pet peeve -- when recipes bomb . . .

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by bakerbebe, Jul 31, 2001.

  1. bakerbebe

    bakerbebe

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    I saw a promo for a Martha Stewart episode where she makes these "Ultimate Brownies". They looked so fabulous, so I went on line and printed the recipe out. I followed the directions to a T, yet the end result was hideous! They were thick brownies baked in a 9x13 pan, and it said to bake them at 425 degrees. Doesn't that seem high for brownies?? It said to bake them for 25-30 minutes, but after 25 minutes the top was completely burned (resembled that of charcoal) and the inside was still gooey. It is so frustrating because it wasted a pound of good (expensive) chocolate. Do they really test these recipes?? grrrrrrr
     
  2. isa

    isa

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    Not only does some of her recipes don't work but some of the recipes in one of her book were copied right out of Joy Of Cooking....
     
  3. anneke

    anneke

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    The revenues she gets for her books still outweigh the cost of a lawsuit against her I guess...
     
  4. isa

    isa

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    One of the thing I do not like about Martha and her show and magazine is that I always have the feeling that whatever she does she does it for her not for the viewers or readers. She has a colorist over to clone the shade of her egg to paint her dining room. Watch Martha set her sewing closet. Watch Martha and a carpenter set up her new garden shed etc. Haven’t you notice it’s all about I. I prefer this or I want this etc.
     
  5. anneke

    anneke

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    Yup! "It's a good thing"...if it's for MARTHA! I'm tired of her lines... "Used the best ___ you can find." Sure, everybody can afford that! And what was that about raising your own chickens in your backyard? 'And here's what you do with your excess truffles.' Excess did you say??????????? :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  6. kimmie

    kimmie

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    I take the good and leave the bad!

    :rolleyes:
     
  7. bakerbebe

    bakerbebe

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one who has compaints about Miss Martha.
    I looked on the Recipe Excange for the superduperbrownies thread, and wasn't able to find it on any of the 9 pages. Maybe I am blind and just missing it :) Do you happen to know the date of the post?
    I have to agree with the comment that Martha seems to do her show about herself. I used to subscribe to her magazine and I finally canceled my order. It is a beautiful magazine, but it is mostly made up of advertisements and it lacks substance. There are some interesting food articles sometimes, but what is the use if the recipes don't work? I'll just let Martha make a candleholder out of hazlenuts, make her homemade lipbalm, etc while I do some real baking :)
     
  8. anneke

    anneke

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    Oops, sorry! It's under Pastry and Baking, a thread called 'the quintessential brownie".. I think..
     
  9. katherine

    katherine

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    This recipe definitely comes from the dirtiest page in the cookbook. Chocolate fingerprints...

    Brownies (severely adapted from James Beard's American Cookery)

    1/2 cup butter
    4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
    1-1/2 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)
    1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9x9 pan (8x8 if you're not using chips and nuts) with parchment so it overhangs, giving you a handle to pull the brownies out with.

    Melt the butter and chocolate on 50% in the microwave or in a heavy pan on low. Stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, salt, nuts, and/or chips (if you are using them). Scrape into the prepared pan, and bake until no longer liquidy, ~30-35 minutes. It will not get as firm as a cake, so don't overcook.

    Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Lift out of the pan by the paper tails, plop on a cutting board, and cut with a big knife.

    Just Desserts is an interesting unauthorized biography of Martha Stewart some of you might want to look up.
     
  10. anneke

    anneke

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    Bakerbebe: You are sooo right! I've tried a few of her recipes and I can say with experience that they are terrible. One of the biggest complaints the anti-Martha campaign had against her was the fact that her recipes don't work. If you're looking for a REALLY good brownie recipe, there's a thread in the Recipe Exchange
    superduperbrownies you will surely find something worthy of your expensive chocolate there! ;)
     
  11. w.debord

    w.debord

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    Sorry, I think you guys are totally missing it! Once upon a time when Martha was alone publishing books she didn't test her recipes as throughly as she should have. Quick Cook and Entertaining missed on a few baking recipes. But then I can list hundreds or more of the best baking books that have clunkers too. Every magazine out there fits that description, they all have clunkers! EACH and EVERYONE.

    Perhaps you weren't working professionally when she first entered the market but she made a HUGE HUGE impact on food presentation the likes that no one in my working life time has. She took food off sliver trays and brought us into style, we now present food on trays garnished to FIT THE PARTY. Shes opened the door for creative work in this industry. BILLIONS and billions of dollars are being spent on parties in areas where they were rarely at best ever spent. Stores now carry fuller decortive lines of party supplies, party consultants and florists bring us more interesting requests for work instead of old Wilton era cakes of which we can charge more for too.

    Her current work in baking is the BEST American work put out there. She's highlighting the best chefs in food and pastry and giving them credit on her show and in her magazines.

    She doesn't dummy down anything in her magazine, she simplifies comlicated things and teaches details that other publications omit that educated people want to know about gardening or cooking. It isn't family circle magazine, it's for people who appereciate fine things and want to learn about them in detail.


    The better baker you are the less false leads you follow. 99.99% of every baking recipe that requests a 450 degree oven throws up a red flag for me because ther are only a VERY VERY FEW items that are baked at that temp. Unforunately mis-prints happen, and they happen everywhere including the best cookbooks not just magazines.

