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Everything posted by jgarner53

  1. When it comes to the baking, I made a small batch (plain) and piped out a few macs per sheet tray, baking each one separately, testing different oven temps, oven door cracked open vs. left closed, etc, position in the oven, everything. It was the only way I could eliminate the oven as a source of any problems. My main problem with the Italian method is not getting the syrup stuck to the side of the mixer bowl. If I have a helper (aka my husband) who can hold the bowl while I whisk in the syrup by hand, it comes out perfect. Otherwise, so far I've stuck with the French method - no assistant required.
  2. You can save that foam. It should settle out into a syrup once it's cooled, a lovely fruity syrup you can put over pancakes, ice cream, etc.
  3. I haven't been posting in here in a loonnnng time -- been busy with work and life, but I have recently gone mad for macarons, maybe because I no longer work in a bakery that makes them. Here are the mojito ones I made yesterday: plain macaron brushed with a rum syrup, then filled with lime/mint curd
  4. Try pouring less batter in the mold. And baking around 180C should be fine. Chilling the batter helps the flour to hydrate thoroughly. Just whisk the batter well before you start pouring (and if you are doing a lot, whisk it occasionally as you continue to pour). You can leave the batter out for an hour or so before you want to bake. This will let the butter chunks soften up some so they are easier to whisk in; otherwise you risk having them floating on top after you've poured the cannelés.
  5. I've pulled the turkey stock from Christmas out of the freezer, along with the last of the leftover turkey, for turkey noodle tonight (with wonderfully chewy frozen noodles from a company called "Grandma's"). Divine. Hopefully my loaf of sourdough will come out to round out the meal.
  6. I'm doing the family "refrigerator roll" recipe that comes from my sister-in-law's family somewhere in Ohio. Sort of a classic soft roll recipe with milk and butter/shortening in the dough, mixed the night before and then shaped, proofed, and baked the day of. This year, though, I'm going to try using my wild yeast starter instead of commercial yeast. Gulp. Hope it works. I've only ever used it for basic rustic loaves before.
  7. I went through the same dilemma, but opted for all-gas in the end to save the cost of installing the extra outlet/circuit in my kitchen. Keep in mind that you do need a 240V outlet for a range, not just a standard 120V one, and it will probably need to be on its own circuit. So far, I love my gas oven, though I do find myself rotating most things during baking, but I don't particularly have a problem with that, as I do it at work all the time anyway.
  8. I saw the canneles last week at my TJ's, but not by Sunday afternoon when I went to pick some up with the weekly groceries. They must have been out. From the picture on the box, I can tell you one thing almost for sure. The canneles on the box were baked in a silicone flexipan, NOT a copper mold. We DID test flexipans at Bay Bread this spring. I personally thought they were awful, especially because we were not waxing them, just pan spray. The edges of the flutes came out too sharp, and they actually took way longer to bake than the copper molds. I still want to taste the TJ's canneles, though to see how they are. Just have to wait for them to be back in stock. I doubt anything will compare, though, to getting a fresh one right after the bake at work.
  9. I agree with ChefPeon. We used to do cupcakes at my last job, and we'd mix up a big batch (butter cake recipes) and hold them, baking off what we needed each day. The batter would hold 2-3 days easy. I did the same at home with a RLB Cake Bible recipe when baking a bunch of cupcakes for a friend's bday party, when I had neither enough pans nor oven space.
  10. Gah, really? I left Bay Bread last month (and there was no word about making cannele for TJ's then). If so, that would be a production nightmare! (I am now at Tartine Bakery, still in SF).
  11. 3 weeks?! I'm agog! We were without functional kitchen for a full 3 months, and even then I had a working stove but no counter, and no working sink for a few weeks after that. Congratulations! It's absolutely beautiful. I'm sure you must be loving it. (I'm in holiday work hell and don't get to my new kitchen nearly as much as I'd like lately, except to reheat leftovers or feed the cats). We put a speaker in the ceiling in our kitchen that lets us pipe the tv or stereo in from the living room (no video, but I've never really liked a tv in the kitchen). I'm personally much more likely to have music on when I'm cooking, so that works for us.
  12. Wow, really beautiful Annie! The buche we do are much more streamlined - they have to be when you're making 2000 of them! Mousse in a mold with sponge on the bottom. We used to pour ganache over them, then pipe buttercream on and decorate with plastic toys, but we're spraying them with cocoa butter this year and using different molds. Quite a different effect overall than your work of art! (and I only have about 1350 left to make!)
  13. Oh wow, how stressful that must have been to come home to discover the wrong floor! Every little detail of a kitchen is so stressful - I totally know how you feel! It's looking great - but wow, the before pic? Who would paint the walls and cupboards all the same blinding shade of cantaloupe?? Yow. Dig the wallpaper in the pantry, too.
