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Posts posted by reenicake

  1. instead of plastic wrap, cover with a large plastic container... like a rubbermaid rectangular tub or sheetcake carrier. Or King Arthur sells those clear acrylic covers with handles you see on breakfast buffets. Less waste and no sticking, plus you can put other things on top of it in the fridge.

  2. no on the filled and finished cake. The cornstarch and egg in the pastry cream, and the confectioner's sugar in the cream cheese icing don't survive freezing well. Would you consider making little cakes -- one that is his favorite and the rest something the rest of the family would eat? I am thinking the same base cake and pastry cream, but only his would have coconut.

  3. I use J-cloths rather than paper towels as I get a few uses out of them.  I toss them in the washing machine after.  I would use my regular kitchen towels but have never figured out how to get the stains out of them.

    The best stain remover of all time is the sun... lemon juice or this great stuff called Bac-out (with lime) to saturate the stain, then put in the sun (full/direct if you can, indirect if not -- window, car dashboard, lawn, wherever) and within hours the stains are gone. I sometimes soak in oxygen bleach solution, then hang in the sun. in this case, launder on hot once the stains are out. I have saved a few chef jackets this way. there is also a product called RLR that supposedly gets anything out, but I haven't found it.

  4. I don't think there is one answer -- I have encountered pate sablee that falls in both categories: a slightly sweetened sablage method dough, and a doughier pastry tenderized by sugar and eggs (creamed). Then there is the hybrid of flour/sugar/butter sablage with eggs.

    To my mind, pate brisee is slightly undermixed to leave distinct pieces of butter in the dough, producing a crisp, open-crumbed crust; sucree may be sablage but with complete fat incorporation, and fresaged on the counter to blend completely (producing a mealy, short dough, relatively sturdy); and sablee creamed and the most delicate, to be more like a cookie dough and unrollable until chilled.

  5. for the best results texture wise, I pack them separately and fill on site with a chilled bag. It doesn't take much doing and even at an informal party it is nice to get a conversation going.

    And people don't think you brought Munchkins from Dunkin Donuts. (Don't laugh, true story from one of my students.)

  6. Hello everyone!

    I just came across 2 bags of butterscotch chips that are best used by the end of this month. What are you favorite recipes that utilize them?

    If you could also give me a heads-up about how sweet the finished product is, that would be great! The crowd I run with and myself all have fairly sensitive sweet teeth that are easily overwhelmed. I usually tend to reduce sugar in sweets automatically unless I know the actual recipe is not-so-sweet or that the full amount is essential for the proper result.


    Oatmeal cookies. Or to dip apples in as a spin on candy apples. I have been meaning to try dipping candied ginger in melted butterscotch chips too, I imagine that would be very tasty.

    They are also nice as an alternative to marshmallows to make rice crispie type unbaked cereal bars.

  7. I'm in the UK and have certainly never heard the term "dessert chef" here - it's just pastry chef/patissier or baker

    I once had a British Exec Chef refer to the position as the "pudding chef." Don't want to riff on the mental picture that gave me.

    It has happened so many times that people hear me say that I am a pastry chef and say,"Oh, so you do the desserts." Admittedly I'm old school, but "dessert chef" sounds contrived compared to Pastry chef.

    On completely another note it seems to have gone by the wayside that Chef is not a title you give yourself, it is a title other people call you (meaning, of course, chief.). You are not a chef if there is no one to be chef of.

  8. You can also use freezer paper. Acetate will give you high shine, almost "new car like," but freezer paper or the shelf liner give a shiny appearance as well as long as your chocolate is not overheated/very out of temper.. All three can be reused several times.

  9. super simple bavarian cream: take 1 pt heavy cream to soft peak. Bloom 6 leaves gelatin in booze of choice plus enough water if needed to equal 2 oz. Heat gently, then temper in 1 pt creme anglaise. Fold with whipped cream and mold.

    Obviously using this template you can plug in anything (nut paste, chocolate, etc.) that can be used to flavor anglaise. My favorite is pistachio.

    For fruit flavors, use 1 pt sweetened fruit puree exactly as above. This makes a nice fresh intensely colored bavarian if you use a berry puree, cassis or mango.

