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Everything posted by naes

  1. I can't wear these at work because they don't have a closed back. ← Open the PDF file (link above) and look at the diagram. On the left it states "enclosed heel meets workplace standards"
  2. naes


    Dough Sheeters
  3. I'm a fan of Birkis. They are easy on my feet. There are two models, one with no heel/lift (profi) and one with a slight heel/lift (super). Also, the shoes tend to run a little larger than sized. I normally wear a 43, and that's what I first bought, but after wearing them for a while figured out they were too big. So I bought a size 42 and they're perfect. I found the best price anywhere here.
  4. The Well-Decorated Cake by Toba Garrett has good step-by-step instructions on decorating basics.
  5. Your malasadas look wonderful! Sorry I didn't get my recipe to you in time. I completely forgot to check this thread after my original posting to see if you wanted it. However, it looks like you didn't need it because my recipe is based on the one that you posted. I have to agree with a previous poster though. I don't think malasadas keep well. They're really meant to be eaten hot out of the fryer. I just might have to make a batch again soon!
  6. My wife and I fell in love with malasadas when we visited the Big Island several years ago. I have a recipe that I found online and to which I've made some small adjustments. I'm pretty happy with the results now. At first they were a little too dense and lacked some flavor. To correct this I added a cold ferment step to contribute a slight sour note and then I roll them out, cut them with a ring, and then let them bench proof. The bench proof is the key to getting them light and airy. You just need to be careful when moving the malasadas into the fryer so as not to deflate them.
  7. We're in the hospitality business, right? So be hospitable and make every guest feel welcome. Maybe they won't spend a lot of money with you that night, but if you make them feel important and welcomed and they enjoy themselves, then you never know how many people they will tell to eat at your restaurant. This sounds like a one-off problem and something that shouldn't require a new policy that would possibly irk more people than it would help your bottom line.
  8. I'd say it's almost expected.
  9. I recently did a lot of research into sharpening systems before making my purchasing decision. If I had the money to spend on it, then I would have gotten an EdgePro. They're just a little too expensive for me. I ended up buying the Spyderco Sharpmaker and love it.
  10. naes


    Don't apply the egg wash until just before you put it in the oven. Try that and see what you think.
  11. Check out my post on the concept called Prime Cost. Your two biggest controllable expenses are your food costs and your labor (and benefits) costs. You can't really look at one with looking at the other. As a general Rule of Thumb (ROT), you shouldn't exceed 65% of sales when you combine your food and labor costs. These calculations should include food and beverage sales. As for the seasonality of your business, does your high season make up for your low season at the end of the year? You might need to take a loss during some quarters, but you should be able to make it up in others. I doubt the yacht club wants to lose money on the operation. Maybe your GM should set cost targets on a quarterly/seasonal basis instead of the same target all year round. Good luck!
  12. I didn't have time to read through everyone's responses, so I'm not sure if this has been mentioned or not. Your toffee is getting sticky because it isn't coated in chocolate to protect it from the moisture in the air. If you want to make uncoated toffee pieces and store them, then you need to put it in an air-tight container with some dessicant.
  13. I moved from Seattle this past Fall to NYC so I could attend culinary school and then work in the city for a few years before returning to Seattle. I'm staging at WD-50 right now in the pastry kitchen. Sous vide is widely used at WD-50 but is just one of many advanced culinary techniques that are being used (and developed) in the kitchen. The term "Molecular Gastronomy" was dreamt up by Herve This and Nicholas Kurti in the early 90's as way to get the attention of research institutes so they would have someone to pay for their work. Most of the people on the forefront of cooking, the people who are developing these new techniques, don't like the term Molecular Gastronomy and try to distance themselves from it. What's a better term? Who knows? I just saw Herve This speak at my school and it is his opinion that "Molecular Gastronomy" is dead because it has become part of the popular lexicon. So, of course, he is trying to invent a term for the next wave and labeling it "Culinary Constructivism." Whatever. It just comes down to making food as delicious as possible. I am as ardent of a supporter of this culinary movement as any, but I think too many times flavor gets lost in the fray. Too many times something is done just for the sake of novelty/uniqueness and the chef loses focus on the deliciousness of the dish. I think this statement says it better than any other -- Statement on the new cookery As for the topic of the original post, I am not aware of anywhere in Seattle that is really pushing the boundaries of cooking. Hopefully, I can bring a little of it with me when I come back to Seattle.
