Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

jaykat's Profile

Title Last Reply

Cocoa substitution

I want to make a Red Velvet cake which calls for natural cocoa powder. I only have Dutch process and it seems that the natural type is not readily available here in Australia.
Since the recipe only requires 2 tablespoons, can I just go ahead and replace the natural cocoa with the Dutch processed? Do I need to adjust the recipe in any way? There is baking soda (1 tsp) in the recipe, as well as buttermilk and vinegar.

Jul 14, 2015
jaykat in Home Cooking

Scaling up cake recipe

I am thinking of making Ottolenghi's Apple Olive Oil cake for Rosh Hashanah next week. The recipe makes one 8 inch (20cm) cake that is split in half and frosted between layers and on top. I want to make this recipe in a 9x13 inch pan, but I think that original recipe would make too thin a cake. Would I double the recipe or make 1.5 times?
Anyone have experience of adapting/scaling such quantities?

Aug 26, 2013
jaykat in Home Cooking

Cocoa nibs - more than just bitter crunch?

I had been intrigued for a while by cocoa nibs so finally bought some raw organic cocoa nibs. I tasted them and was underwhelmed. I roasted them slightly and they still just tasted bitter (and I am a lover of dark chocolate).

So now I have mixed in a few spoonfuls into some cherry/choc chip biscotti. They are baking at the moment.

But please tell me if there is a way to make cocoa nibs taste fabulous and chocolate-y. If they are just for texture and crunch, I could use nuts. All ideas welcome - I have a whole bag of cocoa nibs to get through!

Mar 18, 2012
jaykat in Home Cooking

Loved RGR's LES food tour - now what?

Thanks so much everyone! I think I am going to go with the ideas in this post:

So, Joe's coffee, Patisserie Claude, Murrays Bagels, Union Square Greenmarket, Grom, Keste, then it looks like there many delicious options on Bleecker St.

I think by then we will be pretty full. Any alterations to this itinerary? Dont forget it will be cold in January so we cant venture too far...

Patisserie Claude
187 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

Union Square Greenmarket
Broadway and E 17th St, New York, NY 10003

233 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

Dec 20, 2010
jaykat in Manhattan

Loved RGR's LES food tour - now what?

The kids are not crazy about Chinese food and husband doesnt eat pork or seafood.

Dec 19, 2010
jaykat in Manhattan

Loved RGR's LES food tour - now what?

Thanks - we have also actually done the Slice of Brooklyn Pizza tour, which was great. This time, I have planned a day in Queens, where we will go to the Queens Museum of Art, then walk along Roosevelt Ave and try some of the ehtnic foods, and then head to Museum of Moving Image. I have that day sorted out so now really looking for some more ideas in Manhattan.

Dec 19, 2010
jaykat in Manhattan

Loved RGR's LES food tour - now what?

I am coming to NY for the 3rd time, in January, with husband and kids (9 and 11). Our last 2 visits were both in April so we are expecting the cold. Last time, we had a great time following RGR's LES tour. We tasted, walked, looked, learned and even had time to visit the Tenement Museum. I also used a lot of other recommendations from this board about other places to eat during our stay - and all suggestions were wonderful!

So now I would really like some input about some other self-guided food walk tours we can do, that will be ok for cold weather. Perhaps around Chelsea or Meatpacking districts, or others.
All ideas greatly appreciated!

Dec 19, 2010
jaykat in Manhattan

What is open on Christmas day?

We will be arriving in Washington on the afternoon of 25th December. We will be staying at the Embassy Suites, Convention Centre. I am trying to find somewhere nearby where we can have a casual dinner - we dont need a "christmas" dinner as we dont celebrate Xmas, just a simple, quick, not too expensive meal (for 2 adults, 2 kids).

I looked into Matchbox which is near our hotel and has a great looking menu, but they will be closed that day. Any ideas??

Help me convert this chicken recipe

I have a lovely recipe for Spanish Honey Cumin Roast Chicken with Apricots & Olives (


It uses bone in, skin on thighs and breasts, and I have made it this way. This time I want to double the recipe and bake the chicken in 2 trays: one of just drumsticks and one of bone-in skin-on breasts, halved.

I am confused about timing and temperature. Since the pieces are smaller, I think they will cook faster, but will the drumsticks be done in less time than the halved breasts? Any ideas appreciated.

Mar 18, 2010
jaykat in Home Cooking

Triple Layer Chocolate Macaroon Cake

I came across this recipe and was very interested in it as a potential Passover

Has anyone every made it/seen it/heard of it before? I have searched all over the internet and cant find many reviews. It seems pretty easy, has few ingredients and best of all can be made ahead. I have never made any of Payard's recipes before.

What do you think - should I give it a try?

Mar 15, 2010
jaykat in Home Cooking

What do you make in your rice cooker?

BernalKC - how do you make the couscous? Do you put in cold stock and coucous and then leave it on the "warm" setting? Or do you heat the stock first?

I have also used my rice cooker to make polenta. It worked well, no splatter.

