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MichelleGL

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  1. MichelleGL

    Where to buy the best chocolates?

    Rechiutti is my absolute FAVORITE! Go with them!
  2. MichelleGL

    Cake Decorating: Tips & Techniques

    Hmmm... how about a big cupcake tree? They're popular, modern and trendy. Some people don't like them but I do, especially if a non-professional is attempting a big cake that's going to be on display. Cupcakes are easy to make and transport and they can be made to look elegant with some buttercream flowers. Or you can dress up cupcakes with pre-made decorations at sites like weddingfads.com or gailwatsoncake.com.
  3. MichelleGL

    Help! I'm baking a 16" layer cake

    You mentioned RLB-- do you have her book the Cake Bible? I've used the book's chocolate butter cake recipe to make a 3-tiered wedding cake and the recipe is very exact, adjusting leavening for each layer size. I followed the recipe exactly (a lot of calculation required, unfortunately) and they came out perfectly. The cake is very rich; I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for. If you don't have the book and you want the recipe, just let me know and I'll send it to you. The recipes in the Cake Bible are insanely detailed and exact, which is perfect for you since you're looking for a fool-proof recipe! A couple of other tips (which I also learned from RLB's book)-- be sure to use a heating core (Wilton makes them) to help cook big cakes evenly and use magi-cake strips to produce level cakes with a tight crumb (easier for decorating). Good luck!
  4. What a great challenge! It would be SO easy to do bacon (I have tons of ideas for bacon-- what can I say, bacon inspires), but Ling nixed that option from the get-go to up the level of difficulty. I really like the bone marrow and pork rind suggestions. I've heard of bone marrow flan at Chez Panisse; I imagine it could easily lend itself to creme brulee as well. It could also just be diced up while cold, sauteed, and then spooned/drizzled around a plate. I had killer maple syrup-candied pork rinds at MiniBar in Washington, DC (a restaurant I HIGHLY recommend, by the way). I think the current issue of Gourmet magazine has the recipe. There was a slight spice to it, too (I think cayenne?). I've also coated cut up pork rind bits in tempered chocolate and then rolled in cocoa powder before-- something I had in Spain. Salty, sweet, smoky, crunchy, YUM! Can't wait to see yours results! Have fun. **Oh, sidenote-- you all would get a kick out of this... you know those cheesy chocolate fountains that people go crazy for? I'm buying one for a party I'm having in a couple weeks (they sell small ones at Costco for $40!) and instead of serving it with the cliche strawberries and store-bought angel food cake, I'm serving it with deep fried bacon and pork rinds! It's gonna RULE. I'm also making cinnamon marshmallows, graham crackers and peanut butter cookies for the less adventurous.
  5. Ok, I was falling asleep, nodding off, and I thought, "SWEET CORN ICE CREAM!" White truffles and corn are so great together! I really love the sweet corn ice cream recipe from Claudia Fleming's "Last Course."
  6. Holy crap-- a white truffle rice pudding sounds KILLER. Care to share a recipe? I know you're asking for gelato ideas, but I'm not sure I would add a gelato; it's nice to have a contrast of temperature, but I'd think the rice pudding would be rich enough on its own. I think a drizzle of really good EVOO (like McEvoy Ranch's Olio Nuovo) would be perfect-- to make it more "desserty" and less savory, you could infuse vanilla bean into the olive oil! (I had a great vanilla bean-infused EVOO once. Changed my life.)
  7. MichelleGL

    Chopping chocolate

    Tammy-- A quick and easy way to chop up large quantities of chocolate... Buy an awl at your local hardware store. It looks like a small screwdriver with a pointy (not sharp) tip; should cost a few bucks. Just press down into the chocolate and chip away. It won't give you consistently finely chopped bits (like you'd get from using a grater or cutting with a serrated knife), but I use this method whenever I want to melt down a lot of chocolate starting in big tablets (I use 1 kilo Valrhona bars). Very fast and easy. Just place the chocolate on a sheet of parchment paper, chip away and then lift the paper and pour it all into a bowl and you're set to melt away. Oh, another thing-- this will only work well with dark chocolate. Milk and white chocolates have too much milk/liquid in them and they're too soft for the awl to work.
  8. MichelleGL

    Spice Cake recipes

    I have a wedding cake coming up in a couple weeks for 50 people. They requested spice cake with cream cheese frosting. That's the first request I've ever had for a spice cake wedding cake and I don't have many recipes. (I do have one recipe, from an old Sylvia Weinstock book. I'll try that one this week.) Anybody have a good one? Or two? I have tasting with the bride and groom in less than two weeks! Help!
  9. MichelleGL

    Why did this happen?

    Hey, Little Island. This response is probably too late-- I just joined egullet-- but hopefully this'll help. First, I'd recommend cooking withOUT the convection fan and being sure to rotate halfway through baking. I practically never bake wedding cakes with the convection fan. Second, always treat pans with Wilton Cake Release (kind of like butter and flour in one product, but with better results-- much tighter crumb) and bake cakes with Magi-Cake Strips wrapped around the outsides of the cakes. (Magi-Cake Strips are metallic fabric strips that you soak in water and pin to the outsides of the cake pans and they make your cakes SO level.) Hope this helps!
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