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First run at this recipe has some kinks. But they taste good. I'm going to save off the recipe with some notes. They're worthwhile, if anybody is in the mood. Adapted from Billy's Bakery Vanilla, Vanilla cupcake recipe, as seen on Martha Stewart.

1 1/4 c. gluten free AP flour (my blend is mostly rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch, with a little sorghum thrown in)
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 c. Vanilla sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into ~Tbsp size pieces.
1 tsp cinnamon
4 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. cream
1 Tbsp Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

Stir together the dry ingredients. Add the butter and beat until the butter is flour-coated. Whisk together eggs, cream, milk, and vanilla. Add slowly to dry ingredients, beating constantly. Turn up mixer and beat 3 minutes.

Fill cupcake liners no more than 1/2-2/3 full of batter. Bake ~20 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out dry.

Almond Buttercream

1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp almond baking emulsion
~2 Tbsp-1/4 cup milk

Beat together butter, salt, and 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Add baking emulsion, and a little more sugar. Alternate remaining sugar with small additions of milk until all sugar is incorporated and frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.

Next time:

I will drop the xanthan gum to 1 1/2 tsp. And be more careful about not overfilling the cups. Possibly change the AP flour I use to one that isn't SO high on potato starch. If I get ambitious, add 1/2 cup of HiMaize fiber.
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I suffered another Fial on the banket, but I'm getting closer. I do, however, now need more almonds. So I'll take another run at it this weekend.

Since I baked, and then had nothing to eat, I had to stir up something else. (not counting the Provolone and Black Pepper popovers and ham with cheese sauce we had for lunch - it was leftovers day)

I am now in the process of trying to reconstruct some of the comfort foods of my childhood for my girls, in case you were curious.

Butterscotch Dumplings

2 c water
1 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

Place water, sugar, salt, and butter into a medium saucepan, bring to a boil to dissolve sugar and set aside, keeping warm. Stir in vanilla

1/3 c. vanilla sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9" square baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, cream together sugar, salt, and butter. Stir in xanthan gum and baking powder. Add the flour and milk, alternately in several additions, until a stiff but sticky dough is formed. You may need a little more or less milk.

Pour the syrup into the pan. Drop the dough into the syrup by spoonfuls (my cookie dough disher worked VERY well). Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is faintly golden. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

1/3 cup
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As yet, the much-bally-hoo'd StormZOMG! has yet to materialize. We made a brief foray out. The girls got to play/run around like mad things. Then back home so Rori could nap. (She's still seepin'). John took Liesl to see Tangled again. And I got my bakin' on.

Currently there is yet another experimental bread recipe in the oven. I Fialed at the period banket again. And succeeded at GF molasses cookies. Here they is:

Great Grandma Gaston's Cry Baby Cookies

1 c. sugar
1 c. shortening
1 c. hot coffee
1 c. molasses
2 eggs
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice

5 3/4 c. gluten free flour (mine is a mix of rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, and corn starch)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and shortening. Beat in eggs, molasses, coffee, vinegar and lemon juice. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add them gradually to molasses mixture and beat well. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a baking sheet (parchment paper will make your life interesting) and bake for 12-15 minutes. Surfaces will crack slightly when done. Apply glaze while still warm.


2 Tbsp butter
4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla.

In a med. saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Add sugar and milk alternately until a smooth glaze forms. Stir in vanilla. Glaze cookies while still warm.

In addition, cleaning happened, including some jobs that don't get done frequently. Yeah, me. The girls even got from-scratch GF cinnamon toasted waffles for breakfast. ;-)
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If you remember the pudding cake recipe from last year. I was a little perplexed about how to deal with the wheat germ. So I rifled through all the GF stuff Mom sent me, and found a box of quinoa flakes. Those got toasted in the oven until they were faintly golden brown.

1 c. unbleached Gluten Free AP flour (I used KA, as that was the box that was open)
3/4 c. toasted quinoa flakes
3/4 c. vanilla sugar
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2/3 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. natural cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon (or up to a full tsp if the grocery store variety - mine is pretty potent)
"knife tip" of cayenne pepper - just a pinch, but use a utensil!
2 c. hot water.

