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Posts posted by McAuliflower

  1. How about chocolate nests

    - maybe not 101 but I ran into the pictures of Wybauw's chocolate nests from Chocolate Decorations in this google preview of the book.

    marshmallows: marshmallow piped- homemade peeps - piped into molds

    Egg shaped cutter to stamp out ganache pieces to dip. And then use transfers on top to make patterned like dyed eggs. Again- maybe not 101...

    Martha Stewart did chocolate filled egg shells too. They were gorgeous- gold and blue eggs if I remember correctly. Probably on her site somewhere.

  2. To sell out of my cafè this year, I made some 30 pumpkin pies using a recipe that included cognac.  I've had a number of customers comment about a slight banana taste.  There was nothing else in the recipe that I can think of other than the cognac to cause that taste.  I didn't taste the banana myself, so my theory is that cognac tricks the mind into thinking banana.  Anyone else experience this?

    You're flushing out a very faint flavor memory in my head...

    my local coffee store in Eugene had a run of nutmeg / eggnog mix that was banana flavored to me. The first time I ordered their eggnog steamed milk I sent it back because I thought they made me a banana one. They confirmed that they made it correctly- and we sniffed the eggnog container to check it. Yep- smelled like bananas to me! But no one else got that smell- they all said it smelled like eggnog to them.

  3. In my excitement over finding Wybauw's procedure for candying fruit (the two week sugar soaking process) I managed to not read his directions clearly until now.

    ...Now being when I have a dozen oranges sitting on my counter most eagerly.

    Each step of the sugar soaking process indicates that I boil the sugar solution to a certain Brix point before proceeding.

    How would a non-professional attempt this at home?

    google's book preview shows the procedure here.


  4. I just finished a honey saffron cinnamon apple butter batch at the tale end of my apple sauce making.

    I burned the crap out of my hands stirring it though (it's like napalm!)! :angry: Tomorrow's next batch will get the crock pot method!

    For canning it- I was surprised to see that apple butter requires a shorter processing time than apple sauce (10 min vs 20 min) according to my ball book.

  5. Marshmallows killed my KitchenAid!  It's not totally dead - it still does a fine job on cookie batter - but it's not able to maintain speed 10 for 10 minutes and sounds really sickly when it tries.

    Wasn't there a thread some time back about new vs old KitchenAids and the quality difference since manufacturing changed?

    My previous landlord owned a repair shop that worked on kitchenaids. 90% of the problems he encountered with them was a simple ball bearing replacement.

  6. OK, I thought since I'm just learning confectionary that I would jump on the bandwagon with Nightscotsman's marshmallows (the vanilla variety, since my wife looked at me quite suspiciously when I suggested the strawberry...)

    And I'll jump on the bandwagon here with telling you how cute your marshmallows came out!

    Just wait till you try lemon ones, and peppermint ones, and cinnamon ones and mango ones... :biggrin:

    Your biscuit cut mallows are begging to be set on a cookie- like a ginger snap?

    So, did you earn the right to make more when your wife saw how successful these were? I admit- my household was quite suspicious of the feel of my first ones. We resisted the urge to make boob shaped strawberry mallows, but just barely! :laugh:

  7. A fellow eG'er and I were out at the Pacific Mall in Markham today.  Of course both being obsessed with food we spent most of our time looking at housewares and groceries.

    A recurring theme in the housewares stores were purple clay everythings - rice cookers, slow cookers, soup kettles, steamers and even herbal kettles.

    By the time I had seen these a few times I had to ask what was so special about them. The fellow seemed to feel that the clay had some special properties that caused it to make rice that tasted so much better than rice cooked in any other material.

    So has anyone used any of these cookers?  Are they really as amazing as he says?

    I don't have experience with those cookers but I do have extensive experience with clay.

    "Purple Clay"is more commonly known as Yixing clay, which is famous for its use in unglazed small tea pots that are decorated sculpturally.

    The minerals in the clay deposits of that region result in the dark colors of this clay. I don't think the clay has special properties per say. What is important in the culture of this clay in cooking ware is that it be left unglazed (esp on the inside of the cooking vessel). With the clay being unglazed, it leaves itself susceptible to being imbued with the flavors of what you habitually cook in it. For example- Yixing teapots are never washed, as the buildup of fragrance from the tea is prized by its owners (never mind the oxidation that is likely occurring in the same flavors).

    I suspect industrious thinking is trying to extend the Yixing teapot to all other styles of cooking. I could see how this would be nice with rice cookers- esp for fragrant varieties of rice. The clay cooking vessel would ensure an even distribution of heat and good heat retention, and the fragrance of the rice would build up (over years) in the clay vessel.

