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Everything posted by RWood

  1. I know how to do it, I've piped 1000's, but not sure how to explain it. I have found that making sure the piping bag is not too full, or at least twist it at a half way point so there is more control helps greatly. Also, pipe holding the bag straight up, then pipe the size you want. Right before pulling away, give a quick little twist and that will make the top flat and help avoid having to go a back with a wet finger to smooth it. Eclairs, never been really good at those, but I was taught to pipe a straight line, then when letting got, instead of pulling forward, to push back toward it. Seems to work, not sure why. Also, sometimes it's the recipe. I have had a few come out like "Michelin Men", and others not so much. I have one recipe I've used for a long time, and it does well. Even with people piping that don't really have that much skill at it. Hope some of that made sense
  2. I made the pumpkin caramel ganache last week. I like it actually. I used milk chocolate for the ganache, and molded in dark chocolate. I just used pumpkin pie spice instead of making my own. The pumpkin flavor is there, but subtle, and it's not too sweet. Here is a picture of them. It was taken with my iphone, so it's a little fuzzy.
  3. I use both Valrhona and El Rey. Just my two preferences. I've had no problem molding with either one. A friend of mine uses the "E" Guittard line, and she says it's too fluid to work well with her enrober. She has an older model and it's too thin for the chain to pull the chocolate up. I used the Orchid line at my previous job, but only for baking. I don't know what it's like to mold with. Great price though.
  4. Chris, Here is a version that I particularly like. Filling: 1 2# butternut squash, halved lengthwise-Bake at 425 until tender. Cool and scoop out flesh. Saute 1 medium chopped onion in butter until tender. Add 1 1/2 T fresh chopped sage and 1 clove minced garlic. Remove from heat and add squash. Cool, and add 3 oz crumble goat cheese. Season w/ s&p. Fill and cook ravioli. Melt 4 oz butter and 1/3 c chopped skinned hazelnuts in a skillet and cook over low heat until butter is browned and nuts are toasty. Serve ravioli with hazelnut butter. I like parm over the top as well. Now I may have to make this soon
  5. Yeah, not non deodorized - un deodorized. Like it's been deodorized then it's been undone. That's why I prefer it. It still has the aroma and flavor of chocolate. Most whites are just too sweet, and at least with El Rey's, you do still get something that resembles "chocolate".
  6. I find El Rey's easy to work with my self. But, I do second the Valrhona. It's my next choice. White chocolate can be a big pain, but those two seem to work the best for me. I just like El Rey's better for flavor. I don't care to eat white chocolate, but I find it's the easist to get down
  7. RWood


