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Everything posted by Darienne

  1. Thanks so much. I have never had excess grapes in my life before...except for the one year of abundant wild grapes back home in Ontario, 1995, and we made grape jelly.
  2. We are currently living in Moab Utah and our landlady (and friend and next door neighbor on whose property this second house stands) has gone away for a while leaving for our use more grapes than I have ever seen before. I don't know what kind they are, except for the Concord grapes. Two other varieties seem of the Concord type...you know...you put them in your mouth, break the skin, swallow the juicy innards and then either chew up the skin...or as we all did as kids...spit the skins out. And one variety is more the store bought type. Please no jam or jelly or wine. I did find a wonderful pie recipe, Schiacciata con l'Uva, which I might try. I could try juice. We have a Champion with us but I don't know how it would handle the seeds yet. Will try that tomorrow. Any other suggestions? Thanks
  3. Where do they use anhydrous butter and why? Is it common anywhere? Normally used for confections in what countries? I have never heard of it before and the information on the web is too much at once. Thanks
  4. Speaking as a Canadian currently living in Utah, I would say that Americans use more sugar in their pastries and cakes and such than do Canadians. We were in a culinary emergency last year and bought a commercial angel food cake. I was stunned by how sweet it was. Then we tried a pound cake...same thing. Now I have an oven and can make what I need. I asked the Utah chocolate couverture supplier about sending me some 70% chocolate...I love it. He said only if I wanted a case. They just don't get any call for it. But then Greweling doesn't seem to use it at all It's just what you are used to, what you are raised on. Perhaps that's the sole basis of the European remarks...too sweet for their taste.
  5. Hi Darienne This old thread, around page 10-12 there is discussion on the spatter technique. DavidJ shows his spatter tip Ruth Kendrick explains her modification to the spatter technique. http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=56184&st=330 Here is another one where TNChocolatier explains how to do it with the old fashioned way with a whisk http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=117072 ← Thank you EJW. Just got back online tonight so am a little late in my reply.
  6. I'm not a big fan of milk chocolate, but sometimes it does work extremely well. We'll go for it next time. The 60% is much sweeter than the 70% and this must be why it 'goes' better. I'm stopping at a little speciality shop in Ontario on the way to Utah and picking up some more pretzel rods to play with...just in case I can't find them where we're going...and the neat little cellophane wrappers too.
  7. Thanks Desiderio for all the information. I would not have used the 70%, but my friend wanted 85% which I could not get. Also, at the time I had no choice in 70%...we live in a small city and I was lucky to get any 70% at all. Our pretzel rods and turtles were done in 60%, medium viscosity, and they worked out very well. Also last week I scarcely knew that viscosity was an issue at all. I am the newbie amongst newbies...but learning quickly I hope. All least all the errors are still edible and delicious. BTW, I never did recoat the caramels. I completely botched the tempering process and both I and the store had no more 70% couverture left. Soon I'll be in Utah, using E. Guittard for the first time, thanks to Ruth Kendrick. The best news is that we are going to meet!
  8. My adorable lop-eared bunny mold at the top of this thread is a Tomric mold. I'll download their website and see what I can find. I think my confectionary partner is probably going to buy some molds on behalf of us both at Chocolat-Chocolat for now. Thanks
  9. Thanks for the help, all. Kerry, that Belcolade section was helpful and I saved it for further reference, although I think I am starting to get the picture. Who knew? The problem with what I was doing, coating caramel, is that the caramel is very thick and solid in its presentation and needs a thicker coating than say a truffle. Or it needs a thicker coating in chocolate in my perception of how it should be and taste. I'll have my DH try one this morning and get his opinion on the coating...and then probably recoat the caramels. (Of course, he'll say that they should be rolled in nuts also. But then they are not for him. ) Later: Report on caramel taste test. DH ate half a caramel and thought they were delicious but could benefit from a re-coating. I ate one of the little extra side bits that I cut off to square the slab. It was much thinner than a regular caramel and coated in the same way. Thus the proportion of chocolate to caramel is greater. I think, while it all tastes delicious, the caramel overwhelms the chocolate and can't see any real point to dipping caramels into chocolate. ...but it was what my friend ordered. Even later while out walking: Of course, she probably meant a soft caramel filling and I used a denser, chewier filling. I see Greweling has a couple of softer caramel fillings I could try. Also, is there a way to change the recipe that Kerry gave me to make it softer? More cream? Just random thoughts as I learn and learn and learn... Last thought: I'll go back and read that caramel thread on eG.
  10. Thanks Emmalish. I'll just wait until I return to Canada and then get a few.
  11. Thanks for the information. It would probably be less expensive to have them shipped to Utah where we are going for a while, than across the border to Canada where we live.
