BakingCalGal -- Thursday, July 04, 2002 -- 07:35:57 PM
How-tos, tips, recipes.This thread is tagged: cooking, baking, cake
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Being better after a rest is a characteristic of honey cakes and other cakes with heavy, moist ingredients. I'm not sure why. If it were simply a matter of the moisture redistributing itself within the cake, only texture would improve, but flavor usually does, too. Not that honey cake is ever good.
Honey is hygroscopic, meaning it draws moisture from the air. So resting would make it moister than it was right out of the oven. Could that be responsible for the improvement?
(Random note: every time I read or type or otherwise experience the word "hygroscopic," I think it's gotta be wrong. The greek root for water is hydro-, not hygro-! What's that g doing there?)
From the OED:
I am baking brioches à tête in my new brioche molds this morning. The HS called and asked me to bake for career day, and I figured it was a good time to try out the recipe. I made the dough last night and refrigerated it. Then I got up and made half of them, because I only have six molds.
So far two of the têtes have sort of fallen off to the side, as if imperfectly guillotined. The kids can have those. Otherwise, they look good. They feel nice and light, too. The next batch is rising now. They only take 8 minutes to bake.
I actually made a chocolate cake! And it was edible!
Small potatoes to you baking-folk, I'm sure, but I am a total moron when it comes to baked goods so this is a big achievement for me.
It was a recipe from Droste (dutch cocoa co.). Basic chocolate, but lovely consistency, iced in whipped cream and adorned w/ black raspberries.
Good for breakfast too.
The second batch is slightly deformed, but too bad. Next time I will make the dough tetes much smaller. Insanity Rose's directions let me down this time.
J-Ro, I was just about to ask if you were using her recipe. Is this the holiday hallelujah one or whatever it's called? I've been eyeing it for years but have never worked up the energy to make it.
It's from the Pie and Pastry Bible. It's a master recipe and then there are some things you can do with it. I haven't tasted it to know how it came out, but I gave a lopsided failure to Elder for breakfast on her way out, so I expect her to report.
I ignored some of IR's crazy-ass instructions, especially as to the number and length of risings. I had to do this on a schedule for a regular human being. That part seems to have gone fine.
I just realized there is one more flop in the kitchen (I just stopped home after a court appearance). I ate the topknot. Perfect. It's not really much work, either, especially if you skip the triple-folding step and one of the risings.
I don't know how much honey is required to counteract the natural drying/hardening process known as "going stale." I just put forth that little honey factoid for what it's worth. I don't want to be the reason you decide not to wrap it up and then the outside gets all hard and crusty.
I want those sugar cookies you get at the cookie stand in the mall, with M&M's on top. What kind of cookie recipe should I use? The two sugar cookie recipes in Joy of Cooking both seem to be the hard ones that you decorate with icing, not the soft buttery ones. So I made some from Better Homes & Gardens which also turned out to be the hard kind (and particularly unimpressive specimens, to boot).
Also, once I find my cookie recipe, should I put the candies on before or after baking?
Lorelei, the mall stand may well add fructose to the cookies to make them stay soft. That's what Mrs. Fields does. This is a similar discussion to the ongoing one about chocolate chip cookies. Julia M's recipe, which she got from Cook's Illustrated, explicitly tries to duplicate the soft Mrs. Field's texture, and achieves it by increasing the amount of sugar in the cookie. There are a few other adjustments, but that is the main one. CI did the same with oatmeal cookies and found that increasing the sugar also made them softer and chewier. I think the moisture content is probably the issue.
I personally find the cookies too sweet when made this way, but it does improve their texture and make them more of what you are describing.
Thus, I would try adding more sugar to a drop sugar cookie recipe (not a rolled recipe) to see what happens. Maybe try adding a third of a cup more to begin with.
About the M&Ms, you usually add anything like that before baking because they won't stay on if they are added later. To get them not to burn, put a sheet of foil over the cookies during the last few minutes of baking.
You saw the part about using a *drop* cookie recipe, right? The best thing would be to use a little ice cream scoop as Julia recommends for the CC cookies, and then flatten the ball just a little when you apply the candy.
I don't know what the cookies at the mall taste like, but it occurs to me you should try a snickerdoodle recipe without rolling the dough in cinnamon-sugar.
But wouldn't you have to use brown sugar specifically if you were going to increase sugar? I've increased with white sugar and found the results were crunchier.
I would guess that the addition of corn syrup would also assist the chewiness.