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nice_guy1812

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  1. I was about to embark on some soft caramels made with fresh (not evaporated) milk from Greweling's Chocolates & Confections, when I realized that I didn't have any milk. I really didn't want to run to the store, so I remembered reading this thread last week and thought I would try it out using coconut milk instead. I substituted coconut milk for the regular whole milk, but kept the whipping cream that was called for. The result was great! It behaved more or less the same when cooking, although I noticed a bit more foaming than usual. The flavour is amazing as well. I was worried that the coconut milk might contribute to excess browning, but it didn't. I will definitely be making this again!
  2. I would agree with pastrygirl. The ganache is likely drying out. I normally use a bit of glucose or corn syrup in my ganache, and I find it helps with cracking. The glucose makes the ganache slightly more elastic, so it can expand and contract with less risk of cracking. Also, I tend to not use butter in my ganaches. I like the flavour and texture that it gives, but I find the finish isn't as nice. Often it ends up having a dull appearance, and seems to crack more frequently.
  3. I second this notion. Although I often will use basmati as well. My favourite technique is to toast the brown rice before cooking it pilaf style. It is so flavourful, and seems to have a softening affect on the rice. To the uninformed, it's texture is less "brown" Come to think of it, I've never really seen brown jasmine rice here in the GTA (greater Toronto area). There are about 7 asian supermarkets within a 10 minute drive from my house (I LOVE this city!), and not once have I seen it...
  4. Thanks pastrymama. I made a big design mistake by doing this sort of inlaid wood design on the front just below the clock. After I had glued all of the little meticulously sanded pieces in place I decided that it in fact looked horrible and I had rip each one off and then sand the entire front down to get rid of all the scars. I decided to go with my initial plan of the wisteria flowers done in royal icing.
  5. Hi This is my first post in a long, long time. I have been following this amazing demo for the past few days. I have recently become unemployed after moving back to Toronto, so I have more time on my hands now to browse around egullet. I am a young, aspiring pastry chef that graduated from the Cordon Bleu in Ottawa about 4 years ago and until recently had been working at a pastry shop in Ottawa. I can't tell you how grateful I am for these incredibly inspiring demo's here in the pastry section. After reading through chefette's amazing pastillage demo I felt so inspired that i had to make something. I decided to do an art deco style clock. I didn't colour it or anything, but I think it turned out quite well for my first pastillage piece and it was an amazing learning experience. The problem is I can't seem to get enough pastillage and I'm already drawing up plans for another project. Since I am really into architecture I am thinking about doing some sort of building out of pastillage. I'm going to go through my pictures from a recent 2-week trip to Europe and see if anything strikes me as do-able. Here are the pictures:
  6. The other day I had a slight epiphany when I was eating a very delicious parsnip soup i had just made. Why not sub parsnip puree for the carrot puree I use in my carrot cake recipe. I tried it out and it was amazing! I loved it. I thought the parsnip flavour worked excellently, and I tossed in some chopped brazil nuts - yum. I thought I was a genius using parsnips instead of carrots until I googled parsnip cake the next day and realized there were about 30 000 recipes for parsnip cake. So it turns out I'm not such a genius after all, but I do make good parsnip cake
  7. I don't know if this has been covered or not, but when I make macarons at work most of them are cracked on the top. I have a feeling that it may be the convection oven that does it but I'm not too sure. Whenever I make them at home they come out looking picture perfect, and I don't have a convection oven at home. The recipe I use starts with an italian meringue which you then fold the almond powder and icing sugar into. Is it the recipe that I should change? If anybody has any ideas or has experienced this problem before, any help would be appreciated. BTW, turning the fan off on the oven at work is not an option, if that is the problem.
  8. nice_guy1812

    Cooking Myths

    I believe them. When I make a cappuccino I always pour the espresso into the cup before the steamed milk. I swear it tastes different if I pour the milk first into the cup and then the espresso. I'm not crazy...honestly.
  9. I completely forgot about cotton candy too. It's revolting! The thought of eating it makes me cringe. I don't like bell peppers a lot either. Even roasted and peeled ones. I just don't care for them.
  10. Cottage cheese. It just makes me want to gag. My boyfriend loves it and is always trying to get me to eat it, but I just can't.
  11. Thanks for all of your suggestions. I went with the eclairs because i could make a lot of them in not too much time. They were a hit too! I would've loved to make individual tarts, or even a few big ones, but I didn't have enough time to do that. On something completely off-topic, yesterday and today I made my first croissants! Ever since a bad experience with home-made puff pastry a few years ago I have avoided making it, and croissants, for the longest time...but these are the best croissants I've ever had! I just felt the need to brag about it somewhere (insert ear-to-ear grin emoticon here. why won't the emoticons work?)
  12. The chewiest cookies I've ever made were from Jeffrey Steingarten's recipe. The recipe calls for quite a bit of sugar, and three types of sugar: granulated, light brown and dark brown. I think that probably has something to do with the chewiness. Also, the first time I made them, I accidentally doubled the baking soda and they had a different, and better, texture than when I made them the second time. I make my cookies quite big which might also have something to do with it.
  13. I hardly feel like I'm learning anything anymore on FoodTV (actually Food Network Canada). The only show that teaches me anything is Good Eats. I really enjoyed Molto Mario but I don't know when it's on or even if it still is, and also when they showed the baking/pastry competition (whats it called? coupe de monde?). I do enjoy 3 cooking shows for their entertainment value though: The Cookworks, The Best, and Nigella Bites (the first 2 are on the Canadian network). But about the only time I'll tune in to FoodTV is when Alton Brown is on.
  14. Mint on desserts. Why do people do it? I've never encountered a desser with mint IN it, so why ON it? When I become a pastry chef I will never, ever put mint on anything. You can all hold me to it.
  15. I grill it in a little (well a lot actually) of butter too. Grape jelly sounds interesting. I'll have to try that sometime.
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