Feb 04, 2010
jaykat in Home Cooking

Lighter (less greasy) homemade granola?

I only ever make this granola:

It has no oil, only applesauce and it is perfectly crunchy and tasty!

Dec 20, 2009
jaykat in Home Cooking

Best and Worst Recipes You Made From a Cooking Blog

I have recently discovered a great food blog called Baking Bites. I have made several of the recipes and they have all come out well. I cant wait to try more!

So far I have made: Lime & raspberry bread, quick and easy cinnamon bun bread, chocolate pancakes, crustless spinach quiche, chocolate yogurt loaf, mixed berry ricotta cakes, applesauce granola (outstanding!!), cocoa fudge cookies, carrot cake, buttermilk lemon bars, chocolate marble cake.

Jun 09, 2009
jaykat in Home Cooking

Help me make this dessert dairy-free

I am planning a Moroccan dinner party for 8. I have organised the menu and chosen a dessert, but some of my guests wont have dairy after having eaten meat (which will be in the main course). So I have chosen a dessert that I am trying to convert into dairy free. It is a Chocolate, Date and Almond Filo Coil (recipe here:


The problematic ingredient is butter. I am wondering that given that I am working with filo (phyllo) pastry, should I substiute margerine (which I never use, for anything) or oil? And if oil, which type?

All ideas appreciated! Thanks!

May 06, 2009
jaykat in Home Cooking

What else is near Dottie's?

We arrive in San Francisco on Wednesday 1st April. After checking into our hotel (Nikko) I thought we would head over for a late brunch/early lunch at Dotties, as it seems so popular on this board. But, I cant see us (me, husband, kids age 7 and 9) waiting in line for hours after flying on a plane for 14 hrs.

So if there is a long line at Dotties, wher else is nearby (walking distance) for a nice, casual, inexpensive lunch for 2 adults, 2 kids? We dont want to go too far from our hotel as we will go back there straight after lunch.

All ideas appreciated!

Mar 03, 2009
jaykat in San Francisco Bay Area

Ideas please for places to eat in these locations

We will be visiting NY for second time in April, with kids age 7 and 9, staying at Doubletree in Times Square. I researched our last trip (April 07) from this board and the suggestions were great - so I'd love some more ideas. Inexpensive preferred, as the Australian dollar is shocking right now.

Sat 4th April: arrive late, need some takeaway near hotel. Perhaps Empanada Mama?
Sun 5th: cant wait do RGR's Food Tour around LES!! But what about afterwards? We will stay on downtown and look around Greenwich Village and surrounding areas. Dinner at Mamoun's or Taim then Dessert Truck if its around. Other options?
Mon 6th: Need dinner ideas near our hotel. We loved walking to 9th Ave and the variety of restaurants there.
Tues 7th: will have lunch in UES, probably Ess-A-Bagel or H&H Bagels. Loved both on last visit. Need dinner idea between Guggenheim museum and our hotel.
Weds 8th: need lunch near Intrepid museum. Very quick dinner needed after Wicked (finishes 5.30) and before baksetball at MSG (starts 7.30).
Thur 8th: lunch near MoMA


Feb 25, 2009
jaykat in Manhattan

Need a new direction for cauliflower

If you are not averse to eating cauliflower raw, here is a delicious salad. cut up some cauliflower into small pieces (smaller than just the florets). Mix with some good quality mayonnaise, some crushed garlic and lemon juice. Season with salt and peper. Enjoy!

Nov 17, 2008
jaykat in Home Cooking

Chocolate Velvet Honey Cake ?

Has anyone made the Chocolate Velvet Honey Cake by Marcy Goldman? It looks interesting so I just wanted to get some feedback before I attempt it. One of the ingredients is Coca Cola (flat), which I cant imagine using as I hate coke. Also it specifies a 9 or 10 inch tube pan for baking in - I dont have any tube pan, so what can I use instead?

Sep 16, 2008
jaykat in Home Cooking

Farmer Cheese - what to do?

Another great Jewish recipe that calls for Farmer Cheese is Blintzes. I dont have my recipe with me, as I'm at work but its from a book by Faye Levy (there are probably others on the internet).

Basically, you make some thin crepes and fill them with a mixture of farmer cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and a little cream cheese or ricotta. You then roll them up and bake them in the oven and serve with a fruit sauce such as blueberry. Delicious!! I will be making them myself on Sunday.

Jun 04, 2008
jaykat in Home Cooking

Uncomplicated Apple Pie

I'm looking for a good recipe for a really simple Apple Pie. I dont want lots of kneading, difficult pastry, blind baking etc. I want a recipe with the type of dough you can just patch together with your fingers if it breaks! Something that wont go too soggy if made in advance. Any ideas?!

Jun 02, 2008
jaykat in Home Cooking

Spectacular Salad needed!

I'm relying on all you great cooks out there for some help. I need a fabulous, spectacular salad for a brunch/early lunch. Having gained a slight reputation as a good cook, I aim to please my guests with something new and exciting each time I entertain. I already have some ideas but need an interesting salad. Nothing with meat/chicken/fish due to dietary restrictions. Something more sophisticated than a pasta salad or potato salad. And preferably something served cold that can be (at least partly) prepared in advance.