  10. thyme! good with berries and pineapple. Used to do a fabulous dessert when I still worked in restaurants that was a thyme meringue disc, white chocolate mousse, kirsch/pineapple/chopped thyme salad.

  11. for dessert cakes check out Pierre Herme's books. For decorations the Wybauw book, and for some old-school stuff Lenotre. The old reliable Cake Bible (Rose Levy Beranbaum) has some nice multi-component cakes as well.

  12. hope I'm not too late to be of help, but meringue buttercream is much more stable at a range of temps than any made with yolks. Seriously. I've made it in 90% humidity and 90 temps and it's come through for me.

    IXNAY on the whipped cream filling! both for stability and food safety in a warm room where it will be out for several hours.

    Check out the chocolate cake thread for a very good cake that will stand up to anything -- the melted chocolate in it firms u when chilled/frozen and it stacks/covers with fondant with no problem.

  13. Can you brush brik dough with syrup to add sweetness and flavor? Can you brush it with butter? How about savory oils or emulsions?

    yes, yes, and yes.

    If baked upside down on a form, does it shape to the form or merely drape?

    if brushed with butter, it only drapes unless baked for a long time until very crisp and brown -- then it will hold its shape. If brushed with syrup, it will hold its shape when light brown as the syrup will evaporate and solidify when cool. (See my post above about the Crispy Hats.) It also holds its shape if fried.

    I really appreciate the advice.

  14. you'll also note that the canned stuff is usually lower in butterfat than whipping or heavy cream in the store. That means it is lighter in the mouth (more"foamy") and deflates quicker. If you whip cream with different percentages of butterfat they will have different mouthfeels too. We had this happen in a restaurant before -- when the dairy purveyor brought in 36% cream all our mousse recipes suddenly went wrong since they were based on 40% butterfat heavy cream.

    And finally if you whip cream in a food processor or Pacojet it will have a different texture also -- since the butterfat is clumped but not "aerated."

  15. things to try to make cookies absorb more moisture:

    1. cut down on fat -- replace with something moist, such as applesauce

    2. reduce sugar and underbake slightly -- reduces the caramelization

    3. make them thicker (reduce spread) by using part cake flour or part confectioner's sugar.


    In particular, freezing cookies (at least a few hours, overnight if you can) when they are fresh (half of them upside down, the other half right side up) should make them better for assembling the sandwiches -- so that you are not trying to assemble scoops of ice cream before it melts on room-temp cookies. don't ask me how I know.

  16. wrap anything with it and fry or bake until crispy. It is actually very similar to spring roll wrapper.

    At Le Cirque we used it for something called Crispy Hats (yeah, really creative name.) Brush a piece with corn syrup on both sides, then bake in greased muffin pans or aluminum cups (silicone would work well too.) let cool and fill with whatever -- we usually did a round of sponge cake, pastry cream and a sauteed fruit.

    Also useful for making your own ice cream cones... more delicate than waffle. Same process, baking them on those metal cones used for cream horns or on parchment cornets.

    It gets crispier (really its prime attribute -- it doesn't taste like anything much) if brushed with syrup, or oil or butter before heating. it may burn on the grill in a single layer, but you could probably wrap something in it and do that too.

  17. Particularly in baking cakes, there are "families" of mixing methods and this is the way they've always been done.

    OR NOT! :biggrin: A great example is chiffon cake. You look at the product and looks like a typical sponge cake. But you look at the ingredients and it looks like a straight method cake. But you look at the technique and it looks like a modified creaming method cake. But what it is is a combination of all of these since it is moist/rich like a butter/creaming cake, but light like a sponge cake from the whipped whites, but terrific keeping and low saturated fat like a straight method cake. It also tastes better frozen than any of the others.

    I've never been one to take mixing methods at face value -- if I think something will work better using a different technique I will always try it. This is especially valuable when scaling home recipes for quantity production, or for teaching where you will always get one person rushing ahead and adding the eggs without whipping, or something like that. :rolleyes:

  18. I would really appreciate any advice regarding preparation (reading, projects, etc.)  Thanks so much!

    The best preparation you can have for professional pastry is to get a job or stage at the kind of place you really want to work at... not the corner bakery/cafe if you want to do four-star restaurant plated desserts, or the other way around.

