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About pastrygirl

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    Seattle, WA USA

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  1. Safe paint for napkin rings?

    Could you simply scuff them up with sandpaper to dull the shine? Otherwise, maybe 'chalkboard' spray paint? Personally I wouldn't worry about paint types. Obviously not lead-based, but the chance of much paint residue being ingested from rubbing off on a napkin is slim.
  2. I think it depends on what kind of detergent, if any, is involved. Shouldn't be anything wrong with a rinse or gentle cycle without detergent.
  3. Seeing is believing - Full disclosure: I did break a wire on the first cut, and a slab that I cut a few hours later when it was warmer did stick together more after cutting. Like so many things we work with, it's going to have to be juuuuust right.
  4. Name that mold!

    So something like this, but polycarbonate? https://www.jbprince.com/flexible-silicone-molds/orange-non-stick-15-pyramids.asp I have one of these, the cavities are kind of huge so I never use it https://www.jbprince.com/chocolate-and-sugarwork/ridged-pyramid-18-cavities.asp Is there a preferred weight? How about a cone? https://www.jbprince.com/molds/cone-chocolate-mold-21-forms.asp https://www.jbprince.com/chocolate-and-sugar-work/pointed-cylinder-chocolate-mold.asp
  5. lol, @Jim D. I have a whole fresh spool when I need it. I caramelize the sugar then add warmed cream, etc. For 90 pieces, heat 600 g heavy cream, 150 g butter, 170 g lyle's golden syrup (or whatever liquid sugar), salt and other flavors as desired. Caramelize 700 g sugar as dark as you like then add liquid*. I cooked to 258F, poured into a 9" square pan & cooled at room temp overnight. It was a nice mid-high 60's in the kitchen today, finally better pastry-making weather! I could see it not going as well if the caramel was soft and the kitchen is warm, or hard caramel and cold kitchen. And you probably need to wrap as soon as they're cut, they do stick together a little bit so I wouldn't cut them and leave them sitting around. But the caramel wasn't any firmer than the butter ganaches I make, and a far cry from the semi-solid gianduja that I've broken too many strings on. *I always do wet caramel and just keep an eye on it while I do something else.
  6. Not so much the what but the how. I have always been utterly convinced that cutting caramels on my guitar would be a disaster. I had this image of a sticky mess with a ton of broken strings then having them all stick back together anyway. So I've cut thousands and thousands of caramels over the years one at a time, by hand. Six strips per pan then each strip into 15 pieces. This morning when needing to cut three more pans after doing two yesterday and dreading not only the cutting and wrapping but all the carefully tucking into boxes, I decided to face my fear and cut caramels on the guitar. Other people manage to do it; I needed to try it. I started slow, with one strip of 15. Lo and behold, it worked! The next pan, I cut the six strips on the guitar then two at a time for 30 pieces at once. Tomorrow I'll spread out all the wrappers and try the whole pan at once - two cuts instead of 89. I'm a new woman. The hours I'll save! The profit I'll make! The less I'll resent caramel eaters! I mean, I still have to wrap each one of the little fuckers, but cutting 30+ at once ... why oh why didn't I try this sooner? It's never too late to try something a new way. Work smarter, not harder! And how much is a caramel wrapping machine?
  7. Quality Cocoa Butter

    In addition to what Jim said, it can also be used to make "chocolate" out of other ingredients. For example, I made a batch of raspberry white chocolate by grinding freeze dried raspberries, sugar, and cocoa butter together. Regular white chocolate is sugar, dry milk, and cocoa butter. As long as you temper it, the cocoa butter will add structure to whatever you mix in. You can cook with it like any other fat. As noted above, the Mycryo fine granulated CB is recommended for high-heat saute-ing in savory cooking. CB can also be useful when cooking for special diets and vegans.
  8. Vanilla sticker shock

    They should still be good. A half pound is about a year's supply of vanilla beans for me. I've had some get dry and brittle towards the end of the bag, but still smelled/tasted good.
  9. Vanilla sticker shock

    Merlino Foods in Seattle. They are generally super nice and fair so I'm sure it's market price. I'll have to stop dumping so much of it into my vanilla cupcakes ... or maybe everyone is getting lemon or gingerbread cupcakes this fall instead! If or when the price goes down, we must remember to stock up
  10. Vanilla sticker shock

    Today I paid $81.62 for a quart of Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract. It was even more expensive than the 3kg bag of Valrhona Dulcey on my order! In early June, the same item from the same purveyor was $56.74. I know price spikes happen every few years with vanilla products but ouch! Just felt like sharing in case anyone wanted to commiserate.
  11. Quality Cocoa Butter

    I was in the kitchen this morning so got a photo of the Felchlin CB bits. Teaspoon for scale. I tasted it too, didn't notice any particular chocolate flavor, just neutral fat.
  12. Quality Cocoa Butter

    How much do you want? I could sell you some, PM me to discuss price and shipping.
  13. Quality Cocoa Butter

    Yeah, it's weird that Mycryo isn't really aimed at pastry chefs. I believe it is thoroughly deodorized for that reason. I haven't tasted the Felchlin CB just plain, will have to do that! I did already use it with some freeze dried raspberries, that was bad form of me to not taste it first But the raspberry chocolate came out nice.
  14. Quality Cocoa Butter

    Mycryo http://a.co/fhqokiX Or I just got a big bag of Felchlin CB chips from Albert Uster. It's not a fine powder like Mycryo, more like mini chocolate chip size https://secure.auifinefoods.com/cocoa-products/cocoa-butter-100-grated-7500210000
  15. Chocdoc Does Dallas

    Oh my I know it's a fair ways from Houston, but hopefully the hurricane situation doesn't keep people away. Good luck!