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The Baking Topic

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Quick bread and muffin batter is the same texture, I often use a recipe for one and make it in the shape of the other.  The bread, of course, will take longer to bake but otherwise it's the same.

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I just baked a Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake (it's from an old Cook's Country episode).  It was probably the best lemon cake recipe I've ever found.  It was delicious, and I'm going to have to careful not eat half of it before I take it to work tomorrow.  It's definitely lemony, but the buttermilk helps cut that a little.  It's also got a sugar-lemon zest mixture sprinkled over the glaze on top, which adds more lemon flavor.  Yum!

http://www.wgbh.org/fck/userfiles/file/Labor%20Day/CC_LemonCake.pdf

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31 minutes ago, BooksRule said:

I just baked a Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake (it's from an old Cook's Country episode).  It was probably the best lemon cake recipe I've ever found.  It was delicious, and I'm going to have to careful not eat half of it before I take it to work tomorrow.  It's definitely lemony, but the buttermilk helps cut that a little.  It's also got a sugar-lemon zest mixture sprinkled over the glaze on top, which adds more lemon flavor.  Yum!

http://www.wgbh.org/fck/userfiles/file/Labor%20Day/CC_LemonCake.pdf

Thank you for sharing this recipe. It sounds delicious and I can't wait to make it. All my fave ingredients!

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I guess the Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake was a success at work.  When I went to the staff lounge at the end of the day, there was one little piece left in the corner (which I brought home to have later).  

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I saw this recipe today for Pear and Dark Chocolate Crumble and I thought I would try to make it.  Not much of a baker, so bear with me...

I've never cooked with pears before - at what stage in the ripening process is it best to bake them?  Still firm?  Just ripe?  Really ripe?

And does the variety of pear make a difference? 

I figure Granny Smith apples are on the firm/crisp side raw, but I am not sure how they bake up.

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No idea about pears, but I always use Granny Smith apples for my fresh apple cake. Most things I see recommend using them for baking and not eating fresh, but I prefer them for everything.

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Pears are often ripe and juicy even when they appear to not be. So green colored pears will cook up well but just be little firmer. I have a recipe for pear cobbler that calls for very ripe pears. So I let them turn yellowish and they still cooked up firm and not mushy. You just have to bite into one to know. 

 

Use this chart to determine what you want your results to be:

http://usapears.org/pear-varieties/

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Well, my gingerbread Love Nest took way, waaaayyy longer to assemble than I anticipated. (I got delayed/distracted for a few... months.) I figured I'd share, now that I've finally completed the thing. You'll notice I didn't photograph the two sides where the icing had completely broken off the surface after the second collapse:

LoveNest-2.jpg

LoveNest-1.jpg

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I'm not much of a baker...can do the basics (but nothing like that adorable gingerbread Love Nest--that takes talent!).  Yesterday, despite the horrendous heat here on the East Coast, I decided to bake Valerie Bertinelli's Blueberry Tart.  I must say--it's delicious.  Even my husband liked it (and he prefers chocolate anything).  You can slightly taste the lemon zest in it and the cinnamon, and the crust is a yummy shortbread.

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I know there's a stigma attached to non-professionals hosting cooking shows but I really like Valerie Bertinelli's enthusiasm and after watching her shows there's usually a recipe I want to pursue.

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22 hours ago, Qoass said:

I know there's a stigma attached to non-professionals hosting cooking shows but I really like Valerie Bertinelli's enthusiasm and after watching her shows there's usually a recipe I want to pursue.

You just hit on one of my TV hot buttons.

It is my opinion that cooking shows are television shows first and instructional shows second. I can read a book or look up a recipe on the internet if all I want to do is learn how to make something good. If I'm watching TV, I want to be entertained first.

The superstar cooking show host would be the extremely rare person who is a chef by trade, has the ability to teach while not being condescending, has TV levels of charisma, and is hopefully easy on the eyes.  As you might expect, there are not a lot of them to be found.

So one of the best ways to compromise is to replace "chef" in that skill set with "good cook who is really enthusiastic about food", and Valerie Bertinelli is a perfect example. 

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23 hours ago, Qoass said:

I know there's a stigma attached to non-professionals hosting cooking shows but I really like Valerie Bertinelli's enthusiasm and after watching her shows there's usually a recipe I want to pursue.

I have been very resistant to the tv chefs whose celebrity has nothing to do with food and especially re: Valerie Bertinelli.

But when I saw her as a judge on FoodNetwork's Comeback Kitchen she won me over. Then when she and Tyler crossed-over for an episode of Food Network Star I was not only completely won over but wished she could replace Giada.

And I am growing to like this "compromise" that @JTMacc99 explained so well. I do like being able to just glance up for something interesting sometimes as opposed to 100% attention. And, as also mentioned, there aren't many Julia or Jacques types around anymore.

