Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Athena

The Baking Topic

Recommended Posts

@Blixie I made that cake as my birthday cake this year! I didn't split the layers (so it was two rather than four) and halved the frosting, and it was still a little much. In the best possible way, though.

Share this post


Link to post

It depends on the type of recipe. Things like cobblers can easilyntake a huge reduction in sugar. Items like cakes depend on sugar for its structure.  Breads can take less. So, can you post what you are baking?

Edited by ethalfrida
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

It depends on the type of recipe. Things like cobblers can easilyntake a huge reduction in sugar. Items like cakes depend on sugar for its structure.  Breads can take less. So, can you post what you are baking?

 

I'd love to make banana, bluberry, cranberry or apple bread without ANY sugar (depending ONLY on the fruit for sweetening).  Is this possible?  What about reduced sugar brownies or cakes?  How much reduction can those take?  I know that less sugar IS possible, since European cakes are less sweet.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I'd love to make banana, bluberry, cranberry or apple bread without ANY sugar (depending ONLY on the fruit for sweetening).  Is this possible?  What about reduced sugar brownies or cakes?  How much reduction can those take?  I know that less sugar IS possible, since European cakes are less sweet.

This hilarious... I googled for some information and found the post below. Funny thing, I did exactly what you are going to do and found a post I'd done at Chowhound! I am pearlyvictoria. http://www.chowhound.com/post/reduce-sugar-baking-recipe-wrecking-entire-dish-savoury-834832

Edited by ethalfrida
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I have what is probably a really stupid question, but I'm new this baking thing and still learning. I'm making a pecan pie for the first time and making the pie crust from scratch, too. My question is, do I bake the crust first (i.e., before I fill it with the pie batter and bake that)? 

Share this post


Link to post

I have what is probably a really stupid question, but I'm new this baking thing and still learning. I'm making a pecan pie for the first time and making the pie crust from scratch, too. My question is, do I bake the crust first (i.e., before I fill it with the pie batter and bake that)? 

 

This depends on the recipe/filling. Generally, it's always safer to pre-bake then not pre-bake. I won't do it for fruit pies, but for most other things, a light baking of the crust doesn't hurt.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I have what is probably a really stupid question, but I'm new this baking thing and still learning. I'm making a pecan pie for the first time and making the pie crust from scratch, too. My question is, do I bake the crust first (i.e., before I fill it with the pie batter and bake that)?

Pre bake it. With a very wet filling like pecan it will help to make sure the crust is completely baked through and doesn't get soggy. Same for pumpkin and any kind of pie with a custard filling. The only pies I don't always pre-bake are fruit pies with a top and bottom crust but even then often do if the fruit is really juicy.

If you pre-bake, keep an eye on the crust at the rim of the pie plate. It may start to get too dark towards the end of the baking time. Just cover the crust only with aluminum foil - I make a ring out of foil to fit over the crust. Make the foil ring before you put the pie in the oven so you have it at the ready. I learned that the hard way!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

MargeGunderson, does "pre-bake" mean baking it all the way or just baking it a little and then it gets finished off when it's baking "for real" with the filling?

Share this post


Link to post

MargeGunderson, does "pre-bake" mean baking it all the way or just baking it a little and then it gets finished off when it's baking "for real" with the filling?

Baking it so it's partially done, light golden brown. It's also called blind baking a pie shell. For more (and better) instructions, go to www.seriouseats.com, and search "blind bake." The first result should be "How to blind-bake a pie crust." I'm going to being blind-baking my pumpkin pie crust Thursday morning. Good luck with yours!

Edited by MargeGunderson
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

When pre-baking the pie crust, should she weigh it down with something so the bottom doesn't bubble?

Yes! Place a piece of parchment paper (not waxed) on the unbaked crust, then fill with pie weights (if you have them) or dried beans to cover the bottom and bit up the sides. You can't use the beans for eating after you have baked them but you can re-use them for more pie crusts.

