ashallen's Bookshelf

  • Great shortbread-type cookie. Delicious almond-lemon flavor and a wonderfully sandy texture without being bone-dry or brittle. I used a finely ground, whole-grain cornmeal (House Autry) and substituted demerara sugar for turbinado sugar in the topping. Used 1.5 tbsp sugar for the topping - 2 tbsp of sugar topping is very generous, even for a 9-inch version, and might not stick fully. It was also pretty sweet so I'll use a scant 1 tbsp in the future. Press nut topping lightly into dough - I skipped doing that and some of the almond bits popped off easily after baking. Baked in a 9-inch Pyrex pie plate which worked well. Cookie browned quite a bit around edges but that didn't harm the flavor.

  • First time making a starch-thickened ice cream - worked great! Egg-free. Ice cream was dense, smooth, and creamy. Froze faster and melts slower than most egg custard-based ice creams I've made. Definitely scoops best when softened a bit. Flavor contrast between sweet cream base and tart black currant jam ripples is great. It's really pretty, too - dark purple ripples against a white base. I did have a mishap with the potato starch - I heated the custard too long without stirring and a swollen potato starch layer formed on the pot bottom. I scraped it up and tried whisking it back in, but there were still little blobs in the final custard that looked and tasted like soft tapicoa pearls. I left them in, thinking maybe they'd incorporate during freezing, but they didn't - they just got firmer! If they show up again in the future, I'll strain them out.
    about Black currant ice cream from Leite's Culinaria added on May 03, 2020

  • First time making a starch-thickened ice cream - worked great! Egg-free. Ice cream was dense, smooth, and creamy. Froze faster and melts slower than most egg custard-based ice creams I've made. Definitely scoops best when softened a bit. Flavor contrast between sweet cream base and tart black currant jam ripples is great. It's really pretty, too - dark purple ripples against a white base. I did have a mishap with the potato starch - I heated the custard too long without stirring and a swollen potato starch layer formed on the pot bottom. I scraped it up and tried whisking it back in, but there were still little blobs in the final custard that looked and tasted like soft tapicoa pearls. I left them in, thinking maybe they'd incorporate during freezing, but they didn't - they just got firmer! If they show up again in the future, I'll strain them out.
    about Black currant jam swirl ice cream from À la Mode added on May 03, 2020

  • Very flavorful dish - if you love ginger, you will love this dish. I was concerned when I tasted the pan juices before reducing because they seemed overly spicy-hot from the large quantity of ground ginger (and maybe too much black pepper?) and a bit bitter. But then they magically transformed after reducing into a thick, deeply flavored sauce with delicious sweetness from the prunes and port. I'll probably still experiment with reducing the ground ginger from 3 teaspoons to 2 next time and watching the black pepper.
    about Braised pork loin with prunes from Olives and Oranges added on May 01, 2020

  • Very nice carrots, particularly given the low level of effort they require. Flavors are a nice mix of earthy-sweet from the carrots, fresh from the herbs, salty (crunchy grains from the kosher salt), and sour-sweet from the pomegranate molasses. I skipped the hot red pepper but will include it next time - it'll work well. Recipe says it serves 4 - serving size will be modest at that number of servings.
    about Pomegranate roasted carrots from Food52 added on April 30, 2020

  • Very nice carrots, particularly given the low level of effort they require. Flavors are a nice mix of earthy-sweet from the carrots, fresh from the herbs, salty (crunchy grains from the kosher salt), and sour-sweet from the pomegranate molasses. I skipped the hot red pepper but will include it next time - it'll work well. Recipe says it serves 4 - serving size will be modest at that number of servings.

  • I'm always on the look-out for recipes that use up the extra celery that always seems to be lingering in my refrigerator - this is a very nice soup that's easy to pull together. The apples add some sweetness and acidity which make this soup seem less starchy/potato-y than other celeriac soups I've had. My out-of-season apples weren't super-flavorful so it'll be interesting to see how better apples do. I did use a rich homemade chicken stock which probably added a lot of flavor and two sprigs of thyme since I'm a fan. Good both plain and with a bit of sour cream swirled in. I didn't make the optional croutons or curried apples though their textural contrast with the smooth, pureed soup would be nice. Yielded ~10 cups.
    about Celery-celery soup from Around My French Table added on April 28, 2020

