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Everything posted by mpshort

  1. Thanks for the input everyone! I've decided to go with the oreo bar :-) The title of my entry: "Milk and cookies: a mini 'oreo' bar". I'll post photos of the event.
  2. My contribution to the thread: chocolate babka I actually prefer the brioche recipe. I use it for a hazelnut frangipane brioche. I use 1 pound of the dough, rolled out into a rectangle, spread with the frangipane, roll up, fold in half and place in greased loaf pan; egg wash and sprinkle w/hazelnut streusel.
  3. I have been hoodwinked into participating in our local chocolate festival again. The festival consists of several dozen restaurants, farms, resort pastry chefs producing sweet as well as savory chocolate items. We are each asked to produce 500- 1000 pieces. There will be a judged competition (the judges are usually local, well known chefs) and a people's choice competition. The overwhelming critieria is the quality and strength of/potency of chocolate flavor. There are also points for presentation. The resort chefs usually do a mini-plated dessert. The winning entry last year was exquisite molded chocolates. The year before that a 7th grader won with a "Chocolate Shot" drink. I own a small bakery/cafe; we do panini sandwiches, salads etc.. as well as almost three dozen sweet items. Here is what I'm leaning toward: Chocoate Panini : chocolate brioche, schmear of caramel sauce, semi-sweet chocolate pistoles, grilled w/butter panini style topped w/a squiggle of vanilla creme and a sprinkle of finely crushed mac nut brittle. OR "Oreo" bar: three different flavored mini oreos (vanilla (traditional), espresso, chocolate) served w/ ice cold milk ( I have these really cute white ceramic beverage dispensers ) The oreos are tremendously popular at the shop but I am SO OVER them! on the other hand I don't actually sell the chocolate panini at the shop..... OK, so which one? TIA!
  4. Not really a substitute for purees. I've used to punch up the flavor of a lackluster puree/sauce. I've also used them to decorate the plate; sort of painting with them. Ditto for flavoring tuiles. The savory side of the kitchen would use the pineapple one for their pineapple shrimp kabobs. They're very susceptible to humidity so they have a tendency to lump into somthing very similar to concrete
  5. Aloha! After several years I've finally updated my website: Short N Sweet Bakery & Cafe I own a very small bakery/cafe in the quaint little town of Hawi on the Big Island of Hawaii. Everything is made from scratch with an emphasis on using local produce (so no berry or apple desserts ) I have both a refrigerated and non-refrigerated display cases that contain the following items: german chocolate and pecan fudge brownies variety of cupcakes (very vanilla, snickers, cookies n cream) maple bread pudding key lime (Italian meringue topping), banana cream and peanut butter pie lilikoi cheesecake w/toasted coconut crust flourless chocolate cake lilikoi bars (like lemon bars only with a lilikoi topping) kohala crunch bars ( a version of Allen Wong's hawaiian crunch bars) chocolate delice (from The Simple Art of Baking) coconut macaroons hawaiian raw sugar cookie (Flo Braker's version of pain d'amande made w/hawaiian raw sugar) meringues coconut bread banana bread apricot almond danish pain au chocolat mango coconut buttermilk scones chocolate chip & peanut butter cookies macadamia nut blondies raspberry rugelach palmiers chocolate truffle cookies oreos and sometimes: brioche (pull aparts and brioche au chocolat) challah My question is this: What are your favorite bakery/patisserie items and why? Any suggestions to add to this list? Mahalo for looking and for all your help!
  6. A stabilized form of cocoa butter; you're supposed to add 1% of the crystals to melted couverture at 95F degrees. Stir well and wait 10 minutes before use. Any thoughts/experience? TIA!
  7. My favorite obsession du jour, chocolate bark made with: bittersweet chocolate (Valrhona 70%) + Hawaiian salt + macadamia smoked almonds = * bliss*
  8. Thanks! the IMBC recipe is the Mousseline recipe from the "Cake Bible". Off the top of my head: 2 cups of sugar cooked to firm ball stage, 1 1/2 cups of egg whites + 1/2 cup of sugar (added gradually until stiff but still glossy) Add the cooked sugar syrup while continuing to whip the meringue Whip until cool Add 2 1/2 pounds of softened butter ( I decrease the speed when adding the butter) Add flavorings (for vanilla I add 2 oz of vanilla extract) Here's a photo of a cake I did last weekend: I actually caught a drunk groomsman sticking his finger into the top tier . Before I could stop myself, I turned into "crazed cake decorator" and chased the man down I gave him a few choice expletives about his behavior and he promptly apologized...... although I did get a phone call from the bride (a good friend of mine) and apparently the repentant groomsmen made a full confession complete with how "the crazy lady that made the cake caught me"
  9. Here's mine from 2 years ago...the pot and snowflakes are gingerbread, the tree is a styrofoam base; the fairies, pointsettias,bird tree topper
  10. Ditto what Alanamoana said Put beignets on the menu last week and it worked like a charm.
  11. Second the Cake Bible's IMBC; it's only buttercream I use (have a small cake business). In 10 years I've never had any trouble with it (knock on wood)
  12. mpshort


    Okay, just had purveyor drop off a full sized container of this stuff Mycryo (don't you just love full sized free samples? ) But I have no idea how to use it! Any tips, suggestions and/or help would be much appreciated!