Definitely go to the seriouseats.com website because I may have forgotten other details.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I never use pie weights, I just dock it (prick all over with a fork) and let it set for a while so the crust settles into the pan before baking. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I'm intrigued by this pre-baking thing. I only ever make cookie or crumb crusts, but my mom's "regular" crusts are to die for, and she always just goes ahead and fills them and then bakes. Pumpkin*, fruit, what have you. (She does fully bake one if she's making pie and has extra crust, stores it, and then later fills with homemade pudding. YUM!)

 

So I guess I'm wondering - would her amazing crusts be even better with pre-baking? Hm.

 

*My mom hasn't actually made a pumpkin pie in years. They're sweet potato or more commonly, winter squash. I remember on Oprah years ago when she was saying they were so poor they used sweet potato because they couldn't afford pumpkin, and I thought, "we didn't even have sweet potatoes!" But the reality is my mom always grew tons of squash, so that's what she used. <3

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Today's Mom's birthday and she requested a sugar free pecan pie (I think I've posted the recipe). I wanted to make it festive, so I bought a set of the candles on picks that spell out "Happy Birthday." Then I started looking in both the party and baking sections of Walmart, and found a set of edible flower-shaped cake decorations that are GMO-, gluten- and sugar-free. A dozen flowers were around $4 and while they have no flavor, they were pretty -- I put one on each slice of pie, as well as on my cheesecake (I'm allergic to pecans). Here's the source, they are located in Plano, Texas:   http://www.valeriebordeaux.com/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I prefer to bake from scratch, but I don't have time this week, so I have a Chocolate Peppermint Poke Cake in the fridge that I'm taking to a work holiday luncheon today.  I've made it once before, so I hope that this one turns out okay.  It's easy to make and the peppermint aspect is tasty, but not overwhelming. (A couple of the reviews said that the frosting ran into the pudding layer and make the cake ugly, but I didn't have that problem.  I think letting it sit overnight in the fridge to let the pudding set well and using the frosting specified in the recipe (whipped type) helped, since the frosting wasn't heavy and covered the pudding without 'mixing').

 

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/chocolate-peppermint-poke-cake/b7997924-28e4-486f-8266-11e5e6e6c4cf

Edited by BooksRule

Share this post


Link to post

Yesterday I finally had a chance to fire up my new cookie press (got the Wilton ultra pro ll, thanks for the advice) and made traditional spritz cookies. I made one batch of dough and didn't think it looked like much, so I doubled it. Oops! I now have twenty dozen (251 to be exact) tiny trees and ornaments! I think I shall be running around the neighborhood tonight leaving cookies on doorsteps. Kind of like zucchini in summer.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post

Yesterday I finally had a chance to fire up my new cookie press (got the Wilton ultra pro ll, thanks for the advice) and made traditional spritz cookies. I made one batch of dough and didn't think it looked like much, so I doubled it. Oops! I now have twenty dozen (251 to be exact) tiny trees and ornaments! I think I shall be running around the neighborhood tonight leaving cookies on doorsteps. Kind of like zucchini in summer.

 

That is so funny! I ordered that same cookie press from Amazon as soon as I read about it here, and, sadly, it is still sitting in my closet along with my Spiralizer and Salad Shooter; all still in their boxes, unopened. What is wrong with me?! You may have just inspired me Mittengirl. I may have to get that cookie press out and overwhelm the neighbors.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Kicks, if you do get around to making spritz cookies and decide to use the recipe in the box, add a little more flavoring because as written I thought they were a little bland. I add an extra teaspoon of vanilla to a double batch, plus a dash of cinnamon. They are nicely flavored but by no means overwhelmingly so. I might even add a little more vanilla next time.

I also read spritz cookie recipes that use a box of jell-o for flavor. That intrigues me and will probably be my next project. Has anyone made them?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I also read spritz cookie recipes that use a box of jell-o for flavor. That intrigues me and will probably be my next project. Has anyone made them?

