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  1. It is so sweet of you to take the time to give me this information, Annabelle. I will look in a used book store very soon for The Good Cook, and I thank you. It sounds very interesting.
  2. There are some things you have to be careful about beating for a long time. If you beat flours with gluten (such as wheat flour), the gluten will develop and be tough -- good for bread, not good for cakes or biscuits.If you're adding something you want to stay light -- such as beaten egg whites -- you don't want to beat too much, because they'll deflate. But beating a butter/sugar combo, well, you can go pretty much as long as you like. That is very helpful, thank you.
  3. I'm going right now to check that one out...and thank you!
  4. Maybe adding more powdered sugar would have been good. I was just thinking that it was so thick (dense) already, and I was worried it might end up even thicker by adding more powdered sugar and also be too sweet. But because it had so much chocolate, maybe it would have been okay to be a little sweeter. Annabelle, yes, I guess it was more like an American buttercream. I started making this frosting so many years ago, and I tend to want to improve or change things up. I remember wanting to make it more chocolatey a few years ago (and it was really quite chocolatey already) and I should have left it alone and not decided to add melted chocolate. You know that saying, a little...then a lot must be better...? Why did I think cocoa powder AND melted bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate would make this frosting the ultimate in taste Okay, here is what I did: I took the frosting out of the refrigerator and let it set for a bit and then put the frosting in the KA mixer and mixed it a little bit. Then I added 2 TBSP of whipping cream as it mixed and continued adding 2 TBSP at a time as I watched it and probably ended at about 10-12 TBSP. The frosting softened quite a bit and then I added 1/2 of a cube of butter, 1 TBSP at a time. It was still quite rich, a little lighter in color, and it was yummy. Next time I'm not sure if I will add the melted chocolate to the recipe. For sure, I won't add 2 TBSP each of unsweetened and bittersweet. I would love to hear if any of you use only the unsweetened cocoa or if any of you use both the cocoa and the melted chocolate to make a buttercream-type of chocolate frosting. I don't make frostings enough to not be intimidated. Thank you, everyone for your help. Just reading your responses gave me more confidence.
  5. Thank you, Lisa. That sounds interesting. I'm a little worried that it could make it too sweet, though. What do you think: I have about 4 cups of frosting. Should I add about 1 cube of butter and about 1/2 cup powdered sugar and what would happen if I just added more butter? I'm surprised that you say that adding the cream wouldn't affect the flavor much. Some frostings are made up of whipping cream, sugar and the cocoa, right? Do you ever combine unsweetened cocoa and the chopped chocolate like I did? I don't know if I should ever do it again. Thank you again for responding. I'll let you know what I do. Here's hoping...
  6. I'm wondering what to do to make a chocolate frosting that I already made not so dark and dense. It was made with butter, powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, and then I added 2 oz. of unsweeteed chocolate and 2 oz. of bittersweet chocolate. I'm sure I made a mistake by trying the added chocolate, but what can I do now to lighten the frosting up? I've made a 5 layer chocolate cake and I've filled it with chocolate buttercream that is nice and light. I thought the darker, richer frosting would be good, but this is ridiculous. Can I add whipping cream before it is whipped to the frosting and just mix the 2 together and then beat it? I don't know the basics of when something like this curdles when mixed together. Is there a resource for me to learn about when to mix, when to beat and for how long? When adding some ingredients, I have a fear from reading in past directions like, "Mix just until combined... don't be afraid to beat it for several minutes," etc. I would appreciate any help possible. Help!!! Lol. Thanks ahead of time. Toni
  7. Your cake is beautiful! I love how white and billowy it looks. How would you describe its taste? Does it taste like marshmellow and how sweet? Thanks, and I am so glad that you persevered and got what you wanted.
  8. "Sensation" is not giving enough credit to that fantastic creation! Beyond words!!!