    I like them roasted in caramel. Then I use them for individual upside down cakes, or eat as it. Great with either a sage or creme fraiche ice cream. I'm not a fan of apricots, and while I love peaches, I seem to like nectarines better. Except when you can get them off the pit
  8. Thanks Kerry. They look to have a good price. I have ordered from L'epicurie in NY, and they do sell a "fine" almond flour. It works fine for my macs, but comes out to be about $8.75 per lb, not including shipping. I'm going to check them out next time I need to order. These are ones I made from the pistachio flour I ordered from l'epicurie. I wish I could find a good source for that, it's so expensive.
  9. I think Italian meringue is what you are looking for. It has a much more creamy texture than a french method. I had one woman I worked with always take home any leftover so she could dip strawberries in it. If you are going to torch the meringues, they can sit for several hours. I have made many lemon meringue tartletts and they have lasted for the whole day. Refrigerating makes it start to weep. I think it is more stable since the sugar is cooked to a higher temperature
  10. Hi stuartlikesstrudel, The whole field of 'cooking' is quite new to me after a lifetime of avoiding as much of it as possible and so the descriptive part is new too. I like that word 'complex' and I think it does apply to this ice cream. First it tastes like 'this' and then it finishes up like 'that' after passing through another phase of the 'other'. I've wondered just what others have meant when they spoke of say, chocolate, having a complex taste. Thank you. This ice cream is probably one of the most amazing food items I have ever made. But then both the DH and I love Szechwan and eat it constantly...part of my new cooking life. He helps with the mises and I do the cooking. I am intending to try this flavor combination in a ganache soon. ← I made ganache with milk chocolate, and it came out very nice. I did just make the Gianduja Gelato and I did the Stracciatella and it's very good, nice texture. My only thought is that it's a little sweet for me, could be because of the milk chocolate. I did use El Rey's 41%, but maybe cut back on the sugar next time. I am still going to try the orange szechuan one soon. I have too many yolks left over from all these white cakes and buttercream I'm doing.
  11. Hi Robyn, Do try the Fleur de Lait. It is quite amazing. And also the Orange-Szechwan Pepper, my personal favorite. ...maybe not for the kids... And if you make sandwiches, heed the advice of Tri2Cook (male ). I think I will remake the sandwiches today. They cannot be properly rescued from their current state. Down the road they go to the young family. ← I will definitely try those. I just got in a new tube of szechuan peppercorns. I have tried that combination in a molded chocolate, using milk chocolate, and it's pretty tasty. I think ice cream will be awesome. I'll have a bunch of yolks leftover from the wedding cake I have this week, so no excuses
  12. I finally got this book. I haven't made ice cream in months, and now that's all I want to do . I do have some family birthdays coming up, and should probably have ice cream for the birthday cake. That should give me a reason now.
  13. Bummer about all the problems. When doing a bundt cake with streusel, you do really need to butter the pan well. But, always start with cake batter first, then layer your streusel and more batter, ending with batter. Some streusels can be more sticky. But, as long as the pan is buttered well, it should be fine. Most bundt cakes or any cake in that type of pan, generally take at least an hour to bake. For blueberry or any berry cake, it usually works best to fold the fruit in gently by hand at the very end. Frozen will work well, just add it last and fold gently. Shouldn't have smurf muffins or cake that way . I've seen lots of that.
  14. And here is the other one. Jewish Style Coffee Cake Streusel: 1 1/4 c walnuts, coarsely chopped 1 1/4 c brown sugar 4 1/2 tsp cinnamon 4 1/2 tsp cocoa 6 T currants Combine and set aside. Cake: 3 c flour 1 1/2 t baking soda 1 1/2 t baking powder 3/4 t salt Sift together. 6 oz butter 1 1/2 c sugar 3 eggs 1 lb sour cream 1 T vanilla Cream butter and sugar until fluffy Add eggs and vanilla, scraping bowl well. Alternate drys and sour cream. After last addition, beat on high for 1 minute. Butter bundt pan well, flour and knock out excess. Alternate cake batter and streusel, usually 3 batter and 2 streusel. Bake at 325 till done.
  15. Thank you again. I should have noted that the Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake recipe came from you. It's finally out of the oven and resting quietly on a cooling rack. I'll decant it later, hoping for the best. ← Here is this one. Recipegullet is being annoying and won't upload. Mexican Chocolate Bundt Cake Servings: 12 We experimented with adding a little ancho chili powder to the cakes as well, so that's an option if a more spicy cake is wanted. Cake 12 oz unsalted butter 3/4 c cocoa powder 1-1/3 c water 3 c sugar 3 eggs 3/4 c buttermilk 2 T vanilla 3 c flour 1-1/4 tsp baking soda 1 T cinnamon 3/4 tsp salt Chocolate Pecan Glaze 2 c pecans, toasted 2 oz unsalted butter 2 oz half and half 1/4 c powdered sugar 5 oz bittersweet chocolate 1/4 tsp salt Cake: Butter and flour bundt pan. Oven 325. Melt butter in saucepan. Whisk in cocoa, then water until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk is one at a time-sugar, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients. Combine drys with cocoa mixture, whisk until smooth. Pour into pan and bake until tests done. Glaze: Melt butter, whisk in half and half, then powdered sugar. Add chocolate, and melt over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat, add pecans and salt. Let cool until thickened. Pour over cooled cake. I'll also post one for what one customer always called my jewish style coffee cake. I always called it swirled. It was very popular.
  16. I found the recipe for the mexican chocolate. It's probably more of a bundt cake than coffee cake, but it can be whatever you want. I will divide the recipe down. The original makes 5, and I don't think you want to deal with that . I'll put it in recipegullet.
  17. Thank you. ps. I even have a brand new bundt pan. A friend was given a set of various silicone pans and she has re-gifted them to me. Nice friend. I'm not crazy about using silicone except for the sheets which are such a boon. ← I've always been a little iffy on silicone pans, especially the cake and bundt pans. Won't the bottom of a bundt get flattened with it being flexible?? I think they are too wobbly myself. Good luck though
  18. I just added the Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake to recipegullet .
  19. Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake Serves 12. This is a combination I came up with just because I love cardamom and orange together. Many of the Greeks in my stepfamily have said it tastes like Karidopeta, a honey walnut cake. It does for some reason, even though it's quiet different. I'm a little iffy on the 9X13 pan size, it's been a while since I made it that way. The bundt pan is how I originally made it. 1-1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans 1-1/2 c brown sugar 6 T flour 1 T ground cardamom 6 T unsalted butter, chilled and cubed zest of 2 oranges, minced Cake Batter 3 c flour 1-1/2 tsp baking powder 1-3/4 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp cinnamon 6 oz unsalted butter, softened 1-1/2 c brown sugar 3 large eggs 1-1/2 tsp vanilla 1-1/2 c sour cream Oven: 350 Butter and flour a 9X13 pan. This will work in a 10-cup bundt pan as as well, the layering will end with batter instead. For the streusel: Combine all the dry ingredients, add the cold butter, and cut in until mixture still has pea size lumps of butter. Cake: Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, scraping bowl well. Add sour cream and mix well. Add dry ingredients all at once, and mix until smooth. Spread half of the batter in pan, sprinkle with half the streusel. Spread remaining batter over, and top with streusel. Bake until tests done. Lay a sheet of foil on top if the topping starts to brown to much before it is done. ( RG2167 )
  20. I used to bake tons of coffee cakes at a previous job, so I experimented with lots of combinations. I prefer baking powder recipes, not looking to get into the yeast thing. I think one of my favorites is a Orange Cardamom with pecans that I made. I have lots of love for cardamom . I also have a mexican chocolate with cinnamon and a caramel pecan goo. I'll have to dig the recipes out.
  21. RWood