Mix flour, quinoa flakes, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in milk, butter, and vanilla extract. Pour this batter into a 9" square pan. In another bowl, combine brown sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and cayenne. Mix lightly, then pour evenly over batter. Pour hot water over the top, and bake at 350 deg F for 45 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.
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I have to admit, that Top Chef - Just Desserts is sort of my new guilty pleasure. I'm catching up on old episodes. Sort of geeked that one contestant is one of the authors of "Baked." - one of my fave cookbooks. Less geeked that he seems to be something of a one-trick pony capable only of cookies and does not seem to be an actual pastry chef. Sooner or later the presentation issue will get the better of him. Could also stand less Drah-ma. But I'm probably the only one. Gah!! More baking, less back-biting!

I'm absolutely tortured by the profusion of holiday baking items now on prominent display at the grocery store. Most of which I can't use. Now, the fact that I probably WOULDN'T have used them... doesn't really make it any better. Wish I had more time to test-bake for the girls. I have no idea at all if I can convert Great-Grandma Klooster's sugar cookie recipe. Or not.

In the hopes that I can, I went to get some almond extract. (I'm Dutch, I go through that almost as fast as I go through vanilla). Instead, I ended up with something called "baker's emulsion" that is supposed to be more potent. Anyone used this? Tips? Warnings? WTF-are-you-doings?

Now I must go work on my class notes and resist (resist, I say!!) the extremely strong temptation to work on the cool new page design in my head for when I finally get my Dutch Christmas cookies stuff webbed. After RUM. I promise. Hopefully to cover speculaas, pepernoten, deventer spice cakes, taai-taai, and a few others.

Well - back to the salt mines with me...
femkes_follies: (Default)
I'm just going to take a moment and save off some links. Some of them will be of interest to other sweet tooths, I suspect.

Candy Cane and Egg-nog macarons

A fabulous article on making perfect macarons

Homemade Candy Corn. Honest.

Gluten Free puff pastry Who knew?

Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa

Marzipan macarons. I'm not SO fond of marzipan, but I love almond (I know, go fig). I might like these, though. Especially if I skip the marzipan and just put almond extract in the filling.

Gluten-free champagne cupcakes. I suspect the champagne adds to the leavening power of the mixture. Hmmmmm.

Gluten-free brioche cinnamon rolls. Since I lurves me some cinnamon rolls.

The flour blend I'm going to start out with, in my experimenting

Well, it should keep me out of trouble for a little while, anyway.
femkes_follies: (Default)
...In which we shall introduce you to another of Femke's Favorite Things: Vintage Cookbooks. Not period cookbooks. Vintage one. 20th century cookbooks before pomegranates, the amuse bouche, and South Beach came into our lives. All butter, fresh cream, sugar-packed baking. I acquired my first one when I borrowed Mom's Farm Journal Pies cookbook so often she just gave it to me (love that book). I've also acquired some reprints. I started with more of the Farm Journal books - Ice Cream and Cakes, the Complete Baking Book, and Cookies. I also have the reprint edition of the Betty Crocker Cookie Book.

But I think I want to start watching for them at flea markets, and such. Especially some of the old promotional ones that used a specific product (Baker's Chocolate, Swan's Down Cake Flour, Clabber Girl Baking Powder - etc.)

There are some real gems in some of them. F'rinstance, I had to make a cake for a co-worker's birthday yesterday. It was important, because she often does it for others. And I had to work, didn't get home til 7 PM = and it was wicked hot and sticky. These are not friendly conditions for my usual triple layer cake with buttercream icing, no matter the flavor. So I hunted around, and found this little gem.

Chocolate Cinnamon Texas Sheet Cake

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare and 15x10x1 sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray.

1 c water
3/4 c shortening
1/4 c cocoa powder
2 1/2 c sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
2 c sugar
1/2 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan, bring water, shortening, and cocoa to a boil. Set aside to cool slightly

In a med mixing bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In a large mixing bowl, blend (but do not beat) eggs and sugar. Blend in cocoa mixture. Add 1/2 of flour mixture, then buttermilt, then remaining flour mixture. Stir in vanilla. Pour into pan and bake about 20 minutes. Cool.

In a saucepan, melt 1/2 c butter with 1/4 c milk. In a mixing bowl, combine 3 c powdered sugar with 1/4 c cocoa. Add to melted butter, stir until lumps are gone. Pour over cake and spread gently with the back of a spoon.

