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Everything posted by chefpeon

  1. Funny you should ask.....I am making these cookies today, and I know they are just lemon coolers with lime substituted. This should be a good starting point for you..... Martha Stewart Lime Meltaways (I don't normally reference.........<gulp> Martha......)
  2. I'm guessing that by "here" you mean Malaysia? Or Holland? I've always found that when people want stuff that isn't "too sweet" they are usually happy with something that is based on fruit. I always like to do layers of chiffon cake, soaked with a Triple Sec or orange simple syrup, then layered with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Is that "too typical" of desserts where you are? It's hard to know what the "usual" is where you are since: A) I don't live there, and B) I'm not sure where "there" is. It might be helpful to us if we know what IS common where you are. P.S. Cheesecakes are weird?
  3. You know, that's just crappy. When I hire people, I look at resumes and form a half-assed opinion, but I never assume anything about anyone til I see 'em in action. Actually, when I see culinary school on the resume, it gives me hope, but I know from experience that school is no guarantee. I always say, "audition audition audition". If you performed well for that one pastry chef and he still didn't hire you, then he's a freakin' idiot fresh out of idiot school.
  4. Well, I suppose I can't enter an opinion on using 100% brown butter til I actually try it. My opinion was based on the 50% brown butter trial, and it was borderline rich to me then. So I was just assuming 100% may be too rich. Who knows....the richness may not have been attributed to the brown butter at all! Of course, we all know there will never be a perfect chocolate chip cookie, since we all have differing views on what makes the said chocolate chip cookie perfect........in my case, I love to substitute a small part of the flour with finely ground oats. There's something about that little textural addition that I just love!
  5. After being in this business 18 years, I figure it's my JOB to completely crap on the insane plans of any friend that wants to go to culinary school. I mean friends don't let friends drive drunk, right? Sure, the culinary trade IS for some people. But before you decide to spend some crazy money on culinary school, know what you're getting into! Work in the food biz for a year (it's really easy to get your foot in the door WITHOUT a culinary degree you know....) THEN decide if you want to stay in the trade, and even better, do the math, and you'll know that what they charge for school isn't in line with most starting wages! If you're thinking about getting into the food biz, you might want to read this.
  6. Here's how I see it, in simple terms. Calling a pastry chef a "dessert chef" is like calling a proctologist a "butt doctor".
  7. When I was experimenting around at home last weekend, I browned some butter, strained out the burnt bits and let it harden in the fridge. I then brought it back up to room temp, and used it as I would regular butter. When I made my cookie dough I used 50% brown butter and 50% regular butter in the recipe. The flavor was quite nice. I'm glad I didn't use 100% brown butter....it would have made the cookie taste far too rich in my opinion. I'd love to be able to do this at work, but there's no way I can do it realistically. The brown butter method will just have to be a home thing for now.
  8. Oh yeah. I forgot you're doing the melted butter thing. I used to do that too because my default recipe was the Alton Brown version. I have since found though, that if you use soft butter and DON'T cream it (just mix it with the sugars til smooth), the results are the same, or actually even better. The bonus is that it's scoopable right away, and you can also add the chocolate right away too. Since I have to make large batches of dough on a 20 qt mixer along with 9 million other bakery items, I don't have time to make a chocolate chip cookie recipe more complicated than it has to be.
  9. I'm certainly not uncomfortable about being called "chef", because, dammit I've EARNED it! You do enough time in "the trenches" and you work for the title, believe me. I "wear" it proudly. I don't think the common layperson will really know (or care) about the difference between pastry chef and dessert chef. It's just more a matter of semantics for those of us in the biz. To me, "pastry chef" carries a little more weight because it's been around for so long and it's based on the french term, "patissier". As far as terminology and titles go, what REALLY bothers me is when people use the word "chef" so loosely and randomly. To me, it's an earned title. For example, I'll hear something like this: "My son just graduated from culinary school. He's a chef at Jack-in-the-Box." Uh, no he's not. He's a COOK. A COOK. NO ONE just gets out of culinary school and becomes a chef. It takes several more years for that to happen. Oh yeah, another example.......Rachael Ray is NOT a chef! But how many times have I heard her referred to as a celebrity chef?? That really puts a knot in my toque if you know what I mean!
  10. I agree with your view of the title "dessert chef" sounding very narrow and limiting. I'd certainly never refer to myself that way. But that's just me. I'm a pastry chef because I can do it all....from artisan breads to laminated doughs to doughnuts to fancy wedding cakes. Maybe some people really ARE just dessert chefs. I don't know if it's a title being used interchangeably with pastry chef or if it's a "new" specialty title...... Patissier, Boulanger.......Dessertier?
  11. Why all those steps? Just make the dough and add the chocolate (chips, callets, chunks, whatever), and scoop the dough into balls while soft. Place on sheet pan and either, A)freeze, or B)chill. Scooping pre-chilled dough is just nuts. Why make it harder than you have to? There is no lost quality if you scoop the dough while soft, THEN chill.
