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I got to spend my first "research trip" day down at my alma mater, pouring over the vintage cooking ephemera collection. Luckily for me, my visit started with a very accomodating Special Collections librarian who not only found me my materials, but was familiar enough with the collection to tell me how things were filed.

I managed to get through 4 manufacturer's worth of info. Which means I probably have at least one, maybe two more trips ahead of me to have what I want.

But even at this early stage, certain things are becoming clear. One is that flavor profiles change over time. Which is no surprise nor likely news to any of you. The current fascinations with pomegranate, truffle, pumpkin spice, and the like will fade in time, too.

Some of the clear favorites in vintage recipes are orange, cherry (usually sour or candied), lemon, pineapple, and date.

Here's my question: Do I stick with these flavors, as being integral to the nature of vintage baking? Or do I "update" some or all of them. I do believe that a lot of the reason for the popularity of these flavors was that they were the first to be either canned at decent quality or available for shipping for a greater part of the year. Anymore, that's certainly less of an issue. But should I stick with them... on the grounds that eating locally and seasonally means taking a leaf from our mothers and grandmothers and NOT using produce that was in Ecuador yesterday?

What about things like "Dolly Madison Cake" (which I'd never heard of before Tuesday, but was supposedly beloved in the South). Is it SO iconic as to be preserved? Or skipped entirely with its fruitcake-like batter and filling of candied fruits and nuts in icing?

What do y'all think?
femkes_follies: (Default)
So, "everybody knows" that CocaCola Cake was invented during WWII right?

Hmmmm, was it? I can't find the smoking gun.

My 1943 Baker's Chocolate cookbook has a section on substitutions and includes a "no sugar" cake that has corn syrup instead. It also has advice on adapting most of the other recipes to replace part of the sugar with corn syrup or honey. Nothing about cola. Or even beet juice, which is supposedly the origin of Red Velvet.

Any thoughts/hints/places I should look? (Heck, anybody have an old CocaCola ad with the original purported recipe?)
femkes_follies: (Default)
I'm working at the moment, but once I get home, there are Things To Do:

Winterize the chicken coop: Hang the heat lamp, re-bed the coop with shavings and the nest boxes with straw, and put the feeder/water INSIDE the coop. Probably need a new waterer. And this will all require the removal of the AC unit in our bedroom and the repurposing of THAT extension cord for the coop lamp.

Work on the Cook Book proposal: I have a concept synopsis and market snapshot in initial drafts. Next is a Table of Contents and sample chapters/recipes.

Make some sort of decision regarding my online presence. Which blog will be the "public" one - the one that I make a serious effort to connect to other people in my focus area and use to build a following for the book.

Test out new GF baking mix

Make a second folder to file away those recipes that don't fit the theme of THIS concept, but might be useful later.

Work on the visual design I'm going to use to tie it all together. Ale, any advice on making with the pretty?


Sep. 29th, 2011 07:57 pm
femkes_follies: (Default)
So, anybody interested in test-baking for said cookbook?

I won't ask you to commit to cooking EVERY recipe. Though it will probably help if you're at least familiar with doing SOME gluten-free baking if only because you'll already have most of the ingredients. Going out and buying ALL of it at once is an expensive undertaking.

Here's how I'll work it:

When I have a recipe to test out, I'll E-mail you the recipe and a copy of the review form. You bake it, fill out the form, and zing it back. Or just let me know that you don't have time/lack ingredients/no interest in that particular recipe.

Please forward this request on to friends you know who might be interested?
femkes_follies: (Default)
Ok, I'm tapping the hive mind today. Because I can't even come up with a cloudburst at the moment.

I've been reading up on "Branding Yourself," (user name=kass_rocks), step in any time here).

In my head, the first iteration of the cookbook is aligned with the theme, "Gluten Free Goes Vintage". Basically, classic desserts reworked to be GF.

But I probably need an overarching logo/design/brand, so that there is something BEYOND that cookbook. Something to tie the various creative endeavours together.

Do I stick with the 4 Little Dutch Girls, and use THAT blog to promote and Brand?

Or something new? And what?

When you think of the concept of fitting gluten free requirements and the general craziness of modern life into a vintage aesthetic....

What descriptive words do you think of?

What "core customer" do YOU envsion? (I have my own ideas, but I don't want to contaminate you all, and I'm curious to see if I'm missing a section of the population I'm not even aware of that some of you are tuned into)

What colors and images come to mind?
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It was Liesl's birthday this weekend, so we met the 'rents in GR for a brief lunch and picked up her presents. (And, naturally, presents for Rori, so she wouldn't feel left out. Mom will never change).

After lunch, we went into the mall because I wanted the new Williams-Sonoma mini Halloween pancake molds and a batter pen. Mom and I have played a game called "Whoever gets the money to the cashier first wins" for years. It's even more complicated that Cat Chess. And I think Mom has been reading strategy manuals. She waited until I was engrossed in hunting for them in the Halloween display and asked a clerk. Apparently, they don't have all their Halloween stuff out yet. Clerk went to fetch them from in back. Mom and I both stalked her for a while, but I got distracted by my kids and Mom intercepted them. THEN while she was asking about the batter pen, I located it with the baking widgets. This did not gain me the point. She took care of it by the simple expedient of taking it away from me.

Having lost the game, we went down to the play area - which, at this mall, has giant breakfast food. Mom had my niece, and I was watching my girls. This was amusing. Clara wouldn't go play anyway, so my conversation with Mom went like this:

Mom: Where's Rori?

