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Everything posted by whisks

  1. this is a topic close to my own heart - this is a problem i, too, encounter, and like you, have tried many different avenues. i agree that it is a problem mostly associated with white cake/ buttercake, so i tried different cake liners, which works most of the time, more often than not. the problem does get worse as time progresses, so fresher is better. also, try not to exaserbate the problem further by holding the cake too firmly when icing - this loosens the paper from the cake further. generally, the firmer the paper is, the more likely the cake doesn't separate. my chcocoalte cup cakes don't have any problem adhering to the paper liners, no matter how cheap the paper may be, so i have been using all my reject papers for making chocolate cupcakes. i bake my vanilla cupcakes in silicone paper liners, as they are the firmest i have found. the biggest problem cake i have is my lemon cake, which separates from even the best quality paper liners. in this case, i have found that foil liners are the way to go, but again, hold the cake as delicately as possible to try and avoid separation. if it makes you feel any better, i was passing a commercial cafe chain and their cupcakes were separating from the papers. i can only guess that the cakes were going stale, resulting in the separation. i also think you have to look at your cake mixture. another aspect you may like to look at is the patty pan tin you put the papers in - the more exact the paper fits in the tin, the better. as a last resort, those italian baking forms are very good, and there is no risk of separation at all as there is no concertina in the paper. if you choose to use these, you will have to factor them into your costing as i find them quite pricey. surely there must be someone with a commercial background on the forum who knows of this problem and how they deal with it in the industry.
  2. i have a new favourite place - "sambal" on ryde road near macquarie centre. i love it, and i figured out why on my third visit in the last 2 weeks - the food isn't over salted and there is no msg aftertaste! really homey. so far, i've had the nasi lemak, rojak, chicken laksa (it is genuinely beautiful just to look at and a delight to eat) and penang char kway teow. so far, i've only been able to get there for lunch, but i think dinner is the way to go, looking at the menu. ring in advance if you want specials like fish head curry and that sort of thing. i really do feel "sambal" is my choice for eating malaysian food from now on - it even surpasses "to's" in north sydney (where i had an assam laksa today) - the menu is far more extensive and the ice kachang in comparison to "to's" is in a different league altogether. i did try "ginger and spice" on military road, neutral bay a few weeks ago. the food is nice enough - modern singaporean, but my feeling is i want authentic more than a modern variation. like i said, nice enough, but not authentic. the chef is from temasek in parramatta.
  3. does a diet coke and chocolate bar for a snack fall into this category, or is that another subject?
  4. this is so exciting - i can't wait to try cooking broccoli this way, especially now we have first hand instructions!! thank you and welcome.
  5. the secret is the flour they use. the closest match i've been able to get so far is one called "continental sharps" in sydney. it has a coarse feel to it and is high in gluten. it's a strong bread flour which also makes beautiful pizza dough and bread. in the past, i used to use bread flour from the supermarket, but really, there is no comparison. unfortunately, it comes in convenient 10kg bags, but i've found that it is quite versatile, since i can use it to make other things (not cakes tho).
  6. whisks

    Whole Duck ideas

    i'm loving this thread coz i love duck. my method of cooking duck was strumbled upon because duck shrinks. half an hour to an hour before cooking, i rub about 1/4 a cup of salt all over the duck and its insides. the last time, i also sprinkled five spice powder in with the salt. leave the duck for 1/2 an hour in a pot in which the duck fits snugly. pour in enough water into the pot to cover the duck once the time has elapsed, and bring to the boil and simmer 15 minutes. leave the duck in the liquid until ready to crisp. remove the duck from the liquid and allow to drain off the liquid. preheat the oven to 200C/400F. place the duck on a rack, pierce the duck skin liberally so the the fat can drain and roast until golden turning halfway through. i've found this minimalises shrinkage, allows the fat to drain and is nice and crisp. must remember to look for duck next time i'm out....
  7. golly gosh, haven't been to arthur's for years. does he still do the fab pretzels and gingerbread? but i digress....hey look, i don't mind a pie every now n then, either bought or homemade. wrt the bits n pieces they put in the pies, with australia's strict standards (i'm not joking), the things found in our pies have to be a darned lot safer than the food items from some european and asian countries, where there are no standards at all....
  8. what is everyone's favourite cupcake recipe? i've tried the magnolia bakery one, but find that a bit on the heavy side. opinions and recipes please. thanks
  9. i never put eggs in my fritter batter - just self raising flour, a bit of cornflour and water (sparkling, if you like). you mix it to your desired consistency, thick or thin, dip the item to be frittered in, then deep fry. this works for both sweet and savoury fritters.
  10. have a feel of the flour - usually, if the flour is high in protein, it will feel coarser, low protein flours feel smoother. also, if you mix a little flour with water, high protein flour will be sticky, whereas soft flour will mix up quite smoothly. there are many types of chinese dumplings, some require high protein flour, others, low protein. another way you can go is to use a small portion of the dumpling flour to replace your regular flour in a recipe and see how that goes. but really, the feeling and water tests should give you a good indication. hope this helps.
  11. shinboners, i noticed you mentioned the damien pignolet's book earlier - have you got it? if you do, would you mind looking to see if the relish he serves with his bangers and mash is in it? i went to bistro moncur on friday and had the said bangers and they were sooo good (but i guess at $29, you'd want the sausages to taste better than good). thanks
  12. whisks