  12. How about a freaking apple?!? Sorry. I live in the land of vegans. They touch a raw nerve with me.
  13. Gosh Mayhaw......I woulda thought you'd recommend fondant!!!!
  14. Yeah, Eileen is right on. I live in Farmer'sMarketWonderLand. It's very rural here, and every little borough has their own market. People believe (as they should in most cases) that Farmer's Markets=Quality. Super fresh eggs and produce right off the farm can't be beat! If you're going to have baked goods, no matter what they are, make sure they are GREAT. One thing I like to do is use the summer fruits that the farmers sell to make the baked goods that go to the market. When the blueberries were at peak, I went into Blueberry Madness.......blueberry muffins, pies, crisps, cobblers, tartlets.......same with the raspberries and the Sequim strawberries....I will shop the previous week's market to prepare items for the next week's market. I use the herbs that are sold by a farmer to make savory scones, and the sign says "Savory Rosemary Scones made with Tinytown Farm Rosemary". People eat it up. Literally. Or my blueberry pie will say "Plumwilde Farm Blueberry Pie". It's a Farmer's Market......so be farmy!!!
  15. Did you see all the recipes posted upthread? Do you need some other kind of help besides getting the actual recipe?
  16. I know that if I had gotten tattoos like that when I was a young enthusiastic pastry student, I'd be making that appointment for removal right about now. Either that or I'd be madly rubbing at them with sandpaper, muttering, "What the hell was I thinking??" It's like they say, never get your girlfriend/boyfriend's name tattooed on you because you never know how long the relationship is gonna last. If I were to get a tattoo reflecting my experience and contribution to the pastry world, it would be a picture of a knife through the heart. Edited to say, "Tiny, your tattoos are very cool and creative. I just hope you feel the same way about them 20 years down the line." pastrygirl.......Hey! I have some of those caramel tattoos! I also have some cool hot-sheet-pan tattoos too.......oh.....no wait......that's scarification.....I'm confusing my body art.....
  17. I had this same problem a little while ago when my supplier gave me their "in house" brand of baking powder. My scones tasted AWFUL! There was no way around the horrible metallic taste. The culprit was sodium aluminum sulfate. I switched brands and the problem was gone. My new brand has a little sodium aluminum sulfate, but there's other ingredients too, so now there is no metallic taste. There are also "aluminum free" baking powders out there, like Rumford's. You can also make your own single acting baking powder. Here's a recipe.
  18. I HEAR you!!! Same for me. Tourist season in my neck 'o the woods, so I'm just slammed. I want to try this too........I can imagine it's sweet and eggy, but I wonder how "rubbery" it might be, since it's so flexible and all. I'm also wondering if the inside of the sponge roll (the multicolored part) that raaga posted is the same recipe or if it's different? If you look closely, you can tell the the rolled up sponge is one element, and the tiger skin part is wrapped around it.
  19. But how does it taste?
  20. Wow, thanks so much for that! I'm going to try it. I'm so curious to see how a simple blend of yolks, sugar, and cornflour (starch) will make that pattern in the oven.
  21. Perhaps that was an original Polly Schoonmaker cake? She's based in Oregon you know.
  22. No matter where you are..........Denny's, or Red Lobster, or Alinea, or Niche, or Trotters.......working in the restaurant/food biz is crazy. And a lot of us "crazies" take pride in that. I know I do. Basically, no matter where you work, there's always some degree of B.S. to be dealt with. Choosing your career and your niche in that career has a lot to do with the B.S. you can put up with and the B.S. you can't. I know that I am not happy doing the same old thing, and I know that I would never work for a chain, or a grocery store. I stick with small business, where my creativity can flourish, and I don't have to deal with corporate suits and their out of touch ideas regarding the smooth operation of a busy kitchen. There's nothing wrong with wanting to work in a more refined kitchen.....I say "go for it". You may enjoy the quality and attention to detail vs. just "slinging hash". I know I would not be happy if I worked for a low-end eatery. Not that there's anything wrong with it......it's just not for me. Egos abound everywhere, but I would say even more so in a higher end restaurant. I think one of your major challenges there would be dealing with egos........they can be huge hurdles sometimes. Maybe that pastry chef you talked to had that kind of attitude because he himself couldn't hack it in a higher end kitchen? Or not. Regardless, I would take his input with a grain of salt.
  23. I'm going to try the NYT recipe myself, although it really isn't that much different from a lot of other recipes I've tried. Right now I'm using Alton Brown's recipe, which calls for melted butter, and while I have used melted butter, I have also found that if you use soft butter and DON'T cream it-just incorporate it into the sugars, the results are the same. I will try the NYT recipe, but I will ignore the "cream butter and sugars til very light" part. That is overcreaming in my book, and just contributes to too much spread and a very flat cookie. Another thing to try is to brown the butter, then let it resolidify. Then incorporate it into the sugars, and proceed as normal. I'll have to experiment with that, and see if it's worth the trouble.
  24. I left a comment on the original post. Hopefully she will post the recipe and technique!
  25. Does it look like perhaps a stencil may have been employed in some way?
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