Customer Review

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great recipes, needs a bit of proofreading, October 1, 2010
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This review is from: Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented (Hardcover)
I loved the first Baked cookbook and bought this one when I saw it in a bookstore a week ago. I've already had occasion to try out a couple recipes and WOW they're great! The Grasshopper Bars were awesome, as is the Caramel Apple Cake made for a friend whose birthday was this past week. We also tried the malted waffles (I'd been looking for a recipe for these -- yay!) and they were great.

The one problem I've run across is in editing. For example, in the grasshopper bars, one of the butter measurements is given first in tablespoons, with the stick equivalent in parenthesis, while another butter measurement is opposite. If I weren't paying attention that could have caused a goofup.

Then I was thinking about making the speculaas, and read through the recipe/instructions. The instructions mention cardamom, which is not listed in the recipe. A careful editor would have caught that. I haven't done an in-depth read of many more recipes, but this is slightly disappointing. But only slightly. If I could, I'd rate this a 4.5. Very fun recipes overall, and inventive combinations of flavors/textures/etc. Two thumbs up!
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 2, 2010 10:24:48 PM PDT
Jezebella says:
Yes, I have noticed errors also, nothing yet that couldn't be figured out by reading the recipe thoroughly. I find it happens often in first edition cookbooks. I bought "Around My French table" by Dorie Greenspan, and it had a small note on a piece of paper excusing a error in her recipe for Speculoos (sp?) Cookies, reminding to put an egg in with the other ingredients. In this book, I've seen them refer to the same recipe but using different names, nothing too problematic, and definitely no where close to a deal breaker.
BTW Abigail, how were the malted Waffles? I have a Belgium wafer maker, and like my waffles crispier than what many recipes deliver. Also, did you make your own applesauce for the Caramel Apple Cake? How did it turn out?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2010 9:42:43 AM PDT
I agree that a careful read of the recipe solves the problems I've seen so far. No big deal.

The malted waffles were good, flavor-wise, but not as crispy as I would have liked. I also used a Belgian waffle maker, and they were almost too soft to remove easily from the iron. I plan to (eventually) borrow a friend's square iron and see if that improves the situation. There's a restaurant where I live that makes fabulous, crispy, malted Belgian waffles. This recipes approximates the taste, but not the crisp.

I did make my own applesauce for the Caramel Apple Cake, and it turned out fine. I was mildly concerned it would be too liquidy, but it was perfect. I did make a 1.5 recipe of the icing, because I ran out while icing it with just one recipe. I also made my own caramel. Yum!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2010 7:51:06 PM PDT
Jezebella says:
Abigail,

Thank you for replying.
I have found that I do not get crisp waffles with adding whipped egg white to the batter, which is not something I want to do early in the morning. I have made waffles is way and froze them, and just pop one is the toaster, like an ego, and if taste freshly made.
I do not think there is a difference in regular vs. belgian waffle makers, when it comes t the resulting crispiness. I just think those large indentations in Belgian waffles are not as enjoyable if they aren't crisp, especially since those large indentations hold much more toppings or syrup, they need to be sturdy. Just a matter of personal taste.
As a rule, I do not bake from store bought mixes, but will make an exception for The Fresh Markets' Classic Belgian Pancake & Waffle Mix. You only add milk, butter and eggs, no whipping involved. Without fail, they turn out crisp every time. I do not know if they have cornstarch in them or what, but I haven't found another mix that has the same crispiness, not even other types of the same Fresh Market mix (pumpkin, gingerbread, chocolate...). I doctor the mix up, of course, adding spices & extracts to the mix. I have to put my Vietnamese cinnamon, and homemade vanilla extract in everything ;) If you don't mind whipping egg whites, I can share a good recipe for crispy belgian waffles from Cook's Illustrated that I like, if you are interested.

Their Caramel Cake looks like it would be nice on a Thanksgiving dessert table, maybe instead of an apple pie? Is the applesauce something you'd would make to eat straight up, instead of store bought?
The other day I made their Sweet & Salty Brownies, and they taste even better the next day (as most brownies do), I wrote a review on them you can read here.

Thanks for replying,
Anna

Posted on Oct 6, 2010 5:57:57 PM PDT
I noticed that same mistake with the cardamom in the Speculaas recipe. Even when reading the whole recipe I couldn't find the amount I should include. Does anyone know how much cardamom I should use?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 6, 2010 10:23:41 PM PDT
Jezebella says:
Hello,

I am note sure, but I am guessing that the error in that recipe, was not them accidentally leaving out the amount of cardamom in the ingredients list, but putting the word 'cardamom' in the recipes' step where is says to :

"In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, ginger and salt."

I think they accidentally added cardamom in that step, even though it probably is not an ingredients for this recipe, just a typo.
I suspect this because, I looked at two different recipes for Speculaas (aka Speculoos), and neither called for cardamom.
In The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz, the spices he uses in his Speculoos recipe are: cinnamon , ginger and, allspice.
In Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, the spices in her Speculoos recipe are: cinnamon, ginger and, ground cloves.
I think cardamom doesn't fit the spice profile when comparing with those other recipes. I would just omit the cardamom altogether, unless I find out if it is an ingredient in the Baked Speculaas, and the amount to put in.
I hope this helps, you can try looking up more Speculaas recipes to see if any include cardamom, and add it as you see fit. I think the recipe would be fine without cardamom.

-Anna

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 11, 2010 5:27:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 11, 2010 5:28:14 PM PDT
ot mama says:
I was comparing the speculaas recipe to my bf family recipe and the joy of cooking speculatius recipe. My bfs family is dutch and they have no cardamom, however, in the joy of cooking, the recipe for speculatius, which is similar to the dutch speculaas, has cardamom.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 11, 2010 10:11:41 PM PDT
Jezebella says:
Thank you M. Jazmines,
That is very helpful. How much cardamom does the joy of cooking 'Speculatius' recipe call for? I think it would be helpful to include the amount of flour and other spices, so I can get a better idea of the ratio of ingredients. Then apply them to the Baked Speculaas recipe.

In the book "Baked Explorations", it describes the cookies as- "...,a type of Dutch or Belgian shortcrust biscuit." So they might not have cardamom in them. Here the listed ingredients in Baked Speculaas:

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
coarse sugar

Recipe makes about 24 two inch round cookies.

During the holidays I often make Cook's Illustrated's "Molasses Spice Cookies with Orange Essence", which are chewy, and large. I am going to try the Baked Speculaas this year. They sound like a nice 'nibbling' cookie to have with tea or coffee.

Thanks again for your help, if you make the Baked Speculass, let me know how they turn out (with cardamom or without) :)

-Anna

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 13, 2010 7:52:45 AM PDT
I put in 1/2 tsp (the amount of all the other spices except cinnamon) and they turned out fine.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2012 5:10:37 AM PDT
ruth3ch says:
Hi! I do not have this book, but I was reading this discussion...Do you think adding malted milk( Malt powder dissolved in milk) as your milk, in your regular waffle recipe recipe might make good malted milk waffles? Also, then you could use the recipe that you like that makes crispy waffles...Good luck...
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