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Posts posted by cookman

  1. For those of you frustrated by waiting for the UPS man to walk up your front door, here's something to make you feel better. As a follow-up to my previous post, I had ordered my copy of MC in October 2010 from Amazon.ca. It was "shipped" to me and arrived today-- just Volume 6. No rest of the set. Amazon.ca Customer Service has no idea why. They have no other books to send out. I now have to wait for a July ship date for the replacement.AARGHHH!

  2. Well, I received a notice from Amazon.ca 2 days ago, saying that my book shipped. I was so happy to see the DHL courier walking from his van to my house, until I saw that he was carrying a small box under his arm. The box had only Vol 6, the Kitchen Manual in it. No Vols 1-5! Arghh!

    I called Amazon.ca and they surmised that the two parts ship separately. I haven't gotten that sense from reading previous posts. Anyone else have this problem?

  3. I'm reviving this thread, following today's article on coconut oil in the NYT. Click here.

    I'm curious if anyone has experience replacing vegetable shortening with coconut oil in piecrust recipes that call for a combo of butter and Crisco. I hate the oily mouthfeel Crisco gives,and I wonder if coconut oil might increase flakiness without the yuck factor.

  4. Kerry, thanks so much for working through this recipe and posting the results. I have been looking for a good recipe for halvah for a long time, so it's great to finally see someone tackle this topic.

    I'm curious if the texture of the honey+sugar product is much different than the one made with only sugar. The texture that I'm used to is that of Joyva halvah. (My wife calls it "sawdust", but I love it!)

    If you were trying to make an all-chocolate halvah, do you think it would be better to mix in tempered chocolate, or do you think it wouldn't matter?

  5. After being intrigued by this thread, and impressed by the obvious passion and knowledge of the woman who sells this product, I placed an order for a Pickl-It system. I think the beauty of this system is its simplicity: To date, I've pickled several vegetables, and each has come out perfectly. It's simple, seems to work well and is easy to clean and maintain. I had been considering purchasing a Harsch crock, but then I realized that at that cost, I'd be pickling one thing at a time. The various available sizes of the Pickl-It jars make it a lot easier to have multiple things pickling at once. (I found this link today which seems to confirm my initial impressions of this system: Harsch vs. Pickl-It.

  6. I just got this cookbook. It looks like it has some great recipes in it, but the first recipe I tried definitively has something wrong. It's the recipe for Raisin Walnut Bread. The recipe calls for 5.75 cups of bread flour for one 9x4 inch loaf pan. Based on the proportions of the other ingredients in the recipe, I'm thinking this should have read 3.75 cups of flour. Has anyone tried this recipe and also noted problems?

  7. I've recently found a recipe for a starter that seems less involved than others I've seen, and I'm willing to give it a try. However, it calls for 2.5C flour, 1.5C water 1 Tbsp. sugar and 3/4 ounce yeast to start, fed with 1C flour and 0.5C water every "few" days for a "few" weeks if its refrigerated. Then you can go down to once per week.

    You might be interested to read this recent article from Peter Reinhart in the NY Times on how to make a starter: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/magazine/11food-recipe3.html?emc=eta1

  8. Can someone explain to me what the rationale is for the slow-build technique that is called for in so many published sourdough bread recipes? For example, if a recipe calls for 400g of starter, you see directions for starting with 100g of starter, building it to 200g over 8-12 hours, then doubling it again to 400g, to be used another 8-12 hours later. Are there really any microbiologic or flavor differences between this and just "innoculating" 380g of a proper flour/water mix with 20g of starter?

  9. I've been using slkinsley's technique for maintaining and using a (small) amout of starter with great success. I'm baking some of the breads from Silverton's La Brea bakery cookbook and wanted to know about converting a starter from white to wheat flour. In her cookbook, she has you go through several sequential builds to convert a white starter to a whole-wheat starter. Any reason you can't just use a small amount of white starter to innoculate the necessary amount of whole wheat flour and water rather than use her slow-build whole wheat starter?

  10. With trial and error, I have been able to come close to recreating this tart. I use half of a raw apple, then pat a mixture of almonds/egg white/sugar (see earlier posts) over the surface before baking. The result is a nice domed almond top, but the finish is very dull right out of the oven. A bit if strained apricot glaze on top makes the tart look just like the original. And, it tastes great!