  9. It is so awesome of you to take the time to share your recipe, Gfron1! I am printing it out and will make this for sure. I like that you suggested mixing thighs and breasts and that is what I'll do. It sounds really good and I'll be sure to let you know how mine turns out. Thank you again sooooo much!
  10. Thank you so much for the encouragement and your experience.
  11. How did you know that I was picturing myself holding the match, turning on the gas and adjusting the flame in order. I will look into this torch. You know my husband is wondering why I am so determined to figure out the caramelization because he says the creme is so outstanding by itself. Go figure!
  12. I'm surprised to hear that because I've heard to dab the top of the creme if it has moisture on it after taking it out of the refrigerator. It does make sense that the sugar would stick better if the top were damp, though. Thank you for your thoughts. ← I think the poster meant to spray the sugar to dampen it slightly for an even caramelization. The only reason I would disagree with this is because it would take longer to caramelize in order to evaporate the water. With the little torch, this would be prohibitive I think. ← Oh, thank you.
  13. I would love to know more. Is Barbara Tropp the author of a book that I could get to help me? Maybe I should go this route. Do you like poaching a whole chicken better than perhaps roasting a whole chicken to get chicken for recipes using chicken? ← Barbara Tropp was an incredible cookbook writer, chef, teacher, and restaurant owner. She describes the method in both her books: "Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking"- page 129, and in "The China Moon Cookbook" - detailing "no-poach chicken" in the margins of pages 116 & 117. I usually am cooking smaller quantities and favor barely simmering chicken parts on the bone in a well flavored broth with tomato, chile, garlic, onion, and sometimes cumin for Mexican influenced dishes. I concur on the shredding with the grain and incorporating some of the cooking liquid. If cooking ahead I will store the shredded chicken in a container amply bathed in the liquid, draining before use. For future use, storing it in the liquid in the freezer yields a moist result for me upon thawing. ← I just returned from the bookstore and had no luck finding either book. I did buy chicken today so tomorrow I will try cooking it. Are you actually simmering it for about 20 mins. (if it is say, 4-6 chicken breast halves) or are you bringing the broth to a simmer or boil, covering the pan, and after turning off the burner letting it set on the burner for about 45 mins.? Sorry to be so detailed. I'm hoping for a very successful dish. Thank you again.
  14. i think another tip is to make sure that the creme brulees have had a chance to sit in the fridge and get very chilled before attempting to torch or broil them. i don't think home broilers get hot enough to do a good enough job before the creme brulee gets too warm/liquidy. edited to add: the great thing about needing them nice and chilled is that you can make your creme brulees (cremes brulee?!) up to three days ahead of when you want to serve them. they keep fine, covered, in the fridge. torch them when you are ready to serve them. here's my method (after torching literally thousands of creme brulees in restaurants): 1) put a ton of sugar on top 2) dump the sugar off. you should be left with a thin layer of sugar stuck to the moist top of the creme brulee. clean the edges of the dish if you're worried about appearances 3) now add a touch more sugar, maybe another very thin layer 4) start torching. with the small torches, the flame might actually have to be touching the sugar but i find with the hardware store version, this isn't necessary. you can start out close and as the sugar melts (NOT crystalizes, wrong term to use) and carmelizes, you can adjust distance to keep the sugar from getting too dark which might end up making it taste bitter. 5) move the torch evenly over the surface until all the sugar is nicely caramelized 6) if you think the sugar layer is too thin, you can always add a touch more. i do this while the just torched layer is still very hot and liquid. continue to torch. 7) allow to cool before serving. you want it to be nice and crisp and it needs several seconds to cool down. you can throw it in the fridge if you want, but remember that if you keep it in there too long, the sugar layer will liquify with all the moisture. good luck! ← Thank you so much for the help and advice. I will keep trying. Also, I made the creme brulee the night before the dinner, so it was very cold and set.
  15. I'm surprised to hear that because I've heard to dab the top of the creme if it has moisture on it after taking it out of the refrigerator. It does make sense that the sugar would stick better if the top were damp, though. Thank you for your thoughts.
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