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Everything posted by beacheschef

  1. What is the best way to layer two flavors of cheesecake together? Typically when I make my coconut - keylime cheesecake I use a recipe for coconut cheesecake that is baked. Once that has cooked and cooled, I top it with a keylime cheesecake that is cooked on the stovetop and set with gelatin. The taste is good, but the consistency of the 2 cheesecake layers is different. I'm not wild about the mouthfeel of the dessert. Can you offer some recommendations for creating layered cheesecakes? I'm going to be baking them in square pans and cutting them into triangles for service. Many thanks!
  2. ← I'd LOVE to be able to drop my room temp to about 60 degrees!! I usually have a tall thin floor fan oscillating in my kitchen when I work with chocolate so that it circulates the air around the chocolate as it cools. I don't have a lot of control over the temp and humidity of the kitchen, and in Florida both can be a real problem. For anyone else that can't drop the room temperature of your kitchen when working with chocolate, what do you do to help make your chocolate-production time more successful?
  3. As someone who searches this forum often, I want to thank you all for the great information and photos. Not only have I gained information, but you've inspired me to work on new challenges, such as colored molded chocolates. Years ago I cut out the N. Love article in PAD but never attempted it...now I am following an entire thread on the topic and am experimenting with it myself!
  4. I wanted to wait to reply until I had a chance to try again. I followed your suggestion NOT to use the refrigerator, as well as other suggestions to allow time to lapse between filling the hearts, piping in the truffle filling, and finally closing the chocolates off. Since I'm in Florida I"m really careful about room temperature when working with chocolate, but was hoping that the refrig. suggestion would work. I'll have to play with that more, focusing on watching the crystalization. All but 3 (out of 28) of the hearts popped out of the molds and look great! I'm very pleased with the results. I find these chocolates to have a shinier surface. Many thanks for your guidance -
  5. I'm having trouble with my heart molds (from JD Prince) - most of the chocolates release, but about 6 (of 28) stuck. I pried them with my finger to find out that the tops of the hearts were really stuck in the molds. I'm using Callebaut semisweet (12 oz) that's been tempered with 3 oz. of cocoa butter, since the Callebaut choc. is not couvature and is too thick to pour back out of the molds normally. I was pleased with this combination of chocolate/ cocoa butter when working with it, but am wondering what I can do to prevent the hearts from sticking. I began by using cotton pads and rubbing the inside of each mold carefully (or so I thought). Once I filled and banged them and poured the excess chocolate out, I placed them in the refrig. for 5 minutes, then filled them with a truffle center and topped them off. I placed them on a speed rack to firm for 5+ hours before banging them out. I follow the posts on this forum, but could use some specific guidance. Thanks for any advice!
  6. beacheschef


    TPT Blanc is equal parts of powdered sugar and ground almonds. TPT Brun is equal parts of powdered sugar and ground hazelnuts. I grind the nuts with the sugar in my food processor, then measure the amount that I need. Good luck - Mary
  7. I need to make a fruitcake for a wedding at the end of September and need a recipe that doesn't contain alcohol. I've read this thread and found a couple of good recipes, but don't know how they would work without the alcohol in them. I think I can macerate the fruit in orange juice. Any ideas on making a great tasting fruitcake?
  8. I remade my apple pie last weekend and froze it overnight first. I additionally cooked down the juices from the apples until they were caramelized, and the pie was fabulous. This time I didn't have the large gap between fruit and pie! I did notice that the granny smith apples cooked to mush again, so I'll be using different apples the next time. I also made a fresh blueberry pie, froze it, and cooked it along with the apple pie. Again, no gap betwen fruit and crust, and the flavor was awesome. The crust was far superior when the pie was frozen first...
