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Posts posted by reenicake

  1. Thank you both! (sharon, I sent you a separate email..) Justloafing, I am afraid to try spelt or kamut because of my son's reaction to wheat -- basically he was not allergic (tested at 18 mos), then he was (tested at 3 years), then he wasn't (tested at 5 years), and now he is again (tested last month). Basically his intestines have been barraged and reacted poorly to the reintroduction of wheat -- so much so that it has affected his colon.

    I'm afraid that even spelt and kamut (at $4/half pound at my heath food store) are still going to be damaging... I can't afford (literally, cost of the organic kamut plus the cost of the gastroenterologist visits) to take the chance.

  2. I'm following this post closely as my kids are allergic to eggs, wheat and soy, and one of them is also allergic to nuts and dairy... interested to know what you've been able to tinker.

    I don't know if you've tried any of the mixes available but if it is only one layer and you run out of time to experiment (or to sort of know what to aim for), the ones made by Cherrybrook Kitchen work well and the only thing artificial in them is xanthan gum.

  3. are you using regular cow's milk or soy/rice/etc? I have made instant pudding mixes with soy milk and they just do not set... same with rice or other grain-based milks. If we want pudding it has to be the cornstarch-thickened type. options:

    1. If you still do not have setting with regular or skim cow's mik, you can try adding some whey powder.

    2. On the other hand, if you want to see if it sets with just the pudding, make the pudding first, let that set, then add the peanut butter, formula 1 etc. before pouring it into the crust.

    3. Gelatin would be 1 tbsp. -- sprinkle it on top of 1/4 cup water and let it bloom, then warm in the microwave until clear (usually only about 30 sec.) then temper in some of the pudding before stirring it into the larger amount of pudding. Actually, it might help to temper it with the peanut butter so that the fats melt a little.


  4. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned any type of protein-based ice-cream... think a mousseline forcemeat run through the ice cream machine. I have made scallop (very delicious, almost fluffy), chicken liver, and lobster (a bisque, frozen into scoopable consistency. Fabulous.) When I was at Le Cirque aeons ago we tried infusing many different herbs and spices into creme anglaise, one I remember distinctly was tobacco. Not my taste but I don't smoke cigars.

    Are you using a regular churn or a Paco-jet? That might influence your choices for texture; you can't get chunks with a Paco-jet so big chiffonade of basil or something like that would be out unless you stirred them in at the end.

    And I totally thumbs-up the cheese ice cream! I use a sharp NY cheddar and it is amazing.

    Curry and pecan is a classic (well, with a nod to Herme...)

  5. Hi everyone! Haven't been here for awhile, but I am trying to find some information or leads about feeding a sourdough starter non-wheat flour. From what I know this should not be that strange, since the yeast feeds on carbohydrates.

    My son and daughter have recently been tested for allergies -- wheat and eggs have come up on the banned list for both. My son is allergic to dairy and casein, nuts and peanuts (aside from fish and shellfish) while my daughter is not. I really like the moistness and keeping qualities that sourdough starters give homemade bread, especially in the absence of eggs (that so many gluten-free breads call for).

    I do know that some traditional Chinese/ other Asian cultures' breads are risen with a starter based on rice, but I can't find any constructive info on the 'net.

    Thanks for any help!

  6. not to add another volume to the pile, but How Baking Works by Paula Figoni (I have both, second edition larger format than the first) is a great book for this; she even explains and has exercises for seeing the difference between fats in cake batters. In it, I learned that commercial bakeries have something to turn to called liquid hi-ratio emulsifying shortening -- a pourable, opaque/cloudy shortening that makes it possible to mix a finely grained, moist cake in one step. Fascinating and instructional.

    Also for tenderness, the reason hi-ratio cakes are called that is the quantity of sugar (by weight) is equal to or exceeds the flour; sugar tenderizes by absorbing water, thus minimizing gluten development; in a hi-ratio cake, the sugar is mixed with the flour so that when it is wet it (the flour) won't produce too gluten. For the most part, creaming the butter and sugar makes a cake light by incorporating air (sugar's crystalline shape and butter's plasticity hang on to maximum air). Lightness and tenderness are seemingly opposite, but mixing method and how/where you employ the sugar matter a lot. hth!

  7. Are you straining the infusion or letting it sit? As with andiesenji, I find that milkfat will pull out some of the harsher elements of the ginger, so poaching it would help; also instead of grating it try cutting into coins instead... less busted surface area will probably help mellow out the flavor. If nothing else works, maybe just use the ginger juice and not the whole root.

  8. If I'm not mistaken, this becomes Tant pour Tant? I have had success buzzing the coarser ones with the sugar called for in a food processor, then sifting. I like the quality and color of the pistachio flour from American Almond, but it is slightly coarse. HTH.

  9. hope everything goes swimmingly! Haven't been here to cheer you on but waiting for pix as we speak...

    BTW, sometimes a wedding cake IS the dessert. I've had several brides order 3 different sizes of a particular favorite dessert, set them up on a stand, and call it a day. My best friend had a giant stand made and filled it with custard tartlets, native Filipino sweets and coconut candy (this was after I had to send my regrets about not being able to be there to make her wedding cake -- she moved it up 3 months and I wasn't prepared to leave.)

  10. The reality is that people are going to copy a design they see in a magazine, another wedding, whereever the photo happens to appear.  So regardless of how the original artist feels about his/her design, the ability to enforce an intellectual property decision is impossible.

