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  1. Out of all the knives I have, I consider my Chan Chi Kee chinese cleaver most indispensable. So lightweight and glides through anything despite its size.
  2. I think these are the best of the best among light soy sauces. I always have all of them in stock. Yamasa Usukuchi Koon Chun Pearl River Bridge
  3. Thanks for the detailed explanation. Good to know that the lead is most likely in the metal canister only and not in the butane itself. The thought of unwittingly exposing family and dinner guests to lead scared me.
  4. I've been using GasOne butane with the Iwatani torch for a while now when I noticed the lead warning on the canister: This product contains chemicals, Including lead, known (to the state of California) to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm. Wash hands after handling. I'm no hypochondriac, but I have to admit that this got me a bit worried since the flame is always in direct contact with food when I use it. Does heat render lead harmless? Are the Iwatani brand canisters lead-free? Does all butane contain lead?
  5. Filipinos use fresh kalamansi the same way you would use lime or lemons - squeezed over grilled meats and all sorts of fatty dishes. If you ever try making pancit palabok or bistek then this is the accompaniment of choice. We also use it as the acidic component for seafood kilawin, the Filipino take on ceviche. I'm not sure how kalamansi would turn out candied because its rind tends to be much tougher and the flavor more sour than kumquats. It should be worth a try.
  6. Before roasting, I let the chicken rest in the fridge while uncovered overnight, sometimes up to a day. This really makes a huge difference IMO. I also do Keller's method, but without brining. edited to add "Before roasting"
  7. I would bake three to four 8-inch cake layers, stack, and trim to get the round top. Are you using fondant or frosting?
  8. Gosselin's pain a la ancienne is slashed and has the most wide open crumb I've ever seen in any baguette. It could not have expanded as much without slashing. Any baguette or high hydration dough can benefit from proper slashing.
  9. From my experience, ciabatta tends to have larger air pockets on top compared to the bottom of the loaf. Slashing gives it a more even but still wide open crumb structure. Also, if scoring is done like a flap, expansion can continue even if the crust is already set. It has to be really shallow or the ciabatta will collapse.
  10. When slashing ciabatta, I find that a VERY shallow cut that is almost parallel to the top works best. Almost the same technique as slashing baguettes to create an ear / flap, but down the entire length of the ciabatta. Opening the door after just a few minutes will kill the oven spring -- the oven is still recovering from loading the loaves and opening it again will lower the oven heat too much. Are you using steam for ciabatta? Letting steam escape during the first few minutes is also another sure way to prevent the loaf from getting a full rise. Very interesting idea, though. I'll try it out even if I doubt it'll work and I'll let you know what happens.
  11. Huge difference from the previous loaf. Does that use the same high gluten flour?
  12. His method for making macarons also works great for me. It calls for baking at 400F, much higher than your typical macaron recipe.
  13. I've also made ganache-filled cupcakes. The recipe was from Wayne Gisslen's baking book. I think the cake base was devil's food.
  14. I also get a nice shine when glazing with plain melted butter after baking. Not as much as using an egg wash before baking, though.
  15. From looking at the recipe, my gut feeling is the oats are absorbing too much of the water and the flour isn't getting hydrated enough. Seems to be a really stiff bagel-type dough with that much water, isn't it? It could be a couple other things, though. What's the timing on your rises and proof? Are you using coarse grained salt?
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