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Friday, October 28, 2011

Baking Basics and Beyond

Baking Basics and Beyond

We aren't all FreshTartSteph (or any other cooking/baking goddess who seemingly whips out delishousness as if it's second nature). But with a little time, attention and coaching, we can get better and still wow crowds.

That's what today's cookbook giveaway is here for: Instruction. Pat Sinclair, Baking Basics author (and Minneapolis native!) says you can "Learn these simple techniques and bake like a pro."

What techniques? Oh, you know—how to whip cream, melt chocolate, and dissolve yeast. Pat's many recipes—Dutch Apple Pie, Chocolate Snowballs, Stromboli—are there to help beginner bakers find their way.

This book actually won a Cordon d' Or Gold Ribbon in the Culinary Academy Awards for "Best Baking Cookbook" in 2007, so it's clearly a voice we can trust.

Tell us what meal or baked good you totally failed, and you're entered to win!

Entries accepted until Monday, October 31 at 10 a.m. Winner pulled at random and emailed.

Posted on Friday, October 28, 2011 in Permalink

Comments may be edited for length, clarity, or appropriateness.

Old to new | New to old
Oct 28, 2011 02:19 pm
 Posted by  Maya B.

As with any diet, one comprised almost entirely of pumpkin can be trying. During the fall I abandon all other food and opt for pumpkin bread,pumpkin cake, pumpkin latte, pumpkin cream cheese etc. It should be no surprise then that for my most recent birthday I wanted to bake a pumpkin spice cake.
Being an expert at the quality of pumpkin flavored food, I obviously opted to make the cake using real pumpkin as opposed to something from a can. For half a day I slaved in the kitchen over my birthday cake and was very much looking forward to it.
After it was all said and done and came out of the oven, I tried to flip the cake to ice it. The bottom half of the cake stuck to the pan and the top came out in crumbles.
It may have tasted good but was definitely not presentable.

Oct 28, 2011 02:51 pm
 Posted by  amycrea

When I was newly married and didn't know a thing about cooking, I set out to make shrimp scampi. The recipe called for two cloves of garlic, minced. So I bought some garlic and set to mincing. Halfway through the second clove, I thought, good grief, this is taking forever. So I cooked with what I thought was 1 1/2 cloves. The dinner was inedible, and I couldn't figure out why. It wasn't until I took a cooking class at Byerly's that I discovered the difference between a clove of garlic--and a bulb of garlic.

The funny thing was, when I tried the recipe again with the correct two cloves of garlic, it was inedibly bland. Scampi really needs more than two cloves.

Oct 31, 2011 01:56 pm
 Posted by  Kimberly Hirsch

When I was in college, I wanted to make a special cake for my Mom's birthday (and show off a bit). Pineapple and coconut with 7 minute icing. Fresh pineapple and fresh coconut - I think I was trying to be Martha Stewart. I followed the recipe for the icing, having never made it before, decided it was "thick enough" and started to assemble the cake. As soon as the too-thin icing and fresh & juicy pineapple had the weight of the second layer hit, it was all over. Icing flowed like lava off of the cake and all over the counter and kitchen. That was the saddest looking cake and biggest baking mess I have ever made in my life! At least, Mom couldn't make a fuss about the mess in the kitchen, since it was all for her!

Oct 31, 2011 08:28 pm
 Posted by  rachel

am i too late??

my worst baking disasters have always been when i realize that i have forgotten an ingredient, way too late, and i try to just add it in anyway.

it certainly is true that baking is much more science than art... the order and quantities matter!!

Nov 1, 2011 02:53 pm
 Posted by  KMF

Congrats to Maya B. You win! Please check your email for redemption directions.

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TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally bring the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Minnesota Monthly Senior Editor Rachel Hutton, Sustainable Food Correspondent Marie Flanagan, Chef Jason Ross, Food Writer Joy Summers, and Drinks & Real Food Senior Editor Mary Subialka. Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

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