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Sarah Phillips

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Everything posted by Sarah Phillips

  1. Hi chefpeon, I couldn't help but notice your post. Your words sound so close to my original thoughts! And, you have posted on my website, too, and you once did some work for me on decorating cakes, since you are so talented.....I am still a big admirer or your work! But, I always give others credit where credit is due.....Unless you thought up the exact same thing on your own, did the exact same research (which I seem to recall you did after you read my website)......And, have the exact same/similiar words to describe your findings as I do, too! I will call that amazing! In fact, I have written repeatedly in my website, baking911.com, since 2000, and published in my Baking 9-1-1 Book (2003, Simon and Schuster) the same thoughts... "There is no longer a need to let ingredients warm to room temperature with today's electric mixers. The instruction in today's cookbooks is an old-fashioned hold-over from long ago! How to bake a butter cake with cold ingredients! The main concern when mixing a butter cake is temperature. I have been doing a lot of research into the topic. To get the best volume, the batter should stay between 60 to 65 degrees F throughout the mixing process. So, I have found that that means that all ingredients should be used from from the refrigerator if using an electric mixer, otherwise the butter will melt, ruining the batter's emulsion. I have proven this with my own work and wrote about this in my Baking 9-1-1 Book, Simon and Schuster, 2003, page 14. "Old fashioned ngredients were hand mixed, hence the need for warmer ingredients so they'd mix faster. Today, we use electric mixers most of the time and they warm the ingredients. This may sound blasphemous, but I think the whole room temperature thing is old-fashioned. I usually use ingredients cold from the refrigerator except for temperature-sensitive ingredients such as chocolate. In the case of creaming the butter and sugar, cold butter will take longer to get to the right consistency before you can add the sugar, but it will get there...I always use (eggs) right from the refrigerator..." I have measured with an Instant Read Thermometer, that the batter stays in the temperature range of about 65 degrees F! In fact, science has proven that butter is best aerated at a relatively cool 65 degrees F (shortening creams most effectively between 75 and 80 degrees F.)." I show the whole process on my blog, all the temperature ranges, from beginning to end, when mixing a butter cake! edited to add: In fact, someone pointed out Bruce Healy's books to me later on, and he even recommends chilling the flour, as well! Oh, well, chefpeon.....
  2. Nice looking recipe, K8! (And, never let a frozen bunch of bananas fall out of the freezer and drop on you foot! OUCH!)
  3. I agree with K8! I don't use overripe bananas when making banana bread! (By the way, you can freeze extra bananas in their peels! Just throw them in as is! Cool, huh!?)
  4. Hi MightyD, Just my 2 cents! How many bananas does the recipe call for? What kind of leavening are you using? Does the recipe call for buttermilk or lemon juice? Can you post the recipe? It does make a difference in the outcome as to whether you mash or puree your bananas! I have found that when you roughly mash them, you'll get a better texture from the bread. When you puree them, you add too much excess liquid and goo to the recipe, getting what you describe - a heavy, dense, black bottom or banana glop that has a hard time baking properly, as you have found. That part of the bread won't rise very high because it's heavy and dense. The trick is to lightly mash them with a fork and then measure in a measuring cup meant for dry ingredients. About 1 or so cups mashed banana per recipes works well as a general rule. I like to use baking soda with bananas. Here's a recipe if you need one http://www.baking911.com/asksarahbb/index.php?showtopic=926
  5. Hi, I saw your post and became interested in it. I have done a lot of work with fruit purees in baking http://www.baking911.com/healthy/baking_101.htm My Healthy Oven Baking Book, Doubleday, 1999, is an example. I have posted several recipes on my site from my work. Here's an example. http://www.baking911.com/recipes/cakes/lemonglazed.htm If you have any questions, let me know!
  6. devlin, I agree with you - it's unprofessional - ok! But, it happens at all levels of business all the time. There's nothing you can do about it. But, you asked: "Any suggestions about how to deal with this sort of thing? Or maybe I just do what I guess is the obvious, simply drop it and move on." Maybe you just wanted to vent? I was just answering your question, that's why I responded. Good luck!
