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Mushroom Liquor

-----Original Message----- 
From: Chris 
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 12:21 PM
Subject: Mushroom liquor

Reading the cookbook of Georges Auguste Escoffier, I come across Mushroom 
Liquor in the ingredient list several times. He never explains how to make 
it. Is there a recipe for this? Doesn't sound like something you'd see on 
the grocer's shelf.

Hello Chris,

This is indeed confusing. Escoffier's book, "A Guide to Modern Cookery", never makes it quite clear how mushroom liquor is prepared, but it's an ingredient in several of his sauce recipes.

It seems obvious that this is not a "mushroom liqueur" - an alcoholic beverage.

Searching the Internet reveals several things called "mushroom liquor":

  1. A reduction made from the pan drippings left from sautéing mushrooms in butter
  2. filtered mushroom liquid that you get from soaking dried mushrooms in warm water
  3. "Stewing mushrooms in water, stock or wine and then reducing the cooking liquid by half is a common method for making 'mushroom cooking liquor.'"
  4. "To obtain mushroom liquor, scrape stems of mushrooms, break in pieces, cover with cold water, and cook slowly until liquid is reduced to one-third cup."
  5. The below recipe for mushroom liquor, from an 1844 cookbook, is made with vinegar.
I could not find an Escoffier reference that made it clear to which type he was referring.

The book "Sauces - Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making" by James Peterson substitutes the term "mushroom cooking liquid" for Escoffier's "mushroom liquor", and gives this definition/recipe: "Mushroom cooking liquid is prepared by cooking fresh mushrooms for 15 minutes in a covered pot with an equal weight of water (for example , 1 pound of mushrooms to 2 cups water)." You then strain this liquid and you have "mushroom cooking liquid". If you then reduce this to 1/4 it's beginning volume, you have what is called "mushroom essence" by this author.

I think you would be safe in assuming that Mr. Peterson's "mushroom cooking liquid" is the same as Escoffier's "mushroom liquor". #2 above, using dried mushrooms, is an acceptable method as well, as is #4 using fresh stems. For a stronger mushroom flavor, reduce to 1/4 volume and use the resulting "mushroom essence."


Mushroom Liquor and Powder

about 1 peck of mushrooms
1/2 ounce of beaten pepper
4 bay-leaves
4 cloves
12 blades of mace
a handful of salt
8 onions
a bit of butter
1/2 pint of vinegar

Take the mushrooms, wash them, and rub them with a piece of flannel, taking out the
gills, but do not peel them. Put to them the beaten pepper, bay-leaves, cloves, mace,
salt, onions, butter, and vinegar; stew all these as quick as possible; keep stirring 
till the liquor is quite out of the mushrooms; then drain them, and bottle the liquor 
and spice when cold. Dry the mushrooms in an oven, first on a flat or broad pan, then 
on sieves, until they can be beaten into powder. This quantity will make about seven 
ounces. Stop the powder close in wide-mouthed bottles.
Source: The Lady's Own Cookery Book (1844).

Slow Cooker Bread

From: Rebecca
Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2012 1:53 AM
Subject: bread baked in a slow cooker


hi have been looking for a recipe for bread cooked or baked in the slow cooker. 
i have done the Internet search but what i found were not what i was looking for, 
they did not give a good recipe. they did  were not detailed for enough for me. 
it was like use frozen dough etc or this sour dough. i just need a recipe that 
gives good instructions.

thank you  

Hello Rebecca,

Of all the kinds of food that exist, there are probably more different kinds of bread than any other single food. You don’t say what kind of bread you want to make in your slow cooker. You say you have searched the Internet, but did not find any good or detailed recipes. “Good” is subjective, but I did a quick Google search and found dozens of slow cooker from scratch bread recipes that certainly seem detailed enough to me.

