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TheStarvingArtist

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    West Michigan
  1. TheStarvingArtist

    Cotton Candy?

    I've seen menu items/photos/etc. of unusual flavors of cotton candy (fernet branca, pineapple, and so on), and I can't mentally process how that would be done... anyone ever make cotton candy and successfully flavor it in interesting ways? How?
  2. I recently had a few experiences at large cocktail events where people were serving icy craft cocktails dispensed from what appeared to just be repurposed slushie machines. I've looked around online for advice, but can't find anything useful from a "craft" perspective: has anyone done this before? Do you need to calibrate the recipe in a special way? Can I just dump a bunch of stuff in the hopper and press "on"? I feel like the sugar/alcohol might throw off the freezing ability of the machine, but I've never used one... I'm debating buying a used machine for use in some of my events, but I'd rather not make a purchase *completely* blind... Thanks for your help!
  3. We're a small local bakery, and are using the same recipe we've used for months and months. All of a sudden this morning, the doughnuts aren't expanding correctly-- they're puffing "internally", filling their own hole and turning into big, crunchy batter-lumps. They're obscenely oily, and simply not right. My sous-chef is confident she followed the recipe exactly. The oil-temp is correct. The only major difference is that *usually* our batter rests overnight, and this batter was fresh-made, but we've definitely used fresh-made batter before with no major problems. Any ideas as to what's going wrong??
  4. Thanks for the discussion so far! In response to some of the comments: I totally agree. I have no interest in loading my stuff with weird chemicals or lowering my quality just to appease a handful of noisy vegans. HOWEVER, I have on (very) rare occasion had a vegan baked good that shocked me with how nice it was. That said, I KNOW there must be some good recipes and techniques out there, but I don't care enough to change my process at the bakeshop or spend countless hours experimenting. I just like the idea of being able to provide something that I respect and can fill a requested niche. I recently had a vegan brioche bun filled with raspberry jam that was absolutely delicious. No, as most of us know, it won't be quite the same without loads of butter and eggs, but at the same time if somebody served me one of those buns every morning with coffee, I wouldn't complains bit. At this very moment I'm experimenting with a vegan brioche trial: coconut milk and coconut oil, with a bit of lecithin for emulsion. I'll let you know how it turns out...
  5. Hi Vegan friends and supporters! i own a tiny French patisserie and do some private work on the side, and recently I've been getting bugged about doing some vegan pastry. My problem: I come from a family of patissiers from France, and my blood is about 30% butter. I'd like to try and satiate people, but my instincts tell me that vegan brioche, vegan feuilettine, vegan financiers and canneles, etc. would all be TERRIBLE, both in texture and in flavor, and I refuse to sell something that I would never ever eat. I would LOVE some advice/techniques/recipes in the field of vegan French pastry, especially from non-vegans (or formerly non-vegan), who can give an adequate review of something (e.g. it's hardly a fair review when someone who hasn't eaten cheese in 30 years tells me that their yeasted-cashew crap is "JUST like cheese"! No it's not. Stop being ridiculous). Is Earth Balance really necessary? Does it work like normal butter? Thanks!
  6. Someone else added the no-flavor comment... MY almond meal still tastes just fine And I've got the financier batter in the fridge! Though I don't quite feel like jumping on the macaron bandwagon yet.... And thanks, Alex! You're most kind Hope to see you at dinner sometime soon!
  7. I own a tiny patisserie, and my friends own a coffeeshop down the block. They've begun making their own almond milk, and are sending me all of the almond meal that's leftover. An awesome partnership, but I LITERALLY get 20-30 pounds of almond meal a week from them! I do a nice almond sponge and whatnot, but most of the recipes I find for using almond meal either use just a little bit, or are just not that great... Anyone have any fantastic ideas/recipes that would help me use up my massive glut of fresh almond meal? Thanks!
  8. TheStarvingArtist

    Anyone know what this bumpy lemon thing is?

    Those look like Calamondin/Kalamansi to me!
  9. Howdy! I'll be spending Sunday through Tuesday in Louisville and on the Bourbon Trail, and have never been! Any recommendations for food and fun that's out-of-the-ordinary (I tend to hate touristy stuff..) would be fantastic.
  10. TheStarvingArtist

    Using Plum Pits?

    I just pitted about 30lbs of plums, and I'm wondering if anyone has had success using the pits for something cool? Infused liquors? Etc? Note: I do NOT want to crack all 500 pits....haha.
  11. Hi! So I lucked out and purchased my whole cafe's equipment used/at auction. It's all just what I need and in really good shape, but it needs some serious cleaning on many cosmetic levels. Not having had to do this before.... Tips on grease-removal? Some of this stuff is pretty gunked... What about renewing a S/S worktable? The top is nice and shiny, but the unfinished bottom shelf has that crusty whitish deposit....how do I shine it up? Cleaning the inside/outside of a S/S cooler? I'm mostly in the need of advice re: which cleaning products to use/avoid, and any special tips/tricks. Thanks!
  12. Are you talking about Professional Baking by Gisslen? Maybe I've misunderstood but he discusses using the depositors with his cake-type doughnut. Unless I'm completely missing it, I don't think so. He mentions using a depositor, but immediately says that "most people use a mix-- follow the directions for your mix." He doesn't actually give any info/recipes/etc. on making the correct texture of batter. I could just be missing where you're referencing, though?
  13. I do love brioche-style doughnuts... was definitely thinking in that direction, too. Thanks for the link, Annie!
  14. Wow-- handy link, thanks! Do you ever run into any problems with scaling up the doughs? They seem pretty straightforward, so I can't imagine there would be any... Yeah, I know most people use mixes, but the from-scratch approach is pretty much the requested calling card. Unfortunately, there wasn't a depositor-batter recipe among those in that book! Did you wind up using a robot at your shop? Or did you do it all by hand? Having never used the large-scale equipment, I can't decide which would be the best approach...
  15. TheStarvingArtist

    Drinks! (2013 Part 1)

    I have to politely disagree a bit in re: the Paolo Figli Maraschino-- Yeah, it definitely is more muted when compared to Luzardo, but I'm someone to whom the Luxardo's perfume often seems obnoxiously heady and overwhelming, so to the point of occasionally making me hate a cocktail because it just tastes like maraschino. I found the Paolo Figli to play much more nicely with other lighter flavors. Sure, there's still a place for Luxardo (the Paolo can't stand up to powerful liquors very well), but I made a few cocktails for a friend of mine (who HATES maraschino), and she really liked them when I used the Figli-- it sort of sat in the background and bound the other flavors together.
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