on some sort of regular basis. On the other hand, he underestimates them by serving up such uninspired, mediocre food.

It is disheartening to hear that Red Rooster is, for the most part, "meh" as far as the food goes, and that Samuelsson has not been "on his culinary game," for lack of better way to put it, for some time.

Apr 17, 2015
brooklynsabra in Manhattan
1

Oh, Marcus, Why?

So I am a Marcus Samuelsson fan from way back to his Aquavit days. In recent years, I have really liked his persona on The Taste and have long wanted to try his restaurant, Red Rooster up in Harlem--but with so many other splurge-worthy sounding restaurants on my list to visit, I have never made it there. At any rate, when I heard that he was opening Streetbird Rotisserie, a venture offering what sounded like a funky ambience & food to match--at real-people prices, I was all over it.

We went this past Saturday night (yes, I know it's not fair to rate a restaurant that's barely been open a week, but c'mon, it's Marcus). Anyway, the interior of the restaurant-with an 80's hip-hop theme--was impressive and the complementary music was fun, if a bit too loud... But the food was so, so underwhelming I am not sure where to begin. It felt like more effort was put into designing the interior of this place than designing and executing the menu. I really wanted to love it, but alas...

Anyway, just wondering if anyone else has been and what your experience was like?

Apr 14, 2015
brooklynsabra in Manhattan

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

I did not try the pistachio croissant and will give it a whirl on another visit. I do plan on giving this place another shot in spite of my not-so-great experience this time... And Spicy Lanka sounds like it may be worth a try as well.

Apr 14, 2015
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Rudy Merlin Executive Chef of Payard Caesar's Palace Las Vegas Turning out sublime confections in New Age Asian Market on Northern Blvd and 160th Street

I wanted to thank you, Zenfoodist for your passionate recommendation of Rudy Merlin and his baked goods. It has been a long time since a chowhound post has actually compelled me to try a place. Sure, back in the day, enthusiastic posts led me to spots like Di Fara, Tanoreen, Georgian Bread, Russian Ravioli, Srip, Taci's & Cannelle, to name just a few... But in recent years..not so much.

And so it was that I found myself at New Age Supermarket a couple weeks back. It was a Sat. night and they were offering half-price on all their pastries. So keeping in mind that there wasn't a ton to choose from, we got a strawberry tart, a pistachio eclair, a coffee eclair, and a yuzu tart. The eclairs were both a bit on the soggy side by the time we got our hands on them. But I feel like it is still fair to critique the fillings. The coffee one was good, but the pistachio filling was a pretty green--yet totally flavorless. The yuzu filling had a nice citrusy tang, but the crust was soggy. My husband downed the strawberry tart before I had a chance to try it and said he liked it fwiw, but was not blown away.

To be fair, we wound up eating these over the course of a couple days and I don't think they were at their best so I am going to return at some point to try gain.

As an aside, I loved the supermarket and easy parking. I picked up some fantastic Thai basil, among other things.

Apr 13, 2015
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Black Bean Cakes with Fried Eggs and Avocado Crema

Apr 12, 2015
brooklynsabra in Recipes

Kosher for Passover cakes in Brooklyn: any recs?

Another not strictly kosher for passover rec. with potential: robicelli's in bay ridge. while i have never been a big fan of their much-lauded cupcakes, i recently tried their sfingi (apparently for st. joseph's?) and fell in love with that and am now all about exploring their non-cupcake options-so i noticed that they are offering special order passover cakes including a very interesting sounding one: tiramatzoh--a riff on tiramisu--like it sounds. if i weren't going to a strictly kosher seder i would so bring one as a hostesss gift...

http://robicellis.tumblr.com/

Mar 30, 2015
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Reading about JoMart candy

jomart is one of my favorite "pre-hipster brooklyn" spots... but it is a schlep so i don't get there often. as another poster mentioned, the chocolate-covered marshmallows are great--and come in flavors like coffee & maple. am also a fan of the chocolate covered halvah, and other chocolate covered items like orange peel and ginger. the bark is good too--and there is also a baking section if you are into that, plus lots of other treats. (based on my last visit which was quite awhile ago)

i am not sure where you will be coming from, but i think it is best to combine a visit to jomart with other food-centric stops. michael's of brooklyn--an italian restaurant /takeout spot is right next door. i have never eaten there...but once got a wonderful fruit tart from them that i still remember. and if you will have a car, the famed difara pizza is on ave. j. not terribly far. i think also that brennan & carr, famous for its roast beef sandwiches, is not too far--(though i am a rollin' roaster girl myself).

on one of our first visits to jomart, the owner mentioned that he used the same chocolate as jacques torres for whatever it may be worth. jomart's chocolate is indeed good--though i'd say the treats are not as "refined" as j. torres, but definitely worth a trip to try--

Kosher for Passover cakes in Brooklyn: any recs?

i have to agree that strictly kosher for passover that also happens to taste good--in dessert form--sadly, that is a challenge to find--especially with bakeries tending to omit dairy as well to make the cake pareve.

but if you want to switch up the usual ladybird cake which is i am assuming not kosher for passover in the strictest sense but maybe a flourless chocolate cake or something(?) maybe try betty--an admittedly pricey (though so is ladybird) bakery on atlantic ave in boerum hill. though i think you would need to get your oder in today, maybe they would make an exception. here is what they offer:

http://www.bettybakery.com/blog/

good luck and please post if you find someplace good .

Mar 27, 2015
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs

Best St. Joseph's Day pastry (sfingi di San Giuseppe) in NYC?

Like I said, I am a total newbie when it comes to these pastries, and have not been a big fan of the cupcakes from Robicelli's...but really fell in love with the sfingi--they may still have them to try now... (and from what I have been reading about this place, their pies are great too, but I digress)

Mar 25, 2015
brooklynsabra in Outer Boroughs