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New Year’s Recipes (1)

[[ No, wait, let's make that the new decade's recipes. I'm with the "convention determines usage" on the decades front: the 80s do not include 1990. Oddly enough, I side with the centuries-and-millennia from one group, so my decades and centuries don't run in sync. I guess it's all about the Ordinals vs. the Cardinals (weren't they from St. Louis?) John Layt, are you going to support that feature too? ]]

So, baking. I’ve taught Mira how to crack open an egg into a bowl for baking a cake without getting bits of shell and gunk into the batter. It cost a half dozen eggs over a bunch of practice sessions, but now I can delegate that bit to her. She’ll be baking bran muffins all by herself, soon. But today we made a pecan cake which turned out really well, so I thought I’d share the recipe. This also serves as a demonstration for what you can get if you’re one of the lucky winners of the Freedom Food donation drive from the FSFE.

Pecan Cake: Mix three (3) eggs, one cup of sugar, half tsp. of salt and one tsp. vanilla extract with a hand mixer on high for about 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of chopped or whole pecans and one cup self-raising flour (maybe a tad more). Mix briefly until all blended, then in the oven at 160C for 30 minutes or until a fork comes out clean. Frost with 100g mascarpone and 100g icing sugar and 2 drops lemon juice.

See, my recipes, like my time-reckoning, use a mix of units and conventions. Basic stuff gets North American units applied, but I’ve never used an oven that didn’t have a scale in centigrade (well, except during CampKDE last year, where I baked cookies for most of the attendees, but that was .. exceptional, shall we say).

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6 Responses to “New Year’s Recipes (1)”

  1. Esben Mose Hansen Says:

    Actually, I think your units are pretty international in this case; at least cup, table/tea-spoon, grammes and drops are pretty common here in the old world, too. Self-raising flour, on the other hand, is basically non-existent here (I don’t see the point, either: Baking powder is more flexible)

    As for the decade, I think we should just cut the confusion by getting a year 0, dropping “BC” and using negative years instead. It’s not like the dates before year 0 are very accurate anyway.

  2. adridg Says:

    I do have two cup measures — an American one and a British one — which seem to be differently sized, on account of the difference in gallons. That trickles down through all the other measures. In any case, I make up the units only when I write down the recipe, because most of the time my baking is very slap-dash (as in, it takes three shakes of the flour jug here to make one cup, approximately). The Netherlands is odd in that it has self raising flour and baking powder is a bit of a rarity (let alone baking soda, in recipes where you need that).

  3. Irina Says:

    One word (for both baking powder and baking soda): Natuurwinkel.

  4. Jeroen Says:

    North American? I remember having heard that Canada has switched to base-10… Not?

    If your baking is “slap-dash” (as I know it is), then maybe you should put measures on the state of the result, as in “add [...] until a teaspoon maintains an upright position”, or “until as thick as golden retriever poo”.

  5. adridg Says:

    I believe Canada remains steadfastly Imperial in its recipes, even if they all include metric equivalents. It would make an interesting experiment to ask young people in Canada what units they actually use for cooking. I have one interesting cookbook that is highly scientific in its approach and tries to quantify thickness, viscosity and many other things. I’ll see if I can find it.

  6. A cake for Shaun « Bobulate Says:

    [...] Shaun, here’s a chocolate cake for you. it’s very similar to the pecan cake I wrote earlier — but closer to the “ultimate chocolate brownie” recipe that I [...]