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Everything posted by LittleIsland

  1. This would be interesting to someone like me who is constantly told everything I bake is "too sweet". The complaint is not the high calorie count, it's just a taste preference for certain people. But with most buttercreams, some cookie recipes, and so on, reducing the sugar changes the texture of the finished product. But I'm just a home baker so it's just as well this is a commercial product so I'm not sucked into buying YET another ingredient!
  2. Thanks so much for the link to the Magic Line sheet! I have Magic line cake pans and LOVE them. I didn't know they had cookie sheets. Going to check it out and hope they ship internationally :-)
  3. I've just baked a couple batches of these Chocolate Chip Cookies and still had a bit of spread and, even with a little extra baking time, cookies that were a little soft. So I realise I'm usually having to bake my cookies longer than stated times, and wonder if this is due to my using insulated cookie sheets. Sarah Phillips over at baking911 says that non-insulated, NON non-stick cookie sheets are best, and this appears to be corroborated by Cook's Illustrated's recommendation of Vollrath cookie sheets. Apparently insulated sheets do not heat up fast enough to set a cookie quickly, thus causing them to spread. Trouble is, I only have insulated cookie sheets. Is there any way to overcome this problem (apart from baking frozen dough)? Or will I need to get non-insulated cookie sheets? And, which are the best to get? I'd love some recommendations. The Vollrath are too wide for my oven so I need 16" x 14" ones.
  4. no!!! ← nothing like a nice mug of fishy hot chocolate just before bed (no disrespect intended Rob... just that I am not a huge salmon fan and the thought of this... erm... well...) Very interested to see how it turns out!
  5. Rose Levy Berenbaum is slated to have her latest baking book out sometime in the 4th quarter, and if I only buy one book this year, that will be it.
  6. Ok here are the pics of the canneles made in the Nordicware rose pan with the beeswax coating - imparting a lovely sheen to the canneles that was not present with my first batch: Here is a closer look at the inside: And here are the petit four sized canneles (the Nordicware pan indicates about a 1/10 cup capacity): And inside one of them: The good thing about using the Nordicware pans is, I didn't have to season the pans. And, as Annie noted, the beeswaxed pans were not too difficult to clean at all. In my case, using Paula Wolfert's recipe, the resulting cannele is definitely superior to those baked without the beeswax.
  7. Pleased to report the petit four size with the beeswax worked quite well. Nice crunch, and decent amount of custardy innards. The crust is thicker than I'd prefer, but as Annie mentioned, that's probably par for the course when using such small moulds. I like their bite size for sharing or giving away. This time I baked them for 1hr (at 50 mins they were too light coloured), 1hr 5 mins and 1hr 10 mins - no huge difference between the canneles done at these different times. Considering yesterday's batch was baked for 1hr 15 mins and were extremely overdone, I'm thinking maybe the beeswax coating stopped the overcooking? Just speculation. Photos tomorrow. I'm now a little cannele'd out from all that sampling.
  8. Thanks so much for the reply, Annie. Today I went ahead and used beeswax in the rose pan, and I can say the end result in terms of crust and flavour is very close to that of the bought cannele, miles better than yesterday's effort. I did increase the amount of rum also, by half again, but although that would have helped with the aroma, it would not have affected the texture. I think I will be using beeswax from now on. I didn't bother with the oil, just melted the beeswax with butter. As I speak, the petit four sized canneles are baking (also with beeswax) - I am trying a shorter baking time. And I'll report back on whether the beeswax makes a difference in achieving a better crunch in the shorter time, thus allowing a thinner crust... I hope. Although now with the improved version of the rose-size, it's not difficult at all to polish off a larger cannele... or two.
  9. Has anyone tried coating the Nordicware moulds with beeswax, and how easy/difficult are they to clean? I baked some canneles today in the Sweetheart Rose pan and they came out ok - crust was crisp at the beginning and then softened as time went by... but it wasn't the same kind of crunch (and lingering flavour) that I experienced with a bought cannele. So I'm getting ready to try the beeswax but also getting a little nervous in case my Nordicware pan gets wax permanently stuck in its crevices - I want to use it for other stuff too. Also, baking the canneles in the Nordicware petit four moulds (about 1/10 cup capacity) resulted in very pretty pastries but with extremely thick crusts and virtually no custard left in the centres. Any advice on whether to reduce baking time or temperature, and by how much? I'm using Paula Wolfert's recipe and baked for 1 hr 15 mins for the petit four sized canneles (obviously way too much) and 1 hr 10 mins today for the rose canneles (almost 1/2 cup capacity) which was about right (but the crisp crust did not last for as long as I expected).
  10. What an absolutely gorgeous looking cake, dystopiandreamgirl. I do carrot cake once in a while, but it's usually the marzipan/fondant carrot thing, or some piping. I LOVE the effect of the candied flowers and the carrot ribbon. Simple yet elegant. Must think about what tropical flowers here would work as well. I've had a busy week, from my stepbrother's marriage cake last Monday: a small 2-tier (9" and 6") affair of sponge cake filled and covered with Rose Levy Berenbaum's Passionfruit Mousseline Buttercream (my new favourite buttercream) and decorated with butterflies using the chocolate method from the Whimsical Bakehouse... ...to my son's 6th birthday party cake (also a sponge filled and covered with the same buttercream)... ...to a Mango Passion Tart for my cousin's birthday dinner last night - from Rose Levy Berenbaum's Pie and Pastry Bible. Yes, Passion (fruit) was the flavour of the week!! I'm resting this week, although I am already feeling an urge to do some salted white chocolate oatmeal cookies.
