Food conversion for UK users
Posted: 27 March 2011 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi Everyone
I’m from the UK and have just purchased the book of Heavenly Cakes after all the gushing praise from Amazon feedback. I have to say that, on face value (glorious photos), they are not wrong.
I am so anxious to get started but am hit by alien descriptions. I’ve spent ages on google looking up Wondra flour (no luck in purchasing this in the UK), superfine & Turbinado sugar, cornstarch (is this the same as cornflour?) etc.  Cup measurements are also confusing but am so pleased that there is a metric equivalent.
I currently use McDougalls Plain and Self-raising flour, Billington’s natural molasses, caster and granulated sugar, Green & Black’s cocoa powder & chocolate, Lyle’s Golden Syrup & Black Treacle. I use lemon juice whilst making meringues (as per Raymond Blanc, Delia Smith etc) and turning the bowl upside down until ready to use, a tip given to me by my Cookery teacher, who got me through my “O” level, many moons ago.
Should I start from scratch with your recipes, following as religiously as poss? Should I use McDougall’s Plain flour so that I can add the relevant raising agents? McDougall’s Self-raising flour and general sifting of all ingredients, together with whisking & folding to incorporate air, has generally been enough to produce light cakes without baking powder, etc.
Sorry there is so much here. It would be wonderful if there was a UK edition of your lovely book as I intend to buy more.
Thanks for any help you can give. Sunstone.

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Posted: 28 March 2011 02:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Many of your countrymen have baked successfully from Rose’s books. This might be a good place to start…

http://amerrierworld.com/2007/11/06/water-water-everywhere/

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Posted: 28 March 2011 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I live in Mexico, where many of the ingredients called for in Rose’s books are not available. I mostly use sifted whole wheat flour or all purpose white flour for cakes. They still turn out very tender, thanks to Rose’s mixing method. Mexican sugar is coarse, so I first put it in the food processesor for a few minutes to make it finer. Green and Black’s cocoa powder is very good to use. Use a search engine, like Google, and you will find that cornflour is the same thing as cornstarch. Rose’s recipes don’t call for self-rising flour, to better control the leavening ingredients. I advise you not to use them.

Just start baking, following the recipe instructions exactly, and using the ingredient that are the closest to what the recipes call for. You will have lovely results.

Kathleen

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Posted: 29 March 2011 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thank you Gene and Kathleen. I shall stick to plain flour so that I can add the rising agents. The info about cornstarch was also useful.
I would also like to say that I agree about the coconut. I am just waiting for some coconut extract to become available (sold out everywhere I’ve tried) as there are two lovely recipes from the book that have caught my imagination.
I just downloaded a recipe for Asian spicy coconut rice. This was cooked in coconut oil with many layers of other forms of coconut. Once again, I shall have to find the English translation of the Indian names quoted for some of the ingredients. I think they are pulses but I digress….
The fresh coconut is standing by for all three recipes. I may have to make do with coconut flavouring in the short term.
My first project will by Lemon Poppy Seed Cake as I do have all the ingredients for that and I love all things lemon, not being a chocolate fan.  I am a minority in my family, my husband has been eyeing up several of the chocolate cakes for my next project.

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Posted: 29 March 2011 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The lemon poppyseed was my first cake, too!  It’s delicious!  It’s wonderful syruped or unsyruped—brighter and lemony with syrup, buttery and lemony without.

I didn’t like chocolate cakes either—until I had Rose’s. Now I LOVE them! 

Happy baking!!

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Posted: 29 March 2011 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Sunstone,

I use coconut in all its forms in much of my cooking. Oil, dry coconut, fresh coconut, coconut milk and water—they all add so much flavor and nutrition.
Here is a good recipe for making your own coconut extract: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/coconut-extract-recipe/index.html

Another tip: whenever you don’t know an English translation to Indian (or American), use a search engine, like Google. You will find all the information you need.d

Happy Baking!

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Posted: 29 March 2011 11:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Kathleen,

I have some coconut flour—just super-fine fried coconut.  Have you ever used this in a cake or frosting?  If so, do you add extra liquid to the cake in any definite amount or “hydrate” it before adding to frosting?

I’ve got an upcoming cake (chocolate banana stud cake—RHC), and I wouldn’t mind adding it to the cake (first choice) or frosting (which will be banana mousseline). 

Thanks for any thoughts, you Coconut Queen!


—ak

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Posted: 29 March 2011 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Maybe you mean “dried” coconut, instead of “fried”?  smile

My understanding of coconut flour is that it is the finely ground fiber of the coconut, after the oil has been extracted. No, I have not used it. I grind dried coconut in the food processor when I want it very fine, but it still contains the yummy oil.

I think you could use it in a cake recipe, substituting it for regular flour, but I’m not sure about using it in a frosting. When I use finely ground coconut in a recipe, I don’t rehydrate it first or add more moisture. I just decrease the regular flour accordingly.

I have read that coconut flour can be added to smoothies for more nutrition.
http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/organic_coconut_flour.htm

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Posted: 29 March 2011 12:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Maybe you mean ?dried? coconut, instead of ?fried??

Ha ha! The dangers of a blackberry!!!!

Thanks for the info, Kathleen!!!!!!! This flour is actually very coconutty tasting, so I’m not sure, then, what it “really” is.  I will have to try it!  I added it to some coconut candy I made that was too thin, and it sucked that moisture right up, thickening it so I could roll it and dip it in chocolate, so it’s a moisture sucker for sure!

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Posted: 29 March 2011 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Hi Anne in NC
It sounds like coconut cream powder. It’s fantastic in Thai fishcakes and curries. I’ve heard that it’s really good in ice cream, yoghurts and puddings.
I know that 3 tablespoons of this powder plus one cup of warm water makes a lovely thick cream.

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