BakingCalGal -- Thursday, July 04, 2002 -- 07:35:57 PM
How-tos, tips, recipes.This thread is tagged: cooking, baking, cake
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Oh Arlene...can I borrow a cup of nuts?
Cal, I'm nervous because your recipe does not call for any rising agent. Should I be whisking those eggs really hard to incorporate lots of air? (I whisked for 1 minute as directed, but I would not say they were "airy." I would describe the egg and brown-sugar mixture as "heavy and eggy," not "airy.")
Are you talking the one I linked to? Doesn't it have baking powder or something?
That's what I asked--did you check the link? It was a fuckup in my post. I'll delete it and repost. But here's the original, with 2 tsp baking powder.
Oh, so it's all YOUR fault? Hmmph.
I'm doubling the recipe, so that's 4 tsp, which seems like a lot. But I'll squash my doubts and follow the recipe exactly, just to see.
Insanity Rose has some blather in the Cake Bible about how there is a point of diminishing returns for baking powder, but it was never too clear. That's one of the mysteries of recipe development to me: how do you know how much baking powder or baking soda to use when you are trying to come up with a baking recipe?
Additional soda makes the cookie paler.
I'm only worried that all that baking powder will make the batter too salty. Doesn't it contain sodium?
Oh well. Off to add it. I'll let you know how it goes.
Okay, I have to say I like my usual recipe better than these. I think it's the lack of fat -- they are sweet and dense/chewy like real muffins (as opposed to the cupcakes generally termed muffins in modern society), but not as tender and rich as I like them to be. Also, the browning of the butter and the use of brown sugar instead of white didn't seem to affect the taste. If someone had told me that these were my usual recipe (which uses much the same spices etc. as this recipe) with the fat drastically reduced, I'd believe them.
I should mention that I used salted butter -- salted Plugra, in fact, which is way salty -- and omitted the 1/4 tsp salt the recipe called for. So that might affect the taste. But I don't notice either a lack-of-salt or a saltiness.
Also, I took them out of the oven at 20 minutes and they were quite done. The recipe said to bake for 25-30 minutes, but I didn't trust that so checked them earlier.
Overall, good muffins, but I would change the recipe to include more butter and wouldn't bother browning it. So I'd basically end up with my usual recipe.
Well, I didn't feel like stopping for nuts, so I thought about making chocolate chip cookies sans nuts on the way home. When I got home, I discovered I had a full bag of butterscotch morsels, and only about 1/3 cup of chocolate chip morsels. So I set off to make the recipe for butterscotch cookies on the bag, and I was distracted and thinking of Lori's recipe and how it compared with the butter and amount of oatmeal, and somehow the chocolate chip morsels wound up in the recipe.
When I realized my mistake, I thought, what the hell, I'll leave them in. They are pretty good, chewy and flatter than I would have thought cookies with 2 eggs would be. Very sweet.
I gave two to Simon to take and munch on while playing SB in the family room. I placed them carefully on a paper napkin, which he folded and folded until I imagine he is now snacking on a ball of warm crumbs.
Oh, I should also mention that that pumpkin muffin recipe says to set the oven at 400, which I did, but the tops of the muffins were over-browned. Another time I would go with the more common oven temp of 350.
I don't remember browning the butter. I wonder if I linked in a different recipe?
I need a baking post mortem, please.
Of eight layers of dobosh torte that I just baked (and baked and baked and baked-- I use only one rack in the oven and do one layer at a time), two came out with the expected texture-- kind of dryish, but cake. The other six are crispy-- the crumbs taste a lot like good fortune cookies, actually.
All eight layers came from one batch of batter. They were baked in the same oven, at the same temperature, on the same rack. They all went into the oven on aluminum foil on a cool-to-cold cookie sheet (I rinse the sheets as I recycle them from layer to layer, so even if they sit they're at most room temperature, not warm).
The two that worked were neither the first two nor the last two to bake. They weren't the least baked (lightest brown) nor the most baked (darkest brown). They weren't the thickest, though they were thicker than most (not all) of the others. But I've made this recipe before with ridiculously thin layers (i.e., barely covering the aluminum foil they're baked on), and the layers have always come out as cake.
One of the eight layers was baked on butter-and-floured aluminum foil rather than Mazola-sprayed-and-floured, and another one (or was it the same?) was on lighter weight aluminum foil than the other seven. I'm not sure if either of the cake layers was on the butter and/or the thinner foil.
So. What happened?
The two that worked were neither the first two nor the last two to bake. They weren't the least baked (lightest brown) nor the most baked (darkest brown). They weren't the thickest, though they were thicker than most (not all) of the others.
This sounds like one of those logic puzzles.
I've never baked a dobosh torte, so this is all speculation on my part. I'd guess that the fat-and-flour layer wouldn't affect baking, but the foil might if oven temperature and baking time are critical for the texture you're looking for. My only other guess would be variation in oven temperature as you were opening and closing the door. Did you make sure to let the oven come back up to temperature? Maybe it was running too hot for the other layers?
I'd suggest getting a kitchen scale and oven thermometer (although it strikes me as very strange that thicker layers than the two good ones were too dry). Off the top of my head, it definitely sounds like an overbaking problem, and since it sounds as though you carefully monitored everything else, oven temperature is the culprit.
I already use a thermometer, and the temperature was correct. Since I used the same process for each of the eight layers (stick it in the oven, turn it halfway through, remove layer A and replace it with layer B and repeat), I doubt that there would be opening-the-door issues on only two of the eight since the open-door time was consistent across the whole batch.
I judged layer doneness by the color of the cake, and the ones that worked weren't the most done (I cheated and cut a too-dark edge off of one crunchy layer) nor the least-- two of the crunchy layers really could have used another minute or so in the oven (they stuck to the foil). I didn't even realize that there was a problem until everything had cooled-- coming off of the foil, they all handled pretty much the same-- maybe the correct layers were a tad harder to peel the foil from.
I really appreciate the help.