    Read, especially egullet, books (in addition to those mentioned, Becoming a Pastry Chef and Becoming a Chef) and blogs -- there are many people in this industry who are generous about sharing their current work and ideas. But given that, the most common irritating thing about students in pastry school (I know this because I teach at one) is that they think they know all about everything because they read about it. You actually have to do it (thus the recommendation to work also) to have questions or an opinion about it. sorry, personal opinion coming through.

  19. If you are heating the sugar in liquid to make a custard, then you're fine mixing the gelatin into the sugar. I'd eliminate the starch and just use the custard and gelatin unless you're dealing with a lot of alcohol or watery/not smooth base that tends to split. (some cheese-based and nut based bases are like that, I think it's the fat) If you don't like the "sponginess" that comes with using gelatin, try some lecithin.

  20. VIP turndowns and specialty/custom stuff changes all the time... I remember when still at Le Cirque at the Palace we did cornet work on the plate that held a plate of sliced oranges. We had a group that wanted airplanes (or was it ships?) on everything.

    Silk screening the logo onto something that they can take home (IE chocolate or marzipan plaque) as vs something with a perishable filling is something that is really easy to mass-produce.

    If it is your company emblem you are wanting to reproduce, look at some of the stuff that your marketing people have -- mugs, figurines, etc and try making them out of something edible. It can be as simple as taking the logo (IE lion, fan, etc) as a brooch and making a silicone mold that you can use to pump out isomalt or chocolate pieces.

    Is this what you meant? sorry if it's completely off track.

  21. too little sugar, too much liquid, and probably overmixed so the oils came out. This would work well as a filling but not as a covering. As pp said, bump up your dry stuff, use only corn syrup, and mix only enough so that it looks like crumb topping. Take fistfuls of the mixture and knead them together until they are uniform in color, then knead the whole mass together. Flatten into a disc and set aside for an hour if it does not feel cool to the touch.

    In hot weather or if you have warm hands, put a little cornstarch in a cheesecloth bag and use that like a powder puff to dust your surface with. HTH!

  22. I have done this and they were fabulous. To make the lemon curd firmer you can increase the amount of butter in the curd and incorporate it with an immersion blender -- this also helps with separation. If you find that this still does not firm up enough for a good cap (I usually let these sit overnight, which makes them develop a slight skin that really helps) try subbing some cocoa butter for the dairy butter.

    Storage should not be a problem -- as long as the bottoms are well sealed. Lemon curd usually lasts a very long time. I have kept mine (the chocolates) frozen for 3-4 months without loss of quality.

  23. I'd think the addition of a acid (vinegar, cream of tartar) in whipping the whites is to give a stronger, more voluminous meringue (since the acid denatures the albumen in the whites, causing them to be more stable and hold up more air). I think the soft vs crisp thing is a matter of baking time (thoroughly dried vs slightly moist in the center) as well as filling before serving and letting the moisture from the filling make the meringue soggy vs filling ala minute to preserve the crunch. Personally I bake until dry, then assemble and let sit -- that's the texture that I like the best.

    One of the nicest ideas for pavlova I've seen is 5 different sizes and fillings on a stand as a wedding cake.

  24. I hate cleaning the whole kitchen after hubby decided to give me a time-out cooking...he is usually clinically clean on other parts of the house but when it comes to my kitchen, fuggedaboutit! :sad:

    I know the feeling! My husband is used to a restaurant kitchen where there are dishwashers and stewards, so when he cooks at home the whole sink is filled with dirty pans, pots and bowls even before we eat. It's a fab meal of restaurant quality but so is the mess.

  25. I'm working on the orange creamsicle.  I've got an orange pates de fruit made, now I have to decide which version of a white chocolate ganache I want to make to compliment it - perhaps a creme fraiche ganache, or perhaps plain vanilla. 

    A creamsicle is orange sherbet and vanilla ice cream right?

    I vote for the creme fraiche ganache with white chocolate!! sort of layers of dairy/floral creamy flavor.

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