April 2009 Baker's Stash
Dear Friends and Fellow Bakers,
April’s Fools would be such a fun holiday (it’s short, sweet, mischevious and calorie free) but as it is only one day, it generally is quickly outpaced by the holiday focus and preparations of the month –namely Easter and Passover. Otherwise I would dally with a slew of whimsical recipes. That said, I might be quoted in the Washington Post vis a vis my foolish attempts, years ago, to poach salmon in a dishwasher. It did, as it turned out, make an April Fool out of me. Nuff said. Speaking of the Washington Post, you will find a beautiful Passover chocolate cake and photo online and in print, that I did for the Washington Post Food Section (it should be in today, actually) On April 8th, tune in for a segment on Passover cooking and baking when I visit on Martha Stewart Sirius Radio (8 am, Eastern Standard Time).
My thank you for this month’s art goes to Ann Elizabeth Schlegel who was kind enough to create this original art. Have you ever seen a box of Manischewitz matzoh ball mix look so good? The art is for sale too. To learn more, Anne Elizabeth Schlegel or visit www.annelizabethschlegel.com and http://paintingeachday.blogspot.com
As I mentioned in my last note, I am hard at work on gorgeous new editions of my first two cookbooks. This fall you will see both A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking and The Best of BetterBaking.com back on the shelves – in new editions, featuring added new, recipes and photos. Later this month, a photography crew, courtesy of my publisher, Whitecap Books, will descend on the BB kitchens for a week long photo shoot of my favorite recipe picks – the recipes that will be in the book that I thought especially beautiful, photo-opt stuff. This means that the BB Test Kitchen, my test kitchen manager Ellen Fuss, and our testing team is busier that ever. We were hard at work on A Passion for Cooking but I switched gears to get these cookbooks ready for the ball again.
Oh, and if you hear an indignant shreik from somehwere in New York State, it is indeed my Test Kitchen Manager Ellen Fuss, cursing me for ladling her and the rest of my Test Recipe Team quadruple copies of recipes. I tweak, edit, and change things - I am the queen of waffling and adjusting recipes; what can I tell you – guilty as charged), of a cookie or a cake I wanted tested yet again or yet another version of something I already emailed twice before. What you need to know about Ellen is not only is she precise and wonderfully exacting but she has a dietician’s degree and sensibility. For her to oversee testing of the lavish desserts I create and not quite faint in horror is a feat in itself. She’s too good. Actually, she is the first one to tell you – enjoy your treats and don’t forget to go to Spin Class more often. She loves her treats, is unreasonable about chocolate and believes in balance –not starvation and she is not about hiding the treats.
I am also reading an intriguing book on ‘not’ dieting which you might want to take a look at (since we bakers always want to stay svelte and enjoy our own baking). It is by Beyond Word Publishers and it is The Gabriel Method, by Jon Gabriel and it has to do with the body holding onto to its extra weight to protect us. When it feels under siege (or otherwise unhappy; i.e. the body cannot diffentiate between psychic or physical threats), no matter how much dieting you do, the body does its best to defend itself with the 'armor' of excess weight. Lose weight without dieting? This along makes The Gabriel Method worth looking at (also Martha Beck mentions something similar in this month's Oprah Magazine). Visit www.BeyondWord.com or Jon Gabriel's own site, http://www.jongabriel.com.au/ This is fascinating material and makes so much sense and will be a total relief to those who bulge up and slim down or feel starved and barely lose. Here at last is a common sense, gently written, information book that might explain far more than dieting science has so far.
This summer, I hope to overhaul BetterBaking.com for a new streamlined site. Due to the demands of cookbooks and other books I am working on, I will also probably take that occasion to switch to a recipe a month but the Complete Recipe Archives, for those that use them, will remain open and subscriptions will continue as they do now. This should occur in August or before. But I am not going away – just finding a way to keep in touch, offer the recipe resource but create books of all sorts. If you ever want to see BetterBaking.com in its old days, visit www.WayBackWhen.Net. The other good news about this is that BB will be a far more stable site (no more weird fonts!).
Stay tuned too, for some special Mother’s Day Gift ideas and special product reviews.
In the meanwhile, I am delighted to share some favourite spring recipes in tones of rhubarb and strawberries, and things sweet and eggy, as well as some treasured Easter and Passover recipes.
With warm wishes,
Editor and Master Baker
Just in time for April Fool’s day! Mille-feuilles, in French, means one thousand sheets, or layers. The steps required to make this luscious version of the classic pastry can be counted on one hand. 24 hours chill time is recommended.
The flavors of new maple rock in this cream cheese crown, fawn-hued pure maple muffin. If you can find some maple sugar, grate some up on top before the muffins hit the oven.
French Strawberry Rhubarb Tart
A sophisicated ode to Spring by the pastry chef in residence. This is so-French but so springy, with it's rosy rhubarb overtones, set in a custard-filled sweet tart crust.
Big, bold, oat goodness in a cafe-style scone. This is good with coffee of course but one bite usually makes you forget the coffee is there.
