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Everything posted by alanamoana

  1. i think overprocessing could result in undesired oiliness. but if you're processing with the sugar, it might be protected a bit. if the almond meal is very fine, i wouldn't worry about it. i might sift the tpt to get out any big bits of almonds. i think the oven conversion would depend on if your home oven is calibrated or not. convection might be better because of the circulating DRY air. i think that's also the point of opening and closing the oven...to let out moisture. i would also go with a lower temp rather than a higher temp...but that's just me good luck and let us know how they turn out based on PH's recipe!
  2. while that certainly could have been the problem, i've made creme parisienne (chocolate whipped cream) by boiling the cream and adding chocolate, chilling over an ice bath to cool and whipping immediately...with no problems whatsoever (even though the directions say to chill overnight). i'm sure if the cream is lower fat, that will affect the whip-ability. cleanliness of bowl and beaters has nothing to do with anything when it comes to cream. egg whites - definitely, cream - doesn't matter.
  3. i don't think anyone asked (and you might not have explained clearly), how exactly are you getting the dough into the mold? in other words, are you punching the bottoms with your squares and then using strips to line the sides, making sure to seal the edges together before lining and baking? or are you trying to do it with one piece of dough and you're possibly stretching out the sides and corners when inserting into the squares? i've had success with odd shaped and high sided "rings" by doing the punch and strip method. also, using coffee filters with dry beans to line and fill the shells for the first bake. 1. punch bottoms, chill 2. cut strips from dough, keep chilled while working 3. line sides of mold with strips and make sure to seal the edges that meet by smearing the dough a little along the bottom seam 4. chill well or even freeze for at least an hour 5. line with coffee filters, making sure to get into all the corners 6. fill with weights (dry beans work great) pack the beans into the corners and fill all the way to the top of the molds 7. bake until the edge of the dough takes on a touch of color (to insure that it has set up enough to not lose shape in second bake) 8. remove beans and coffee filters (gently!)...usually while hot/warm so that the cold butter doesn't cause the liners to stick 9. finish baking until golden brown 10. remove rings while still warm and allow to cool
  4. You want a good firm contraction of your chocolate to make the transfer stick. So it needs to start in a good temper and then cool correctly to get best contraction. Sometimes putting it in the fridge can help with that contraction. If the room temperature is suitable, leaving the transfer sheets overnight will give a good contraction. ← in my experience, my chocolate was too cool when i was working with the transfers and this happened. if you look further up in this thread, i'm pretty sure i posted photos of the problem. after contacting pcb, they responded that temperature was probably the issue. so, work at the upper temperature range for your chocolate (of course, still in temper). they shouldn't need to sit too long on the chocolate, but you'll get best shine and transfer if it sits for at least a couple of hours.
  5. i just use regular spring roll wrappers for that kind of thing and i make a paste with flour and water to stick the seam together. i love brik for other things though!
  6. La Maison du Chocolat doesn't give recipes for chocolate candies. Just recipes with chocolate as the main ingredient. All my books are packed away. For individual desserts, I'd focus on the European books for the most part.
  7. alanamoana

    Cake bows

    "dry" with sugar is deceiving. you can make them, but if you're in a humid environment (which Bri, I think you're on the East coast and summers are hell there) they won't last very long at all.
  8. Do you just heat it to the same consistency as ganache and pour over? Do you use two coats or just one? That would save so much time and still look fabulous. Would you just use it over a light coloured cake? If I PM you could you please e-mail me a picture? ← you want it a bit thicker than ganache as you don't want to have to do a second coat if you can help it. you also don't want to completely deflate the buttercream (as it is "lightened" with the italian meringue) or you lose some of the body. you do want to do a crumb coat first. i've only done this on a light colored cake, but the coating was thick enough that with a crumb coat you could probably get away with doing a chocolate cake. again, i think the beveled edges help. you're not going to get sharp edges with this method. also, round cakes are best for obvious reasons. glazing squares (and other odd shapes) is a pita. yes, pm me with an e-mail address and i'm happy to send you a pic (not the greatest, but you'll get the idea). i think in one of the other threads there's a baker who does this with a lot of her cakes. she works in hawaii and i can't remember her screen name right now.
  9. Wouldn't the freezing break down the berries enough? I hate the thought of cooking them and getting that jam-like flavor; YMMV. ← they definitely break down as they defrost, but sometimes it's still difficult to get a good yield. thus, blend or cook lightly...in other words, heat just 'til broken down, don't boil, don't reduce.
  10. alanamoana

