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  1. I've made a piecaken! Two actually. My sister-in-law knows I love making ridiculous food on occasions and she sent me a link to it from a blog she read. I did an apple pie inside vanilla tea cake and a cherry pie inside a chocolate cake (a la blackforest). Basically, it's as you guys predicted. The cakes were overcooked and the pie crust was soggy/indistinguishable texture-wise. The cherry one looked cool, with the dark cake and white pie crust, but the vanilla one you couldn't really even see. Some guests liked the taste of them (having a big layer of apples in the cake is nice, but achievable with the right apple cake recipe IMO) but the general consensus was that we'd rather eat a slice of pie and/or cake, only novelty is gained through the combining of the two
  2. If you're keen to follow the no-lye rule, you could bake your baking soda for a better dip... I haven't tried it yet but people suggest it's the best option if you can't use lye. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/dining/15curious.html?_r=0
  3. Thanks for the replies everyone - after all your agreement r.e jam I went out and got a nice one (couldn't find bakery jam) and it was a much better result than i expected. I also tried mixing the cooked raspberry filling with some buttercream and that was a fresh and creamy tasting filling so I might go with that, or the jam ganache. Cheers,
  4. Hi, I'm making a friend's wedding cake and am getting a bit stuck with fillings: The cake itself is a rich chocolate cake and I originally planned to use a coconut filling along with a raspberry filling (alternating layers) however they now don't want coconut, so i'm reverting to just raspberry as the flavour profile. Tonight, in some experimenting, I mixed up some white chocolate raspberry ganache (using white chocolate and raspberries) as well as a batch of raspberry filling from this fantastic post. I love the taste of the second filling, the ganache not so much (though i'm going to try whipping it tomorrow and see if light-and-fluffy suits it). However I don't like the idea of just using the raspberry filling - it will require a LOT of raspberries and is quite strong tasting. I wonder if anyone has a dark chocolate ganache recipe using raspberries or something like this filling mixed with chocolate. My ideal filling would be smooth and not too sharp tasting, but still with a fresh burst of raspberry. And of course, needs to be stable for multi-tiered construction. Alternatively, I'm wondering about spreading a little ganache and then a bit of the raspberry filling on top, so two mini-fillings between layers. Any ideas?! I have found a number of raspberry ganache recipes online but would rather not just try a whole bunch aimlessly if someone here has a good one... and most of those online seem to use jam, which in my head wouldn't be so tasty, but who knows... Thanks so much!
  5. Hi everyone, I'm ordering some pastry things and thought I should add in a few flavourings - I've just (finally!) obtained Greweling's book and am keen to step up the chocolate work and maybe a bit of other confectionery. But my limited experience with essences/flavourings in the past is that they usually don't give the effect I want - that is, they taste quite artificial or just a bit strange. So my question is, are there some flavours that are definitely GOOD to have in essence form? I imagine some just work out better than others, and maybe work well in conjunction with puree or just as an extra boost to natural infusions? I'm going to get some mint essence, and wondering about stuff like passionfruit, raspberry, lemon, lime. Coconut? What are your go-to flavourings?
  6. Just popping in to say I loved reading this thread! A bunch of people helping each other in the name of cake... kinda restores one's faith in humanity and the internet BrooksNYC, I hope you bake something amazing! You sound like you have such a great attitude to life and I really like that you're doing those "one day" things we all stash away. May Saint Honore, the patron saint of bakers, smile upon you!
  7. Thanks for the suggestions! I haven't looked into roasted rice powder, sounds like it might be an appropriate thickener in keeping with the cuisine. Ditto with the glass noodles, that'd be quite an interesting addition. I do currently cook veges, squeeze tofu etc, but I guess the reminders here to do it thoroughly reinforce the importance of that... What I still can't figure out is the meat-texture dilemma... I know it's difficult to replicate but all my attempts revolve around modifying ingredients/technique but the end result is still a bunch of individual things inside the wrapper, no real connection between them (so if i eat half a dumpling, random bits of tofu or spring onion might fall out, which doesn't really happen with meat ones). Maybe I need to look into egg as a binder.
  8. Hi everyone, Been a while since i've posted much here, but I am again faced with an issue that's plagued me for a while and I'm hoping to get some ideas from you... I like making vegetarian dumplings (the asian potsticker/gyoza type) and can never get the fillings to play nice - they're usually too wet and don't hold together very well, making the construction process frustrating, and the eating process less satisfying than the meat counterpart, in my opinion. There's a certain toothsome-ness that I'd like to be able to achieve, but without the meat that usually brings it. I've improved my process by sweating down vegetables to remove some of the moisture, limiting the liquid seasonings and sometimes used a little cornflour to thicken, but it's still not quite where I'd like it. The fillings vary but often incorporate mushroom or tofu, carrot, cabbage, spring onion etc. I'm wondering if perhaps there's a hydrocolloid/magical modernist powder that might be of assistance... i had some vegetarian dim sum recently that really had that firmish, slightly gelatinous texture. See here for the picture (the two on the LHS), you can probably imagine the feel from that. If something like agar would work, I imagine it could be mixed into a tofu-centric filling that would bind everything a bit more. Any ideas? Even just general technique/tips would be welcome (i.e is there anything similar to the breadcrumbs or flour we put in other things to bind and thicken that would do the job without muting flavours)? Thanks, Stu
  9. If you have an ice cream machine, make batches and batches of this. It is my favourite ice-cream I've made (which, with under 10 flavours under my belt isn't much of a call but still...) http://365scoops.com/2011/05/19/tiramisu-ice-cream/
  10. I've never had an authentic American pecan pie, so I'm not sure exactly what's expected, but I can say that I made this last year and it was very very tasty. From memory I didn't include the chocolate chunks, but they would have been a welcome addition. (it's also corn-syrup-free which wasn't a concern for me but could be handy for folks avoiding it ) http://www.chefeddy.com/2012/11/port-chocolate-pecan-tart/
  11. Minas, please tell me that blueberry rock candy was for a Breaking Bad party or something... looks very meth-like
  12. This isn't really an answer to your question, but I just thought I'd chime in to say that I recently made a filling with one part ripe strawberries (blended smooth but seeds left in) and 2 parts chocolate, and was surprised how well the strawberry flavour came through. If you dropped it down to 1:1 I reckon you'd have a pretty strong berry flavour, and the texture would probably still be fine for moulded chocolates.
  13. I would think that the thicker you made a ganache, the more it would be a cohesive layer and would eventually get to the point where it could be peeled off "like a blanket", particularly since it was probably in a cold display (?) and the layer below (perhaps cake or mousse?) could be texturally quite different, so the ganache may not stick to it (or at least, wouldn't really bleed into it and bond strongly). Chris, your cake looks pretty similar in many ways (and pretty cool, too!) but to me that picture above of the slice looks almost like the topping is getting a bit smeary/smooshy, which I don't really think of fondant doing even when it softens. YMMV though.
  14. Oh alright, add me to the list of 'recipe please' chimers!
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