  14. Aw, shucks! Thanks. I love the Marmoleum floor. Even if you don't get an inlay, the floor itself is fantastic. The inlay definitely increased the price of the floor quite a bit (but worth every penny in my opinion. I love my floor!). It wasn't hard to design (just matched how far in the inlay was from the outer edge of the cabinets, same as the inlay strips in the hardwood in the living room and dining room - original). As for execution, the floor was professionally installed. Something like this has to be done professionally, because it's sheet flooring, and not the Marmoleum Click that's self-install. They do have pre-designed inlay patterns that would (I imagine) be somewhat less expensive for installation. I just didn't like any of them (too busy/thematic for what I wanted). As for cleaning the Marmoleum, it's a total breeze. I just sweep it and occasionally mop with Method's floor cleaner. Mopping takes maybe 5 minutes total (another good thing about a small kitchen! If you do go with Big Box cabinets, you can always take them more period with more traditional pulls (bin pulls, glass knobs, etc). It is definitely possible to pull off a period-mix look with stainless appliances. There are pictures all over the place of them. Remember, even if I have period fixtures, I still have a kick-ass stove and hood, dishwasher and garbage disposal! Good luck, and post pics!
  15. Well, other than work, I'm working on a shortbread recipe for my boss. Orange blossom and lightly salted. The first batch had great texture, but not enough orange blossom flavor, so I upped it and added a bit more salt. I'll bake some off tomorrow to see how they are. The dough was tasty! Wish I had the time to bake for fun for myself!
  16. I just want sugar. Cookies, cakes, ice cream, and because it's the season, candy corn by the huge, teeth-aching handful. Topped off with some Coke Zero, and if I had it, red vines. Good lord, how is it I'm not reeling from diabetes?
  17. First off, let me say that you deserve bigs for what you're going through and dealing with, on top of work! Who can blame you for being frazzled? We're starting a pumpkin cupcake (with caramel buttercream) next week, and then later, gingerbread cupcakes with lemon cream cheese icing. How about cranberry cheesecake on a crushed gingersnap crust (or lemon cheesecake on gingersnaps)? Pear/cranberry or apple/cranberry tarts are nice this time of year -- quince is great if you can get it, and would pair well with ginger. Anything with pumpkin: cheesecake, tart, bread (loved the idea of the pumpkin bread pudding!), brulee...Chocolate and pear work well together -- how about a napoleon with chocolate cream and sliced pears (poached in simple syrup?) Hang in there! You know we've got your back!
  18. Gee, I don't even make the stuff, and I'm sitting here beaming with pride. The stuff makes great napoleons, too. (We dock ours, egg wash and sprinkle with sugar, dock again after about 10 minutes of baking)
  19. Petite Patisserie on Potrero Hill in SF is another great (small) one, featuring organic ingredients. I will second the rec for Bay Bread, but then again, I am biased...I work there. Our macarons are awesome. I also love the lemon tart, coconut cookies, and small chocolate fondant cookies.
  20. No, I really don't have anything to do with the TJ's stuff. Pascal (the owner) makes the deals with them and has one of our other pastry chefs work on the development of product (at least pastry). I deal with production for the Boulange cafés in the city. I was at TJ's today and checked out the packaging. The strawberry and raspberry tart on the right side of the front (and on the back) was, indeed, made by me.
  21. Yes, I do. But I work in the pastry kitchen. The puff is made, I believe, in our large commercial facility in Ventura, CA. We have another commercial facility (mostly bread, as well as the apricot streusel tarts you'll see in TJ's) in South San Francisco. As far as I know, the only other item we currently make for TJ's is bread (the rustic levain is one). But I do know that other items are in the development process. The quantities needed for country-wide distribution boggle the mind. In my kitchen, we regularly make, say 60 baked fruit tarts on any given day. Production for TJ's is more like 3,000 a day!
  22. We did the fig ice cream, too, last week (Husband made it). I thought it a bit lemony, but loved the crunch of the fig seeds in it! I made the mint ice cream this week and swirled in some melted 61% E. Guittard chocolate to make it Straciatella. Oh, man is this good! I love the flavor of the fresh mint leaves! The only hard thing with this book is deciding which recipe to try next!
  23. Mind you, I haven't seen the final package, but that is puff pastry made by Bay Bread. We are also making the apricot/almond tart now available at TJ's in the freezer section. Just my luck that I skipped the freezer section this week when I went for my weekly shopping!
  24. I love my TW! I have a couple of pieces that my grandma had that are still as good as new, though they don't see as much use as my newer stuff. I swear by the Modular Mates to store my pantry goods - bugs in the flour (if it lasts that long) are no problem to deal with, and I can easily see how much I have. Love the rock n serve microwave wear - great for leftovers. We had plenty of that harvest gold stuff around when I was a kid, along with all the swinging pastels (I particularly remember the narrow cylinder drinking glasses and bowls). My mom still has (and uses) all her TW, including a GIANT bowl (pastel yellow) that she always mixes stuffing in for Thanksgiving. One of my favorite pieces of hers was the iceberg lettuce keeper (in pastel green, of course), with the spike in the bottom to spear the head.
  25. Where I work, we brush our molds with a mix of beeswax/butter (1:2) every day - 300-500 a day.
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