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Everything posted by chefpeon

  1. One thing: If you are just going to melt buttercream to pour it, there is no point in making a meringue buttercream to do that. It's sort of a waste of time and ingredients. If all you want to do is pour, then make a "simple buttercream" (ie, butter and/or shortening, water, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt).
  2. Hey man, that's something everyone needs to learn on their own!!!
  3. I noticed the person that wrote about using "steamcream" was a cook at home in Indonesia. Maybe it's something that's common there? Or maybe the word "steamcream" is another word for something like maybe poured fondant? Or maybe it's simply just melted buttercream? I don't know.....I've never heard of "steamcream" either.
  4. I found this recipe: Berger Cookies
  5. Mazarins, according to the "The Professional Pastry Chef, Third Edition" by Bo Friberg: Mazarin filling is almost exactly like frangipane. The forms are lined with a short dough crust, and the filling is piped in almost to the top. After baking, the tops are brushed with apricot glaze, then when cool, a simple icing of powdered sugar and water is applied by dipping the tops of the pastries in the icing, then removing the excess with a spatula. Here is the closest I could find to size and shape as far as a mold for the mazarins.....
  6. Since it's a tiered cake, have you suggested to the couple that you could do one tier "his" cake and one tier, "hers"? It might be better than trying to incorporate two flavors into one cake, where you run the risk of the flavors getting lost within each other, or one overpowering the other.
  7. I think the only concern I'd have with soaking a pistachio cake with the three milk syrup is that the end product might be too sweet. Guess it depends on the cake though.
  8. People and their weird requests....... If it were me, I'd make a rum essenced Diplomat Cream (whipped cream folded in to pastry cream) and call it good. Should go OK with pistachio cake.
  9. Jake...... you are overreacting big time. I think you sort of need to calm down and really read what we are saying. We aren't trashing the CIA! The basic point being made is that chefs such as myself are trusted with the task of getting the food out. We need to make smart decisions about our crews because our heads are on the block so to speak. I've been in this business long enough to know that words on paper.....whether they say CIA or Anytown Community College are just words....valuable words to be sure, but they offer no guarantees about the person applying for the job! I'm sure you're one of the stellar grads from the CIA....that's great.....you are the example I was talking about earlier; taking your education and running with it. Awesome. The world is your oyster. But not everyone is you. I have to deal with what comes my way too, and I've learned from my experience that hiring someone based on what a resume says can be a big mistake. Which is why I audition all my candidates. Tells me all I really need and want to know. I need to depend on my crew so I have to choose them carefully. I know you are sort of upset and probably might have said things off the cuff, but I really take exception to this statement: One, we aren't slamming culinary programs; and two, why are you categorizing bakers with non-food people? The only person doing any trash talking on this thread is you, my friend. I have a solid culinary background, both from school AND 18 years of work experience. I think I *do* have a clue. Pastry chefs work just as hard as you on the hot side....never forget that!
  10. Out there in NewYorkLand it probably is different from where I'm coming from as a Pacific Northwesterner. I don't doubt that having a CIA degree is almost essential over there, since there are SO many restaurants, not to mention cutting edge, trendsetting, famous restaurants. New York is to the culinary world what Paris is to the fashion world. You also have more opportunities to make more money doing what you do in New York (as well as other big trend-setting metropolis' too). It probably makes more sense to go to CIA if you want to experience and be successful in the culinary competition there. The bigger the town, the tougher the competition, and in a place where you need every single thing on a resume to edge out other job applicants, a CIA degree will probably get you a second look. My years in the industry have made me quite cynical. When I see "CIA" or any other culinary school on a resume, like I said, it gives me hope, but it's no guarantee as far as I'm concerned. You can talk the talk all you want, but once you show me what you've got in the kitchen, then I'm convinced. Put everyone on the same playing field and you can pick the winners from the losers pretty quick as opposed to what you see on their resumes. You can tell who really has the drive and who doesn't. No question, a CIA degree will open doors. But I'm more concerned with what you do once you get in the door.
  11. Thanks Tri! I have never heard of the plastic wrap/infusing trick....I will have to try it. And if I have the time and patience, I'd like to do a side-by-side to see if that works as opposed to NOT using plastic wrap! I suppose you leave the wrap on til the stuff gets sucked down and the liquid cools to room temp?
  12. yeah, if you've ever been burned by it.....NO DOUBT!!! That gets you the respect of an ambulance siren!
