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Dorie Greenspan

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Everything posted by Dorie Greenspan

  1. Melissa -- I'm a dip-and-sweep-er -- that's the method I used for the recipes in the book. I always aerate the flour before I dip and -- I just measured -- the weight is 4.8 ounces or, as Patrick said, about 5 ounces. Hope this helps -- Dorie
  2. I'm going to try to play catch-up with this post. Elie -- I love that you made the Chocolate Crunched Caramel Tart, it's one of my favorites. In fact, there was a moment when the tart was going to be on the book's cover. I'm also glad that you played with the temperature of the tart and found the one you liked best. I like the tart at room temperature, because that's the temp at which I enjoy the chocolate ganache the most, but I get what you're saying about the chewiness of the caramel when it's a little chilled. Actually, as you probably discovered, the tart's not so bad cold either -- really, when could chocolate, caramel and peanuts not be good? Lori -- I thought your shortbread cookies looked eminently munchable, but I think you've got hot spots in your oven. See how some cookies are so much darker than others? That's not you -- that's your oven. What you might do, is bake one sheet of cookies at a time, rotate the sheet midway through the baking and, if you see that some cookies are browning way ahead of others, pull those cookies off the sheet when they're done and keep baking the others. (The darker ones are probably the cookies in the back of the oven, yes?) The other solution is to keep doing what you're doing and to send the really dark ones to my husband -- those are the ones he likes best. One other thing -- don't worry about getting precision-straight sides on the cookies. If you take a closer look at the picture in the book, you'll see that, as pretty as the cookies are, their sides aren't really sharply straight. Susan -- I'm thrilled that you're three-for-three -- I can't wait for you to be fifty-for-fifty! About unmolding your Bundt cake -- hmmm. I work with three different kinds of Bundt pans -- one that's pretty lightweight that I bought 100 years ago, a spiffy, heavy, nonstick Bundt from NordicWare (the people who make most of the traditional and fancifully shaped pans we see these days) and a silicone pan that I use for smaller cakes -- and the only time I've had the problem you had unmolding a cake after 5 minutes of cooling was 1) when the cake wasn't fully baked; or 2) when I didn't thoroughly butter and flour the pan. Here's a good rule for unmolding any kind of cake -- wait until the cake has shrunk a little from the sides of the pan. I hope your Double Apple Bundt Cake will make your Rosh Hashona even sweeter. Lesley -- I can't tell you how delighted I am that you, a practiced Tarte Tatiner, liked mine. I wish I could go on a Tarte Tatin campaign and get more people to make the dessert. So many people -- even experienced home bakers -- are intimidated by the tarte when, in fact, it's easier to make than most desserts many bakers feel comfortable doing. Thanks for posting on it. Jean -- If you've got some of the Coconut Tea Cake left over, toast it -- I think it's terrific like that.
  3. Oh Patrick! As always, your desserts are GORGEOUS!! I know you and the other members have heard me say this before on other threads, but it's an extraordinary thrill for me to see what everyone does from my books and to know that people are enjoying the recipes. THANK YOU!
  4. Susan, I think starting with World Peace Cookies is a great idea!
  5. I love his black sesame eclairs -- a revelation -- and his version of the classic opera cake made with matcha green tea. It's odd because I am really not a fan of matcha in desserts, but everything Sadaharu Aoki does with green tea -- including his eclairs, macarons and a kind of dulce de leche with green tea -- is extraordinary. I have not seen large cakes in his rue de Vaugirard store and only a small selection of whole cakes in his stand in Galeries Lafayette. He seems to be a master of the miniature.
  6. Jean, this is not a firm rice pudding (although, if you add the chocolate it is firmer). What was your texture like? Simple as it is, there can be several variables with rice pudding. The cooking time can vary based on the heat you have under the pan and the size of the pan. Low on one range is medium on another. Cooking the mixture longer was a good idea -- you need to boil away the milk until you see the kernels at the top of the pot. If you'd like a thicker pudding, next time reduce the milk to about 2 3/4 cups to 3 cups (but don't do this if you want to make the chocolate version). I'm glad you liked the flavor -- I do too.
  7. Kit, I'd be happy to hop on your bandwagon. Sadly, I don't think we're going to see a shift to weights and scales -- it's just so counter to the way we've always done things. I'm not unhappy with volume measures but, like you, I find weighing ingredients much easier and, as you said, more accurate.
