What are you baking? November 2023

Yea, LV likes full sun. Is yours in a pot or in the ground?

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It’s in the ground in a location that gets probably about 5ish hours of sun in the spring and summer. I’m planning to uproot my whole herb garden in March to compost and move things around. Hopefully with a high ratio of survivors!

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The good thing about LV is how fast it grows, at least for me where I am - I put two nursery-purchased seedlings in the ground in May, and had at least 100x more LV than I could use within the same season.


Szarlotka, first time using Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. The photo is a little lame - I can’t put the final shower of cinnamon sugar on yet because it’s still warm - but the smell is intoxicating :slight_smile:

You put the diced apples directly into the bottom of a greased springform pan, then prepare a very meringue-ey batter by beating eggs and sugar for a long time til ribbony. You spoon in some vanilla and flour (and I added salt, because of you-know-who), press the batter into the apples, and bake for an hour.


I finally got to try this (there was one single leftover piece) and I’m surprised how much I like it. The “cake” part has no butter, so it eats a little like meringue. It’s a bit crispy, which is very nice against the soft cooked apples.

I added cinnamon and lemon juice to the diced apples after having read the comments in the recipe (and knowing Mom’s penchant for cinnamon generally.) As I said in my initial post, I also added about 1/2 to 3/4 tsp fine sea salt to the flour before stirring it in at the very end (you don’t mix it using the mixer.)

Will make again!


I seem to remember you expressing not liking sponge cakes much, so I’m pleased you liked a very classic sponge cake (no added fat, whole eggs) enough to make it again.

me, really?

I think specifically Swiss rolls citing they were too light.

zero memory of this, but then i am getting old. generally speaking, i pride myself on being an equal opportunity cake glutton!

now i’m wondering if i overbeat the eggs and sugar.

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It doesn’t look like you had any issues given your results. Unless there’s baking powder it’s pretty hard to over-beat the eggs and sugar for a sponge. With baking powder added, the lift can be more than the cake can handle if you incorporate a lot of air, but otherwise shooting for pale and thick enough you can draw an 8 on the surface is good.

ah, ok then. i’m learning.

Mmm I would, too!

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Very interesting and useful video from Sugarologie on brownies and just crinkly tops in general:


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.