We do quite a bit of our shopping at Trader Joe's. It's nearby, relatively inexpensive, and well-stocked with many of the fun foods we enjoy (hello prosciutto!). We buy most of our grains and produce items at a local co-op or the farmers market, and a lot of our other food comes from TJ's. We've always been annoyed, though, at the baking section.
Using agave in place traditional sugars in recipes is a snap to do, but it does take a little know-how. We have a few quick tips to aide you in your baking adventures to make sure each and every treat hits the sweet spot without any let down.
Q: I'm wondering if you can help me salvage a batch of caramels. I made two batches yesterday — the first was plain fleur de sel caramels and turned out perfectly. In the second batch I infused the cream with thyme but otherwise it was the same recipe. It hardened like a brick.
Could I put it back in the pan, melt it down, and add more cream? And if I did this, would it still keep at room temperature like they originally would?
Have you ever had a batch of ice cream that stays soft and slushy no matter how long you leave it in the freezer? Or the other extreme, an ice cream that freezes so hard that you can hardly dig your spoon in for a taste? Sugar just might be the culprit behind both situations!
When we first picked up this book by lawyer turned cake baker extraordinaire, Warren Brown, the title read like a cookbook for dummies. But once we opened its beautifully designed pages, it had us hook line and sinker. Like any good book should, this one had us camped out on the couch reading it page by page and cover to cover.
The book is packed with recipes, along with tips, tricks and a few science lessons behind his methods. It takes a straight forward and less intimidating approach to making the three types of basic cakes: pound, butter and foam with chapters on frostings, glazes, fillings and assembly...
The New York Times' article yesterday about the showdown between non-sugar sweeteners got us intrigued. We haven't talked much about artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes here on The Kitchn, so we thought we'd do a survey and see where you stand. Do you regularly use sugar alternatives like Splenda and Equal? Do you lean more natural, substituting rice syrup and agave in your baking? Or do you stick with the white crystals themselves?
What cookies did you leave for Santa back when you were young and a believer? In my childhood home, it was Red and Green Christmas Balls (one red, one green) and a cup of cocoa left on the fireplace hearth. I no longer leave out cookies on Christmas Eve but my Mum still sends me a box of Red and Green Christmas Balls every year.
Last time I was home at holiday time, she pulled out her yellow pyrex mixing bowl and whipped up a batch. I was assigned my childhood task: rolling the balls of dough into the red and green colored sugar and carefully placing them on the cookie sheet. These memories and traditions are a precious gift, as sweet and shining as Santa's cookies...and much longer lasting!
Read on for the recipe and leave a comment on your Santa treat!
We all go through a lot of sugar this time of year, and those tiny grains seem to be underfoot all the time in our kitchen. So we are in an especially good place to appreciate this perfect sugar packaging from France.
This time of year, we often come across recipes that call for sugars we don't normally use or remember to keep stocked, like superfine or confectioner sugars. What to do if you find yourself short? The good folks from Cook's Illustrated have a few ideas...