What are you baking? March 2023

But Cocolat, in which she apparently states a preference for natural cocoa (as she does in some later books) was her first book, predating Chocolate and the Art of Low Fat Desserts. My money’s on Shelleybean’s supposition that it’s tied to the lower-fat recipes.

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Medrich’s book, Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts, predates Chocolate and the Art of Low Dat Desserts.

In Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts she expresses her preference for natural cocoa powder.

She was writing recipes for scharffenberger at one time, I’m not agreeing/disagreeing, just stating a fact.

In case people here want to try a recipe from Alice Medrich’s, Chocolate and the Art of Low Fat Desserts, here is a Sweet Potato and Dried Apricot cake that David Lebovitz posted on his blog. I’ve made it and it’s delicious m.


Big fan of Alice Medrich!

Plus “Bittersweet”…love them all.


I recently posted asking for gluten-free baking advice - you might find some other ideas there!

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Portuguese egg tarts


That recipe is very similar to Italian pignoli cookies, but I’d wonder about the almonds flaking off (or the chocolate getting messed up). The pignolis stick to the cookie and are unlikely to suffer from travel.

My friend uses this recipe which has a tiny amount of flour (you can sub GF AP or rice flour), but others use zero flour (eg this or this).

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Thank you!! I make an Italian Pignoli cookie at Christmas! I realized that her birthday is at the end of April: think that I will try the NYT almond flour CCC. And thanks to this group, I have quite a few more gluten-free recipes to try!

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Tried out this cheesecake which is made with a shortbread crust, ganache layer, cheesecake, and lightly sweetened yogurt topping. As is often the case, some trial and error with the baking temp when converting a European recipe made with a different oven with bottom and top heating elements and convection. This needs to be baked at 400° in my oven. The crust is patted into the pan and refrigerated, then the ganache is poured and the whole thing frozen for 20 minutes. Cheesecake fillings gets poured on top, and into the oven. When the cheesecake is browned and still jiggly, on goes the yogurt topping for a 10-15 minute bake. I could barely wait for this to cool, so I had a still gooey slice. The slice pictured here came later after I stuck it in the freezer for a little bit.
Even with a blonder crust than ideal, this thing is AMAZING and I can’t wait to bake it again. I only made half as I often do for a first try. Next time I’m doing a full version. It’s so delicious. Sweetness is perfect, the layers complement each other really well, and it’s really very easy.


I baked honey muffins yesterday that were a big hit with both of us in the house. Lots of honey in the batter and I topped it with a crumble mix. I put some cardamom in it and it complements the honey flavour really well.


Lemon-blueberry scones, modified from an Epicurious recipe for lemon-poppyseed scones.

In addition to omitting the eggs, I swapped the equivalent of 1 c. of dried, wild blueberries for the poppyseeds. I’m finding I much prefer dried fruit in a scone over fresh – to my taste the scone-like texture holds up better without the added moisture brought by fresh fruit.

I made a half-batch for six smallish scones, topped with a lemony glaze.


Back to one of my favorites with the semi-cured cheese (Havarti) in there.


I’m not a cheesecake fan in general, but I’m intrigued that they can be cheese specific. Havarti?? I’m sure my mother (who loved cheesecake) never ate anything but Sara Lee.

HERE is our April thread!

It’s a Basque cheesecake that contains a small amount of semi-cured cheese to give it some extra flavor. Basque cheesecake can be a bit mild in flavor since it’s made with a fair amount of cream, vs a higher proportion of cream cheese and ingredients like sour cream.
Something like Monterrey jack or Colby would also be good. In the first post I made on it I mentioned using a semi-cured cheese that contains sheep’s milk and that worked well because it’s a small enough amount that you cannot make out that it’s sheep’s milk. Havarti is much cheaper, though, and just as effective, so I switched to that.
This time I used a little kefir cream I had as part of the cream portion, too.
I’ve seen cheesecakes with edam and cheddar and I imagine they would taste similar.



May I ask what weight you use for converting flour measurements in this cookbook (Standard Baking Co. Pastries)?

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Cookbook says recipes were tested with all-purpose flour and “measure flour using the scoop and level method - scooping the flour out of the bag with a utensil into a measuring cup, leveling the excess with a straight edge.” Also says for more tender tart doughs or scones substitute up to 25% with pastry flour and use slightly less liquid.


I usually use 125g. as a standard, but since it was a scoop/level measurement, I arbitrarily decided on 130g. I did not scoop / level weigh. It could possible be a little more? For the tart crusts, I probably went with the 125g. , I use pastry flour.
So annoying to use guesswork, I read it fairly carefully to see if there were any other “clues”, so much faster to weigh as you well know.

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Thank you!

I did a test scoop - it came out at 156 g. Seemingly too heavy, IMO, so this morning I went with 135, and still had to add a little liquid.

I don’t mind so much winging it when I’m working on bread (today is the chocolate babka), because it’s easy for me to gauge by the feel of the dough whether the hydration is right. With cookies and pastries, however, it’s really nerve wracking - for me at least - to determine without weights whether my ratios of flour to butter are correct for the desired result.

Will post results later this afternoon!

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