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Posts posted by jturn00

  1. I just got back from montreal and stopped by suite 88 a chocolate shop on St. Denis St. They had some really interesting chocolates which were delicious. One category was chocolates filled with different liquors /cocktail combinations.

    I didn't actually realize this until after I got them and she asked if I knew how to eat them. I said I think so and she then mentioned that I bit a portion and "drink" the liquor and then eat the shell or eat them in one bite. (I had thought they were ganaches).

    How would one get the liquor into the molded chocolate?

  2. The PCB colors need to used between 86 to 91.5°F (30 to 33°C).  Also room temperature plays an important role.  For me, around 70°F (21°C) works best.

    I use a digital thermometer to check the temperature of the PCB colors but it sometimes gets messy or tedious with multiple color. Does the yogurt maker keep the colors in this temperature range? It would make my life easier when I paint the molds using multiple colors.

  3. I am going to Montreal this weekend for 3 days with my girlfriend. I didn't realize the issue was this months but after reading egullet and finding out about gourmet's issue, I went to the newsstand in my office building and got the issue. But I live in NY so that might be a long way to get the issue. I just started to look at it on my commute this morning and it looks great. Three days is not be enough time to try all the places. Rather than try to over schedule the trip I think we are just going to go around the different areas and exlpore!



  4. I subscribe to the following magazines.

    Fine Cooking

    CIA's Kitchen & Cook

    Art Culinare

    Cuisine at Home

    Bon Appetit.

    I find my favorites are Fine Cooking and Art Culinare. I only get bon appetit becasue it is cheap. I save fine cooking and have given it as a subscription to my father who proceeds to call me the day after he gets it having made 2-3 recipes from the issue. I find that Gourmet, Saveur and Bon Appetit have way too much advertising and just hype what they think would be cool. I find that fine cooking is one of the best out there balancing good recipes (using original techniques) and having articles that describe good techniques. I also used to subscribe to cook's illustrated but find that they over complicated things by trying over and over to test the best methods. Everytime that the I tried to cook one of their recipes if I didn't use their "best" technique the dish came out ok but not great.

    Currently I am looking into subscribing to The Art of Eating and Gastronomica as literary looks into food.

  5. Thanks for the detailed description Wendy. I don't feel so bad that most chef's have started chocolate making by "making a mess" and I will need to practice to work cleaner!

    I will also be alert to not to pour too much chocolate into the mold. (Which I am guilty of.)

    I was also trying to pour the chocolate back into the x3210 chocovision machine which made it difficult to work cleanly. I am going try pouring into a big bowl.

    For my fillings, I've used a pastry bag in the past to fill the molds but for my more liquid ganaches I am going to try a squeeze bottle.



  6. I am planning a trip to Biarritz and the surrounding region with my girlfriend at the end of the summer (Late August/early September 2006).

    My initial searches show that there have been a lot of discussion on the restaurants of the region which I haven't had time to read but I will.

    One item I am looking for is any place (France or in neighboring spain) that would offer a cooking class or have daily cooking classes, hopefully in english.



  7. Thanks for reminding me :biggrin:

    Overall it was a good experience. Here is my experience:

    It was a dinner for my mom's birthday. There were 4 of us.

    Upon arrival we were quickly offered to have our coats taken, when the rest of our party was taken we were quickly seated. The first impression was the level of noise. While nice, it was hard to hear. The menu offered a variety of selections to appeal to everyone. We were quickly greeted and while we were not having cocktails we were going to have wine. The sommilier was a little doofy and I think my dad was looking for an overall recommendation (he was having trouble deciding between two wines and we explained what type of dishes we were having but the sommilier said both were good so my dad decided on a nice Australian)The waiter came promptly to ask if we had any questions. There were lots of options and I was having a hard time to decide what I wanted.

    While we mostly like steak, there many of us decided to order dishes other than steak. We ordered three appetizers. Crawfish & Dungeness Crab Cake, Grilled Pizza with Smoked Trout and Smoked Salmonl and 1/2 dozen Oysters. All were very good. (I really liked the pizza's flavors but it seemed as if it was made ahead and the dough a little chewy but I would order it again.) The crab cake was really good with not a lot if any bread, I don't like oysters but there were 3 pairs of different oysters from varying places.

    For main courses we ordered, Wild Mushroom Salad, Quinoa, Aged Goat Cheese (an appetizer for my girlfriend), I ordered a lamb dish, we orded mussels and a duck dish. All were excellent. (I wasn't sure about the correct cooking of the lamb so I ordered it medium rare but the waiter was no help). We also ordered a side of aspargus which was excellent as well.

    It is important to note that the service started to slow between the appetizers and main courses (we didn't seem to notice the time delay but let it be noted we arrived at 7:30 and were promply seated). It seemed to take forever to order dessert but what was annoying was that the restaurant was clearing out and the waiter was chatting it up with a patron at the bar without any concern for us. (We were seated right by the waiter/busboy server station.) We ordered two desserts. A Deep Dish Chocolate Cream Pie and a Caramel Whiskey Éclairs having worked in pastry kitchens both were excellent. But the Caramel Whiskey Éclairs in my opinion should not have been dipped in caramel. With the sauce it was too sweet. (It would have been fine with out the crunch caramel.) Being a chocolholic I really liked the Chocolate Cream Pie.

