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Charleston, SC, US

Recent Reviews

Re:Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake

My previous favorite cake was the Buttermilk Butternut Squash Cake (http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/buttermilk-cake-spiced-vanilla-icing.aspx)also from Fine Cooking. This one supplanted it. I made the cake for Thanksgiving and again last night (only 5 days later) and I didn't have any issue with having enough icing, but I did have to bake the cakes for 45 minutes. I double-checked my oven with a thermometer and it is calibrated properly, so I'm not sure why it took nearly twice as long as the recipe says. It is still an excellent cake that I will be making for years.

Posted: 08:59 am on November 30th 2010

Re:Real Chocolate Mousse

I have made this several times and it has always been a huge hit. It's super easy, too. From the time I crack the first egg until I have the mousse in serving dishes is less than 30 minutes. I typically use World Market 62% chocolate, but I have also used the chipotle, sea salt and pomegranate flavors. My favorite is the sea salt variety. I top it with a little chopped pink peppercorn for flavor and a hint of floral and spice and my dinner guests go nuts.For those who are getting a grainy texture, that is most likely caused by either overheating the chocolate and it starts to seize when you add the butter, or you're using too high of a percent of cocoa solids in your chocolate. If you want to use a darker chocolate you will have to add more butter.When the chocolate and butter are combined remove it from the heat. Don't leave it on the heat or even over the pot of hot water while you whip the cream or eggs. You should have those parts done before you start working with the chocolate.If it's not light or airy enough the most likely cause is over-whipping the cream until it starts forming butter, over-whipping the egg whites until they start to separate, or combining everything too aggressively.

Posted: 10:52 am on May 25th 2010

Re:Parsnip Buttermilk Pie

This was my first time making a pie and it was super easy (mostly). I served this for Thanksgiving and it was huge hit! The filling is silky, the crust is very crisp and flaky. Most people were skeptical about parsnips and buttermilk in a dessert but they all loved this pie. They commented that it reminded them of pumpkin or sweet potato, but with a little different flavor that made it obvious it wasn't either of those. Nobody would have picked the ingredients, though.I would have given this 5 stars, but there were two serious omissions. First, there is no way the crust will come together with only 2T water. I tried it the first time and had a crumbly mess so I assumed I had skipped something. I did it a second time with the same failed results. I checked the Internet and most pie crust recipes call for 3 - 4T water, so the third time I slowly added more water until the dough came together and I used 3T total: 2T with the egg yolk, 1T added in 1/2t increments. As I said, this was my first time ever making a pie so this may be known to every one else. Now I know, too.Second, the recipe doesn't say what temperature to bake the pie. Again, maybe there is a universally known temperature but I had no clue. I ended up baking it at 325 and it took 90 minutes for a toothpick to come out clean. It cracked and wasn't pretty, but it was very tasty. Next time I'll try it at 350 and see what happens.

Posted: 09:43 pm on November 26th 2009