    I can list recipe after recipe published in her books and magazines that are gold! I know of no other American baker that I can list so many from!
     
  12. isaac

    isaac

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    i totally agree with W. DeBord.


    martha has played a big role in cooking and baking for along time and she still does.

    as a cook or baker, like w. debord was saying, you must use common since and if something doesnt sound right, then it is probobly not right. there are miss prints all the time in recipes but with a carefull eye, you can look through those miss prints and come out with a great dish.

    her books are good... very good. she has good ideas and tricks that everyone can learn from. i dont trust what everyone says about a recipe... i just know when i read a recipe, i use common since. if something calls for a 450 oven, then i know that i should maybe turn it down a little or something like that.
     
  13. bakerbebe

    bakerbebe

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    To W. DeBord and Isaac ~~

    I don't think anyone was saying that Martha Stewart hasn't had an impact on America. I do think she has a great sense of style in her presentation of food, home, garden, crafts, etc.
    It is just that a lot of her recipes do not work. I know I am not alone in this opinion. Of course, in every book -- there are some recipes that don't work.
    And for the record, I am *not* a professional (and I saw an interview with Martha that says she wants to target the home chef, not just professionals)-- but I have been baking for a very long time. I did think that the 425 degree oven sounded ridiculously high -- but I went on her website and her recipe is posted that way on the archives and on the day she aired that particular recipe on her TV program (funny how things are always perfect on TV). Also, after my "brownie disaster" I went and posted about it on her bulletin board and lo & behold -- others had experienced the same thing.
    And when you are using good chocolate such as Valrhona or Scharffenberger -- you don't want to see a misprint.
     
  14. bakerbebe

    bakerbebe

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    Just another note -- I just found out that the 425 degree oven WAS NOT a misprint. That is the way it was presented on Martha's show. So, whatever -- the recipe doesn't work.
    And W. DeBord, I have to completely disagree with you that Martha singlehandedly changed the industry. I am very interested in interior decorating and gardening as well as baking -- and Martha has "borrowed" her ideas from leaders in these fields for some time. Yes, she does give credit to chefs when she has them on her show. But I have seen pages in her magazine of "her" ideas for decorating -- and they are copied straight out of my Pottery Barn Catalogue -- using the PB furniture, accessories, and all. And her floral arrangements, etc that are so beautiful -- again, I have seen her copy many ideas from celebrity wedding designers. And yes, I know -- I'm sure many people have copied her ideas as well.
    Everyone has different opinions -- to each their own -- but there are a lot of other chefs, bakers, designers, etc with a lot of talent -- Martha hasn't cornered the market on everything. Just my .02
     
  15. anneke

    anneke

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    I think Martha is the Madonna of home-ec': dubious talent but incredible business sense. Her best stuff, like Madonna, is borrowed.
     
  16. isa

    isa

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    I don’t doubt she had a impact on the way people see food. I do not doubt she has a good business sense and built herself a little empire. But Wendy you have to admit that everything she does is for her benefit and enjoyment. Martha wants to learn this and that so she gets the people who will teach her. Watch Martha getting her boat build etc. Plus she is so insecure and need constant reassurance. Don’t you like mind kids? These are my own eggs you know don’t they have a lovely colour? I could go and on.

    Her little empire is built, if you ask me, on quicksand. Yes she went public a while back and sold lots of shares. I will never be one of her shareholder and here is why. Martha is what between 55 and 60? I don’t wish her ill but what would happen if she was to die or have a stroke tomorrow? Her whole empire is based on her and her image. There is no one who can take her place at a moment notice. No successor for now anyway. Her magazine could continue to be publish and it could still be successful but her TV show, radio show and newspaper column would be compromise. The price of her share would drop so fast.
     
  17. anneke

    anneke

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    Iza, you might be right but the complete opposite is also just as likely to happen: suddently Martha-this-and-that becomes even more valuable because she's no longer around and no one can criticize a dead woman's work anymore. The Magazine Martha Stewart Living will probably have to chage its name to plain old Martha Stewart to not sound like a distasteful joke, but it will continue to be produced. The magazine doesn't need her to exist, in fact I don't think it has ever really needed her. Who knows what shape her empire will take when she's gone? You raise an interesting topic however, one which I admit I hadn't considered until now...
     
  18. isa

    isa

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    I don’t doubt the magazine would stay on, as I stated in my previous post. The problem is the TV show and radio. I’m sure she’s not the one doing the bulk of the work but it’s her the viewer sees. But then maybe I’ve been wrong all along. I see things clearer now…


    Imagine she goes missing they could always change the title to Where Is Martha Stewart Living. Do a kind of Where’s Waldo for grown up.


    If she should die, she would corner a whole new market. Death by Martha Stewart. And why not she has cornered wedding and babies. Dying is clearly the next step. How to make a wreath for a coffin, what to serve and what to wear. Possibilities are endless.


    With all the psychics that are surrounding us, she could run her empire from the other side. Imagine, how to make your stay in **** more comfortable. How I redecorated Heaven.


    And she will be eternal and her empire will be safe. With our luck she’d find a way to reincarnate herself in just a few years. And then what? A new line of Martha’s clones? We could each own a Martha.

    Scary!
     
  19. anneke

    anneke

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] Aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!
     
  20. momoreg

    momoreg

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    Iza, maybe you can market these ideas to Martha herself!!

    Anneke, dig that first smiley!!