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Stephanie Wallace

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Everything posted by Stephanie Wallace

  1. Honestly, I don't think I could choose! The delicate balance of flavors in Payard's plated desserts was absolutely amazing, but sometimes nothing is more satisfying than a few macarons or a slice of Nuss Torte and a pot of tea. It is an almond wafer. I'm going to start experimenting with some recipes; I'll let you know if I get a similar result.
  2. Your tart looks beautiful Deborah! I haven't been able to post for a few days; so here is my weekend in desserts (NYC & Cambridge): A chocolate macaron at La Maison du Chocolat. It was filled with a chocolate buttercream. It was tasty, but I wish it had been a ganache. A delicious burnt caramel bon bon from Recchiuti at the NY Chocolate Show. "Chinon" at Payard Patisserie. Pistachio dacquoise, with wild cherries on a chocolate wafer. "Sweet Relief" at Payard. Mango mousse, pineapple parfait and roasted pineapple enveloped by meringue. ...and tons of Payard's macarons. Next up in Cambridge: L.A. Burdicks Nuss Torte. And last but not least The Burdick Wafer. Layers of wafer and rum ganache topped with chopped pistachio.
  3. Browned butter ice cream with raisins macerated in brandy and vanilla. The motor on my ice cream maker died; I had to break out the spat and immersion blender combo. Ugh.
  4. It's a tough call. I'm pretty damn thrilled about the series of culinary demos and the chance to meet industry professionals (I'm fresh blood here). Also, I can't wait to get to Felchlin's booth; his is one of the few high-end lines I haven't had a chance to experience.
  5. I'm driving up from NC to attend on Friday; I may try to get in on Saturday as well. I'm ridiculously excited.
  6. I ate a couple of macarons and "Le Monté Cristo" at Arnaud Lahrer's. I remember being more impressed by the cute (and very sweet) girl working behind the counter than the patisserie. I'll try to find my notes and elaborate. On the desserts.
  7. After making an enormous effort to try chocolates from all of Paris' top tier chocolatiers a couple of weeks ago (details and pics coming soon), I am still as impressed as ever by Larry Burdick. I think he easily matches--possibly even exceeds--Linxe, Hevin and Chaudun in terms of quality. His skill in matching flavors with the correct chocolates is extraordinary. His balance in subtlety is wild. The infusions are fantastically delicate, pulling at your senses, but they are never impossible to detect. All-in-all: A++++ CHOCOLATIER HIGHLY RECCOMENDED; DEF BUY AGAIN
  8. Michel Cluizel; I can't believe I forgot to post that to the list. I am going to do my very best to make it to the Cluizel museum in Damville. I will definitely scope out Richart and Chartier. Thanks for the advice.
  9. This upcoming Monday, I will fly to Paris (as a trans-Atlantic virgin) to explore chocolatiers and patisseries. I have compiled the following list: Jean-Paul Hevin Michel Chaudun Pierre Marcolini Pierre Herme Sadaharu Aoki Laduree Lenotre Gerard Mulot Robert Linxe Laurent Duchêne Arnaud Larher Christian Constant Sacha Finkelsztajn Are there any glaring ommissions? Have I missed any must-experience shops? My limited budget will be geared toward chocolate/pastry (expensive meals come next trip); are there any relatively inexpensive bistros that I cannot avoid?
  10. Having also grown up in Knoxville, I cannot agree more. The mountains are absolutely fantastic. The surrounding towns, however, are scary as hell; home to the largest population of hillbillies, mountain-gnomes and bridge-trolls in the United States. Surely you have experienced Dollywood; did you ever suffer through Magic World?
  11. Many styles of beer cannot be brewed properly and stay under the 6% mark; our choices are very limited. Just like wine (or chocolate or coffee or anything else) there are many variations in flavor and structure; exploring variety is better than any single brew (or chocolate or wine...) will ever be.
  12. Thank you very much. I'm so well-versed with Valrhona's product line that I can't believe I've missed this. Considering Hermes other choices, this must be correct. Beautiful.
  13. It is simply "couverture Maitre Chocolatier"
  14. The Élyséé on page 157; "Maitre Chocolatier" is the chocolate used in the mousse layer.
  15. While I have been able to get through most of the rough translation in La Patisserie de Pierre Herme, I'm still lost on "Maitre Chocolatier". My best guess is that it is calling for Chapon (and the reasoning behind my guess is poor). Can anyone enlighten me?
  16. Lloyd, this thing rocks. My questions: How often do the wires need to be tightened, and how often do they break?
  17. Marcona almonds are slightly sweeter than other almonds and have a softer texture; this (presumably) translates to a more tender macaron. I think that freshness is key no matter what type you are using, as the flavor and texture of almonds degrades significantly in a short period of time. I can never find fresh almonds at my local "regular" grocers, but you may not run into the same problem in MI.
  18. Can anybody report on the shelf life of macaron's? I know that they freeze well, but how long will they survive if they are covered at room temperature? I've eaten Larry Burdick's macarons (Luxembourgers) many times; they are fantastic when fresh, but are leaning towards stale about a third of the time.
  19. You could also try keeping the batter (depending on its viscosity) 1 - 1.5 cm away from the edges of your pan. It will expand to touch the sides, but expand far less once it hits them. This would be completely negated by long cooking times, but it's worth considering.
  20. In high school I convinced a friend (and myself) that the only way to fully understand good food and flavor was to understand terrible food and flavor. We would get together and mix random crap from his mother's pantry, then try to hold down the vomit for as long as possible. Peanutbutter, soy sauce and crystal light powder are a pretty foul combination.
  21. There are a few foods--albeit very few--that turned me off as a child. Tabbouleh is one that I remember particulary well. As I've grown older I have found that these foods tend to elicit an intense nostalgic reaction; I enjoy many of them now specifically because I disliked them as child.
  22. Cliff's is alright if you're in need of cheap/tolerable steak, but it's definitely not a full-fledged "kick-ass" butcher. If you're looking for a wide variety of truly high quality meats in the Triangle--as far as I know--you're fuct. I'd kill for some serious boar. And I'll have to counter your cheese counter comment, Varmint. I've managed to nab a number of beautiful cheeses that I can't find at Whole Foods or A Southern Season; it rocks.
  23. I am an enormous fan of Elaine's, but I think it's fair to say that they are at their peak during spring and summer, when Bret Jennings gets heavily involved with the Carrboro famers market. Unfortunately, fiscal issues have kept me from exploring the majority of top tier restaurants in the Triangle. I have a "fine dining" change jar, and it only fills up every so often. I'll probably base my next choice on the outcome of this thread. I wish you luck, Varmint.
  24. Both the Durham and Chapel Hill Wholefoods sell local goods. Give them a call and find out where they are getting turkeys for the holidays.
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