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About pastrygirl

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    Seattle, WA USA

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  1. Pipe the two colors of chocolate first then smush it down? Or dip into and stamp with the chocolate?
  2. Baking by instinct

    I don't know if instinct is the same as something being ingrained, making muscle memory with practice, and experience. If so, then yes There are things that I make without measuring - corn tortillas, cream scones when it's just for a snack and not a customer*, sorbets mixed to taste. Yeast breads are very forgiving so I'm less precise with measuring and go by how the dough looks that day. I weigh everything else and substitute or adjust recipes for different needs. You just have to understand how the ingredients work together *easiest ever: mix some flour, a little sugar, baking powder, salt & flavorings (spices or inclusions), add heavy cream until it forms dough. Portion & bake. Sometimes better than others, but always pretty good when warm from the oven.
  3. Chocolat, do you know if Melissa has the enrobing line in a separate room on purpose, like for temperature control?
  4. Chorizo Burger Temp

    Or cook it all down with sauce and make sloppy Joe's.
  5. I'm always having to remind myself that chocolate is easier to clean up once solidified - the one exception to 'clean as you go'!
  6. Chorizo Burger Temp

    When meats are mixed, you need to cook them to the higher of the safe temps for the meats. If the minimum safe cooking temps are beef 140F, pork 145F, and chicken 165F, then a mix of beef and pork should be cooked to 145, and a mix of anything with chicken should be cooked to 165. And all ground meats require a higher cooking temp so no, pretty much nowhere in the US is a medium rare burger technically allowed. That said, sometimes you can simply put a disclaimer about potentially hazardous foods on the menu and denote dishes that may be served raw or under-cooked. Check with your local and state health food health departments. What kind of professional cooking experience do you have? I would expect someone consulting on a menu to know the safe cooking temps for meats and their local health authority requirements!
  7. Some people use actual decorated transfer sheets. Nice but adds to cost. I have some of these, they are a little soft but work ok - The acetate might be worth the added expense if it is less floppy and easier to work with - You can re-use it once or twice, but you'd have to wipe it down if you want the second use to be as shiny as the first.
  8. Maybe better to use/serve it slightly warm.
  9. California botulism outbreak

    Here is a more local version - "Inspection reports for the Valley Oaks Food and Fuel station show that on May 6 and 7, officers impounded bags of Montecito nacho cheese tortilla chips and closed the facility. On May 8, health officers from the state Department of Health impounded four bags of Gehls cheese sauce and reopened the store to sell prepackaged food items only." I bet Lisa is right, cheese staying in the warmer too long. Sad, it may have killed at least one person.
  10. California botulism outbreak

    They could have been making their own - house made (station made?) nacho cheese? That's a fancy gas station, but it is California ... I was thinking it was this product and wondering if it was a bad batch or contaminated on site.
  11. Saw this yesterday, a botulism outbreak linked to nacho cheese. Horrible for the people affected, but nacho cheese? I wonder what had to happen to get botulism into nacho cheese.
  12. Fun idea, Kerry! Things I've learned in classes: Hold chocolate molds upside-down to scrape when making the shells so you're not pushing chocolate back into the cavities. It's ingrained now, but I don't think any of the books I was learning from at the time mentioned that. With slabbed ganache, cut on the guitar then chill before separating the pieces to get cleaner, sharper edges. If you are totally obsessive, you can use rubbing alcohol to clean your molds. I hate the smell of rubbing alcohol, so I skip that one. For chocolate decor that is shiny on both sides, lay one sheet of acetate/guitar sheet, pour some tempered chocolate, top with another sheet, spread thin, allow to just crystallize then cut into shapes through the plastic with cookie cutters, bicyclette, etc. Remove from both sheets when ready to use. The microwave really makes it easy to temper multiple colors of cocoa butter. Using acetate/guitar sheets to close molds. This is not something I do as regular practice because I don't want to use all that extra plastic, but it is helpful when a mold is over-filled and difficult to cap the regular way.
  13. Hi gardeners, I have a few questions about berries. I love berries! Gardening, however ... my thumbs are only green when I'm messy with food coloring Seattle is what, Zone 5? The micro-climate here is favorable, things in my yard routinely bloom a week or two before my parents' yard 10 miles north. I have some blueberry bushes that I should try to revive. Can blueberries get too hot? These are on the SW corner of the house and get full sun from noon to sunset, which can be intense. Plus, there is a section of concrete foundation behind them that holds a lot of heat. Would some shade cloth help, or do I just need to water them more? They are 4 or 5 years old and I didn't take very good care to get them established, is it too late? I also have some raspberry canes, which have been here forever and manage to survive as long as I clear the morning glory off of them every now and then. Since I can't do chocolate events in the summer (well I could, but it's not worth it), I was thinking I should grow more berries - a little gentlewoman urban farming to keep me occupied. Is there a good way to grow lots of berries with little maintenance? Raspberries, marionberries, maybe a currant or something, strawberries in one of the raised beds ... I have two rather old raised beds and plenty of space. thanks!
  14. @gfron1 thanks for the info. So properly done, vegetable "ash" should not actually be ashes from lighting the veg on fire? Rather a name for ingredients dried at a higher temp to achieve deep color? What method do you use? I still think the activated charcoal thing is goofy and irresponsible at best. But I can think of many foods on which I appreciate char - Neapolitan pizza comes to mind - so maybe I would appreciate "ash" more if I wasn't privy to the making of it, or at least these guys' making of it
  15. You could do more nuts or more oil, or milk fat if you're not already using milk chocolate. Is your nut paste already very smooth? How dark is your chocolate? If you choose to add liquid and emulsify it into a ganache, consider using water or liqueur. There is so much fat in gianduja already, more fat from cream can be overkill.