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Old 11-29-2016, 08:13 AM   #31
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I've had good success with Ina G. but confess I don't do a lot of sweets. I have just lately with galettes and all our fruits this summer. Savoury is more my thing. Her "Adult Mac & Cheese" I go crazy over. She also has a Thanksgiving casserole with potatoes which is also amazing.

I'm surprised that her sweets don't work, I was led to believe she does all her own work, not farm it out to sous chefs.
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Old 11-29-2016, 08:37 AM   #32
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OK confession mode... I haven't tried Ina G's recipes, and as such I should not be commenting on them. Because I work in a bookstore, I sometimes form an opinion of a cookbook writer based on who buys them.

Ina is not that bad. Now she is no Dariana Allen (who if she visits the US I will show up with a horribly abused copy of Forgotten Skills of Cooking for her to sign)

but, fine, and good recipes.

I am of the opinion that you can make anything without a mixer that you can with.

We do not have an electric mixer, arms and a wooden spoon.

I will say when I hear 'stir with a mixer on blah blah' it makes my right arm hurt, as I know what is coming.
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Old 12-02-2016, 07:12 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by CWS4322 View Post
No offense. but if a person can read, mix the ingredients as instructed, set the oven temperature and the timer, I can't get why you can't bake.
It doesn't matter how good a baker you are there are all sorts of things that can affect the results. - the weather, the type of flour, the altitude you live at, your oven throwing a tantrum, the electricity/gas companies activities including the time of day/amount of usage affecting the pressure of the gas or the vagaries of a wood/solid fuel range. Even your mood - I don't bake if I've had a row with someone!
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Old 12-02-2016, 07:13 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
Many know that I'm not a baker but thought I'd give it another shot for T-day. This recipe from Ina Garden sounded good and easy. She's a cook I trust, but how does it sound to you?
Easy Cranberry and Apple Cake Recipe : Ina Garten : Food Network

I do not have a stand mixer, only a hand held one, but other than that, I'm sure I followed the directions exactly. The dang thing was an embarrassment to say the least. Blah.. It can't be that you actually need a "paddle mixer" to be a success with this, can it?

By the way, for those who don't know me, I'm a pretty darn good cook, although I remain a pitiful baker.
I use both a stand mixer and a hand electric mixer - it all depends on quantity and generally speaking (though there may be exceptions which I haven't come across yet) it doesn't matter which you use.

Don't be put off by negative comments. Dish up the "failure" in individual plates/dishes, cover it with whipped cream and tell the diners that it's an old recipe your great great grandmother brought from the Old Country where it was a speciality of her remote mountain village. Say it in a firm voice and they'll believe anything.
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Old 12-02-2016, 10:23 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
It doesn't matter how good a baker you are there are all sorts of things that can affect the results. - the weather, the type of flour, the altitude you live at, your oven throwing a tantrum, the electricity/gas companies activities including the time of day/amount of usage affecting the pressure of the gas or the vagaries of a wood/solid fuel range. Even your mood - I don't bake if I've had a row with someone!
Oh, I bake and get really hot, then Kablooie..Ogre Express!
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Old 12-02-2016, 10:48 AM   #36
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I couldn't sleep last night and since the ATK Baking Illustrated is not yet wrapped, I was reading about sugar cookies. One of the points was to add light brown sugar to the sugar to get the right amount of "golden". The other was that if cookies are dry, the ratio of butter to flour is off. Four tablespoons fat to one cup flour.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:13 PM   #37
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Mad Cook to the rescue with "It doesn't matter how good a baker you are there are all sorts of things that can affect the results".

Bravo. It is not a sign of stupidity to have problems with baking. Baking desserts (or bread) and cooking savory dishes just ain't the same. With baking things in the oven (except maybe for crumbles, crisps & buckles) there's more chemistry involved. So many things you can't control. I sympathize with Kayelle (opening poster).


Don't be put off by negative comments. Dish up the "failure" in individual plates/dishes, cover it with whipped cream and tell the diners that it's an old recipe your great great grandmother brought from the Old Country where it was a speciality of her remote mountain village. Say it in a firm voice and they'll believe anything.

Mega-LOLs!
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:01 PM   #38
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Thanks for all the input and food for thought.

Unlike savory recipes that can be pretty much fooled with as you please, you are forced to rely on the author for baking. That's yet another reason I hate to bake. In this case, I thought I could rely on a professional cook like Ina Garden and yet she left out a very important instruction... "let the batter rest for at least 30 minutes".

I won't even get into ordinary people who write out their own personal baking recipes with fatal errors, and then judge others about following recipes.
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Old 12-03-2016, 09:10 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
Thanks for all the input and food for thought.

Unlike savory recipes that can be pretty much fooled with as you please, you are forced to rely on the author for baking. That's yet another reason I hate to bake. In this case, I thought I could rely on a professional cook like Ina Garden and yet she left out a very important instruction... "let the batter rest for at least 30 minutes".

I won't even get into ordinary people who write out their own personal baking recipes with fatal errors, and then judge others about following recipes.
That's why I like to use baker's percentages when baking. I am in the process of converting my grandma's recipes to baker's percentages. It will probably take me until the day I die.
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