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marthapook

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  1. marthapook

    Cancun

    not there yet - but all of the above will be printed and in my lap on the plane down there - thanks for the help and info all can't wait - it's sand and margaritas this time next week!!!
  2. tan 319 thanks for the warm welcome my intention was to offer options and information on the 'good stuff' call my opinion 'tutorials' if you'd like but i wasn't presuming anything at all i could tone it fown a few notches or if you'd prefer, i could simply refrain from posting to your forum just another thought. . .
  3. Clay, Thanks for the continuing education - really - it's always cool to learn something new about something you thought you already knew everything about. And I took a peek at your site - on my list of things to do this weekend. Thanks again
  4. It's not the same stuff. The asian rice wrappers are much thicker and are soaked in water to make them pliable. The pastry stuff is paper thin and would fall apart in water.
  5. btw we weren't talking about your food
  6. that's kinda what i thought
  7. Tim Have to disagree. Baking chocolate is good chocolate. It is not a low end product. It just does not require tempering. As a pastry chef, you must know that. Couverture and baking chocolate are manufactured by many chocolate companies, from Valrhona to Fruibel. The 'good stuff' is not classified by couverture or baking but by the manufacturing process and the quality of ingredients. Walk into any of the 'pro-kitchens' in New York restaurants, patisseries and bakeries and you will find both couverture and baking chocolate - as well as cocao powder - not to mention glazes and compounds. Do the top ten pastry chefs (named in PA&D each year) then work in kitchens that are not considered professional? I know quite a few that would never use couverture for a brownie recipe - it is simply a waste of money. If your rule of not cooking with any chocolate that you would not eat applies - then you would never use 100% -unless you enjoy the taste.
  8. Try Pfeil & Holling at www.cakedeco.com they have it and they are in Woodside (Queens) NY - search on wafer paper at their website. or NY Cake & Baking 56 W 22ND St Ste 1 New York, NY 10010-5812 Phone: (212) 675-2253
  9. That's great that you don't have to temper for time and for costing considerations. Ask your suppliers to give you samples of all their baking chocolates. Specify that you do not want chips or chunks. Those are for cookies and are not meant to be melted down and put into recipes - far less conching on that chocolate. Tell your supplier that you want pistoles or callets only. Different manufactures refer to them by different names. Generally speaking, baking chocoalte does not come in blocks - however, there may be exceptions to this rule. You should easily find something you like for under $3.50 / lb. that's the high market price on baking chocolate (and the market is pretty high right now). Expect your absolute lowest price on decent couverture to be the $3.50 / lb mark also. On the characteristics of chocolate, the % refers to the ratio of cocoa mass - or cacao liquor - to sugar/cocao butter (and dairy in the case of milk chocolate) in the chocolate. And you're right about the conching/mouthfeel relationship. 100% cocao mass - is pure baking chocolate. Unsweetened chocolate is also relatively inexpensive - and a good way to add extra flavor to a relatively inexpensive baking 58%. On white chocolate - it has no cacao liquor. IMHO, Carma is a Swiss manufacuterer of some of the best white chocolate - ask to see a sample from anyone who sells Cacao Barry and Callebaut - all three lines are owned by the same company. Also, Valrhona and Cuisel make great white chocolate too.
  10. marthapook

    Cancun

    Ok. Great! I was so totally convinced that we just had to drive. Then Jason had to go and scare the $%!^ out of me. Thanks, J. Anyway, I'm so grateful to you all and plan on spending a lot of time exploring thanks to your suggestions. Zora, how jealous am I??? Not a bad gig. I'm a little crazy right now - prepping for the resaurant show at Javits this weekend but I will pm you in a week or so. Thanks for the help all.
  11. I cooked with the 55 and 58% today, Tchorst, and found the same sludge factor, as you described. It melted nicely and when it started to cool it got very thick, it was kind of weird. But I just kept it slightly warm and everything was fine. It wasn't as taxing to work with as El Rey, let's put it that way. Here are some things to consider.... Are you you working with 55% and 58% couverture or baking chocolate? Every chocolate manufacturer - Valrhona, Cocao Barry, Callebaut, Carma, El Rey -all produce both. Are you going to be making chocolates with molds or enrobing with it? Do you require a shine on the chocolate? If so, you need to use couverture. Couverture requires tempering - not just simply melting. Never expect chocolate to perform correctly if it is not tempered correctly. Baking chocolate does not require tempering. It is used for ganache and baking. It will always be cheaper than couverture. There are also products that can be used to enrobe that require no tempering. These contain vegetable oils. The kind of cocao butter is not the factor that determines the fluidity, 'melt-ability', mouthfeel or quality. The determining factor on these is the legnth of time the chocolate is conched. The flavor is dependent upon the type of beans used. First you need to determine how you are going to use the chocolate - then you need to pick wich one you are going to use. What you might want to do is call your supplier and simply ask to speak to the person on staff who knows the most about the chocolate they carry. Tell him/her what your requirements are - couverture/baking, flavor profile (fruity, smoky, acidic etc.) and price. Also use a tempering machine - it will maintain the proper temperature you need to work with the chocolate without the guess work. Hope that helps a little.
  12. marthapook

    Cancun

    Thanks to all for the helpful advice. Your rec's are exactly what I was looking for. Zora, sounds like you go quite often....business or pleasure? Also, Tighe and Marezion, we are definitely planning to go to Playa del Carmen and possibly to Isla Mujeres. We were going to rent a car when we landed but I wonder if it is nec??? Any thoughts???
  13. marthapook

    Cancun

    at thirtysometingish myself i anticipate being called ma'am at some point ain't that what the margaritas are for??? anyway, Jaymes, thanks for the explanation on Chilaquiles - leftovers for breakfast sounds good to me. and gracias lleechef for the info on Perico's and Busboy for that on La Destiliria
  14. marthapook

    Cancun

    Thank you both The "tiny and unassuming" restaurants in 'town" you mentioned Jaymes and the Parque de las Palapas you suggested sound exactly like what I want Jaymes, what is chilaquiles? Fresh fish and ceviche is what I'm really looking forward to..... I've traveled quite a bit but have never 'journaled'. I've always relied memory- which usually boils down to remembering the really good and the really bad - only. I think this time I might actually write stuff down and would gladly report back. I am going April 16 - right after spring break - whew!!! - which is also nice because the rates drop dramatically - on the 16th (The JW Marriot was asking $359 per night on the 15th and $179 per night on the 16th.) I'm kinda looking forward to it now that I know there are places where I can visit the local eateries for real food. The info you both provided gives me somewhere to start exploring from - thanks
  15. no, i don't think his restaurants suffer - i think they're doing quite well i think fans of his style and his innovative approach may - well not exactly suffer - but may feel that he's not offering 'amazing' - something that blows them away like the first (or 10th) time - just more of the same or maybe " i'm becoming "no fun" to eat with " too?
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