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Lesa D.

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    Atlanta Ga.
  1. Gosh, I don't know where to begin with all of this advice which goes back and forth. The only thing I can tell you is that I do have a passion for this stuff, and I'm really getting into the chocolatiering aspects as well. I also spent a lot of money a couple of years ago attending Nick Lodge's sugar arts school where I learned from( in my opinion) the very best on how do do gumpaste/fondant work. Worth every penny, and I'm good at it. My husband is a professor at Georgia Tech, and while we don't have gobs of money, his salary supports us, so my earnings would be the cherry on top. No pun
  2. Hey, fellow foodies, just thought I'd give you some good and bad news. I am so ready to take my home-schooling out of my home kitchen and get a really good education; I'm not getting any younger. So, on Thursday last, I spent about five hours at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts school here in Atlanta dealing with admissions, extensive interviewing, etc. They told me as soon as I sat down, that just because I was there, or had cash money on the spot to attend, that there was no guarantee that I would be accepted. They are very picky about whom the admit, which is understandable. What an amazing
  3. Do you temper the chocolates separately and then mix them together?
  4. I just received Peter Greweling's new book-what a super and beautiful book, especially for beginners like me. I couldn't find any info on how to mix different couvetures and/or how they are tempered. Is this even advisable, since different chocolates require different tempering temperatures? For example, if I wanted to mix a little Valrhona bittersweet with a Callebut milk to achieve a specific flavor profile based on my filling, can I do this successfully? My very first box of Easter bon bons (as you recall), didn't turn out well because I didn't temper them properly~fat and mo
  5. Hey, everyone~Just an update: First of all thanks to John Paula and Trishiad for their excellent demos. I especially appreciate the demo ,Trishiad, that you showed using the heating pad method, as I can't afford a real tempering machine yet. I did, however, purchase a Taylor digital insta-read thermometer and a 5lb. capacity Salter digital gr/oz scales. Per another thread on transfer sheets and everyone's info, I was able to get six individual transfer sheets for 3-5.00$ a piece. After reading the thread on Peter Greweling's new book, I ordered that as well. Can't wait to get started! I
  6. I've just been reading the thread on chocolates from several years ago, being especially interested in getting a thinner shell coating of chocolate in my molds. Since I am a really real beginner at chocolate making-I bake and sell cakes-I don't even have tempering or instant-read thermometer yet. I've been experimenting, and from what I've read, the chocolate temperature for tempering seems by feel to be just barely warm. or slightly below body temperature. At any rate, when it is at this temperature-or the temp I'm guessing at- the chocolate is fairly thick, and I have been painting the ch
  7. Oh, yes, I forgot to add that if the recipe I submitted makes more than you need, just wrap in plasic wrap, wrap in foil, an place inside a good freezer bag. It freezes well.
  8. I don't use shortening in anything (although I experimented with it in tart shells for quite a while). In the end it's going to come down to what flavor and texture you like most. Personally, even when I follow the conventional steps for a crumbly pate brisee crust, I end up with a fair amount of flakiness that I like quite a bit. If I wanted super flaky, I'd just go get some puff pastry and see what I could do with that. !00% flaky, and 100% buttery goodness. Here's an intetersting article by Melissa Clark of the NY times on her quest for the perfect pie crust. Good insight on alternative fat
  9. I knew before I even took the test that I am a super taster and a super smeller, which makes sense that they would go together. It isn't much fun at times not being able to enjoy certain foods, especially when everyone is getting into a dish-even though I am picky, I'm highly sociable. Because I love to cook for others, I cook things that I sometimes have hard time smelling and/or eating. I do like coffee, but ONLY with cream and sugar, and I don't LOVE coffee-I drink maybe two cups in the morning. No b.spouts for me, either. I really like broccoli, but I can't eat left-over steamed brocc
  10. Can you tell that I have Obsessive Compulsive disorder? No, really, I do... I need to remeber what Nick logde always told us in our gum paste classes: "IT'S ONLY SUGAR!!!!" Check him out as a judge on food network competions. He's reserved on camera, but in real life, he's a sweetheart. He and Scott treat his students like royalty. Speaking of royalty, he made one of Lady Di's wedding cakes.
  11. I am so sorry for the false calculations! When my husband John recounted the candy melts, he got 241 pieces for a 1lb. bag, and he's right! Let me make amends: one ounce is really 15.06 pieces. So, for 7 oz. for the modeling paste recipe, you would need 105.42 pieces-let's say 106, and for eight ounces it's 120.50, or 120 and 1/2 pieces. Shew! Sorry guys. I'll be more careful next time
  12. Ohmygod! My husband just recounted, and I have to amend everything I just said! Hold on while I recalculate! This is important stuff for us candy melts users.
  13. Hey, guys, I am about to make roses out of (pink) white chocolate modeling paste to decorate a real strawberry cake that doesn't use the jello word anywhere in the in the ingredient list. The modeling paste recipe calls for 7oz. of white chocolate, but in this case, I'm using CK candy melts because I know in this case, , chances are, no one is going to eat them. ( CK candy melts are okay, but, let's face it, they don't really taste like white chocolate ). I have counted 221 dics in a 1lb. bag, so you may as well say 220 with one left over, or eat it, or give it to your beagle
  14. Beautiful and poetic, G.G. Sweet words to start the day with here in Atlanta.
  15. I guess this applies to baking: I am from the south, and as most of you know, sweet potatoes are a staple here. My husband John is from Scotland, and had never before tasted sweet potatoes. In Scotland, white potatoes are the staple, and he would eat them at every meal and does when I don't cook. Anyway, a few years ago, I brought home some sweet potatoes to bake for him-just simple and plain with butter was my plan. When I came in from wherever I'd been, he had decided to stuff them the way you do white potatoes. He was concocting a stuffing of butter, sour cream, broccoli and, yes, even
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