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Everything posted by chefette

  1. Congratulations hac, a really nice job!
  2. chocogrok - can you tell us more about this installation? what sort of exhibit is it? why hanging cupcakes? or will they look more like a pillar of cupcakes standing on a platform or the floor just using the hanging/ceiling to ensure that the stack remains upright? What is the theory? the inspiration? the concept you are pursuing? why cupcakes? why will people be eating the ones on the bottom? how will they know they can or should eat them? how will they know which cakes are not edible? what will happen to your piece once the cupcakes start getting ripped down? are you planning to refresh the stack? if so how? will there be a bunch of stacks? I am assuming this is a one day - limited time installtion and cupcake consumption opportunity? Is this a personal party or anart thing in an art space? You might consider making something like one of those paper chains - IKEA has a wooden one with lights. stretch this between floor and ceiling secured at both ends so it is taut and stable then set cupcakes in each on the loops - so safe frosting and no smushing then you can do the whole stack edible you could even do the loops out of a clear plastic so that they were basically invisible maybe use a dab of frosting to secure each cupcake to the loop it sits in so that a casual brush or removal of a cake does not cause all cakes to fall or were you thinking to suspend the cakes from above so that they hang down and people grab them - sort of a reverse bobing for apples?
  3. chefette

    Gelatin Conversion

    use about 1tsp powder gelatin to equal 1 sheet gelatin having used the gelatin in the mix, yes - you can warm some or all of it and add additional gelatin - in this case - I would make all of it more liquid to accept additional gelatin. Bloom the gelatine (additional) that you requiore to meet the deficit Then heat a small portion of your miroir mix so it is quite warm enough to melt that additional gelatin stir that into the remaining tepid miroir mix - stir well to ensure even mix and distribution chill to set good luck
  4. chefette

    Gelatin Conversion

    typical sheets weigh in at 2g each use 6 sheets
  5. I think that you are not so much selling the recipe as selling the development so as you would in a consulting project - charge for the hours worked or by the project
  6. Since original recipe is not an issue - I doubt there are points to be had You can pursue that route but you have to make sure that you are able to deliver excellent flavor, texture, and clean techmical work there is no credit whatsoever to be had for time spent, effort put in, and great ideas if your execution is not there to back it up If you are going to go after one of these original ideas you mention make absolutely certain that it looks clean, neat, attractive, appetizing make sure that you spend time on your execution Taste it - exactly as you will present it for judging - same plating, accompaniment, temperature so you know what they will taste Get a few other people to taste it - get their feedback In general - I think you are better off going for something you know you can do, and do really well at this stage of the game. You get one chance to make an impression - make it a good one. Fusion flavors can backfire - if you don't know who will be judging and their openness to unusual flavor combos you could be in trouble. If you decide to go innovative - have a variety of people taste test - people who can provide objective feedback without hurting your feelings. Also, make sure you signal your flavor visually to prepare judges for what they will eat. Consider a sort of deconstructed approach like Gale Gand's Black Forest Cake where she has several elements on the plate including a small beverage element. Also, check the rules to make sure that they do not specify that you should bring a single item such as a cake - consider giving the school a call before pursuing individual tarts. Check with students who submitted items in previous years if you can locate them or know someone - what did they do? what did they wish they did not do? what did they wish they had done? what sort of feedback did they get? what won? Good luck with the scholarship.
  7. That is called Paillason sort of a napoleon of katifi (shredded filo) and creme brulee with strawberries is this what you are looking for?
  8. chefette

