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Everything posted by reenicake

  1. Many sizes of loose-bottom pans (round and square) are at bakingtools/lloyd pans. You can get the shaped Australian pans from lorraines -- not cheap but at least they are there. The pans are built like tanks and cost it. Cheaper shaped pans used to be available from aramor (sugarcraft had them) but they lost their source. Sorry to hijack this thread!
  2. try soft butter instead of melted; I usually mix all the"spiral" ingredients together to make a paste, then spread that on instead of sprinkling each one in turn. Seems to make them bind together better. Also try a longer piece, like 9x18, spread leaving a 1 1/2" blank edge on the short side, then roll up (tightly!) so the blank edge is in the middle. This increases the surface area so you will hopefully get more even distribution of swirly stuff. Good luck! Love the smell of cinnamon raisin bread, I wish I could smell from the computer monitor.
  3. For a really good peanut butter flavor, I would probably not even go with a roux. (Like a flourless chocolate souffle.) Thin out the peanut butter with enough milk/yolks (or maybe a pate a bombe?) to fold it evenly with the whites. Remember that peanuts are starchy so you don't need the flour/pastry cream, and thus can bulk up the quantity of peanut butter while still getting a good set. It's a fading memory, but I think this is how we made praline souffles at the old Le Cirque -- a thinned-out praline paste folded into Italian meringue so that we could pipe it out in advance then pop each into the oven to order. You could do the same base but do the whites a la minute (uncooked French meringue) if that works better for you timing-wise.
  4. You can make fudge and peanut brittle, I used to make it a lot when I lived in the Philippines growing up. Just make sure your thermometer is accurate so the correct amount of moisture evaporates; and it will not last as long without being stored airtight. Thanks Kerry for the fudge recipe! I was looking for a non-chocolate alternative for variety and this will be perfect! A few questions as always. About how big is your glass loaf pan on the bottom (just because they vary a lot in how much the sides slope in from the top dimension)? How many grams/oz in a cup of brown sugar, since everyone measures a bit differently by volume? I go by 240 g but just wanted to check.
  5. Do you mean the polycarbonate are good because they have 20 cavities and the plastic are bad because they don't have enough or vice versa? What kind of molds are you after? ← In an ideal world, plastic (lightweight) molds with more cavities so that I don't have to do all that scooping/levelling of chocolate, banging and shaking to only come out with 8-10 bonbons per mold. It's also a waste of precious tiny-new-york- kitchen counter space! In fact, my favorite polycarbonate mold has 40 cavities. I have the polycarbonate molds and love them, but they are a PITA to haul to classes because I usually need at least 1 each for 10-12 students.
  6. Glad to help. Sorry, I should clarify that the Cook's Illustrated recipe I like is the one discussed previously in this thread, referred to as the "CI cake"-- it is new as of spring this year I think? So it might not be in the Classic Best Recipe book. I use muscovado sugar and watch timing carefully. The thing I like the best about it is the chocolate/cocoa/sugar mix which makes sooo much sense, especially the sugar part. The magazine article explains it the best. Just to compare, I'm going to try the Double (triple?)Chocolate Cake too.
  7. with foam cakes the sinking is usually caused by either underbaking or deflation from overmixing. Other causes: your formula may have too much liquid to form enough structure; if you've made it before and it came out good, I'd blame overfolding.
  8. I send baked goods overseas a lot; my favorites to send are bar cookies, any of the ones that are gooey/fudgy (brownies/blondies) travel well. Loaf quick breads (pumpkin, zucchini, applesauce), moist nut cakes, and boozy bundt cakes travel well too. But also, gingerbread -- both the cake-type and the cookie-type. The spices just get better. And Sachertorte! They ship that from Vienna everywhere, and I have sent it via 5-day shipping also. Packaging is key: you want plastic wrap, foil, tightly-fitting box or tin, then in a bigger box surrounded with bubble wrap or peanuts. Label well insode and out, including a this-way-up if applicable. And tell the recipient not to shake it to figure out what you sent them!
