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rickster

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About rickster

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  1. Online source for quality nuts?

    Years after my post in this thread, I can admit that I discovered nuts.com as well and can wholeheartedly recommend them. I also like a company called Superior Nuts based in Cambridge, MA. They have a narrower range of products, more focused on just nuts than nuts.com, but can be a bit cheaper on certain items. I buy a lot of pignolis around the holidays and Superior has had better prices.
  2. Nougat / Torrone Failures

    I am pretty much a complete amateur, but I have used a Peter Grewling recipe for torrone from his Chocolates and Confections book for years and never had a problem. Does not have any special stabilizers. Regarding moisture, I'd note it requires use of a propane torch or painters heat gun while whipping the nougat to help drive off moisture.
  3. Desserts from the 1960s?

    FYI, I clearly remember seeing the sponge base and glaze sold in stores in the Northeastern US in the early 70's. My recollection is that it was imported, maybe an Oetker product
  4. Making New Haven-style pizza at home

    This may be a stupid question, but does cooking with coal impart a flavor to the pizza, as one might find with a wood fired oven? If so, isn't the discussion of temps, flour, hydration, etc. a bit moot if the goal is to reproduce a New Haven style pizza at home?
  5. Rich Cocoa Powder

    Droste is still pretty widely available where I live and still a good option. I've also used Scharffenberger and Valrhona, although I had to mail order the Valrhona. Some place like Sur La Table or WIlliams Sonoma might carry it.
  6. Wikipedia says he died in 2005.
  7. Top Chef: Seattle

    I'm sorry, but the mustache/cap dude actually said, in re: sourdough that the starter is made with yeast. Wrong, zippy. I didn't hear the reference in the program, but isn't this a question of definition? Certainly sourdough starter begins with yeast - naturally occurring yeast. But yeah, if he meant SAF instant yeast, he was wrong. My guess is that the quantity of dough they needed to make exceeded the capacity of a Kitchenaid - or would break it.
  8. "The Mozza Cookbook"

    I've made the pizza dough recipe out of this cookbook several times. I find it almost impossibly soupy, more like a cake batter and have though there was something wrong with the hydration. However, once I add more flour, it turns out very good.
  9. Top Chef: Seattle

    so where then would they find the chefs to fill up the rest of the pool? Or would they cut the season short? This is TV, and things are somewhat structured in advance. I'm sure each of the judges was given a narrow minimum and maximum number of chefs they could pass.
  10. Candy/Confectionary Thermometers

    30 seconds of googling came up with a couple of kitchen supply stores in Madison, including a WIlliams Sonoma. Seems pretty easy to call one of them up.
  11. Weirdly, my local Chicago PBS station is burning off the first four episodes in the middle of the night Friday. Bit of a problem for non DVR owners.
  12. Not in the Midwest. Spring warmth followed by a hard frost after fruit trees bloomed killed virtually all the sour cherry and peach crop and supposedly damaged the apple crop as well. Decent berry crops, but a very short season due to the heat and drought.
  13. Exactly, Diet Coke out of a fountain has never been the same as the bottle/can. I thought the reason for the use of saccharin was for cost, not shelf life.The point being that fountains are usually exclusive to one manufacturer, so the consumer has no alternative for diet. I thought fountain syrups would turn over much more quickly than bottles or cans, too It's not just the sweetener difference between Diet Coke and Zero. There's a purposely different flavor profile to appeal to a different consumer. I think Diet Coke might have even switched to an ace-k and aspartame blend, but am not 100% sure.
  14. Vietnamese Baguette for banh mi

    I had read that some rice flour was critical to getting the right texture in the loaf/crust.
  15. Ciabatta with holes too big

    I don't know, I think that looks pretty close to perfect. In fact the holes could be a bit bigger.
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