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jmacnaughtan

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  1. Hi @Kim Shook, Those gougères look pretty appetising to me The main difference between our recipes, I think, is the cheese - yours is grated and only just mixed in, while I microplane my Parmesan and really beat it in. I normally add a little more egg after the cheese too, because it tends to "dry" the mixture a bit (I always look for the long smooth "V" when it's hanging off the spoon). Maybe the food processor is incorporating air, too? For small quantities, I just do it by hand, as it's easier to judge the texture. You'll also get much more consistent results with a piping bag and a plain 1cm tip than with a spoon. It takes a bit of practice, but it's worthwhile
  2. I was asked to bring something for an apéro, so I went with my old favourite. Gougères! These are with parmesan and smoked paprika.
  3. A mandarine ICBM? You really are breaking out the big guns
  4. jmacnaughtan

    Artichokes

    I don't think there is one - it's possibly the sheer hassle that makes artichokes so delicious. Just get your husband a pile of artichokes, a YouTube video and a lobster glove. Keep him in beer and he should be OK.
  5. I've always found it much easier using a very small paper cone - no more than about 10-15cm long. It makes it more like writing with a pen. Also, you can put the tip directly onto the surface and write like a pen, too.
  6. Good effort I'd recommend making your layers a lot thinner - it'll make it easier to spread the ganache and buttercream evenly. You'll also get all the layers you need (around 9 or 10) while keeping it nice and low. Don't forget to soak your layers of joconde, too. It's almost impossible to over-soak them
  7. I could be wrong here, but it sounds like there may be a distinction between using salt as a seasoning to balance sweetness and salt as a distinct flavouring. While I frequently use salt to balance out white chocolate with strawberries, I'd certainly hesitate before pairing the fruit with a salted butter caramel. In fact, I'd probably avoid pairing that with most fruit.
  8. What you need, sir, is an elaborate mould. Preferably in the shape of a game animal or architectural masterpiece. Then you can start to add your candied fruit, flowers, sugar paste, whittled candy, blown sugar, live birds, dancing ladies, etc. Then some kind of trolley to wheel it in on, plus various pyrotechnics to amuse and terrify your guests. I think that's very much the way to go with the old-fashioned moulded desserts. Thanks - I did think about that, but I wanted some kind of structural integrity and a relatively thin layer. When I use a sponge layer, it's down to well under a centimetre, and I think it would be a little complicated to do that with ladyfingers (which, incidentally, I make as the sponge layer itself). I think I may buy a brioche next time, slice it down and possibly toast it slightly.
  9. It's gariguette season, so the fraisiers are going to keep on coming. No kids involved this time, though. It was too hot to bake anything, so the base is a failed combination of diced madeleine, white chocolate, butter and lemon zest. Way too dense, and I should have known better. The rest is as normal, and as good Fraisier (with some lemon) Gariguette strawberries White chocolate chantilly Madeleine concoction Candied citron I'll keep trying with a no-bake base, but I think I'll need a completely different approach. It'll be difficult to get the softness, and I don't want to add any crunch at all.
  10. Excellent, I love pryanik - but I've only ever had the commercial stuff. Could you send me your recipe? I'd love to try it
  11. First fraisier of the season! And an attempt to get a child interested in pastry. In this respect, something of a failure - possibly my Dickensian attitude to children, possibly the undying attraction of the smartphone. Who knows? Anyway, it was tasty. Same as usual - lady's finger, white chocolate chantilly, gariguette strawberries, a little booze.
  12. You have married well.
  13. Really well done on the pastry work - it looks excellent. If you're unhappy with the rack, I'd suggest properly docking the galette all over with a fork - when I used to do them, they'd end up with a tight herringbone-type pattern. This will help them stay nice and flat and elegant - especially with inverted, which will puff up massively if you leave it unchecked. I can't tell whether you've done it on yours, but it's always a good idea to brush it with syrup at the end of the bake, then put it back in for a few minutes. It gives it a really nice shine and makes the pastry a little more interesting to eat.
  14. You can't really compare bread, pie pastry and choux - they're completely different preparations, for completely different purposes. Try making a Paris Brest with bread or pie crust, and you'll see.
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