Strawberry Filled French Crepes
Goodbye plain old flapjacks, hello Paris bistro. These are part white flour, part rustic buckwheat crepes, filled with tart-sweet new strawberries and annointed with warm maple syrup.
Greek Filo Custard Pastries
I can’t really figure out how this ambrosial combination of semolina or cornmeal enhanced pastry cream and filo and a touch of syrup came to be called Copenhagens in some circles (even in some Greek cookbooks!) but one precious bite of this pastry wonder and you will not care. Sweet, golden, eggy – it’s perfect for Spring.
Cherry Cake Doughnut Coffeecake with Cherry Fondant Glaze
This is a cherry cake doughnut but in a pan. And what else? No frying! All the great taste of a doughnut shop classic but no fuss or bother or staling. If you mix the cherries in to well, they tint the batter pink but that is fine. If you are more delicate about incorporating them, you get that scattered cherry look and taste but more of a confetti or dotted-with-cherries batter. Shortening makes this more authentic but if you use it, opt for the new Crisco no trans fat one.
Broil or grilled, this makes an outstanding, light entree of fish. The maple brings out the subtle salmon taste and helps it caramelize on the edges just so. Serve with asparagus and wild rice. Maple, soya and sesame collide in a West meets East with Northern Exposure accent.
Cream of Asparagus Soup with Fresh Herbs
Most cream soups begin the same way. Simmered vegetables go into a chicken or vegetable or water stock. This is then amalgamated with a cream base, usually made with a classic flour-butter roux, to which milk and cream is added. The soup is then seasoned, the softened vegetables and creamy broth get pureed, and voila: cream soup in any flavor you choose. You can play around with the herbs and spices but mostly, this is the sort of recipe that suits whatever vegetable you prefer or what the market or season offers. For spring, of course asparagus is my choice.
Previous Monthly Essays from A Note From Marcy:
Essays to tickle your funny bone, wake up your inner baker, twinge on your heartstrings, or make you smile and say, ‘I’ve know the feeling; I know the place”. If you missed an essay, or a season in baking or inner sensibility, we invite you to stroll through our archived Notes From Marcy.
- May 2013 Note from Marcy Baker's Stash - May 2013
- May 2013 A Note from Marcy - May 2013
- April 2013 A Note from Marcy Baker's Stash - April 2013
- March 2013 A Note from Marcy - March 2013
- February 2013 A Note from Marcy - February 2013
- January 2013 A Note from Marcy - January 2013
- December 2012 A Note from Marcy - December 2012
- December 2012 A Note from Marcy - December 2012
- November 2012 A Note from Marcy - November 2012
- October 2012 A Note from Marcy - October 2012
- September 2012 A Note from Marcy - September 2012
- August 2012 A Note from Marcy Baker's Stash - August 2012
- July 2012 A Note from Marcy Baker's Stash - July 2012
- TeamBuy.ca and BetterBaking.com Subscription Special! - June 2012
- May 2012 A Note from Marcy - May 2012
- April 2012 Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash - April 2012
- March 2012 A Note From Marcy - March 2012
- February 2012 A Note from Marcy - February 2012
- January 2012 A Note from Marcy - January 2012
- December 2011 A Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash - December 2011
- November 2011 Note from Marcy Bakers Stash - November 2011
- October 2011 Note From Marcy Baker's Stash - October 2011
- October 2011 A Note From Marcy - October 2011
- September 2011 A Note from Marcy - September 2011
- August 2011 Note From Marcy - August 2011
- August 2011 (1) Note From Marcy - August 2011
- June 2011 Note from Marcy - June 2011
- May 2011 A Note from Marcy, Baker's Stash - May 2011
- MARCH 2011 A Note From Marcy Baker's Stash - March 2011
- FEBRUARY 2011 A Note From Marcy, Baker's Stash - February 2011
- December 2010
- December 2010 Baker's Stash - December 2010
- November 2010 Baker's Stash - November 2010
- October 2010 Note from Marcy & Baker's Stash - October 2010
- September 2010 Note from Marcy & Baker's Stash - September 2010
- August 2010 Baker's Stash - August 2010
- July 2010 Baker's Stash, A Note from Marcy - July 2010
- June 2010 Baker's Stash - June 2010
- April 2010 BAKER'S STASH - April 2010
- March 2010 Baker's Stash, A Note From Marcy - March 2010
- 2003-2007 PAST ISSUES Note from Marcy & Recipes - February 2010
- JANUARY 2010 BAKER'S STASH - January 2010
- December 2009 Baker's Stash - December 2009
