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2010

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  1. I worked with someone that made fudge with Valrhona chocolate (that was sold in a shop) and it was a big hit! Specifically she used Caramelia (a milk chocolate with hints of toffee), Ivoire (white) and Caraibe 66%. I am not a big fan of fudge for the simple fact that it's too sweet for my palette. But trying fudge made with Valrhona chocolate took it to the next level.
  2. I'm a little at odds as to go about doing this. I've collaborated with a local high-end chocolate shop to take orders for bespoke celebration and wedding cakes. This shop is strictly retail and is not a pastry shop, however the owner wants to expand the business to include custom made cake orders as she gets a lot of enquiries for cakes. She wants a 25% cut on all orders that come through the shop. I make the cakes at home. How should I go about pricing in order to make a fair profit for myself? Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
  3. Which method of meringue is the best for making crisp meringue mushrooms? Way back when, I posted that I was making my first "official" wedding cake (meaning I'm actually getting paid!) and the bride would like meringue mushrooms as part of the decor of the cake. Her wedding is this month. I'd like to make these mushrooms a week before her wedding so they're done and out of the way. Any suggestions? Thanks!
  4. Thanks again Kerry! I'm going to give your recipe a try. A few questions: Is it 180 grams of port or 180 ml? Would this be the same amount in fruit puree or compound if I wanted to change the flavour? very thick applesauce: should I cook homemade applesauce further to evaporate excess liquid? Would that be sufficient? I don't have a frame, would a parchment-lined sheet pan work? Thanks! highchef the first time I ever knew about the gelee layer in truffles was when I had Thomas Haas passionfruit truffle. The flavour literally bursted in my mouth. More intense passionfruit flavour than if it had been mixed into the ganache base, in my opinion. Plus the fact that it wasn't a round truffle, it was a square piece made for a different eating experience. He tops off each square with a coloured "plaque" to distinguish the flavours. http://www.thomashaas.com/ tammylc that sounds like another interesting way to do it.
  5. Thanks for the info Kerry. I'll try and get a hold of his book but it's pretty slim pickin's here on the Isle of Wight (UK) for professional pastry reference material at the bookstores. Gawd I miss Chapters! Anyways, do you know how to go about making a gellee layer for truffles? I've always wanted to learn.
  6. Someone has asked me to make some port truffles for them. I'm wondering if it's best to just flavour the ganache with the port or to make a port gelee layer on top of the ganache (which I'd be most interested in doing.) Does anyone have any suggestions and/or recipes? Thanks!
  7. I've been doing a bit of research for interesting filling flavours for cakes and came across a cabernet cake on someone's site. It was a cabernet flavoured ganache that covered the cake. My question is, would the ganache be made with the wine in place of cream or, made as usual and have the wine added after? Any input would be great especially a recipe. Thanks!
  8. Holy crap, (oops) sounds like I need to get this book. But how to get it in the UK? The bookstores here are so lacking in good pastry books. Oh how I miss Chapters (CAN) and Borders....
  9. Wow! Thanks for all your advice and encouragement everyone! You're starting to put my mind at ease but I'm still nervous. One advice I keep reading is to not sell myself short. I'll keep that in mind as I meet my "clients" face to face. Will let you know how things pan out. Stay tuned....
  10. Someone has referred me to a bride to make her wedding cake. Gawd I'm nervous! It's one thing to make wedding cakes (or other cakes) for friends and family but boy it's a whole other ball game when you make one for a complete stranger. Technically, I have made wedding cakes before (4 so far including my own) and I always swore the last one I make will be MY LAST ONE! But now I'm on the verge of a 5th one. This "someone" happens to be the bride's caterer and knows about me through another wedding he catered. I happended to make the cake for that wedding because the bride is friend of mine. Her cake was all chocolate and this bride wants an all chocolate cake as well in place of the traditional English fruit cake, (I'm currently living in the UK) hence the referral to me. I've never gone through the official routine of ordering a wedding cake. I made my own. People I've baked for just tell me what they want or don't want and let me do it. I never made anyone sign a contract. I've talked to the bride's mother and set up a meeting. (Like I really know what I'm doing) I know the date and how many people are attending. I also know the cake is going to be the main dessert. Could any experienced eG wedding cake makers, even brides who have gone through this process give me any advice. What I should know to ask the bride, how much to charge etc. Would really appreciate it. We're meeting in early March. Thanks
  11. 2010

    Banana Cake

    It's so simple and classic yet many variations out there. I'm seeking a recipe that's more banana cake vs banana bread-like and one that can be made in a tube or bundt pan. Any suggestiions?
  12. SEPHRA has teamed up with Callebeaut to produce fondue chocolate specifically made for fountains that doesn't require the use of extra oil or cocoa butter. Here's the link: http://www.sephrafountains.com/sephra-fondue-chocolate.htm I couldn't fathom eating chocolate that is drowning in that much oil. YUCK!
  13. I've just checked out their website. Do you have to put the squares together yourself, or is the pan assembled already? The raw batter won't leak out? I'm not too clear on this. ← If you zoom in closely at the picture of the pan, you can see that each individual square is composed of two "u"-shaped pieces that fit together to form the shape. All these squares fit neatly over a tray that hold them together for baking. You can even buy this to line each square for easy removal of the baked cakes. I have the mini set with the liners and square fondant template. I bought at Squires's sugar craft fair last year and the lady demonstrating the product assures me that leaks do not occur. It solves the problem of trying to cut a sheet cake into perfect squares. It's a great pan.
  14. If you're inclined to order this from Squires, you'd have all your blocks the same size and shape and use this or this to cut out your fondant to cover the cakes. You could cut out all your fondant crosses, stencil in the letters and cover the cake blocks. If someone was willing to help you, you could probably even do it assembly line fashion. Hope this helps. Good Luck!
  15. 2010

    Favorite Tea Rooms

    My favorites are: Afternoon Tea at The Prince of Wales Hotel at Niagra-on-the-Lake, Ontario Canada The Tea Palace in Nottinghill, London UK Pret-a-Portea at the Berkley Hotel London UK Mariages Freres in Paris, France
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