I have also eaten pumpkin cake. And pumpkin with chocolate chunk muffins from the Boulevard Bakehouse in the Christchurch Arts Centre (do they exist any more?) - this is practically the only way I ever eat pumpkin. In cake.
Still waiting for that email, Sally. No pressure, mind.
I make ice cream. Ice cream sandwiches. Cinnamon buns. Coconut buns. Bars, brownies and slices. Choux pastry? Been making it since I was born
Dyan, you are my new best friend. You had me at the ganache and raspberries. I bow to your -
Cookies? I make thousands of different kinds
I've probably eaten thousands of different kinds, but baking takes so much longer. Do you do anything else? (if it's not a rude question)
I too have been making choux pastry since I was born - hasn't everybody? Not so much in adulthood but I did make from scratch a tower of profiteroles with chocolate and red liquid icing cascading down the sides to effect an active volcano for my son's tenth birthday. After the choux volcano was eaten we caught the ferry to Rangitoto and hiked to the top. I was trying to get him interested in volcanoes. Not really. Volcanoes were his first obsession. Volcanoes and bottle tops. But that's another story.
But that was the last of the choux for me. If we were to have a choux-off I'd have to be given some time to return to form. I used to make profiteroles when I was eight. Of course, you're going to tell me you were six or two, but my mum had never made them before so I felt very sophisticated with my little light brown boulders.
I MAKE MY OWN VANILLA.
Indeed. I bet you do
Bloody Nora, Jackie, sorry about that. I sent you an email about 5.30pm yesterday. I'll have to fire my people, get some new ones who know what they're doing! Onto it!
this is practically the only way I ever eat pumpkin. In cake.
And your point Tamsin6? Well, apart from roasts and soups.
Good heavens 3410, what's wrong with you?
I just don't dig eating baked guinea pig, okay?
Jackie, did you get my email?
I just don’t dig eating baked guinea pig, okay?
Yes, too prickly.
Are you sure that's not hedgehogs you're thinking of?
No, Sally, I didn't. goodeye at xtra dot co dot nz
Are you sure that’s not hedgehogs you’re thinking of?
Okay, that's funny. I think I must have pricks on the brain, What can I say?
I used to love hedgehog when I was a kid, but haven't had any for ages...
But that's not a roil hedgehog recipe. If the almonds were slithered instead of chopped I might have bought it.
I once made a hedgehog cake with chocolate flake spikes - sort of thing everyone should do once.
Now that brings to an end all the hedgehog-insensitivity on this here thread.
I’ve probably eaten thousands of different kinds, but baking takes so much longer. Do you do anything else? (if it’s not a rude question)
Not at all - I run a physiotherapy practice (Paul's) but have been known to make many forays into public health - was on the executive & planning committee of sci/med conferences (for The Obesity Society (to the great amusement of those who consume my food, and have watched me eat). I have written many articles on health - NZ Doctor, Fitness Life etc - and I'd just like to say here high GI foods are the enemy of health,
Having said that, I think people are going to eat some crap anyway, and something that's homemade is sooo much lower in sugar, has no trans fats or preservatives. I can make an entire batch of something that would contain less sugar than two Tim-Tams or a can of Coke but you wouldn't know it. Kipforal, for instance, needs 1/4 C of sugar to make about 60 cookies, though they do use a huge amount of butter & ground walnuts. They are a kind of vanilla walnut shortbread, invented by the Austrians, who knew a thing or two about pastry. Or cherry strudel - made with ground almonds, a bit of cream cheese and you can use a filo, butter & sugar layers if you don't have 6 hours to make puff pastry (plus it's way lower in butter) and the whole thing would have less that 3 Tbsp of sugar for the whole strudel. The cherries baked with the almonds, cream cheese almond essence and kirsch taste sooo sweet you wouldn't believe it. There winds up being exactly 2Tbsp in the filling and 1Tbsp in the filo, but the impression is that it is very sweet.