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6 minutes ago, NewDigs said:

I have been very resistant to the tv chefs whose celebrity has nothing to do with food and especially re: Valerie Bertinelli.

But when I saw her as a judge on FoodNetwork's Comeback Kitchen she won me over. Then when she and Tyler crossed-over for an episode of Food Network Star I was not only completely won over but wished she could replace Giada.

And I am growing to like this "compromise" that @JTMacc99 explained so well. I do like being able to just glance up for something interesting sometimes as opposed to 100% attention. And, as also mentioned, there aren't many Julia or Jacques types around anymore.

There are plenty of real chefs and people with food authority on PBS, and I prefer them. Sara Moulton, Joanne Weir, Martha Stewart, America's Test Kitchens, Nick Stilleno to name a few. I actually learn something from these people.

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I think almost everything is better on PBS. But I seem to forget about them.

My local station does cooking pretty much only from noon to one and that's not a good time for me. Though I'm home now and see an ATK-CC hour (I do like them) and tomorrow has a '93 Julia.

Hopefully she's baking something... 

Edited by NewDigs
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Well, virtually all the programs I watch are just there because Nigella Lawson isn't on any of the cable channels I get.  It's all about personal tastes though:  I do love Bertinelli and I don't mind Trisha Yearwood.  On the other hand, Patricia Heaton sends me screaming from the room.

Topic: I have some chocolate milk to use up.  If I use it to bake chocolate cake or something without adjusting the other ingredients, do you think it would be too much?  I have the sweet palate of a four year old.

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I've never watched Valerie Bertinelli's cooking show but I've tried two of her recipes and they're both keepers (got her cookbook from the library and plan to try some more).  Still, I wish FN would have more chefs for cooking shows (and less of the crazy competitions).  So I watch PBS (Lidia's my favorite) for no-nonsense cooking tips. 

@Qoass: I'm no baking expert but I'd put the chocolate milk in.  It's milk (which you need for the recipe) and it's chocolate so how bad could that be?

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@Qoass I personally don't think it would be too much... maybe hold back the sugar a bit and then taste it and if it doesn't taste sweet enough add more sugar? 

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13 hours ago, JTMacc99 said:

You just hit on one of my TV hot buttons.

It is my opinion that cooking shows are television shows first and instructional shows second.

I feel the opposite.  I like cooking shows that are instructional.  If I want entertainment I don't look to a cooking show for it.  Ok, I did for Sandra Lee, but I didn't consider her show a cooking show.

Edited by ariel
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On 7/19/2016 at 10:13 PM, ariel said:

I feel the opposite.  I like cooking shows that are instructional.  If I want entertainment I don't look to a cooking show for it.  Ok, I did for Sandra Lee, but I didn't consider her show a cooking show.

I guess I'm in between.  I do like a show that can teach me something, but I also like to be entertained, sort of like Emeril I guess.

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On 7/19/2016 at 11:13 AM, Qoass said:

 

Topic: I have some chocolate milk to use up.  If I use it to bake chocolate cake or something without adjusting the other ingredients, do you think it would be too much?  I have the sweet palate of a four year old.

Instead of guessing how to adjust recipes written for "white" milk, why not use one written with chocolate milk in mind? Here's a link: http://www.cheatsheet.com/life/7-ways-to-bake-dazzling-dishes-using-chocolate-milk.html/?a=viewall

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I have a slice-and-bake cookie recipe that calls for 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and and a half cup of cake flour, which I do not have.  Do you think using all a.p. flour will be a problem?

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7 hours ago, Mittengirl said:

I have a slice-and-bake cookie recipe that calls for 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and and a half cup of cake flour, which I do not have.  Do you think using all a.p. flour will be a problem?

The experts say to use two tablespoons less per cup of a.p. flour if you're substituting it for cake flour. so I would use 1 tablespoon less in your cookie recipe.

Edited by GreekGeek
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Here is an article describing the difference between the different flours: all purpose, cake, pastry, bread.  From the article:

Quote

If all you have is AP flour, you can approximate cake and pastry flour by adding 2 tablespoons of corn starch to a scant cup of AP flour.  Likewise, you can bump up a flour's protein content (and it's gluten potential) by adding a few tablespoons of vital wheat gluten.

Good luck with your cookies.

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Well, this was the first time I made this recipe, so I don't know if the texture was as intended, but they taste good.  It called for only a 1/4 cup (not 1/2 cup) of cake flour, so I just used all a.p. flour instead.

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Wasn't sure which thread to ask this;

Best way to store freshly made, unused pizza dough?
I make pizza dough for the first time tonight, the pizza came out fine, but the dough keeps expanding! :-o  I finally put it in the freezer because I was afraid it might outgrow the container it's in. I plan to use it within a week, but does anyone have tips for next time?