  9. Baking powder and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) are both chemical leaveners, which means they are alkalis that react with acids to make carbon dioxide. The main difference is that baking soda is just the alkali part, and baking powder is baking soda with an acid (cream of tartar) together. So baking soda needs an acid ingredient to react (like chocolate, cocoa, brown sugar, fruit puree, buttermilk) while baking powder does not -- it reacts when it gets wet, and in the presence of heat... (to see this in action, add baking soda to vinegar or lemon juice, and add baking powder to a clear alcohol like vodka.) When you can taste the baking soda, usually there is too much (sort of a metallic, soapy taste) or not enough acid to make it react fully. If you can taste it with baking powder, there is either too much or the cake might be underbaked. Sometimes you also get that taste if the baking powder/soda is not evenly mixed with the flour. I find that among brands of baking powder, some have a more metallic smell than others; I use Rumford, not ones with sodium aluminium sulfate (SAS). My new favorite chocolate layer cake recipe is the one in a recent Cook's Illustrated; it is a bit complicated, because it uses a cooked cocoa/unsweetened choc mixture and the foaming method with butter added, and generates a lot of dishes, but the texture is velvety-fine and the flavor deep and rich. It also keeps very well at room temperature, not drying out like many others.
  10. The wrapper of sample Green & Black's 72% I have states, "suitable for vegetarians and vegans" and only contains organic raw cane sugar. For truffles I use a 2:1 proportion of chocolate to combined liquid, plus fat.
  11. if your tube pan is silicone and you have the sides loosened, don't be afraid to turn the whole pan completely inside out (like a sock) to get to the bottom, that's what it's made to do. That the top of the cake burned is more of a concern, maybe you need to lower the oven shelf to compensate for the height of the pan...
  12. reenicake


    I made a few batches of challah this past week, for a bar mitzvah. I used the challah recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum's blog, but my starter is liquid. The dough is beautiful to work with, soft and smells great. Lovely to braid, I made 2 45-oz loaves and 3 30-oz loaves. Nice chewy texture and good color in the finished loaf...
  13. do you have the Cook's Illustrated with the chocolate layer cake? That whole recipe is great, including the frosting. it is a bit tricky because you have to get it at the right texture, but very good.
  14. My son can't eat dairy due to allergies. I've had success making dark chocolate truffles with rice milk and vegan margarine, and cream of coconut for both fat and flavor. I don't like the taste of soy, but that also works. Also, ganaches based at least partly on fruit puree.
  15. OOH! That would be ever so cool. You could blast all those yucky twee designs out of the water. For vacuum-formed molds though just be sure the cavities are a comfortable distance apart -- that's really the thing that bugs me about them, one polycarbonate bonbon mold has 20+ cavities and a plastic one has 8-10. I realize that it is probably a stability issue, but still. If you could solve that problem I would pay you to make me some.
  16. We used to make this at a restaurant I worked at.. (nicole, are you here?) and you can also use honey. It is all over the place, not credited to anyone in particular --Herme has them in his book as 24-hour apples. Not my fav thing to do with apples for the time and effort of layering and cooking, but that is a personal opinion based on overdose of making a hotel pan full three times a week.
  17. to taste, aside from Sullivan uptown, Amy's Bread in Chelsea Market and Eli's Bread, at Zabar's... and special mention to Caputo's in Brooklyn for the lard bread. Amy's is also fun because you can watch them to your heart's content. But go early, like before 10 AM.
  18. I too am late to the party, but I would suggest to your friend to adjust sweetness level, just eliminate any sugar that she adds rather than adding cacao mass... And try a different chocolate for the infusions, 72% might be too strong, or even a different brand. At Le Cirque we used to use a lower-cocoa mass, higher sugar DGF for the Grand Marnier ganache because the flavor did not come through with Valrhona. The coconut butter I have experience with has a very strong coconut smell, but a great breaking texture like cocoa butter. I had thought about it for a coconut ganache... it is almost certainly not as refined as the product you get. Is there a brand you recommend?
  19. Thank you for the nougat lesson! I'll be trying it sometime this week if there is no rain (fat chance, this has been the driest day for weeks. if only I didn't have so much to do this evening.) I noticed in the photo that you have bottled water, is it preferrable for making nougat/confections in general? And to make a light chocolate nougat (like a 3 musketeers bar), I was thinking to fold in some bittersweet (72%) chocolate instead of the peanut butter... do you think that will make it fall?
