What are you baking? March 2023

Your Napoleon is beautiful. This was my grandpa’s standard celebration cake. He made it with crisp pastry layers, pastry cream in between, and covered it the same way - with pastry shards. It was always beautiful and delicious. Brings me back a little.


Thanks! You should make one sometime. It really is surprisingly easy and quick. I know you can’t get your husband into pastry cream, but maybe using the mousseline filling might win him over. :joy: Both fillings seem to be equally popular and overall I think the majority of recipes I’ve seen are actually mousseline by a slight margin.
Of course you can just make yourself a tiny one with pastry cream like I did here all for yourself.

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Thank you for the vote of confidence. He is currently giving lip service to being more open minded. I put sour cream into the black forest cake layers. I’ve never made a crunchy pastry so that seems a bit intimidating. But it would be a good skill to learn, since I strongly prefer desserts with crunchy or laminated pastry over the mushy smoosh that is american cakes.


Here’s one that might be of interest to you:

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Looks delicious! Have you made the bluebarb-lime crumble pie from Midwest Made? Blueberries with rhubarb, and lime zest… yum.

Blueberry Oat Drop Scones from the Standard Baking Co. Pastries cookbook.

I ordered the book last night, but couldn’t wait to receive it, and made the scones from the flip book shared and discussed up-thread. I made a half batch and used a #10 cookie scoop for six generous scones.

I liked these quite a bit. They are not at all sweet – for 300 g. of flour the full recipe calls for all of 4 T. of brown sugar. Thus, the cream and butter flavors come through nicely, as do the blueberries. This is a plus, in my book, as I’m not a fan of cloyingly sweet baked goods. Will make again.

I also baked a big orange cake from Gateau – deets on the BCOTM thread here.


A big garlic bun. Gotta roll it more loosely next time so it doesn’t end up so high in the center.


It’s calling my name!

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Mom pinged me at 10:45 saying she was baking a cake in one of my Bundt pans (she’s never baked in them!) and wanted to chat about some technical aspects of removing the cake and glazing it. I was thrilled to help.

I found the recipe she mentioned. It’s a box of cake mix and a package of pudding. I KNOW it’s fine to do this but I’m disappointed anyway. If she’d have asked me I would’ve helped her with a better recipe.

Sad trombone.


It might still be delicious, no?

One of the first cakes I ever made called for a boxed mix (yellow cake) boxed vanilla pudding and cream Sherry. The aroma while baking … And it was quite wonderful.


She sent me a photo of the successful release of the cake onto the rack (this was the move she called me for advice on. ) She did it! Yay! Even fetched the cardboard round I told her to use to make everything easier.

It’s a surprise for her best friend’s birthday, a Bailey’s Irish Cream cake. The glaze has Bailey’s in it. I’m sure everyone at their weekly cards game tomorrow will love it, and it takes a lot of courage to bake something new at her age so I am very proud of her. She has watched me do it so many times over the past three years, so she new to drown the pan in Baker’s Joy like I do, and what to use to poke holes in it for the glaze, etc.


When baking at 10:45, for a next-day surprise party I’d use a boxed mix too. Less chance of failure due to mis-measuring. Glad your Mom still is willing to try new things, due to your influence. I remember when you first were cooking for her that menus were quite constrained.


Oh the time had nothing to do with the mix, trust me :slight_smile:


Recently on Reddit someone wondered about making a chocolate cake that could take on a pastel color, so effectively a white cake.

My suggestions were using cocoa butter, steeping nibs in the dairy for the cake due to my experience making cocoa nib ice cream, using good quality chocolate extract, maybe some white crème de cacao, and brushing the layers with a syrup that contains white crème de cacao. There is also such a thing as cacao extract, though I have no experience with it.
Ultimately I was left very curious and being that I always have egg whites, and have some amazing quality cocoa butter (one perk of living here is access to truly excellent cocoa butter since we grow so much cacao), I decided to bake an 1/8th sheet tray portion of this cake myself.

First of all, it’s delicious. The batter was delicious and the resulting cake is as well. I left out vanilla to make sure it wouldn’t interfere with the flavor.
This is based on Stella’s white cake which contains a portion of coconut oil for a more white crumb. I replaced the coconut oil with cocoa butter. One thing to be mindful of is that cocoa butter needs to be creamy, but you really need to be careful of letting it cool much longer than that because it goes hard to a point it won’t cream successfully very fast. So melt and then cool down just until it’s opaque and creamy! Ideally just letting it cool at room temp is safer.

For the nibs, I steeped them in buttermilk for about 30 minutes. As you can see, the crumb is a bit more beige, but it should be able to take on color without issue. To be fair I also strained through a fine sieve after steeping, but I have a finer one that would be best, as tiny bits of nibs passed through.

I am in love with how tasty this cake, but want to get opinions from people who don’t know anything about it to determine if it truly tastes like chocolate to them. I think getting some chocolate extract would take it over the top if any doubt remains. I think I’ll get some to try this again sometime.

My mom was the first person to try it with no knowledge of the ingredients. When I asked her what it tasted like she unequivocally answered “chocolate”.


It looks super tender.

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Do you share your recipes? If you do, I’d like to try this please. And no, I’m not a commercial baker; I’m a retired electrical engineer.

Would you consider brushing the layers with Champagne syrup? I find that white chocolate and Champagne go together very well.

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I made Stella Parks Brown Butter Shortbread.

They are delicious. It’s predictable that I would like them because they are exactly my taste: I like crunchy cookies and dislike soft cookies; I adore malt; I adore brown butter, but who doesn’t.

The sugar didn’t get toasted for me by the time I was done browning the butter; it took quite a bit longer.

When the brown butter was semi-solid and pale colored it was still over 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I recommend that you use an instant read thermometer as a commenter on the recipe said that their cookies failed as a result of using too warm brown butter.

I baked the cookies an extra six minutes as they weren’t brown on the bottom at fifteen minutes. The texture came out great, very crunchy.

They are quite sweet so those of you who like your sweets not too sweet may want to pass on this recipe. They are also quite salty. I enjoyed the sweet, salty and toasty in non-moderate amounts.


Yeah I didn’t like this one. I feel Stella is very loose with the term “shortbread” when she uses equal sugar to flour. The whole reason I like shortbread is that it’s much lower in sugar in comparison to the butter and flour.

Yep, when I mention the sweetness of a baked good, I have you in mind. :wink:

For the record, I use original flavor Ovaltine when malted milk powder is called for. Stella Parks’ favorite malted milk powder, Hoosier Hills, may be less sweet.

Also, she’s a Southerner; they’re known for liking their sweets extra sweet.


It’s no secret and I find the concept of secret recipes very silly anyway. It’s just a 1/4 batch of Stella Parks’ white cake with cocoa butter in place of the coconut oil and for the buttermilk I took a slightly larger amount, heated until steaming, and steeped with 2 tbsp of cocoa nibs for 30-40 minutes. The other changes are some I mentioned before where I use a bit more salt and a bit less sugar than she does.
There’s no chocolate in the cake as I find white chocolate mostly ends up tasting buttery and vanilla-like rather than chocolatey.
I wouldn’t brush this cake with anything as it’s very moist, but if I had the crème de cacao I might consider it in syrup for extra chocolate flavor.
I barely make layer cakes, so who knows when I’ll play around with this beyond this point.

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