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Everything posted by onetoughcookie

  1. Thank you all so very much for your wonderful words. Here's the deal: I have 4.5 minutes to do my demo. I've spoken with the producer many times. I'm preparing a lot of product for the demo, as well as for propping the table. I will have rehearsal time, too, before we actually do the demo. I, too, am verbose by nature, and I've been told I'm bossy. I'm trying to remind myself I'm not teaching them to be my assistants, or interns, so I (a) don't have to be so exacting and (b) if it's not perfect I have to laugh it off! I'm also being taped for Good Morning America's satellite radio show, so that will be an extra rehearsal time, too. Set your DVRs and TiVo's...I'm on Wed., April 4 in the last half hour of the show. Thank you all so much! I love EGullet!
  2. Perhaps I should post this in the appropriate Food Media forum, but I thought I'd start here. I'm going to do a cookie demo this upcoming week on Good Morning America. I'm bringing a lot of product with me, and I'll be doing the demo with the anchors of that show. It's exciting, and obviously, I want it to go well. I've spoken with the producer, and I've got my marching instructions, but if anyone has some good advice for me, I'd love to hear what you have to say. I'm also going to do GMA's Satellite Radio show, but that's all talk, no action, so to speak.
  3. I am going to try that star anise thing for truffles. Thanks for the idea. I'm doing some green tea ones too. And yes the lemon disappears in the cream cheeses stuff and it becomes something else that's really delicious. But the orange just tastes orangey and that's not bad but it's orange cream cheese. Anway. Each to their own...and ours is better. I have a t-shirt that says, "One Tough Cookie". ← I agree....has anyone tested lime in cream cheese frosting? I'll bet that's great, too. I always, put lemon juice in my royal icing because it cuts the sweetness, and helps the royal set up nicely. I have found myself out of lemons and have substituted lime. DELISH! I have a baseball t-shirt that says One Tough Cookie, too! But, to make this relevant to spice cake, Penzeys also has a "cake spice" blend that I used when I worked with another baker. We just added it to vanilla cake, and it was surprisingly good!
  4. I wholeheartedly concur. Vietnamese cinnamon is THE spiciest! And, it's not a sweet cinnamon, so it could be used in savory recipes (I'm hardpressed to think of one right now). ← We use it on salmon sometimes. ← Salmon....delicious! I now remember that I use it in all my Moroccan-esque recipes...like chick-pea soup, and lemon chicken. Also K8, I agree with you on lemon in the cream cheese frosting! I've tasted orange cream cheese frosting on a gingerbread cake, and didn't care for it. Too strong an orange flavor for me, instead of that bright citrus-y taste I go for. Try infusing star anise in cream when you do a ganache, be it a chocolate ganache, mocha or caramel. It's fabulous!
  5. I wholeheartedly concur. Vietnamese cinnamon is THE spiciest! And, it's not a sweet cinnamon, so it could be used in savory recipes (I'm hardpressed to think of one right now). I sprinkle it on my morning latte every day, too! If anyone is interested, it can be bought at Penzey's, or in NYC at Aphrodesia, a fantastic herb and spice store.
  6. For what it's worth, I only roll my dough between parchment sheets. It's clean and I don't worry about toughening the dough (although the 10x idea is a good one). Also, I mark on my parchments how many times I've re-rolled....2 is my limit. That said, if there's a small amount of twice rolled dough left that I don't use, I will incorporate it with a fresh batch of dough. And, because I fully ice my cookies, I never worry about them losing moisture. I also find freezing the dough is perfect for retaining the sharp edges. After I roll the dough, the sheets are put into the freezer. I then cut, place on baking sheets and refreeze til I'm ready to bake them off. I think they come out very nicely. My customers love my sugar cookies, which I offer in vanilla and chocolate. For gingerbread, I use Cooks' Illustrated gingersnaps. They're spicy and delicious!
  7. It looks like a basketweave tip on steroids. Flat opening, smooth on one side and serrated on the other. About 2 inches wide. It was designed originally to ice the sides of cakes done in those character pans, but it works great for getting the icing onto the sides of most any cake. Wilton #789, I believe. ← Thanks...the minute I posted that I knew I shouldn't have. I have that tip, and use it, but just don't call it a cake icer tip...new lingo for me.
  8. Everything except the moss (that's colored rice noodles is gumpaste: cymbidium, oncidium and dendrobium orchids, ohia bark, uluhe ferns (curly burgundy things). The branches are chocolate covered floral taped wires. I use a cake icer tip, an offset spatula and a dough knife/bench scraper to ice. I use a cooked sugar, all butter buttercream. I apply the icing using the tip and a large pastry bag, spread everything evenly with the spatula and then use the dough knife to smooth. ← Maybe this is a silly question, but what exactly is a "cake icer" tip? Is that a very large petal tip? Your smoothing is beyond....absolutely beyond.