  14. Thanks for the tip! I'm just getting started with chocolate, so it's great to hear different ways of dealing with issues. ICE teaches in Fahrenheit, so that's where my head is at for now. I'm sure I'll start to switch over to Celsius as I get out into the industry and start working. Sean [Edited for misspelling]
  15. Kerry Beal is right. Once your chocolate is in temper, even if it cools considerably, you can just re-heat it as long as you don't exceed your top temper range. For dark chocolate, your target range to keep the chocolate workable should be 87 to 91. For milk or white chocolate, your temp range should be 84 to 87. Of course, as we've said, the low range isn't an issue because you can just heat it back up (slowly and carefully). It's the high range that you have to be very careful about. If you exceed the upper limit just slightly, you should re-test your temper because you might still be there. If you're working with the chocolate for a long time in the temper range, especially if you're stirring a lot, you can actually become over-tempered. The chocolate gets really thick even though it is at the high end of the temper range. What's happening is you have too many of the crystals and they thicken the chocolate. To fix this just melt your chocolate to 110-120 to dissolve all the crystals and re-temper. At least, that's been my somewhat limited experience. Good luck! Sean
  16. Good work! sanresho is right, if it is just going to be a couple hours, don't stick it in the fridge. However, you can keep the buttercream for a week in the fridge, if you're not going to use it that same day. When you're ready to use it, just take it out and let it warm a bit before sticking it back in the mixer (with the paddle attachment). Put it on medium speed and let it go. It'll break and the butter will run out, but just give it time and it will come back together. If you're in a real hurry and don't have time to let it sit out to warm up first, you can just throw it directly in the mixer and then wrap hot towels around the bowl, re-warming the towels as needed. Presto!
  17. Hi Steph Here's some tips from my limited (but successful) croissant making experience. Leave the butter cold, don't soften it. Cut the butter for the beurrage into four pieces. Pour out your flour onto the counter and coat each butter block in flour and pound out very flat, recoating with flour as necessary to prevent sticking to the table or the rolling pin. For that amount of butter, you'll need around 3 oz of flour. Stack the four flour-coated sheets of butter and fold them into fourths to form a block. Try to make sure the sheets are uniform size and thickness so when you fold them all together you get a beurrage that is uniform is size and shape. Form the detrempe into a rectangle, large enough so the beurrage covers 2/3 of the dough and also large enough so there is at least a one inch margin all around. Fold the top 1/3 down to the middle and the bottom 1/3 up to the middle (like an envelope). Turn the dough counter-clockwise and roll into a rectangle. Follow this by two double turns (rotating counter-clockwise each time). Rest the dough for at least 4 hours or overnight. Good luck! Sean
  18. I have made a buttercream with caramelized sugar syrup, so I doubt the high temperature is what caused the "hard thready bits." Are you slowly (and I mean SLOWLY) pouring the syrup down the side of the mixing bowl as the paddle spins on medium speed? The syrup should hit the side of the mixing bowl first, not the egg whites, which helps cool it slightly before mixing. It is important that the syrup contact the side of the bowl as you slowly pour it in. With higher temperature syrups, you'll end up with more of it stuck to the side/top of the bowl, but it still works out in the end. Sean
  19. I should have stated rule number one, top priority - never sign a personal guarantee. That's what your LLC is for. If your business folds, the corporations folds, and the lease folds with it. That's why it's called a Limited Liability Corporation.