  12. I knew about the little drops after our discussions on this thread back a week or so. But when I asked at the store where I bought the Callebaut what viscosity it was they couldn't tell me. Callebaut lists two liquidities in their dark chocolate section, one with 5 drops and one with 3. I have to assume my chocolate was the 5 drop variety. None of the milk chocolates have more than 4 drops and most of them have fewer. Is milk chocolate generally more viscous? Then I looked on the Bakers C&C website from which I will order E. Guittard while in Utah. They don't mention anything about various viscosities. I'll phone them on Monday and see if they can tell me over the phone. They list only one high percentage dark 63%, so perhaps that will just be it. They don't carry 70% chocolate...there is almost no call for it and if you want some, you have to buy an entire case. You mention that 5 drop variety is only for dipping, and yet today my dipped caramels have too thin a coating. Is this the chocolate or me? Thanks for all the answers.
  13. I feel as if I should apologize for asking so many questions. The show off student with her hand in the air all the time. As for polycarbonate molds... We are about to cross much of the USA and wonder if there is somewhere in one of the relevant cities: Indianpolis, St. Louis, Kansas, Denver, Grand Junction, ...basically I-70...where I can stop and buy some molds. Or should I just order them online?
  14. Today I dipped some caramels (Kerry's recipe...delicious) into 70% chocolate Callebaut as a gift for a friend. She actually wanted 85% chocolate, but I have no idea of where to get it. As soon as I started to work with the chocolate I realized that it was of a very low viscosity...I got it everywhere...and the coating on the caramels is not thick enough. I'll have to redip them. Do I understand that if you are using 70% chocolate you are likely to have to redip your "dipper"? I see that there are different viscosities of chocolate, but most of the 70% ones have very low viscosities. Very confusing, the word 'viscosity'. Low viscosity means thin. I see that Callebaut uses the word 'liquidity'...not confusing. Is 70% chocolate necessarily of high liquidity? Delicious, but thin? Just what do you normally use the various liquidities for? Low for coating? And high for molding? Sorry, it's all quite confusing when one is starting out.
  15. I don't know why, but I had this sudden image of the heroine in the movie 'Chocolat' All best to you!
  16. Thanks for the words, Lior. It's great fun. Everything is a first for me. My partner, Barbara, was raised in a cake-decorating, candy-making family, but I have always avoided cooking any more than I had to. Now, in my dotage, something has snapped and I am a kitchen devotee.
  17. Thanks for the words, Lior. It's great fun. Everything is a first for me. My partner, Barbara, was raised in a cake-decorating, candy-making family, but I have always avoided cooking anymore than I had to. Now, in my dotage, something has snapped and I am a kitchen devotee.
  18. Made a second batch of caramel-coated chocolate-dipped pretzel rods yesterday and the process went much more smoothly than the first effort. Again used Kerry's delicious recipe. This is my lo-tech pretzel setting up booth: a plastic milk box crate from a former life, welding rods laid across and clamped to steady them, metal stringing beads used as spacers so that the pretzels cannot touch each other...and they try, they try...and clothespegs to hold them up. A silicone sheet below to catch the drips. Perfecto. Funny, but effective!
  19. Yesterday confectionary partner Barbara and I made chocolate dipped caramels as a gift for a chocolate deprived friend. With the leftovers, we made a few turtles. Is this timing a co-incidence? I think not...
  20. A wonderful tribute by Lebovitz.
  21. (deleted the wrong quotey thingies...) Here's a pic of how mine turned out... You can barely see a little bit of green in the upper right side of the sliced one. The finished ganache is a very pale yellowy-green, almost white. Hi Emmalish. You're right. Yours look lovely. The other strange thing about ours is that we used far less mint then Greweling called for. The mint was fresh. It was strained out. What more can I say? It was a gruesome color. We are it anyway. I'll try it again...
  22. Has anyone made Greweling's Lemon Mint Ganache, p.122, and how did it turn out? Looking through Greweling today I saw that nowhere in this recipe does it say to remove the mint, 'chopped very finely', from the ganache. The photo shows these lovely creamy white fillings dipped in a dark chocolate. Friends had a truffle making session Christmas 07, and we made a mint flavored ganache, also in white chocolate. The mint chopper chopped the mint very finely. We steeped, etc...however, we strained out the mint as best we could. The resulting ganache was a green color which I hesitate to describe. It was not appealing. We reluctantly all agreed it looked exactly like something quite familiar and very unappealing. Tasted great! How did Greweling get that beautiful color in his ganache with all that finely chopped mint?
  23. I did not know that. I have a Cuisinart. I phoned the local specialty kitchen place (Ontario, Canada) and they had not even heard of them. Thanks. They are listed in the About.com article at $39.99 US.
  24. Thanks so much Dougal. You are amazing!!! I quote a line from that series of posts:...."Think about it if these paddle attachments were so good don't you think that kitchen-aid would already have them on their mixers. " Gives one pause....
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