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Everything posted by KarenS

  1. I roll out 15 ten inch sucre, and 8 9 inch sucre every day- plus 4 cream cheese dough. You don't need any special mat or pin. I roll on a stainless bench with a wooden pin and flour. Keep rolling, it takes time and practice. All that "between two pieces of wax/ parchment/ plastic" is not a help. Use flour, keep turning the dough, and make sure that it is rested (made yesterday or six hours before), cool, (and not cold).
  2. You did not mention price. I have used all of those chocolates. I have never used margerine though. You need to give us your budget/ recipes. I would use Schokinag with butter before moving on to a better chocolate. You can use, calets, pistoles, or chips. I have not used block for standard production for over 15 years- it is not necessary.
  3. I never grease cake pans;I want the pans clean and dry. I want the cake to lift and hold on. I also never cool chiffon cakes upside down. I don't refer to the Cake Bible (or own it). It does nothing for me as a professional pastry chef- the methods are weird and confusing. I fit a circle of parchment on the bottom of a clean cake pan (and wipe the sides to make sure there is no grease). I get full volumne of my cakes that way.
  4. I learned a lot about cookie doughs when I used to make them in massive amounts. Use cold butter and cream ON LOW SPEED. This will take awhile. The butter/sugar mixture will hold on to the flour very differently. It will spread out much less. Unless you are looking for a thin flat cookie- keep your butter cold.
  5. I have worked with many "heritage" Portuguese recipes. I have noticed a frequent use of potato flour/ starch. I can help you with sweetbread or malasadas- I would have to taste or see this bread.
  6. KarenS

    Mincemeat Pie

    This has been on my production list for a week- when I make (my fourth) batch I will get to a recipe. I use dried fruit, lemon, orange, apples, spices, brandy, sugar (no meat or suet). Dried: apricots, cherries, cranberries, pears, currants,figs, raisins
  7. KarenS

    Simple Syrup

    If I said "simple syrup"- I would go to equal amounts (by weight and volumne). I use others though- sometimes it is too sweet for fruit, and sometimes I increase the sugar when candying citrus.
  8. I've done often whipped mascarpone- sweetened and flavored (passion fruit, vanilla bean, raspberry, etc... I poke a hole in the bottom with a pastry tip and twist out a small round. This will not be seen. You dip the top and side in caramel (dip, turn and drip down the side). Place down at the bottom of your cone (or traced circle). Continue with the next puff and place firmly against the warm caramel side. Go around the circle and continue the next layer. I work with an ice bath next to me- and wear latex gloves. I stick my fingers in the ice water if I drip sugar on them (I also use the ice bath to shock and stop the caramel). Seventy should be a fun size for you and not at all overwhelming.
  9. My mold is three foot high. I use it about once a month. I would never work "bottom to top". To me that is bizzare.. A serving is a heaping tablespoon. I make this in summer all the time. There is no winter here- Honolulu is always humid.
  10. re: how old is the cake? how old is the mousse? how old were the eggs? How old were the flavorings? Did anyone place their hands or fingers in the product? Did they all have good bathroom ettiquette? The person who cut and plated the cake has the same variables.
  11. I never understand questions like this. What are you asking for is the better question.
  12. KarenS


    Very small popovers will take 30 minutes. Good popovers will take 45 minutes with a convection oven. Serve something else. I make 400 every day.
  13. I have no idea how big your party is. I will fill choux one day before-unless the filling is very wet , they do not suffer. If I am going two hours away to a wedding, I want the work done. That is up to you.
  14. KarenS

    Whipped Cream

    If you whip cream properly- starting on low and gradually increasing intensity until thick- then add the sugar and finish. Your cream should last over two days ( no need for stabilizers or gelatin. Most people whip it franticly, without stabilizing the fat. It should never splatter; gradually bring it to where the fat is stable, and then sweeten with superfine sugar, etc... Actually, 36% cream will prbably last 3 days (but it would taste like where ever it was stored- fat picks up EVERYTHING).
  15. I grew up in N. CA (and my family for 6 generations). I love dungeness crab! My grandfather used to take me down to the pier (SF)- we would watch the crab cook, eat crab cocktail, and buy a couple of cooked crabs to go. Dungeness crab is found on the north west coast. My opinion is that king crab does not compare. I am happy to eat blue crab, soft shell crab, kona crab. and mud crab... but dungeness is my favorite. My brother recenly mentioned all you can eat crab fests that are offered in San Jose- he goes a few times a year during the season (I'll find out the facts and post them- I believe that it is done by an Italian American group)
  16. I use Italian meringue in mousses quite a bit (plus whipped cream and "whatever"). Most of the time I have no need for gelatin. The whites are cooked- and a great texture for mousse.
  17. I think it's a great project (I love challenges). Poured isomalt would work for the glass. I think that Steve KLC has a huge wealth of knowledge on sugar- try to contact him.
  18. oh, I just wanted to add- it's croquenbouche (break the mouth- from the crisp caramel) a bouchee is a boat or "tart" shell, usually of puff pastry). There is an easy modern technique that Sinclair might want to add (I know she has used this), with melted chocolate used as the "glue". This is not good for me in Hawaii, but it might help you!
  19. I make and sell these frequently (enough to justify buying the stainless cone form- I used to use a cone from the parking Lot! (washed and covered with foil). How much you allow per person depends on the meal that precedes it. These have become slightly "trendy" as wedding cakes in Honolulu. The last one that I made was 3 weeks ago for a party of 300. They had a very extensive meal- I did three choux per person. For 900 choux, I would NOT do it on site (it can take me up to five hours to fill and assemble this size). I keep many pots of caramel cooking at once (and slow down or speed up as needed). I also do two layers deep- and adjust the height on how big the party is. The last one was four feet. The caramel actually makes them very sturdy to transport. I charge $7 per person. I do many of these for Christmas parties- they make such pretty "tree" centerpieces- plus people have fun eating them.
  20. My point is that I would not expect a caesar salad at any Italian restaurant.
  21. You know that caesar salad is not Italian...
  22. Barbque sauce, mac nut toffee, mac nut brittle, coconut macaroons, gingerbread people. The sauce has always been a big hit, as everyone I know loves to grill.
  23. KarenS

    green veggies

    Steam and blanch green beans. Toast and coarsely chop hazelnuts. Make some brown butter, add hazelnuts and pour over beans in a baking dish. (my Dad's comment is always "how do you get the beans to stay so green?" answer: blanch and shock in ice bath.and Add salt and pepper. I prep this ahead and heat in the microwave (covered) right before serving (the oven is always too busy). I also do grated and sauteed brussel sprouts, and a fennel/ celery root/ orange salad.
  24. I really like Valrhona cocoa.
  25. I use Cocoa Barry primarily, and sometimes Valrhona. I will go out of my way to use Valrhona white choc- as I feel it is excellent.
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