    So this is where the service/time got to us. The coffee came promptly but it seemed to take forever to get a second cup of coffee. Our waiter, never seemed to notice us so we had to ask a busboy for second cups. He did come promptly and brought the coffee. Then the check came and we were ready to leave. (We got our coats ourselves only because we were all waiting there for people to leave the restrooms so we handed our tickets to the attendant). Overall, I think we left at 10:30pm. I feel that three hours was a little too long to be there but they didn't rush us. Other than the overall noise level (too high) and sitting for a little too long (i think 2-2:30 hours would be more acceptable), we really enjoyed the food. I went to the book store to see if the pizza or mushroom salad were in any of Bobby Flay's cookbooks because they were great dishes that my girlfriend wants me to make again. I found the chocolate cream pie in an issue of chocolatier magazine and I would be making that sometime soon. I don't know if we would go back if only for the reason to try new places in the city. But for business dinners and events I would go back.

    Let me know if anyone has any more questions or want any more details.


    We were happy with the portions.

  8. I guess there isn't much I can do right now. I am going with a group that can test this place. One person is almost a vegetarian, another a steak lover, a person who likes to eat fish and myself who would either fall in the the category of steak lover or fish or lamb or anything:-).

  9. Hi, I wanted to see what people use as their preferred method for putting the tempered chocolate into the chocolate molds.

    I traditionally used a ladle and poured chocolate into the mold then used a scraper to clean off the extra chocolate. I let it sit for a little then empty the chocolate either back into my chocovision machine or onto a silpat.

    I saw a picture of a chocolatier ( I think norman love on the back cover of fine cooking but I would have to check) using a squeese bottle and putting the chocolate into each individual cavity. Then empty the molds onto a silpat or back into the machine. It seems a little more tedious but could be a cleaner technique.

    I always seem to get chocolate all over the place and make a mess.

    Any one have any experiences to share. What do you thinkg of the using the bottle?



  10. There are three ideas, I've used. If you have an oven available then i've done a chocolate fondant with ice cream. The batter can be made ahead put into alumnum tins and then baked when needed 15minues before. (The ice cream should be scooped out ahead and stored frozen) Place both on the plate. Or do chocolate mouse. make the mouse and freeze it in flexipan molds. Un mold and leave frozen on a tray. The day of serving, arrange the number mouses on a tray. Spray them with a chocolate spray mixture (Cocobutter and cocoa powder in a paint sprayer). Carefully place them on the plates with raspberry coulis.

    Edit: Forgot my third idea. I've also done mini tartlets with fruit.

  11. My apartment doesn't have any tiles above the stove. I painted it with a high gloss washable paint that is easy to clean (most of the time). What is a good recommendation of degreaser to remove the grease once it splatters? (I've tried fantastik, windex or clorax spray but am curious if there is a professional or other product that works better than others?).

  12. I highly suggest Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques by Jacques Pépin. I took a class at FCI and this book is similar to the class and materials in La Technique (which I took). Even though my books have lots of information, this book helps remember some techniques (and the french terms) with some excelent photos. It convers the basic techniques of french cooking.

  13. About what size squares do you generally cut the ganache. I was doing 1 inch squares.

    Also as for dipping, when I did my dipping, I had a 2 pronged chocolate dipping fork and 3 pronged. Any ideas as for perference of the different forks?

  14. I saw the repeats last night. To attract a certain demigraphic they tried to choose judges who would appeal to a broad audience.

    I don't know why in the original I don't get dizzy but here they kept jumping back and forth between competitors that I couldn't follow what they were doing. It was annoying.

    I saw Flay on the original Iron Chef and he seems to always pull out his spice mixes and put it on everything. I liked how David Burke made some of his dishes compared to Flay.

  15. My building in NY had a horrible problem. I had a exterminator in twice but that didn't work. Turns out there was a horrible messy tenant on my floor and they were coming from there. I think the vinegar works but I am not sure if you need something to break the water tension like a drop of dawn.

    I found a lot of information on the internet....

  16. There was an article in the NY Times about Mille Crepes cake on May 15, 2005 which seems like an interesting cake. I think the bakery mentioned in the article is the Lady M shop but the article references other books that contain variations.

    I also thought saw a Great Chef's episode where they did a chocolate napoleon, using chocolate puff pastry, and a chocolate cream or pastry cream filling (I forget).


  17. I read Bruni's article, I was going to stay away if If I hadn't read some of the positive feedback here. But $20 for a glass of wine is rediculous. I would like to go there to see what they did to the space since Le Cirque closed. I was an Pastry intern at Le Cirque 2000 and thought the kitchen space was great....

  18. Thank you for all the good info. If the chocolate was for myself I would use it in another application or just plain throw it out since I really like only dark chocolate. Our office got a gift of a 1lb hershey's bar in the shape of a computer. There is no practicle way to eat it without a pick. I guess I could make cookies for the office but I would rather try out some of my new chocolate molds I got for christmas and melt it down. As I won't be eating the chocolate I really don't care about the quality of the chocolate. (my office mates will also eat anything).

    The good information I got here will allow me to start on melting down the bar into mini hersey bars.



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