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Is there any cake I can make without a mixer?
Posted: 08 March 2011 11:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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How about bread?  Hand kneading has a long and respectable past!  If you must have dessert, the Savarin is one of my all-time favorite desserts. It is brioche syruped with rum and served with fruit and whipped cream.  Similarly, it could be a baba au rhum (filled with pastry cream or chiboust cream).  Brioche can even be baked in a 9x2 cake layer (see the Cake Bible’s La Brioche) to give a more cake-like presentation.

Pies and pastry also work very well by hand, maybe a fruit or pecan pie?

Can’t wait to hear what you decide on.  I’ve sometimes wondered about spending a week or month cooking and baking with a bare mimimum of hand tools… might be interesting.

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Posted: 08 March 2011 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Speaking of pastries, how about eclairs?
Or bear claws?

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Posted: 08 March 2011 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Anne in NC - 08 March 2011 04:12 PM

Speaking of pastries, how about eclairs?

Ha! Jenn could do a Gateau Saint-Honore!!  cheese

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Posted: 08 March 2011 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Ha! Jenn could do a Gateau Saint-Honore!!

ooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
I just googled that!
That gets my vote!!!!!!!

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Posted: 08 March 2011 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Oh my! I had no idea that my question would trigger such a lively discussions. THANK YOU everyone for your input and suggestions!

CharlesT - glad to know it wouldn’t take hours!

Gene and Michael - kudos to you both for making cakes by hand. And genoise to boot! I honestly can’t imagine making genoise by hand. I once tried to make whipped cream by hand. A small quantity of it. I managed but oh man I was suffering (yea I know, I need to hit the gym and start lifting weights smile).

Jan - it doesn’t have to be Rose’s recipes, but since it is THE recipe I made the most (and I love her recipes), I felt it should be Rose’s, wouldn’t you agree?

Julie, I had thought of making bread as well over there. And I usually knead bread by hand.
I love the cheesecake idea!!! It’d be perfect. I thought I could make mini cranberry crown cheesecake (sans the ladyfingers) and baked them in the lekue silicone pan. Of course now you and Anne come up with something better - Gateau Saint Honore!

I remembered that Carolita has made it - link is here:
http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/index_ee.php/forums/viewthread/2166/

And Anne, I just googled it also, so many interpretation. This would be perfect as I would only need to transport minimal kitchen equipment: spatula, piping bag and tip, thermometer (for the spun caramel).

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Posted: 08 March 2011 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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It’s been a long time since I’ve made pate choux. Which means - experimentation this weekend! smile

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Posted: 08 March 2011 02:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I’d say any cake that uses a foam (whipped egg whites).  I am often too lazy to dirty the mixer.  I can beat egg whites to stiff peaks in about 5 minutes and then fold in the dry.  It seems to me creaming butter and sugar to light and airy is more work.

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Posted: 05 April 2011 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Hi Jenn! I’m wondering how your trip went and which cake you decided to bake while you were visiting.

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Posted: 05 April 2011 07:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Me, too!!

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Posted: 05 April 2011 08:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Flour Girl, Anne, thanks so much for asking. I’ve been meaning to post a report, but was sick for a while.

I ended up making the Upside Down Apple Cake. It’s actually really funny. Based on the discussions in this thread, I went and make copies of the devil’s food cake recipe and the cream puffs recipe (along with pastry cream, ganache glaze, whipped cream - the whole works). I figured I’ll be making either one. I had some hesitations though about time, as we had a lot of other plans and not sure whether I’d have enough time to make either one of those yummies. Well, when I was copying the devil’s food cake recipe, I thought I’d flipped through the book, and when I saw the Upside Down Apple Cake I thought A-HA. So I made a copy of that recipe as well.

With me on the trip I brought the following: scale, spatula, offset spatula, Rose’s silicone cake strip, 2 reusable pastry bag, 3 pastry tips. I was going to bring a whisk but forgot.

With my friend we went to Marshall’s and got her a cake pan as she wanted to start baking. Not the best - it’s a Caphalon but I figured it’s good enough for now. Poor planning on my part, I should have brought with me my Magic Line pan and “gift” it for her but didn’t think about it until after I left.

So anyway, when I got there and with all the other things going on, it was clear that the Upside Down Apple is the cake. It’s the fastest to make between the 3 recipes and I figured it’s a really good cake so everyone should be pleased. No mixer in sight so I had to mix by hand. I don’t measure my mixing time, just sort of eye-balling the cake and judging the texture to determine whether it’s mixed enough so I can proceed to the next step. This is not easy to do as I’m pretty wimpy as far as muscle is concerned so I would mix with my right hand and then switch to the left hand, then switch back to the right hand smile. It’s still an easy cake to put together. I’d say from making the caramel, cutting the apples, and to the end product it’s about 3 1/2 hours. I only macerated the apples in like 20 minutes so there’s hardly any juice but we were racing against the clock. We had to bring the cake to a party and don’t want to be late.

No baking stone so I was afraid that the caramel would still be hard but it actually dissolve quite nicely.

Photos you can see the batter after I mix it, the apples arranged on the pan, the cake, and the slice photo.
Tasting impressions: my friends LOVE the cake. The gal I stayed with ate 1/4 of the cake by herself haha. She said it’s so good and not too sweet. She loves the apples. Other guests love the cake as well and were impressed with it. One friend commented on how even I sliced the apples and said that it must have taken a while. I sort of looked at her saying that no it’s actually pretty quick. I actually thought that I should sliced them thinner. I know someone who can slice apples half as thin as my best effort. Funny how perspective can be different sometimes.

Final note is kudos to all the people who make a cake by hand. I suppose with practice I can get there too but I’d still prefer my KA!

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Upside Down Apple Cake1.jpgUpside Down Apple Cake2.jpgUpside Down Apple Cake3.jpgUpside Down Apple Cake4.jpg
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Posted: 05 April 2011 11:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Oh, Jenn! The cake came out so beautifully!  I could definitely eat 1/4 of that with no trouble a-tall!!!!  It’s amazing how weak arms can be when put to the test—now we know why our grandmas can still rearrange their own furniture in their 80s!!  So glad it came out fabulously and your friend, no doubt, enjoyed ‘the thrill of the deadline!’

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Posted: 06 April 2011 03:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Anne, thanks for the compliments! I know, modern generation is so wimpy, cheese. My grandma, who’s still cooking in her 90’s. I can’t even fathom that!

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Posted: 06 April 2011 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Jenn, it turned out so well!  Was it hard to figure out how long to beat the batter for?  Glad everyone liked it. smile

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Posted: 06 April 2011 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Julie, thanks! As far as figuring out the time it took to mix the batter, I sort of wing it red face.

For each step in the book that requires mixing, I mix the batter until it looks incorporated, which takes longer than with the mixer anyway. And then I continue mixing for probably another 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (for each step). It might be more but I didn’t time it. While mixing, I remembered prior discussion with Anne with one of her cookbooks that said do 200 strokes and I thought to myself, no way I can do 200 strokes for each step!

I was a bit afraid that the batter would be undermixed but the texture was fine, no noticeable difference at all with what I remembered from making this cake before (and I’ve made this twice before with the mixer). I wonder if it being a butter & sour cream cake it’s more forgiving?

This is the 3rd time I’ve made this cake, it is now the cake I’ve made the most often from RHC. Not completely intentional but it is a very good cake, and I can see myself making it in the future grin.

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