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Everything posted by reenicake

  1. reenicake


    Meringue has many applications by itself and as a component of desserts -- watchword FAT FREE! Many pastry depts have a meringue-based dessert on the menu to use up leftover whites. I remember we liked to have garnishes and petits fours of dried french meringue becaue they could be made ahead to provide crunch and kept well as long as they were dry. Swiss meringue and Italian meringue are great to fold into Bavaroise and mousse (chilled or frozen) to get that fluffy texture without increasing the whipped cream, and as basis for buttercream. Getting the syrup hot enough for Italian or heating the whites/sugar to 140 gets rid of safety issues with raw eggwhites (always a concern with uncooked pie topping meringue.) Swiss merigue can also be put through stencils like tuile batter and baked until dry. Faster than piping and cleaner more architectural shapes possible. I like to flavor meringue strongly to offset the sugar -- cocoa powder and ground nuts yeah, but dried herbs and spices like cinnamon, chili flakes, and dried crumbled thyme are nice. Dry it out and spiced meringue is like pop rocks! Savory applications don't usually use the standard 1:2 white to sugar ratio, but just enough to stabilize the whites. I've seen them (in the stencils mentioned above) as a surprise layer of stacked whatever; makes a natural pairing with hollandaise or mayonnaise type stuff because of the flavor balance (and of course the optimal egg usage). Cream of tartar, vinegar and lemon juice all strengthen the walls of the bubbles by partially denaturing proteins.
  2. Thank you, you're welcome, have another! Sometimes I make these for myself when there has been too many fancy cakes and chocolates in my day at work. They put me in a good mood and make the kitchen smell nice. Ling, these look a lot like something I used to make long ago that had a chocolate filling instead of the date one... totally off-topic for a date bar thread tho!
  3. They look really good! I malasadas with the cream filling. When we went on our honeymoon in Maui we asked the concierge where we could find them; he excitedly told us the directions to the place and that they fry them at 3:00 pm. So we planned our day and sure enough after our helicopter ride we jumped in the car and were there at 2:55. We hung around waiting until they brought them out, still steaming a bit, and filled with custard. We ate two right there and finished the rest in the 10-minute car ride.
  4. sorry! I forgot that I tweaked the baking soda the last time. 1/4 tsp. produces a more spongy, cakey product, 1/8 tsp. more moist and brownie-like. Will rectify immediately.
  5. This might be related to brioche or viennabrod... I know one method of making it is to beat the butter and sugar with eggs and flour (like a pate sucree), then adding a yeast sponge. For viennabrod the mixture has less butter in the first part, then given a roll-in. Might be similar, could be very different and wrong!
  6. reenicake