I used my new little bag of Vietnamese cinnamon from The Seasoned Home in Holland. It gave this little cake a surprising bite. There isn't an overwhelming amount of cocoa (Again, that's something of a modern affectation), so the cinnamon really comes through.

Maybe next weekend I'll raid Mom's collection again. ;-) Hey, it's worked in the past. She has a bunch, including Pillsbury Bakeoff cookbooks that go back to nearly its inception. And some other fun 60's era delights.

If ya'll want, I'll also share the faboo gingerbread recipe that, IIRC, is from the Cry Baby Molasses bottle - many moons ago.
femkes_follies: (Default)
Macarons! Probably this weekend. They should be cute Easter treats.

I only just discovered that macarons are not, in fact, anything like the macaroons I remember. Supposedly, they're tricky little beasts. But I've always been fairly good with meringue. I think I'll give it a go. ;-)

And no, I have no idea where I got onto the French pastry kick. Maybe it has something to do with various friends going to Paris and taking pictures of things in museums and not sharing....
femkes_follies: (Default)
Not bad, really. I brought down a plate and said to John, "Well, here they are. Not sure if they're the man-catching variety, though"

He ate one, thoughtfully. Then had another. "They are."

Anneliese refused them, totally. I said, "doughnut?" and she shoved it away. However, on the way to bed, John stopped by the plate, picked one up, and told her, "sniff."

She sighed. "Sniff." Then did so. Her eyes got wide, she grabbed it, and began nibbling. Then stuffed the rest down. Then came back for more.

Rori was in bed, but will probably get one in the AM. She's usually up for anything sweet.

Basically, beignets are a hit, all around. ;-)

Now to sit and watch Sherlock Holmes with John before bed. And basically be a lazy thing for at least a couple hours.


Mar. 7th, 2010 08:24 pm
femkes_follies: (Default)
Back from dropping Anneliese off to spend a couple nights and Grandma and Grandpa's. I'm not QUITE sure why it had to be such a production number, as we were perfectly willing to drive out to Lansing to meet them. Heck, there were probably a few errands we could have taken care of whilst there.

But, it was lunch at the Ded Robbin. Which was somewhat disappointing for me. I had a headache to start with - (Short shrift on sleep with sick babykins plus an incipient black eye she gave me when she smacked the back of her little head into mine, right at the edge of my eyebrow. *sigh* She really needs to stop flinging herself backward. Maybe the pain from this time will help). I ordered a chicken sandwich and got a burger. Which had a couple good-sized chunks of gristle in the half I did eat. I don't normally order burgers in restaurants, as I either find them disappointing or it's such a nice place a burger would be insulting. Hope they at least took THAT off the bill, though the waitress didn't say so, and handed Dad the check directly. Grrrr. We did stroll through Barnes and Noble afterward, and picked up "Reaper Man" as our first formal joint foray into the Discworld series.

Mom did hand me some recipes and a card for John as we parted company. That was a good thing, as his birthday is Tuesday, and he was pretty sure everybody had forgotten. (I should be so lucky. He's a guy - he still expects it to be an occasion.) I took the recipes home to experiment. They are for what are effectively homemade hostess cupcakes, twinkies, and oreos from Mary Jane's Farm. So far, I am somewhat dubious. The cupcake "batter" would have been possible to roll out with a pin. The recipe for the filling is basically a meringue/boiled icing. No butter or shortening at all. Hrrrrmmm......

Then we stopped by Siciliano's, as John wanted a wee dram. And I rummaged through the cheese culture collection - which has gotten quite a lot more extensive since my last visit. There were probably a dozen options, at least. I picked up one for creme fraiche/mascarpone. For a little over $5 I think there are 5-6 envelopes in it. Heh. Kewl. I shall endeavor to make John some Tiramisu. Still contemplating a cow share if we stay put. And I'd like to have the ability to deal with excesses at need. ;-)

Time to go veg with the book till bedtime. Well, still have to fill and ice the cupcakes, but that won't take long.
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I now have a stack of paint color chips on my counter, but I am having a bit of trouble deciding which shade really says "vintage" and "Tiffany Blue" to me. My suggestion that John buy me something from Tiffany's so that I could have Home Depot just color match the box was not met with wild enthusiasm. ;-) But I may still do a mood board or two to help me out. I finally described my vision to John, involving red and white damask chair pads, milk glass, and a Vargas print or two. He's on board with the notion now, sort of.