BTW, the dough was a sticky blob (which I don't think it was supposed to be?) and I didn't let it rest overnight as suggested by the instructions I used. Maybe I'll try another recipe next time.

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Thanksgiving is coming up and I'm thinking of making America's Test Kitchen Cheesecake for dessert it's a very heavy rich indulgent thing but I did it once and it fell apart, I think I left it out in the hot kitchen too long while waiting to serve it and I want to do it again and see if it holds up better, everyone loved it anyway but I like to get things right.  Plus it tastes so much better than store bought I used organic eggs and cream cheese and it was magnificent.  

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55 minutes ago, Ms.Moon said:

Thanksgiving is coming up and I'm thinking of making America's Test Kitchen Cheesecake for dessert it's a very heavy rich indulgent thing but I did it once and it fell apart, I think I left it out in the hot kitchen too long while waiting to serve it and I want to do it again and see if it holds up better, everyone loved it anyway but I like to get things right.  Plus it tastes so much better than store bought I used organic eggs and cream cheese and it was magnificent.  

Oh man! When I was pregnant with my second child I had severe cravings for cheesecake. Store bought was disgusting so I ended up perfecting the ATK cheesecake recipe. I think there were two of them I made pretty regularly. A marbled one and a basic one. I feel like they took two days to make but oh so worth it! I'm the only cheesecake fan in the family so I haven't been able to justify making another one in a long time. 

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I have to make some cakes in December for a silent auction fundraiser. I'm going to make an apple cake, but I need one or two other flavors as well. I'm considering chocolate mint, but I'm not sure and I don't know if I should add another flavor too. What flavor would you be most likely to buy? They will be bundt or loaf cakes because I have a large number of fancy bundt cake pans and some decorative small loaf pans that I haven't used yet.

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On 11/10/2016 at 9:23 PM, Mountainair said:

Store bought was disgusting so I ended up perfecting the ATK cheesecake recipe.

Wait, you perfected a recipe by the perfectionists? I am duly impressed.

I live alone, so I don't really bake that often. But this Thanksgiving I was the one responsible for the bread. I chose a rise, refrigerate overnight, rise recipe. I woke up early on Thursday to let the bread rise. . . . and it wouldn't. I started wondering what I had done wrong. My first thought was old yeast, but it was less than a month old.

Then I remembered that it is now winter. And I only heat my house to sixty five degrees. Push the thermostat a couple of times, wait a couple more hours and everything worked out fine.

I also made one of my famous apple pies. Taste wise, it's nothing special (and I suck at crusts) but there is a local farmers market that sells about twelve different varieties of apples in season. So once a year I make a pie that uses them all.

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Then I remembered that it is now winter. And I only heat my house to sixty five degrees. Push the thermostat a couple of times, wait a couple more hours and everything worked out fine.

My kitchen is always cold and I have the same problem with yeast and also with trying to get butter to soften or melting unsweetened chocolate and keeping it that way.

Edited by Qoass

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I turn my oven on to it's lowest setting and after a few minutes I turn it off.  Put the butter in and leave the door cracked.  It takes a bit of practice to get it just right, but it works for me.  With the chocolate I guess you could close the oven door when it approached the stage you wanted it.  For the pizza dough, you'd probably have to take it out every couple of hours and reheat. 

Using an oven thermometer helps.  You don't want butter to get over 70 degrees, not sure of what temp to use for the chocolate or the pizza dough.

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I can easily melt the chocolate in my microwave but more than once, I've added it to a dough and had it  instantly re-solidify into hard little shards.  Not good.

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I have a brownie recipe that my mom got from my great-grandmother. It's old enough that they don't make baking pans in the required size any more (9X11). (Or at least I've been unable to find them). I always end up with overdone edges or an under done center, so I was thinking of switching to a muffin pan. I know that I have to increase the temperature and decrease the time. However, I'm not certain what the conversion should be. Any advice would be appreciated.

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@Captain Carrot I make my brownies in muffin pans but there's no exact time I use.  At 20 minutes, I'll check on them and visually see if I think they are done.  If visually they look ok, I use a toothpick and do that test.  If you've filled the muffin cups more than 1/2, I'd say give it 5 more minutes before you test.

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4 hours ago, Captain Carrot said:

I have a brownie recipe that my mom got from my great-grandmother. It's old enough that they don't make baking pans in the required size any more (9X11). (Or at least I've been unable to find them). I always end up with overdone edges or an under done center, so I was thinking of switching to a muffin pan. I know that I have to increase the temperature and decrease the time. However, I'm not certain what the conversion should be. Any advice would be appreciated.

OK, so this isn't exactly helpful (maybe? I don't know) But, what if you lined the 9x13 dish with aluminum, and then made a little aluminum dam 2 inches away from one end? Effectively creating a 9x11 pan? I'd imagine the batter is thick enough that it doesn't have to be fully water tight, just fold a sheet of aluminum so it keeps the edge and then shove some balled up aluminum in the 2 inch space to hold up the dam... just a though, but it may work! 