  7. devlin, I don't know if this is too late, but I have some advice. I have been involved with sales for a long time - I have had my own brand of baking mixes called Healthy Oven, which were in major grocery store chains across the US and in Whole Foods, for ten years, I was a food broker before that, selling 2,000 food products, and and now I run my own site, baking911.com. My word of advice is that it takes a long time to cultivate a client. It took me two years to get Healthy Oven products into Wal Mart Superstores. One year to get my products nationwide into Whole Foods. The other accounts took years. It takes years and years to cultivate relationships (key word) with clients. It has taken years to attract sponsors to baking911.com. I have had lots of people tell me to call them "next week" at a specified time and they aren't there - and, I finally get a hold of them months or years later - and, they eventually become a sponsor or buy my products. It's typical, and it happens all the time because sometimes I am not their top priority at the moment and when next week comes, sometimes an emergency arises in their company, and I get put on the bottom of the list - or they were emotional when they saw my product and then when they talk with the boss, he or she shoots their idea down. That's why there are salespeople and that's part of our job! You have to be patient. Business relationships take a really long time to develop, and just because someone raves about you and your products, doesn't mean they are going to buy from you right away. There are many reasons why they don't. The restaurant may be nervous about working with you because you are a one-person show. What if they sign a contract with you and you go out of business? Then what happens to them? They are concerned about quality and having a reliable source of bread, as well as having an excellent product. <Maybe they are nervous about you as a sole proprietorship. You have to think about the sale in their eyes. Remember a sale goes both ways - they have to feel comfortable, too. Think about what they want - It's not just great tasting bread. They want consistent quality, a reliable source, timely deliveries, someone they can call at the last minute and increase the order x% for a big party, and a long business relationship with someone. You my not be big enough for them. Who knows? Don't take it personally. The chef isn't going to tell you that or neither is the owner because people never do. They may want to watch you for awhile and see what happens. The chef became [passionate about your product, but your business may be too small for them. So, just keep in contact and take it as a compliment and move on. That's the way it goes! Or, maybe their current bread provider is the owner's son? And, the chef is pissed and that's why he made such a big show with your bread - yours is delicious and fabulous and the Chef wants a great tasting bread in his restaurant, not one that is picked simply because someone is a relative! You don't know! There are a thousand maybe's that are out of your control. Maybe 10 people quit last week and bread quality is last on their list right now. You don't know....And, I find it's a waste of time to rack your brain and get mad. It's out of your control. You have to be persistent in a friendly way for a long time. Drop by and say hi. Call on the phone every couple of months. You have a great fan, and you can use the chef as a reference in your other sales calls. Just say that he raved about your bread! Good for you! You got some excellent feedback! I would move on, but stay in touch with the restaurant because the chef is a fan! You never know - The chef may call you for a special party down the road, or call you someday. Or, you may never do business with him at all at that location. He may refer you to a friend or open another business someday. Business works in funny ways. If all buisness accounts were so easy to get, you'd have a booming business right now! HEHEHE! Keep smiling and be positive and continue to believe in your product. (And, don't be overly pushy - it never works.) That's what sells more bread.
  8. K8, Well, your Mom gave you wonderful advice - And, you didn't ramble on in my book - I always love hearing from you! ~
  9. Hi K8! Did you test the baking powder to see if it was still active? That's the key! If there were lumps throughout the baking powder, then somehow the baking powder became moistened or damp, which activates it. It's always sound advice to use dry, unspent powdery baking powder and baking soda when you bake! ~ (YUM! Almond paste is soooo delicious!)
  10. Dailey, All I am doing is providing a scientific study by a professional food scientist on which frostings should be refrigerated and which ones shouldn't. If someone choses not to refrigerate something, it is up to them. Just because noone has gotten sick from the practice, does not mean it is not safe according to the scientific guidelines I am providing. I expect my findings to upset a lot of people and to cause lots of controversy. However, anyone can chose what they would like to do in the end, and decide whether or not to refrigerate their frostings.
  11. You are welcome. Ok, I will do my best -- good ideas! I have baked good storage charts I put together on my website with my expert years ago that answer your questions based upon research we did.... http://www.baking911.com/pantry/storage_baked_goods.htm Some of it has to be edited and updated as I am currently doing -- If you have any questions, please ask. Also, look at the current information we are researching (on the link on my other post) because we are going to do a lot more with it -- I am just frustrated with people asking me questions and no one having answers! So, I decided I am going to attempt to provide as many as I can!! I hope it all helps!
