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  1. I just used some recently. I'm not sure if it was the flour, but the crumb in the cake I made was definitely different. As if there was a little more protein content? I had to make the cake twice. First time was a bust and I blamed myself. The second time, the cake came out acceptable, but there was some tunneling and stuff that I don't normally get with this particular cake. A little tougher, too.
  2. Yep, that one's right up there at the top of my list too. I can't believe I forgot it in my post. I loved/still love Frozen Desserts so I'm really looking forward to the Modern Cafe as well. So, this book is about opening a cafe. How to do it *right*. Has anyone taken a look at it yet? I'd love to get some feedback as I want to get it as a gift for someone and there are no reviews on Amazon yet.
  3. High-ratio cakes use a slightly different method than a traditional creaming method. Usually, the dry ingredients are sifted together and then the dry ingredients are combined with the fat (usually a high-ratio shortening formulated for this type of cake as you noted to hold more sugar and moisture in the mix). Slowly, the hydrating ingredients are added. According to Michel Suas from "Advanced Bread and Pastry: A Professional Approach": "Checking mixing time and scraping down the bowl are critical concerns for mixing high-ratio cakes. Mixing occurs at different speeds and must be monitored by time for quality control and consistency." He recommends a three stage addition of the liquid ingredients.
  4. This looks like so much fun Kerry! I hope you really get some good use out of everything. I love how you're always able to find bargains. The triple sink for $400 (Canadian, right?) is an amazing deal. Will the room be fully connected to the home air conditioning, etc? I like that you thought of the sound proofing. Can't wait to see how it turns out and then see it in action. One of these days I have to come visit you.
  5. I think there's a chance we may be looking at this from different views. Maybe every professional chocolatier/confectioner you know tempers the chocolate for their ganache, but I'd be willing to bet every pastry chef you know that is only using their ganache for tarts and cakes and things of that nature doesn't. I don't do chocolates as a general rule and have no need for extended non-refrigerated shelf life so why would I want to bother doing extra work that provides no benefit that is relevant to what I do? To suggest someone is not a professional at what they do unless they do it the way you do it with the same equipment you have is silly and completely untrue. ← ditto what Tri2Cook stated. the original post is really about mousse...we're not talking about ganache for filling bonbons. very different things in my opinion.
  6. I'm going to hazard a couple of guesses here: depending on how long it takes to incorporate everything and how liquid your starters are, you might hurt your immersion blender more than the starters. with the white, you might be at risk of destroying some of the gluten which may have developed, but since this is a starter, it might not make too much of a difference in your finished product (depending on how much you use in your makeup). the wheat and rye won't have as much gluten to worry about, so i don't think that's a problem. the friction/heat that the immersion blender might create (again, time would be a factor) might cause your starters' temperature to rise adversely. again, these are all guesses. edited to add: yes, i'm chuckling at your indolence... but maybe laziness is the actual mother of invention rather than necessity.
  7. I do that everytime, and still the same. I think they are just out to get me ← you mention that when they are a bit warmer, they don't stick and that when you airbrush, they stick. when atomizing the cocoa butter, it cools down quite a bit, so you might want to warm it up even further when you're planning on airbrushing, the temp will come down pretty quickly during the process.
  8. The opening poster is asking about a specific brand of chocolates...See's. Their buttercream centers are most definitely NOT actual buttercream. There are also different kinds of buttercream (setting aside semantics) than meringue based ones. pastrygirl, I live near the See's factory and several stores if you'd like me to get you some . I'm pretty sure some of the other replies are closer to the point...fondant.
  9. I think Tino meant *only* Italian meringue. Not buttercream.
  10. Thanks for the posts and photos! Whenever you get time, more please!!!
  11. Chris, have you considered using something like a goat cheese or quark (farmer's cheese) to replace part of the cream cheese in the cheesecake base? That might make the flavor a little more assertive to balance with the apricots. I like the frangipane tart. I would quarter the apricots and lay them very close together so you get a LOT of fruit relative to the almond base.
  12. The school is very well equipped and professionally run. I believe that even if you have made most of the items which you will be preparing in the class, you'll definitely learn better, faster and cleaner methods. Also, while I'm not 100% sure on this, you'll probably get a little more background on the why's and how's. A lot of fairly adept home bakers sort of work using a hit or miss method without really understanding the science behind the baking. When you watch a professional (and please come prepared with a lot of questions) and listen to their explanations, you might learn a little more and your next attempts will probably be improved by your new found understanding. Everyone's experience will be different in that environment. There will definitely be people of all levels taking the course, you have to sort of adjust yourself to that and keep your eyes and ears open. You'll probably be able to see other things going on in the background of the school (Ask for a full tour of the "campus"!) that might interest you for next time. It will be great to hear about your particular experience. Bring a camera, sometimes notes aren't enough to remind you how to do something.
  13. totally forgot about them. they are great for most things. thanks for the update.
  14. I seem to recall that just before agitating is the right time to add it. ← Thanks Kerry, I think I'll give it a try this way with a chocolate fudge recipe using real chocolate before I go for a cocoa powder version.
  15. Can you just add peanut butter to the cooled chocolate fudge right before agitating in order to make peanut butter chocolate fudge? I'm about to give it a try right now just for the heck of it, but I'm wondering if the fat will throw things out of balance. edited to add: crap, no peanut butter in the house...how is this possible?! but, after a (very) little bit of research, it looks like people replace the chocolate with cocoa in peanut butter recipes. any help?
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