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Everything posted by bkeith

  1. Got a few samples from my supplier and really liked it (bittersweet, milk, gianduja), but haven't had a chance to order any yet. Thanks for the info on the white. The vanilla flecks won't bother me for some applications, but will definitely be a problem at other times. I may wind up stocking two different whites. And thanks for the info on ease of use. A bit tough to tell how well it'll work when you only have a small sample, but I was able to temper a tiny amount of it with no real problem, so that impressed me.
  2. Those all sounds like valid tips as part of the recipe, but there's not a lot of info to go on. Have you made it successfully in the past? If so, what's different this time? "IMBC = soupy mess" often translates into not letting the meringue cool completely before adding the butter, so you wind up just melting the butter instead of making an emulsion. After adding the syrup, let it beat on medium speed until it's all the way down to room temperature. Try putting your soupy mess into the fridge for a while to cool it, then re-beat to see if it comes together. Also, if you haven't calibrated your thermometer lately, it might not be a bad idea. Maybe you're not actually getting to 245? You might also want to post the recipe you're using so we can get a feel for your ingredient proportions and make sure they're not out of whack.
  3. In this case, I took that to mean the step where you pour/scrape the newly whipped marshmallow goo from the mixing bowl into the lined pan to set up. bkeith: Thanks for replying. That's exactly what I meant. Do you have any caramel marshmallows left? They are great to snack on and very good melting on a coffee or latte. My assistant used to serve her kids sliced bananas with vanilla icecream and caramel sauce so she's thinking that the marshmallows would be great instead of just caramel sauce and torched they would be even better, melty marshmallows on icecream...mmmmm. Excellent ideas. I love the thought of melting one into a latte. I think they'd be pretty marvy dipped in chocolate too. Ooh - smores! You'd have to handle them a little differently, though --I don't see them holding well on the end of a stick. But make "inside smores" with a torch or broiler, and I think I'm looking for a reason to call in sick to work. To keep myself from eating the whole pan, I took them as one of my donations to the bake sale of our cake show. They went pretty quickly. I guess now I'll have to make more for latte experiments, seeing as how I've got extra caramel sauce left over and all.
  4. In this case, I took that to mean the step where you pour/scrape the newly whipped marshmallow goo from the mixing bowl into the lined pan to set up.
  5. Can this be substituted in all recipes? Could I do this for pulled sugar? Yep -- works fine. I watched Roland Mesnier do this a few years back (sugar and water in a pot, bring to a boil, squeeze in some lemon juice and add a big glop of glucose, boil to temp, pull, make amazing things). I've since done the same, and it works great. I followed his lead and didn't measure the lemon juice, but I'd estimate I used approx 1/2 - 1 tsp lemon juice per pound of sugar.
  6. After reading this I had to give it a try, and you're right -- seriously amazing. I made a batch last night, and it would have taken a very large team of horses to get the spatula away from me. Can't wait to sample them tonight after they're cut. I'm not going to worry about shelf life -- they won't last long enough for that to be a problem.
  7. Process it for storage (I think water bath ought to be sufficient if you did a 1:1 syrup. Pressure canner would most likely be overkill). Then you'll have it for whenever you need it in the future.
  8. 1. Yes, although I have found that if I go just a bit above and quickly add some fresh chocolate, it will temper fine. And the exact temper range will vary depending on the chocolate you are using. 2. Yes, if you are using the seed method you always need to have tempered chocolate as seeds. The only way to re-temper chocolate without fresh seed chocolate is to use a method such as tabling described above, which uses a completely different method to introduce the appropriate crystals. Thanks, Tammy, for jumping in. I haven't had a chance to check in here since Wednesday morning.
  9. I think you're mixing terms. I use the seeding method, and I use the microwave to accomplish it. Sounds like you're talking about seeding vs. "direct warming". In essence: . Seeding refers to the method where you melt part of your chocolate to the "virgin" state where all the cocoa butter crystals have melted -- 118F or so. Then you add unmelted (seed) chocolate that's already in temper (as it should be when you receive it unless it's been stored badly), and stir like mad. As the unmelted chocolate softens and melts out, the good (beta) crystals it contains grab onto the melted cocoa butter in the virgin chocolate and encourage the formation or more beta crystals. Once the mixture gets to the proper working temperature range (88-90F-ish), you remove any chunks of unmelted chocolate that are left to prevent over-tempering and work with the now-tempered chocolate. . Direct warming takes advantage of the fact that if you're careful, you can gently warm chocoalte to the point where it's melted and at proper working range without taking it above the point where the beta crystals start to melt out. In essence, you're melting the chocolate without ever going out of temper. Just warm and stir, warm and stir, a bit at a time until the chocolate is melted and in working range. Make sure you don't get the chocoalte above 90F or so, and you should be in good shape. It's a bit fiddly and fussy to do for folks who are new to tempering, which is why I stopped teaching that method and went back to seeding. Whatever method you use, it's always good advice to test the batch of chocolate to ensure you've gotten it into good temper before working with it -- saves heartache later. Just use the tip of a spatula or knife or a scrap of parchment paper. Dip into the tempered chocolate and let it sit at room temp. If it sets within a few minutes, you're in good shape. If not, you're probably not in temper (and/or your room's too hot). Hope that helps.
  10. bkeith


