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Dorie Greenspan

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Everything posted by Dorie Greenspan

  1. DON'T MAKE THE CHOCOLATE RICE PUDDING -- not yet. I knew there was something I needed to tell you. There's a mistake in the recipe that was only corrected in the French edition. If you make it the way it is written, you won't get the promised creamy rice pudding. You'll get a very tasty, but very firm pudding. To get a creamy rice pudding you need to use half the amount of rice. Use 1/4 cup or 50 grams of rice. In the French recipe, the milk is reduced to 700 ml and the chocolate is reduced to 180 grams. These changes are not so important, it's the rice that really makes the difference. Sorry I didn't think of this sooner. Hope no one has made it yet. The caramelized rice crispies, on the other hand, are just great!
  2. It's only 9 am chez moi, but I would be really, really happy to have that banana split. I remember when I first made that chocolate ice cream: I had the same misgivings you had -- and the same revelation. It's so good. Seth, about the Breton Sand Cookies -- while they are normally baked so that they stay pale, they're good almost no matter what you do to them. With all that butter, why shouldn't they be? Go for that golden edge!
  3. Patrick, I love the pictures you post -- thank you for taking the time to do this. The Korovas look perfect. Looks like you used chocolate chips -- did you? I always hate to choose a favorite anything, but I think these just might be my favorite cookies. I think the texture, the play of cocoa and chocolate, and the flavor of salt are an exceptional combination. I'm so glad you and kthull are now converts.
  4. Just a little btw: the patissier Gerard Mulot in Paris makes his clafoutis with frozen pitted griottes. He bakes the clafoutis in a crust, doesn't defrost the cherries and bakes clafoutis three times a day, so they'll always be fresh. His preferred eating temperature -- 15 minutes out of the oven.
  5. Happy Birthday, Lannie! With a Plaisir Sucre that looks as wonderful as yours, I'm sure it was a swell birthday. Serge, I can't help with the convection oven question, although my guess would be that the macaroons bake more evenly with convecion. As for the egg whites that are left at room temperature for three days. You probably know that very fresh egg whites do not whip very well. To get the fullest volume out of whites, it's best if they are "old", at which point they are more liquidy, and at room temperature. I've found that in France, most people are not as concerned as Americans are about "killer" eggs, and those who are are even less concerned about whites than yolks.
  6. Sounds as though you had a good time overall -- especially with fantastic snow. But I'm sorry to hear about Le Fer a Cheval. We didn't go there -- just pressed our noses against the window and thought it was good looking -- but, like you, lots of people had given the name to us with raves.
  7. Serge, I wouldn't call macarons a "little contribution" and certainly not yours, which look perfect, nicely formed "feet" and all. I think macaroons are chewy by definition, so I'm not sure what you mean when you say yours are a little chewy at the base. They look absolutely grabbable to me.
  8. Arbuclo, those epi loaves are gorgeous! Very, very professional looking. They look exactly like the loaves in a Paris boulangerie -- bravo!
  9. Bloviatrix -- Had you baked with Healthy Balance before? And, did you not have any problems? I don't know the product, but I do know that butter and margarine do not bake the same way. However, all in all, it sounds as though you were having a day when the kitchen goddesses were not on your side -- sorry.
  10. Louisa' suggestion of Flocons de Sel is a great one -- it's a wonderful restaurant, but not inexpensive, except at lunch. I think there's a lunch for about 32 euros --if you're not on the slopes, you should really consider it. For a less expensive taste of the chef's food, try Le Puck, right next to the skating rink in town.
  11. CaliPoutine -- I think your dough should be fine after 36 hours in the fridge. You might get a stronger flavor, even a touch of a sourdough-ish taste. Let us know.
  12. Seth, you're right -- had the Korova cookies existed when I worked on CDPH, I certainly would have included them. In fact, I think they should be included in every book written by anyone -- they are my favorite cookies and the ones I get the most requests for. I'm thinking of including them in the book I'm working on now. I can't imagine anyone would complain about a repeat of something so good. Glad you loved them too.
  13. For pre- or post-theater, I'd suggest Bistro du Vent, 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues (closer to 9th). It's a Mario Batalli/Joe Bastianich restaurant and the chef is the terrific David Pasternack from Esca. The food is honest bistro fare done very, very well, the wine list is really good and the prices are reasonable. And -- I think the kitchen is open until 2 am.
  14. R Washburn -- In answer to why PH's Cherry on the Cake is so hard to replicate -- where to begin? I think the difficulty starts with the shape. The cake is 9 or 10 inches tall (I'm estimating from memory) and shaped like a giant wedge of cake. Looking at the uncut cake, what you see is a seamless shell of tempered milk chocolate. That shell cannot be made in a standard pan nor can it be made freehand. It is made in a mold, not unlike the molds used to make porcelain, which was designed by Yann Pennor's. The look of the cake is spectacular -- and it is this look that is unachievable in a home kitchen. Actually, it's pretty much unachievable in any kitchen, because of the special mold (which, I think, might be trademarked -- not sure). However, as I mentioned, the "innards" of the cake can be made at home and the recipe, Plaisir Sucre (revised somewhat to account for things like praline paste not being readily available to American home bakers -- at least it wasn't when the book was written) is in CDPH. Oh, the other unreplicatable piece of The Cherry on the Cake, and it's part of what makes the dessert such a showstopper, is the box, again designed by Pennor's. It is a three-sided box, tied with a ribbon on top. When you undo the ribbon, the sides of the box fall away and the cake, with its big, fat, bright red cherry on top, appears, almost like a clown jumping out of a jack-in-the-box.