    The inside of a properly baked souffle should be mousse-like, foamy and slightly creamy. Note that this is the inside, about 1/2-1/4 inch in. The outside, especially the top, should be set but not crusty. The souffle will be a bit different if there is flour (as in a roux or white sauce), and whether it is based on chocolate, cheese or some kind of fruit puree. Flour stabilizes and browns more but mutes flavor, especially in chocolate souffles. Key points: 1. prep the molds: coat with softened butter and a pastry brush. Put some sugar in and swirl it to coat the whole side of the dish, then pour out the rest of the sugar. This allows the expanding egg foam to climb. 2. Whip the whites to soft peaks, no more, and fold quickly but thoroughly -- leave streaks rather than overfolding. 3. Don't overfill -- for an 8 oz mold (serves 2 imho) leave about 1/2 inch. 4. Put into a hot oven without delay. Standing around, especially in a hot kitchen, will kill them or at least not let them puff to their best. 5. Bake through. The bigger the dish, the longer the baking time. Feel around the edge and the side that pops from the mold -- it should be slightly firm, not wet. Don't waste time with the oven door open, just stick your hand in an tap quickly.
  7. Done! check here for the newly posted recipe.
  8. if you have the Professional Baking book (Gisslen), there is a variation on white cake that calls for adding ground marschino cherries and their juice instead of some of the liquid and sugar. I've also done this with sour cherries frozen IQF with sugar.
  9. Food for the Gods Rich and festive, a tradition for gift-giving and snacking. Molasses and bread flour make them darker and more chewy. Cool completely (chilling is even better) before cutting, then wrap pieces in cellophane or decorative foil. 1/2 lb unsalted butter, softened 2 T molasses, honey or golden syrup 1/2 c sugar 1 tsp vanilla or nutmeg 1/2 lb brown sugar (muscovado if possible) 3 eggs (6 oz) 1 c all-purpose flour or bread flour 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1/8 tsp baking soda 1 c walnuts, pecans or other nuts, coarsely chopped 1-1/2 c pitted dates, chopped, or a combo of dates and raisins Preheat oven to 325. Line a 13x9 pan with parchment or brown paper and lightly butter or spray the paper. Cream the butter, syrup, vanilla and both sugars until well-mixed (no need to really aerate.) Add the eggs one at a time and beat until combined. Dredge the dates and nuts with 2 tbsp. of the flour. Combine the rest of the flour with salt, bp and b soda. Add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the nuts and dates. Spread in the pan and bake 30-40 minutes, or until browned and fragrant. Cool completely. Slide the whole slab out onto a cutting board to cut into strips then individual pieces. Keywords: Dessert, Filipino, Easy, Christmas, Snack, Brownies/Bars ( RG1996 )
  10. My image of date bars most closely resembles etalanian's... in the Philippines at Christmas a popular baked item is Food for the Gods, a rich and chewy bar with dates, walnuts, brown sugar and little else (butter, eggs, a teeny bit of flour?) An "economy" version replaces half the dates with raisins or prunes and half the walnuts with cashews, local to the Philippines but sheer indulgence in the US. A college friend has a family recipe that she has made and sold for years but will never even write down for fear it will be stolen.
  11. Swiss tends to droop. I'm tempted to suggest adding gelatin, like marshmallow. That way, you'll be able to spread it and it will stay up once chilled.
  12. You just have to have a decent layer of icing over the sponge/chiffon cake, and be careful as you smooth the fondant to not press too hard. Those who are used to really aggressive back-and-forth motions with a plastic smoother often dent a softer chiffon cake!
  13. Whoo boy! Ask someone to scale out a recipe and flail against a wall when they use 1/2 oz dry yeast instead of 1/2 oz fresh yeast. Meanwhile the dough has risen out of the bowl, out of the proofer, onto the floor and of course now you don't trust her to clean it up because there's electricity down there. Oh, and have an entire class' bread not work out because someone else has switched the bin covers of the high-gluten and cake flours. Mark, I can tell you from the get-go that you'll never have the beautiful whipped cream the Contessa has because the UHT cream available in the Phils sucks. It has all these odd things that make it thick, but none of them increase the butterfat... try looking for the Australian cream. I almost cried the first time I saw "real" cream whip up by my own hand, when I moved to the US. Soggy eclairs are from underbaking and humidity, yes. The key here is that the cracks should be very brown, not just the smooth parts. Try drying them out in a low oven.
  14. Can anyone give me some guidance on the best tool to get for applying colored cocoa butter to praline molds? I have worked with a Wagner 2400 but doubt this is the thing to get the finest spray. I've been pretty successful with hand-painting but would like to back them up with a spray of color to make the designs pop. I have an inexpensive top-feed airbrush used with thin airbrush colors and luster dust thinned with alcohol for cakes, but it has a tiny compressor 3" x 6" which I'm sure cannot handle cocoa butter. I guess my question is what to upgrade to. So far browsing these boards I've seen the Badger 250, 150 and Iwatas mentioned, but what are the pros and cons (aside from dual action which I think is neccessary for going up the sides of the molds) --bottom feed external mix, top feed internal mix (like the one I have but heavy)? Mostly for home use but occasional teaching application. I will be getting a new compressor too (not too bulky or heavy so it travels) so any recommendations for that are helpful too.
  15. I'm not sure what kind of fineness you want in your powder, but dry microwaving some pastillage or royal icing. It turns spongy and totally rock-like. Pretty cool to watch too.
  16. I'm in favor of a fun and fancy tower of fruit -- the traditional french wedding cake is a croquembouche, which is a tower of cream puffs, so how about a tower of melon balls, strawberries, berries, grapes of different shades, etc. You could use toothpicks to hold them onto a styro base (whether cake-shaped or cone shaped) or just pile them into compotes that could stack on one another? It looks great, tastes great, and is natural. You could even do it with cherry tomatoes, baby vegetables and cubes of cheese if you wanted to stay away from the sweet end.
  17. try these: www.daisyflour.com unfortunately they don't have a flour with enough protein for yeasted/NKB.
  18. decrease leavener, increase sugar, decrease liquid. You could do a conversion to weight and figure out the percentages.
  19. Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) aka Tylose is commonly used in cake decorating to make gumpaste. <i guess you can't call it gumpaste if it is not made with gum, but the name stands.> It replaces gum karaya or gum tragacanth which make the paste gray. (Also, most gum tragacanth is from Iran and political upheaval means the supply is erratic.) Country Kitchen and most cake-decorating supply places will have it.
  20. You're welcome! Haven't thought of those in ages.... one would be good right now with a glass of milk.
  21. Get the birthday girl and her friends in on the act -- one lovely custom is the hiding of fortunes to be pulled out by guests. Little trinkets like rings or charms for bracelets have ribbon tied to them and they are placed all around the cake, in between the cake and the board, with the ribbon sticking out. It looks very festive and is a lot of fun. Today's definition of "princess" is not always frilly and pink -- the birthday girl might be more up for rhinestones and "glam," which is easy to do with cookies in the shape of purses, shoes, tiaras, even cars and cellphones.
  22. reenicake


    We make this in the pastry program at the school where I teach; as such i have seen some very sad ones and some nicely done ones as well. One caveat, especially with the large ones -- bake a long time. Then bake some more. Undercooked puff is greasy and cardboardy. I like pistachio frangipane.
  23. is it crunchy or soft? It sounds similar to a cookie I've made called Jelly Splits. Just take a thumbprint cookie recipe, substitute half the butter and sugar with almond paste by weight, and form into a 2" log. Roll in sliced or chopped almonds and lay on a cookie sheet. Make a trough with your finger through the middle and fill with a non-runny jam. Bake, let cool slightly, and slice.
  24. water bath, water bath, water bath. That and the recipe on the box work well to riff on.
  25. Here is one I teach in my Filipino Food class. It's simple and full-flavored, and doesn't get icy easily. 3 or 4 very ripe mangoes, or 2 cups mango puree 2 ½ cups cream ½ cup milk 2/3 cup sugar 2 eggs ¾ cup macapuno strings If using fresh mangoes: slice from around seed, cube flesh and remove from peel; puree in food processor or blender. You should have about 2 cups. Have an ice bath ready. Heat cream and milk to simmer in medium saucepan. Whisk together eggs and sugar. Add a little of the milk mixture to the eggs to temper, and return to the pot. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Chill in ice bath. When completely cooled, stir in mango puree. Process in ice cream maker. As it comes out of the machine, stir in macapuno strings.
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