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Everything posted by alanamoana

  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?
  16. but they do require a minimum purchase...which might put the opening poster in the same situation as with u-line
  17. i would use powdered color specifically for sugar. the colors tend to be nice and intense. don't know what happened with yours. it's possible that the residual heat caused the sugar to continue to cook past the desired temperature. if that's the case, you can shock your hot pan of sugar in an ice bath to help stop the cooking. if you're doing a large volume though, this doesn't always help as the heat gets trapped in the large amount of sugar.
  18. Here you go! ← I saw that a couple of months back and loved the look. I think it would be great to make little slabs of this to display chocolate on top of...the whole thing chocolate!! So neat. Of course we expect a demo from you Kerry edited to add: of course with colored cocoa butters and white chocolate, you could get all sorts of cool effects.
  19. I also like "Chocolate Designs" by Philippe Bertrand and Philippe Marand Bakedeco has it, but I think I got it cheaper somewhere else. I just can't remember right now.
  20. Thanks so much for the advice. It didn't really feel humid that day, but it sure was the next and I'm thinking that that affected it. ← Kim, if you made this one day and used it another day then you need to "reconstitute" the buttercream. In other words, you can't just store it on the counter overnight and decorate a cake with it the next day without doing anything to it. Usually, throw it back on the mixer with the paddle attachment and paddle on low to medium speed until it smooths out and gets a satiny appearance. If it is cold at all, a little heat helps. I use a torch on the side just to warm it gently, but a hot towel as advised above is perfect. If you've refrigerated it, when you first start mixing, it might look completely curdled and separated. Just add heat and keep mixing and it will come back together. If it looked a little curdled like this when freshly made, then it needs longer mixing time. Again, as advised above heat or cold depending on the room temp will help it come back together. Patience! It can take five minutes or more of mixing. Also, if it sits a long time while you're using it on the cake, it might need quick touch-up mixes to smooth it out. Also, remember that you lose some volume in the reconstituting process, so while still delicious, it will be a little denser sometimes. I love the flower you made with the "ho-hos"!!
  21. Also "Two" which used to be Hawthorne Lane is next door to the Thirsty Bear. Not sure what they're serving there lately, but certainly cheaper than Hawthorne Lane used to be in its heyday. I would guess it is slightly upscale casual...if that's at all a definition of a cuisine
  22. if you infuse the zest in the cream and strain it out, it won't affect the texture at all.
  23. don't you love when people make something beautiful and they find the flaws in it just to fish for compliments they look great Lior, and i have always been of the mind that barely noticeable (or only noticeable to you) imperfections indicate the hand made nature of items. that makes them all the more special! i wouldn't want it to look like a machine made them, in other words.
  24. I totally missed this the first time. Are you using the paddle that came with the mixer or the after market "beater blade"? Home models usually have the coated blades, but some come with metal blades. Again, I think you should check your height adjustment or make sure that the bowl is sitting properly. Sometimes when people have a small amount to mix, they lift the bowl slightly so that everything gets scraped down. I think bowl to paddle contact is your culprit. I don't think it makes things inedible, but I don't know how much metal you want to ingest ;-)
  25. could be the bowl and whisk you're using. are you using a stand mixer? sometimes the height adjustment needs to be worked on in order that the attachments don't hit the metal. if you're using a hand whisk and a stainless steel bowl, sometimes poorer quality stainless can impart color. in other words, i would attribute this to a mechanical issue rather than ingredient. of course, there could be some acid in the recipe (leavener?) that's reacting with your bowl or mixing apparatus as well.
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