  12. HA! They're very, very expensive! ~
  13. I agree! Hip-hip Hurray, sugarella! ~
  14. FYI: This one was analyzed by my food scientist and needs refrigeration..... explanation on http://www.baking911.com/asksarahbb/index.php?showtopic=1299
  15. I tend to agree with you and Eileen! Look, I just hired a microbiologist/food scientist. We will be "publishing" a chart on baking911.com outlining which frostings need refrigeration and which ones don't and WHY. I have been asked this question so many times, I decided to do a whole study on the topic! We just started today! http://www.baking911.com/asksarahbb/index.php?showtopic=1299
  16. Hmmm...it's a very interesting thought, Patrick...
  17. Hi K8! The recipe you linked to on your post on baking911.com, has a different proportion of cream to powdered sugar and fat than Rosie's recipe, and mine does not refrigeration. That's the difference between the two!
  18. I would recommend that Rosie's recipe remains under refrigeration until the recipe is anaylzed by a professional microbiologist -- whether or not something needs refrigeration has to do with the ratio of whipping cream to fat and sugar, how well an emulsion has been formed (such as with a ganache recipe), and so on. Each buttercream recipe type is different. I am not a microbiologist and there have been changes in my philosophy, after I have done a lot more research on the topic, especially concerning the storage of chocolate emulsions, such as ganache. http://www.baking911.com/asksarahbb/index.php?showtopic=807 Also, baking911.com's food scientist, plus baking911.com's advisory board's food scientist, Shirley Corriher, both recommend that a microbiologist analyze such recipes to determine whether they need refrigeration or not because there are so many variables. All of the recipes in my Baking 9-1-1 Book and the ones that I have authored have all been analyzed professionally, by the way, and the storage information is accurate. It's the way I have to answer since I am working with the public....I am sure you understand! But, I can give storage recommendations for frostings, and it's up to you to judge whether or not you want to follow them or not from your own past experiences....
  19. I am glad I also pointed out this information on my website with the Italian Meringue Buttercream Recipe! http://www.baking911.com/asksarahbb/index.php?showtopic=1209 I wrote: "*NOTE: In the book, ON FOOD AND COOKING, by Harold McGee, page 108, he writes that 'Because much of the syrup's heat is lost to the bowl...the foam mass normally gets no hotter than 130 or 135 degrees F, which is insufficient to kill salmonella.' You can use reconstituted powdered pasteurized egg whites to make the Italian Meringue Buttercream if you are concerned."
  20. davecap and others...just to get back to you...I have not had the time to test Chef Gand's recipe, yet! I will try this week....Anyone else try it?
  21. lenabo, your cakes are simply wonderful!
  22. I thought they were moist and tender, but you know how each taste bud is different, lol. Taste when it comes to baked goods is so subjective. Looking over the recipe again, given the quantities, you could probably up the liquid portion a bit more, maybe start with an additional 1 or 2 tablespoons of sour cream or even milk and it should be ok. What do you think Sarah? I would imagine the reason the author used baking soda was because of the sour cream, a free ride with the addition of acid. ← Your right, RodneyCK, Chef Gand did add in baking soda because of the sour cream, but she could have used baking powder and let the sour flavor of the sour cream come through. Baking soda also would have helped with more browning in the recipe. Sometimes the texture is not right if you have an acidic ingredient and do not have some baking soda in it -- it "all depends". Recipe development is all subjective - Chef Gand may not be incorrect in her recipe - I just want to make that clear so no one gets excited - recipe development is in the eyes of who is developing it - everyone does things differently. My way is my way - Chef Gand's is her way -- we each have our own signature way of developing and composing recipes. I have never tried Chef Gand's recipe, but I will this afternoon because now I am curious as to how it really turns out..... I have a similar recipe I know you are familiar with, RodneyCK, my Lemon Blueberry Cake Muffins, where I use 1 1/2 cups ap flour, and 1/2 cup milk. The sugar is at 3/4 cup and they have a slight dome. They are tender and cakelike in texture and quite moist. I do not need an extra egg yolk, nor extra milk.. http://www.baking911.com/asksarahbb/index.php?showtopic=270
  23. Dave, Thanks for posting Chef Gand's recipe. How did you measure the flour? The recipe indicates 1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour. It bothers me that the cupcakes "deflated" meaning something went wrong somewhere. Not all cupcakes will dome. Doming has to do with the ratio of ingredients in the recipe, the baking temperature, mixing methods used and a whole host of reasons. In general, the more the recipes resemble high ratio cake recipes, the less they will dome - the more the recipes resemble muffin recipes, the more they will dome.
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