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Everything posted by sanrensho

  1. Can you tell us about the usability of the Salton unit? I think Canadian Tire had them on sale for about $60 this week, which puts it at half the quoted price for the Eurodib unit. Is the Salton unit still usable as an everyday cooktop, or is it a major step down from the Eurodib? Thanks!
  2. Looks like France did not enter a team. http://www.pastrychampionship.com/2008scores.html Some photos here: http://www.pastryprofiles.com/competitioncorner.htm
  3. There is a picture of chunou sauce here, Bulldog (probably the best known brand) describes it as blending the piquancy of their worcestershire sauce and the sweetness mildness of their tonkatsu sauce. If you can find tonkatsu sauce, you could use or doctor that.
  4. Too late I'm sure, but we purchased ours at Don Quijote (locations throughout Japan) for about 1,500 yen, although I'm sure you can find one at any well-stocked housewares store.
  5. I just wanted to post a belated update on the idea of doing a pasta-making party for kids. (Increasingly veering off the topic of the thread title, I know.) We ended up doing this for my 7-year old's birthday party last June. I simplified the actual pasta-making by making a couple of batches of pasta dough the night before. During the party, we had the kids take turns rolling out sheets on a hand machine and cutting them into tagliatelle. One kid alternately holding the pasta and the other cranking. We had a pot of boiling salted water ready on a stovetop propane burner (cassette type). When each pair of kids was finished making their pasta, they brought it over to the table to cook their pasta. The kids were literally fighting to get their turns at the pasta rolling machine. And most of the kids loved the noodles. Although we had made a marinara sauce, most asked for their noodles plain, which was a big surprise for me. (I thought it was weird, actually.) Many came back for seconds and even thirds, sauce or no. One girl made a point of telling me they were "the best noodles ever," which was gratifying to hear. As far as I know, only one out of 10+ kids had ever made (rolled) fresh pasta before. Anyway, I wouldn't hesitate to do this again as an activity for a kids party. It was a lot of fun, and much less work than the bread and pizza-making.
  6. I recently made coffee jelly for a small dinner party with some neighbors. I used a strong brew using medium roast beans. ("True" medium roast, not burnt Starbucks medium roast.) The strength was just about right. Topped the coffee jelly with a maple kanten jelly and poured in some kahlua cream. No one in attendance had ever had coffee jelly before, but it went over well.
  7. Doutor...natsukashii. Without Doutor iced coffee, I wouldn't have survived my first outside sales job in Japan (sweltering heat).
  8. Just to be clear, you're talking about pate sucree and not pate brisee, right? Technically, both are used in pastry and tart crusts. For pate sucree, I've had best luck (minimal shrinking) with the Pierre Herme recipe so far. The ground almonds appears to be key, as using various techniques with other pate sucree recipes did not yield a big difference in shrinking for me. I haven't tried the nut-based pate sucree recipe from Mes Tartes yet, but Ferber claims that it does not shrink and needs no liner/weights to prevent shrinking.
  9. Jessica's Biscuit still has it in stock, although the price has gone up from when I bought it (together with Desserts). http://www.ecookbooks.com/p-1990-chocolate...erre-herme.aspx
  10. I'm 99% sure it is what she is specifying. These stock bases come in (large) tins and are not a powder. They tend to be pricey as Torakris mentioned in the other thread, but they last a long time. I suppose you could also freeze portions if there are concerns about spoilage.
  11. I recently had the opportunity to try Otokomae (Masahiro and Hiyayakko) tofu for the first time and was quite impressed, especially with the Masahiro. I enjoyed the creaminess and texture a lot, although a little goes a long way. You can almost eat this stuff on its own, and I think it would add a fantastically rich taste/texture for mousses and other cold desserts that use tofu. If I had access to this stuff, I'd probably eat a small portion of it every day for either breakfast or dinner. It is that good.
  12. I've used this before in Japan. AFAIK, it is a Chinese-inspired Japanese product. I seem to recall that it was discussed before on Egullet, Torakris would know. EDITED: I found the thread. http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=32606&st=20
  13. This is straying from the topic, but the tiger skin sponge cakes that I've had have been from commercial Chinese bakeries (here in Vancouver). My understanding is that they basically all use commercial emulsifiers in their sponge cakes. I can't remember the name of the product at the moment, but these emulsifiers are also used for sponge cakes that you by from supermarkets and lower-end bakeries in Japan. (It was a Japanese product.) EDITED: I found the link. Riken is a Japanese company. http://www.rikenvitamin.jp/int/emulsifier/index.html http://www.rikenvitamin.jp/int/emulsifier/...ion/04cake.html Also, this thread talks about the use of mixes/stabilizers in sponge cakes typically found in Chinese bakeries. Read from post #9 down: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=71162
  14. Japanese chefs and cookbooks use a different way to refer to the stiffness of whipping, which I find a bit more precise. Stiff peaks would be the reference point, so here the chef is referring to 4/10ths or 5/10ths of stiff speaks. Or, if you prefer, "whipping 4/10ths of a way to stiff peaks." I simplified this to percentages for ease of explanation, which may have been confusing. I hope the above makes sense. Overall, I wouldn't categorize traditional castella cake as light by any stretch of the imagination. It is dense but moist (yet not soaked) and the crumb doesn't fall apart. If you break apart a slice of castella, it separates more into clumps I guess. Not crumbs. It is very distinct from any sponge cake I have made or had (genoise, separated egg or chiffon--unsoaked or soaked). Not to be repetitive, but I have had lots of "castella cake" that is not like the real thing at all--from non-Japanese bakeries especially. But also cheap castella cake in Japan that was just plain sponge cake--nothing special.
