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Stateside Bakery coming to Berkeley Nov 2014

I have tried a couple of items there. They are mostly as the previous poster stated - upscale handmade renditions of childhood processed favorites. The nutter butters were crumbly, but very good. The homemade oreos were tasty, similar to the ones from Homeroom. I also tried the nutella filled chocolate chip cookie with salt - it was good and chewy, but the nutella flavor didn't come through as strongly as I would have liked.

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

This weekend I made Payard's flourless chocolate chewy cookies, with pecans and additional Scharffenberger chocolate chunks. They were delicious, but many of them had trouble coming off the parchment or silpat and broke apart. I think I underbaked them a bit. These cookies are strange in that even children who detest nuts gobble them up!

I also made a savory galettes, filled with caramelized onions and roasted butternut squash - one with feta and one that was vegan - with a new to me dough. Instead of a savory short dough, I made a yeasted olive oil dough, as one of my guests was dairy free. The dough was very easy to work with and quite tasty. I didn't realize how much it would puff up in the oven, though, and it felt like there was more bread than filling! Next time I will make sure there is both more filling and less dough folded over.

Gluten free tea party ideas

I think tea parties call for scones. I've made great gluten free scones a number of times, starting with the Pamela's biscuit / scone mix and adding in one or more of the following: currants, lemon zest, orange zest, chocolate chunks, cinnamon, etc.

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

It's a nice combination. There are several bakeries in the Bay Area that do some sort of pumpkin muffin or cakelette with chocolate chips, and I was riffing on that.

The cake turned out good but not amazing. It was a tiny bit underdone.

Jan 19, 2015
milklady in Home Cooking

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

Last night I made a vegan pumpkin cake with almond milk - based chocolate ganache as a glaze. The batter had a lot of vinegar in it, and I hope it tastes out good! It was a bundt cake and unmolded perfectly, so I'm hopeful. I'm not that good at vegan baking...

Jan 16, 2015
milklady in Home Cooking

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

I made the lemon cream tart from the Tartine Cookbook this weekend. Sweet tart dough, filled with lemon cream made by cooking together lemon juice, eggs and sugar and then blending that mixture with butter, topped with whipped cream. It was messy to cut (it wasn't quite cold enough, and I ended up making it in a bigger and shallower tart pan than ideal), but so delicious. I thought only adults would like it, but the kids devoured it as well.

Jan 12, 2015
milklady in Home Cooking

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

This weekend I made two batches of brown butter blondies - one with hazelnuts and one with no nuts. I also made Alice Medrich's lemon bars, with her modifications for meyer lemons. All were a big hit. The blondies were great the next day, but the lemon bars were really best the first day - the crust was so crisp and buttery and the topping was gooey. The second day the whole things were kind of mushy.

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

I didn't bake much more this week - I just finished the chocolate cake with whipped white chocolate peppermint ganache by frosting it with neoclassic buttercream and decorating it. I did, however, serve the hundreds of desserts I'd made and frozen over the past month. They were all a big hit - besides the giant cake, which was demolished, the 800+ cookies were eaten (I think there were a dozen snickerdoodles and a few chewy chocolate gingerbreads left at the end). I wish I had a photo of the displays of cookies...

Menu suggestion for macaroni and cheese main dish

Quick update:

This dinner happened and was very successful.

I never figured out a way to make small fish cakes or something similar that a) had no gluten and b) could withstand the cooking technique needed (fully cooked by 4:30 pm, served at 6:30 pm without turning up the oven from warm).

I made 8 recipes of Martha Stewart's macaroni and cheese. I think that 7 would have been enough. The guests absolutely loved it.

I ended up serving lentil salad - with chickpeas, zaatar, roasted peppers, carrots and herbs. I made way more than was needed, but guests seem to like it. There were raves about the raw kale salad. The roasted veggies ended up being butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. There were a few pieces of broccoli left over, but the rest of the veggies went quite quickly.

