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Posts posted by chefpeon

  1. Hey all.....

    you know that plastic stuff that you see around some desserts and cake slices in pastry shops and sometimes grocery stores? It makes some softer desserts easier to handle and also prevents the sides from drying out and discoloring.

    I asked a friend what it was called and she said "flexi cake bands". I can't find anything under that name by Googling it, and I don't know what else it would be called. One of my suppliers has acetate on a roll, but it's too thick and not flexible enough.

    Does anyone know where I can source this stuff, and what I would call it?


    Annie :unsure:

  2. It's also possible you overcreamed the butter/sugar mixture. I wouldn't go with 100% shortening...you lose some valuable buttery flavor that way. DON'T cream it til light and fluffy....just cream it til smooth. When you incorporate too much air into the fat/sugar, you

    get a cookie that spreads too much.

  3. so silicon cannele molds definitely, definitely work?

    They definitely worked great for me....I got a nice crispy crust and they didn't take any longer to bake than if I used metal. I haven't tried the copper molds, but heck, I can't afford them! Of course, copper, being a wonderful conductor of heat would probably be marvelous compared to anything out there....wouldn't we all love to have copper for everything? I know I would.

    The silicone is just perfect for a "Joe SixPack" such as myself! :laugh:

    I purchased mine at Fante's.

    You know these little guys are getting trendy when Williams-Sonoma offers them.......

  4. I have never done without buttering my silicone molds,

    do you get any burnt flakes stuck in the molds and have to clean them out after if you dont lube the molds ?

    If you figure out the timing for your oven you can cover them with a piece of foil 10 mins before so the tops dont overburn compared to the sides.

    One thing with silicone molds is that if they aren't standing straightup

    the canneles can expand unevenly and hook on the side

    so double check that they are all upright proper after you fill them

    The canneles released VERY cleanly from the molds! There was nothing left behind, and all I had to do to clean the molds was rinse them under hot water. Great!

    The beauty of silicone is that you don't NEED to grease it. Anything to save me time!

    I did make sure the molds were standing straight up on the grill before I filled them.....the silicone is wobbly for sure!

  5. I'll put the molds on the oven rack first, then fill them. If that's too much of a hassle, I'll use a screen or grill too.

    How did this turn out in the end, did you try it?

    I had heard too that it's better to cook directly on the oven rack, but was at a total loss as to how to get the molds in there without spilling all over the place.

    Would I ruin my cooling rack if I put it in the oven like this?

    I also tried making the white oil recently, and it was a disaster. The beeswax melted fine (in a jar immersed in simmering water), but as soon as i started adding oil, it would seize up, and it seemed difficult to get something liquid enough to work with.

    That said, even my less-than-perfect caneles are pretty damn tasty.

    I ended up putting my silicone molds right on a cooling rack, filling them and then moving the whole thing into the oven. It was the easiest way. The cooling rack suffered no ill effects.

    I was using a convection oven with a "fan from hell" (meaning that the fan is permanently on high), and the tops of my canneles "blew over" argh! :angry:, but I just cut the "blown over"

    parts off as soon as I unmolded them. They took just about 50 minutes to bake. I started them off at 400 for about a half hour then turned the oven down to 350 for the rest of the bake.

    I was happy with the crust when I was done.....definitely crispy and brown! I didn't use any butter or oil in the silicone molds and there was no problem with them popping right out.

    I sort of don't understand the beeswax thing actually. I tried it when I used my metal rose pan and the canneles baked with the beeswax/butter method vs. using bakers grease (equal parts shortening, oil and flour) tasted no different. Given the choice, I'd rather not mess with beeswax, because it can be quite messy....not to mention flammable.

    If you want to use beeswax, melt the beeswax and butter/and/or oil together.....that way the cool oil won't "seize" the wax if you add it to the already melted wax. :smile:

  6. As prasantrin says, it really does depend on what kind of cake you are baking. If it is a chiffon or genoise or any other type of cake that has egg whites folded in or yolks that are beaten, it needs to go in the oven right away for best results.

    However, if its a butter cake, or a carrot cake or an oil based cake, the batter will hold just fine. Even more so if your main leavener is baking powder. If your only leavener is baking soda, you have a little less time to work with, but you can hold it a reasonable amount of time (a couple hours is fine).

    I've had to bake cakes from a 60 qt mixer, so I'm experienced with running out of pans and/or oven space, so I know what works and what doesn't! :laugh:

  7. Hi all - a quick question about fondant decorations - I saw on this thread that rolled-fondant leaves etc. tend to dry up and become inflexible if made in advance.

    If I make leaves etc. out of gum paste instead, a day in advance, will they still be flexible enough the next day that I can smooth them onto my fondant-covered cake, flush with the surface and following the curvature of the cake?


    No, if you use gumpaste, your leaves will dry even faster than if you used fondant.

    Either way, if you want to have flexible decorations out of fondant or gumpaste, you have to cut them out just as you are about to put them on the cake. No advance "do's" for that unfortunately.

  8. you're welcome, there is a definite difference between solid sheet vs grill.