There are some slow cooker specialty bread recipes from the files below, and also see these sites for more slow cooker bread recipes:

Wheat and Oat Bread

Basic White Bread

Whole Wheat Bread

50 Slow Cooker Bread Recipes


Boston  Brown  Bread

1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. chopped nuts
1/2 c. dark molasses
1 1/4 c. buttermilk
1 c. raisins

Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt.  Stir in cornmeal and whole wheat flour.  
Add molasses and buttermilk; beat well.  Stir in nuts and raisins.  Pour batter into a 
greased and floured 2-pound coffee can.  Pour a cup of water into crock pot, set can inside.  
Place aluminum foil over top of can.  Cover and bake on HIGH 3-4 hours.  
Slice and serve with wedges of cream cheese.
Honey  Wheat  Bread

2 c. warm reconstituted dry milk (or skim milk)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. molasses
3/4 tsp. salt
1 pkg. active dry yeast
3 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. bran
1/4 c. wheat germ

Preheat crock pot on high setting for 30 minutes.  Combine warm (not hot) milk, oil, honey, 
molasses, salt, yeast and half the flour.  With electric mixer, beat well for about 2 minutes.  
Add remaining flour; mix well.  Place dough in well-greased baking pan; cover.  
Let stand 5 minutes.  Place in crock pot, cover and bake on high setting 3 hours.
Crock  Pot  Pumpkin  Tea  Bread

1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 1/2 c. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. soda
1 c. chopped walnuts

Blend oil and two sugars.  Stir in beaten eggs and pumpkin.  Sift dry ingredients together.  
Add and then stir in nuts.  Pour batter into greased and floured 1 lb. 10 oz. coffee can.  
Place can in crock pot.  Cover top of can with 6-8 paper towels; place lid on top.  
Bake on high 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours.  Do not check until last hour.
Crock  Pot  Zucchini  Bread

2 eggs
2/3 c. vegetable oil
1 1/3 c. zucchini, peeled and grated
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 to 1 c. chopped nuts

With mixer, beat eggs until light and foamy.  Add oil, sugar, grated zucchini and vanilla.  
Mix well.  Stir dry ingredients with nuts. Add to zucchini mixture.  Mix well.  
Pour into greased and floured 2 pound coffee can or 2 quart mold.  Place in crock pot.  
Cover top with 8 paper towels.  Cover and bake on high 3 to 4 hours.  
Do not check or remove cover until the last hour of baking. 

Wafers and Wafer Irons

From: Ethan 
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012 3:35 PM
Subject: wafers and wafer irons

Dear Phaedrus,

I am wondering if you know of any wafer recipes and if you might know where to get wafer irons,
which are basically blacksmithing tongs with plates that have carved images on the insides of them,
that can ,preferably,be used both over a fire or on an  oven eye. The wafer recipes ,that I am looking for,
are preferably northern European and I also wouldn't mind a recipe for Communion wafers.
I would be grateful for any results on either of these things.

Thank you,

Hello Ethan,

These have become museum pieces and have thus become quite expensive, although a few may be found at antique dealers and auction sites. E-Bay, the online auction site, has a few. See:


Antique DelFt

Recipes vary depending on whether you want the cookie-type wafers or bland communion-style wafers. These sites have some historical recipes:

East European Food

Danish Windmill

Historic Food


The Historic Foodie




Max's Restaurant Caramel Bars

From: mark 
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 5:57 PM

im looking for a recipe for max’s(in the Philippines) caramel bars
its like a pound cake but so much better
txs mark

Hello Mark,

Just to clarify:

There are other restaurants called “Max’s” that are not the same and do not serve the caramel bars, but these are all the same company:
“Max’s Restaurant” (In the Philippines)
“Max’s Corner Bakery” (In the Philippines)
“Max’s Restaurant of the Philippines” (In North America)
“Max’s Restaurant of Manila” (In North America)

Max’s signature dish is their special version of fried chicken, but they are almost as well known for their caramel bars. Max’s began in the Philippines, where there are 127 stores, but it has begun to spread. In North America, Max’s has locations in California, Canada, Hawaii, and New Jersey.

There are articles about Max’s and the caramel bars on these sites:

Max's Chicken Website

Max's Chicken Facebook Site

Certified Foodies

The package gives the ingredients as: condensed milk, cake flour, margarine, white sugar, egg yolks, skimmed milk, and peanuts

The real recipe, like most restaurant and bakery recipes, does not appear to be available. There are many, many requests on various Internet message boards for the recipe, and the recipes on these sites are offered as tasting similar:

Kelo Everyone


Yahoo Answers

Desktop Cookbook

I have not tried any of these recipes, so I cannot recommend one above the others. If you try them, let me know what you think of them.


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