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Everything posted by Tri2Cook

  1. We were given the green light by our supplier at work this past Monday... it's been back on the menu all week.
  2. Tri2Cook

    Christmas Cookies Redux

    For the first time in over 15 years, I have no plans to make Christmas cookies this year. There's an outside chance I'll use my Mr. Hankey cutter to do some gingerbread poos... err... "men"... but nothing beyond that is in the plans or desires. I'm trying to steer myself entirely towards chocolate-related stuff instead this year. Might even do chocolate Mr. Hankey's instead of gingerbread if I can get it to work like I want it to. I have to confess, admitting this didn't sting near as much as I thought it would.
  3. Tri2Cook

    Help with Almond Brittle

    I think the additional salt from using salted butter instead of unsalted would be a nice addition. I would look at it more as the salt helping balance some of the sweetness than as something that needs to be offset with additional sweetness. Never met an almond roca that wasn't more than sufficiently sweet to begin with. Of course that's unrelated to your question and really none of my business how you choose to make your candy... just felt inspired to mention it anyway.
  4. Tri2Cook

    Melanger experimentation

    It helps a lot! Exactly the type of information I was looking for. Thanks!
  5. Tri2Cook

    Melanger experimentation

    I do not. Never even heard of it... I'll do a search and check it out.
  6. Tri2Cook

    Melanger experimentation

    I think I'll start a campaign to try to convince @Kerry Beal to use her amazing powers as a chocolate ambassador to convince someone in the bean-to-bar field to join these forums. I'd like to be able to ask questions about things like how they determine where to go with various beans in terms of percentages and how they decide when to take a batch out of the machine beyond general guidelines. Basically, some basics beyond put this+that+the-other in the machine for x amount of time. Even somebody willing to do an article where they cover things like I mentioned above would be great. I'm not looking for a step-by-step with specific formulas or anything like that, just an overview on how their decision making process works when they decide a bean should end up as a 65% instead of a 70% or might not be as good for a milk as another bean... that sort of stuff.
  7. I know I've said it many times before but I'll say it again: put Kerry in a room with anything at all other than just air and she'll find a way to cook or make something. .. and I wouldn't bet against her if there was just the air.
  8. Put a stick in 'em, toss 'em in the freezer and have homemade pudding pops. I agree with pastrygirl, thin with milk and give 'em a spin. Should be fine straight out of the machine, might get a bit hard and/or icy in the freezer depending on the sugar/solids level in your PdC.
  9. Tri2Cook

    Cheese I can’t do without

    Me too. But if I was forced to choose only one for the rest of my life it would probably be a good cheddar. I think it's the most versatile all-around cheese for my eating habits. I almost agree... I'll take mine without the anchovies.
  10. Tri2Cook

    Why Northern biscuits suck

    I've been doing the cream biscuits since the first time I saw one of your posts about them several years ago. I am not a biscuit master, I don't make them often enough to have "the touch", but the cream biscuits are pretty much foolproof. You almost have to want to overwork them to get anything too bad as a result. I wouldn't put my biscuits up against anybody that has good biscuit skills even using the cream method but they're infinitely better than they were before and less work as a bonus.
  11. Agree 100%, I was just being silly. I feel a little obnoxious when asking people to be crash test dummies for my experiments because I strongly emphasize that if they don't think they'll be able to tell me something sucks when they think it sucks, they're of no use to me.
  12. I prefer the regular version myself (with the disclaimer that I've only tried the chocolate version once) but I agree, nice looking pie.
  13. Trade her in for a more supportive model... ...kidding, of course.
  14. Tri2Cook

    Romaine Recall

    We were advised by our supplier at work to bin whatever we had and that they wouldn't be shipping more until there was an all-clear. They said there hadn't been an official recall or do-not-eat issued in our area but they were strongly recommending it as a precautionary thing. All we had in stock went in the dumpster this morning.
  15. I was hoping it wasn't just me. Maybe it's the chocolate I'm usually working with but I have to get it dumped pretty much immediately and then still do some pretty serious tapping to end up with nice, thin consistent shells. If I fill a mold and let it sit even for the time it takes to fill another, they're going to be really thick. Although, to be honest, I've never really been sure how thick they're supposed to be. Compared to the standard commercial shells I've experienced with non-artisan chocolates, mine are much thinner but I never considered the possibility of them being too thin. I just assumed as long as they're not breaking they're not too thin.
  16. Tri2Cook

