What Are You Baking? May 2023

It’s May, when we hit the full swing of spring occasions (and fruits). What’s in your oven?

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Today’s bake was dark chocolate scones with brandied Rainier cherries and toasted almonds.

A winning combo, but here my OCD kicks in: I’ll have to try this with sour cherries, as well, and then with milk chocolate for both sweet and sour cherries. The rabbit hole of scones is deep.


My choice would be Valrhona bittersweet chocolate with sour cherries.

Would you be using fresh or dried?

I used Lindt 70% and dried Rainier sweet cherries, the latter spritzed with kirschwasser and soaked overnight.

Next I’ll be trying it with the Lindt and dried Montmorency sour cherries (again with the kirschwasser).

If you give it a go, would love to hear the details of your bake.

Sourdough this morning, 95% white, 5% rye, 74% hydration, 6% levain. This bread formula never fails, I get almost identical bakes every time. This was a slight bit different as it had a bigger oven spring than usual and hit the lid (glass) about 12 minutes into the bake. So the top is a little wonky looking but I’m sure the interior will be the same!


Large team meeting. I was going to make a Kentucky butter cake, but a search of Smitten Kitchen reminded me of this recipe. https://smittenkitchen.com/2006/11/chocolate-chip-sour-cream-cake/ I am sure that I have made it before. In any case, was exactly what I was thinking of for the meeting… and was eaten quickly by my colleagues!


That crust is gorgeous! I’d eat the whole thing with just salted butter on it.

Thanks! We managed to deplete our butter supply!

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A potato, some mozzarella, and a bit of kefir came together for Ossetian pies with cheese and potato. I threw in some scallions, too. These things are so good! I am looking forward to making them again. I might try meat filling sometime, too.


With the full moons lately neighbors have been knocking down some of their young coconuts. I decided to tackle a young coconut cake that I’d saved. This type of cake is popular in Thailand.
It features a chiffon cake, whipped cream frosting, and a coconut topping that is fairly loose and moist. I wanted to try it because it features the coconut water and I was curious how much coconut flavor it imparts. A novel incoming :joy:

The cake is made with coconut water and coconut milk and flavorless oil. Having made Ogura cake and pandan sponge cake with flavorful coconut oil I wondered why not just use coconut oil, but I decided to follow along.
I’m so used to going 25 degrees higher than recipes on YT call for due to not having a convection oven that I did so here. This turned out to be a mistake because this caused my cake to rise too much and crack and then sink. I tried the cake and it really didn’t have that much coconut flavor, so I decided to make it again with coconut oil and of course at 325° this time. This cake baked up great and was SO DELICIOUS with the coconut flavor. I’m so glad I made that change.

The topping is made with coconut water and cream, a very small amount of powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Unlike a pastry cream there are no eggs and once it thickens you add the flesh of the young coconut. And finish it with some butter. Tasting it alone you sort of worry it needs more sugar, but when the cake is assembled it’s just right.

Now the frosting. So all this time the cream I can get that is produced here has been labeled by supermarkets that sell it as 40% cream, but I happened to check the label the other day and it has 4 g fat per 15 g serving. That means this cream isn’t even 30% fat, which is why it won’t whip past soft-medium peaks. I can make things like mousse because I don’t typically need stiff peaks there, but not plain whipped cream. I don’t like the President brand cream because it separates and is very expensive, but the Elle & Vire stuff which is also far too expensive is markedly better, so I may have to resign myself to paying for it when I need cream. Sadly the local cream that really was 40% is not sold here because people in this town weren’t willing to pay for their excellent products.

I have mascarpone and I thought to try 60% mascarpone to 40% cream. This does produce a stiffer cream, but I forgot to take into account that the volume difference is pretty big. So I ultimately didn’t have enough to frost the cake. Since this was to sample, I wasn’t too bothered by it.
The cake is delicious, but I would make the topping with coconut milk rather than cream. The topping seems to be standard as various recipes look almost exactly the same, but I saw that quite a few used coconut milk along with the water.

In terms of the chiffon cake I could eliminate the water and milk from it and still my version would taste strongly of coconut because of the oil, which is just much more efficient way to get coconut flavor in a cake.

For the topping, ultimately coconut water doesn’t produce much in the way of coconut flavor. If not for the fact that in order to get young coconut flesh you will have a coconut full of water, there’s no reason to bother using it and I’d rather drink the water. :joy: I absolutely love the tender strands of young coconut. In that milky topping they remind me of the dulce de coco that my mom would make except a lot less sweet.


A mini Mary Ann cake with rhubarb and berries made with the Nordic Ware 3 cup vanilla pound cake recipe.
This time I used the entire recipe for a six section baking mold. As mentioned previously, this is a tender, fine crumbed cake, perfect for this kind of application.

This had a little whipped cream in the cavity prior to adding the rhubarb and berries.
Rhubarb raspberry gelato on the side.
I’m happy I made six!


Adorable, and also delicious looking!
(This thread constantly makes me want to buy more baking molds :roll_eyes: :woman_facepalming:t2:)


I have a treasure trove in my basement! :joy:

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Me too! Unfortunately, I don’t have anywhere to store a treasure trove of fun baking pans.

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Yeah, no basement in my apt for that kind of storage fun :joy:

As it is, I have a drawer full of stuff that I have to keep justifying to myself :rofl:


A single 8/9” cake would work just fine! A nice mound of whipped cream and fruit would get you in the same place…no excuses now!:yum:

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But… not as cute. Come on now!
(Meanwhile, don’t have any misconceptions about my “shortage” of stuff – I’ve got mini bundt pans that would work just fine :joy:)

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Proof is in the pudding :rofl:!

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I rarely bake muffins which call for butter (preferring oil) or lots of sugar, but this one sounded nice despite the appearance of both. I never get out a mixer for muffins – they don’t last long enough to make it worth the effort. Going by a Taste of Home recipe, here I melted the butter before stirring it in with the sugar and the applesauce. It worked fine. I made a ¼ recipe for 6 muffins, subbing 25% of the flour for white whole wheat. For kicks, I spritzed the apple bits with Calvados and let rest overnight before mixing the batter.

I think one could cut back on the sugar and swap some of the fat for more applesauce if so inclined. As written, they came out with a smooth texture, and sweet with lots of apple flavor. I would make again.