  8. Thanks Elie, Patrick and Felice for starting this new thread. I'll be here to answer any questions. Can't wait to see what everyone bakes!
  9. I know we're going to move over to the new thread, but I just wanted to post this here. I just received an e-mail from a reader pointing out a typo in the Russian Grandmother's Apple-Pie Cake. The pan size should be 9-x-13 inches (not 9-x-12). I hope ApronStrings see this. As it turns out, the cake is very forgiving and it would be fine in any pan that comes close to 9-x-13. The difference in a slightly smaller pan would be thicker layers and the need for a little more time in the oven. Sorry for the mistake.
  10. WOW!! I'd been off line for about a week or so and had no idea that you had started this thread. THANK YOU!!!! Thank you for your enthusiasm, your generosity and your kind wishes. I'm very excited about this book and your encouragement mean so great, great deal to me. Now that I know you're out there (and now that I know the book is out there -- I had no idea it was already available), I'll keep track of the thread and post and answer questions as often as I can. In the meantime: Thank you Nina for correctly answering the question about pricking the shortbread cookies. Shortbread needs those little steam holes to bake evenly. It's funny, I can understand why you wouldn't want to disturb the geometry of the cookies, but I never thought of the prick holes as a disturbance -- to me, they were the sign of traditional shortbread. As for metric measurements -- aarrrggh! I adore using metric weights, but I don't think they're ever going to become the standard in America. I had included metric weights in the first Pierre Herme book, Desserts by Pierre Herme, but they were axed in the final edit. One reason for cutting them was space and another was their scarifying effect. People thought the metric weights made the recipes look harder and more complicated than they were. (What was hard and complicated was converting the recipes back to metric when the book was published in France!) I was able to include metric weights in the second PH book, Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme, and in Paris Sweets, primarily because the recipes were originally French and in metric and there was some hope that the books would be published in France -- Chocolate was, Paris Sweets wasn't. In general, I think publishers are loathe to include metric in books that, like my new baking book, are meant for home bakers. It's a pretty complex issue and I think Dan Lepard got it right in his post. Dan's post is also interesting on the topic of American books being published abroad. I was very disappointed when Paris Sweets didn't find a French publisher because all the Parisian pastry chefs who had given me recipes were so generous, I had hoped they'd be able to have a version of the book they could enjoy. It was almost published. I had one publisher who was very interested and we met a few times before she finally turned it down saying: "I don't think we can publish a book in which an American tells French people about their own food." And speaking of translations, Russ -- I'm sorry to hear what happened with your Japanese edition, but it's a great story! It's also the reason I've never read the French versions of the Pierre books -- I'm sure I'd find lines just like that one!
  11. Desidero -- Patrick is right -- as always. You need to be very careful whipping the chilled cream. Actually, it only takes a couple of turns of the whisk to get the right texture. Cookman -- now that I look at your question I wonder why we did the zest that way! These days, I boil the zest three times, each time for about 2 minutes, and I rinse the zest and change the water between boils.
  12. It's so great that you forged ahead -- I've been known to realize mistakes like that and just sit on the kitchen floor and cry. In this case it would have been over spilled milk -- and we all know how useful that is.
  13. The Barney Greengrass story is perfect!
  14. FoodMan, you're a pretty swell guy to make that cake for your wife -- but she's pretty swell to bring you back a taste. It's still such a favorite of mine and I love the way you described it. And GFron, I like the way your croquettes in coconut milk-tapioca look. I'm sorry you didn't like the soup, but it's great that you'll use the croquettes again. I think the possibilities to mix and match are part of what makes dessertmaking so much fun -- and so creative. Did you like the hot-cold combination?
  15. Welcome to the UWS -- I'm on 91 St. I think Telepan's a fabulous addition to the neighborhood, but when you're looking for something more casual, look at Daniel's list -- I think it's a good one. My three go-to-them-way-too-often places are Saigon Grill (I like to go there for lunch), Land Thai Kitchen, where the cooking and presentation are really quite elegant (the chef is a Jean-Georges alum), and Celeste, where Carmine, the owner, brings in cheeses from Italy and puts together a cheese plate that rivals those at fancy midtown restuarants -- the wines at Celeste are also interesting. The two drawbacks to Celeste are: no reservations; and no credit cards. Let us know if you find something terrific in the 'hood.