    What if you het the silicon? Whould that help (I can try of course but not at the moment, and curious as I am ) ← That'd make it worse. It's the heating of the silicone that makes it give off gas. The bubbles are coming from the silicone, not from the Isomalt. The Isomalt is just trapping them. 250F seems to be the magic temperature. If I let my Isomalt syrup cool to 250 before pouring into silicone molds, I don't get the bubbles.
  11. You can knead in paste or gel color as you would into fondant or gum paste. No need to worry about seizing as with plain melted chocolate. Alternately, if I want a whole batch of one color, I'll add the color to the corn syrup before stirring it into the chocolate. Saves the fuss of kneading it in later. Another option is to make your rose using the natural white chocolate color, then use yellow petal dust to add color later. Makes for a more natural and refined-looking finished product.
  12. Hey K8! Thanks for the shout-out. I'm starting a series on gum paste fundamentals in the new year. One class a week for 10 weeks, each hitting different flowers and skills. Bit of a trek for Annette from New York, though. I know I'll be in New York in April to teach and demo at a Day of Sharing, but I don't recall now what topics they've asked for. I'll check, and if it's gum paste, I'll holler.
  13. Found this in the Washington Post just before Thanksgiving and gave it a shot. Loved it. It's got the highest pecan:goop ratio I've come across. It was way nutty and not at all cloying as some pecan pies can be. I used a slightly different flaky pastry recipe, but this filling. Toasted the nuts before adding. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/recipes...pie/?s_pos=list
  14. bkeith

    Rice Krispies

    Maybe a thin layer of chocolate to even out the surface?
  15. Use cocoa powder. Seriously -- the cocoa butter in the bittersweet chocolate is what's making your ganache-type sauce harden up in the fridge and on the frozen yogurt. A sauce that uses cocoa powder rather than bittersweet chocolate has way less cocoa butter to harden up.
  16. Isomalt is a sugar alcohol, and the same advice applies. Different folks will react differently to eating Isomalt. I did a low-carb chocolate mousse cake for a small get-together a couple years back (few friends, all of whom were doing the low-carb thing). Most of those who ate it just got gassy from it. One guy got cramps.
  17. bkeith

    Bride Cake---

    The head in the freezer was the first thing I thought of when I saw those photos a while back too. My second thought was "I hope it wasn't red velvet..."
  18. That's in essence what I did, but instead of using the "burnt sugar water" to bloom the gelatine, I left it in the pot and used it as the base for the sugar syrup. I didn't measure, but I probably used about 1/3 cup of sugar to make the burnt sugar. Next time I'd use 1/2 cup or more and take it to a slightly darker brown before stopping the cooking.
  19. Oiled pizza cutter, with a ruler to guide. A guitar would be terrific, but I don't have the space to store something I'd use so seldom.
  20. The only time I had that problem was when I lined both top and bottom with graham crackers. The ones on top broke up when I cut because they were sitting on a non-firm surface. The ones on the bottom were fine. I'm really building them upside down. The graham crackers are on top of the marshmallow in the pan, but when I flip them out, the crackers are on the bottom, and that's where they stay. I think having them sit on the marshmallow overnight probably softens them a touch as well. You know, that's a good point. I'm a big bittersweet fan, so I just grabbed for that naturally. But now that I think about it, the traditional chocolate for smores is Hershey's milk chocolate. Next time I'll try milk thinned with a bit of cocoa butter. Thanks!
  21. My best result with a smores-type creation goes thusly: Line 2 12x12x2 square pans with parchment paper and spray with Pam. Make a batch of marshmallows (I've done vanilla, banana, and burnt sugar, and they all worked well). Pour half into each pan. Tile the top with store-bought graham crackers. It takes just about one package to cover both pans completely. Press with a smaller pan to ensure everything's even. Let set. Turn out the marshmallows and remove the parchment. You've now got a nice block of stuff that's flat on both top and bottom, and has a stable layer of graham cracker on the bottom to help keep the cuts square. Cut to 1"x1" bite-size bits. Dip in your favorite tempered bittersweet or semisweet couverture. The only part I'm not completely satisfied with yet is that it's missing that toasted marshmallow flavor. In my most recent attempt I took part of the sugar from the recipe and caramelized it to a dark brown, then added the water and the rest of the sugar and made the syrup as the recipe indicated. That worked a bit, but wasn't as strong a burnt sugar flavor as I'd have liked, so maybe I need to caramelize a bit more sugar to start with. Drawback is that it makes a slightly tan marshmallow. My first couple attempts I used a torch to toast the top of the marshmallow layer after it was turned out of the pan. That works ok, but again, not enough toasted flavor. And you have to let the marshmallow set up again before cutting because the top gets soft from the heat of the torch. I think the problem is that with an enrobed treat, the amount of chocolate is greater than you'd get on a traditional smore, and it overwhelms the toasted flavor I'm putting into the marshmallow mix. Gotta keep tweaking.
  22. As I recall, at the time plum pudding got its name, the word "plum" was a general reference a to piece of dried fruit. Much like "corn" referred to a chunk of something (corned beef has nothing to do with the grain; rather it was preserved using little chunks or "corns" of salt). So plum pudding probably doesn't require plums at all -- just raisins and currants. Sounds like a delicious substitution, though.
  23. bkeith

    Fruit Powders

    Thanks much for the info. They sound interesting enough that I guess I'll have to order some and play.
  24. I just noticed fruit powders (mango, passion, strawberry and raspberry) on the Chef Rubber site. Anyone used them? Can they be substituted for purees with appropriate liquid added? Shelf stable for a good long time? Inquiring minds....
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