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Everything posted by dantodd

  1. Has anyone used hobby store luster dust for chocolates? It's non-toxic and I wonder if it's the same product we all use in our molds.
  2. Hi Tammy, Looks good. I have a similar problem with some (15 or 20%) of my dipped caramels leaking at the corners. Any idea why this happens? BTW: I've had issues with colored chocolate staying tacky and staying in the mold or rubbing off the bon bon. In my case it as because I used gel colors and it ruined the temper. edit: Hope you're surviving the cold. My folks are in Brighton.
  3. I guess if the assumption is that the cake is a lesser component to the finished dish than the icing and decoration then you could justify using just about anything.
  4. I recently had a nostalgic moment at the grocery store and picked up a Duncan Hines mix and a can of frosting; just like mom used to make. Yuck... I actually chucked most of the cake. It was inedible. Obviously the brown crisco didn't help any but the texture was way off and the cake itself also had off or artificial flavors that I was not able to identify. I think I'll try the "doctored" recipe that Cali posted and report back. As stated above I grew up with mix cakes and canned frosting but have been baking/eating scratch food since college. Even if the doctored cake works I can't imagine there is anything salvageable in that putrid plastic can.
  5. Right now I am half way through a growler of Pliny the Younger from Russian River. Wow!!!!! I can't even tell you how much I am enjoying this beer. I am usually dead set against the "IBU Race" that seems to dominate so many of the west coast IPAs. However; this is an incredibly balanced beer. IF you don't like citrus, floral hops forget about it. This is a west coast triple IPA and while it is balanced it is still floral, citrusy as all good west coasters are. We ran up to Anderson Valley for our semi-annual trip and managed our first stop at Russian River in Santa Rosa this time. I tried to stop in and have a bit of food and beer but my son was not cooperative once the music started. We had a nice italian-american dinner down the street and I managed to pick up a 2 liter growler on the way out of town. I knew I was going to get "Younger" if it was available and sure enough the chalkboard had the following description: Original Gravity: 1.092 ABV: 11% IBU: Gobs It took me 4 days to decide and open this alone since I wasn't able to get anyone to help out. Well, the beer is still nicely carbonated and incredibly well balanced. (I know I've said that before but I'm 1 liter or more into the growler as I write this so...) It isn't at all hot tasting and ther is plenty of malt to compliment this still very hop forward beer. It was $22 for a 2 liter bottle (plus $6 for the growler), which is obviously a little steep but I figured you only get a couple shots at such a well known beer available only at the brewery. I can say, without hesitation, that the empty growler will be making the trip to the Valley for each of our semi-annual trips from now on. I might be bringing it home with Damnation, Salvation or Blind Pig next time but Russian River is definitely worth the trip and absolutely demands a stop if you are already in the neighborhood.
  6. Slanted door, House of Nanking etc. are all excellent places to have a lunch/dinner in San Francisco but I'd vote for Clam Chowder, sourdough and fresh crab/oysters at fisherman's wharf if you only have one shot. San Francisco is the home of sourdough and it would definitely be my first suggestion. Also, if you are into beer, there is a great beer shop just around the corner from Moscone too. It's called City Beer Store, it's on Folsom. It's a combination tasting/retail spot for beer. There are a lot of similar wine stores but this is the first of it's kind for beer in California.
  7. thanks Lee, that's the same procedure lots of people use for the carmel in flan. Makes sense. I'll try that next time for the caramel swirls.
  8. It used both. But I can certainly make it with just cream and sugar on my next batch if that makes a difference.
  9. I recently made a batch of caramel that was too soft and instead of incorporating it into my next batch I decided to try to make Dulce de Leche ice cream. I made a basic custard ice cream recipe substituting the caramel for sugar when I simmered the cream and using an 1/8 tsp of cinnamon for a 1 quart batch. I then used an electric frozen pot style ice cream maker to stir freeze the ice cream When the ice cream was about cream of wheat consistency I added 2 Tbs of brown sugar for texture and flavor and then added the soft caramel to mix in. Well, it came out pretty well but the caramel swirls got too hard and sank to the bottom of the batch while it was hardening in the freezer. I think this batch was cooked to about 245 degrees F. Does anyone know of a good temperature to cook caramel for use as a swirl in ice cream? Thanks in advance for any help.
  10. I had to do just the opposite recently. I messed up a batch of ganache and had to remelt and increase the chocolate to get the consistency I wanted. It is more difficult to get the "broken" ganache back into an emulsion but gently heating it in the microwave and then a lot of mixing (careful to not over aerate) can bring it back into shape.
  11. Well, I was born Michigan and lived in Alabama as a child. My mom is from Georgia and grew up in Oklahoma so I have no idea which region brought what to the table but.... Pineapple upsidedown cake Homemade Ice Cream Lemonade Cake (yellow mix cake with frozen lemonade concentrate mixed with "powdered sugar" soaked in, just a little sweet!!) Moon pies Little Debbie cakes Pecan Pie Rhubarb and Strawberry/Rhubarb pie Sweet potatoe Pie Peanut Butter Pie Chocolate Pie Millionaire's Pie We liked desserts at our house!
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