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  1. i guess i should mention that the bday party is for a 3 yr old... so i suspect getting her to eat a sesame cake may be difficult! the crisp sounds good, the sorbet with the eggless ginger cookies also sounds interesting especially during the heat of the summer. shortening can be a tricky thing as most are soy-based. the nut milk may be a viable alternative... may have to check on allergies to that. thanks... i'll let you know what happens.
  2. how do i make anything, ie a birthday treat with [out] that? so many butter alternatives have either dairy or soy additives... what's a girl to do? a thought was some type of fresh fruit tart... the mom said maybe an apple tart... which immediately got me thinking about frangipane... but that requires egg. any suggestions???
  3. i love my little wonder tool, but alas it is virtually useless for cooking. however $25 later i can now verify the temp of my old, old oven where low is about 350 degrees
  4. this may be a dumb question... then again maybe not... so here goes... do the infrared thermometers work on sugar syrups... like when you are making a buttercream, for example? is it truly just a matter of swirling the sugar rather than just measuring the bubbly surface? this was the reason why i hesitated to buy one but then i wound up finding one for $25. my candy thermometer doesn't work unless i tilt the sugar to the side of my pot and even then i have to flip the thermometer upside down. a minor annoyance but i'll use any excuse to buy a new toy! any other drawbacks i should know about?
  5. i think someone else mentioned this... but we had induction units at my culinary school (ICE) that for the most part worked fabulously. and considering the daily abuse they took with 3 classes of pro students and at least 2 recreational classes... that should give an idea of their durability. i want to have one in my shop but i haven't found one that fits my budget! :)
  6. thanks everyone for your assistance... i wanted to share with you all that the clients LOVED the cake and actually didn't want to cut it. hopefully i get some business out of the deal, but anyway. i went ahead against your collective advice and still used the cream cheese buttercream-ish frosting. i didn't have problems with sliding etc, but i did manage to get a bubble in the top layer under the fondant. but live and learn... right? i'll try and paste a photo...
  7. thanks everyone for your input... i'll let you all know how it turns out.
  8. hmm... cream cheese filling seems do-able. question... would the fondant just not stick to the cream cheese frosting if i was to use that instead of the buttercream? just as an aside, i went to a baking supply store this weekend looking for premade gumpaste flowers and leaves and was shocked by how tacky and poorly made some of them were. this was a well known wilton supply house here in nyc too! where does one find nice gumpaste decorations? or are we fated to make our own?
  9. could the freezing technique work for say a pound cake in a bundt pan? lately i've been having drama with my favorite and well seasoned bundt... well greased and floured. i even tried pan release spray and flour.
  10. ok... i have been contracted to make a 3 tier (stacked) red velvet wedding cake with the traditional cream cheese frosting. the party planner (this is actually for a surprise bridal shower for the couple that has now eloped) wants the cake decorated with a fall theme... leaves, flowers. again she wants the cream cheese frosting but i was wondering if i should just create the decorations out of fondant/gumpaste and apply directly onto the frosting or cover the entire cake with fondant and decorate it that way? gumpaste and cream cheese won't mix well, correct? any suggestions? i did a internet search to do an informal poll... but didn't really get much info.
  11. i made a very similar cake for my wedding cake final project in school. the pleats were made with fondant... the only difficulty for me, like bkeith was keeping the layers from dropping or cracking. i used egg whites to glue the layers to each other and onto the cake. and the cooler the kitchen the better... cuz my fondant was drying faster than i could apply it... leading to the minor cracks.
  12. the oven temp is constant... i just got a new oven that i don't have to play with to keep the proper temp or light the burners with a match! maybe i'll try refrigerating the dough beforehand. these cookies normally spread but they seem a little fluffier, but i could be imagining things. the apple trick does work i've used it before although the hubby looked at me crazy the last time i did it. thanks guys
  13. so lately i've been baking these cookies that i am known for in my neighborhood and suddenly they are coming out to be crispy crunchy instead of the normally chewy cookies they are know to be. could the hot/humid weather affect the texture of cookies? the recipe has all of 6 ingredients that have not changed except for one thing... but i have produced the correctly textured cookie using thïs method before. the recipe has 2c ap flour, 1c sugar, 2T cornsyrup, 1c butter, 0.5 tsp bs and 2T vanilla sugar. i cream the butter and sugar together with the cornsyrup then add the remaining sifted ingredients. i ran out of the original vanilla sugar that came from a box (ingredients conf sugar, cornstarch & vanillin) but substituted 10x that has had vanilla beans sitting in it. i paid particular attention to whether i mixed it longer or shorter amount of time... it seemed the same. but it has been gross (hot & humid) outside and i don't have the ac in the kitchen. could this be the problem? any suggestions as to how to fix it?
  14. it's a slow oven... the strawberries are pink, soft and glazed with the honey etc. they smell good. and it's two or three hotel pans full of them. to be honest i haven't tasted them but i'm not a fan of cooked strawberries in any form.
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