    Sugar Work

    If you are trying to make a 3D box - you want to use poured sugar - leave out the acid (cream of tartar) which is added specifically to make the sugar flexible - which you want for pulling and blowing - but not for a standing object You might get the best results by creating a form or mold in which to pour your sugar - thus creating perfect pieces. This will make assembly easier You can use a silicon baking pan if you have some in sizes that will yield pieces of the proper size for your box alternatively you can purchase black neoprene sheets at a hardware store and cut out the shapes - your place the neoprene form on your silpat on your work surface - you may want to place some cans on it to weigh it down then pour the sugar into the form - let it set up then remove the neoprene - very clean - not too expensive, and gives you nice clean pieces another alternative - purchase some modelling clay - I buy it at craft stores in blocks - it is beige and quite stiff - you roll it out to the desired thickness - cut out your form - pour in your sugar - this works ok - but can be messy since the clay melts some and you have to clean off your edges you can also make barriers to control the shape and size in other ways - depends what you have around, what you want to do... to 'glue' your pieces together - use the torch to warm both surfaces that will be joined - have a little pool of still melted sugar and just touch that to the base of the piece you are attaching - then attach you need to hold this steadil;y in place for a minute or two since the warmd sugar will take a fw moments to cool - otherwise you will risk pieces moving around You don't want to do the construction until your pieces are completely cool or else they can sag Remember that sugar on a humid day just sort of goes all sticky and 'melts' as it takes on moisture from the environment The ribbon - well - good luck! Ribbon pulling is a skill and will take some practice - but it doesn't hurt to give it a go - its the best way to learn
  9. you can make the template out of anythong you would use to create a tuille shape shower liner (some gray thin stuff you can purchase in the hardware store is good you do not heat in it - just create form then remove you can sprinkle a full sheet and score the powder then bake til melted remove thinn hard squares set up, place quail egg yolk - quail eggs available at gourmet food places - not frequently found are very small - a whole quail egg is smaller than a chicken egg yolk the melting - forming is very fast yes - must use te fondant caramel - the plain sugar dust just does not work out
  10. hahahahah yes - saran wrap is the most useful of fabrics in the kitchen - versatile and attractive for both men and women sorry = meant CLEAN But feel free to wear clear if you feel it is in your best interests
  11. chefette


