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Everything posted by beacheschef

  1. Erica: I like to use savioardi and soak them in a mixture of brewed espresso and brandy. The eggs are separated and whipped, then mixed with the mascarpone so that the whites lighten the mixture. I've made the tiramisu in cassarole / hotel pan type of dishes, as well as individual martini glasses. It would present beautifully to your customer if you made it in a springform pan, as in RWood's photo. If you PM me, I'll be happy to send you the recipe.
  2. Could it really be that easy? Will let you know when I try this out.
  3. In the past few weeks I have made a couple of test cakes using different recipes and ingredients to see if I could find a vanilla cake that had a good taste and decent texture. These are some of the better results. The cakes I baked that were specifically written as gluten-free recipes were disappointing, so I decided to use my own recipes - modified. I used the following non-gluten mixture in place of the flour in a couple of my own recipes (gluten free flour recipe compliments of JackHonky) MIX 1 2 cups of superfine brown rice flour 2/3 cups potato starch (NOT potato flour - that's something different), 1/3 tapioca flour. use 1 1/2 times the amount of baking powder add 1/2 tsp xanthan gum per cup of "flour" MIX 2 and used this recipe as a replacement for flour in the second cake recipes (the recipe was originally credited to David Lebovitz) 33% Superfine brown rice flour 33% Tapioca Flour 33% Sweet Rice Flour use 1 tsp. xanthan gum per cup I baked two of my own recipes - a butter cake and a chiffon cake. Each flour substitute was used as a replacement in both recipes and compared. For the butter cake - using MIX 1, Rice Milk for the milk and Coconut Oil in place of the butter (bride can't have dairy) The cake tasted OK - not a lot of taste and was greasy on the bottom, with a crust on top. For the butter cake - using MIX 1 - changing white rice flour for brown rice flour, Rice Milk for milk and Margarine for the butter. The cake was dense and had a gummy texture, but wasn't greasy. Was the Coconut oil causing the greasy bottom? For the chiffon cake - using MIX 2 - this cake had the densest texture, more like a bread than cake. The taste was good - less sweet than the butter cake recipes above. For the chiffon cake - using MIX 1 - this cake was best overall with both taste and texture. When cake samples were given to people to taste and offer feedback, they fell into one of two groups. They either liked the butter cakes best because they were moister and sweeter or they liked the chiffon cakes better because they were lighter and not so sweet. Few people complained that the cakes tasted "weird" or "gluten free". BUT - THERE'S A NEW TWIST IN THE SAGA - the bride cannot have potato. No potato starch, no potato flour. So - What would be a good substitute for potato starch in the first non-gluten flour recipe? Could I use some white rice flour?
  4. I've not tackled this project for the reasons you're bringing up - transportation, heat damage and cost. I ship cookies and brownies (I freeze brownies first) successfully, but have seen what heat does to buttercream just transporting cakes from shop to wedding reception site, and it's not always pretty. I second the idea of ordering cupcakes online to see how they're packaged and what condition they're in when you receive them. Also note additional charges tacked onto your bill for hot-weather shipping (insulated coolers, cold packs, rush shipping). When I wanted to start shipping cookies, I ordered from Eleni's in NYC. The visual explanation was worth the price of the cookies. Keep us posted on your progress - I'm really interested in what you're going to do with this project!
  5. I haven't forgotten about this - just have been sidetracked with weddings the past few weeks. I'll be back to experimenting this week. I realized that I have a neighbor who is a great cook whose daughter has Celiac - and borrowed a gluten free cookbook from him. I'm going to take the information you gave me about flour substitutes and play with some recipes in his cookbook to see what I can make. Sorghum flour has an odd, more pronounced flavor in vanilla cakes. I liked the taste of the rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch better. Will post more once I've made more test cakes. Again - thanks for your help!
