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Everything posted by MightyD

  1. MightyD

    Preserving Summer

    ← momcook, that sounds awesome - thanks!
  2. MightyD

    Preserving Summer

    Does anyone have a good recipe for cherry preserves that do not require commercial pectin? I've been searching high and low for such a recipe but no luck
  3. Someone told me of a grocery store in Toronto that sells only local Ontario products/produce - does anyone know where it is?
  4. I've always wanted to tip the kitchen staff but have no idea of how much I should tip. Assuming that the tip would be split between the entire kitchen crew, each person would end up getting about $5 - $10 - kinda measly, isn't it?
  5. MightyD

    Preserving Summer

    i've recently been bitten by the make-your-own-jam bug but have a few questions ... i've always used the cold-plate technique to test the gel on my jams but have on occasion overcooked the jam. then i read somewhere that it is really enough to simply bring the boiling jam mixture up to 104C (220F) - is it truly that simple??!! also, i've recently purchased the christine ferber book that everyone is raving about - i tried her strawberry jam recipe but i thought it looked really runny, and didn't pass the cold-plate test so i kept boiling away until i thought it was done. lo and behold, when i refrigerated a portion of the jam, it turned into very sticky rubber. definitely not good. should i have just trusted the recipe and taken it off the heat when the mixture hit 220F?
  6. hey robert - can a cake covered with your recipe be chilled, then brought back to room temperature? i find that some ganache glazes will crack when subjected to temperature changes.
  7. i need to make about 200 cupcakes for an upcoming wedding ... can i bake them without using a muffin pan? i don't have that many muffin pans ... are foil muffin papers strong enough on their own? (gawd i hate the wedding cupcake craze ...)
  8. i use the chocolate fondant from the Cake Bible as well and i've never had issues with it. did you let it rest overnight to allow the moisture to distribute? i usually zap the whole thing in the microwave, as K8 mentioned above, then plop it in a shortening-greased bowl and knead until smooth. if it's sticky, i just add a touch more shortening. makes it very pliable and easy to work with.
  9. it's actually a recipe from a very dear friend who made me promise to keep it a secret ... she'd destroy me if i let out the secret!! but what i can say is that it does contain over a cup of mashed banana, sour cream, and only baking soda for leavening. i don't puree the bananas, i put it through a ricer. isn't that pretty much the same as mashing it finely? i agree that when pureed, the bananas turn into a watery mess but putting it through the ricer still allows it some body. maybe if i baked it in a cake pan, as Darcie suggested above. i really don't notice the texture being denser on the bottom though ... hmmm ... many different techniques to try here ... roughly mash the bananas, bake it in a shallower pan, try lesser-ripe bananas ... holy shamoley that's a lot of banana bread to eat ...
  10. nah, the darker part doesn't taste any different - just doesn't look as pretty that's all.
  11. well, i don't have the bananas in chunks - i actually put them through a ricer to get a nice smooth puree. i bake it in the lower 3rd of the oven, so the whole pan sits pretty much smack dab in the middle of the oven during baking, and it's in an aluminum loaf pan. it starts getting darker at about the bottom third of the loaf. at first i thought that the bottom was getting overbaked, hence the darker bottom, but the texture and moistness feels the same to me. regarding the butter being too soft and not emulsifying properly, won't that lead to a heavier bottom as well? i'm not really experiencing that at all ... mebbe i should try it in a cake pan...
  12. it tastes the same, texture's the same, but the bottom half of the banana loaf is always darker - what gives?
  13. i was taught to use the plastic wrap thing in blind-baking and while i loved the ease of it compared to parchment or foil, i've always wondered if the heat from the oven would cause chemicals in the plastic to leach into the food - anyone? anyone?
  14. oh i've done that before! yeah, go ahead - it won't kill it. very gently warm up the unset gelee, then add your extra bloomed gelatin. just don't bring it to a boil and you're good to go.
  15. i use a 1:1 ratio with a bit of butter added. i guess i'll tinker around with a small batch and see what happens. thanks!
  16. i need to make a milk chocolate ganache as a cake filling for a client. my regular recipe uses bittersweet chocolate - can i just substitute the bittersweet for milk chocolate? i'm concerned that the extra milk solids in milk chocolate would mess up the ganache consistency ... help?
  17. here's a dilemma i face when making sculpted cakes ... i HATE all that waste from the trimmings!!!! what do you do with them? can't really dry them out to use as crumbs because they have frosting in them. can't eat that much cake or i'll need a whole new wardrobe ... i'm on the verge of signing off on them. thoughts?
  18. how about pistachio paste? i've made pistachio truffles with white chocolate and it turns a lovely shade of green.
  19. "The Measure Of Her Powers". it is a compilation of mfk fisher writings from her various books. sort of like a tasting menu of mfk fisher.
  20. i use the fondant recipe from the cake bible but up the gelatin to 1.25x. the usual recipe is not stretchy enough and 1.25x the gelatin makes it wonderfully stretchy but can be tricky to work with. because there is more gelatin, the fondant is very difficult to roll out - it literally bounces. i just throw it into the microwave for 15 - 30 seconds to warm it up and it works beautifully. i've even upped the gelatin to 1.5x and it still works but you'd have to nuke it a little longer to get it workable. otherwise, your arms will just fall off from all that rolling and your table legs will give out.
  21. rodneyck - to make your version, is it just exactly like a regular imbc but you bring the temp up higher? same proportions etc? choux - do you just replace the white sugar with the brown? what temp do you bring it up to? jeannecake - your idea sounds REALLY good too! i like it that the caramel shards would provide a textural interest although i'm not sure if you could feel it through all that cake! wow - egulleters ALWAYS come through!!!! you guys rock!!
  22. hi all, i need to make a caramel imbc for an upcoming wedding and would prefer not to add a finished caramel to plain imbc as i feel that it would make it too sweet. has anyone tried making an imbc with brown sugar? or caramelizing the sugar before adding it to the stiff egg whites? any help would be much appreciated!
  23. i agree completely with you that fondant is just simply awful to eat. but the one BIG plus it has is that it helps insulate the cake somewhat in hot weather. so if you have a wedding in the middle of a blisteringly hot summer, you can be sure that your lovely wedding cake will hold up better than a buttercream-frosted cake. besides, you don't have to eat the fondant. i never do. i hate the way it tastes. but i like the insides. and isn't what's inside that counts, after all?
  24. also depends if you will be refrigerating the cake. chiffon cakes will retain its lovely soft texture even when cold while a butter cake will be much denser due to its butter content.
  25. doronin, omigod ... i think i'm in love ... i went onto that japanese knives website and i was getting heart palpitations from seeing all those bee-yoo-tiful knives ... i want i want i want i want
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