Me: On the waffle.

Mom: Where's Anneliese?

Me: Under the bacon.

Mom: Where's Rori?

Me: On the fried egg.

Mom: Where's Anneliese?

Me: In the cereal bowl

Mom: Where's Rori?

Me: On the sausage.

Mom: Where's Anneliese?

Me: On the banana. Are you going to take it on faith now that I really DO have eyes in the back of my head and I actually know where my children are?

As Brain Exercise goes - my kids have Sudoku beat all to hell.

Yesterday I got ground into the dust as my co-worker (yet again) opted to leave at noon. He had a sick kid. Said kid was with him. Kid did not look that sick.

So I did his appointments, MY appointments, all three surgeries, and the 4th surgery that came in ata 4:30 PM - because I know how my boss feels about allowing my OTHER co-worker to do strange things when I'm not there. And today is my day off.

Therefore ON my day off, I trolled the local antique store. I got a 1957 cookbook entitled The Art of Fine Baking." And a 1959 sewing pattern for a little girl's dress that should be just Liesl's size. It's too darling. It's a little sleeveless dress with a petticoat, and has a short-sleeved cropped jacket that buttons up the back. I'll try to scan the cover later.

I also managed to twiddle with the HTML and get some FB stuff on my GF blog. So you can now share individual posts. Yay! The Whipped Cream cake was really good, BTW:


More later. :-D
femkes_follies: (Default)
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.

Hep, pls?

Jan. 24th, 2011 12:04 pm
femkes_follies: (Default)
The New Bloggity is up:


It will get a custom favicon a little later.

But what I could use is somebody to just go post a comment, SOMEwhere - so that I can style the comments and see them.

femkes_follies: (Default)
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
femkes_follies: (Default)
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. ;-)
femkes_follies: (Default)
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.
femkes_follies: (Default)
In honor of the Storm of the (Pick your period of time here), which is pulling barometer readings to rival a hurricane and would have come close to the Blizzard of '78 - had it been cold out....

I give you:

Gluten Free Churros y Chocolate )
femkes_follies: (Default)
Here's the recipe for the GF/Dairy Free cupcakes I made for Anneliese's birthday. I modified a Champagne cupcake recipe a little to get here:

Angel's Kiss Cupcakes

1 1/4 c AP Gluten Free flour of your choice
1/4 c. almond flour
1/2 tsp guar gum
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
dash salt
1/2 cup LaCroix carbonated water - flavor of your choice. I used lime. (For those in other regions of the country, this is just an unsweetened, flavored club soda.)
1 Tbsp almond milk or other milk replacer
1/2 c. veg. oil
1 tsp almond extract

Stir together dry ingredients (flour, almond flour, baking powder, guar gum, and salt) in a med bowl.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until lemon colored ribbons form. Turn mixer to low and add oil, almond milk, extract, and carbonated water. Add dry ingredients. Mix to combine, then beat for 2 minutes.

Pour into 12 cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cupcakes are very white and poofy - should not brown when done.

Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Icing -

1/2 cup veg oil margarine, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp of almond extract
1/4 cup of LaCroix water.

Beat together margarine and sugar. Add extract. Add LaCroix water in small additions until correct spreading consistency is reached. You may not need it all. Tint a soft color. Pale blue is very nice with the very white cupcakes!

femkes_follies: (Default)
I suspect I would have somewhat better success with the gluten-free bread if I could actually remember to get all the ingredients into the mixer. First time, I left out the butter. Second time, I was a couple of egg whites short. The recipe isn't bad (even screwed up, it comes out edible). But I do have a couple issues with it. First, it's over complicated. Which is why I have such trouble, I think. I suspect the author diddled around a LOT - then used the first recipe that turned out an acceptable loaf. Without going back and trying to streamline. I'm just not convinced it's all necessary. What is the point of honey AND sugar, in a recipe with so much water? Ditto with eggs and egg whites and egg replacer. Not as sure about using guar gum and unflavored gelatin - there MIGHT be a point to that. But water AND dried milk powder? Hrrrmmm.

The gluten-free cupcakes I made for Anneliese to take to school for her birthday came out much better. Possibly I'll post the recipe later if anybody is interested - they're simple little fluffy white cupcakes, made with lime LaCroix water. There isn't a lime flavor to the cupcakes - just a "lightness."
femkes_follies: (Default)
Well, not an unqualified success - but not a failure either. I started with this recipe:

Then modified. Here's my version:

7 oz Ghiradelli double chocolate chips
3 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 c sugar
1 1/4 cup GF flour blend
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp xanthan gum
8 eggs

Melt chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler. Stir in sugar. Set aside to cool.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum in a medium bowl.

Beat chocolate mixture for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for a few seconds between additions. Turn mixer to low or stir in flour mixture. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

A couple notes. The original author suggested preheating to 375 and turning down. Don't. I got a fine crisp crust on the cupcakes that then collapsed and made them hard to ice.

Second - the caramel icing was OK (would have been better if John had gotten a brick of cream cheese rather than a tub of the spreadable. :-( ) But if I do these again, I think I'll do this:

8 oz cream cheese
2 sticks butter
1 c peanut butter
5-6 c powdered sugar

Beat together cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time until spreadable consistency is reached.

Not bad. Annneliese like the cupcakes but not the icing. ;-) I suspect she prefers Momma's usual almond buttercream.
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.

May 2014

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