Baricat Recipe Reviews (Pg. 4) - Allrecipes.com (131039)

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Yellow Clooney Cake

Reviewed: Jul. 28, 2012
OK. Confession. When I was younger and I'd make a cake, I'd always filch batter. By the spoonful. Couldn't help myself! As a result, my cakes were never very tall. Fast forward a few decades. I'm diabetic. No more tastes when baking for me! Even so, nothing prepared me for how much batter this recipe made. I got three very full 9" layers and 8 cupcakes. Couldn't believe how I just kept filling cupcake papers. How could anyone possibly fit this into "2- 9" pans"??? Anyway, I tasted one of the cupcakes, and was absolutely blown away by the texture - so moist with a fine, light crumb. It's everything you love about a mix cake, minus that obnoxious, artificial flavor. Those who say it was dense, there are a couple of possible causes. You could have beaten too much after the flour was added, encouraging formation of gluten, the protein in flour that gives structure in breads. Simply incorporate the flour gently and stop, which will obviate that problem. Or perhaps you opted for all purpose flour instead. Big mistake. If you don't have cake flour, measure out 3-1/2 cups all purpose and add 1/2 cup cornstarch. Sift 3 times. If you used cake flour, did you sift? Sifting aerates your flour. If your product was dry, that indicates either overbaking or a temp that was too high. Calibrate your oven using an oven thermometer every 2-3 months. If everything is done as directed, this is the best of the best. And as a former pastry chef, I'm pretty finicky! Thank you for a wonderful recipe.
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35 users found this review helpful

Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Reviewed: Jul. 24, 2012
Move over, steakburgers!! With these, your most ardent beef lover can be completely satisfied. My husband is all about the beef. He had to agree, these sandwiches give a burger a real run for its money! Grilled, carmelized onions are a nice addition, as is a slice of tomato and/or avocado. We like it topped with Gruyere, and have also used Brie to rave reviews. I have taken lately to adding a couple of spritzes of soy sauce to the marinade to increase the complexity of flavor, as well as to salt perfectly. I've also added a tsp of Dijon mustard, as well as a bit of chopped, fresh rosemary from the garden, both with tasty results. You can vary the marinade how ever you want. Easiest way to marinate (mess-free, too!) is to combine all ingredients in a ziplock. Replacing the balsamic with half the measure of rice wine, 1 Tb chopped, fresh ginger, a little brown sugar and 3 Tb soy sauce makes a nice Asian variation. For those who found the vinegar taste to be overwhelming, it could be that you left it to marinate too long. 10-15 minutes produces the best results. If the timing is right, then I'd suspect the brand of balsamic is the culprit. It's best to only buy genuine Modena balsamic. Granted, it will set you back a few bucks, but the results are incomparable. The flavor is robust, yet incomparably smooth, with none of the acidic sharpness you get with cheaper brands. Make sure you toast your bun, because those portobello caps are juicy. A+ meat alternative meal!
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40 users found this review helpful

Pasta with Mushroom and Zucchini Sauce

Reviewed: Jun. 30, 2012
I pretty much concur with the assessment of naples34102. Great flavor, but hard to get past the look of it, which is about like something a cat coughed up. To help in that department, I waited until within a couple of minutes before serving, and tossed in a handful of fresh, chopped spinach leaves, and garnished with julienne of fresh tomato. Then, dusted liberally with parsley after plating. In place of the flour, I pureed 2/3 of the vegetable mixture in the food processor, which thickened it perfectly. Also, to streamline the caloric content, I used 1 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1/2 cup half-and-half. Much trimmer profile this way. All-in-all, it's tasty, but just be prepared that it's a gold medalist in the ugly-duckling cooking contest, which knocks it out of 5-star contention.
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4 users found this review helpful
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Freezer Frosting

Reviewed: Jun. 19, 2012
As promised, stores very well in the freezer. It is, however, overly sweet. As such, I keep it strictly for decorating. It pipes smoothly and holds its shape well. For use as a full cake frosting, it's so sweet, it makes your teeth ache! We prefer Mom's Buttercream Frosting on this website, as it's not cloying, and reserving this for decorating. In that supporting role, it adds just the right amount of sweetness. That said, it's worth having in the freezer for decorating cakes. I've kept it up to 6 months with success, by thawing in the fridge and whipping up before I attempt to pipe it. Consistently comes back as good as new, and accepts color readily, making it a must-have for the cake decorator's bag of tricks.
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5 users found this review helpful

Big Pot Sauce

Reviewed: Jun. 1, 2012
The oregano must have been a typo. A full cup?? And 20 cloves of garlic - really?? The garlic and oregano simply overwhelmed all the other ingredients with an unpleasant acrid flavor. The acidity that many felt needed to be counteracted with an addition of sugar results from pouring in the wine at the end of the cooking time, instead of at the beginning, which would allow the alcohol to burn off and a mellow flavor to develop. Eating this was not a pleasant experience. It got fed to my brand new KitchenAid disposer. You could probably turn this into a decent recipe, but not without some drastic changes.
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6 users found this review helpful