  13. My personal experience: before I even read that article I did notice that my cooked sugar icing wasn't as smooth when I used beet sugar.
  14. I hope I can do this but RLB wrote a great article on sugar here. According to her there is a difference in performance:
  15. You should see my copy of this book, it looks like it's been through a war! Standard recipes that never let me down: Golden Butter cake White chocolate velvet cake White cake (can't remember the specific name, it's the same as the golden butter cake just sub whites for the yolks) Mousseline buttercream (my standard buttercream) Neoclassic buttercream Cocoa souffle roll have a dessert on this week's menu that uses this, roulade style filled with french vanilla ice cream flavored w/ powdered pate choux and swirled ganache; called chocolate eclair ice cream Chocolate cloud cake My standard for buche de noel
  16. My policy is "paid in full 4 weeks prior to the event". You know how you just get a feeling about a bride? Well, my intuition was definitely waving the red flag. I knew it wasn't an issue of not having the money; it was more an issue of my time not being as valuable as her time. If you have the money to rent out the entire Club Grille for a Saturday night, you certainly have enough money for the cake! Next time I will listen to my intuition sooner. It's so stressful to do a cake last minute because you didn't get paid when you should have!
  17. My last wedding cake for the year!!! Can you tell I'm excited??? I love doing cakes but between this and the full time pastry chef gig I'm exhausted. Things get really, really busy during "festive" aka Christmas holidays at work so no more cakes until mid January. Cake details: 15" dummy cake, 12" swiss truffle tortel, 9" lilikoi chiffon w/lilikoi curd and 6" coconut w/caramel all iced in Italian meringue buttercream. All the flowers are gumpaste. The bride was an absolute PIA to deal with: very little communication and follow through. And even though she was a gazillionaire she refused to take the time to mail me payment. She's the first client I have ever had to threaten with "termination of contract". The reception was at Allen Wong's Club Grille. The cake table was decorated beautifully: a bed of orchids lit from underneath.
  18. Thanks everyone! and sorry it's taken me so long to respond; we've been getting slammed at work and I had this wedding cake to make: This is the only description the MOB would give me for this cake: Everything except the moss (that's colored rice noodles is gumpaste: cymbidium, oncidium and dendrobium orchids, ohia bark, uluhe ferns (curly burgundy things). The branches are chocolate covered floral taped wires. I use a cake icer tip, an offset spatula and a dough knife/bench scraper to ice. I use a cooked sugar, all butter buttercream. I apply the icing using the tip and a large pastry bag, spread everything evenly with the spatula and then use the dough knife to smooth.
  19. Thank you! It is a non-edible icing used for display cakes. This was constructed from a wooden form ( husband is a carpenter and he built if for me) and iced with Perma-Ice. We decided to go with this instead of cake because it had to sit out in the hot/humid Hawaiian climate for 6 hours. It is passionfruit; sort of a cross between a peach, mango and citrus; very yummy!
  20. Okay even though I'm way out of my league here I'll post a few of my latest: these are both from Richard Leach's "Sweet Seasons" Lemon brulee chocolate espresso sorbet, chocolate meringue Lilikoi chiffon w/lilikoi curd, iced in Italian meringue buttercreamwhite chocolate lace pieces, gumpaste roses: A very tall display cake (3 1/2 feet) iced with Perma-Ice; gumpaste foilage and "lava rocks" Kissing seahorse, sea urchins, shells modeled/molded from gumpaste; iced in Italian meringue buttercream
  21. Thank you for taking the time of your very hectic schedule! I am totally loving this! I attended a cake decorating class taught by Colette Peters at Ewold Notter's school and Ahnil was one of the assistants. He was always so helpful and gracious. I'm glad to see that he has found success and happiness. Not to veer off topic but what about this stuff: Micro Magic Has anyone ever worked with it? I'm very interested in the "practically non-hygropscopic" aspect. Working in Hawaii, in a very hot, humid kitchen makes working with sugar almost impossible!
  22. The bride has requested this for an upcoming wedding cake. The way the MOB described it: " white cake split and filled w/custard and raspberry jam". Is it really a white cake or some sort of sponge? Is it jam or raspberry filling (not too sweet)? TIA!
  23. Here in Hawaii I have to put everything in air tight containers (screw top glass bottles work best) with a packet of Drierite. Drierite is a dessicant; it's a blue granule that turns pink as it absorbs moisture.
  24. Made Neil's recipe yesterday for a plated dessert ( "s'mores" like) and it came out beautifully. I'm going to try making the chocolate ones and roll the cut edges in toasted coconut for a petit four.
  25. Tried the mac nut praline paste last week and it turned out great. Going to try the candied almonds tomorrow for a petit four.
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