Instead of pear cake, I made red velvet and lemon cake in rose shaped bundt pans for dessert, which was served with ice cream. I wish I had a photo of the cakes!

There was one guest who hated the menu, and was given a can of tuna. Everyone else seemed thrilled!

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

I made an anniversary cake for an amazing couple celebrating 50 years of marriage! It was a simple chocolate layer cake, filled with whipped chocolate ganache and frosted with neoclassic buttercream. Decorations are fondant and gumpaste.

I also made the base of next weekend's big event cake. It is a full sheet cake, three layers of chocolate cake, filled with whipped white chocolate peppermint ganache. I wish I took photos in progress, but will certainly post the completed creation next week.

Taco Grill --> Obelisco Restaurant (Oakland)

Last week on a rainy day they had a special vegetarian soup special - garbanzo bean and vegetable. I had never seen a vegetarian (stock included) soup there before, and I was thrilled to try it. It was just wonderful - chile in the broth, garbanzo beans, etc. There were a few bites that were reminiscent of canned vegetable soup, due to small pieces of green beans and carrot, but it was great overall. Served with rice, tortillas and chopped onions and herbs and an agua fresca. I hope it will come back! I wish there was an easy way of knowing the days special without walking over (or calling), because I would certainly make a special trip for that soup.

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

They tasted fine but were dry and just not right. I let the kindergarteners frost those in either black or white frosting and let them eat as many as they wanted / share them with their siblings. I didn't want them for my event, but they were certainly edible.

Dec 08, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

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

I love it!

Dec 08, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

Please give your recommended recipes that use unsweetened chocolate - thank you!

Alice Medrich's Italian Chocolate Almond torte uses unsweetened chocolate, is naturally gluten free and it just divine.

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

Dec 08, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

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

Thank you! I actually don't love RVC either, though this one is quite good. It is worth noting that I used 45% of the red food coloring she suggests and it was PLENTY.

I used exactly one recipe for the bundt cake to fill the 6 bundtlet pan.

Next I am planning to make lemon cakes in the same pans. I think it will look pretty with red and yellow large and small rose cakes spread out on the buffet for service.

Dec 08, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

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

I made another set of red velvet cakes with raspberry glaze from The Baking Bible. This time I managed a photo. They are tucked away in the freezer now.

I also made mini black and white cookies. I used the Smitten Kitchen recipe. I was baking with kindergarteners, so I had diligently set out all the ingredients, and supervised them when they were measuring. However, I neglected to take out the milk (I didn't want it out of the refrigerator too long), and so I didn't add it to the batter. I thought the batter was quite thick, but went ahead and made the cookies. The first 30 were like little half golf balls, nothing like how black and whites are supposed to spread as little cakes! I added milk to the remaining batter and voila - they were as expected.

It indeed took a couple of hours (Smitten Kitchen has a warning about this) to frost 150 small cookies, but it was worth it. My daughter tried one and really liked it. I only tasted the frosting, which was definitely authentic. These cookies are also frozen now.

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

I make them smaller too! Good call.

Dec 08, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

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

I use the Martha Stewart one. I have made it dozens and dozens of times - it is a very well loved cookie in my house and friends often request it. It is ideal with chopped dark chocolate (I usually use Scharffenberger), but for this big event I just used chocolate chips - not as dreamy, but still very good.

Dec 01, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

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

Lots of baking this past weekend - none of it was for Thanksgiving, shockingly! Again I forgot to take photos...

Red velvet rose - from the back photo of RLB's Baking Bible. It's a moist red velvet cake, baked in a rose shaped bundt pan and covered with a raspberry glaze. We made a full size one and then 6 small ones (we have a 6 double cupcake size rose pan). They were all delicious, but ended up tasting more raspberry-ish than red velvety. I will be baking may more (in pink and purple too) for an upcoming event.