Speedy Cinnamon Rolls

Reviewed: Jun. 1, 2012
Five stars for the concept of baking with cream over the top in place of frosting, which resulted in a less-sweet version of this family pleaser. After reading reviews, I upped the amount of cream to 1/3 cup according to consensus, and the cream thickened as it cooled to make a nice sauce that I spooned over before serving. Since discovering this recipe, I've borrowed the technique when making with my own sweets roll dough, and the cream topping worked equally well. But the frozen bread dough works respectably in a pinch. Either way, you can't go wrong.
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2 users found this review helpful

Greek Style Garlic Chicken Breast

Reviewed: Jun. 1, 2012
Very good! The taste was neither too garlicky nor too lemony. I did reduce the olive oil. Half was perfect for four boneless breasts. Other than that, I stayed faithful to the recipe. Since our palates missed the anticipated tart boost from the lemon, it fell just short of perfection in our purview. Be aware that with the slits cut in the breast, cooking time should be reduced accordingly. We grilled over charcoal and the taste was top-notch.
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2 users found this review helpful

Country Apple Dumplings

Reviewed: May 30, 2012
Let me preface this review by saying I'm no fan of pre-fab ingredients. Between all the stellar reviews and the use of an unconventional ingredient (soda) I had to try it. But because I'm diabetic, that necessitated a few changes. However, I'm happy to report that even in a more streamlined incarnation, it was no less spectacular, and I'm glad I didn't let the inclusion of a dairy-case roll dough put me off. I rolled the apples in a mixture of Splenda, some cinnamon and a few shakes of nutmeg. The sauce was made with half the butter, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and 1-1/4 cup Splenda, fortified with 1 Tb honey, 1 Tb rum, and several shakes of freshly grated nutmeg. The honey and rum lent a lovely complexity of flavor. I only had Fresca on hand (well, it was either that or Coke Zero!) It's no exaggeration to say that there's no way you could tell this was a "light version." Whereas it's debatable to say that since I didn't make it exactly as the recipe states I'm not rating the recipe, it shows how flexible this recipe is, and how easily tailored it is. Because of medical necessity, I have to change recipes often. Some can be be adapted, some can't. This one rolls with the proverbial punches, and emerges a champ, the mark of a great recipe that can assume a place of honor in your baking repertoire.
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34 users found this review helpful
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Grandpop's Special Chocolate Cake

Reviewed: Mar. 7, 2012
A truly excellent chocolate cake, in that it's easy to throw together with items you are likely to have in your pantry, in flavor, which is deep and round due to the coffee which can't be tasted but which brings out all the best in chocolate, and in texture, which is moist. It is everything that your grandma's chocolate cake brings to mind. I needed to serve several people, so I baked it in a 15"X10" jelly roll pan or cookie sheet, and was surprised that there was too much batter to fit. I baked the remainder as 6 cupcakes. The sheet cake was baked to perfection in 22 minutes, the cupcakes in 18. Topped both the cake and cupcakes with a glossy cross between a glaze and a frosting, consisting of 4 Tb cocoa, 1/2 a stick of butter and 6 Tb milk heated just until boiling, then combined with 4 cups powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla, all poured over the hot cakes. Next time I need a big cake, I'll put all of it into an 11"X17" jelly roll pan, and it will fit the full recipe perfectly. Thank you for a keeper that I'll turn to again and again.
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11 users found this review helpful

Richard's Chicken Breasts

Reviewed: Mar. 6, 2012
A stand-out recipe! I have to admit to changing the procedure just a bit, in that I cooked the onions immediately after frying the chicken breasts (removed them from the pan first) then deglazed with Marsala after everything had been fried off. Since my husband is always looking for sauce, after the deglaze and reducing the wine by half, I added 1 cup of chicken broth into which I had whisked 2 Tb flour, in order to give a light liaison to the sauce. Brought everything to a simmer for about 5 minutes in order to cook off the flour, then added the breasts back, topped with the cheese and proceeded as indicated in the recipe. The chicken was tender and succulent. Awesome, simple recipe. Thank you for posting it! Edited to add: Have made this several times, using different wines and cheeses. I've used dry sherry, Madeira, dark rum. All were fabulous. Have subbed Brie or Jarlsberg for the mozzarella. Delicious! Adding 1/2 Tb tomato paste lends a lovely blush. This recipe is easy to tailor to what you have on hand or what you like.
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20 users found this review helpful

Spring Biscotti

Reviewed: Feb. 27, 2012
Three words: Ah. May. Zing. These were pitch-perfect in every possible way! I made them without the nuts, since it was for a shower, and many can't eat them. I had made a cookie bar with 17 varieties for the guests to take home as favors. The absolute only kind that went completely was the biscotti! I painted the flat side with melted white chocolate, and for presentation, stood them on end in a tall crystal vase. Perfectly crunchy with a fresh, clean taste. My nonno and nonna would have loved these with their afternoon espresso. Phenomenal!
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8 users found this review helpful

White Chocolate-Cranberry Biscotti

Reviewed: Feb. 27, 2012
There were good, but not exceptional in any way. I have a hunch that incorporating some finely grated, fresh orange or lemon zest would improve the flavor which, as is, is bland. Good light, crispy texture.
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2 users found this review helpful
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Perfect St. Patrick's Day Cake

