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Everything posted by rickster

  1. FWIW, the Milka chocolate shown is not from the UK. It's from Germany/Austria. A lot of it in the US (at least in Chicago) is made in Poland. I also don't think Kinder Bueno is Mexican either - at least they sell it in a lot of European shops The Fairway in Stamford, CT did have an impressive Cadbury display at the cash register when I was there in December.
  2. Personally, I am happy to get any type of weight measurement in a baking book. Since anyone who is going to appreciate weight measures already has a scale, I'm pretty sure just about any electronic scale can easily be switched to metric. I actually prefer metric - maybe there are some people who are uncomfortable using it? (No, I did not grow up in Europe).
  3. I'd say yes, it shouldn't make much difference.
  4. Nick Malgieri has a recipe in his book, Great Italian Desserts. Not sure if it's still in print.
  5. Off the top of my head, the recipe I referred to is higher than that, maybe 70%.
  6. And somewhere buried in the Pizza thread is a virtually no knead recipe from Sam Kinsey that also turns out great results, the key being long refrigerator fermentation.
  7. Pretty sure there is an article on this in the current issue of Cook's Illustrated.
  8. Williams Sonoma stores (at least around Chicago) usually carry piment d'espelette. No idea if it's a good brand
  9. I'm going to speculate that this is a Japanese take on a French loaf cake, like the "Le Weekend", which often has candied fruit in but is obviously a sweet cake. But I've never seen anything in the savory range like this in a whole lot of French baking books that I own. I guess it could be some sort of new idea.
  10. One suggestion I saw in one of my baking books if using a Cuisinart was to us a fine sieve to sift out the smaller particles of almond flour and then reprocess the larger pieces. You continue these steps until most of the almonds are fine enough to pass through the sieve, although there is some wastage. The concept is that removing the fine pieces "concentrates" the Cuisinart on chopping the larger ones more finely. It worked for me before I found almond flour in a grocery store , but I'm not sure how fine a flour you're trying to get to.
  11. Keep in mind that Michael is not in the city, but in Winnetka and would require a car or train ride to get there. Probably 30-40 minutes depending on traffic and where you are in the city.
  12. In fairness to the viewing audience, watching showpieces being constructed and sometimes crashing to the floor provides a lot more visual excitement than watching mixers whirr around or souffles rising in the oven. They do have to generate ratings for these programs. The audience that would appreciate seeing an especially innovative technique for piping macarons is pretty limited. I agree that part of the casting strategy for this show and regular Top Chef is to get people out of their comfort zones and see what happens.
  13. Well, if they made a dress out of slices of carrot cake, that would be one thing, but making one out of strips of plain leeks and lettuce leaves seems to be outside the realm of a pastry competition. My only guess is that the 2 chefs either really wanted to do something out of the box and not just another chocolate dress, or else didn't have the skills to do something out of chocolate - I thought one of them admitted when her petit four was critiqued that she rarely worked with chocolate.
  14. How is that even possible? It's a freakin' competition. Yeah but, there are competitions like your county bake sale or even the Coupe du Monde Boulangerie, and there is competing on a TV reality show, which I think is hugely more stressful from what I've seen on behind the scenes looks at the regular Top Chef. Couple that with the assortment of characters she had to put up with on this show and I can easily see where she would want to bail
  15. That note/disclaimer is at the end of every single competitive reality show on Bravo, and maybe other channels as well. The regular Top Chef show has always insisted that the producers have never influenced the judges' decision, despite the note. Of course there's always a first time.
  16. It was everything from the first box. The subsequent boxes only had one item in each of them, which had to be used.
  17. Not to be the spelling or geography police, but... It's Vosges Chocolate, not Voges. Mercat a la Planxa is across from Grant Park. Millenium Park is north of the Art Institute.
  18. Yeah, there still is another Masterchef, a few if I remember right: A regular masterchef, a celeb version, maybe one other one.... actually someone who posts here every so often just made an appearance on the celeb masterchef a week or two ago. The Iron chef america vs the original one is a good way to look at it - Masterchef US seems to be pretty bad compared to the others, or so I hear, I haven't caught any of the others yet. The Masterchef that was on PBS years ago was a US competition. I remember it pretty well, although I don't remember that it ran a couple of seasons. I think the others that may be around currently are all overseas versions - UK, Australia, etc.
  19. I was recently in London for a week and mackerel was on just about every restaurant's menu, something you would never see in the US. When I first moved to the Chicago area about 5 years ago, our local Whole Foods had a pretty diverse fish selection, but it's gotten a lot narrower recently as their fish section focuses more on semi prepared pre marinated tilipa/salmon/halibut/etc. We also have a lot of ethnic markets here that have a very wide variety of fish at low prices, but I have had quality issues the few times I've tried them. A coupel of personl favorites are turbot (pretty easily available here) and skate (not so much).
  20. Not sure, but I think cherries might drop to the bottom of the cupcake. Not sure what you mean by encasing globs in chocolate, but dipping wet cherries in melted chocolate may cause the chocolate to seize. I would probably skip this step.
  21. One piece of advice on the Weber Kettle. If you're thinking about using it for low slow barbecue. you probably have to get the largest size. I have a medium sized one and it's very difficult to keep the temperature steady and in the under 300F range you need since the area inside the kettle is so small.
  22. I did a google search and found a couple of French websites that I assume would ship it. Quantities did not seem huge.
  23. It keeps a long time if you freeze it.
  24. Yeah, I have a real hard time seeing anybody on this season aside from maybe Angelo coming close to the top four from last season, really just seems like this seasons talent level is a few notches down for the most part. I totally agree with this, but maybe we need to view last season as an anomaly and a fairer comparison would be against earlier seasons.
  25. It reminded me of Colicchio's weird comment about beans last week.
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