  20. I know what you mean. Using weight measures just... makes sense! If you're looking for a good bread baking book with baker's percentages, try Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes by Jeffrey Hamelman.
  21. I am currently in the Culinary Management program at the Institute of Culinary Education. So, I do not have any real-world experience to offer yet, but I can give you some things we've been told in class. * Never sign a lease for less than 10 years. There is too much risk that you won't be able to recoup your capital investment before your lease is renegotiated and you can't afford the rent. * The number one reason restaurants/bakeries/etc fail is under-capitalization. Don't plan on making any money for at least the first 1-3 years. If you break even, you're doing well. Make sure you have enough working capital to sustain the business (see Coco La Ti Da for reference). * Do your market research before getting into a lease. Competitive analysis, traffic analysis, market surveys, etc. You need to make sure that your targeted customers exist and will be able to find you and will be willing to buy what you're selling. * You need to have a planned Prime Cost that is less than 65% of sales. Prime cost is your food cost percentage plus your loaded labor (labor plus benefits). 65% prime cost and you can maybe break even (if you manage to keep your other costs down). Your goal should be a 55% prime cost in the end. * Don't pay more than 8% occupancy costs (rent, fees, property tax, etc). There are plenty more little Rules of Thumb that I've picked up from class, but that's just a quick list that I can come up with right now and that are pertinent to your questions. If you'd like to talk some more about this, PM me and I'd be happy to share some more thoughts. By the way, where are you looking? My wife and I moved from Ballard this past Fall so I could attend culinary school and work in NYC (I'm also in the pastry arts program at ICE). Our eventual goal is to move back to Seattle and open up our own place. Best of luck! Sean
  22. My wife and I had a wonderful Malaysian meal at Upi Jaya. We spent 6 months traveling through southeast Asia last year and I can say that Upi Jaya had very authentic food (and friendly service too).
  23. Adding cornstarch to all-purpose flour is a way of reducing the flour's ability to form gluten, i.e. make it "softer." For example, for every 1 cup of AP flour, if you take out 2 tablespoons of flour and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, then you get cake flour. A good rule of thumb to know just in case you need cake flour but only have AP. As for your recipe, that is a lot of cornstarch given the amount of flour. What kind of mixing method does it use? If it is something like a separated sponge method, then the structure for the cake will come from the whipped eggs as well as the flour. Since you say the recipe calls for the eggs separated, I'm guessing that's what it is. The result should be a light, but dry cake. Does it call for any sort of sugar-based liquid to be brushed on after the cake is baked? Finally, the ganache. I have never seen a glazing ganache with a raw egg added. I'd be interested to see how it turns out. However, if you are serving this to anyone with a less-than-strong immune system (children, elderly, etc), then I would not use the raw egg. I'm just guessing here, but if you leave out the egg, you might need to reduce the amount of water since the egg protein won't be there to bind it in the glaze and it might make the glaze too runny. Best of luck! Sean
  24. Just curious, what experience would that be?
  25. I have never made a wine ganache, but here are my thoughts. You should not leave out the heavy cream. Wine is mostly made of water. Have you ever added some water to melted chocolate? You end up with a thick, globby mess of seized chocolate goo. To avoid seizing the chocolate you either need to add just a little bit, which results in a slightly thicker chocolate, or you need to add a lot, which results in a thin, soupy chocolate. I have heard of some people making a strictly water-based ganache, which I have tried myself and have to say... it sucks. You really need the fat from the heavy cream to coat your mouth and provide a rich, luxurious feel. The water-based ganaches I've tried to make have been astringent and not very palatable. However, once you've made the ganache with the heavy cream, you can add water-based flavorings without seizing the chocolate. I'd try adding the wine to an ordinary ganache and see what it tastes like. What about reducing the wine to a syrup to concentrate the flavor and minimize the water content? It would change the flavor of the wine, but it may still give you what you're looking for. Best of luck. Sean (Edited to correct spelling mistakes)
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