  9. MPShort, you bc'd cakes are magnificent. The smoothest smoothing job I've ever seen! Inspiring, absolutely inspiring!
  10. Thanks,Pam, for actually getting the picture on, and thanks for the compliment, Domestic Goddess. I probably wrote it earlier, but my piece was inspired by the movie "Marie Antoinette", which I absolutely adored. I thought it would be cute to put my dog (a Papillon) in this fantasy version of Marie Antoinette's Le Petit Trianon. Although architecturally, the piece wasn't that complicated, it took hours of work for me. The front piece was actually bigger than the other 3 sides, so I had to build it on a piece of styrofoam to create the appearance of it being built into a berm. Then I used cookie cutters to trace shapes of what would be the grass gardens. And, the candy store people loved me...all those jelly beans for the cobblestones. Anyway, it was my first gbh, and I have a newfound respect for them and the people who do them.
  11. Fabulous! And, the gingerbread house website you provided the link for is great, too. I just did my first gbh for a charity event here in NYC. I chose to do a very scaled down version of Marie Antoinette's private refuge, Le Petit Trianon. And, because there was a menagerie at Versailles during MA's and her husband Louis XVI tenure, I did some animal cookies, too. And, just for good measure, I included my own dog, Mitzi, in this crazy thing. I'd add a photo of mine, but I can't figure out how to insert a photo. Any suggestions?
  12. We were taught in school that a regular heating pad might keep the pan at the proper temperature longer, without really cooking it. It would act as insulation.
  13. A heating pad might work to keep the caramel hot, but not cook it longer.
  14. Rest assured that Rose will answer you. I wrote to her and she answered me quite quickly. You might have to go back to where your question appeared on her page and look for her reply under that. I actually was having the same issue with the middle of the cake sinking, and I had verified my calculations and all were ok. Her answer to me was that I should try reducing the bp a little bit as well as letting the cake mix for a bit longer (30sec - 1 min.) to let the structure of the mix build up a bit. Well, I was just very careful about my bp measurements after that, and measured by tsp instead of weight, and let my mix whirr for another 30 seconds min. and haven't had a problem since. I was using her White Butter Cake recipe, but I would try that. Hope it helps, and welcome to eGullet!! ← Great idea about letting it mix longer...and I will definitely check on the RLB site where I hope I entered my question. Thanks so much for sharing this with me!
  15. Whew! And I thought it was me! I have read that part about filling one pan first, etc. I haven't tried it, though. Maybe I should... Thanks for your reply, McDuff.
  16. Thank you, Toliver! ← Patrick, you're obviously a very talented baker. My favorite post of yours is the squaring off the corners demo! Brilliant. You may want to kill me, but, have you & the egullet people ever thought about a demo on food photograhy? For those of us who photo our products for websites, etc., you could offer a wealth of information. I'm RUNNING to get Dorie Greenspan's new book! I'm drooling over every single post in this thread!
  17. Yes, I did email her at the website. Haven't seen any answer....yet. What's interesting to me is that in first entried recipe on page 39 in The Cake Bible, the amt of bp is 19.5 gms, and the recommended cake pan height is 1.5 inches. (for a 9 inch cake) Then, when you go to the back of the book, and get into the formulas, the cake pan recommended is 2 inches high, and the baking powder amt is 26.08 gms! On my next try, I will go down to 20 or 21 gms, and try that. Thank you for your help, though.
  18. I've been reading the threads on RLB's cakes and buttercreams, but not sure if anyone's run across this dilemna: I use RLB's All Occasion Downy Yellow Cake recipe (I have a custom cake and cookie business). I've used the formula given to convert the recipe into all different cake pan sizes. BUT, my cakes end up being too high, then sink in the middle, have large tunnels and gelatinous tops: clearly the result of too much baking powder. Now, I've recalculated and recalculated and keep coming up with the same amounts. I do, however, use 3 inch deep pans, and I think that's the culprit. (RLB's formula is based on 2 inch pans) The cakes just climb up those walls. I've even calculated the difference between a 2 inch and a 3 inch deep pan, and adjusted my the bp amount by that percentage difference (am I making myself clear?). I think that's the closest I've come to perfecting it. Does anyone have any words of wisdom? I love this cake because it's absolutely delicious & moist. My clients love the flavor, too. It's structurally sound (once I level it), and goes with a zillion different fillings. PS. I was just reading the thread on baking from Dorie Greenspan's new book. That's a definite must get! Especially after seeing Patrick's beautiful photos!
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