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Everything posted by CanadianBakin'

  1. Sorry, I hadn't noticed that it was locked. Here's a link to the last post where Ron has made headings so you don't have to read through all 148 pages. You can click on the applicable topic to find info. I just read through your recipe and I like your descriptions. I'm never totally satisfied with my macaron so I think I'll give it a try. I haven't had a lot of success with the water under the paper method but do find placing them in the freezer on the tray works very well to make them easy to release.
  2. We have a large Macaron thread here: so feel free to continue the discussion publicly. There's always something for all of us to learn from another person's method.
  3. That dough looks fabulous! What kind did you use?
  4. I've never been to Trader Joe's but have discovered there's one across the Canada/US border about 90 minutes away. I'm planning to make the trip down and I'm wondering what are your favourite ingredients to buy there? I want to make sure I don't miss anything.
  5. This article by Joanne Chang, owner of the Flour Bakery Cafes and frequent contributor to Fine Cooking magazine, gives a great explanation. http://www.finecooking.com/articles/how-to/creme-brulee-caramel.aspx If you don't subscribe to finecooking.com here's an excerpt: How are they all related? One day, after months of making hundreds of custards, it hit me: all these desserts are the same. Crème caramel is a baked custard that's cooked in a caramel-lined ramekin; crème brûlée is a baked custard that's topped with a sheer, crackly layer of caramelized sugar; and pot de crème is, well, a baked custard. Same technique, but different results. You'll notice that all three custards share the same mixing and baking techniques. Look closer, however, and you find that the proportions for each custard vary and that, while the variations seem small, they actually correspond to a different result. Crème brûlée is the richest of the three. All heavy cream and yolks, this custard cooks up rich and thick—a wonderful contrast to the glassy brittle layer of caramelized sugar it's topped with. Next is pot de crème. With equal parts cream and milk and lots of egg yolks, it is eggy and soft and smooth, pure custard to be spooned out of a cup and savored unadorned. And finally, crème caramel is the lightest, with whole eggs as well as yolks, milk as well as cream. It's meant to be inverted out of its baking ramekin so its tawny caramel sauce can pool around it; the egg whites make the custard firm enough to stand on its own.
  6. Whipped cream and homemade caramel sauce. I make miniature Gingerbread cupcakes that have finely chopped crystallized ginger in them for a bit more bite. I top them with a swirl of Vanilla Bean SMBC and a small cube of the crystallized ginger. The SMBC is a really nice foil for the sharpness of the ginger. A sum of the parts kind of thing.
  7. Ikea used to have Pearl sugar. I don't think you'll be happy with the result using coarse sugar. It won't have the same effect.
  8. Cake Art would be a good choice as well: http://www.ciaprochef.com/fbi/books/CakeArt.html
  9. Our own Zoe Francois has a brand new book out: Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day that has a whole chapter on GF breads. I haven't tried them yet but I've had great success with her other recipes so I have great expectations for this chapter as well.
  10. I second Tri2Cook's advice. If you have access to Amoretti fruit compounds these add fabulous flavour. I still use the fruit puree and then add some compound for an extra flavour boost.
  11. That's absolutely stunning! Your wife must have amazing patience.
  12. Here's a link to Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies.Scroll down you'll find them 12th in the far left column. These are sold at a gourmet food store in BC. The owner is a bacon fanatic and came up with these cookies. They were honored with a mention in Vancouver Magazine as one of the top 100 things you must eat in Vancouver. She was flooded with calls for them and as the resident baking & pastry teacher in her demo kitchen I have the pleasure of making them . They are a great cookie but I prefer them without the bacon.
  13. Lisa, that's a great point. A close look at the recipe featured from The Fundamental Techniques shows that it uses weights. I would have been disappointed to order it and find I had to convert everything. I love Pierre Herme's books and use a number of his recipes regularly. I own Desserts and Chocolate Desserts.
  14. Thanks for the heads up on this one. It looks great and it lists for under $50 on amazon.
  15. You could loosen the wrap right away and take it off before it's totally soft but give it a chance to warm up a bit first. It's way easier if you have a box but I know that's a pretty large size. Another thought, I've seen pastry chefs use large clear garbage bags to wrap their product in the freezer. When you bring it out of the freezer maybe you would have enough room to prop the edges up a bit so it wasn't touching the whole top. Maybe some of the decorator's who do this for a living could give us some tips. I do bake professionally but cakes are not my speciality.
  16. What a lot of work! You did a great job. Did you freeze the cake unwrapped? It should be wrapped after it's frozen. Then with the cover on, placed overnight in the fridge or a cool place (right now my trunk would work )Then let it sit at room temp for about an hour before removing the wrappings.
  17. Glad it worked out. In the future if you need a recipe converted to weights just let us know. Many of us prefer weights and once you know the equivalents you'll be able to convert just about anything.
  18. This previous discussion may help: As I was reading your question, marmalade came to mind. I don't know if it would work with your flavour profile but I thought I'd mention it.
  19. Here's one that I've used quite a bit: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Sticky-Toffee-Pudding-104071 It seems to me that Jamie's recipe has too many ingredients. Most recipes I've come across don't have spices and I like the dates left in small chunks rather than pureed. They kind of melt into the cake anyways. I also prefer to use a caramel sauce made with just burnt white sugar, cream, butter and a bit of corn syrup rather than the brown sugar sauce many recipes mention. I think the burnt taste of real caramel compliments the pudding very well. Definitely serve with whipped cream, creme anglais or a good vanilla icecream.
  20. Just bringing this back, one, because it's that time of year and two, I also need tips on using a shortbread mould. I made my traditional flour, sugar, butter recipe, rolled it into a rough 9" circle and pressed it in. Didn't work so well as not all of the pattern showed. Is it better to just dump the mixture before forming a ball while it's still crumbly and then press it in? Any tips?
  21. Thanks RichardJones. I found your post and blog quite helpful. The best thing about pastry is there's always something new to learn.
  22. Flavours... Something chocolate (chocolate cake) Something with nuts (pecan pie) Something with fruit Something with citrus Textures... Something cake-like (chocolate cake, pound cake) Something smooth and creamy (egg nog, cheesecake) Something crisp (biscotti) Something with chew (pecan pie) , And of course colours, you don't want it to all be beige/brown. The items you've listed are in brackets so you can see what gaps you need to fill. You're right oranges are in season and you could incorporate orange in your pound cake. Cranberries are plentiful right now so you may want to use them for the fruit dessert. Or you could make vanilla bean cheesecake and serve it with a cranberry compote instead of adding another dessert. Hope this helps.
  23. The candied ginger works great cut into little cubes and it freezes and thaws well. After I score that type of cake I would put a small rosette of buttercream on each square and put a piece of candied ginger right on the top. I have a great picture of this in mini cupcake form but I can't get it to post at the moment. I would use the rosettes on the chocolate cake as well and the chocolate curls would look great. Icing: The Cake Bible says for an 18x12" cake you need 4 cups between layers, 4 cups on top and 2 cups to cover the sides so 10 cups per cake. I hope you can pull off the dried fruit/cheese platter in your budget, it's a great idea.
  24. Yes, those are the right pans. You will probably have leftovers, 3 is tons. I think the chocolate icing will be fine frozen and my cream cheese icing freezes well, I'm sure yours would too. No need to chill all day, especially if you are taking them right from the freezer to the event. If you are scoring the top I've found it looks nice to put some kind of decor in the center of each square. Then every piece looks pretty and it's obvious what one serving is. If you have The Cake Bible she has a chart to help you figure out how much you'll need. If you don't have it let me know and I'll look it up. For savory, are you going to have dips?
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