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Everything posted by RuthWells

  1. I always thought that creaming the sugar in the butter was advantageous because the sharp crystalline edges of the sugar help to cut up and aerate the butter more thoroughly than I would just beating the butter alone. I have no idea whether that's true, lol, but that's what I've always believed.
  2. Beautiful. What colors are your cocoa butters? I'm looking to expand my stash.
  3. Hi Jim, I have done white chocolate and cranberry in the past, but something about a cranberry fondant really grabbed my imagination.
  4. I am remiss in not reporting back on my cranberry bon bon experiments. I had cranberries that had been steeping in vodka, so I drained them, cooked them down with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon, then cuisinarted the heck out of them. I did not add any sugar. I also did not take notes of proportions used, etc. I blame an excess of holiday cheer. The puree made a killer cranberry ganache when heated and mixed with El Rey's Caoba 41% milk chocolate. I molded these in Cariaco 60.5% (El Rey, again) and they were sublimely tart and sweet, and perfectly balanced. Of course, I'll never
  5. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences - I'm looking forward to playing!
  6. What a good idea, Mjx. I was thinking perhaps a drop of lemon or lime oil to bring out the pucker. So, you just minced and then cooked the cranberries down before adding vodka & salt?
  7. I woke up this morning thinking about a molded chocolate Bon Bon filled with cranberry fondant. The first place to start is obviously to cook down some cranberries and blend some concentrated compote with the fondant, but I'm afraid I won't be able to get enough intense cranberry flavor into the fondant without wrecking the texture. Has anyone ever tried this? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
  8. Kerry, please move me to the "maybe hopefully" column...
  9. Thanks for the link, Curls, that is slick!
  10. Sweet bunnies! Can you say more about the JVK? Anything that makes filling molds less messy intrigues me...
  11. It would take a major catastrophe to keep me away! Count me in.
  12. I am consumed with envy!!!! I must, must, must manage to attend next year. Have dates been set?
  13. I'm afraid I'm out - the surgery that was supposed to happen in January has been pushed to Feb 16, and I'll be just getting back in the swim by conference time. Next year, for sure!
  14. RuthWells

    Buddha's Hand Uses

    I had the most delicious Buddha's Hand martini several years ago. I'd use the syrup to invent cocktails!
  15. Depending on some other major events I have to schedule, I'd love to join - put me as a maybe!
  16. Well, it took two days, but the Grand Marnier ganache finally firmed up enough to dip. My guess is that I could/should have let the praline go longer in the food processor, which would have given me more of a paste (if it didn't burn out first, lol!). The pralines are very.....textural, but tasty. I do like the flavor combo. Onward to the salted caramels...
  17. I am working my way through the hand-dipped chocolates in this book. Had terrific success with the ginger caramel crunch, but am leery of the two slabs currently resting in my kitchen -- one is the Grand Marnier and one is the Chinese Five Spice praline. I caught an error in the recipe for the Grand Marnier and used 1 oz of liqueur, not the (incorrect) 1/4 cup, but the ganache still came out extremely soft. Anyone else have this problem? I'm hoping that the overnighT rest will firm it up enough to dip, but at this point, I have my doubts. The proportions on the praline are just funky - 3oz
  18. Yeah, I think my chocolate wasn't quite at the right point when I started trying the ruffles. Also, I received the Baking with Julia DVD for Christmas, and seeing Alice actually make the ruffles makes the whole process more accessible. In the video she describes using the offset spatula to sort of slide under the chocolate, rather than scraping from the top surface of the chocolate, which is what I was trying to do.
  19. Thanks for the nice comments -- I was actually attempting Alice Medrich-style chocolate ruffles and failed miserably, ending up with cones and shards and who-knows-what-all. (Thank goodness it all looks good when massed together!) The basic premise is, warm the back of a sheet pan, spread with choc, chill in the fridge, and then let come back to malleable temps before trying to shape. Alice doesn't temper her choc, and she lets the sheets set up hard and then warm up in the kitchen slowly. Rose L. B. tempers her choc, lets it set for 5 minutes in the fridge, and then takes it out to come
  20. This was the centerpiece of my holiday dessert buffet this year -- the chocolate mousse cake from Healy/Bugat's "The Art of the Cake". My decor ended up a bit different from theirs, but it was delicious -- layers of chocolate mousse with layers of almond japonaise. I wish I'd take a pic of the interior!
  21. Oh gawd, now you've made me hungry for burnt sugar ice cream....
  22. I have been disappointed in the King Arthur Whole Grain cookbook, as well as in Bakewise.
  23. Burnt Sugar Ice Cream Report: Simply wonderful! Be sure to let the caramel cook long enough, and you will be rewarded with a completely tantalizing caramel ice cream. We ate it with sugared and toasted sliced almonds on top, and I'm tempted to mix them into the ice cream next time I make it.
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