  • I've used this tofu marinade multiple times. Great marinade with a very nice flavor. Can be reused per instructions in recipe and frozen between uses.
    about Marinated tofu from Greens Cookbook added on April 27, 2020

  • This is the most flavorful chicken stew I've made to date. The chicken and vegetables were very tender and the sauce was basically a thick, rich, flavorful gravy. I usually prefer the stronger flavors of beef/pork/lamb stews to chicken stew, but this is very good. I did use a flavorful batch of homemade chicken stock. My husband, a big chicken stew fan, says this one is his new favorite and has already requested a repeat for next week. The stew was good after the specified cooking time, but I cooked it for an additional 45-60 minutes since we like the meat and vegetables to be verrry tender. Recipe says to discard chicken wings after cooking, but the meat on mine was actually very good when picked out and mixed into the gravy with everything else. [Cross-post Cook's Ill. Annual Edition/Magazine.]

  • This is the most flavorful chicken stew I've made to date. The chicken and vegetables were very tender and the sauce was basically a thick, rich, flavorful gravy. I usually prefer the stronger flavors of beef/pork/lamb stews to chicken stew, but this is very good. I did use a flavorful batch of homemade chicken stock. My husband, a big chicken stew fan, says this one is his new favorite and has already requested a repeat for next week. The stew was good after the specified cooking time, but I cooked it for an additional 45-60 minutes since we like the meat and vegetables to be verrrry tender. Recipe says to discard chicken wings after cooking, but the meat on mine was actually very good when picked out and mixed into the gravy with everything else. [Cross-post Cook's Ill. Annual Edition/Magazine.]
    about Best chicken stew from Cook's Illustrated Annual Edition 2013 added on April 26, 2020

  • These are confection-like cookies. Very sweet, wafer-thin, crisp edges, chewy centers. Chocolate works really well with candied orange peel and pecans. I used about half the chocolate specified to get more pecan/orange flavor. No salt in recipe - salted vs unsalted butter would be good to try next time. I'd also try a very flavorful brown sugar like muscovado. Definitely stick to a lightly heaped 1/2-teaspoon per cookie. These spread a lot and bigger ones damaged easily. Baked just 24 per standard cookie sheet - otherwise they spread into each other. Batter's easier to handle after chilling. Stored well overnight. Even with making some cookies too big, I got 110 vs. 96 specified. The 3 cookie sheets called for won't fit them all - you need to wash between batches. Cookies are fiddly to handle and weld solid to sheets if cooled too long but rumple/tear easily if too warm. Ignore instructions to cool 3 minutes. Instead hover, watching and poking, until just the right moment. Work fast!
    about Savannah lace Christmas cookies from Classic Home Desserts added on April 24, 2020

  • A classic white cake that brings back memories of many, many birthday parties from the past! Fluffy, tender, and moist. I accidentally used too much flour (converted volume to weight assuming unsifted all purpose flour vs. sifted cake flour) but it still came out great. Looking forward to making it again with the correct amount. Used King Arthur's unbleached cake flour vs bleached cake flour and all butter for the shortening - worked well and great flavor. Very easy mixing method in which you simply beat the liquids into the dry ingredients+fat. This is a nice way to use up some extra egg whites, too. Update (2020.04.24): Made again and used the correct weight for sifted cake flour. Yielded a sweeter, richer, shorter cake with a finer, more compact crumb and a more melt-in-your-mouth texture. Also, cake took 5 fewer minutes to bake. We really enjoyed both versions. Preference will depend on the cake style one's going for.
    about Silver white cake from Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book added on April 17, 2020

  • This cake's topping syrup contains orange juice and pomegranate molasses - it's tasty, but tart and strong-tasting to the point where it was often hard to taste the walnuts and pears. I think I'd prefer a more gently flavored caramel topping. Cake texture was nice - solid and moist without any sludginess. I used a 10-inch wide/2-inch deep pan and the cake rose over the rim a bit and then sagged in the middle during the last 10 minutes of baking - a slightly larger pan would work better. Once flipped, however, all of that disappeared and it was very pretty with light-colored pears against a glossy, dark syrup-coated cake. My pears were bigger than those specified in the recipe (though still 1.5 lb) - I quartered vs. halved them - worked well. Recipe says to bake 50-60 minutes - mine was done after 45.