 

I made it once a few years ago, and it was awful.  But maybe your recipe will be better.  The one I used was enough to put me off of the idea.  

 

I wish I could find the simple spritz cookie recipe I used for so many years.  I only made them at Christmas, so I didn't make them enough to memorize the recipe, but I've lost it and I can't find a good replacement.  <sigh>

Share this post


Link to post

What was wrong with the jello cookies? Texture, flavor...? Enquiring mind set want to know. : )

It has been a long time since I made them, but I remember the recipe we used to use when I was a kid was better than the Wilton-supplied one, but maybe it is just nostalgia. I looked in my mom's recipe box and she didn't have her old recipe anymore, which I have a hunch came with her ancient Mirro press. I know we wouldn't have used almond extract, because no one in my family likes it. I can't imagine any other major difference in flavoring. Maybe my food coloring had gone funky, it was a few years past its "best by" date.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't remember what I didn't like about the jello cookies.  I just didn't like them.  Neither did the dog, and she had an excellent spritz cookie palate.  The kids ate them, though.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I did spritz yesterday! I used a chocolate recipe from Hersheys.com. Made some wreaths and put candied cherries in the middle. Going to give them out to neighbors today!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I made up a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough last night because my 4th grader insisted that we fresh bake the cookies for Santa tonight. She's not so much with the understanding of why Christmas Eve might a difficult night for us whip up a bunch of cookies, but with the dough just waiting for us, I think this will go fine. I even got a set of ice cream scoops for my secret santa exchange, so we can try that out tonight.

Share this post


Link to post

I made a sour cream pound cake earlier today.  It's for the family tomorrow, but I had to try a piece (of course).  Just to make sure that it turned out okay.  I have to say that it is one of the better ones I've made.  It has the denseness of pound cake, but is still has a very tender crumb.  And, you can't beat the slightly almond-tasting flavor. You don't really taste the sour cream, either.  I think it just gives it richness without a strong 'tang'. It's really a fool proof recipe, as long as you cream the butter and sugar well and bake it for a long enough time. (And use a big enough tube pan.  It makes a nice tall cake.)

Edited by BooksRule

Share this post


Link to post

Yesterday I finally had a chance to fire up my new cookie press (got the Wilton ultra pro ll, thanks for the advice) and made traditional spritz cookies. I made one batch of dough and didn't think it looked like much, so I doubled it. Oops! I now have twenty dozen (251 to be exact) tiny trees and ornaments! I think I shall be running around the neighborhood tonight leaving cookies on doorsteps. Kind of like zucchini in summer.

Every summer my neighbors have to tell me no more zucchini, tomatoes or cucumbers.

I've never made cookies with the gun/press. Does it have to be a special kind of dough or does any dough work?

Share this post


Link to post

Spritz cookie dough can't be too soft, or the shape won't hold, and it can't have large pieces of "stuff" like nuts or chips in the dough, because they'll get stuck. It's best to use a recipe written specifically for spritz cookies, and follow it closely.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Spritz dough shouldn't have any leavening (and there are recipes that use only the egg yolk) because the rising of the dough will distort the shape of the cookies.
 
Here's a basic spritz recipe from the Williams-Sonoma website:

Vanilla Spritz Cookies
    Ingredients:
    16 Tbs. (2 sticks) (8 oz./250 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 cup (250 g) sugar
    1 egg
    2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp. salt
    2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 oz./390 g) all-purpose flour
    Colored sugars or icing for decorating
    Directions:
    Position oven racks in the upper and lowers thirds of an oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C).
    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, vanilla and salt and continue beating until well mixed. Add the flour and beat on low until just blended, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. ...

    Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen

Feel free to add other spices and flavorings. This made about 9 dozen for me.

Share this post


Link to post

Every summer my neighbors have to tell me no more zucchini, tomatoes or cucumbers.