But I like old colonial cooking - I have a NZ book from about 1903 I use a lot - though there is a recipe for raspberry jam in it that starts with... "Take 16lbs of fresh raspberries..." and I think, wait, I just need to mortgage the house...
I love old American baking, with blackstrap molasses, ginger, cloves, cinnamon. Pies, deep dish fruit pies with unsweetened pie crust Hundreds of different gingerbreads - loafs, chewy cookies - breads - gingerbread is a huge category, and the American versions are the best, as they used so much molasses, and hardly any sugar. North American baking used lots of nuts, fruit, buttermilk, so many fresh berries and vegetables, ground up in cake. Pumpkin pie, flavoured with spices, treacle is an old Thanksgiving tradition. Ginger & pumpkin cheesecake... It's delicious. Zucchini cake, beet root cake, tomato cake - all three can be teamed with chocolate to great success, though zucchini is even better in the spice and molasses loaf category. But vegetables in cake - it has always been around in North American traditions.
I always have one eye on nutritional value of a recipe - I like Delia Smith's recipes but not Jo Segar's or Nigella Lawson's as are invariably too sweet, too greasy and don't appeal to my palate, let alone my sense of nutritional decency.
Often taking out 1/3 of the sugar and 1/3 of the butter can improve both the flavour and texture of something. Classic American brownies for instance - instead of melting quite so much butter with the unsweetened chocolate, then adding a huge amount of sugar (as the original goes) puree till smooth 20 prunes soaked in brandy and fold it in and you can leave out 1/3 of both the sugar and the butter - prunes in brandy go beautifully with the chocolate (as dried fruit - prunes, currants, raisins - is the foundation of most chocolate tortes). Anyhow, this makes a brownie much more chewy, and more chocolaty than the original.
Does that answer your question? I've been known to digress.
The first time I've seen bring-it-on step-up-or-step-off i'm-the-greatest trashtalking in relation to...baking cakes.
Float like a fairy cake, sting like a....?
Float like a fairy cake, sting like a….?
Fairycakes? I am on a baking, ranting tangent!
Ohmygod, my Mother In Law used to make the most exquisite fairy cakes, with delicate little icing sugar dusted golden wings and a half strawberry poking out of the cream, which was hiding her homemade strawberry preserve in the base of the little cake. Gosh, they were beautiful. The woman was a genius.
Look, there really is nothing for it but a bakeoff. How fortuitous for both Danielle, and I, that we live in your vicinities. I can think of an occasion in the very near future where cake tasting and judging could be arranged. Don't you think?
I have written many articles on health – NZ Doctor, Fitness Life etc – and I’d just like to say here high GI foods are the enemy of health,
Dyan, my, my, how long your post is. Thank you for sharing. Looks like you're the winner of any bakeoff then, might as well call it off.
Yes, less sugar, less white flour. Go Jamie Oliver, he's a man on a mission if ever there was.
I love old American baking, with blackstrap molasses, ginger, cloves, cinnamon. Pies, deep dish fruit pies with unsweetened pie crust Hundreds of different gingerbreads – loafs, chewy cookies – breads – gingerbread is a huge category, and the American versions are the best, as they used so much molasses, and hardly any sugar.
Sorry to quote long but OMG! This is culinary gold. Especially advice about keeping one eye on nutritional value. I always say, if you can add fruit or nut, do. There's no excuse for a plain flour, butter and sugar cake these days.
The prune brownies (?) are a winner. Love the idea of the kids downing prune and thinking it's chocolate. Cool :)
Look, there really is nothing for it but a bakeoff. How fortuitous for both Danielle, and I, that we live in your vicinities. I can think of an occasion in the very near future where cake tasting and judging could be arranged. Don’t you think?