    I did another set this morning

    and at 425F after 1 hour they were perfect for me

    maybe for others another 15mins would have gotten darker but I prefer

    not all black. There is obviously a balance with timing since going too long will result in the interior getting too dry/cooked

    My mother does not like them with any darkness so worst case you can just take them out earlier and them put them in a hot oven for a few mins to crisp them, so the silicone/soft issue is not as difficult as people make it out to be.

    how are you gonna lift the filled silicone molds to put inside the oven ?

    it will be very floppy.

    I think amaretto would also make a nice flavour complement to vanilla.

    I'll put the molds on the oven rack first, then fill them. If that's too much of a hassle, I'll use a screen or grill too.

    I was thinking of other flavors myself.....since I don't care for rum much.....yeah, amaretto....I like it!

    I like dark, but definitely not burnt! Good point about crisping them up outside the molds! :smile:

  9. I've also been trying them, using the Paula Wolfert recipe

    did first time with metal muffin pans and they came out fine

    got silicone molds and there is obvious less crispiness

    I am using a conventional oven and I believe the problem with the silicone molds is that silicone is a poor conductor of heat and hence

    it will not get the exterior caramelized and crispy enough.

    In an attempt to get more heat directly on the silicone molds I have used a metal grill below my molds instead of a cookie sheet.

    There is a definite improvement.

    With cookie sheet I had to go at 400f for almost 2 hours to get nice brown exterior, but insides started getting overcooked/dry

    With grill I went for 1:30 and got the same brown but much better interior. Might try higher temp and less time.

    Thanks for the info on the silicone! I just ordered those molds because I couldn't afford the copper ones. I'll probably just set them directly on the oven rack and forego the cookie sheet! :smile:

  10. This weekend I made canneles for the first time. I found that they weren't that difficult at all, and using wax to coat the insides of the molds, is something that really isn't all that necessary. I found that the wax canneles vs. the greased canneles weren't all that different. I also used my rose pan because I didn't have cannele molds.....I think the roses look cool! For more on the story, click on my blog below......


  11. I use the pre-made transfer sheets from France and I have found that if the chocolate is on the cool side of temper, the transfer comes up spotty. I always get the chocolate on the transfer sheet on the warmest side of temper possible. It's harder with white chocolate though, since the temper range is so cool to begin with!

    But most of the time......I actually cheat.

    I don't even temper the chocolate....I just melt it and pour it right on the sheet. For my purposes, my chocolate doesn't have to be tempered since all the decorations sit in a cool case on top of desserts and cakes anyway. On the plus side, I never have to worry about my designs not coming up off the sheet, and I don't have to go through the trouble of tempering. On the minus side, the chocolate is more delicate and fragile than if it wasn't tempered, so I always keep my decorations in the freezer til I need to use them. I don't worry about shine because the transfer sheets give a shine to the decorations anyway. :smile:

  12. You want a challenge?  Move to 7000 feet and try to make meringue.  One of the chefs just told me he wanted coconut madelines.  I haven't tried madelines at sea level, might as well dive into them up here.  No problem  :blink:

    How does altitude affect meringue? One would think that if the air pressure is lower up there, that meringue would whip up beautifully......what happens?

  13. My husband and daughter came with me and we all laughed the next night as we attempted to rate and score the La Brea Bakery bread I brought home from the market. (Kaplan doesn't like LBB, though he didn't say why and none of us asked him why.)

    So what is Kaplan a professor of? Is he a baker? Has he baked artisan bread in a production environment on a regular basis? I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with him.

    Here's a question for you.......before you went to Kaplan's lecture did you buy LaBrea bread regularly? Did you like it? Did Kaplan's lecture and opinion change your opinion?

    I think when it comes to food (and art) there is no "right" or "wrong" because of the subjectiveness of the people judging the food (or art). As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure.

    For instance, my father loved burnt toast. I thought he was a little crazy, but he enjoyed it and that's really all that matters, right?

    I can understand judging technique.....but taste and texture....that's all so subjective really. People like what they like.

    I work in bakery where artisan bread is produced.....I'm also a former artisan bread baker. It's tough work, and even tougher to get consistency in your loaves every day since shop conditions change. There is no dough so fussy as bread dough, and getting it right night after night is a true challenge and a test of the bread baker's skill.

    I may sound a little defensive....sorry about that. I come from an environment where I hear people's opinions about bread all the time. Some people come for miles to buy our bread where other people will pass it by in favor of the other local artisan baker's fare. Who's opinion counts, really? What's "right" to us is "wrong" to someone else......it's a debate that's undebatable...... :raz:

  14. Here's my recipe:

    Sweet Potato Bread/Muffins

    1 lb cooked, pureed sweet potato

    1 cup vegetable oil (or melted butter)(or 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup butter, melted)

    4 eggs

    Mix above together.

    3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    3 cups brown sugar

    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

    1 teaspoon baking powder

    1 1/2 teaspoons salt

    1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice

    1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

    1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

    Sift together, then add wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

    Deposit into muffin pans or deposit into bread pans.

    The bread bakes about 1 hour at 300 degrees. The muffins take less time (25 mins approx).

  15. I can't imagine making a sponge without sugar......you'd just end up with a rubbery tasteless......thing.

    How about this recipe?

    The "sponge" is made by spreading out breadcrumbs on a parchment lined sheetpan, pouring beaten egg over it, sprinkling on cooked spinach and parmesan, then baking til set. :smile:

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