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Everything posted by RodneyCk

  1. Thanks for the reply. Well, now I am really confused, lol. I was under the impression that you wanted the butter and flour to mix. Whenever I add the flour in thirds and the liquid in two parts, I add a good portion of the flour in the first addition, usually 2/3 of it. The reason is that the butter (fat) combines with more of the flour initially and protects it from the liquid, thus lesser chance of gluten forming through beating. This method was brought to my attention by Alton Brown and Shirley O Corriher, author of Cookwise. So, I was thinking that maybe the icy water also seized the butter/flour mixture to further protect it from combining with the liquid quickly, interesting, this science business, lol.
  2. I was hoping someone could help me find an answer to a cake question. I have come across a few recipes for cakes that call for ice water as their liquid. Most of them use the traditional creaming method, in the end alternating dry ingredients with ice water. My best guess is that it seizes up the butter/fat and helps protect the flour from forming gluten. Does anyone know if this is correct?
  3. I heard cherries were going to be more expensive this year due to all the rain in the spring, a lot of waste. Were they high in cost?
  4. Thanks for the post Ling, that one looks amazing.
  5. This is the one I was thinking about getting because it is geared towards cookbook writing. I ultimately decided to put my old graphic design skills to work and settled for Adobe Indesign and did it myself. I now have one beautiful cake everything recipe book with all my favorite recipes. Here is the link for the software; http://www.cookspalate.com/
  6. Wonderful cheeses and great to work with. A friend of mine was setting up a book signing for Martha Stewart and wanted to have some local edibles there for her and her staff for break. The CGC was the first stop. They were so helpful and included a bunch of extras, including fancy name tags for each cheese for display. It turned out Martha had already stopped there before the signing and purchased some cheeses, of course she already knew about them, lol. So, if you are in a food-related business and want to work with them, they are spot on.
  7. I saw an interview with the owner and he said as far as chickens and eggs, they try and buy from producers that raise and kill humanely. I don't remember him mentioning meat, but I assume the same holds true. They buy from large organic vegetable producers and local, small producers in the areas, so they are trying to keep the local farmer in business. I don't think their business model is perfect, but compared to giant regular supermarket chains who produce cancer causing, pesticide ridden, awful vegetables and fruit, and buy from animal farms that could care less about the animal and what is pumped in them, at least WF is trying, I will give them that. What I don't like about Whole Foods, mainly, is according to the owner, all this comes at a price, which is reflected in their high prices, which in turn attracts mostly the ladder-climbing yuppies. Regular folks have a hard time justifying Whole Foods when looking at their paycheck every week, and that is a shame in my book.
  8. I think it is all about no waste, using the entire animal. There is also the ritualistic and spiritual aspect of eating certain foods at certain times, for example the eating of cow and tiger penis to increase sexual power is in their culture. I was with my friend who is Chinese and she ordered duck's tongue. I never tried it but did try the chicken feet, not bad, a little fatty. Cat and dog, they eat those too, I could never do. I have a cat and I can not disassociate a pet from food, nope.
  9. I lived in Chicago for several years before transferring out to San Francisco. I loved the real Chicago-style pizza and usually found the best in the little mom & pop places. I had my favorite located in the north western part of the city. So, when I see places in other cities that say "Chicago-style", chains like Pizza Uno, I make the poo in the cat box look on my face. Well, I recently discovered what I think is a new pizza place in Hayes Valley called Patxi's Chicago Pizza. I must say, their pizza is pretty close to the original. So, if you want something different and a fairly close to the real Chicago deep dish pizza, give them a whirl. They don't deliver, so eat-in or pick-up. http://www.patxispizza.com/
  10. Nice! Make sure to serve it with some in-season fruit, yum. Thanks.
  11. Do you plan on doing any of their old baking recipes? I would be most interested in these. I read an article recently that claimed some of the best baking, cakes, pies and tarts, etc. recipes are in the old cookbooks from long ago, when there were more bakeries creating from scratch, and more importantly, more experienced home bakers that really worked with recipes. This has been replaced today with Costco-type baked goods and families who either use mixes or order out. Many recipes now consist of the fastest possible means of making something (Rachel Ray comes to mind), usually tipping the scale towards ease rather than taste. I am just starting to collect the old books from used bookstores and online, so please post any desserts that are particularly tasty if these are included on your menu.