  15. Good to know! I wasn't aware that Bunmeido Hawaii is shipping now.
  16. Since this is the P&B forum, I would say Cake Bible by RLB and Village Baker by Joe Ortiz. The list is missing a definitive book for patisserie recipes, but I don't own PH10, so in lieu of that I would probably take Bo Friberg's Professional Pastry Chef for its breadth of recipes, even though I have yet to work through my copy. Maybe the Bo Friberg book will push out the Cake Bible because of its sheer breadth, but we'll have to see.
  17. Both the Bunmeido and Shinju's link from another manufacturer say that the coarse sugar is mixed into the batter (some of it ending up on the bottom). BTW, here is a link that shows what zarame (coarse) sugar looks like: http://shop.tomizawa.co.jp/category/data_d...=06&pg=&ID=3898 It's too bad there isn't a Bunmeido outlet in California, or anywhere on the continent for that matter. Maybe you can find a local source that flies it in? For the CakeChef Butter Castella recipe, the instructions say to foam to about 40-50% of full foam. I don't interpret that as thin foam, but the opposite--thick foam or only 40% aerated.
  18. I've made the Butter Castella recipe before. It was good, but nothing like the dense texture of Bunmeido castella. Of course, it could have been my technique. Couple of notes: 1. The recipe calls for "hakko butter" or cultured butter. This is of course a twist on traditional castella (traditionally no added fats). 2. There is no extra step (before putting in the oven) described in the video or text. Note that one of the Bunmeido sites shows the baker carefully stirring bubbles out of the batter before it goes into the oven, but the CakeChef photo seems to show a decently dense crumb. 3. It does say to invert to cool. You can see it flipped over in the last photo. I'll add one more tasting note about Bunmeido castella (based on memory, the cakes I have in the fridge are the "maki" type). The Bunmeido process uses coarse sugar mixed into the batter at the very end. If I recall correctly, some of this settles into the bottom skin. Now on foam and genoise cakes, the skin generally just doesn't taste that great and is a good reason to trim cakes, in addition to the need for leveling. However, the coarse sugar makes the skin on the Bunmeido cakes taste really good. In fact, I usually take a knife and scrape off the "skin" that is stuck to the parchment paper on Bunmeido castella and eat it, it is that good. Mary, you're welcome for the videos, now I have that jingle permanently stuck in my head.
  19. BTW, Bunmeido had a seasonal Yogurt Castella on sale (680 yen for 1/2 block size) when I went through Narita Airport. I stupidly held back on buying, but will ask my wife to pick one up in a few weeks. Gratuitous Youtube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4it1Ji7IEnQ 80s version:
  20. I am thinking of trying this recipe, while I still have some Bunmeido castella in the fridge to compare: http://braunsato.blog28.fc2.com/blog-entry-270.html Just eggs, flour, granulated sugar, mizuame and zarame (coarse sugar). I may substitute the mizuame for honey. Castella, at least the traditional kind, should have no oil, milk or leaveners. Having said that, I've had a lot of cheap, sub-par castella sold at bakeries and supermarkets. Those may have used some of the above ingredients.
  21. Not just the olden days, it is still standard practice to identify certain species depending on the stage of growth and season caught. This makes a lot of sense to me as the qualities of fish can change over time.
  22. I say stick to your guns. I wouldn't ask a high end pastry shop to churn out a blue frosting--unless the frosting needed to be flavored with blueberry liqueur or something.
  23. Has anyone tried any of the "new" (to me) Japanese liqueurs like tomato and Suntory Milmix (strawberry, macha and black sesame)? Also, how is the yuzu liqueur? http://www.suntory.co.jp/liqueur/milmix/product/index.html I would mostly be using this for baking and not drinking. I recently picked up a lychee and green apple liqueur, but haven't cracked them open yet. Was also tempted to pick up an apricot liqueur.
  24. It is odd. I looked at the ingredients of various castella cakes recently while in Japan, and I don't recall oil in any of them. My gold standard for castella is Bunmeido, but this is coming from an (ex-)Tokyoite. I have also tried several castella recipes and have never come even remotely close to the moistness and texture of Bunmeido castella. As you say, the results are generally too light and the crumb too open. Based on my few trials to date, I would say that it's essential to use an invert sugar (honey, mizuame or some combination thereof).
  25. Good to hear you found a recipe you liked. I'm also not a fan of PH's cocoa madelaines. In fact, I need to sticky that page to remind myself not to make it again.
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