  11. I've tried egg-based vanilla ice cream recipes and have concluded they're a bit too rich for us. So, in search of a richer Philadelphia style recipe I used the one that came along with my ice cream maker, which specifies double cream and whole milk. Except because my container of double cream was 50ml more than required, I used the lot, reducing the amount of whole milk accordingly. On top of this, since I'd read somewhere that many bring their base to 170degF before chilling and churning, I decided to do the same. So, I've now got a thick layer of fat on my base that won't emulsify into a nice creamy liquid. I tried attacking it with a stick blender but it became thick cream and milk, separated. I churned it nevertheless but it didn't really freeze, it just became very cold cream and milk - never integrating. Is there anything I can do to save it or has my bumbling rendered it irredeemable? And, can one make ice cream with clotted cream?
  12. Hi all I haven't been visting eGullet for a while, but have kept up the baking etc. and after more than a year, am back to trying to find my chocolate frosting again! I found this online, and tried out 12 versions today... ummm still not there yet. So tomorrow I am going to have to go back to Renee's recipe and tweak from there. But, Prasantrin, it might be something for you to start working from, in your search for the frosting from the Philippines. Maybe you could play with the amount of glucose (I used corn syrup, but a little less since it has a higher water content than glucose) for the gooey-ness. Fudge frosting: 30g liquid glucose 60g butter 180g dairy whipping cream or double cream 340g cooking chocolate, chopped 1. Stir cream, glucose and butter over low heat until hot and well blended. 2. Add chopped chocolate and continue to heat until chocolate is melted. 3. Cool to spreading consistency.
  13. Hey, congratulations, iii_bake. I'm so pleased for you! I've been a bit distracted by other stuff lately and not visiting the forum, so not sure what you won this FOR, but, it's such a fabulous win Good for you!
  14. Hopefully you are hanging around, Ann_T... what size is your doughnut cutter, for the outer ring and the hole? Is it easy to achieve such doughnutty perfection in terms of looks, or is it something that takes a bit of practice and some secret tips? I made doughnuts for the first time yesterday, but should have some to look them up here first, of course. I used a recipe from Cook's Illustrated. They turned out a little hard and looked disastrous. Perhaps my dough was too soft, but the rounds rose into puffs only vaguely resembling doughnuts, and the fried results quite grossly misshapen. So, before I decide whether to try again (all that frying is a bit scary too), I just have to know... is making doughnuts actually an easy thing or something I have to do a few more times to get gorgeous, evenly sized and shaped airy puffs? Can't afford too many more calories this way!!
  15. Those look deeelicious! I stopped a while back because I have been happy with the Unbelievably Good Chocolate Chunk cookies with 30% of the flour subbed for oat flour instead, and also Dorie Greenspan's recipe from Baking From My Home to Yours. Would you say the flavour of the Jacque Torres cookie is better than the NM cookie? If so then why not try subbing some oats? I might try the Jacue Torres recipe. I normally stash lots of cookie dough in the freezer anyway because the family inhales cookies and I like to bake off a dozen a time for absolute freshness.
  16. Wonderful, Eileen... would you post back here on how you find their products once you've tried them? I'm still waiting for them to revert with answers to a few questions and they sure are SLOW. But, their products sound good - at least on their website.
  17. I'll try that. Thanks! ← Oh I made another batch of these today and realised from my previous notes that I had cut back the sugar by 20% the first time. And it was fine. Today I subbed 30% of the flour for oat flour and it was also good.
  18. This is possible. When I was doing my time in the hotel kitchen I found they didn't use AP flour as such. All their recipes which looked like they would require AP flour called for a combination of bread and pastry flour (but in varying proportions). May - on reducing sugar content in cookie recipes, I normally do it proportionately. I'm with you on sweetness - I find most cookie recipes too sweet. So, I usually cut back on both sugars by 15% (I find this to be a good level for me), and this keeps the proportion of brown to white sugar the same.
  19. I made Dorie Greenspan's chocolate chip cookies from her latest book as well, and I like them better than Alton Brown's The Chewy. Better flavour.
  20. And soon you'll be able to grow strawberries in it! That in itself is enough to make me salivate for one. But I wonder if the berries will be wonderful and intense and sweet.
  21. Has anyone tried the products from this company - in particular, the non-vanilla natural flavourngs, and what do you think of the product, quality and price? http://www.icdc.com/~vanilla/index.html
  22. To follow up on earlier suggestions about Jello desserts, how about using clear or coloured agar (maybe see if you could sweeten it with fruit juice instead of sugar) and suspending different types of fruit in each tier, and the tiers could be elevated - I'm trying to say, not sitting directly on top of one another, but can't think of the expression right now :duh:
  23. I was inspired by Patrick's photographs, and my brioche dough is now resting in the refrigerator. But I don't think it'll turn out the way it was intended. It didn't seem to really come together, it stayed kind of shaggy, curdled looking and way too wet, even after the specified beating time. I added few tablespoons of flour, one tablespoon at a time, hoping it would come together into a smooth silky dough... but no such luck. Anyway after the rising and slapping down it is still sticky and in fact quite oily. Is it supposed to be this way? Should I go ahead and bake it up tomorrow or is it beyond redemption and should I not waste time and face certain disaster?
  24. The term "honeycomb" as used by the non-US posters does refer to the kind of centre found in a Crunchie bar (or Violet Crumble - yummeeeee - but the Violet Crumble centre is drier and has fewer large holes in it, I like it much better than Crunchie), so you might try adapting the sponge toffee recipe. I reckon the meringue, if baked long and low, would be a good bet too. If you dry it out thoroughly in the oven it would not be too wet. Unless you run into humidity in which case I imagine your honeycomb centre would also suffer.
  25. Thanks Shaloop. Obviously have been eating too many cookies lately
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