  13. Neato Schneich! Darn me and my lack of ability to speak other languages! Let me see if I got the jist of this video: 1. Start with some dried hibiscus, some gelatin(?) and glycerin. (How much of each? 50/50? Is that "metil" stuff granulated gelatin or methylcellulose? Could I substitute gelatin for methylcellulose? Are both dissolved in a certain amount of water first?) 2. Bring to a boil and add dried hibiscus. Boil for 5 minutes. Then cover pot with plastic wrap. (Why? and for how long?) 3. Strain out dried hibiscus. Scale out some powdered sugar (?). 9 grams? 4. Incorporate powdered sugar with a stick blender. Refrigerate liquid at 4 celsius (39.2 F) for 12 hours. 5. Lightly coat a smooth surface (a glass sheet or marble) with some oil. Take small amount of gelatinized mixture on an offset spatula and spread REALLY thinly in strips on the glass or marble. Let dry 24 hours. 6. Start peeling up the strips with a metal spatula, then lift the rest of the strip up with your fingers. The strip can be wrinkled or shaped as you like. Use as a garnish. If you'd be able to fill in those blanks, I could probably do this! I just love it.
  14. I like that......."hot behind"!!! For me, it's always been just "behind" because things are not always hot, but they could be sharp, or fragile or heavy. I'm surprised no one has said "corner!". Nothing will set you up for a head on kitchen accident like a sharp blind corner. And many kitchens have LOTS of those. One time, I was dining in a 5 star place. I had to get up to go to the restroom, and noticed that the hall to the restroom and entrance to the kitchen were in close proximity, (bad design!!!) so out of habit, on my way there, I called out "corner!", and would you believe there was a waiter right there. He laughed and said he'd never seen a customer say that before! Ha! I do believe I saved my fancy blouse that day!
  15. To reiterate K8's point! It's NOT the school you go to, or how much money you spent on said school, but WHAT YOU DO with the education you've received that will determine your success! To me, it makes no sense to spend that much money on culinary school, when the wages you make when you get out all that much more difficult to pay off in the future. Even though college tuition in general is way too high, at least it makes more sense to pay the higher tuitions when you major in something that is going to have a higher payoff, like a law degree, engineer, medical degree, etc. I've worked with people that went to CIA and couldn't cook their way out of a box. I've worked with people that had no school at all, just plain old experience, and they could kick my butt. I've worked with a guy that went to a small culinary school and midway through his program the school went bankrupt. Now he's one of the best pastry chefs in the country. I've worked with chefs that went through a 2 year technical college program like I did and they were awesome...had a great work ethic and no prima-donna attitude. Speaking as a person that does the hiring and firing, when I look at a resume, and see "Le Cordon Bleu" or "CIA" or "Tinytown Culinary Academy", it gets my hopes up and it's a plus, but I look at work history more closely, and more seriously. If there is very little to no work history, then it goes in the "maybe" pile. As a working chef, I think talk is cheap. You gotta walk the walk, which is why I audition ALL potential employees. A few hours in the kitchen with me, tells me a heck of a lot more than a resume or a culinary degree EVER will. Perhaps my experiences with culinary school grads has given me this outlook. I would say that in my 18 years in this industry, most of the grads I have worked with, or hired, have turned out to be less than impressive. I don't know if it's my experience personally or if it's the general trend. One thing that I'm aware that culinary school doesn't teach you, is pure WORK ETHIC. CIA or no, you gotta get out there and kick some serious butt. You gotta do the time in the trenches, sweat like a pig, chop til you can't chop anymore, scrape the grill, do dishes, pick up the slack of your whiny co-workers, and see what needs to be done and do it before your chef tells you to (that'll get you everywhere). The attitude I get from culinary grads is that they've gone to school and paid a lot of money, and somehow, that in itself should exempt them from "trenchwork". Sort of like going to ROTC in high school or college will make you an officer in the military. Doesn't work that way in the culinary world. As time goes on, people form their biases based on experience. I suppose I have mine. But I do give everyone an equal chance, which is why the resume is something I glance at to determine who will get the opportunity to audition. Everyone is on the same playing field that way. Don't get me wrong.....I don't think culinary school is a bad idea! I went myself. I needed it because I didn't know a damn thing. I'd never even had a restaurant job before. It gave me a knowledge of the basics.....like I didn't get a stupid look on my face when I was told to "brunoise" something, or "put this bread in the proofer". I do, however, consider myself extremely fortunate that I had two chef-instructors that were VERY adamant that we have no attitude. They repeated over and over, "once you graduate, you are NOT chefs! Some of you will never be chefs! You have to work your way up just like everyone else and it's hard work! Just because you graduate from here does NOT mean your education ends! It's only beginning!" They pounded this mantra into our heads over and over, and I am very grateful for that. If anything, that was the most valuable advice I ever got in school. I can't say I was disillusioned when I got into the work world. I fully expected to lick dishes when I got my first job. School is good......VERY good. But when you are talking about tuitions that are not in line with the average wage of the graduate, it really makes no sense to me. At all.