- September 2009 Baker's Stash - September 2009
- April 2009 Bakers Stash - April 2009
- March 2009 Baker's Stash Baking With Mom, Feminist in the Kitchen and some Retro - March 2009
- February 2009 Baker's Recipe Stash - February 2009
- January 2009 Baker's Stash - January 2009
- December 2008 Baker's Stash - December 2008
- November 2008 A Note From Marcy - November 2008
- A note from Marcy - December 2007
- A Note from Marcy - February 2007 - An Oreo Love Affair
- A Note from Marcy - January 2007 - When Bakers Cook, Recipes deChef
- A Note from Marcy - December 2006 - Shortbread and Other Favorite Things
- A Note from Marcy - November 2006 - Thank Goodness for Pie
- A Note from Marcy - October 2006 - A Salute to Chocolate Chip Cookies
- A Note from Marcy - September 2006 - The Back to School Carrot Cake Issue
- A Note From Marcy - August 2006 - The Sourdough Magic Issue
- A Note from Marcy - July 2006 - The Annual BB Picnic Issue
- A Note from Marcy - June 2006 - The Bountiful Berry Issue
- A Note from Marcy - May 2006 - Pride and Pastry or Tea With Jane
- A Note from Marcy - April 2006 - The Breakfast Baking Issue and Fresh Starts
- A Note from Marcy March 2006 Passion - Gettin' Some - March 2006 - Havana A Heat Wave, Baking with A Latin Beat and The Passion Play
- A Note from Marcy - February 2006 - Memoirs of A Geisha Baking, Valentineâ€™s Sweets
- A Note from Marcy - January 2006 - The You're Toast, A Salute To Slicing Loaves and More
- A Note from Marcy - December 2005 - Bake It Forward, Gift Baking Issue
- A Note from Marcy - November 2005 - Open Hearth Hosting or Guess Who's Coming For Dinner
- A Note from Marcy - October 2005 - It All Happens for a Reason or Sometimes Bread Just Doesn't Rise.....
- A Note from Marcy - September 2005 - Baking By the Code
- A Note from Marcy - August 2005 - The Tao of Pie
- A Note from Marcy - July 2005 - The Journey of the Journal plus Twix Bars!
- A Note from Marcy - June 2005 - A Pastry Chefs Trial by Cheesecakes
- A Note from Marcy - May 2005 - The Frontier Baking Issue/Living Big in a Small Venue
- A Note from Marcy - April 2005 - When Harry Met Salad
- A Note from Marcy - March 2005 - Baking with an Irish Broque; A Romance in the Dairy Queen One Fine March
- A Note from Marcy - February 2005 - She Just Doesnâ€™t Get Him, Valentineâ€™s Day Rebuttal and Cupcakes Galore
- A Note from Marcy - January 2005 - The Art of Changing and Making Space in a New Year
- A Note from Marcy - December 2004 - The Shall We Dance or Shall We Bake, Holiday Baking Issue and an Ode to Dance
- A Note from Marcy - November 2004 - The Bread and Soup Issue and How A Canadian Became Americanized (sort of)
- A Note from Marcy - October 2004 - The Field of Dreams Issue, Baseball and the Baker
- A Note from Marcy - September 2004 - The Catcher of the Rye Issue, What Falls Away, the Sweet Taste of Forgiveness and Letting Go
- A Note from Marcy - August 2004 - Itâ€™s All Greek To Me Issue and The Evils of Multi-Tasking
- A Note from Marcy - July 2004 - The Gone Fishinâ€™ Issue/Summer in the River City, A Bakerâ€™s Musical
- A Note from Marcy - June 2004 - The All That Jazz Issue, How To Scat and Improvise in Wheat
- A Note from Marcy - May 2004 - The Bread and Roses Issue, Goddess, Feminist or Feminineâ€¦and Fudge
- A Note from Marcy - April 2004 - Waiting for Happy, or If I Won the Lotto
- A Note from Marcy - March 2004 - Meet You in the Bookstore, My Love Affair with Books
- A Note from Marcy - February 2004 - Sweets for the Sweet, a Valentine From the Baker
- A Note from Marcy - January 2004 - How To Eat Right or Resolution 2004 â€“ How Not To Diet
- A Note From Marcy - December 2003 - The Sugar and Spice Issue
- A Note from Marcy - November 2003 - How To Weather the Weather, or Keeping Cozy in Late Fall
- A Note from Marcy - October 2003 (Part 2) - They Laughed When I Got Up To Bake, Hotel School Trials
- A Note from Marcy - October 2003 (Part 1) - How I Got Into Baking, A Bakerâ€™s Beginnings Part 1
- A Note from Marcy - September 2003 - Welcome To Wheatland, a bakerâ€™s fantasy or Camelot in Flour
- A Note from Marcy - August 2003 - Notes on Homemade Krispie Kreme Doughnuts
- A Note From Marcy - July 2003 - Memories of Summer Music Camp or Baking to Birdland
- A Note From Marcy - June 2003 - How to Play Hooky in Summer, An Urban Adventure
- October 2008 Baker's Stash
- February 2009 Issue Baking by Heart Copy
- March 2009 Baker's Recipe Stash
- JANUARY 2011 BAKERS STASH NOTE FROM MARCY
- September 2008 Baker's Stash
- May 2010 Baker's Stash
- February 2009 Baker's Stash