  8. I made two batches - same recipe (not from this thread due to other complications) Thanks anyway, because I have all three recipes to try later.

    Batch 1: hand whisked

    Batch 2: electric mixer.

    Distinct difference in final height of muffins. My whisking arm needs a personal trainer.

    what were the height differences- was batch 2 taller?

  9. Hubby was at a retreat and the caterer served a dainty/slice for dessert. He brought a piece home for me to try and I loved it!

    The "dainty" was no dainty by my definition when you bite into it. It didn't seem to have a lot of flour, but full of coconut, walnut pieces, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries. It was not too sweet and not too rich.

    It seems to be granola based. Anyone have a recipe for this?

    If it was a baked product it sounds like the fruitcake I had from Alice Medrich's new cookbook.

    If it wasn't baked it sounds like a "birdseed bar". Googling for that recipe name will give many many recipes.

  10. In addition to weight measurements, how about cooking time?  Saute' for 2 minutes?  On my regular burner or my high-heat burner?  In which pan?  So many variables can be introduced, that any time measurement is meaningless.  Tell me what to look for, and what I'm trying to accomplish!

    Of course, this specifically doesn't apply to pastry and baking, but the same principles apply when cooking a filling or something similar.  Many recipes are pretty good about saying things "until the mixture returns to a boil", but all too often I find much more vague descriptions.

    These are all really good points- and one of the top reasons I see for cooking blogs to exist. The more we can introduced thoughtful & intelligent language with recipes the better!

    I think we can ever so slowly subvert the current recipe paradigms.

    So, how about a publisher and magazine letter writing campaign. What should we call ourselves -the Smarter, Better Bakers...?

    A letter did get written to Saveur didn't it?

  11. What about the flour?  One-half cup plus one-third cup?

    My bonehead method:

    Measure flour into the 1/2 measuring cup till its half full. Do the same for a 1/3 measuring cup, measuring flour in till its half full.

    For splitting eggs: I use powdered whole eggs (from Bob's Red Mill) to measure out the half, or other weird fractions of an egg.

  12. How sticky and stiff should the finished marshmallow be when you pour it into the tray?

    I usually whip mine to ~ 10 - 12 minutes.

    When i pour it in the pan it is very stiff and sets up very quickly. In fact, the word pour has nothing to do with it- very much a scrap and cajole process.

    The longer you whip it, the more air you incorporate, the more chance you give the syrup to cool and stiffen the mix.

    I think your flavors (passion fruit!!) are begging for colored swirls .

  13. I am hoping to make strawberry marshmallows tomorrow. I like things sweet/tart. I will dip the tops in chocolate.

    What do you think about adding some "sour salt", which is pure citric acid. How much do you think in one batch, and when would I add it?

    Those of you that use lemon juice, when and how?


    I've used citric acid with lemon and grapefruit marshmallows to great effect.

    Grind a couple tablespoons of it finer (my home grade came rather course) and add in the dusting mixture.

    It's really potent, so add in small increments.

  14. even with full fat yogurt, i drain the yogurt for a few hours to overnight through cheesecloth to get rid of excess moisture.  i think this might be your problem.

    you can always use middle eastern yogurt called: kefir or labne...this is tangy, delicious and already drained.  sort of like an extra thick sour cream, but with cultures.  delicious!

    Was wondering about draining. The recipe implies that draining wasn't required if using the Greek style yogurt. But draining makes sense- I likely have an excess of ice?

    :checking previous posting: tejon drained her yogurt and had the same issue.

    Huh- freezing kefir... We have alot of Kefir in town. Though I don't think its the same as what you are talking about. Ours is produced by Nancys yogurt and is a runny drinkable yogurt. But very tangy. Definitely not drained tho. Likely a name bastardization by the Nancy's people?


  15. I made the Vanilla Frozen Yogurt a few days ago, and am really enjoying it. The drained yogurt adds a bit of tang and a wonderful, rich texture.

    I just made up a half sized batch of the Frozen Yogurt using David's recipe as a guide. The recipe is found on 101 Cookbooks.

    I used Greek Yogurt (the full fatty one with cream and whole milk), added a vanilla bean and instead of using granulated sugar I used sugar syrup left over from making candied orange peel.

    The yogurt mixed up wonderfully and tastes fantastic. However, the texture after an over night stay in the freezer is not so great. Now its crumbly and icy. Even with letting it soften up at room temperature, it seems to go straight from icy crumble to liquid- no smooth creamy mouthfeel stage unless its melting.

    Did my use of sugar syrup cause this?

    It strikes me as a problem in the microstructure- like the ratio of air/ice crystals/fat is off. Or a problem in emulsifying?

    :unsure: At least it tastes great

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