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Everything posted by lorinda

  1. I use the Magic Eraser on my quartz stone tops and they work every time, whether it's food colouring, turmeric, tea, coffee. (Magic Eraser is a white foam-type sponge for removing stains.) These have worked better than any spray cleaner, and it doesn't scratch the surface.
  2. FrogPrincess, thanks for your reports and fabulous photos of your cupcake testing. I'm glad you found a good recipe. I too enjoy searching, tweaking, sometimes it is easy to get obsessed with discovering the *perfect* recipe and very rewarding when that happens.
  3. Like Jeanne, this has only happened to me when I used oldish chocolate, and on those few occasions, it was with white chocolate. Even though the white chocolate was not beyond the use by date, I had had it for a while. Now I store white chocolate in the freezer or fridge, and it hasn't happened since.
  4. I get my BBQ meats from Sunny's BBQ at Hurstville; it is at the bottom of the railway escalators. Duck is impeccable, BBQ pork is good if you pick the fatty ones. Roast pork is also delish, as they only use the belly cut and now the whole pig. Ever since BBQ King was being mentioned in "trendy" food press it has gotten exxy, overrated IMO.
  5. I would recommend getting hold of Shirley Corriher's book, Bakewise. She describes the difference between the various methods of mixing, and gives the same recipe but with 3 versions, each using a different method (including hi ratio) and explains how the result is different. I used to use the high ratio method a lot, as it is quicker and less steps than creaming. However, recently I have gone back to the creaming method as I prefer the texture of cakes made this way. Hi ratio cakes are denser, with a soft tender crumb. You can achieve tender crumb with creamed cakes too but it takes a bit more care.
  6. You can get it from Coles: https://www.colesonline.com.au/webapp/wcs/s...=malt%20extract The brand is Saunders. You could contact them to find out Melbourne stockists.
  7. You can put them in a big brand new plastic bag (such as bin liners); I usually inflate it so that the plastic bag is not touching the surface as much as possible (in case condensation forms). I put it in a domestic refrigerator and it is fine for days. Remember the key thing is that it comes out into a cool-ish environment ; ie, not right into a hot summers outdoor party. Even on the occasions when a bit of condensation forms on the surface due to hot weather, it usually evaporates soon enough. Best bet is you experiment with putting a bit of fondant into the fridge and observe the results.
  8. I have refrigerated fondant-covered cakes, no problem. Just try to avoid bringing them straight out of the fridge into hot climates; airconditioned room is best.
  9. BakersCups Heaps of different bright colours, both paper and foil cases, very good prices (especially with the current exchange rate)
  10. Firstly, YES a crumb coat is essential. I would crumb coat with very light coat of buttercream, or cream cheese frosting, or whatever you have handy. Even white ganache at a pinch. You can't use the 7 min frosting to crumb coat, because you need to apply it as soon as it is made; hence if you used some to crumb coat and left it to set, the remainder of the frosting would be too firm come time to apply it. I doubt it would slide, it's a pretty sticky frosting. I actually go with the Italian meringue method, I've never tried the over the stove method, the Ital method is pretty easy and works.
  11. If you're going to Crows Nest, there was a terrific review on Matthew Kemp's new restaurant (called Burlington from memory) which has a terrific steak - available in 500g or 1kg serves??? Not sure who could possibly eat a 1kg steak, 200g is right for me. However, what really appeals are all the offal/secondary cut dishes which Kemp is known for.
  12. Or you could buy them from this dude
  13. Hi there, I'm sure you'll have lots of fun making the cake. The only thing I would add is, that I personally would make the flowers from gumpaste (also known as flower paste) and not fondant, because given the slightest humidity, the fondant flowers will wilt. It is also impossible to roll the fondant as thin as you would need, to make realistic looking flowers; it lacks the elasticity. You can buy ready-made gumpaste or make your own. If you've never made flowers before, it's a good idea to get some practice first. The orchid in your pic is a cymbidium orchid; the other flowers could easily be made with a 5-petal blossom cutter. Re your colouring question - given the purple flowers are a very deep colour, I would colour the gumpaste itself to a shade slightly lighter than I want the finished flower; then when the flower is dry dust it with petal dust; this gives you a lovely deep colour, which is not 'flat'.
  14. Thank you plafield for your response. Over the weekend I made a flourless choc cake and frangipane tarts (pastry made with gluten free flour); the tarts turned out surprisingly well. In fact, it was a bonus that the flour doesn't seem to brown as readily.
  15. I am toying with making some of my tarts (made with pate sucre) with gluten free flour, for a friend who is gluten intolerant. I was wondering if anyone has tried this (ie, using gluten free flour mix) and what the results are like, and whether it is worth doing. TIA
  16. Hi there from a fellow Aussie, I bought a new oven recently, which has a lot of modes including fan-forced, "fan bake" (which uses a fan to circulate the heat), no fan - top and bottom elements on, bottom element only. I would go with the oven with the open to turn the fan off. I have only used fan-forced around twice (when I was baking a roast and potatoes, on multiple trays). Most times I use 'fan bake' for my cakes and bread. When baking up filled tarts (eg, chocolate tarts, lemon tarts) that need gentle heat, I would use a no-fan option. If you are into baking fruit cakes, you would not want to use fan forced.