    Ziploc omelet

    are ziplock bags and foodwrap foodsafe at high temperatures?
  13. taubear, did u go across the road to fratelli fresh?
  14. out of curiosity, can either of you tell me what the keeping qualities of your respective cupcakes are? how long do they keep? thanks
  15. now that you mention it, you are right about it being too hot in malaysia for jelly made from gelatine. i remember when i went to malaysia as a child and the adults trying to tempt me with with agar agar without success because i was familiar with the artificially coloured and flavoured jelly. the jelly i was familiar with was quite alien and could only be purchased from places like cold starage in singapore (if my memory serves me....this was some 30 years ago...last century, in fact ).... must try and schedule a trip out that way soon.....cheers
  16. all well and good that one of the last few posters has said that the layered jelly thing is an old malaysian favourite, but as far as i'm concerned, the two things are quite different, in both taste and texture. the malaysian dessert is much firmer, being made with agar agar, and also has a much blander flavour. i actually hadn't thought too much about it, but you are right in saying that there is some familiarity with the malaysian dessert. the funny thing is, the first 2 times i made it, i served it to malaysians, and not one said that it reminded them of kueh lapis. hopefully, i will see them this weekend and make it again and see what they have to say about it this time. i will definitely mention what you said to them. btw, i always thought the steamed kueh lapis (as opposed to the baked one) was made with mung bean flour (hoon kueh). i love both versions of kueh lapis, but agar agar is definitely not a favourite; rainbow jelly is miles ahead! you should try it, if your haven't already, and use coconut milk for the opaque layers instead of yogurt - it is delicious and much tangier than both kueh lapis and the agar agar.
  17. hi becca, i can't wait to give your pound cake a go (and a few of the others on this thread as well). what i want to know is, if i sprinkle berries (blueberries, raspberries...that sort of thing) on the top of the batter, will the batter support the berries, or do you think there may be a tendency for the fruit to sink? i'm thinking to make friand size versions and small loaves of the cake, rather than one big one. thanks.
  18. if you find the white jello layers a bit on the delicate side, make the jello more concentrated for the white layers. i do and don't have this problem.
  19. yes, i have. worth going to, but not on a monday. i say this because u can do the "knock two birds off with one stone" thing cos there's another foodie place across the road (sorry, can't remember the name)(it's closed mondays). at this other foodie place, there r the "markets" on one floor and the eating place on the other. parking is tricky, but that's just a matter of luck. and since u r in the neighbourhood, u can hit peter's of kensington in the one trip.... can't do the food critic thing real well cos it's been a while since i've been there. the flavour combinations r complex and interesting for the seafood/fish soup; the soup is liquidised, so there r no discernable pieces of seafood, but u know it's there. the mushrooms r nice n meaty. just have a look around at what others r eating if u need a guide. the egg dishes (omlette, fried) seemed to b popular, altho i didn't try them.
  20. danks street depot eccles cakes (not verbatim) makes 24 120g butter 335g muscatels or raisins 135g sugar rind of 1 lemon juice of 1 1/2 lemons about 8 sheets puff pastry cook the butter, muscatels, sugar, lemon rind and juice for 10 minutes and cool (he says it takes abt 2 hrs to cool). place spoonfuls of the muscatels on rounds of pastry, wrap and place on baking tray with pastry edges underneath. brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. make a couple of slashes in the pastry and bake 10-12 minutes @ 180 degrees celcius, remove from oven, sprinkle with more sugar and bake another 5-10 minutes. roll the cakes around the juices which have escaped. he says not to worry if any of the cakes explode - lol - but i don't see why they should since the pastry has holes in it. i haven't tried the recipe yet, but will at the first opportunity (read: find some ppl to help eat them, which won't take long). ditto the bread and butter pudding and angelina plum tart. (the dessert section is always the first section of a cookbook i read, and very often, the only section)
  21. i cannot but agree - i too, surprised myself when i made this. but it was such a fun change from serious "foodie" food everyone was used to me making - it really lightened things up. the gatherings i have made this for has included both young and old, and everyone has loved it - the young ones think it is "cool" and it probably makes the older ones feel young again. i think it has been a wonderful change of scene for all of us! an added bonus is that it tastes delicious (i use coconut cream for my white layers and the flavours are pleasantly complimentary). i also make little jello molds for a deli, thinking that it would be something mothers would buy for their littlies' parties, but they have also been a hit for teenagers (and adults having "young again" or "forever young" parties). i can't thank rachel enough for rediscovering this gem for us on egullet. may we all continue to be inspired.
  22. i find that if i want my pastry cases to be light, the less handling the better with only the tiniest amount of water. i also don't blind bake - just put the pie dish on a hot baking tray already in the oven and my crusts always turn out golden and light. i don't chill the pastry before baking nor do i use cold butter and really believe that it is the water that causes shrinkage and a tough pastry. omitting the water makes the pastry too short, so i add a spoonful or 2, depending on the quantity i am making.
  23. went to borders n checked out your book. he really seems to love duck (i do too, but i prefer to have that out cos it is sooo greasy to cook at home...every now n then i do). it's a lovely book. very personal, and i love how he has a story to tell about the recipes. the two recipes i want to do from the book are the eccles cakes and bread and butter pudding, not that i have had the pleasure of either at the depot. i know i've only been there once, but none of the recipes seemed familiar - mustn't have been paying attention. no matter - a good reason to go back again and try a few more things.
  24. hi trish, your article looks great! but i'm having trouble opening the page - the one i get has the article without pictures - is that right? at any rate, it's thrilling to see the jello mold have its fame spread further! congratulations!
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