  11. I have a recipe for a large apple nougat tart, that uses puff pastry and cooked apples. But the topping, which looks  similar to this is made of 100g sliced almonds, 100g white sugar and 3 egg whites. You beat the egg whites lightly with a fork and then combine all the ingredients and pour on the tart. I will admit this topping looks a bit more caramely than mine. But you could try the tart with raw apples piled up and the nougat poured and shaped on top of them. The nougat might set before the apples shrink, creating the effect.

    Thanks to Rickster's help, I made my first attempt at making this tart tonight. Pre-baked pate brisee pastry shell, a layer of frangipane, half a peeled and cored apple, then draped with the almond/sugar/egg white mix (I only used 2 egg whites with 100g almonds and 100g sugar, because it seemed too runny with any more egg white.) My original guess that the apple starts out in the raw form seemed to be correct, as I did get a nicely-domed almond topping, even though the apple shrank down on baking.

    The resulting almond topping appeared dull and dry looking, in contrast to the original, which was shiny. So, either there is a glaze put on top, or there is something else in the almond mixture that turns shiny when baked. I'm experimenting with some options at this point, and will report back....

  12. It's the technique that I'm trying to figure out. I'm guessing that the apple is raw when it is put into the tartlette shell and then the almond topping is put on as it's going in to the oven (based on the fact that there seemed to be space between the topping and the underlying apple.) Then, there's the question of what the almond topping is made of, and how they get it to drape so well over the whole tart.....

  13. I was lucky enough to be in France recently and discovered this tart, the tarte nougat-pommes. As soon as I tasted it, I knew I had to figure out how to recreate it at home. On careful inspection, the tart appeared to be made of pate sucree, a layer of frangipane, apple, then a great crunchy /caramelized almond topping.

    Does anyone have a recipe for this tart?

    Here's what it looked like:


  14. the a la mode method is "cold candying" - make a syrup 2 parts sugar one part water, boil, let cool to 30c put along with your fruit into vacuum bag, vacuum, open 3-4 weeks later.. voila!!

    it preserves the freshness perfectly....


    That's a very intriguing method! Do you have to par-boil citrus rinds first, or can you skip this step with the vacuum treatment?

  15. The clear plastic Cambros are polycarbonate (="Camwear") and are the most heat-resistant (to 100C) and the most stain-resistant. They're also somewhat more durable but this would be a non-issue in home use.

    There are 2 very similar white plastic Cambro lines, one called "Translucent" and the other more opaque and cheaper one "Poly". I think these are polypropylene and polyethylene, respectively, but I could be wrong; even distributors get confused between the two. They're both supposedly good to 70C. The "Poly" line is far more available at distributors than the "Translucent".

    If you care about such things, polycarbonate may be a source of bisphenol A (BPA), which has had some bad press recently. The other two plastics should be BPA-free.

  16. gallery_34671_3697_208.jpg

    Chocolate bread to which I added some dried montmorency cherries. 

    The cherries were very soft right out of the bag so I didn't bother to soak them.  The bread was much more tender than the chocolate cherry bread I remember getting at the Grandville Island market.  All in all a success.


    When I made this bread, the dough didn't seem nearly as wet as the doughs from the earlier part of the book. The dough was sticky, but not particularly slack, and its surface in the bowl seemed somewhat dry. When I went to form it into a boule shape, the surface of the bread seemed to want to crack. I still felt the results were excellent (a fact confirmed by the fact that my kids ate most of it before I could get much), but I'm wondering if I should have increased the dough's hydration a bit. Did your dough behave similarly to mine?

  17. We can't get good ricotta cheese here, so I suspect this could have been even better.  A year or so ago there was a thread on Egullet on making your own ricotta cheese.  I haven't been able to find it.  If this rings a bell with anyone, could you please direct me to the  original thread?

    Even with lousy ricotta cheese this was terrific.  And gosh,  tomorrow night it's pizza! 

    Here is a recipe for making ricotta, from Nick Malgieri:

    3 quarts whole milk

    3 Tbsp red wine vinegar

    Combine milk and vinegar in a saucepan, and place over low heat. Heat until the mixture reaches 175 degrees. Regulate heat carefully, so as not to exceed this temperature.

    While the milk is heating, rinse a cheesecloth or cloth napkin and line a strainer with it. Place over a bowl.

    When the ricotta curds become visible on the surface of the milk, remove them with a slotted spoon and transfer to the lined strainer. Allow to drain. (A firmer/drier ricotta can be achieved by allowing the curds to remain at 175 degrees about 5 minutes before draining.)

    To make ricotta smooth before using, pulse in a food processor. Makes 1 lb.

    Hope this helps!

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