Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Monday, October 1, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Saturday, September 8, 2012
I love it when monitors are that easy to fix!
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Friday, August 17, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Monday, August 13, 2012
And, across the board, the two Dutched cocoas beat out the two natural cocoas in terms of both flavor and texture. So does the home cook need both Dutched and natural cocoas? Not based on our findings. But buyer beware, too much “dutching” is not a good thing. Our tasters found that while moderate Dutching helps alleviate harsh notes, the overzealously Dutched cocoa we tasted took on a taste and consistency reminiscent of talcum powder.This suggests I should stick with Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder since it is partially dutched. Plus, I've been looking, and alkalized cocoa powder is hard to find in my local stores. But Hershey's Special Dark? Easy to find, and Yum!
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Fault — cake sinking in the centerI didn't see the behavior described for #4, so that's not it. I was careful not to knock them, so not #3 either. I really doubt #2 as well, just based on the clean toothpick. The cupcakes rose, and then fell, so I think it's #1. I don't think it's a because the cupcakes weren't as sweet as most. I didn't use any egg in the scaled down version, so either I did too much with the butter and sugar (by hand? really?), or too much baking soda (no baking powder in that recipe either). Or maybe it was leaving out the egg? Maybe more protein would hold the risen shape and not collapse?
1. Too much aeration. This may be caused by:
(a) Too much sugar used in the recipe. This can be detected by excessive crust color and a sticky seam running in the shape of a U.
(b) Too much baking powder. Difficult to detect because it can be confused with (c).
(c) Overbeating of fat/sugar/egg batter prior to adding flour.
2. Undercooked. This can easily be detected by the presence of a wet seam just below the surface of the top crust.
3. Knocking in oven prior to cakes being set. If during cooking when all the ingredients are in a fluid state, a cake gets a knock or disturbance (such as a draught of cold air) some collapse may take place which will result in the center of the cake caving in.
4. Too much liquid. This is easy to detect because, firstly the sides will tend to cave in as well as the top, and if the cake is cut a seam will be discovered immediately above the bottom crust. Cakes containing too much liquid do not show this fault until they are removed from the oven. During baking, the excess moisture is in the form of steam and actually contributes to the aeration of the cake. On cooling, this steam condenses into water which sinks to the bottom of the cake, collapsing the texture by so doing.
Since the first recipe didn't scale down well, and I'm enjoying testing recipes designed for small batches, I don't think it matters. But it's nice to know what causes this sort of problem too.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
The inside of my car windshield gets filthy (and I don't smoke!), so I tried making my own windshield cleaner from equal parts of rubbing alcohol, ammonia, and water. It worked, I suppose, although there were some streaks.
So I decided to work on the streaking angle. This time, I used an old sock with a hole and water. After I rubbed the windshield, I went over it with a squeegee to remove all traces of water. Guess what? That worked really well!
So pick the window cleaner recipe you like best or use water; my best advice is to use a squeegee immediately afterwards!