    umm - this is pastry cream it is not custard
  12. From your initial post - it does not look like you are auditioning for a job, that you expect a real job. It would also appear that you know someone in the kitchen, or are good enough friends with someone who knows someone and they know of your interest and enthusiasm and also think you would enjoy the opportunity and trust you enough to let you in the kitchen. Assuming they will let you in with some regularity - and since you say - 'help out' it sounds like you will have that - the first day will probably be mostly familiarization and watching, staying out of the way,listening, learning I would take along a small notepad (palm sized) and a pen. these should fit well in your pocket Wear clear, practical, tidy pants and shirt tieing your hair back and having a clean baseball cap is also good practical comfortable closed toe shoes with non-slip soles (preferably not sneakers) are a good idea After the first day, they will probably start showing you things that they want you to do Do what they ask - as exactly as you can to how they show you. If it is a task that involves doing something many times - like slicing apples - get confirmation after slicing one on your own that this is how they want it done - if they are not watching, go to the person who tasked you, wait til it is convenient for them to pay attention to you, then show them what you have done and ask "like this?" then you can confidently move ahead with the task. Don't worry about doing things fast - they will not expect you to be fast. Trying to work fast will just cause flubs. It is more important to figure out exactly how to do something right and then you will naturally become faster with time. Doing what you are told and doing it well will make them happy and will make you feel great. The fun thing at this stage of the game is learning magic chef tips and tricks - something new practically every day. Be a sponge - absorb everything, do your best. Have fun.
  13. Like many situations where you do not really know exactly what is expected of you or how to fit in, keep a low profile, keep out of the way, stick with your 'guide' and take your lead from their behaviour, what they tell you, ask you... There are alot of variables: What type of kitchen it is, what sort of person you will be trailing/working with, what time of day you are there, what day of the week it is, what sort of day they are having, what sort of mood the staff is in, what you expect of the experience, what they expect of the experience, what they expect of you, on and on. Don't be afraid, but don't go doing anything that you have not been told to do, asked to do, or had demonstrated for you. Personal initiative isn't exactly what they will be looking for from you. If they want you to do something, they will tell you what that is, show you where you can do it - and should show you how they want it done. If this is something that extends beyond one or two days, as you get to know the people there and they start to see what they can trust you to do then you will know that and can go with it - but take your lead from the person you are with. Be polite, be respectful, be astute, be helpful where practical.
  14. As stated by Ted & Michael - and very well stated - the whole 10 Best concept is essentially opinion and casting about to include and recognize different types of representatives of the community. A quick 10 Best search will come up with Rock bands, photos of Mars, restaurants, bachellors, beautiful people, whatever Most people seem to accept the inclusion in a non-statistical non-metrics-based 10 best list in any publication as a nice honor so why would you feel that PA&D somehow belongs to any of us and should or would be any different. FWIW, no one who is on the 10 Best PC list is any type of slacker. From my experience in the past, they all can do all the requisite pastry things. Just the other day, I came across some article in the paper indicating that many of the to 10 most eligible batchellors were not actually available.
