Archive | April, 2013

Who knew a burly, 6-foot-4-inch, 225 lb. fitness trainer would know what these are?

16 Apr
Madeleines, ala Proust

Madeleines, ala Proust

Well, I did it again. I decided I’d ‘workshop’ these cookies. And, it’s a good thing! My initial attempt at these made me learn that baking them at 400 degrees at ten minutes was at least two minutes too long. Attempt two (in a different oven) reinforced that 400 degrees was too hot (even at eight minutes they came out black!).

So, it was time to consult the oracle: Google. I found a you-tube video that explained making madeleines perfectly! And, according to the chef in the video, the batter isn’t necessarily as fragile as our recipe made it out to be. His recipe was baked at 350 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes. Rather than piping the batter into the pans, he scooped it, using a #40 ice cream scoop. Oh, and the chef in the video said for more ‘fluffy’ madeleines, use more butter (up to 1/2 cup) but that the madeleines made famous by Marcel Proust were dryer using less butter (better for dunking in tea). I’m thinking these are the ones we made.

Armed with this information, I decided to back off on the temperature (375 degrees), used an ice cream scoop and watched them like a hawk for 8-1/2 minutes! Perfectly done! And, when sampled by my fitness trainer, he deemed them exactly right. And now that I have this information, I will absolutely make them again.


“Can you make a Chocolate Mud Cake?…”

13 Apr

so asked our Australian “son,” the other evening. My husband responded with, “I’ve heard of chocolate mud pie;” I merely asked him to describe what he thought of as a chocolate mud cake. And then, I thought of the oracle of Google…

I found two different recipes and since I don’t know what I’m supposed to be baking at all, decided to bake them both. Turns out, they’re made with self-rising flour – that’s something different and both have coffee of some kind in them (not surprising for a very deep chocolate cake).  I’ve told the boy it’s his job to let me know which of the two are closer to what he gets at home!

Versions "A" and "B"

Versions “A” and “B”


“Have faith and keep beating.”

2 Apr

Five of my favorite words!

Rustic Potato Bread, pre-baking



This was one of the easiest breads I’ve ever made. Favorite thing? All done with a stand mixer. Least favorite thing? Can’t think of a one – oh, well, maybe the loaves were too immense. But, is that really a bad thing?

Rustic Potato Bread, after baking