Reviewed: Feb. 24, 2012
Who'd ever guess that a recipe for chocolate cake that uses Guinness would turn out to be the best darned chocolate cake I've ever tasted?? Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? From here on, I'm going to keep a bottle of Guinness in the fridge, and I detest beer of any kind! This is now my go-to chocolate cake recipe. And that's no faint praise, coming from a pastry chef of many years! The stout really complements and rounds out the flavor of the chocolate, plus lends a lovely reddish hue. You never taste it, but it's there, lending its incomparable support to the star of the show (chocolate.) This cake is blow-your-socks-off good, incomparably moist with a very fine, tender crumb. I spiked the ganache with a Tb of Jameson's Irish Whiskey. I cut the centers out of each cupcake (mmmm...chocolate cake scraps to eat!) and filled the holes with the ganache, opting to use it as a filling rather than as a drizzle. I doubled the amount of Irish Cream in the frosting, as well. Served to ooohs, aaahs, moans, groans, swoons, and general paroxysms of pleasure.
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32 users found this review helpful

Zesty Tomato Soup for One

Reviewed: Feb. 20, 2012
Absolutely delightful! So much better tasting than the canned stuff, which is loaded with sugar, starch, and salt. I disagree with those who found it flavorless or bland. This is a celebration of the simple, glorious flavor of burstingly ripe tomatoes, period. Very low in calories and naturally fat free. Heart-healthy stuff, with a nice dose of lycopene and vitamin C galore! The second time I made this, I put in a dab, about 1/2 tsp, of Minor's chicken base, which couldn't be tasted exactly, but which lent a nice depth of flavor, and salted it just right. Additionally, I like to peel and seed the tomatoes before I blend them, as I find both to be a detraction. What you taste is exactly what you get, uncomplicated and wholesome.
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7 users found this review helpful

Danish Pastry Apple Bars I

Reviewed: Feb. 18, 2012
Oh. Wow. Yum. Unbelievably delicious. I had to put them in the freezer so I'd stop helping myself to "just one more piece." The cornflakes are not at all discernible once it bakes. I used 10 cups of apples, and 1/2 cup brown sugar, plus 1/4 cup white sugar, plus 1/2 tsp of freshly ground nutmeg. That addition was the only deviation I made from the recipe. Don't skip the nutmeg - it adds depth of complexity to the flavor. Outstanding! The pastry, which is made with milk in classic Danish style (and which differentiates it from classic American pie dough) is tender. The egg white wash makes for a glossy, professional, Kodak-moment finish. I made them to serve at my daughter's bridal shower (if I can keep my fat mitts off of them, that is!) The lovely aroma hung heavy in the air for hours after they were out of the oven, driving everyone crazy. This is a showstopper recipe, any way you look at it. Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing.
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11 users found this review helpful
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Monkey Bread

Reviewed: Feb. 16, 2012
Very good with the refrigerated biscuit dough, but a whopping, off-the-charts TEN stars if you can afford the time to sub Colleen's Potato Crescent Rolls recipe from this site. Just mix, allow to rise, punch down and shape into the balls, dip them, throw them into the bundt pan. You can make them the night before this way, and let them rise in the fridge, covered. Or you can give them the second rise immediately and bake. The "dip" for the dough is a nice change from the more traditional, straight cinnamon-cum-sugar mix. Lovely presentation.
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3 users found this review helpful
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Petits Fours

Reviewed: Jan. 23, 2012
This recipe is too flimsy for petits fours. A more substantial cake is needed stand up to cutting without crumbing so that when you pour the fondant over them, they stay nice and smooth. Best bet is a moist pound cake recipe (a good choice is Grandmother's Pound Cake II from this site.) A sponge cake just isn't as successful for this purpose. AR, please note: The link in the recipe for frosting does not work.
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2 users found this review helpful
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Grandmother's Pound Cake II

Reviewed: Jan. 17, 2012
Yes, this is the formula for a classic American pound cake as it has been made for well over a century and a half (1:1:1:1 or 1 pound butter, 1 pound sugar, 1 pound flour, 1 pound eggs.) I used this as a base for petits fours, and the texture stood up to repeated cuts (I halved the recipe, and baked in a 9"X13" pan, then cut 7X10 into (70) 1-1/4" squares) and didn't shed crumbs, neither when it was cut, nor when the fondant was poured over it. I did, however, add more milk. This was so short on liquid that the result was closer to a dough than a batter. I added 50% more milk, and added extracts (combo of almond, vanilla, orange, lemon , maple and coconut) as I needed the cake to have sufficiently assertive and complex flavor to stand up to the uber sweet fondant. The 9"X13" was done in 27 minutes. I cooled it in the pan for about 13 minutes, and it released beautifully onto the rack to finish. This cake is appropriately dense, sturdy and velvety moist (with additional liquid.) It's a 4-1/2 star recipe as is, but a 5 with additional milk and flavoring, which yields distinct sensory improvement.
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49 users found this review helpful

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