  15. I think the stage 2-3 day perhaps 1 week (short hours) is OK assuming you are a new entry hire - this gives you a chance to try out in the kitchen, see if you like the people, test the dynamic while giving them the opportunity to check you out. Most stages are free because they are completely to the benefit of the person doing them, and not so much to the kitchen - at least that is how it should work - trying to get free labor because you can't cover the work and are too cheap to pay the wages is a problem. Staging should not be used for the hiring process of the Pastry Chef (lead position). In this case, I think that having someone come in and do a tasting is relevant - but ONLY if they are going to give you the freedom as the exec PC to actually change the menu and create your own desserts. If they have a set menu that they will expect you to adhere to then there is no point at all in a tasting. There is no point in doing a tasting if you are not doing it for anytone of relevance to the establishment's cuisine. Last time I had to do a tasting, I was invited to the establishment for the weekend - I spent time with the pastry staff (who would be reporting to me), with the chef, and spent off hours prepping an array of items for tasting. They specifically asked for a couple of things, and I made up a few. The timed thing is sort of silly - like you are trying out for iron chef or taking a quiz. In that situation - I would ask why they selected the time constraint and why not just have you bring in some tasting samples. If they want to see you work in an unfamiliar kitchen - then how is that different from a stage?
  16. If you are serious about pursuing sugar work you really should attend at least a demo class as seeing the work done is very helpful. Alot of this is tough to describe You are working the sugar waay too hot and soft It is best when cooler and stiffer - though still pliable - hence the skill in getting the right environment around the sugar with the box and the lamp - you don't want it hot, you don't want it cold - you want the whole mass to be just right for the work session. I guess the consistency you are looking for is like a very stiff modelling clay - or if you work with pastillage or doughs when they are cold and you need to knead them to make them pliable - when it is juuuust pliable If you are using a sugar pump with a metal tube - you warm the tube tip over the spirit burner - buy the alcohol at the hardware store - it is usually in a blue can. wrap a sliver of sugar around the warmed tube so that your ball of sugar will adhere well to that. Some people just form a ball and pop that onto the tube - I stick my thumb in the ball and start a hollow then adhere the ball to the tube. You want to start slowly pumping the air in - just a puff then more it should be a little tough - you should doubt that it will actually work - this will give the best shine and most even gloss to the ball - as well as the best shaping You want to keep the ball even as you gently pump more air in and use the blower to help you if you need to - this help cool areas that are warmer and would blow out more quickly - you want to have as evenly cool a lump as possible - the base is typically a bit thicker since the lump mass retains the most heat. You want to cool the ball in front of the blower so it does not deflate or misshape at this point. I cust the ball off the tube gently while doing this - alternatively you can use the lamp to gently warm the stem and slip the ball off or warm the base and cut Even after that you will want to hold the ball up to the blower to continue cooling and before setting in your box After removing the ball - I warm the tube over the spirit lamp in one hand while cooling the ball in the other, then I am able to swirl off the excess sugar and am ready to go with the sugar collar and all on the next ball. Sugar work takes time and practice - its an exercise in patience and zen
  17. The stirring could have been the problem Or- if you rolled them by hand - and have warm warnds - the chocolate on your hands may have been pulled out of temper - when hand rolling truffles - especially if you have warm hands or are working in a warm room - it is wise to clean off your hands every 10 centers or so. Also, by the time you are working on center 6 - center 1-3 should be obviously crystalized - if not then you need to recheck the temper. Normally you get clear signal of crystalization in 1 minute. what test did you perform to verify temper? Are you basing perfect temper solely on temperature or do you do test strips or some other test? 3 1/2 minutes to set up and not 'dryinging' which is hardening or setting up indicate that you may not in fact have been in temper at all. However there are other factors that can influence and affect the final appearance of your chocolate - even if it is in perfect temper - that result in streaks. if you were working in a warm room - and it sounds like you were the temp can actually be high enough to retard the chocolate crystalization in which case even well stirred, perfectly tempered chocolate may well streak - it just doesn't like to set up slowly. If there was alot of humidity - then your chocolate may well react to that and streak or take on a grayish/whitish cast as if it had bloom from not being in temper If your ganache centers were cold and damp then they could have reacted with your chocolate to cause streaking
  18. chefette