    Cake bows

    you could also use pastillage which dries in about an hour.
  11. i've said this in several other threads, but i think my photo was lost in some upgrade or other. at any rate, you can glaze with italian meringue buttercream and it is easy and gives you a great look. looks like fondant, but eats like buttercream! i'll try and post another photo... edited to add: after multiple failed attempts to upload image to imageGullet, i've given up. trust me, it looks good! i find beveling the edges of the cake gives a much better glaze. do a crumb coat, chill to set and glaze on a rack. might be good to do a couple of practice cakes first.
  12. you can get a much brighter flavor from using either fresh (in season) or frozen berries. if you run them through a food mill or chinois you can get a seedless puree. or you can actually just buy the frozen puree which is seedless and use that (the frozen purees usually contain about 5-10% sugar). of course, labor is expensive and so are the purees, but if you're buying with a wholesale account for your business you might get a good deal on the purees. ← Those are great suggestions. And a perfect reason to buy a chinois, which I've been hankering after for way too long now. Thanks. ← also, with fresh or frozen, it might be a good idea to either blend (with a blender or stick/immersion blender) or lightly cook with some sugar the raspberries first to break them down. you'll get a much better yield of puree/fruit pulp that way. good luck!
  13. one thing about cardboard is that it can transfer (flavor-wise) into your product. even food-grade stuff still smells of cardboard. i'd look at just clear plastic boxes. they aren't that expensive and you can factor that into your price. edited to add: of course, lined cardboard might be another thing entirely. and you can always add some glassine paper liner to your boxes as well. or candy pads or something.
  14. you can get a much brighter flavor from using either fresh (in season) or frozen berries. if you run them through a food mill or chinois you can get a seedless puree. or you can actually just buy the frozen puree which is seedless and use that (the frozen purees usually contain about 5-10% sugar). of course, labor is expensive and so are the purees, but if you're buying with a wholesale account for your business you might get a good deal on the purees.
  15. i think there's a thread on yeast somewhere, but as a general rule of thumb (a little late, I know): when substituting for fresh yeast, use about 1/3 the amount instant yeast or 1/2 the amount in active dry. edited to add: i'm on the other side of the bay from you...but i may just come by for pretzels when you get it all together!
  16. with corn starch, if you cook it too long (as in with pastry cream) you can cause it to lose its thickening power. would cooking the bananas longer (maybe with higher heat) cause the starch to expand and explode, losing its gluey properties?
  17. While not completely on topic... WOW. I haven't been to Valrhona's website in a long time and I just checked it out. What a lot of crap. There's no real information there anymore and it is so difficult to find anything with all the damned images...I hope someone (lots of someones) says something to them. edited to add: i've never heard of the satillia line. while i'm sure valrhona wouldn't put their name on a terrible product, i'd certainly stick with something you're used to using. especially in your specific circumstance. i don't know how easy it is to send something back once it gets to you, probably not as easy as it is here in the states in a big city i'm guessing ;-)
  18. If you're in Northern California, when can I come over for bretzn?! Have fun, I have a friend in NY who worked on this project as well. We staged at a little bakery in the Black Forest of Germany (my friend's father's hometown) where we made these gems. I love them with butter and some good German ham. edited to add: thank you cmflick for all the good safety advice on using lye. i don't think i would have thought about half the things you mentioned.
  19. it is lye (can be ordered from a chemist?). baking soda does not give the same results. be careful, use gloves!
  20. it looks great! i think the contrasting colors, textures and temperatures make it a fantastic dessert all around. lucky hubby!
  21. you can also try kitchen arts and letters in new york city. they carry a lot of european and hard to find titles.
  22. can't believe i missed this thread. i just bought the book and can't wait to read through it. i like their style and always like that they include chefs' insights as well. i agree with the people above who would like to have this as a database...couldn't they have included a cd-rom with the book in order that you have the information in a downloadable format?! that would have been awesome. Fat Guy, start working on the iPhone app please.
  23. i used to do a coconut one within an asian themed restaurant with a little bit of tapioca hidden on the bottom. people seemed to like it a lot.
  24. Inter-Library Loan: when you want a book, but your particular library doesn't carry it, they can get it from another library within the same system (in the US, usually by county or city).
  25. four spice (quatre-epices) a quick google search ended up with: pepper (white or black), nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger not in equal quantities. eta: sometimes cloves are used, omitting either cinnamon or ginger places like penzeys sell it pre-mixed and pre-ground
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