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Everything posted by RWood

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. When I lived in Seattle, I really liked Tutta Bella. I lived in Wallingford, and one was in my neighborhood. They have several locations, and apparently they were the first in the Northwest to receive certification.
  6. I do that everytime, and still the same. I think they are just out to get me ← you mention that when they are a bit warmer, they don't stick and that when you airbrush, they stick. when atomizing the cocoa butter, it cools down quite a bit, so you might want to warm it up even further when you're planning on airbrushing, the temp will come down pretty quickly during the process. ← I was thinking that as well. I had much better luck with the painted in cocoa butter that last time. I partially melted it, the shook the container until the solid chunk melted. I didn't check the temp, but it started to set much more quickly once in the mold. So, it was closer to the proper temp. I only had a few that lost a spot or two of color. I'm really the only one who would notice it's not part of the design . For airbrushing, I'm going to heat it higher, and see if that does make a difference. Thanks!
  7. I had spoken to Renee as well, and she did say that if you weren't computer friendly, the software can be problematic. I heard back from Tomric, and the USB is $225 on it's own. Seems high, so still thinking on that. If most of these systems just use any of the edible ink cartridges, supposedly the ink tanks from Kopy Kake and TastyFotoArt are less likely to clog. And the Canon printer is supposed to be easier to clean if it does. Apparently the Epson cannot be cleaned and is just a loss. I have to get a new Canon ink tank to replace a chip on the edible tank. One of them didn't work, so once I get that done, I can see how the ink works.
  8. That's what I bought. I'd call and talk to Tomric. ← Thanks, I'll check it out.
  9. I've wondered if it's possible to just purchase the USB stick and software. I have a canon printer, the edible ink cartridges, acetate sheets and molds. I talked to Chocolat-Chocolat in Montreal, and they sell the whole system as well. But, they wanted $750 Canadian for it. Seemed a little high.
  10. I do that everytime, and still the same. I think they are just out to get me
  11. Thanks for the input. I'll try tempering them and see. I have just ordered some new colors from Chef Rubber (no metallics) and I may give them a call next week to get their opinion. I live in a cool climate, but they are shipped from Las Vegas, so could be problems in transit.
  12. I am melting them to around 88-90 degrees. The main issue has been when airbrushing. A little when just smeared or brushed in, but not as much. A few times I have overheated the white cocoa butter, and it still works fine. No sticking. I'm finding it's only with the metallics. I'm getting to the point I may stop using them until I have time to work it out. Maybe just use dust for sparkle.
  13. Hi everyone, This may have been discussed in some of the chocolate threads, but I don't remember seeing anything. I'm having a problem with the metallic cocoa butter colors sticking to my molds. The non-metallic colors come out with a brilliant shine and no sticking at all. But, all the "lustre" or "pearl" cocoa butters I have, stick to the molds and I end up with ruined chocolates. I've noticed that I have a problem with these cocoa butters separating all the time. I can shake and shake, but it doesn't help. These are all chef rubber colors. I did one mold when I first started using the burgandy, with a dark raspberry dust, and it worked great. Now, it's hit or miss. I have found that if the chocolate isn't at the higher end of the temper point, it will not adhere. So, that has helped somewhat. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
  14. Sounds like someone's grandma's recipe, which is probably delicious. ← I'm in the weigh-everything camp as a rule but I'm gonna have to agree. Some of those country grandmas can whip out a batch of biscuits without ever touching a measuring device of any kind that will kill anything carefully weighed or measured by a less experienced hand. ← You know it. My grandmother's biscuits were awesome, and she probably made them for 70 years. I know she probably used lard for a lot of that time. And she baked them on a cast iron griddle skillet, which I still have. It made the biggest difference. Her dough and the little rolling pin my grandfather made for me is why I'm a pastry chef now
  15. Sounds like someone's grandma's recipe, which is probably delicious. ← My grandmother & aunt did this every morning for a major part of my childhood. They did everything by feel. But, in the south, self-rising flour is used more than plain, so all they had to do was scoop out a lump of fat, work it in, and poured in buttermilk until it felt right. I wish I had been able to do that, but even now, I can't make a biscuit like they did for anything. Measured or not.
  16. I think the richness of a flourless chocolate cake would be better with an ice cream, and I have made orange ice creams before. I usually reduce the orange juice first, then add it right before staining the base. When I have made a blood orange creme brulee, I used the blood orange concentrate from Perfect Puree, and it makes a really nice brulee. So, ice cream wouldn't be much different. I also have added candied zest after spinning. Sounds like an interesting combination.