Alternately I feel like the Brownie Edge pan may be useful here. 

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Well, I was going to make a sour cream pound cake for a luncheon tomorrow.  I don't know the recipe by heart, but I knew the basics that I would need--I had most everything except the sour cream, so I picked up some at the store this morning.  When I got ready to start it, I couldn't find my recipe.  I know that there are many sour cream pound cake recipes out there, but I wanted to use the one I've been using for years.  So, I went to Plan B, which was a Cinnamon Pound Cake (a basic pound cake with a layer of cinnamon sugar in the middle and some on top).  It came out of the oven fine, but when I went to take it out of the pan it stuck---bad.  I did use cooking spray instead of 'flour' spray or the grease/flour method, but I've used cooking spray before and it was fine.  This time it wasn't (I should have known better and used the proper stuff to grease the pan).  It ended up coming out in pieces (although it tastes really good!).  I yelled a lot and scared the cats, but I'm fine now (really).  So I'm going with Plan C (sigh).  I had gotten ingredients for a Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake to make for our last day at work before the holidays, but I'm going to make it for the lunch.  I know we'll have plenty of food, but if I sign up to bring something, then by golly, I'm going to bring something!  I has a cake mix as the base, so it is a little easier than making a pound cake from scratch (although I prefer to do that when I can).  By the time I realized that the cake wasn't going to come out of the pan, I had put a lasagna (frozen) in the oven to bake.  So, I'll probably get up early tomorrow to make the cake.

What do you bet that I'll find my sour cream pound cake recipe tomorrow?  

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If you have some pudding and some whipped cream, take the broken bits of cinnamon pound cake and make a trifle. I'm not sure what kind of fruit would be best with it, but something surely would, and if not, make it without fruit. It would still be good.

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A trifle is a great idea, but I have no milk for pudding and no cream to whip, and it's pouring rain outside.  I'm also trying to avoid taking anything that I need to keep cold or hot because it's almost a two-hour drive to our main campus where the luncheon will be held.  If it was going to be here, then I would probably have planned a quick trip to the store tomorrow morning and would have gone with the trifle. I don't have too many kitchen disasters, but this was definitely one of them.  (ETA:  And I do have some frozen peaches, but that's the only trifle ingredients I have on hand)

Edited by BooksRule

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I just found a recipe for almond butter bread which uses no flour (not even coconut or almond) of any kind.  Has anyone made this?  What's the texture like?  Is it more bread-bread or more like, say, banana bread?

 

Thanks! :)

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I don't bake often but I made this Cardamom Crumb Coffee Cake last Thursday and it is so delicious and light.  Someone asked me if I'd used cake flour because it was so light but no, just Gold Medal all purpose.  I think it's the buttermilk that makes it light and moist.  It reminds me of a Swedish Spice Cake that my relatives bake but it's lighter.

https://newengland.com/today/food/cardamom-crumb-coffee-cake/

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I made a Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake again (I made one back in the spring) and it came out just as good as the first time.  I do think that the key is to use cake flour and fresh lemon juice--you just can't substitute those with anything else.  I know it's not really a Christmas-y type of dessert, but my brother loves lemon cakes and since we didn't get together this summer during his birthday month, I said I would bake one for us this Christmas.  And, this will represent all of the baking I'm doing this holiday (except for the couple of cakes I made for work-related parties).  I just couldn't get in the baking mood this holiday.  Oh well, I'll try to do better at the next holiday (Valentine's Day?).

http://www.iptv.org/pdfs/cc_20100830_lemoncake.pdf

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14 minutes ago, BooksRule said:

I made a Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake again (I made one back in the spring) and it came out just as good as the first time.  I do think that the key is to use cake flour and fresh lemon juice--you just can't substitute those with anything else.  I know it's not really a Christmas-y type of dessert, but my brother loves lemon cakes and since we didn't get together this summer during his birthday month, I said I would bake one for us this Christmas.  And, this will represent all of the baking I'm doing this holiday (except for the couple of cakes I made for work-related parties).  I just couldn't get in the baking mood this holiday.  Oh well, I'll try to do better at the next holiday (Valentine's Day?).

http://www.iptv.org/pdfs/cc_20100830_lemoncake.pdf

That looks delicious! Actually, by the time Christmas Day rolls around I'm pretty tired of chocolate and peppermint stuff. Lemon would be a welcome change.

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Lemon would be a welcome change.

I know!  As much as I like peppermint desserts and cinnamon desserts, I crave other flavors right after Christmas (the same way I crave red meat after all of the turkey and ham we have during the holiday).  Also, I forgot to add that I used lemons from my straggly (but persistent) lemon tree. 

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