Today I baked another batch of bread, stirred up some English muffin batter for tomorrow, and had to hold off on making cookies - John had used the rest of the Crisco and not gotten more. Thursday night, I'd made some bread, stirred up a Chocolate Bundy cake, and put it in the oven. 20 minutes later, it dawned on me that I'd forgotten to spray the pan with cooking spray. So, while that was baking, I stirred up a molasses spice cake. Sure 'nuff, the bundt stuck. So I peeled it out of the pan and into a bowl and baked the molasses cake. Maybe I'll use the cake bits for a trifle, instead. At least I had something to bring to work, since Leslie whined last week about finally working on "fun food Friday" - and nobody brought food. This week, she was about to send Janet out for doughnuts when I turned up - Molasses spice cake with cream cheese Frosting and brown sugar glaze.

The muffins are pretty much for Dad. We're meeting Mom and Dad tomorrow, so they can take Liesl for a few days. She's off school, and she'll be delighted to get more Grandma time. Plus, John won't have to juggle quite so hard to get Rori to her speech program on Monday. Getting the Audi in for an oil change and the van for new tie rods will take a bit more doing.
Spring cleaning is held up a bit from being very sore from Thursday. But I intend to start anew next week.

I also picked up a book at the Bargain Book store - Terry Pratchett's "Wintersmith." Not bad, really. Pratchett's usual blend of whimsy and clever fantasy. I'll have to get the other two books in the series for Liesl, once she gets the knack of reading down. And for whatever reason, I grabbed an issue of Mother Earth News - which I object to less when they're not really getting any money for it - as in the $1 bin. They have some good stuff. But I cannot get around their downright religious support of Climate Change(TM). Sorry, but so far, 99.5% of what has been published on the topic is out and out bad science. And they have also now climbed onto the "populationist" bandwagon - i.e. while they've not come as far out on the topic, basically favors a worldwide "one child" policy. Cause it's worked so well for China, downcha know. *head desk*

Cruising for decorating ideas did also mean cruising Tiffany's site. ;-) Now, I've made an issue in the past of not being a big jewelry fan. In fact, I only really object to "mall" jewelry. Kay's. Osterman's. Whatever. They're all the same - and I'm just not impressed. However, I lust after some of the Chocolate diamond and strawberry Pearl pieces from Le vian. Their Deco and Estate collections are pretty fab, too. Cartier makes me drool. My problem is - I haz expensive tastes. ;-)

Bedtime soon... whenever I can shift the cats off my chest.
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I continue to bang my head against the Guild thing, for the sole reason that I have a bit of a stubborn streak. Though from the other side's perspective, I'm not speaking sense, I'm lobbing Malotov cocktails. It put me over the top when one of the officers remarked that it would be OK to hold an A&S challenge - as long as every entrant gets the same token. No prizes.

I'm utterly sick of the Montessori School Noncompetitive Musical Chairs mentality. Apparently they want to sit at home (events are too expensive/too far away/I don't like the local people), not be challenged, receive no honest feedback, get lots of ego stroking, be awarded by the Kingdom, and not ever have to DO anything. Oh, and never have their precious little feelings hurt, nor have to be a party to anything competitive or in any way self-esteen lowering connected with the Guild in any way.

*head desk*

If there can be no chance of defeat - there can be no victory. Success connotes the possibility of failure. Where there is no honest assessment, there can be no improvement. And awards given to such people have no meaning.


So I made homemade English muffins today. And a batch of bread. And a Chocolate-Cinnamon Pudding Cake (I'll post the recipe, Tiff).

And thereby I end my day with a fresh muffin, freshly toasted, lightly buttered, dressed with some homemade strawberry jam and a dollop of cream that I whipped about an hour ago with a bit of vanilla sugar.

I feel better now. ;-)

Entertainingly, on the phone tonight Dad was angling for fresh English muffins with all the subtlety of a rabid rhino in a tea cup shop. Apparently I shall have to make some next time I go home.
femkes_follies: (Default)
1/2 liter of milk
1 pinch salt
2 whole eggs and 2 yolks
1/2 vanilla pod
1 soup spoon rum
100 grams flour
250 grams caster sugar

Now, does this not (removing the flavorings) bear a pretty strong resemblance to a period wafer recipe?

