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Everything posted by cookman

  1. cookman

    Almond Cake

    Here's the recipe. And now, if you'll pardon me, I have to go buy almond paste. ← On the topic of almond paste, whenever I buy it, I always think about making my own. Does anyone bother making your own paste, or is the commercially-available product better, finer textured, etc.?
  2. I, use a plumber's torch, too, to brulee the top of my mille crepes. I say make the cake and torch it on site with the big torch-- that should impress your guests! Anyone who doesn't like baking is going to think that you're "over-the-top" anyway if you are willing to spend the time assembling the 20-plus layers!
  3. You could use any tart crust that you like, although I really enjoyed the unique taste of Keller's pine nut crust.
  4. I made one change to this recipe which I think was an improvement: Instead of using 1 1/2 cups of flour, I used 1 1/4 cups of flour and 1/4 cup cornstarch. Due to the lower protein content of the batter, the crepes were more tender, with less "chew", which I found preferable. They cooked up beautifully. I can't seem to find the instructions on eGullet for how to upload a photo. If someone would be so kind as to let me know how to do this, I'll upload a photo of my cake, with all of its 27 layers!
  5. cookman

    Do I need a chinois?

    Likewise, how does the pore size of a chinois compare to the strainer you have from Lehman's?
  6. In this same amusing series of videos, there is an instruction to soak a block of tofu briefly in salt water before using it in stir fries to keep the neatly-cut pieces of tofu from breaking up as they cook. The trick is a salt water soak before cooking. Anyone know what the video says regarding how much salt and how long to soak? Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1tts94jyGM&search=urawaza
  7. It looks like this shelf mounts to the wall--not too convenient for serving pastry!
  8. I found this bistro shelf two years ago, and also really liked it. It seemed very overpriced to me. I searched the web for a while and was also unable to find it anywhere else cheaper. I guess an alternative would be to have the glass shelves cut at a glass cutters, and use plexiglass rods to support the shelves.
  9. Megan, thanks for checking it out. Sounds great. I will definitely need to try a slice next time I'm in NYC. Now we just need some pastry chef spy who has worked there to tell us how to recreate it at home..........
  10. I highly recommend Flo Baker's "The Simple Art of Perfect Baking". The recipes are written in great detail, to ensure success. There is also a lot of explanation to go along with each step of her recipes. Here's a link to the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/081184109...5Fencoding=UTF8
  11. I thought the parboiling for citrus peels was to remove the bitterness in the orange or grapefruit rinds. I would have thought it was unnecessary for kumquats, where the rind is sweet. I wonder whether it might have been better NOT to "core" the fruit before beginning to cook it. It seemed to me that that small hole in the kumquat enabled the juice to quickly "leak" out , at which point the kumquats "deflated". If they weren't pierced, maybe the sugar solution would slowly go into the fruit, and they would not collapse as they were cooking. I also couldn't see how a covered pot would enable the sugar solution to get more concentrated with time. The kumquat juice and condensing steam off the crockpot lid just seemed to further dilute the cooking liquid. How about cooking on low, without the lid, replenishing the sugar solution only as needed to keep the kumquats submerged?
  12. Cookman, I've never tried their gateau au chocolat, because I'm forever distracted by the mille crepes cake. However, in the name of research and helping out a fellow eGulleteer...I promise to try it this weekend. ← Megan, thanks for sacrificing yourself and doing the research. In case you had not previously seen it, the NY Times had an article on the mille crepes cake a few months ago. I made the cake according to their published recipe, and it came out beautifully. In case you missed it, here's the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/magazine...=rssnyt&emc=rss I look forward to hearing your opinion on the gateau au chocolat.
  13. I friend of mine, who lives in NYC, and generally is not a big fan of chocolate desserts swooned over having recently tasted the gateau au chocolat from Lady M's Cake Boutique. She said the textures of the cake were different than anything she had ever previously tried. Their web site (http://www.ladymconfections.com/gateauchocola.html) has a photo and description of the cake, which is a sponge cake, mousse, walnut and ganache confection. Anyone out there ever tried this cake and have an opinion on it? Anything unique there?
  14. I, likewise, had trouble getting this technique to work for the kumquats. I pierced each fruit as noted above, and put a batch in a covered crockpot with plenty of the simple sugar syrup, on low setting. After 6 hours, several of the kumquats looked deflated, and light brown in color. Let it all rest overnight, then did another 6 hour simmer, covered. The cooking liquid never got any thicker (wouldn't the juice of the kumquats actually serve to dilute the whole mixture?), more kumquats deflated, and they all turned a yucky brown color and got pretty mushy. After another overnight rest, I looked at the pot contents and figured there was no way this was going to improve with additional cycles of cooking, so in the garbage they went. (A real bummer, since I had gone out of my way to purchase organic kumquats!) I'm still not sure what I did wrong here. I've successfully candied orange peels in the the slow cooker before, but kumquats are obviously tougher to do properly.....
  15. Another thing that works well is a piece of lightweight chain, coiled around the inside of the pastry shell. (I bought mine at Lowe's). Easy to pick up and remove.
  16. Sorry to belabor this point, but to make sure I understand your technique, do I keep the crock pot covered during the entire time that the kumquats are in it cooking?
  17. Andiesenji, thanks for the detailed info. Should the probe be pushed all the way through the fruit, or do you stop right before you push it through the blossom end? Any advantage to also poking small holes around the rest of the fruit with a regular needle? I thought a read somehwere that the sugar syrup that is used each day needs to be increasing in concentration each day. Not true? Do you keep the fruit cooking covered the entire time, or do you need to uncover the pot and let the water evaporate, to concentrate the sugars?
  18. Ling, I've done this for my daughter's class, and they all loved it. Buy those flat-bottomed cones, you know, the ones with the texture of styrofoam. The muffin batter goes right in them, with no liner. Don't overfill the cones, since the muffins need room to expand as they bake. If you overfill them, they will spill over the edge, and make a big mess. (I speak from experience!)
  19. Paula, how do you feel about baking caneles in a regular or convection oven? When I use a convection oven, they seem to bake more evenly. I don't usually change the rack position, however, as they are baking. Which oven do you think is preferable?
  20. Try chilling the dough first, before scooping it on to the Silpats. Cold dough spreads more slowly, and will stay thicker when cooked.
  21. Thanks for pointing out the nutritiondata.com site. I was able to find the gram weight/cup for everything I could think of.
  22. That certainly could explain the problem. I was loosely following the recommendations in your cookbook "The Slow Mediterranean Cookbook", which suggests mixing 1 c oil with 1 oz beeswax. Do you have specific ratios for mixing the white oil from grapeseed oil, clarified butter, corn oil and beeswax? (Sorry if this is already listed somewhere in this thread-- I don't recall reading it.)
  23. Paula, thanks for the great suggestion-- I'll give boiling a try. Do you think the type of oil that I mix with the beeswax has anything to do with the "funky" smell the molds develop over time? I used canola oil, since it was easy to find, but I wonder if another oil might be preferable.
  24. I'm using a beeswax/vegetable oil mix to coat the insides of my cannele copper molds. Following the recommendations of others from this thread, I have not washed the interior of the molds. If there is any residue left after unmolding the cannele, I just burn it off in a hot oven. However, I've noticed that the molds have taken on a slight rancid oil odor to them if I sniff them, and I think I can taste this in the final product. The beeswax/oil mix itself smells fine, so I think it's the residue on the cannele molds that I'm detecting. Washing them in soapy water seems to make no difference. Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions on how to fix this?
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