  17. While I don't have an X3210, I do use callets in my Rev 2. They work quite well, but you have to be careful not to place too much behind the baffle or else it tends to start to crawl over the top. ← Yeah, that's the thing that I've noticed. If the bits are too small, they get pushed up over the top. I have to keep poking them back down. I think that's why I just stick with the block.
  18. So far, the machine is still doing very well. My only problem I have had is with cocoa butter in the molds sticking. I've been tweaking it a lot, and have found that the factory setting of 88.7 for the temper is too low for the cocoa butter to adhere properly. I've raised it to 90 and it was much better. I only had a few losses. I may still raise it a little higher, may a half of a degree. I think depending on the chocolate you use, you may have to experiment to find the right temperatures for your brand. I'm only using block chocolate now. The machine recommends that, and I can see that the callets might tend to get stuck more. I have thrown bits and pieces in there, and they might slip past the baffle, but still melt down. I don't think the machine takes that long to get through the entire process. It has three choices, the first just melts down to the temper point, and is pretty fast. I tend to use the second, because if the leftover chocolate is not in temper, this will retemper properly. I did try the overnight mode, which is supposed to help save time the next day. The chocolate retempered fine, but I did notice it had a strange look to it, not sure how to explain it. Probably was getting overworked. All my molded pieces were still very shiny, so no ill effects. I don't know if I would use it that often though. I am very happy with it so far. I ordered mine from a company that had a business pack that could be ordered with it. It included two of everything (bowls, baffles, knobs, etc) as well as dipping forks. I think they sell on Ebay as well.
  19. My formulas are all in weight, so I'm usually scooping into a pan or bowl on a scale. I've tried a wet tablespoon before, and the water does help, but you still have to scrape it out of the spoon. Over my many years of working in pastry, I've gotten pretty good at eyeballing amounts, so I pretty much know the amount to try to scoop out when I'm weighing.
  20. Rinse or dip your hand in cold water, and scoop out what you need. It helps prevent the glucose from sticking as badly. I usually just hold the bucket in one had, rinse the other, and scoop out what I need over my bowl. You will still have a little stuck to you, but nothing like with a dry hand or spoon.
  21. This is just how it is. Even though at my last job, it was my responsibility to write the dessert menu, it had to go through the exec. chef for a final proof read and he would make changes as he saw fit. Whether it be just re-wording, or totally taking one dessert off and replacing it with what he wanted. Needless to say, we never totally saw eye to eye on that, but I still got along with him really well. I just knew it's his menus, and what he says goes. Pastry chefs are usually on the botton of the totum pole. I was laid off a couple of months ago from a large corporate facility, and it was because they figured they could just get lowered paid pastry cooks to do the production. They didn't need to have a "Pastry Chef" to get things done. The Chef and Chef de Cuisine can get a menu written and just have the pastry cooks produce it. I've been doing this for 12 years, and it's just something you have to get used too.
  22. The chef I used to work with gave me several bags of them last year. From what I can remember, they seemed fine. I mainly used them for sorbets in the restaurant. I tried raspberry, mango & blackberry. I haven't tried them for anything else though. I used to order a different frozen puree from Albert Uster, but it seems the Caramanfruit is the only thing they show online. Since being laid off, I'm not in contact with my rep, but I can email him. He was always good with info.
  23. Well, I'm new here, at least at being able to post . But, I just received the Revolation Delta, and used it for the first time today. I am impressed so far. I use El Rey exclusively and the only thing I changed temp wise on the machine was when it was in temper mode I raised it from the factory setting of 88.7 to 90 degrees. The set melt temp is 108 and that is in the range that El Rey recommends. My molds all look great, but will find out tomorrow when I fill and seal them. I was rather surprised at how quiet it is. I had heard that a lot of the smaller machines were really loud so I was worried about that. But, hardly any noise. I had issues about spending that much money, but I needed a machine to help me with production, and will just hope things keep going as well as they did today. I was more impressed with this machine being computer controlled with a fan for temp regulation. Some of the ones I've read about use a light bulb for the heat source. I have no idea about customer service yet, so I can't comment on that.
  24. Mexican Chocolate Bundt Cake 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. ( RG2168 )
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