Holiday Baking 2016

This year’s holiday baking, for a variety of reasons, will consist of things that I’ve done previously and have already written about, so I won’t be posting any more recipe walk-throughs for the rest of the year. See you in the new year, and may 2017 be better than 2016 has turned out to be.

  • Already done: makowiec, a Polish poppy-seed-filled sweet bread I did in 2014 for CSAIL Holiday Baking Fest
  • For my birthday cake, Diane Duane’s “Mycroft’s Delight“, which I did first in January of this year
  • An evergreen Christmas favorite, Cook’s Illustrated‘s “Chocolate Caramel Walnut Tart“, using black walnuts rather than English/Persian for the flavor
  • Emily and Melissa Elsen’s Cranberry–Sage Pie, which I did for the family Christmas Eve party in 2014 (“Three Great Holiday Pies“)
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One Response to Holiday Baking 2016

  1. Update on “Mycroft’s Delight”: I tried it with jumbo eggs this time, rather than XL as I did last January, and that didn’t seem to make any difference at all (indeed, it may have made the cake actually drier than it was before). I also baked it as a two-layer 24-cm cake this time, which left a bit too much squooshy filling in the middle (and again may have made it a bit too dry). For the white chocolate ganache-and-cream cheese sur-frosting, I used Valrhona Ivoire feves this time, rather than the Callebaut block couverture, and in the chocolate frosting I used Guittard 74% baking discs rather than Valrhona Jivara Lactee — none of these changes seemed to make any difference, My thoughts for next time, whenever that may be, are as follows:

    1. Go back to the XL eggs
    2. Double the recipe, bake as two 24-cm cakes, and then torte the two cakes to make four individual layers, with lots of cut surface area to absorb double the soaking syrup
    3. Replace the cream-cheese sur-frosting with a white chocolate mirror glaze (sorry, vegetarians and strictly Kosher eaters)
    4. Maybe mix it up even more by substituting Joanne Chang’s milk chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream for the frosting, but using gianduja in place of the milk chocolate to maintain the hazelnut flavor that the original gets from the Nutella.

    I’ll have to buy a fresh bottle of Courvoisier for next time, though, as I don’t have enough left for another installment. Next try won’t be for a while, though, as the Brooklyn Brewery Black Chocolate Stout now comes in a six-pack, and the four-pack I bought in late 2015 lasted nearly the whole year!

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