  16. Welcome, Becca. You say that the dacquoise is not your best work, but it looked pretty delicious to me. I'm glad you tried the caramel ganache -- as I've said before, it's one of my favorites.
  17. Ellie, I like the look of the semifreddo in a loaf and, even though I know it's not the way it's supposed to be, I like the way the cream looks with the little chunks of chocolate speckling it. I remember once, when Pierre and I were working together in the kitchen, I complained about the way a cake batter looked as I was beating it -- it was really curdled. And he said, "Never mind about how it looks, the only important thing is how it tastes!" Well, you seemed to have gotten looks and taste -- good job!
  18. I'm with Patrick on the cocoa cake's cutabilty. I also think it's a terrific all-purpose cake and typical of many French cakes, in that it is good on it's own, but not spectacular solo -- and it's not meant to be. The cake is created to be a team player, to be an ideal companion to other components, like syrups, fillings, glazes and fruits.
  19. What a great thread! I grew up in Brooklyn, where the cake everyone wanted was the Ebinger's Black-Out Cake, a devils foodish layer cake with a kind of dark chocolate puddingish flling. Someone mentioned rugelach -- also one of my childhood favorites. I made a batch a couple of weeks ago and realized for the upteenth time why they're still popular -- they're sooooooo good. The combination of cream cheese dough, jam, raisins and nuts is unbeatable. I'm also reminded of the Charlotte Russes we used to buy at the corner luncheonette. Cake, whipped cream and strawberries in a cardboard container you could push up from the bottom so you could eat every last crumb. I second the suggestion to look at Maida Heatter's Great American Desserts Book. All of her books are fabulous -- and this one's a treasure. Other good American dessert books are Nancy Baggett's All-American Desserts and her All-American Cookies; Judith Fertig's All-American Desserts; Wayne Brachman's books, including American Desserts; and Tish Boyle's Diner Desserts.
  20. Felipe, just seeing the pix from the rue de Vaugirard shop makes me long to be there. Thanks for giving us something to dream about. As for the caramel-chocolate ganache -- it's one of my favorites, but I think, like everything in pastry, it depends on proportion. Licking the spoon gives you one sensation and tasting just the right amount of ganache with just the right cake and just the right amount of that cake gives you another. It's part of what makes baking so delicious -- and so much fun -- don't you think?
  21. I stopped using metal and ceramic pie weights a few years ago when I decided that they weighed crusts down too much. After taking care not to overly work a dough so that it will be flaky or, in the case of a tart shell, tender, crumbly or cookie-like, it seemed counterproductive to put heavy weights on the dough when it baked. These days I use beans (or rice) for pie dough and often freeze tart crusts made with a sweet butter dough, like pate sablee or pate sucree -- I bake the tart shells, straight from the freezer, with nothing but a foil liner pressed firmly against the dough. If the tart crust puffs, I just press it down gently with the back of a spoon or prick it once, if necessary.
  22. Patrick, I was thinking how wonderful it would be to have the vertical picture of the pave as a screensaver, then I saw the cut cake! Both the construction of the cake and the photos are fabulous. And the glaze is perfect! Did you fall madly in love with the cake? I think it's brilliant. It's another great example of how a dessert can show off so many of chocolate's charms without being fussy, fancy or unnecessarily complex. With the pave, all the complexity is in the taste and texture, yet the look, which is incredibly simple, is so elegant and the finish so lush that it's impossible not to want to dive in. I don't know how others feel about this, but I find myself much more attracted to simple cakes and cakes that are simply decorated than to those with lots of frills. It's so exciting to see your work -- thank you for sharing it with us.
  23. Patrick, I love that you shot the cake on the fork, just like on the book's cover! The chocolate and lemon is an interesting match, isn't it? It's not one I usually like, but I think it works really well in this cake.
  24. The latest batch of desserts -- the ingeniously-made savarin, the dacquoise and the tarte grenobloise -- look terrific. Ling, your suggestion about rolling the chocolate tart dough in cocoa rather than white flour is a good one. Another possibility is to roll the dough between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper using no flour or cocoa -- it's what I usually do, as much to avoid adding more flour or cocoa to the dough as to make rolling the finicky dough a little easier.
  25. I love the way the savarin looks, Elie. I was interested by your saying that you served it with more rum. I've noticed that often, in Paris, babas au rhum, which have been soaked in rum syrup, are served with a bottle of rum on the side, so you can add as much more as you'd like. I've even seen babas offered with a choice of 3 different rums!
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