    What would be nice is if bakers and cake artists acknowledged a design was inspired by or came from someone else on their web sites.

    As with any work of art, you also have to consider that a wedding cake is usually commissioned -- so it should be made to the client's aesthetic wishes as however they were expressed to the maker of the cake. Ergo, a bride will show a baker stuff from magazines and books, etc., and the designer knows that whatever they put out into the media is going to be used at least as a template for other cakes.

    If no visual guidance is given (a rarity, and for myself at least, a mixed blessing) the baker can feel free to execute a design of their own creation. The design process is at least as intensive as the baking, and takes just as much effort.

    Those "really creative" cakes that are copies of favorite things? I know several companies have sued over the Vuitton logo, John Deere tractors, etc. being copied in cake.

  11. rice pudding hits both counts.

    Anything with coconut milk -- custard and cake as well as ice cream.

    Something I make in my Asian Desserts class that everyone loves is a baked yucca pudding with caramel milk topping. It's a traditional Filipino dessert (Bibingkang Kamoteng-kahoy or Kasaba Bibingka) but is much loved everywhere -- the latino dishwashers called it theirs, Pichet Ong had 4 pieces, and the student assistants of all cultures fight over the leftovers.

  12. individual chiffon pie in a chocolate cookie crust! "oldfashioned" but still light and airy and easy to make ahead, no worries about deflation because you don't have to handle them much.

  13. another thing you might want to try if the kids make the candy themselves (rolling and cutting etc) is making impressions in the shapes with smaller cutters, or stamps, or other textured (food safe) stuff like brushes.

    It would be like clay that you can eat.

  14. It seems to be my penchant to fly to California for family weddings with baked goods... I did so last April (150 cookies that were the favor), so I plan do do the same here. A 16" square box fits neatly under the seat with not much room to spare, so conceivably I could do a 14" square (to maximize the servings) cake for the base and two other tiers stacked on top of it on site, as long as they were wrapped well, and no more than 6" in height in the box... we are staying for the weekend at a rented house where I could make buttercream as long as I brought the supplies. Or I could fly with them all covered in fondant already...

    I am thinking of a "nature" theme, with lotus flowers because of the place's name. I don't have any details about the flowers they are using, the bride is not one of those who is overflowing with specifics on each thing... I think she feels a bit overwhelmed even!

  15. I recently received some silicone demisphere molds. I have a party coming up, and I would like to use these for my dessert. My idea was to first create a "shell" chocolate in the molds (either by brushing the chocolate on, or the "fill up and pour out" method (though I worry that doing that would require more chocolate).


    We used to do this with flexipan molds to make chocolate "coconuts" that we filled at service with a haupia mixture -- coconut milk, cornstarch, etc with whipped cream folded in. we put them open end up in a bed of fruit and they looked very cute.

    while your idea sounds doable, I'd recommend doing the pannacotta and the shell independent of one another to retain the temper (and thus the crispness) of the chocolate. Then just put the shell on over the pannacotta when you serve.

    I worked out that the fastest way to make shells that came out without damage was to get the chocolate as cold as possible within tempered range (a thin pudding consistency almost), put a heaping spoonful in the mold, and push it up the sides with the back of the spoon. having the chocolate cold let it cling instead of all dripping back down. Let hem all set, then flex each one out.


  16. My dear brother in law is getting married on Memorial day weekend and I'm to make the cake and fly it there! Being that there are a few non-negotiables (needs to feed 75 people, must fit in a 16" square box) I have no idea what it should look like! The color theme is dark blue, which is not really translatable to tasteful edibles... they are getting married here... not all the guests are Buddhist but I don't want to offend the place, plus I've been given creative carte blanche to do pretty much anything so I'd like something with impact...

    I've done a search and apparently Buddha doesn't have much to say when it comes to traditions like cake- cutting.

    Any suggestions welcome.

  17. I can also go more Asian, too, being in Asia, but I haven't found a whole lot of Asian desserts that I think would sell well on the menu.  I do have The Sweet Spot, and I have gotten a few ideas from there.  If sweetness is the problem, I don't want to get too much into Indian desserts, they are usually way too sweet for me, but something here or there might be OK.

    Mini rant:  We all just wish that we could really spell it out to the guests sometimes.  Many of them realize how many challenges we have here and appreciate the food, but a few of them just don't get that the cream won't whip, the fruit is usually mediocre and bruised, imports don't always get here on time, the staff doesn't always get the point, etc etc.  We'd love to import better varieties of mango trees, plant them, wait 5 years, then give you the best mangoes ever for your breakfast, but right now it's just not going to happen - this means you, unsatisfiable British guy from last week!

    Help!  And thank you!

    Having tried to make Continental and American baked goods in the Philippines (and on a budget too!) I feel your pain somewhat. The asian idea of breakfast and dessert is a lot more fluid, but maybe something like a congee would be welcome in both instances... I love hot tofu in syrup and that should not be too hard to make and hold for service.

    That being said, brioche in all its permutations, strudel (both sweet and savory fillings), and of course ice cream, sorbet and gelato in markedly less sweet versions than any American would go for, genoise-or biscuit based cakes, and things based on chocolate/caramel/alcohol flavors (Grand Marnier, Amaretto) were guaranteed to be popular, and don't deend that much on perfect fruit or a steady importing schedule. HTH.

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