  6. Can I take a vanilla butter cake recipe and modify it to make it dairy and gluten free? Specifically: replace the cake and AP flour with an equal amount of your non-gluten mixture 2 cups of superfine brown rice flour 2/3 cups potato starch (NOT potato flour - that's something different), 1/3 tapioca flour. use 1 1/2 times the amount of baking powder add 1/2 tsp xanthan gum per cup of "flour" replace the butter with vegetable shortening in equal amounts - organic palm oil or refined coconut oil. Would this be a better substitute than margarine? (I was told margarine is OK for this bride) Sugar,salt and vanilla would remain the same. Egg whites would remain the same, as the bride can tolerate eggs. Milk would be replaced with coconut milk or soy milk in equal amounts. For the buttercream, margarine would replace butter in an Italian meringue buttercream. If these substitutions won't produce the desired result, please let me know why! Thanks
  7. Thank you so much for such a clear, thorough post. This has been a learning experience for me, as I work with new ingredients. I was surprised to see that my baking powder had gluten in it - but it made me realize that I have to read every label carefully. It's funny how you mentioned word getting around in the gluten-free / dairy free community. I've worked with customers who had other (sometimes major) food sensitivities and was able to experience firsthand that "word getting around" effect. If I come up with a couple of good recipes with these restrictions, I expect some new customers, and have had caterers tell me they're also interested in these products. I've seen recipes with sweet rice flour and brown rice flour. Can you explain the difference? Again - thanks for your information. I will check out the books you recommended, as well.
  8. Thank you all for your replys. I'm still testing recipes, as I haven't been happy with the cakes I've made so far. I'm using different non-wheat products, such as tapioca and potato starch, garbanzo flour and sorghum flour. Liquids are either soy milk or coconut milk, and fat is either oil or palm oil shortening. The idea about using kosher recipes is great - as I've made a couple of good tasting kosher cakes for customers years ago. As for whether the bride is allergic vs intolerant - I haven't asked that specific question. I do appreciate your views, as the difference in terminology could change how I bake for her.
  9. I've been asked to bake a wedding cake for a bride that has gluten and dairy allergies. Only one layer of the cake will be made for her; with the rest of the cake made with regular ingredients and recipes. Any recipes I've made have not been good - with my most recent attempt the texture was crumbly and the cake fell apart when turned out of the pan. Can anyone provide me with some guidance?
  10. Steve: Many thanks for the hours of effort it took to host our "Weekend of Chocolate". I had a fabulous time, and learned a lot of tips and techniques. I was interested in playing with the flavored extracts and oils - learning how much (or how little) to add to ganache. In many instances, it was "flavor by taste", where we kept sampling the ganache until we thought it was "right". The talk on ganache ratios and sugar substitution was an "a-ha" moment - especially when you had to explain it to me a second time... I can now adapt current formulas to make them more shelf stable. I'm surprised that after all these years, you taught me to scrape my chocolate mold in a perpendicular manner. So simple and easy, a far better technique than I was using. I'll post the Mojito ganache soon - I made it last week using lime zest, fresh lime juice and spearamint extract. I like it even better - it has more flavor. Thanks everyone for a great weekend, lots of laughs, and knowing I'm not alone in this business. (just alone in my hometown!)
  11. Beth: I would love to get some chocolate transfer sheets with you. I think the only ones I currently have are decorated with small gold stars. My only concern is that shipping them might melt or smear the cocoa butter. Let me know if you decide to buy them and what their policy is about shipping in warm weather. Glad to hear that Milo was doing better - keep us posted!
  12. Beacheschef, 8:50 Friday morning on Southwest I don't mind waiting for you. Marmish: Great - I'll see you then. Want to just ride the super shuttle, or were you thinking about a taxi?
  13. Anyone flying into BWI Friday morning? Marmish - when will you be arriving? I'll be in around 10:30, I think. Can't wait to see all of you!