    Top Chef

    And yet someone found time to make two origami paper birds for each attendee? Come ON!
  19. Part of the intent and value of the CIA program is to provide real experience in real kitchens. This comes in part through the opportunity to design menus and produce for customers in the restaurants created by the school to support the educational and culinary goals of the students. If the restaurants are part of the school – and therefore funded through student tuition fees why are only some students circulated through the kitchens? Does the administration feel that the baking and pastry students require less kitchen experience than culinary? Why is this aspect of the learning experience not readily available – in fact required of the pastry and baking students? If there is value in designing a baking and pastry program, in recruiting pastry luminaries to manage that program, in hiring and maintaining a staff to teach that program, in accepting students into that program – why is there this critical difference between the educational experiences afforded to baking and pastry students? It is in fact in the immediate and long term interests of the CIA – an in fact all culinary schools that offer programs in both culinary and pastry – to encourage, support, and facilitate restaurant experience that allows students to create and execute deserts and pastry to the standards which they are taught. This will potentially uphold the fine traditions of pastry as well as encourage the exploration and discovery of new pastry experiences. In an era when pastry chefs are few and far between, when wholesaling of mass produced pastries is commonplace, when mediocre crème brulee is ubiquitous why perpetuate the trend? Allowing and encouraging chefs to ‘get by’ and treat the final course as insignificant and not deserving of the full and imaginative attention it demands will only lead to the eventual elimination of pastry programs. While there is a swelling of interest in the pastry and baking arts why not fully leverage this? Enabling culinary students to experience and appreciate the differences of working in the pastry kitchen is important – but not at the cost of denigrating or neglecting those students who seek to pursue this as their livelihood. Baking and pastry students should – at the very least – be given the equal opportunity to pursue the refinement of their skills in the kitchens of the restaurants at the CIA. This should be an opportunity equally provided to all students enrolled at the school.
  20. I agree with Chianti regarding the key point: The school has the restaurants in order to give the students experience working in a realistic environment where they also have the opportunity and requirement to create proper courses according to the points in the curriculum. Why - if you have a pastry and baking program - do you perpetuate the horror of having the culinary students continue to butcher the breads and desserts? It is a waste of everyone's time not to circulate the pastry and baking students through the kitchen in exactly the same fashion as the culinary students. I suppose the only thing any dumber would be to deny the culinary students the opportunity and insist that the pastry students do all the savory food in addition to the pastry and breads. And - just to continue working in the same ridiculous mindset - the pastry students in their kitchen stint would use a completely different set of instructors for the savory foods and utilize dumbed down techniques and recipes. This practice also is a negative to prospective students who may test the waters of the program by dining in the restaurant and be served inedible slop for dessert.
  21. I guess "Jr. College" is a little out dated, maybe I should have said community college. Which are 2 year schools where you can go for your freshman and sophmore years of college. ← Community College? I'm not sure that's done any more. Typically, we apply for either a 2 or 4-year college, end of story. I'm not sure that we can only spend two years in community college and the rest in a 4 year college short of a transfer. I can't think of any private college even considering applicants like that though. Hehe, I don't think I would have worked myself to the bone to get into a state college, much less a community college. The French Pastry School looks really solid. Does anyone know similar schools in the NYC area? ← You might look into the NY City technical College - they have a few really dedicated kickass instructors there and I have seen alot of very impressive work come from their pastry students in competitions - and the price is right
  22. It may be that their intent was that you not have the chocolate too hot Usually you are asked to melt then cool the chocolate
  23. If you haven't done any sugar work in a long time - get some practice and don't wait til the last minute. Isomalt is a good idea since it is more resiliant to reworking - but then its also more expensive. Also a good idea to use isomalt on cakes just because it is more resistant to moisture and humidity in the air. Regarding the bubbles - just give yourself plenty of time, have your cool air blower handy I find that is good to have a dry box with dessicant at my side and I carefully place the bubbles in it and close it up as soon as I have them cooled of the pipe. Make several sizes of bubbles from giant peral to about the size of a christmas ornament. You will probably want to make more balls that you plan on - and somehow the cake always wants more balls than you expected - so have a bunch Give yourself plenty of time since it will take longer than you think - especially if you are out of practice Get any other delicate work out of the way first since after blowing for a while - the tips of your fingers may be sensitive (especially if this is your first sugar work after a long break) Cooler sugar produces better shine on the balls and makes shape management easier. Don't overblow the balls for excessive thinness since it is not a competition Melting to attach using a sugar lamp works better than the torch - but the torch is ok if you are patient I find that isomalt balls tend to be brittle and react to sudden intense heat (from the micro torch) by cracking so you have to just give it quick little hits - and as always you don't need as much heat as you think It is also a good idea to warm both surfaces if attaching sugar to sugar Make yourself a few clear 'wands' of sugar that you can melt to give yourself attachment options Also - in spite of the obvious danger - attach the bubbles to the cake at the site so you don't lose any in transit and because it seems that people who have sugar decor on their wedding cakes always get married on oppressively humid days. Delay til the last possible moment if that is the case. Don't forget to bring your gloves, a silpate, sugar lamp and lighting stick in your cake kit.
  24. First – I would suggest taking a look at this thread by Simdelish: Special Report on 3-day sugar class with Anil Rohira http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...0entry1001879 This should provide you with some good conceptual and practical advice. Second – Venuance pearls are a great way to start out – you do not have to hassle with cooking and temperature and they are pretty resilient in their reusability. I have several silicone flexipan 8” rounds – about 1/2- 3/4” deep that I use to set the pearls in and nuke them. The 30 seconds a time is good advice. It takes a little longer than you think and you do not want to get them too hot so keep checking. The flexipans are nice because you can just knead the sugar up with them in them never really have to dump it out. I think that you will find yourself frustrated without a heat lamp - you don’t need a fancy box or anything – just pick up a heat lamp bulb and maybe a socket on a cord that you can hang over your workspace or a gooseneck lamp. Otherwise the sugar just gets unworkable too fast – getting and maintaining working temp is the real zen of sugar work – once you have sugar management down you can really accomplish a lot. But the lamp makes a big difference – although if you have a warmer for your catering business you might commandeer that – makes an outstanding sugar box. An alcohol lamp as tweety indicated is also a real help – but not something that will cause you to suffer at all – if you have a micro torch or real torch you might want that handy. I personally prefer the gentle ever present availability of the alcohol lamp flame. I would not recommend oiling anything A good pair of sturdy kitchen scissors is imperative Silpats – large – don’t see how anyone ever got by without one I personally do not like the wooden tube for the sugar pump – I prefer the metal tubes There have been several discussions in the past regarding sugar – so a few searches might be a good idea http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=21115 http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=26749 Here are a couple to get you started And yes - nice snug disposable latex gloves I always have several boxes available and you go through quite a few in a work session You want to avoid gloves that are too big as they will be too loose and get in the way
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