  20. I just wish to say, lovely execution on the chiffon with lemon curd. I like RLB's recipe to turn out a light sliceable cake to serve with fruit. Just surprised nobody mentioned baking chiffon in regular pans to split and fill like a regular cake. To my mind, it is the happy medium of genoise-lightness (of a foam cake) and butter cake moistness (given that is has as much fat as these.) I still douse it with boozy syrup, but just for flavor. For lemon and orange chiffon, I use a modification of the formula in Wayne Gisslen's Professional Baking. In comparison to RLB, it has less whites so more backbone to support filling. It tiers great -- I know from experience. Did 6 tiers on national television (Grand Marnier syrup, filled with blueberry and mascarpone, iced with white choc ganache buerre, chocolate and gumpaste decs) and they stood up.
  21. Do you have a particular recipe for the chiffon cake that you make as layer cakes? I'd like to use chiffon layers for cream filled or fruit filled cakes but want to make sure I have proportions right. Do you grease and flour the pans? Do you use water or milk, etc? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. ← Hi, sorry to not get back to you sooner. I use one that I sort of adapted from Joy of Cooking for a mocha chiffon, and for orange and lemon I use the one from Wayne Gisslen's Professional Baking, with adjustments in the sugar because I like to use more juice than water... I'll also post this on the Chiffon cake thread.
  22. There's a bunch of ways you can make lines that go all the way down; if you are covering in fondant you can paint them on. The lines can be thick or thin, just plan them carefully. In the case of a very clean-lined cake I would suggest that you deliver it already stacked and decorated if at all possible. Or else, you will have to be very careful to measure accurately so that the lines line up when you assemble. Don't know if that helped at all...?
  23. Thanks for your input! I've worked out a rough outline, but a wrench has been put in it since we won't have a kitchen space for the first one or two lessons. I've also determined that the students want to learn some basic showpieces in chocolate and sugar... blame the Food Network. Caramel corn! Love it! Week 1: Course requirements, equipment discussion, chocolate and sugar tasting and discussion -- history, tempering, sugar cooking Week 2: truffles -- ganache and tempering 3: Molded chocolates 4: framed ganaches, caramels, candied orange peel 5: buttercrunch, dipping, transfer/texture sheets 6: fudge, choc. clay, larger molds (Santas, eggs) 7: Midterm; working with choc. clay 8: nougatine, marzipan, pastillage? Car. corn could fit in here. 9: Pate de Fruit, marshmallows, nougat (design of showpiece due) 10: Spun, cast, poured sugar -- lollipops, showpiece bases, pulling with Isomalt if they are interested 11-12: Work on showpiece 12: Final; presentation of showpiece Of course a lot depends on how "into it" the students are. Personally I love to work with chocolate more than I do sugar, but I'll pretty much have to assess if these kids are the high-end chocolate type or are happy with Merckens compound. Thanks again for your quick reply, would appreciate any feedback. Also, I am thinking of counting their showpiece design as a research paper, but any ideas for another one?
  24. As a teacher of such a program, I just want to chime in that enthusiasm and the willingness to put yourself out there are what will be most valuable. I once had a student who expressed these same concerns to me -- she was a mom of 3 preteens and wife of a small-business owner. It turned out that she was one of the best students in the class because of these things: able to turn on a dime, eyes in the back of her head, and organizational skills learned from years of cooking dinner while supervising spelling homework, preventing a toddler from electrocuting himself, planning the company picnic and coordinating the Girl Scout activity on the phone all at the same time. Young students, especially those in college because of their parents, often do not realize the extent to which a good attitude and showing up ready for class will put you ahead.
  25. Everything on this thread looks so stunning. I am starting to teach a Confectionery class at a college near me and hope to finally take some good pix... I have only taught it once before and so the curriculum is sort of made-up along the way. Obviously eGullet is a great on-line resource, but if you signed up for a class like this (it runs for 12 weeks, 4 hours each) what would you like to learn? The class is 8 students. Thanks!
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