    Melanger experimentation

    Out of the machine at 53% (ok, actually 52.6%). Looks like a milk but there's no dairy of any type in it, just nibs, CB, sugar, salt and the PB powder. I had to up the cocoa butter even more to solve viscosity issues after introducing the PB powder. It was going to be pretty difficult to mold as was, too thick even at well above normal working temps. Considered working in some lecithin but decided to stick with CB this round. Kinda hard to tell how the flavor will end up with it still hot right out of the machine. I'm gonna give it a few days rest and then get it tempered and molded and we shall see...
  17. Tri2Cook

    Melanger experimentation

    I have no idea what's customary, I'm making about 75% of what I do up as I go. It's semi-educated guessing based on what information I've been able to dig up but quite often just guessing. But to answer your question, yes, I went with a higher proportion of cocoa butter to hopefully help counteract anything the PB powder may do to the final texture.
  18. Tri2Cook

    Melanger experimentation

    So this question got me reconsidering my original plan. I tossed 400 grams cocoa nibs and 200 grams melted cocoa butter in the machine yesterday. I let it run for a few hours then tossed in 400 grams sugar to end up with a basic 60% dark. Later today I'm going to start adding the PB powder and some salt until I'm happy with the result. Hopefully I'll remember to weight each addition so I have a record for next time...
  19. Didn't have any difficulties finding a couple of his brownie recipes... now I just need to not have any difficulties actually getting around to making them.
  20. I have a recipe I use that has cheese in the crust (cheddar), the filling is a mixture of apples and cooked pork sausage sweetened with a reduction of apple cider and brown sugar. It includes thyme, rosemary and allspice in the recipe but I always replace the rosemary with sage. Not because I don't like rosemary, I just think sage works better in the recipe. Maybe because I use my homemade breakfast sausage which is forward with sage and heat. Regardless, it seems to work well with the apples in my opinion.
  21. Tri2Cook

    The Fruitcake Topic

    I was debating making fruitcake this year but only half-heartedly and with an attentive eye looking for a way out. Ask and you shall receive... the Shriners were set up doing their fruitcake sales for this year when I went to the grocery store today. No booze and not going to rival anything Rob bought but dark, moist, packed with fruit and nuts and plenty tasty enough for my annual fix. Better than any grocery store fruitcake I've tried. Plus the proceeds go towards transportation assistance for children with medical needs so I get a little feel good to go with the taste good. I can throw a shot of something in my coffee or eggnog while I eat the fruitcake and call it close enough if I really miss the booze. And at $20 for a box of 3 x 1 lb. pieces, it's more in line with what I'm willing to spend on fruitcake.
  22. Which is the biggest problem. Once I see it, everybody can see it... even if they can't.
  23. You win. You could have shown the brownies once and walked away and I would have been fine. But nooo. you have closer shots just in case it wasn't clear enough in the other shots just how moist and dense they are. With assurances to Rob that I'm only looking for the brownies, I'm off to google...
  24. Tri2Cook

    Melanger experimentation

    Thanks. I think what brought on the hesitation and pushed me to ask here before starting is the worry of ending up with something overly soft (thinking about the meltaway formulas). The much lower fat content should help (I think) but I wondered if eliminating even more non-chocolate/cocoa butter content by replacing milk powder instead of in addition to the milk powder might help even more with keeping things snappy. One way to find out, I suppose...
  25. Tri2Cook

    Melanger experimentation

    Leaning towards a milk bar for this round. I'm not at all concerned about a high (even for milk) final percentage in this case. I want the PB to shine through. Was thinking about starting with maybe a 40 - 45% milk formula and then adding the PB powder. Not really sure where to start with the PB powder so I was just going to start with what I think would probably not be enough and work my way up. Edit: I'm also considering giving the fruit bar formula a try using the PB powder instead just to see if a PB bar sans chocolate works.