What are you baking? November 2023

Yeah the dissolved sugar stuff isn’t new, but she goes really in-depth into the specific conditions that make it happen (200% sucrose) and how that can be applied to things other than brownies.

She gets crinkly tops from 100% sucrose onwards, and her main takeaway is agreeing with Adam (and others) that dissolving the sucrose is necessary for the crinkly top, made easier by powdering the sugar (reason why box brownies always have the right appearance).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of spreadsheets :joy:, and I’ve created one for every deep dive I’ve done (aka rabbit hole I’ve gotten lost down) from orange olive oil cake to gougeres to gluten free bread: it’s helpful understand how key ingredient proportions affect outcomes (and why many recipes aren’t that different from each other).

I wish she had gone deeper on the chewy analysis at the end. Surprised flour proportion and length of mixing didn’t figure in there, as also oil vs butter.

Flour proportion does factor in since it’s part of the structural ingredients. I glanced at her recipe and she uses an equal amount of cocoa powder to flour, which is pretty starchy.
Considering the number of people who seem to dislike strong cocoa powder flavor in their brownies, it wouldn’t go over well with many.

Most chewy brownie recipes call for some portion of oil. I was a bit curious which CI brownie she was talking about when she listed it lower on the chewy scale, since they have a chewy brownie recipe that frequently does very well in tests, and it’s one they themselves promote on a regular basis.

Idk, I’ve known about the dissolved sugar and Adam’s video for a long time and I thought this was more useful. And I don’t care one bit about brownies. :joy:

It’s interesting you say that about boxed brownies btw. I worked somewhere where we used boxed brownies and they didn’t turn out the same every time. Depending on how they were mixed they often came out dull.

I, on the other hand, do, so I’ve done about the same level of experimenting as they have, just not for public consumption :joy:


Thanksgiving baking continued (maybe even finished for round 1, if I decide not to make brownies).

Orange olive oil cake — by request rather than habit :joy:.

Silly of me to use the updated 3 egg recipe instead of sticking with the 2 eggs that work perfectly. The cake rises too much (and domes) with the extra egg, even though I baked it at 300F instead of 350-375. No one will know but me, but I’m still annoyed.

Baked a full recipe as a small bundt and a small round for 2 different recipients.

Smells wonderful as always (kicking myself I forgot a little taster cupcake).


Quite a bit of oven time this week for me. I made a few things for the UU church holiday bazaar: Boxed funfetti cake mix made in a 9x13 pan and then packaged as “personal sized funfetti cakes.” Plus about 300 cheese Pennies bagged up by the dozen.


Can we see the cheese Pennies?

Naturally I failed to snap them. I have 2 more logs in the fridge that I’ll slice and bake on Sunday so will photograph them before distributing to sons. The recipe came from a long time church member but I’ve been told Ina has a very similar recipe


Oh yes I remember these now. Yum! Lucky UUs!

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Since I know a few of you are doing gluten-free baking, just wanted to pass along KICA’s free recipe for this weekend of gluten-free coffe and pecan cupcakes:


Pistachio cake adapted from Nordic Ware’s 3 cup Vanilla Poundcake. This is a 4 cup mold and I dithered whether to up the quantities but really didn’t want a larger cake, so I stuck “ mostly” with the simple ingredients. I subbed 1/4 c pistachio flour for the AP and reduced the sugar a bit. Added 1/8t pistachio flavoring and used buttermilk rather than yogurt, plus some roasted pistachio oil. Very fragrant when baking, I tasted a few crumbs and it is delightfully pistachio forward. A thinish chocolate glaze and some chopped pistachios were the toppings.



Curious — do your bundts dome? (I’m still thinking about the extra doming I had yesterday even baking at 275.)

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Depending more on the flour I use, if I use self rising, it’s always got a little more boost. I did use it here but the pistachio flour took care of that. Baked at 335* confection bake,this particular cake bakes very rapidly. I also make most of my cakes in the FP, so that likely also has some effect. I adhere to the “big bang” theory, both before and after. It definitely settles the cake down.

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Looks good, I will check it out!

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So funny, I never do this but I actually did yesterday, hoping it would flatten them out a bit :joy:

I also cut back both the baking powder and the baking soda (I only stock AP).

That d@mn extra egg, I knew it was the culprit :rofl:

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Perhaps…if you ever make the cake the same way twice😂, you could reduce the leavening agent a bit. The center tube definitely provides heat considerably more rapidly than a round cake mold.

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I usually make this cake relatively consistently :rofl:— except for where the orange flavor is coming from (juice, liqueur, oleosaccharum, etc).

But I should probably read my own notes. Not my first egg encounter :woman_facepalming:t2:.

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This cake has two eggs and only 3/4 c flour. I think it’s a misnomer to call it a poundcake as it’s a tender cake with a little bit of fluff to it. I have used jumbo eggs in other cakes and have been pleased with the results, but I agree, it does increase the rise.

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They are also used in savory Applications. A Moroccan Tagine comes to mind also I know it is used in some Persian Dishes as well.