  17. K8Memphis has given some terrific advice! The ground almonds in that cupcake recipe are what give it texture and moistness. I can't think of a reliable, acceptable non-nut substitution. Those are lovely baking cups, with the gold pattern. However I notice when I made chocolate cupcakes in white liners, that after it is baked, the liners look dark brown; ie the brown of the chocolate cake shows through. You might want to consider this before splashing out on 300 patterned liners, as the pattern might not end up being visible. If the bride wants red berries, rather than using raspberries (which do run), you could incorporate dried cranberries into the batter. This would be less time-consuming than fiddling around with putting fresh berries into the frosting. When doing 300 cupcakes, you need all the timesavers you can get!
  18. I too am still searching for the perfect plain/vanilla cupcake recipe, and I have tried many. You could try RLB's White Chocolate Whisper Cake, made as cupcakes. They are very light and fluffy. The recipe isn't as successful, I found, as a cake because it's crumbliness means it doesn't slice as well, but for cupcakes it is very nice and freezes well. For chocolate frosting I usually use ganache, whipped, which holds up to hot weather very well. If you want a fluffier frosting, you can combine it, say 1:2 ratio of meringue buttercream:ganache. Or you could use a chocolate cream cheese frosting, which uses cocoa. Both would stand up to heat quite well.
  19. Re: getting columns to be exactly equal - I would measure (perhaps with a bit lf leeway), cut, then line then up next to each other, and sand off any that were a bit long. (Similiar to when you cut dowels for tiered cakes, which are required to be even in length). To ensure tops of columns completely flat, put the sheet of foam core on top and use a spirit level to ensure it is level. Check out these stands which may assist in construction ideas; the description says they are constructed using threaded aluminum rods. If the rods you end up using are not threaded or screwed onto the other parts, I would go with a wider styro separator, or use say 4 thin columns evenly spaced, between each tier. Hot glue is very strong, with the added bonus you don't have to wait for it to dry. For styro/foam core, I would definitely go with hot glue.
  20. I love cupcakes for weddings! I have collected various ideas, see these pics which might give you some ideas. (NB: not my work). You could fit quite a few cupcakes onto the actual cake table, as in one of the pics. You could make your own stand using foam core board, hot glue gun, and lengths of piping from a hardware store, or styrofoam cake dummy circles, as separators.
  21. Buttermilk or sour cream will result in a more moist (and possibly slightly denser) chocolate cake than recipes without. I prefer choc cakes with these ingredients. It would give a somewhat richer flavour than if the liquid component were, say, water. A choc cake made with all butter will have the best flavour however, upon cooling, it will have a firmer, drier mouth feel than a cake with all or part shortening or oil. Choc fudge usually means a denser, darker, richer and moister cake than just 'chocolate cake', and will probably have a component of melted chocolate. Devils food cake is similar to choc fudge, but it could be lighter in texture. So many recipes out there, so little time! After a year, I am still trying to find the ultimate yellow cake recipe, it never ends.
  22. Thanks for the tips alanamoana. If I put both top and bottom elements of the oven on, that should get the bottom cooked. Thanks for the tips about the jam too!
  23. Hi Steve, Thanks for your comments. Since my original post, I have looked up other recipes on the net and found a lot of them - as you do - bake them in uncooked shells. I will try this next, as it is less work than blind baking, and pastry is fiddly enough as it is! I have made a coconut tart before which also is baked in uncooked pastry shells and that worked well. I did try the foil covers last time, but I think the pastry was too far gone to be saved.
  24. Thank you very much chiantiglace for those tips, sounds great. I shall give it a go next time!
  25. Hi gron1, I make chocolate tarts, lemon tarts, and frangipane tarts. Of those, I only get the burnt crust problem with frangipane because the other tarts are baked for a shorter time, and at a lower temperature, after it is filled. <p> Chiantiglace, I'm baking them in a domestic oven equipped with a separate oven thermometer. My oven has a number of settings; I use the one with top and bottom elements on, with a fan to circulate the heat. Variously I have also tried using the top and bottom without a fan, and bottom element only. No noticeable difference. Tart size is approx 10cm in diameter, fluted tin, pastry 3mm in thickness on bottom, and approx. 5-6mm at the thickest point in the flutings. I don't use baking beans when blind baking, never have, it is not something I can be bothered with. Pastry is your good old pate sucre, per Dorie Greenspan. Blind baking is at 160-170C (sorry, I don't know the Farenheit, I am in metric world) for around 6 minutes, then a further minute after application of egg white to seal, and after filling, around the same temperature and I didn't time it, but it took over 20 minutes, possibly 30, for the frangipane to cook. At the moment, I am thinking of wrapping foil around the tart sides during blind baking, so that only the bottom is baked. However, this is so fiddly, there must be a better way. picture of tart
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