Horrors–Chef Jim Baking

Most of my close food-loving compadres know that I am not that much into baking, I do it, but it’s not my favorite process, since I have little or no opportunity to muck it up!  It’s confining unless you are a master and know the science behind all the ingredients, the timing, temperature, moisture, dew point and so on.  You get my drift, in savory cooking you can taste and adjust as you go along, once the baked good is in the oven you’re basically done!

In spite of this I do have a few fave recipes that I will venture into the kitchen and happily perform.  That being said, wow is that ever an over-used phrase, I discovered another reason I’m not that keen on baking:  Flour, Sugar and any errant liquid.  Flour makes dust-becomes airborne and lands everywhere no matter how well you thought you were containing the mess it’s always a surprise to turn around and find a pile of white dust on the counter you weren’t using!  Sugar, well I’ve personally, never measured sugar without a few million grains finding their way to the floor getting under my shoe and causing a gritty sound when I move about the kitchen.  Then, you splash a little extra liquid anywhere near either of these white ingredients and you’ve got sticky gluey mess on your hands.  Much like the sticky gluey dough/batter you intended to make you now have another version growing on the countertop, in the sink, on the floor and probably on your clothes because you were sure you didn’t need to wear an apron!  I didn’t snap a picture but you can just use your imaginations! Yes, the long shorts I’m wearing were Navy Blue this morning, now not so much!

In general, I’m never excited about cleaning up, but after baking I get down right depressed about it!  And of course I’m doing one of those “in my own head lectures” you should have used paper towels to cover the counter and catch the spills and what genius portion of your own brain did you use when you put the wet sponge on the flour spill?

Maybe flour is the reason lots of people choose to do their kitchens in WHITE!  Not me, black counter tops so I could write my name in flour dust after I’ve been left alone to bake!!

At long last here are the fruits of my efforts today:  JKM Brownie Bites!  This recipe was adapted by my previous catering partners from  Maida Heatter’s All American Brownie recipe.  We served them frozen to great reviews.  The name of our catering company was JKM Productions thus we put the moniker on the brownies.  Now Nana and I have adapted it to mini muffin Brownie Bites.  I still serve them frozen!

JKM Brownie Bites

And James Beard’s Raw Apple Bread, I make it into 3 mini loaves rather than one big loaf.  This is truly one bread that tastes better a day after it’s baked!  And it freezes beautifully!

Raw Apple Bread

Here’s the Raw Apple recipe:
* Exported from MasterCook *

Raw Apple Bread

Recipe By     :        James Beard, Beard on Bread
Serving Size  : 0     Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    :

Amount  Measure       Ingredient — Preparation Method
——–  ————  ——————————–
1              stick  butter
1                cup  sugar
2              large  eggs
2               cups  all-purpose flour
1/2      teaspoon  salt
1/2      teaspoon  baking soda
1           teaspoon  baking powder
2        tablespoons  buttermilk — or whole milk with a few drops of lemon juice
1                cup  apples — coarsley chopped unpeeled
1/2           cup  nuts — walnuts or pecans coarsely chopped
1           teaspoon  vanilla extract

Cream butter, add sugar slowly and continue to beat until light and lemon color. Beat in eggs one at a time. Sift flour with salt, soda and powder. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in apples, nuts and vanilla extract.

Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake 350° for approximately 1 hour. Cool in pan 5-10 minutes before removing. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap in foil and slice the next day, it will taste better.

NOTES : I used my Wilton 4 mini loaf pan, filled three loaves and filled the fourth slot with water.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Eat Well…Be Well!

This entry was posted in Chefs, Cookbooks, Recipe and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Horrors–Chef Jim Baking

  1. Positively gorgeous and delicious looking…Bravo!


  2. Chef Jim says:

    Thank you Piper!


  3. Jim as always your sense of humor prevails…..and when can we all come over to the Traveling Culinary Artist’s library? Can we get a membership card ? heeee haaaa And btw your recent desserts for the book club well not baking but WOOOW WOW AWESOME ….now you are also a master Food Photographer…what don’t you do? You are famous for all of us and a great inspiration !


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