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Everything posted by patsikes

  1. patsikes


    One tip that I got from the guys at Chovision I met at the Great American Dessert Expo in Vegas was to put the little black baffle nuts on upside down. The extra surface area helps it make a better connection. He said they fix over half of these little "computer glitches" with that trick.
  2. Thanks! Yes they are rolled in a ~4 inch square of wax paper, twist the ends and give them a little push into the end of the caramel to square the end off and secure the paper a bit. Each piece is about 1 1/2 x 3/4 inches cut out of a approximately 3/4 inch thick slab of caramel. I just packed my traveling package this morning. I have a USPS box with two square foil pans of baklava, a square foil pan of fudge and all of my caramels. It will be making the trip to Minneapolis for the holiday with my in-laws. That little box weighs a ton!
  3. I have better luck with pudgy soft GB men when I underbake them. I love the recipe from RLB's Christmas Cookie book that I stopped trying new ones. If you bake for the recommended time, they will be crunchy. If you pull them early when you think they aren't done, they will still firm up but remain softer - meaning there's no crunch when you bite into them. ← I agree with this. I should have mentioned above that I bake these cookies 5-6 minutes (in a convection oven) and they are still quite soft if touched. I roll them about 3/8 inch thick or when sliced from a log cut them about 1/2 inch thick and flatten slightly (I use my favorite instrument for this, a batticarne.) ← Well I made the CI Gingerbread cookies the other night. They taste wonderful but with this new bit of "under baked" info, I think I over baked. I have a somewhat suspect apartment oven here and they took about 12 minutes to look "done". They are not "puffy", more chewy. But they are still good. Since we have pretty much gobbled them all up, I may try again thicker and less cooking time. Patrick
  4. Vanessa, Your chocolates look at beautiful as ever!!! Are your shipping your chocolate this year? I would love to order a box. Patrick
  5. Well, the caramels came out well.. I also made some spritz cookies but forgot to take pictures of those. Here are my caramels:
  6. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I now have the CI recipe and that one looks great! I made my caramel last night and it looks great this morning. No I get to have a great big wrapping part tonight! I will post some pictures of the finished product. Patrick
  7. Thanks for the reply kbjesq, but I can't view the recipe because I am not a CI member...and I am just too darn cheap. :-)
  8. I am looking for a new gingerbread cookie recipe that yields a nice fat puffy soft cookie cutouts. I have a recipe that I like, but no matter how thick I try to roll them they are still crunchy. One recipe I am contemplating for the puffy version is a honey based dough. It is from Disney and is what they use for their huge gingerbread houses. They sell cookies supposedly make from the same stuff which is close to what I want but with more spice. Any ideas? Otherwise, my cookie & candy plan for this year is: -Snowflake Spritz -Gingerbread cutouts -Winter Wonderland Cookes (chocolate cookie with white chocolate chunks) -peanut brittle -fudge -caramels -turtles Any help on a recipe would be great!!
  9. Cello... Hmmm... I assume that would rip less than wax paper would, which is what I normally use. I had thought about doing chocolate dipped caramels but the weather here in St Petersburg has not been that cooperative humidity wise for chocolate. Plus I have two big boxes (like 10,000 bags each or something crazy like that) of cello bags that we bought for the business two years ago that I could cut to about 4 squares each. By the way, anyone interested in buying a big box of cello bags???? Email me if you are interested! Patrick
  10. What material do you wrap with? Wax paper, parchment, or something special?
  11. I made Gretchen's Baklava on Sunday night....had the first piece yesterday. It is as good as our favorite Greek restaurant in Tarpon Springs, FL (which is a little Greek sponge diving village up the road from us). http://myweb.cableone.net/gob/Recipes/BAKLAVA.HTM
  12. Yep. I have a couple serrated 14 inch chefs knifes for the job. The ones I have came from the restaurant supply store with a white plastic handle in the 4-6 dollar range. If you use those flexible cutting boards, which we do when working with chocolate as it is easier to transfer the shards, use two at a time or put a flexible one on top of a regular cutting board otherwise your counter could be full if little pin holes from the serrations. Patrick
  13. I go one step past Northern..... This is a "Marie Calendars" type cornbread or corn cake: Mix a Jiffy Corn Bread Muffin and a Jiffy Yellow Cake Mix together with their respective ingredients into a 9x9 pan. Bake at the higher of the two's temperature for a little longer than it says.... Yum! I have just never been a fan of the cast iron skillet type corn bread...I have had lots and it is always so dry.
  14. My wife and I have been making the Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookie lately. It was rated the best by Martha Stewart, and I just love anything Jacques. Read about it on my blog post: http://blog.mychocolatejournal.com/pt/blog...colate-Chip-Coo
  15. I had purchased a bag of natural powdered dried raspberries and threw most of it out. No matter what I did, I ended up with a gummy mess. I tried adding it directly to the ganache, steeping it in the cream (like tea), and wetting it with water or everclear. Not only was the texture off, the flavor was not the best either. To get a tart crisp flavor I was used to getting with fresh raspberry puree you would have to add lemon juice or citric acid.
  16. I did not have much luck with freeze dried fruit powders in ganache. Just tasted funny. Not sure if this would be too much FW also, but you could try soaking your fruit in Everclear for a couple weeks and use that as your flavor base.
  17. I really like using a chinois or china cap like this one: http://www.pastrychef.com/EXOGLASS-CHINOIS_p_14-853.html They tend to be expensive but I have seen them at garage sales before or maybe ebay. I don't have one right now... I used to use the one at our commissary kitchen so I will be keeping an eye out this year.
  18. I think this one looks promising. http://www.floras-hideout.com/recipes/reci...Lime_Pie_Cooked The egg yolks are cooked via a double boiler so there should be no danger of contamination. Then instead of using the egg whites, I would used whipped cream. Then you could order some tart shells like these: http://www.auiswisscatalogue.com/store/mer...WEETTARTLSHELLS
  19. Maybe a key lime mouse with a stove top cooked key lime "pie filling" lightened with some whipped cream. Then you could pipe them into little tart shells.
  20. Hey Truffle Guy, Have you tried using some desiccants in your wine refrigerator. I am over in St Pete and am thinking about going this way to keep my chocolate bar stash in. Also, do you have a shop over in Tampa? Would love to come visit....
  21. I have seen other post around on this subject as well also...just don't have any links. I have been planing on picking one up before it gets too hot down here in FL land. I remember hearing that it was suggested to place some desiccant in the bottom of the wine cooler to help keep the humidity down. Something like this rechargeable one http://www.chefrubber.com/Shopping/shopexd.asp?id=1182.
  22. When we were running our business, it was probably 90% bon bons (truffles, caramels, etc) and 10% bars. Now that we are not making our own, and we have not found any good local chocolatiers in St Petersburg, it is 90-100% bars. If I had an unlimited supply of both: I would reach for the bon bon 75% of the time....
  23. 10-12 inch chef knife with serrated edge. Find them at your local restaurant supply with the basic white handle for cheap. I personally chopped up many a block of 5Kg Callebaut with one.
  24. Yea. St Petersburg is I think a stop off to getting to Orlando. This was where the good job was, but don't see this place as a career spot. I would love to start my company up again, its just this darn heat and humidity. I can be tamed, but I will have to build a kitchen to do so. No ordinary catering kitchen will do (which is what I used in Colorado). Thats why I builtwww.MyChocolateJournal.com because I was missing the whole chocolate thing. At least this lets me play virtually in chocolate.
  25. I personally did not like it. It made the truffle look wierd. Part of the problem may be the chocolate we used which was Callebaut's white chocolate which is quite yellow in color.
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