  9. I just pulled out my baking school notes and made an apple pie the other night. ("The Best Ever Apple Pie") The top crust stayed domed, but the Granny Smith apples had cooked down to mush. So...I had a huge air pocket between the fruit and top crust. I baked the pie 15 min. at 425, then until done at 375. It took between 45 - 60 min. to finish baking (as judged by the browning on the top crust). Would freezing the pie before baking it have prevented the huge air pocket and the apples cooked to mush? I'm in pie heaven!!! Mary
  10. Thank you to everyone that replied. I appreciate the information. It seems that common sense follows in this case - high fat cakes seem to freeze much better, although we've all been known to bake ahead and freeze cakes in order to meet production schedules. Mary
  11. I've been following posts on this forum for quite a while and wanted to ask a question related to something I read in the thread on the best chocolate cake recipes. It was recommended that once the cakes cool down that they're wrapped and frozen overnight, then defrosted while still in their plastic wrapping. I've made the cake recommended by the thread and my customers LOVE IT! I do wrap and freeze it, and it's super moist. My question is - can someone please explain why cakes should be frozen and defrosted to increase their moistness? Also - will this only work on some types of cakes, such as higher fat content cakes? How about on chiffon or genoise cakes? Thank you all for the advice over the last year or two - I've found answers to many of my questions by just searching this forum. I look forward to more learning on my part. Thanks!
  12. How do you get your cheesecake batters to layer, instead of combining? I've swirled two flavors together but never layered them. I'd love to do this for one of my customers.
  13. I've been using "Cheesecake Extraordinaire", the book Sincalir referenced, for a few years and my customers have loved every cheesecake flavor I've made. To make sure my cheesecakes don't crack I spray pan release on the sides and bottom of my baking pan and run an offset spatula around the outside edge of the cake once it comes out of the oven. Let it cool at room temperature before refrigerating. Sinclair's advice is great- Here's a basic crust recipe from the cookbook for a 9" cheesecake: 1 3/4 C. graham crackers or vanilla wafers, finely crushed 1/2 C. butter, melted Mix until combined. Press into bottom and sides of pan. At this point I'll prebake the crust.
  14. Great ideas! I'll be trying a few of them this week and will let you know how it worked. I'm providing truffles for a wine party Friday night (different venue than regular business) and am comfortable trying some more "sophistocated" flavors. Mary
  15. Thanks for all of the replies, they've given me some ideas to follow up with. chefette: I've never used simple syrup in truffle centers. How much do you add without making the ganache too sweet? Do you go by taste, or is there some "rule of thumb"? Can you guide me through it? Anyone recommend a good mint extract or compound? I don't think I'll be doing LOTS of this flavor, which is why I'm looking at using fresh herbs. But, if the flavor really takes off, I may need to quickly buy a good mint flavoring. I made a great fresh ginger truffle that people loved; they found the flavor unexpected, but really enjoyable. Passionfruit was too bitter for my audience...people either loved or hated it. No middle ground. My target audience is people staying at hotels in the southeast. Not a cosmopolitan area, people aren't too adventurous with food down here. I have to make sure my truffles please the "masses" (hotel guests, whether they're in town for a football game, pleasure, or business...), which limits my flavors. I'm currently making vanilla, cappuccino, cinnamon (with a hint of clove), praline, and white chocolate citrus. Are there any other flavors that are mainstream pleasers? Thanks - Mary
  16. I'm making truffles for a wholesale customer who will be distributing them to their guests on a daily basis. I've been working on my recipes for quite a while, and have some good recipes for a number of flavors. Since the customer base is pretty varied, I'm not adding any alcohol to the ganache centers. The customer is pleased, but has asked me to expand my flavors to a few that they suggested. I've been working on a mint center with a white chocolate ganache and am infusing the cream with fresh mint leaves. No matter how much mint I add, the mint taste is not pronounced enough. I've also infused the mint leaves in the cream for up to 6 hours before adding the cream to the chocolate, without pleasing results. I've also been playing around with a fresh ginger ganache and am interested in lemongrass and other natural flavorings. Since I don't know if the customer will be pleased with the end result, I'd rather not buy the flavored compounds (I've used the mint flavor compound in a previous job) to enhance the flavor until I get a better result using the fresh ingredients. Do you have some advice for using natural herbs and spices to flavor ganache without using extracts, alcohol, or compounds?
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