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Posts posted by rickster

  1. 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. 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.

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  3. Jaymes, your American version was much fancier than the 'Canadian' version.  The purchased base was a soft vanilla cake which was only a couple of inches high and had a slightly higher rim.  The fruit went straight onto the cake with a clear glaze over it.   But then we Canadians are always known for being modest and polite and not in the least exciting.  :raz: :raz:

    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. 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. 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. Back in the last century I decided that if I was going to eat bread at home it was going to be my own bread. I have stuck to it. (And it has stuck to me.) If I could keep only one bread book, if I could keep only one cookbook, it would be Raymond Calvel's.

    Does anyone know if Professor Calvel is still alive?

    Wikipedia says he died in 2005.

  7. I was glad to see a bread making requirement in the latest episode. But wasn't there a perfectly good Kitchenaid mixer visible in the background of some of those kneading shots?

    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. Of the 6 chefs who cooked an omelette for Wolfgang Puck, 4 have already been eliminated and Tyler is holding on by a fingernail. Wolfgang was way too generous to his omelette chefs, the only one he should have passed is Kumiko.

    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.

  9. Coke Zero contains the artificial sweetener acesulfame-K, which to my palate is plain nasty. So I understand your pain. Tap versions of Diet Coke (for fountain dispensers) have always contained some saccharin to extend shelf life; perhaps that is what you are tasting?

    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.

  10. I've made the Pierre Herme inverted puff pastry recipe that is in his books with Dorie Greenspan, although not for a couple of years. My recollection is that it produces a very crisp fragile pastry. It does not make a mess with pooling melted butter, etc. Remember, ultimately, there is only a very thin layer of butter on the outside.

    The other point, which may not be clear from the recipe and may contribute to the difference between inverted and regular puff pastry, is that it takes a considerable amount of bench flour for the rolling to work and the butter not to stick to the counter. This flour is getting incorporated into the butter layer in a way that does not occur with traditional puff pastry. Perhaps this makes a difference in texture.

  11. Seems to me there are two main types of coffee cake:

    The high "cakey" type made with baking powder and additions like streusel topping, nuts, cinnamon, furit

    The Scandinavian style which is more akin to a danish pastry type and is much flatter.

  12. There was an odd sequence in the prep in the middle of the episode where Lindsey was shown packing up chicken stock and discussing how difficult it was to make in a short period of time. The subtitles said chicken stock as well. But chicken stock would seem to play no role in her seafood dish, so it left me scratching my head and wondering if they edited in something from a different episode by mistake.

  13. Not sure how you would get a significant number of leaves off the sprouts to layer in the pan to begin with.

    Not the answer you're looking for, but you could halve or quarter the sprouts to expose more of the surface of the sprouts to the roasting.

  14. I think that a lot of the pancetta one gets in the US is less cured than it is in Italy.

    I'm surprised: aren't there all sorts of restrictions on the import of uncured/slightly cured meats in the US? I could swear that once it was difficult to get many of them.

    I think there's quite a bit of domestic US pancetta. It's not necessarily imported.

  15. I've also heard good things about Rick Rodgers' Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague, although I don't own the book and have never cooked from it.

    I own this and like it a lot. I'd consider it an "entry level" sort of book, though and not really comprehensive as it's not that long and covers a number of types of desserts (tortes, strudels, tarts, cookies, puddings, etc.). Pretty sure, but not certain, that it does not have weight measures, if that is important. Depends on what the OP is looking for.

  16. I flipped very quickly through the new edition in a bookstore this weekend. While the original is not top of mind for me anymore, this seemed more like a reissue with a significant facelift rather than a revision to the material. Much nicer layout, paper, photos, etc. but I didn't see much new in the couple of sections I was familiar with. I don't know whether the recipes themselves have been tweaked.

  17. Biscottis are holiday-gifting life savers. I absolutely love them because I'll make several batches in advance and have them on hand for impromptu guests, hostess gifts, etc and they won't spoil.

    I make mine extra-dry and hard, for dunking in *ahem* boozy eggnog.... The recipes I've been using never seem to dry out as much as I like, so I'll turn off the oven and leave them in for an additional 45-60 mins after the second bake.

    Last yr's biscotti list was fig anise, coconut & lime, toffee pecan, and almond. Would like to try a gingerbread-type flavour this yr, if anyone has a recipe to share.

    Does anyone have any slicing tips? I want to make each biscotti thinner, but they usually crumble if I slice any less than 3/4 inch thick.

    Are you using recipes with butter in them? That makes them more tender and more crumbly and are not intended to be extra dry. You might want to look for more traditional ones with eggs only, although those recipes are usually more limited in flavors.

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