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David Lebovitz

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  1. I ate at Allard about a year ago. We ordered the Côte de Boeuf for 2, saignant (medium rare), and it came out completely well-done (à la semelle). Perhaps they figured because we weren't French, we wanted it overcooked. But it was very expensive and for those prices, they should make sure they cook the beef how the customer orders it. I would skip it.
  2. Abooja: Glad you tackled the Racines cake! Interestingly the owner of the restaurant left to open a new place and I don't think they're still serving this one, but last time I ate there I had a very, very (very) dry chocolate cake - which was supposed to be one of those little warm melting ones. So perhaps they should go back to this one : ) The cake is supposed to crack a bit, it's normal. (Scroll down to the last picture.) So you didn't mess it up at all... Frogprincess: It must be a chocolate festival at your house. I'm sure your neighbors are thrilled!
  3. Un Dimanche à Paris is a nice chocolate shop and is indeed also a full-on restaurant with meals and some cooking classes. The menu is pretty swanky but has savory dishes (whereas Jacques is a dessert-only place). The à la carte prices are fairly stiff at the restaurant although I don't know anyone who has tried it as a regular paying customer. But I think it'll be interesting to see how it develops.
  4. I'm not a fan of asking people to get obscure ingredients but those nibs really do make the cake special. It's great that cocoa nibs are pretty available from many chocolate companies and like Brainfoodie mentioned, you can buy them in bulk (at G. Detou in Paris, they sell Valrhona ones for around €13,kg) and you can also split them amongst baking pals.
  5. Hi Dan: It's not only very difficult to get publishers in America to publish books in anything other than cups and tablespoons, but readers are reluctant to buy books with metrics (and imperial) measurements in them because "the recipes too complicated." Because I live outside of the states, I added metrics. It actually took quite a while to reconfigure all the recipes but I really wanted them in there. But I know quite a few other authors that wanted to add other measurements to their cookbooks and got nixed by the publishers. Thankfully mine is very open to what I do. There is going to be a UK edition of the book sometime in 2011 but for those interested in various measurements, folks can let publishers know that's what you'd like to see in a book (and just as importantly, buy the ones that do!) by writing a letter or an e-mail, and perhaps they will consider adding them to more cookbooks.
  6. Yes, you need to make sure that springform is water tight. No matter how much you think it may be, water finds its insidious way into those things. Although we can't get it in France (at least not that I know of) in the US there is very wide foil that's nice and thick that should work. Incidentally, someone did bake the cake without the water bath and said it worked just fine, but I haven't tried it.
  7. Glad you're all working your way through Ready for Dessert. The recipes are all my favorites and some I've been making for decades, literally. If you make the chocolate chip cookies, be sure to use all the chocolate bits (and dust) when you chop the chocolate; they contribute to the cookies being nice and chewy. And the frosting on the Banana Cake should come to room temperature so it's thick enough to spread as frosting on the cake. Somehow the line about letting it sit mysteriously got omitted during printing, but is being added back for the upcoming next printing. Hopefully it's evident to bakers to let it cool down so it resembles the cake, as shown in the book. Happy baking...and enjoy the book! -David www.davidlebovitz.com
  8. Another interesting cookbook shop is La Cocotte on the rue Paul Bert in the 11th, just near the Faidherbe-Chaligny métro.
  9. I agree with Ptipois; the best butter I ever had was at Fromagerie François Olivier in Rouen. It was sold from a big wooden crock and was quite salty...and incredibly delicious. I wish I could buy it here, or a similar butter. I think because these butters aren't widely distributed, and folks who don't live in or visit Paris, can't get them, they don't get the publicity that Bordier gets. (Beillevaire butter is available in their shops around Paris. The first time I had it was at le Jules Verne and the maître d told me I could buy it in their stores. It was v. good, however it wasn't quite the same, so perhaps they get butter made for them.)
  10. Yes, they have. They only have a few flavors (I think it was 6) when I was in there. But one was Crema di Grom, which is one of their best.
  11. That would be Lavinia, just next to the place de la Madeleine.
  12. You could try taking finely-pulverized pine nuts or peanuts and drying them in a very low oven to get as much of the moisture out as possible, then proceeding. Because their flavors are strong, you also might want to cut them with some corn or potato starch as well.
  13. David: were the almonds Monoprix's own brand? ← Yes, they were. I think they came in a green foil bag, but I'm not 100% positive since someone was serving them to be at the same time as an apéritif. I guess I need to go for myself and check 'em out.
  14. Acting on a tip from a friend, I tried some of the bio products at ED. The organic colza oil is quite good, the Mexican-Peruvian coffee is not. I use their cream cheese, since I often need four bricks or more for a cheesecake, and buying the Philadelphia elsewhere would drive me to the poorhouse. Franprix sells Illy coffee pods for a fraction of the price elsewhere. I used to assume they were mismarked but at around €5 per tin, they're a great deal. Someone served me the cocktail almonds from Monoprix, which are similar (or actually are) Spanish Marcona almonds, and were fabulous.
  15. There is a new Patrick Roger shop open at 91 rue de Rennes, in the 6th, so one could conceivably go there, then stop in at Jean-Charles Rochoux, Aoki, and Christian Constant, which are each 1 to 2 blocks away. If you want to go to Hévin, there's a shop on rue Vavin that's just a couple of short blocks down from Constant. David Lebovitz http://www.davidlebovitz.com
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