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Miscellaneous Baking

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Not a cookie, not biscotti but bigger and better than both. Huge wedges of biscotti ‘cake’, coated on one side with a slick of white or dark chocolate, make for unbelievable wow appeal. I saw these at a local café and thought, ‘hey, I can do that’. So can you.

This recipe is now in A Passion for Baking, Marcy Goldman, Oxmoor House, 2007. www.OxmoorHouse.com or www.amazon.com.

Bakeries sell huge honey cakes that are cut in mammoth slabs. Sometimes, they are baking in industrial baking pans, their sides lined with greased brown baker’s paper. I like the look and generous cuts that result. Here is a home-style version that features the great taste of home-made with the wonderful, commercial look of a real bakery-style honey cake. It lasts up to a week just covered or 2-3 months, frozen. Just make sure you prepare the pan with its parchment paper ‘cake girdle’. This cake will stop even a great grandma in her tracks. Wow appeal  galore. This is a totally awesome cake that is the holiday 'memory' maker but simply the best spice cake ever.

How come you are so slim ? is what most pastry chefs want to hear. How I manage that is based on another one of my own creations (and it's not a cookie), the most sane diet I know and the only one that works!

Fried hotdogs? So good you’ll not want to share the technique. Score one of those super-sized kosher dogs. Deep fry (if you are baking French Fries – pop a couple of these in the oil). The dogs flare up and bulk in size – offering a crisp exterior and hot, juicy interior. Ballpark mustard, a fresh poppy seed roll and you’ve got game. A super 4th of July snack.

I like chamomile tea but it sometimes tastes like someone brewed wildflowers (which is essentially what chamomile is) and haystacks (which it isn’t). It can taste smooth and gentle or a bit gamey, depending on the brew. But if you add cinnamon and apples, you have a soother with style and autumn flair. It is almost…..celestial.

Black tea, touched up with minced Skor or Heath Bars. Mmmmmm.

This is an exceptionally easy, extremely tall, moist, gorgeous, oil-based chocolate cake. You cake hand mix or food processor make this fabulous cake. Pour and bake. It’s a hunk.Of course, you can also use melted unsalted butter for better flavor but oil-based cakes are good keepers.

This ultra tender, decadent cake combines some elements of a cheesecake, with a quick cake mix and then a dousing of Torani Creme Caramel Syrup. But I also tried it with Torani Cheesecake Syrup and Toffee Syrup and it was spectacular. Given www.Torani.com has a ton of syrup selections, there is no end to what you can do nor the creative adventure I am now embarked on. I know it is a cake mix (and I am working on the scratch version) but it is divine.
Check out http://www.torani.com/ 
the full listings of their famed syrups. They are also terrific (and as intended) added to teas, coffees, over ice-cream and in seltzer water (for that check out www.SodaStream.ca)

According to culinary writer/reporter Matthew Goodman buns from the Open Window Bakery are legend. His recipe, calls for a lean dough and vegetable shortening. The BB Test kitchen used butter and/or oil, (we are not keen on shortening), and we made the dough a bit richer to offset staling. The result is a plump blueberry bun that is authentic Open Window Bakery-inspired but a bit better and more appropriate to the home kitchen. This bun takes an egg wash and some dusting sugar but I suggest a crumb topping. Instead of square buns, these are cut in large circles and folded in half for half-moon shaped pastries. Matthew Goodman’s fine write-up on the Blueberry Bun can be found at www.forward.com/issues/2001/01.04/27/fastl.html.  Incidentally, the scent, let alone taste of the fresh blueberry filling are so summery and good you might forget to save some for the buns. This recipe is similar to my own for Cherry Buns in my first cookbook, A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking River Heart Press 2017)

There are hundreds of variations on this theme. Try this one for starters.

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