  15. Lannie -- your mousse looks luscious. But, about making The Cherry on the Cake: Do not try this at home. The Cherry on the Cake is made in a specially designed plaster mold, the kind you'd use if you were making pottery. The original cake is shaped in this wedge-shaped mold and includes six servings, each with the same elements of tempered chocolate, praline, meringue, ganache and whipped cream, all made with milk chocolate, as is the outer shell. It's topped with a glaceed cherry and the portions are marked with gold leaf. It's magnificent, but I can't imagine any ordinary mortal making this at home. (Actually, I don't know you. Are you an ordinary mortal or are you a professional pastry chef? I should have asked first.) However, Plaisir Sucre, in the book, Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme, has all the elements of the molded cake minus the mold. And, although it is definitely a project, it is do-able at home.
  16. Elie -- the paves look wonderful. I think they're really lovely when they're small. You're right that the pave will be more impressive if you make it larger, but I think there's something very elegant about the smaller size. And, Richard -- the madeleines look very good. I, too, get some holes in the ribbed section of my shells and I've seen holes in professionally made madeleines as well. Personally, the holes don't bother me, but I think they are the result of air in the batter and you should be able to knock the bubbles out of the batter by rapping the filled molds on the counter (once should do it) before you slide them into the oven. See if that helps.
  17. www.pastryscoop.com has an easy-to-use pan volume chart . There are also other useful conversion charts on the site.
  18. Aarrgh Ben, I can't figure out what went wrong with your cookies. Using a candy thermometer should have been just fine, but, like Seth said, it's possible the thermometer was off. Not hitting a high enough temperature with the egg whites and sugar is the only thing I can think of that would keep the batter from setting after it cooled. Anybody with other ideas?
  19. Seth, the savarin looks perfect. And you're right about the dry-cakes-with-syrup being a particular style and taste, and texture, too, since the cakes end up being so soft and wet after their soaks. Cakes like these are definitely more popular in Europe than in the States and, in France, at least, I find that the syrups are much more alcoholic than they are here. Just recently, in Paris, I had a baba-au-rhum that had been soaked lightly in rum syrup and was served with a big bottle of rum, so you could pour on as much of the stuff as you liked.
  20. Once again, everything looks soooooooooooo good. Seeing the pictures of the mousse inspired me to make it again -- it had been a long time since I'd whipped up a batch. What I won't be making again any time soon are the Viennese Sables -- I'm just not strong enough. When I made them for the first time, when I was testing the recipes for the book, I called Pierre and said there must be something terribly wrong with the recipe because I can't push the dough out of the piping bag without huffing and puffing. He laughed, but said, no, that's just the way it is -- it's a stiff dough. After almost splitting a pastry bag, I waited for him to come to New York to make these with me. I made the dough and it was as stiff as ever and he declared it perfect. He then proceeded to pipe them out effortlessly. When he was finished, I gave his arm a little squeeze and, just as you'd expect, they were big. (He has the Popeye arms Patrick mentioned.) This is a cookie that takes strong arms, strong hands and a strong pastry bag. I made them once again as a re-test and then decided to leave them to the big boys.
  21. Richard, I'm so glad you didn't die. It's true, Pierre is a perfectionist and he wouldn't leave ganache in the fridge for more than two days, but we ordinary mortals can chill it for longer than that. In fact, as Sinclair said, ganache will last for a few days and maybe even a couple of weeks and, indeed, it will be just fine if frozen. There's no health danger in keeping ganache for more than two days, the problems are more esthetic. Because chocolate, like butter, is a magnet for odors in the fridge, ganache has to be wrapped really well and, if it's not, it could end up with an off smell. It can also dry out, which is not so appealing.
  22. Yellow, I think your madeleines look really good and the humps are pretty humpy. Patrick, you're right -- madeleines are good dunked into hot chocolate. They're also good -- and very pretty -- dipped to their midway point in ganache or white chocolate.
  23. Patrick -- The madeleines look great! I may never wait overnight again. Thank youl. R Washburn, the Plaisir Sucre is pretty fragile. I think if you want to mold the cakes in cups you probably should think about lining the cups with plastic, so you can lift the desserts out of the cups rather than having to attempt to unmold them. The easiest thing to do would be to use dessert rings, so you can just lift the circles off the dessert when you're ready to serve.
  24. Albiston, sorry about your lemon cream, but it's good that you salvaged the crust. As for baking it, just use it straight from the freezer -- no need to defrost it. What do you think you'll fill it with for your wife's birthday?
  25. Yup, the chocolate sables from the NY Times article are the Korova cookies from Paris Sweets. Pierre Herme created the Korova cookies for the Korova restaurant in Paris and, shortly after that, gave me the recipe for my book. The restaurant had just opened when I was working on the book and it closed just as the book came out, so, instead of having to explain the name in The Times, we decided to call them what they are: Pierre Herme's Chocolate Sables.
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