  14. I'm arriving at BWI on Friday morning around 10:30. Is anyone else flying in around then - so we can share a ride to Albert Uster? Steve - I'm game for any meal that someone else cooks for me. Any place that you select would be great. Do you need an extra digital scale, or do you have enough? Thanks for organizing this gathering! Mary
  15. I've been thinking about your response and I remember the cakes being heavy. It would make sense that the foamcore bent a bit, which could cause cracking in the ganache. Next time I'll use covered plywood for cake layers this heavy - I thought about it at the time and figured it was overkill...how wrong I was! I'll give the corn syrup recipe a try, too. I'm assuming that your ganache glaze recipe was for semisweet chocolate - correct? Thanks again-
  16. Last weekend I made a 2-layer stacked groom's cake that I delivered to a rehearsal dinner. Each cake (9 inch square and 12 inch hexagonal cakes) had layers of chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse filling. The exterior of both cakes was glazed with chocolate ganache (semisweet), made with a 1 1/2 : 1 ratio of chocolate to cream. The cakes were cold when ganached, but not refrigerated afterwards, and were delivered about an hour later. Both cakes were sitting on foamcore, and there were 5 thin dowels in the bottom cake to support the top cake. There was one dowel that I hammered through both cakes to keep them stacked and not sliding during transport. When I left the shop, both cakes were fine. When I arrived at the location, there was at least one crack in the side of the bottom cake. By the time the cake was loaded onto a cart and rolled across the pavers on the driveway and through the hotel, there were more cracks in the bottom cake. My first thought was that I need to cut my dowels slightly taller, so the top cake sits a bit higher. What else could I have done to keep the bottom cake from cracking? Thanks for any suggestions!
  17. Pringle007 - thanks for chiming in! That's exactly the kind of information about Noel white chocolte I need to hear. I don't have the patience to work with a chocolate that's too thick to mold!
  18. ChrisZ - I don't see any noticable difference in color when cocoa butter is added to white chocolate. This is what the shells I molded yesterday look like, with the yellow-ish color to them. When I mold white chocolate sea shells for wedding cakes, I usually dust the shells with a touch of pearl dust, for a bit of glimmer when the lights dim around the cake.It helps decrease the yellow tint and reflects light.
  19. I just eyeballed the amount of cocoa butter to add. Is there a better way to do it? I added "some" cocoa butter (not melted) to the white chocolate before temering, and was pleased with the resulting tempered chocolate. Cocoal butter needs to be tempered with the chocolate - right?
  20. I've been using the Cacao Noel brand of chocolate for about a year and really like working with the semisweet and bittersweet chocolate for molding, as well as for dipping pieces into. Today I'm working on a customer's order for white chocolate shells on her wedding cake, and am having trouble with the white chocolate. It's like working with chocolate chips! No matter whether I temper by hand or in my machine, the chocolate is so thick (viscous?) that it won't melt and become fluid. I've added cocoa butter to the batch I'm hand tempering, which has helped temendously. Has anyone else had this problem with Noel white chocolate? I don't want to invest any more money in Noel white chocolate if it's a known issue. Or - have I just gotten a fluke box that may not have been stored properly? The best before date is 07/2010. Thanks!
  21. Great idea - no discoloration from scraping with the edge of the acetate? How about for edges - that's really where I use the "spackle and scrape" technique.
  22. How true - you can't stop the streaking once you start scraping! Do you have any tips for icing those tough-to-reach spots?
  23. I recently made a sculpted elephant cake for a customer, using a blue tinted buttercream. Since there were lots of nooks and crannys around the mouth/trunk and feet areas of the cake, I applied buttercream and smoothed it as best I could, then refrigerated until firm. Once the buttercream chilled, I scraped the edges smooth with an offset spatuala. I noticed that the area of buttercream I scraped changed in color to a darker shade of blue. Can anyone tell me what's happening with the colored buttercream and how I can prevent it from changing color?
  24. It's looking more and more like I'm in the "maybe" category, not the "wouldn't miss it for the world" category. Recent car repairs drained my savings account. If I find some "mad money", I'll be on my way...
  25. Are compounds the best way to flavor fondant centers? I haven't made any yet, but would like to experiment with them. Would flavored oils (like peppermint or lemon) or natural infusions work?
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