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Stephanie Wallace

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Everything posted by Stephanie Wallace

  1. Imagine that I have excellent, fresh, local butter/eggs/cream. (It's all true; really). I need to prepare a rose butter cream (Italian) for use in three days. Will my final product be at its peak (eaten on Monday night) if I prepare it the day of or am I better off preparing it tonight?
  2. If you could come up with a pretty reasonable estimate of the amount of water in your puree, you could then add enough egg white powder to the recipe to bring back the correct balance.
  3. Never mind. Found original article here.
  4. To clarify; this would produce 42 macaron halves? Also, how much rose syrup? EDITED TO ADD: How much chopped Lychee?
  5. The problem with Lindt's flavor additions is that they are adding extra dimension to bars marketed specifically for the characteristics expressed by their "terroir." If we find vanilla in three of Valrhona's single estate bars we can still easily distinguish between them due to the differences in flavor of the cacao itself. Prune extract might throw us off a little bit.
  6. Does anybody have a source (U.S.) for reasonably priced plastic confectionery frames. I bought a very large one in France for ~12 Euro; here I cannot seem to find them for less than forty bucks or as parts of expensive sets that I do not need. It seems bizarre that something so cheap to produce would cost so much.
  7. It is a roughly 2 to 1 mixture of butter cream and pastry cream.
  8. I was foolish enough to read the title of this thread with an optimistic, "wow, our government is taking action to improve standards of quality in the chocolate industry." More than issues in regards to mouthfeel and technical properties of chocolate (producers of high-end chocolate will continue to create the real thing) laws like this serve to undermine the public understanding of food to only to benefit large corporations. The true value of fighting these changes is to promote our cultural evolution, and certainly, we should all step up to the plate to oppose this proposal and any others like it.
  9. I'm curious about this as well. After reading that LMDC's ganaches have an unusually high amount of lecithin I tried several experiments; every time I was totally unable to complete the emulsion.
  10. I think these are only a viable option for those us making pretty small batches. Though, honestly I don't think I could give up being to size bonbons however I'd like. I'm getting pretty damn proficient/accurate with a knife.
  11. I wholly reject the notion that you cannot achieve the same level of artistic expression (correct me if I am misreading your statement) in an enrobed piece; even more so I reject the idea that “shine” is inherent to the visual quality of a finished bonbon, or most anything else. I do not think that one can equate “eye-catching” to good art, just as one cannot equate “ear-catching” to good music. Also, I do not think the opinions of %90 of consumers are particularly relevant to our aesthetic preferences (or those of the following 100 chocolatiers); most of us range from extremely interested to completely obsessed with chocolate and are significantly more knowledgeable on the subject than the average consumer. Our perceptions are therefore influenced by a greater understanding and greater attention to the details that go into production. To extend the music analogy, the average listener will never appreciate music in the same way that someone with a strong understanding of composition and the skill required to play an instrument will. This does not mean that there is anything wrong with the average persons’ perception, simply that we are coming at the issue from a very different angle. It is impossible for us to legitimately argue this point, but I will mention that my experience with chocolatiers/pastry chefs has been precisely the opposite. I have seen enormous interest in pushing boundaries and trying new techniques; the industry has been extremely interesting for the past few years. However, I also must note that molded and enrobed chocolates in simplest form both fall into the category of “traditional”. It is what we do with either of those mediums that is new or groundbreaking. M-W also defines aesthetic as “...responsive to or appreciative of what is pleasurable to the senses.” When assessing chocolates I want to do more than simply trust my eyes; I want to put considerably more thought into every aspect that is relevant to my perception. While I agree that many people are drawn into certain beliefs by peer pressure (and that it can easily apply to the enrobed and molded sides of this debate), I think using that as an argument in this discussion is seriously underestimating our and other’s ability to judge using reason. What can I say to this beyond “many of us do actually prefer the appearance (and other qualities) of enrobed pieces”? This is a ridiculously unfair assessment and denigrates some of the opinions that have already been presented by others in this thread. Again, if productivity and cost-effectiveness are not your reasons for creating enrobed pieces, then enrobing is not remotely analogous to adding preservatives to your ganache. When enrobing means more than running squares through an enrober and throwing transfer sheets on, but instead dipping by hand and figuring out new and original--and often very difficult--ways of decorating pieces with consistent results, it can be an intensely time-consuming, frustrating and expensive endeavor. I do not think that molds are any more daunting. This, of course, I agree with completely, but it seems that you have come up with several reasons that people prefer enrobed bonbons other than that they have legitimate, well thought-out aesthetic preferences. There are a number of reasons why I do not find molded pieces particularly appealing, but I completely believe that there are good and thoughtful reasons for the preference.
  12. This brings up another key issue which I intentionally avoided in my original post; appearance is important, but taste and texture reign supreme. I prefer the appearance of enrobed bonbons, and I even more strongly prefer the textural contrast provided the thin enrobed shell against the slightly denser ganache. I also feel that the higher percentage of chocolate necessary to create ganache for enrobing tends to lead to a stronger focus on the flavor of the chocolate itself, the paired ingredients being more subtle. I'm curious as to others' thoughts on this as well.
  13. After reading this quote from Truffle Guy, I thought that this topic deserved its own thread. Do you prefer the appearance of molded over enrobed chocolates? It is, of course, purely an aesthetic preference, but when I see a well made enrobed piece I feel like I am looking the skill of the chocolatier, and that level of genius that it takes to make something beautiful consistently under more difficult constraints (See Patrick Roger). On the other hand, molded chocolates always look kind of shiny and plasticy to me; they convey "piece of candy" more than "gastronomic experience" (not to suggest this is necessarily the case). What are your opinions?
  14. So, how do we properly incorporate cocoa butter into our ganache?
  15. I ended up using a hair-dryer, though I'd like to find an air gun with a slightly more focused beam. bripastryguy: Unfortunately, there is no way to use a transfer sheet without creating both a difference in sheen and a noticeable edge. EDIT: I cannot type.
  16. Spiced Pavé - Slab of ganache steeped with spices:
  17. Damn good idea. Maybe a hair dryer on the cool setting.
  18. LMDC and Patrick Roger have both managed to create this sweet wrinkly effect: Furthest bonbon on plate. I've had zero success in trying to recreate it. Does anybody have any idea how to achieve this?
  19. I appreciate the info so far. If I can add anything to the discussion, it is that I have seen tempered chocolate called for in a minority of recipes by chocolatiers who usually do not call for it. This leads me to believe that a textural change is the most likely candidate.
  20. Does anybody have an in-depth understanding of the effects of using tempered chocolate in ganache? Does it create more "structure"? I have seen several recipes that call for this, but I have never found a satisfactory explanation.
  21. Meyer Lemon, Star Anise & Black Pepper Bon Bons:
  22. From Valrhona's site: Alpaco %66: Taïnori %64 Has anyone tried these/found a source for them in the U.S.?
  23. Slab of ganache made from Cluizel "Tamarina": Finished bonbons:
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