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Everything posted by NutMeg

  1. Can't talk.....sugar....overload..... I will try to post a full report later today - I've been keeping busy working 14 hour days ever since I got back. The list of where we went: Jean-Georges WD-50 Room 4 Dessert Varietal Atelier de Joel Robuchon Melissa's Patisserie Cocoa Bar Chocolate Bar City Bakery Michel Cuizel La Maison du Chocolat Marie Belle Bouchon Balthazar Murray's Cheese Payard Max Brenner Err....I think I'm probably forgetting something....there were lots of places we just kind of ducked into to check out quickly.... As I said, more details to follow.....! Meg
  2. Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions everyone - you reminded me of some I'd missed on my list and opened my eyes to a whole other set of possibilities. So, now that our 3-day tour has a 3-page list to go with it, looks like we'll be skipping sleep and just eating sugar for about 72 hours straight. Is there a better way to live? I don't leave til tomorrow night, so if there are any last minute suggestions, throw em out there! I'll make sure to report back when we return.... Thanks again! Meg (soon to be known as the fattest person on earth)
  3. Next weekend I will be heading to NY with 2 friends - all three of us are professionals in various aspects of the pastry arts, and our main goal is to get all the quality pastries, chocolates, and desserts we can. We have a few ideas (WD-50, Payard, MarieBelle, Room4Dessert, Jacques Torres....) but would LOVE any other suggestions we can get. In particular, can we go to restaurants like Per Se or Le Bernadin just for dessert? It's not in our budgets to have a full-out multi-course fine dining meal every few hours, but we'd obviously like to experience those places. Thanks in advance for suggestions! Meg
  4. Today I had the most productive day off EVER. I went for a massage at 9 (gotta take care of the muscles - or at least the fat cells surrounding the muscles....), then I went shopping - got some new spring clothes, a book, a chocolate bar...then ate lunch outside in the park (in CHICAGO, in FEBRUARY! It was so nice!!) Then went to the Art Institute for a few hours (since it was free today) - wandered around downtown a little more, just to remember what the outside world looks like....came home, greeted the hubby, and am now getting ready for dinner with friends. YAY. But most days off, I sit on the couch and try to dream up new desserts.....then spend valuable time just relaxing with the hubby. Meg
  5. NutMeg


    Here's a buche I thew together for staff dessert at the restaurant on Saturday - we were all as giddy as kids the day before Christmas break (a whole 2 days off!! WHEEEEE!!!) The little gnome poking his head out of a hole was a last minute marzipan addition. Luckily I wasn't too busy that day. It was chocolate cake with peppermint buttercream and crushed candy canes. I had such a sugar stomachache after eating a piece....but it was worth it! Sorry the image quality is bad - the only camera we had was a phone! <img src=http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1166980904/gallery_34203_4044_44380.jpg>
  6. Has anyone actually made a malted milk ball itself? I'm dying to figure out how to make my own - and that little crunchy center remains elusive. Anyone have any tips? In the meantime, I think I'll have to console myself with a Malt Cake or two.... Meg
  7. Just to add another 2 cents, when I make it, I warm the puree, then add the pectin (mixed with about a quarter of the sugar) - when that boils, I add the sugar and glucose. I cook up to about 215, then start testing on a plate that's been in the freezer. I put a drop on the plate, stick it back in the freezer for a minute, then touch it - when it's firm and no longer (or very barely) sticky to the touch, it's done. Also, you have to stir constantly or risk scorching. I add the citric acid once it's off the heat. Different fruits are done at different temps, so the plate trick really works.
  8. Anything involving flaked coconut - BLECH, you might as well be chewing plastic wrap!
  9. The 3-year anniversary of my mom's death is coming up in mid-December....she died way too young (at 53, I was 24) and I think about her all the time, of course. She wasn't around to see me go to pastry school - I know she would have been so proud. She wasn't much of a cook - mostly casseroles, pot roast, meatloaf, frozen veggies....but those are the things that now bring me comfort - I call them "mom food." Even though I may use fresh veggies, or expensive cheeses, they make me feel a smidgen closer to her when I make them, using the stained church cookbook with her handwriting in it, asterisks marking the recipes she liked best. Around Easter, she would always buy a bag of those Hershey candy-coated chocolate eggs, and hide them in the dishtowel drawer in the kitchen....she and I would never tell my dad, and seceretly much on them for weeks....er....days. Maybe there was more than one bag..... I may make my own hand dipped chocolates now, but I still can't resist buying a bag every Easter. I'll never forget the last birthday cake she made me. It was my 22nd. It was yellow Betty Crocker cake with chocolate frosting from a tub - she didn't take it out of the baking pan, but she decorated it with M&Ms...... it was great. She had just been through a really rough spell, health-wise, but she was doing better, and she made that cake all by herself. Those were some of her last really GOOD days..... Okay, made myself cry, I better cut this out now. Thanks for sharing your stories, and letting me share mine. Meg
  10. I'm not sure about these particular pastries, but it sounds to me as if you are describing pastry cream (a mixture of heated milk, vanilla, butter tempered into sugar and egg yolks, then thickened with cornstarch or pastry cream powder). Pastry cream and whipped cream are often mixed to form a Diplomat cream.
  11. In my sanitation certification class, our instructor told us about Sam N Ella's - it used to be another restaurant that was shut down because of Samonella - now THAT'S a sense of humor....
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