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jmacnaughtan

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About jmacnaughtan

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  1. Thanks for the tip. This is not something I do a lot of - do you have a reliable recipe? I've generally tended to avoid tuiles since having to stand and roll them for hours in front of a roaring bread oven... 😓
  2. I have since thought about a tuile, but I think you'd run into the same issue as with the caramel or the crepe - humidity. The ideal, I think, would be some kind of caramel opaline tuile to refer back to the classic, but coated with cocoa butter to keep it crisp. I don't think I have the resources to do that elegantly, though. Do you know whether Florentines are badly affected by humidity? If not, they might have the finesse, crunch and flavour profile for the cake.
  3. Apparently on Friday it was the Hungarian Independence Day, so it's only natural to break out one of the great Austro-Hungarian classics Dobostorte Almond crunch Biscuits à la cuillère (lady's fingers?) soaked in apricot schnapps Milk chocolate and caramel chantilly Crispy crepe Almonds It's a cake I used to make a lot when I first starting baking, but it's been seven or eight years since the last one. Traditionally, you would use chocolate butter cream, no crunch layer and at least six layers of sponge, but I prefer something a bit lighter now. I still haven't figured out how to make the mandatory fan pattern look elegant, though. Traditionally, it's another layer of biscuit covered in hard caramel, but it's a bit unwieldy and not very pleasant to eat. A quick Google image search will show you what I mean. I though a crepe might work, but it's lacking something - and while a chocolate décor may look OK and fit the cake, I'm against them in principle. I'll go back to the drawing board with this one.
  4. Good review! I had the good fortune to be taken here for my birthday a couple of years ago (dinner, tasting menu, Clos de la Maréchale 2011) and it was one of the best dinners of my life. Tragically (and the day before I dined there, in July 2017), Laurent Jeannin passed away - I believe the new pastry chef, Juan Alvarez, is keeping the lemon dessert as an hommage.
  5. jmacnaughtan

    Teal Hearts

    Nice. When I read the title though, I was expecting a butchery thread
  6. jmacnaughtan

    creaming butter with honey

    I agree with @donk79. But if you choose standard honey (not individual flower/source/etc), it's much cheaper. Here, you can get half a kilo for around 6€ or so. Also, I believe the EU has strict labelling laws around what can be called honey (and I'm pretty sure I can taste the difference between honey and glucose syrup + caramel), so I wouldn't be that worried. Just saying that I wouldn't use expensive lavender or whatever honey as a first try.
  7. jmacnaughtan

    creaming butter with honey

    It will go softer, but it should still be workable. Why don't you go and buy some cheap honey and play around with it?
  8. jmacnaughtan

    Cheese I can’t do without

    It's a lot milder than Munster; the flavour's more similar to a mild Saint Nectaire. I think the orange skin is artificial, rather than the washed rind of an orange Munster or Epoisse. @CantCookStillTry If you like Port Salut, try a Saint Nectaire or a good Tomme. They have similar textures and flavour profiles, but tend to be produced by individual farms or dairies. One of my best memories of a cheese board was a few years ago in Auvergne, where it was just a plate with an entire Saint Nectaire on it, made just down the road
  9. Good to know. I'll have a go with those. I'd also love to pair it with fresh raspberry, but the chance of finding good raspberries right now is zero. Basil might be an interesting option as well.
  10. Another weekend, another bergamot dessert. At this rate, I must be in with a chance of a lobbying job with Big Berga Ginger, milk chocolate and bergamot tart Speculoos, milk chocolate and candied ginger base Bergamot, fresh ginger and milk chocolate crémeux Milk chocolate and fresh ginger chantilly Bits and pieces Turns out that ginger and bergamot go really well together. It would probably be a good addition to a Dark & Stormy.
  11. Nice battenburg, @Matthew.Taylor Another attempt with bergamot - as long as I keep finding them, I'm going to keep using them 😃 Milk chocolate, bergamot and orange cake Milk chocolate orange crunch Orange marmalade Sour bergamot curd Milk chocolate and bergamot crémeux Milk chocolate chantilly Kumquat Milk chocolate and bergamot work well together - try it! The crémeux is just a curd, in which the butter is replaced by chocolate. I've stumbled upon an excellent milk chocolate chantilly, as well. 1 part milk chocolate, 3 parts cream, 1% gelatin, leave to set overnight before whipping in a stand mixer. It's like an extremely light buttercream, with much less sweetness. I'll be using that again
  12. More fun with bergamot and white chocolate. Bergamot and white chocolate n°2 Pretty much the same as the other one, but I put some kumquat in the confit layer. I like the visual, but the balance was a bit off in the cake
  13. I came across fresh bergamots for the first time ever at the market the other week, and it looks like they'll stay for another couple of weeks. I'm annoyed that I've never had them before; they're amazing. Use them in gin and tonic! Among other things, I wanted to pair them with white chocolate. So I did. Bergamot and white chocolate cake Pomelo sponge White chocolate and bergamot crunch Bergamot confit More pomelo sponge soaked in bergamot syrup Bergamot curd White chocolate ganache White chocolate and bergamot chantilly Kumquat slices The combination of bergamot and white chocolate is excellent They're sharp and bitter enough to need that rich sweetness - although I still had to soften it a little with salt. I'm still working on the finish though - I've really started liking rough edges on cakes and eliminating glazes (saving a lot of time, effort and clean-up in the process). I'd like to go a bit further with the texture on the side of the cake though - I find the quarry-surface thing pretty cool.
  14. jmacnaughtan

    Would you buy a Base Celebration cake?

    I'd probably go in the opposite direction, too - baking is fine, decorating is horrible. There'd probably be more of a market for the finicky sugar flowers and butterflies that people can cram on top of their own cakes. In any case, there are plenty of cake mixes out there that are easy enough for even the most challenged baker.
  15. jmacnaughtan

    The Great Freezer Clean: 2019

    Good job! For some reason, cleaning a freezer is so much more rewarding and cathartic than cleaning a fridge. Must be something to do with calving off sheets of ice. And possibly the absence of any smell or mouldy unknowns lurking in the back.
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