May 26, 2008
jaykat in Home Cooking

My failed attempt at matzo meal pancakes

Try this recipe:

Its great. I have made it several times. Sometimes I halve the quantities if I dont want so many pancakes. I have also tried it with milk instead of orange juice and that is good too.

Apr 24, 2008
jaykat in Home Cooking

Zuni Chicken or Chicken Marbela?

Walker - I'm so glad you said that! I made Chicken Marbella recently for the first time and enjoyed it. However, my husband who does not like olives did not like the chicken and said that the taste of olives was too strong in the dish. I am keen to try it again with no olives (well perhaps just a few......)

Has anyone else made it without olives? What did you use instead?

Apr 22, 2008
jaykat in Home Cooking

Matzah Toppings

Ricotta cheese topped with apricot jam. Nice and moist. Great with coffee for breakfast.

Apr 22, 2008
jaykat in Home Cooking

Anyone else starting to do some Passover planning?

We are not kosher at all, but do try to keep to the restrictions of Passover. After reading posts on this board and searching the internet extensivley for new and exciting recipes, I have finally come up with my menu:

Smoked salmon mousse (from epicurious, never tried)
Halibut/Salmon Geflite Fish (ditto)
Chicken soup (guest making) with matza balls (packet mix, I'm afraid..)

Whole poached Salmon (with perhaps a dill/mustard sauce, dont have a recipe yet)
Chicken Thighs in a Lime Honey marinade
Potato Kugel (still not sure whether to go with old recipe or try a new one)
Salad (someone bringing)
Need another vegetable dish - any ideas?!?

Chocolate Olive Oil Mousse (from 2007 NY times, my own addition of nut brittle on top)
Orange Almond flan (also NY times, surrounded by caramelised baked orange slices)
Coconut macaroons
Fruit platter (someone bringing)

I'm keeping fingers crossed that all the new untried recipes turn out ok and that most of it can be made in advance!

Apr 16, 2008
jaykat in Home Cooking

Crunchy! Chunky! Nutty!

As usual when planning a menu (in this case, passover) I start with dessert. I have 2 desserts so far, both of which are smooth and creamy: chocolate olive oil mousse and orange-almond flan.

Now I want something to contrast - something with a lot of *crunch*. What I don't want is one of those flourless cakes using ground almonds as I dont think that will be quite crunchy enough. I am thinking more along the lines of panforte, or this "Chocolate Walnut and Prune Fudge Torte" that I found on the Epicurious site:

It doesnt have to be chocolate, but does need to conform to passover guidelines, ie no flour etc. We are not kosher otherwise so dont mind using butter, etc.


Apr 06, 2008
jaykat in Home Cooking

Can I freeze pomegranate juice and re-use it?

I needed 1 cup of pomegranate juice for a recipe. The smallest bottle I could find was 1 litre. So I now have some juice left over. I havent cooked the recipe yet (using it to marinate a chicken, with some honey, spices, garlic a la Paula Wolfert) so I dont know if I will make it again and need more pomegranate juice. In any case, I wont be needing the juice for a while. Can I freeze the juice, then defrost and use again as a marinade? Its a shame to waste the juice and then have to go out and buy another litre!

Apr 03, 2008
jaykat in Home Cooking

Passover dessert feedback

Or how about, instead of the custard layer you use lemon curd. This is just a mixture of lemon juice, zest, sugar, egg yolks and butter (so sub margarine). It is simple to make and soooo tasty. In that case, I would use less sugar in the cake as the lemon curd tends to be very sweet. It would also pair really nicely with the raspberries.

Apr 03, 2008
jaykat in Home Cooking

Good make-ahead chicken recipe for Passover?

I am having the exact same dilemma (and have posted recently also on this topic). After reading the suggestions (thanks all!) I tried the Chicken Marbella. It was great for making ahead of time. However, although I thought it tasted great (and so did a few other tasters) my husband did not like it. He does not like olives and thought it tasted too much of olives. I was not pleased - I thought I had finally come up with a great idea.

So its back to the drawing board for me. I am currently thinking about making Chicken Thighs with Lime & Honey ( This recipe has instructions on maing ahead of time. It can be left to marinate all day and then cooked on the night. I like the fact that it uses bonless thighs, as I find them easier to eat. I did try this recipe a while ago and while tasty and simple to make, I dont know if it has enough Wow! factor for a special celebratory dish.

I am eager to hear other posters ideas and opinions.

Apr 02, 2008
jaykat in Home Cooking

What is French dressing??

I recently asked for suggestions for a chicken dish - see

One of the suggestions was a cranberry french chicken, which used a "bottle of french dressing". In Australia, french dressing is basically oil and vinegar, maybe a little garlic. So please tell me - what is in the US version bottle of french dressing?

I want to try this dish for dinner tonight so please help me out!!!

Apr 01, 2008
jaykat in Home Cooking