  16. You know, you don't have to go to an expensive school to get a culinary education! Do you realize that you're getting one right now, as you work, and you're getting paid for it? Don't overlook that, because future employers are much more influenced by a history of actual kitchen experience over a culinary school certificate, believe me. Also, "counselors" who work for Cordon Bleu, and other culinary academies are "recruiters" or "salespeople". They want the sale! They want to enroll you because it's money to them! Don't these two paragraphs you wrote just make you a BIT wary of this whole undertaking? They are sidestepping you and not answering important valid questions you have. If you really want to go to school, there are culinary programs at community colleges and technical colleges that are WAY more in line with our profession, the wages we make, and the ability to pay for school. Don't think these programs aren't "as good" as Cordon Bleu, because in most cases they ARE as good. Check out other school opportunities!!!! I can't stress this enough!!!! For the love of G*d, don't let a counselor fool you into thinking that their school is the "only way".....it's not! You don't have to pay that much money (or ANY money at all) for a sound education in the culinary arts!!!!!
  17. Oh! I never would have guessed that! But I can do it.....I love working with tuile batter. The handkerchief on the other hand......I'd have to practice......
  18. What do you think the curvy spaghetti type garnish is on the dessert right next to it?
  19. I'd also like to add that I don't use apples or even pears on fruit tarts because of lack of color. I make apple and pear tarts, but the apples and pears, of course are cooked into the tart....usually with frangipane. I've wondered about that anti-oxidizing stuff, but I'm not curious enough to spend the money. Bottom line is, whatever floats your boat I guess. Some people like the apple concept....some people don't.......there's always somebody to fill the niche.....and plenty of people willing to eat it.....
  20. I don't use raw apples on my fruit tarts because of the fact that they brown when exposed to air. Even if I brush them with lemon juice they brown eventually. My fruit tarts need to last at least a day or two because they sit in a case waiting to be sold. There is also the issue of slice-ability. It's easier to get a nice clean, neat slice with soft fruit on top, as opposed to trying to cut nicely through crunchy fruit.
  21. Ok, the way you've worded this is a bit confusing. I'm going to assume you're talking about yolks, and there's no whites involved, and it was just a typo on your part. Personally, I've never seen a custard recipe that called for whipping the yolks to lighten. You're right, in the instance of making custard, it does nothing.....rather it just inhibits what you're trying to make.....a smooth creamy custard. When I make creme brulee, I combine my yolks and sugar so that the mixture is smooth, I don't whip it. I heat the cream and then temper it in to the yolk/sugar mixture, the pour the yolk/sugar mixture back into the pot and stir til combined. The action of stirring the entire mixture makes it froth just a bit on the top, and I skim this froth off before I pour the mixture into my ramekins, otherwise, the froth will burn in the oven. So rule one is, "don't whip" and if you do get a little froth, skim it off. I use a handheld small strainer to do that.
  22. In what circumstances does a ganache crystallize? I don't think I've ever seen a crystallized ganache........it must take quite a while for that to happen, right? When I use ganache for the outer coating on a cake, after a few days the ganache will crack. Do you think adding corn syrup will delay this from happening at all? My ganache is just cream and chocolate.......no butter or anything. I'd sure like to solve this problem.....if it's solve-able.....
  23. I think Dare makes awesome cookies. If I buy a commercially baked cookie, that's the brand I usually go for (along with Pepperidge Farm and Lu). I haven't had a French Creme though. I went to their website and looked it up, and from the ingredient list, it looks like it's basically a butter-rich (ahem-shortening) sugar cookie with coconut and currants. Where is the coconut? Is is in the cookie or in the icing? It looks like you could probably start with a basic sugar cookie recipe and tweak it from there.
  24. HA! Ha ha ha ha ha! Ok, so check this out. I get my "eager young intern" Friday before last. Had her do some jobs for me, but about that last thing it seemed was that she was "eager". NOT! Even though I was told she was in culinary school, (Art Institute of Seattle), she informed me that she hadn't even started the baking portion of the program. She knew NOTHING. Zilch. Had to show her how to use a baker's scale. Seemed put out when I told her to clean up after herself. Even more put out when I told her to do her dishes. I didn't work her too hard.....instead I gave her jobs to do that were time consuming and easy so I wouldn't have to keep looking over her shoulder all the time......... So next Friday rolls around and gosh, wouldn't you know it.......she's "sick" and can't come in. Then today I learned that I no longer have an intern. Arrrrghh! THIS kind of thing is what sours me on interns. What do they teach in culinary schools these days? And why are these young people so surprised when they show up to intern and discover they actually have to WORK? And god forbid, DO DISHES. For cryin' out loud. Really.
  25. If you go to Google, and type in "banana mousse" you get LOTS of results.......
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