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jmacnaughtan

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    Paris
  1. I'm currently working on making a decent chocolate orange cake, so here's the first try: Chocolate orange cake Medovik biscuit Orange confit Tanzanie 75% ganache Orange curd Chocolate crumbs Chocolate chantilly Candied orange It's OK, but the chocolate chantilly started to split at the last minute
  2. Pork Jowl Bacon, how would you cook it?

    If it's anything like the pork jowls I've seen, it's going to be about 90% fat. I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable serving a slice of that, even SV and crisped. I'd dice it and use it in pasta sauces.
  3. How much of an effect do stocks really have?

    You could do, but I'd be loathe to add raw onion juice to a sauce in place of a stock. I have a feeling that it would remain very harsh, even with further simmering. And there would also be the issue of everything in your freezer being potentially tainted by the aroma of raw onion while it freezes.
  4. That is excellent. Please tell me it had the same, pleasantly stodgy/chewy crumb you get in the small, shop-bought ones.
  5. No problem. Here, I spread a thin layer on the pastry case, then put the lemon curd over the top. You could mix it into the curd itself, but I prefer my curds to be completely smooth
  6. It's not a confit in the traditional sense, more like the French confiture - but much more intense. Essentially, you zest a couple of lemons and juice them, and add half the weight of the juice in sugar. You then reduce that down slowly until it takes on a jam-like consistency. (The original recipe from Conticini says to peel off the strips of zest, blanch them three times and blitz the confit, but I skip that and just microplane the lemons and it works perfectly well). It's an incredibly intense lemon flavour with lots of acidity and almost zero sweetness, so you have to be careful how much you use. I've tried it successfully with grapefruit as well, and less so with oranges - they tend to go extremely sticky. If I tried it again with them, I'd cut down the sugar by half. Let me know if you give it a go
  7. I've come to the realisation that I prefer meringue to be unbrowned and brilliant white. Somehow, the caramel/Maillard notes just don't seem to work as well, especially with fruit. I have a sneaking suspicion that browning meringues isn't about flavour or presentation. I believe, deep down, that pastry cooks just really like playing with blowtorches. So here it is, an unashamedly white lemon meringue tart Pâte sucrée Lemon confit Lemon curd Italian meringue Candied citron
  8. Looks pretty good to me. Although there are not many pound cakes I'd kick out of bed, to be honest.
  9. True - none of the constituent parts are particularly difficult to make. You just need the time to do each one properly
  10. I made an orange cake for dessert this evening. Fairly straightforward, just orange and almond/hazelnut. Orange cake Orange and almond financier Orange marmelade Hazelnut and Golden Grahams crunch Orange curd Orange and golden syrup chantilly Glaze Candied orange For some reason, I've recently had an aversion to cakes with flat, smooth, regular tops. Not entirely sure why.
  11. T(art)...

    True, that. There are easier ways to make attractive desserts, which don't require long hours cutting and crimping pastry.
  12. I was asked to do a proper French dinner, so I made a Paris Brest for dessert. Unfortunately, it was only after I'd made the cream that I realised my praliné was old and had developed that health-food-peanut-butter flavour. So it went in the bin, and I made a coffee cream. Being clever, I swapped out the sugar for black treacle which is nowhere near as sweet, and didn't change the amount. In despair, I reached for the nearest sweet thing I could add to the cake to make it taste like a dessert: fig jam. Who knew that coffee and fig worked? I had some choux pastry, cream and jam left over, so I made éclairs too. Which tasted the same. And yeah, I've given up trying to make choux pastry look elegant.
  13. Hmmm. Maybe whipping the egg whites separately could help with that. Or the usual: more booze.
  14. That looks good, and like something I would eat far too much of. But... what is it? Is it a flan? A set custard? A horrendously failed sponge cake?
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