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25 November 2011 @ 09:22 am
adventures in baking  

Well, my instinct on the maple syrup cake turned out to be right. I’d thought, as I was mixing it up, “I should throw some cinnamon and spices in here,” but then I thought, nah, first time, I’ll follow the recipe. And it turned out to be a very nice, mild, very sweet cake with a texture and flavor like a spice cake someone hadn’t put the spices in. :) I also made the maple frosting recipe, which made a truly enormous amount of frosting that was very very sweet indeed. But I don’t think you can put anything else except maybe a vanilla frosting on a maple cake, because the cake itself really is very mild, so a, say, chocolate frosting, would totally overwhelm it. The recipe I used is here, if you want to give it a shot. It’s nice. It’s not exciting, but it’s nice.

I have for the first time made what I considered to be successful scalloped potatoes and ham. :) I didn’t over-parboil the potatoes, I sliced them the appropriate thinness, I made a nice white sauce which I did not forget to put garlic into, I chopped the ham into satisfyingly small bites, and I baked it just long enough to make the top all golden and crunchy and lovely. I forgot to put an onion in, but other than that I was very pleased with myself.

We’re having Thanksgiving on Sunday. No doubt there will be another Food Report then. :) Pies to make (and maybe fudge!), you know.

(x-posted from the essential kit)
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on November 25th, 2011 11:07 am (UTC)
What is it with you Americans and cinnamon? I've even heard complaints from some people that if you don't like cinnamon, food in the US is a real problem, it's so ubiquitous.

I mean, it's OK as a spice — I will use it on occasion — but you all go absolutely mad for it, and I'm wondering where that came from. You even consider it apart from other spices, as your own phrasing shows.
kitmizkit on November 25th, 2011 12:14 pm (UTC)
You know, I even noticed I was putting it apart as a separate spice and considered undoing that, but then thought "nah." :)

I have no idea what it is with us and cinnamon. Possibly it's that the melting pot aspect of America has introduced to us every culture in the world that uses it, so we have a lot of foods that use it? Though really, I can only think of half a dozen off the top of my head that you'd find anywhere that had cinnamon (french toast, apple pie, sopapillas (probably), many kinds of doughnuts (ok, I can think of four, anyway), but the idea that it'd be difficult to eat if you don't like it seems...unlikely to me.
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on November 25th, 2011 12:39 pm (UTC)
Breakfast cereals? Coffee?

And yes, I merely forward reports regarding the difficulty, and I suspect it's mostly breakfast that's the problem for them. I'm OK with cinnamon, but as I say, for us it's just another spice, not the spice.

(I suspect that the spice would be pepper.)

Putting it in apple pie is an Americanism for me. If I want a proper apple pie, I leave it out. If I want an American-style one, I'll put it in. But mostly, when I use cinnamon, it's one of many spices in a curry sauce, or similar.

(Hmm, I think I'll make a pie tonight. I have the apples that I need to use up.)
ramurphy on November 25th, 2011 12:15 pm (UTC)
I dunno. I personally only use cinnamon in sweet things, like oatmeal cookies, apple pies, spice cake. I know there are those who think it gives a particular frisson to savory dishes, but I'm not one of them.
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on November 25th, 2011 01:51 pm (UTC)
I've seen icing (confectioner's) sugar as well as cinnamon used in a savoury dish. But that was a Moroccan dish.