I also made more headway in my project to bake and freeze 1000 cookies for said event - I think we completed 17 dozen snickerdoodles and 10 dozen chewy chocolate gingerbread cookies.

Lastly, I made a gluten and dairy free chocolate cake (from a mix, I will admit) and frosted it with almond milk-based chocolate ganache. That also went into the freezer.

Dec 01, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking
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What are you baking these days? November 2014 edition (part two)! [old]

There are several brands. Most have honey as an ingredient, but are otherwise vegan.

Dec 01, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

Roast vegetables .. the night before

That will be fine too - they will get back up to room temp in the car. We regularly make roasted vegetables and eat them at room temp the following day.

Nov 26, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

Roast vegetables .. the night before

I roast vegetables the day before sometimes. They won't be quite as crisp, but they will still be very good when re-warmed. They would get a little bit limp during a long car ride anyway. I would go ahead and do it tonight and try to get a few minutes of oven time before serving tomorrow.

Nov 26, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking
1

Thanksgiving with Ottolenghi sides?

I agree. I loved the dish, but only used about a third of the tahini sauce that the recipe made.

Nov 24, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving with Ottolenghi sides?

I am planning to make the basmati and wild rice with spiced chickpeas and currants from Jerusalem. I am thinking about switching the proportions, so there is more wild rice instead of more basmati. Somehow wild rice with dried fruit feels very Thanksgiving-y to me, and this recipe is fantastic.

Nov 19, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? November 2014 edition (part two)! [old]

Yes, I always use vegan marshmallows. I use Dandies brand http://chicagoveganfoods.com/products...
The kosher ones usually have fish gelatin in them.

Nov 18, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking
1

Football Saturday, breakast/brunch...near Berkeley but out of heavy traffic? Must be Veggie Friendly

What about 900 Grayson?

What are you baking these days? November 2014 edition (part two)! [old]

This weekend I made a vegan gluten free smores pie (well, the graham crackers had honey in them, but the vegan at the table makes an exception for honey. I was winging the gluten free graham cracker / margarine crust, and it ended up slumping and never really baking together as much as I'd like. Then I nearly set my house on fire when I tried to broil the pie momentarily to toast the marshmallows! Luckily, my husband was home and willing to pull the flaming pie out of the oven. I ended up removing the really burnt top layer, and despite the bits of burnt marshmallow on top, it tasted really good and campfire-y.

I also made about 80 oatmeal raisin and 160 chocolate chip cookies that went into the freezer. The first 20 dozen of the 70-80 dozen cookies I hope to bake (along with a number of cakes) for my daughter's upcoming event.

Nov 17, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

Frosting a frozen cake?

I think it will work well. I think you can frost it still frozen. There might be a bit of condensation on the outside - I would try to mop that up before finishing the final decoration.

Nov 12, 2014
milklady in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? November 2014 edition (part one)! [old]

This weekend I made babka / krantz cake. I used the Smitten Kitchen recipe for the krantz cake from the Ottelenghi Jerusalem cookbook. It was fairly easy to make (as long as you plan ahead) and was very chewy and moist. I think I would add more chocolate next time.

I had previously made the Smitten Kitchen / Martha Stewart babka, which took even more time and had a shocking amount of butter of chocolate, and I liked it, but I didn't love it, as it ended up pretty hard.

The weekend before I made birthday treats for the nine year old in my family - an ice cream cake for his party, using chocolate cake, store-bought pumpkin, coffee and chocolate ice creams and whipped cream frosting, plus all-butter snickerdoodles for his classmates. The snickerdoodles were much more appreciated than I expected - usually school age kids prefer chocolate. Many of them had never had a snickerdoodle before and absolutely loved them, even asking for the recipe.

Custom Cake for wife's "40"...

Yes, they write on cakes, but I would not consider that custom decorating. OP had a picture of a very fancy and high level technique cake in his post, so I was assuming he was interested in more than a message on a cake.