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  1. The Michelin Guide adds one star and subtracts another. “We rarely find anyone who can say he has lived a happy life, and who, content with his life, can retire from the world like a satisfied guest.” ~ VIRGIL Last month I read Nicholas Chelminski’s engrossing account of the rise and tragic fall of Bernard Loiseau, The Perfectionist. The narrative carefully details all points on the inverted curve which represented the life course of an elite French chef. When does growth threaten to destroy the very soul that makes a business highly successful? Loiseau was a chef totally permeated by the dema
  2. “There are many wonderful flavored basils—anise, cinnamon, lemon, opal, spice, and the robust Italian Genoa Green. Basil blooms vary in flavor according to variety as the foliage does, but all taste of cloves with a hint of citrus and mint. The best way to remove the florets from the basil plant is to snip the stem closely above and below each flower whorl, discarding the stems in between which are sometimes bitter.” Source: Susan Belsinger, Cooking with Flowers (Ward Lock, 1991); p. 33 “A single container filled with several basils, perhaps lettuce leaf, cinnamon, lemon, Thai, and purple [inc
  3. Compared to the estimable advice provided by aguynamedrobert (post #4, above), Bobby Flay’s 20-word instruction for Apple Cider Reduction is abstractly simplistic. Kudos to aguynamedrobert for his exactitude! And thanks to andiesenji (post #2) for sharing a range of suggested uses for the end product.
  4. In addition to the KA volume – from which I’ve made, thus far, only the Devil’s Food Cake & Scottish Shortbread – you may consider the purchase of one or more of these titles: Bob's Red Mill Baking Book by John Ettinger Hodgson Mill Whole Grain Baking (Fair Winds Press, 2007) Local Breads: Sourdough and Whole-Grain Recipes from Europe's Best Artisan Bakers by Daniel Leader Whole Grain Breads by Machine or Hand by Beatrice Ojakangas The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread by Bette Hagman The Spelt Cookbook by Helga Hughes
  5. A recipe for Peach Upside-Down Chocolate Cake is offered by California Cling Peach Board. I baked this cake (using fresh fruit) two months ago for an octogenarian neighbor of mine who is very fond of peaches -- and chocolate, too. Lawerence
  6. BOLILLOS To make 12 plain bread rolls: 1 oz. fresh yeast 14 fl. oz. warm water 2 tsps fine salt 2 Tbsps sugar 1 lb. 4 oz. AP flour 2 oz. lard srhcb: Should you be interested to read the method of preparation, please notify me. Lawrence
  7. My bagel recipe has been very dependable during the past 15 years: 1 Tbsp dried yeast 1 tsp sugar 2 cups lukewarm water 3 Tbsps oil 3 Tbsps sugar 1 Tbsps table salt 4-5 cups flour 4 quarts water boiled with 2 Tbsps honey Deflate the dough after its proofed, let rest 15 minutes, covered. Roll into 10- by 12-inch rectangle, cut into 12 strips.Shape the rings and place them on baking sheet. Let stand 20 minutes. Cook 7 minutes in boiling water, turning once. Glaze them with egg wash, sprinkle with coarse salt or poppy seeds. Bake at 375°F 20+ minutes until done.
  8. The NY Times described Chef Zuckerman’s desserts as “a life-changing experience.” I'll briefly supplement some of the book's dessert titles mentioned by loladrian, above: Chocolate-Almond Cracks Goat-Cheesecake Enrobed in Hazelnut Brittle Goat Cheese & Purple Basil Soufflé Maple-Star Anise Mousse Vanilla, Brown Butter & Almond Tea Cake Mandarin Ice Cream Granny Smith Apple, Dried Fig, and Dried Cherry Winter Fruit Compote Roasted Medjool Dates Stuffed with Cashews, Currants, and Candied Citrus Barlett Pears Poached in Muscat Wine Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon, and Espresso Truffles with Wal
  9. Salt’s obvious purpose in the making of bread is to enhance the flavor. But it has another, very important effect: it retards the action of the yeast. Also, it helps to strengthen the gluten in the flour and make the dough more elastic, resilient, and less sticky. A dough too low in salt will not bake to a crisp crust. Since salt is often so important to successful bread making, what of those people who are forbidden salt in their diets? If the salt is completely omitted, the amount of yeast must be cut down or the bread will rise too fast and will not have a pleasing texture. Secondly, the br
  10. Chocolate-Caramel Tart w/ Poached Pears & Pear-Brandy Gelato Apple-Blackberry Crisp w/ Almond Streusel & Honey Gelato Pumpkin Cake w/ Mascarpone Icing & Spiced Cranberry Sauce More extravagant: Pumpkin Cake…the icing topped with a melange of toasted pecans, dried apricots, candied pumpkin cubes, and poppyseeds. Individual Pumpkin Upside-Down Cakes served w/ Ginger I.C. & Maple-Caramel Sauce. Pumpkin-Pecan Tart w/ Orange Sherbet Chocolate-Hazelnut Cake, layered with dark chocolate mousse, served w/ crème anglais and a pirouline cookie Cranberry-Pear Tart Orange-Cardamom Pots de
  11. "A house is beautiful not because of its walls, but because of its cakes." ~ Old Russian proverb Here’s a basic lemon mirror suitable for glazing a 9-inch diameter surface. Perhaps this basic recipe may not comply with the level of sophistication in which you regularly work. Yet, it may satisfy the purpose for some, shall we say, less fastidious patissieres... 1½ tsps unflavored gelatin 1 fl. oz. purified cold water 6 fl. oz. boiling water 1/3 cup superfine sugar pinch of salt 2 fl. oz. strained fresh lemon juice Few drops of yellow food coloring (opt.) Soften gelatin in cold water. Add boil
  12. “…what passes for pizza abroad is all too often a travesty.” ~ Ciro Moffa, Neapolitan chef “Pizza is literally one of those timeless dishes whose provenance can’t be accurately dated. All that can be said for sure is that the idea of a flat unleavened dough topped with whatever was at hand (usually olive oil and spices) dates back to pre-Biblical times in the Middle East. The original "pizzas' of the Babylonians, Egyptians and Israelites probably resembled modern "pita pizzas" more than anything else.” Source: “In (practically) the beginning, there was pizza.” (Food Management | August 2002)
  13. I must not hesitate to praise the masterful appearance of ChefCrash's baklava creation. Here is a historical backgrounder to the development of the Middle-Eastern baklava: * The name baklava is based on the Arabic word for nuts. * The name for the thin dough, phyllo, is a Greek word meaning leaf. * In the Byzantine era, cinnamon and cloves were added. * The Arabs introduced rosewater and cardamom. * The Ottoman Empire added walnuts and honey. Ground and finely chopped nuts are still layered between the sheets—most often used are walnuts and pistachios, but the nuts can vary based on what is
  14. An oil is a fat. However, it is common practice to use the term “fat” for those substances that are in a solid state while at room temperature. Those that are liquid at room temperature are called oils. Fats from animals are solid and, generally, fats from plants are liquid at room temp. The notable exceptions are vegetable oils from the coconut and palm nut. Even though their saturation profiles differ, both animal and vegetable fats are composed of a glycerol molecule with three fatty acids. Shortening is classified as a fat because it is a solid at room temp. Shortening can be made with ani
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