    Luster Dust

    I've ordered from www.lusterdust.com. They have a large selection, plus different sizes. I lightly brush it into the mold after applying cocoa butter, and it works fine. I think it works better that way, because it has something to stick to. I haven't tried airbrushing with it.
  22. RWood

    Brown butter

    I always use the solids. It adds a nice flecked appearance to cookies, cakes, etc. I've made a butter pecan ice cream that is made with brown butter that the pecans are tossed it as well. It's very nice.
  23. RWood

    Brown butter

    You melt butter over low heat and allow it to cook until the milk solids turn brown and starts to smell nutty. It is easy to burn, so you have to watch it closely. Variants, not really. You can brown it to different degrees I suppose, but too light and it's not going to have enough flavor, and too dark it will be useless. Why make it? It's wonderful , especially if a vanilla bean is in with it. I make a brown butter tart with poached pears, brown butter cake, madeleines. And something like butternut squash ravioli with brown butter sauce is to die for. I don't think it would be bad on anything
  24. I've noticed that the Italian does seem sweeter, and the shell seemed thicker. But, since it didn't work for me, could have been my fault or whatever causes it to flop. As far as success rate with the french meringue method for me, I had to make 5000 shells for 2500 sandwiched macarons once. It took me three days of doing nothing but that. I only had two sheet pans that had flops on them. Now, I had been making them at this caterer for a while then, and I had the method down. But, as good as that recipe is, it will still give you a headache once in a while. I made espresso ones recently, and half of once sheet was all messed up. Have no idea why.
  25. I finally took the time to make a couple of batches today. I've never had any luck with the Italian method, and still didn't today. They all exploded in odd places, and if they had a foot, it was only on one side with a slant. I felt the batter was too stiff, too. I broke out my usual French method recipe, and it worked as always. I made them with pistachio flour and pistachio buttercream, they are my favorite . I have made literally thousands of these things, and that recipe works 99% of the time. It took a lot of almond flour and trials when I worked at a large caterer, but after trying many different recipes and methods, I'm going to stick with what works for me. I've used almond, pistachio and hazelnut flours with the same results. One thing we found when testing is that warming the whites seems to help. Maybe it makes up for aging, which I never did.
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