Yes. Sooner rather than later, please, we're off to the South Island for xmas :)
The prune brownies (?) are a winner. Love the idea of the kids downing prune and thinking it’s chocolate. Cool :)
I like doing up a table for kids - they will devour raw vegetables by the truckload, served with a mild curry/strained yoghurt dip. It always amazes their parents how much fresh produce their kids will actually pack away without prompting. Ditto bowls of raspberries and blueberries (served in silver bowls) and strawberries & cherries (served in crystal).. Presentation is all, with kids, As is culling the very, very best bits for the kids' table, and having b-grade berries for the adults, c-grade berries for smoothies etc.
What Jamie Oliver is doing is quite amazing - and his rant about how children are being malnourished by processed food is absolutely correct. Paediatricians have reported treating children with bowel obstructions, at 8, 9 years old. That's an unnecessary disorder in an elderly patient, but and ailment like that requiring surgery is nothing short of child abuse.
And your point Tamsin6? Well, apart from roasts and soups.
My point Sally? I didn't really have a point. I guess I was too hungry from the cake porn to have a point. Just that I really used to like the pumpkin and chocolate muffins at the Boulevard Bakehouse. Even though (back then at least) I didn't think I really liked pumpkin at all. Roasted or in soup.
But I like old colonial cooking – I have a NZ book from about 1903 I use a lot
My mum still uses her old school cookbook, from the 1950's - excellent recipes and I think when I come home for Christmas I may have to photocopy vast chunks of it...
Ditto bowls of raspberries and blueberries (served in silver bowls) and strawberries & cherries (served in crystal)..
Dyan, you have class and a little Wonderland perversity about you, I like it!
My point Sally? I didn’t really have a point.
Tasmin6: Hey dude, it wasn't a criticism. I just think everything tastes better in cake - duh!
Hmmm - cake as the gateway drug...first pumpkin muffins, then a little soup, and then full on, actual, roasted pumpkin...but it MUST be slathered in gravy. This is not optional.
If the almonds were slithered instead of chopped I might have bought it.
Those slippery little varmints!
Actually, I worried (on re-reading, as promised earlier) that your poor little 16 year-old body was expected to expend so much energy with too few calories. It's no wonder you craved cake! You didn't say, but I presume, that the bussed-in audience didn't bring any cake with them. Bugger.
And on the subject: Louise cake. Just suddenly had a craving.
And pudding: the wonder of the Fielder's Recipe Book which was Lemon Cheese Pudding. I was always begging my mother to make it, but could never remember what it was called. "Can you make that pudding with the sponge on top and the lemon sauce underneath?" "Can't!" she'd say. "Haven't got any lemons/eggs (this in the days when there was an "egg season" - before battery hens were thought of)". When I discovered as an adult the name of the recipe, I made it. Blech! Tooooo sweeeetttttt! Cut the sugar content down to half. Still very sweet. But oh so good.
Interesting about the sweetness and North American cookery. I've googled up a few recipes, such as boston baked beans, and included molasses, as required, but found it too sweet. I suspect that I'm one of those people who much prefer savoury. Or very small amounts of sweet things. Like small muffins. I can't stand the loaves most cafes sell as muffins. There was a very good French-taught pastrychef who had a shop across the road from work. She made afghans. They were about 5cms in diameter, and had a tiny blob of chocolate icing. I loved them! Had one every day with my morning coffee. Until after the Christmas break one year I discovered she'd shut up shop. By then, I had to have an afghan every day with my coffee, or I couldn't do any work, so away I went, searching. Found an afghan - double the size, flat as a pancake, with the top covered with sickly chocolate icing about 5mms thick, and it was ghastly.
I just think everything tastes better in cake – duh!
Andy Warhol was reputedly that way too, though his ideas on cake-making were pretty primitive. Somewhere among his more twee musings he described taking two slices of bread and a piece of chocolate. You placed the "candy" on the bread, then the other slice on top, "and that would be cake".
At a dinner once an art patroness seated beside him said "Oh Andy, you haven't touched a thing!", to which he was supposed to have replied "Thank you Ma'am, but I only eat candy".