 

My mom heard someone on the radio talking one day about how, in their small, idyllic little town, no one ever locks their doors. Except in the summer, when everyone locks their cars when they go into town, or else they'll come back and find the back seat filled up with zucchini.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

I got the urge to bake today.  So, I made two kinds of muffins to take to work tomorrow (first day back after the Christmas holidays). One is an Almond Crumb Cake and the other Strawberry.  They're nothing special, but the strawberry one seems slightly tastier to me because of the bits of fruit throughout.  The almond one needed more almond flavoring in the muffin part, although the muffin 'top' is good (it has a crumb topping of chopped almonds--which got crispy in the oven, butter and brown sugar).  

Edited by BooksRule
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

My New Year's Resolution this year is a fun one: At least once a month, I have to cook or bake something I've never done before. So yesterday I made macarons. Specifically these guys, flavored with Ovaltine. They are kinda chewy and they squeezed out around the edges a lot, but they taste great and I'm declaring them 'pretty damn good for a first try.'

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

That's great, Tabbyclaw.  I resolved years ago to try a new recipe every week and for the most part I've stuck to it.  I'll never get through all the ideas I've pulled out of magazines or downloaded or found in my cookbooks but it's still fun.  The only downside is that because I'm always on to something new, I seldom master one particular thing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Cedar fever is bugging me again today (it comes and goes, so at least I get energetic days in between), so for lunch, I made a grilled cheese sandwich, using smoked Gouda, a few slices of Granny Smith apple, and potato bread. I had apple left over, so for my family's dessert (they all had fried chicken for lunch, which didn't appeal to me), I made this:

 

I unrolled a can of reduced-fat crescent dough on a cookie sheet (covered in foil and spritzed with canola oil), and pinched the seams together to fill in gaps. I diced the rest of the apple and sprinkled it over the dough, then added some blobbies of Jif salted caramel peanut butter spread. I gave it a good sprinkling of cinnamon and chopped a big handful of roasted peanuts and tossed them on there. Baked at 350° for 20 minutes, and topped each slice with a dollop of vanilla whipped cream. Yum.

 

It would be easy to substitute homemade versions of the convenience ingredients to make it healthier. As quick desserts go, though, it was diabetic friendly and made 8 slices -- enough for the four of us to have another serving tomorrow.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Has anyone ever made a yogurt cake? The Food Section of my local paper featured a recipe for a yogurt cake - the author said they are popular in France. You make it in a loaf pan. This one had clementine zest in the cake, and clementine slices on the top. It sounded so easy. I never make cake anymore, but seemed like something that would be nice if I needed to take a dessert to a function. I don't know why I'm leery of trying a recipe in a newspaper - can't be any worse than a recipe from the internet, right?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Has anyone ever made a yogurt cake?

 

Not from scratch, but I made this one last week and it turned out really good.  It didn't have that 'boxed' taste at all.  I did add a teaspoon of lemon extract (I would have added fresh lemon juice if I had any) and it was one of the tenderest cakes I've made.  I sprinkled sugar over the top and got good reviews from co-workers.  I like my lemon desserts a little more 'lemon-y' and tart, but this one had a mild lemon flavor (even with the added extract) and is a good one for people who don't like a strong lemon taste.

 

http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/three-ingredient-lemon-loaf/c9b25edf-afc8-4476-b840-0623b345a31e

Share this post


Link to post

Has anyone ever made a yogurt cake? ... I don't know why I'm leery of trying a recipe in a newspaper - can't be any worse than a recipe from the internet, right?

If you make it, please let us know how it turned out.  If it's good, can you post the recipe?

Share this post


Link to post

Has anyone ever made a yogurt cake? The Food Section of my local paper featured a recipe for a yogurt cake - the author said they are popular in France. You make it in a loaf pan. This one had clementine zest in the cake, and clementine slices on the top. It sounded so easy. I never make cake anymore, but seemed like something that would be nice if I needed to take a dessert to a function. I don't know why I'm leery of trying a recipe in a newspaper - can't be any worse than a recipe from the internet, right?