  • I really liked the flavor combination of raspberry-orange-black currant in this - even more than I'd expected! Brings back fond memories of the 3-in-1 sherbet tubs I used to eat as a kid with lime+raspberry+orange flavored sherbets. Not super-sweet. More solid immediately after churning than many other ice creams I've made, so it was actually in pretty good shape to eat immediately. Also didn't melt as fast as some other homemade ice creams. The ice cream mix thickened quite a bit after chilling overnight, perhaps because the acid from the raspberries and orange juice concentrate went to work on the cream (?). I used mostly-thawed frozen raspberries instead of the fresh ones called for in recipe - worked well. Yielded a bit over 1.25 quarts for me.
    about Pink Panther ice cream from Scoop Adventures added on April 09, 2020

  • Just OK, but I'm not sure it came out as author intended. Gluten + dairy-free. Weight and volume quantities in book's ingredient list don't match for granulated sugar, confectioners' sugar, poppy seeds, and almonds - I chose volumes since they looked more reasonable. Sugar quantities differ by 1-2 tbsp which is probably OK, but poppy seeds and almonds differ by 1/4-1/2 c which makes a difference. Also, this is my first torte with this many eggs (6 whites + 12 yolks!). It wasn't clear to me from recipe whether double boiler step with yolks + sugar was meant to cook (e.g to 155F=what I did) or simply warm them -need to research! Not too surprisingly, torte had an "eggy" vibe relative to other tortes in both flavor and texture - not terrible, but it wasn't what I was hoping for. Spice + orange flavors were nice and didn't overwhelm poppy seed flavor, but I missed having butter flavor. Yogurt strainer worked great for draining the ground poppy seeds.

  • From the author's website: In the SOURDOUGH RYE on page 453, you will be increasing the starter by 4 times, from 25 grams to 100 grams. On page 454, Hand Method, use the same amount of starter as is on the chart above (1-1/2 cups).
    about Sourdough rye from Bread Bible added on March 18, 2020

  • From the author's website: In THE ALMOND FIG BREAD on page 412 There have been some questions about the weight of 75 grams for the coarsley chopped slivered or whole almonds. It is correct. The volume, however is a little under 1 cup. It will not hurt, however to use 1 cup.
    about New Zealand almond and fig bread from Bread Bible added on March 18, 2020

  • From the author's website: In THE TEN GRAIN TORPEDO on page 396, step #4...knead for 7 minutes. The dough will be dry.
    about Tyrolean ten-grain torpedo from Bread Bible added on March 18, 2020

  • From the author's website: In THE BEER BREAD on page 376, under the mixer method, it should read: if it is too sticky add in a little flour...
    about Beer bread from Bread Bible added on March 18, 2020

  • From the author's website: In the PROSCIUTTO RING on page 371, the bread will weigh 1-1/2 pounds/690 grams and in the chart, the meat mixture should be 1-1/2 cups/6 ounces/170 grams.
    about Prosciutto ring from Bread Bible added on March 18, 2020

  • From the author's website: In PUGLIESE on page 363, step #5...until it has increased by about 1-1/2 times, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
    about Pugliese from Bread Bible added on March 17, 2020

  • From the author's website: In the GOLDEN SEMOLINA TORPEDO, on page 366 step #2...In a medium bowl whisk together ALL BUT 1/4 cup durum flour and yeast. Then whisk in the salt...on page 367, step #6...Preheat the oven to 425°F, or 450°F if using La Cloche.
    about Golden semolina torpedo from Bread Bible added on March 17, 2020

  • From the author's website: In BRINNA'S PUGLIESE on page 347, the water should be 6 tablespoons (not teaspoons).
    about Brinna's pugliese from Bread Bible added on March 17, 2020

  • From the author's website: In the Authentic Pumpernickel Bread recipe on page 329, under Oven Temperature: If using La Cloche, preheat the oven to 425°F, then [reduce heat to] 400°F. In the recipe on page 333, the oven is preheated at 400°F but then should be lowered to 375°F [if not using La Cloche].
    about Authentic pumpernickel bread from Bread Bible added on March 17, 2020

  • From the author's website: In the RYE BREAD recipe on page 326, on the flour mixture chart, the 2 1/4 cups bread flour weigh 12.3 ounces / 351 grams, and step #2: eliminate the words 'rye flour.' (Rye flour is used only in the sponge on page 325.)
    about "Levy's" real Jewish rye bread from Bread Bible added on March 16, 2020