  12. I am in the same boat. My focus is on cakes at the moment, but the idea of pastries as well is enticing. I figured I had two options, continue working and attend a local cake decorating school for cheap or attend the Tante Marie's Cooking School in the fall and take their 6 month pastry program for $7 to $10k. I don't have $10k. So, I opted for the first option. I am taking the beginning cake decorating classes at the local cake supply/decorating school. I will take my first gumpaste class next week and the intermediate program next month. I want to keep my current job, but figure this would be a good way to get a part-time job later and test the waters. You never know if you are going to hate something and it would be worse if you paid $10k to discover this fact. So far, I love the instruction. I learn a lot on my own from books and the internet, of course, lol, but it is not the same. My instructor has been teaching for 20 years and just sold her bakery. She gives great tips and quicker, that I guess are better, ways of working. So my suggestion to you, find local classes. In the worst case, Michael’s stores offer Wilton courses.
  13. This is the thread that brought me to eGullet, as I am obsessed with finding the perfect white cake, at least perfect to me. One that reminds me of those birthday cakes as a child (which the home cake maker my mom commissioned probably made her cakes from a mix, lol.) So now that I have posting privileges, I can add my three cents. For me, the perfect cake is a light, fluffy melt in your mouth texture that is not overly sweet, but holds against a good buttercream. It should not leave you running for the milk carton, moisture is so important as well as an even crumb throughout, a pretty tough bill to fill actually. I looked far and wide, lots of tasting and lots of working out as a result. So far, for me, nothing has beat the Cook's Illustrated White Layer Cake, which uses the pastry method of mixing. Perfect! Consequently their yellow cake is my favorite light yellow cake as well, again the pastry method. The dense yellow buttercake is a different category. I tried the King Arthur White Cake recipe last week and I must admit it comes into a close second. I really like the look of it, nice high layers and really good flavor, although slightly more dense than the CI cake. The one thing I did notice was that as it sat, it continued to become moister. The first day I detected a slight dry crumb in the back of the throat, but this was completely void by the third day. I assume it was taking moisture from either the buttercream or the homemade jam in the center. Someone above mentioned the Whimsical White Cake recipe. I have that on my list to try next. I have heard good things about it. The search continues...
  14. As much as I do not like Starbuck's coffee, I love their maple oat scones, love, love, looooove them. They differ from location to location. When I do get them here in San Francisco, they tend to be a bit on the dry side, but further down to the central coast, they are moist and delicious. I have no idea why. Here is a recipe that supposedly mimics them exactly. I will let you be the judge. I left the ingredients as is, but changed the wording of the recipe as not to break any copyright infringement laws. I hate jails; they don't have maple oat scones. 1 cup oats (quick or old-fashioned) 1 ½ cups unbleached flour 2 tablespoons sugar ½ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon baking powder 2 tablespoons maple syrup 2 ½ tablespoons cold butter (small pieces) 1 large egg ½ cup half-and-half or heavy cream 1/2-3/4 teaspoon maple extract 2/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans Maple Glaze 1 ½ cups powdered sugar ½ teaspoon maple extract 5 teaspoons water Oven to 425°F. Grind oats in a food processor or blender. In a mixer, mix together the flour, oats, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix in maple syrup and butter until well combined. In a small bowl beat together the egg with the cream: Add maple extract. Combine the egg mixture into the flour mixture until well combined. Add pecans and continue mixing until incorporated. Place dough on a floured work surface. Begin kneading dough shape into a 8 to 10 inch circle; cut into 8 wedges with dough blade or knife. Place wedges on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until light brown; Let cool about 3 to 5 minutes on a wire wrack. Maple Glaze: Mix glaze ingredients until smooth. Use the appropriate amount of water for desired consistency, should be rather thick. Spread lots of glaze over each scone. Dry for 15 minutes before serving.
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