I've made this one successfully: http://www.sugardishme.com/lemon-yogurt-pound-cake/

I haven't tried the one in the Washington Post (I'm guessing that's the recipe you're referring to), but don't fear newspaper recipes. I can count on one hand the number I've had go wrong, and I've been baking since I was 12. Many of those recipes came from the pages of the New York Daily News.

Share this post


Link to post

Has anyone ever made a yogurt cake? The Food Section of my local paper featured a recipe for a yogurt cake - the author said they are popular in France. You make it in a loaf pan. This one had clementine zest in the cake, and clementine slices on the top. It sounded so easy. I never make cake anymore, but seemed like something that would be nice if I needed to take a dessert to a function. I don't know why I'm leery of trying a recipe in a newspaper - can't be any worse than a recipe from the internet, right?

 

Pamela Druckerman's memoirs about raising children in France has a recipe for this book. The yogurt cake is often the first recipe children learn to bake. An adapted version can be found here.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for all the replies on the yogurt cake. I'm definitely going to try it, even though we don't eat much in the way of sweets. I've learned to try new recipes before making them to take somewhere, and this looked like a recipe that would be good for that.

 

The recipe was in the Annapolis Capital Gazette, and I'm not seeing they have it listed on their free on-line content. Since we get the paper delivered, we're entitled to free digital content, but I've not signed into that yet. The byline is by Dorie Greenspan of The Washington Post, Aha - going straight to the source (the Annapolis Gazette gets a lot of content from WaPo, understandably), here it is.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/how-to-make-the-simple-cake-thats-a-household-standard-in-france/2016/01/07/5a9aff84-b2ec-11e5-a842-0feb51d1d124_story.html

Share this post


Link to post

With only 1/2 cup of yogurt, I bet even I would like that (I hate yogurt - yes, even Greek).  Looking forward to your report.  I don't eat a lot of sweets, so I don't bake a lot of sweets; I'm thus always keeping half an eye out for easy dessert recipes to make for guests.

Share this post


Link to post

I've never made a yogurt cake, but the photos look similar in texture to sour cream pound cake, which I love. I make my grandmother's buttermilk pound cake, which is a bit more dense, and I make it in a Bundt pan (or a few mini Bundt pans).

Share this post


Link to post

I made the yogurt cake this afternoon. First, it is absolutely delicious. Very moist and flavorful. I used a glass loaf pan, because it was the correct size - my metal loaf pan is 9" x 5". I baked it in my Breville Smart Oven on convection mode, and by the time the middle was set, the edges were a tad too brown. I didn't make it in my big ass Jenn-Air oven because it uses the propane we use to heat the house and our hot water. (There is too much snow on the ground to bother digging out the gauge to make sure we had plenty of propane). I also took to heart the instructions to use finely ground sea salt. I have sea salt in my salt grinder, but even on it's finest grind I still had some larger chunks of salt, so I put it in a mortar and pestle and ground it finely. I sincerely doubt that 1/4 tsp. of finely ground sea salt made a difference, but I did it anyway.

 

Next time I make it I'll use the big oven. Definitely a keeper.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I had a recipe for Brownies with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting that I've been wanting to make for a while.  I did make the brownies a couple of weeks ago, but they came out too thin for my taste (even though I used the proper sized pan)--so I didn't bother to frost them.  So today (because I had the ingredients for the frosting still on hand), I baked a devil's food sheet cake and frosted it.  The cake is good, but nothing special (box mix), but the raspberry cream cheese frosting is really, really good!  It's sweet, but still has that tang of the cream cheese (and the slight tartness of the raspberry, even though I used preserves).  It's just one 8 oz block of cream cheese, 1/2 c. powdered sugar and 1/2 c. of raspberry preserves.   I used preserves with seeds, but you could certainly use the seedless kind if you don't want the seeds.

Edited by BooksRule
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size