These are meant to be baked in a cup.

Think I'll try them in my popover pan.



Jan. 26th, 2010 02:20 pm
femkes_follies: (Default)
It's too overcast today for me to be able to trace my embroidery pattern onto the linen. If only I had a light....box.....

Sort of like the five lightboxes screwed into the walls around the clinic....

*head desk*

On the upside - pattern traced, embroidery begun.

In other news, desem bread starter is on Day 4, sourdough starter on day 3, and the Hubs should be brewing this week. I have harassed him into agreeing to provide me with a pint of barm once the fermentation hits the log phase.

And I REALLY need to get a decent grinder. John's is made for corn/barley. It's extraction rate for wheat flour is about 50%. *sigh* Surfing E-bay for a Lee 600 that stays in my price range. And comes with the manual.

Still really frustrated with the fiber guild. I think trying to be all-inclusive has resulted in a total lack of focus. Nobody can do everything, so nobody does anything. *sigh* Just what does a "study group" mean, anyway?
femkes_follies: (Default)
So, I'm designing a class on yeast leavening in period. My intention is to discuss the similarities and differences between mild startes, sour starters, and pure cultures (from Ale), as well as why you can't make bread with lager yeast. I'm going to bring along a variety of breads. At least a desem, a wastrel, and a peasant rye/pease loaf. I also plan to bring along small starter cultures for anyone who wants to take one home.

My conundrum lies in the fact that I have trouble filtering information for people whose backgrounds are different from mine. I can do it for the hubs - he has learned over the years to either follow my mental leaps or throw me into reverse. Spoiled and overeducated - B.S. in microbiology.

So - from my perspective - metabolism, substrate, pH, culture source, and the process of attenuation are at the root of the matter.

But: just how MUCH of that information is important to somebody who wants to recreate period baking techniques.

What would you want to know?

1. Why rye breads should always be made with a sourdough starter

2. Which species of yeast come from where

3. How to obtain your own yeasts to bake with - and how to bake with them.

4. How to bake bread with ale barm - and why I think that getting barm directly from the brewer happened relatively rarely

5. How to maintain a starter, and what happens when you do.

Other thoughts?
femkes_follies: (Default)
Sometimes it's bad, sometimes good.

Bad: I pulled out of the parking lot at work, got about 1 1/2 miles down the road, looked up: State Trooper. Looked down: 65 mph. @@(%^$(&#. Sure enough, she turned around and came after me. I handed over my license, reg, and insurance. She told me what she'd clocked me at, then asked "Was there a reason for the speed?"

Me: "Nope. Not a good one. I was not paying attention and was going too fast."

Blink, blink, blink......"Well, thank you for your honesty. Slow down, and drive safe home."

*lol* Apparently honesty is a novelty. Srsly? Like there's a point to lying to a State Trooper? They've heard it all.

Good: Seeing my name in print. In the back of Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day. I only test-baked a few recipes, as my e-mail and his didn't play well and I felt bad bugging him about it constantly. But, wow, what a cool book. I MUST go get a copy. ;-) I should have an Amazon certificate or two coming for doing professional surveys.

Elsewise, not much new in my world. I did go get some barley flour, dried peas, and whole wheat berries to do some baking experiments. And John and I bandied about a variety of theories about yeast.
femkes_follies: (Default)
Take butter out of freezer in advance of wanting to make cake.

Cake pans acquired. Though there is one odd effect of the whole relocation spectre: It is robbing me of any desire to acquire anything on the grounds that I don't want to have to move it. A major move will require me to rather ruthlessly divest of a lot of what I have already accumulated. Think we'll even leave the appliances here and deal with that when we move. Especially since any relocation allowance is likely to have a wt. limit on it.

Not that I couldn't stand to get rid of a bunch of stuff. And I was planning on a sale this spring anyway. I might just end up having to move up my timetable. A lot. Or maybe we'll play the two-places game again for a while. Won't be the first time. *sigh*

I am at least coming to terms with the fact that there are aspects of my life I can control and aspects I cannot. This is one of the latter, Still, luck favors the prepared. Hence the research into the area. I wonder if Manassas allows chickens?

May 2014

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