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Everything posted by jmacnaughtan

  1. Sure it is. Each batch of baguette dough generally uses around 25kg of flour (often more), which is mixed by machine before being shaped, generally by hand. When you consider that a baguette normally weighs around 200g, that's a lot of loaves.
  2. Maybe not NYC, but the bakery is in Virginia. Skilled bakers cost a lot of money to employ here, and the social security contributions that the company pays the state pretty much equal the salary. Add to this the fact that Paris rental prices are extremely high... Even at the €1-2 mark however, bread and pastries are the most profitable items in bakeries, generally because they can be easily made en masse. The losses generally come from the more elaborate cakes. Also, what's your problem with British English?
  3. The elaborate pastries weren't the ones that caught my attention - it's more the pain au chocolat, plain croissant and cannelé for 3$ and up that I find extortionate. Given the ingredient costs (and labour and rental costs, which are almost certainly lower than they are here), they must be making a spectacular margin on those. If there are people willing to pay that, then great! But it still surprises me. And I am curious - are those prices pre-tax, and do you tip in these places?
  4. Staff note: This post and those that follow were split from the Show Off Goodies from Your Local Bakeries topic, to maintain topic focus. Those do look good, but the prices are staggering. Are these normal prices, or have they had to hike them up to survive the pandemic? I imagine these are pre-tax, pre-tip too 😬 (For context, at Ladurée or similar, a pain au chocolat is generally €1.80 or so. Neighbourhood bakeries sell them €1.00-1.20, tax included)
  5. Living under curfew for the next few weeks, so lunch is the new dinner. This was today's dessert. Quince and praline tart Sweet pastry Quince and praliné purée Poached quince White chocolate and praliné chantilly
  6. jmacnaughtan


    I always thought it was the same in France as over there, given it's a French name. Here though, the bottom ones are the chanterelles and the top ones are girolles. I think the generic family name is chanterelle, but I'm not sure.
  7. jmacnaughtan


    I'm curious when people in the UK/USA/etc. talk about chanterelles: are you talking about these or these?
  8. It's been a while since I've done any baking, so I took some time out to make a an old favourite. Paris-Brest Choux pastry Praliné feuillantine Praliné mousseline Nuts
  9. I'm having trouble with the scale here - is that a tiny sphere or a very large cup? In any case, it's very pretty (and a shame to melt). I think the gold leaf is wasted inside the sphere - I can't see very well on the photo, but it looks gunked up on the marshmallows. Would it work better on top of it?
  10. jmacnaughtan


    What are those? They look like the pieds de mouton that we get here...
  11. jmacnaughtan

    Breakfast 2020!

    Finally found a decent mushroom purveyor, so this was breakfast. Not brunch 🤨 Girolles and "pholiotes" fricasseed in butter and cream, oyster mushroom pastries, bread, Bordier butter, Livarot, Tomme St Antoine and a little Crottin goat's cheese.
  12. jmacnaughtan


    I've recently started "toasting" julienned carrots with salt in a dry, uncovered pan before doing anything else with them. It seems to dehydrate them a bit and ramp up the sweetness and flavour. Then you just need to finish them with butter. Cumin seeds work well in the toasting step too.
  13. If you're not sure about the kitchen, I'd probably avoid anything that requires dough - you don't know how much counter space you'll have, and you probably don't want a big clean-up either. If he's not a fan of big pieces of meat or any shellfish, why not go fish if you're on the coast? Do a thick piece of something in the pan, oven or on the grill, lightly roast or braise some good vegetables and do a beurre blanc sauce - very quick and easy, but still impressive and somewhat "special". Open a good bottle of white and have a pile of peas in the pod to snack on for apéritif, and it should be fairly memorable. Especially if you can eat outside. Followed by cheese and good fruit for dessert (unless you really want to do some pastry work in a rental kitchen...).
  14. jmacnaughtan

    Pattypan ideas

    They're acceptable as decorations, and possibly gifts to your more forgettable colleagues.
  15. Runner beans. While there may be people who enjoy sharp fibrous skin between their teeth, I am not among them. It doesn't help that they're generally served boiled and plain.
  16. Agree about broccoli stalks - they are a really good addition to a mirepoix too. I've tried the star anise thing, but even after a short time and small amount, it always tastes too strong. Lard and dripping (and animal fat in general) gets a bad rap, unjustifiably so. You get a much better sear with them than olive or vegetable oil, and they hold up a lot better at high temperatures. Although, interestingly, fat you've already used once or twice works considerably better than "virgin" lard...
  17. Lovage is a good call, and I'd also throw in savory - it has an aroma somewhere between rosemary, thyme and mint. Button mushrooms get a hard time, undeservedly so. I use them all the time.
  18. I'm a big fan of the Marigold vegetable stock powder from the UK, and bring it back when I'm over. I should try the Maggi fond de veau. It's probably stocked in the Monoprix down the street.
  19. The main trinity here is bread, cheese and wine
  20. Thanks @Kim Shook and @RWood, that clears things up. For what it's worth, I can't get clotted cream here, either. The closest is "crème double", which is thick, rich and tasty but not at all the same. Sigh. Has anyone got a reliable base recipe for American scones? I'd like to try them again. ETA: Just saw @Smithy's post. Thanks for the input!
  21. Those do look very appetising - I'm a big fan of cherries used well I still don't really "get" American scones though - what are they? Are they cakes? Muffins? Sweet, savoury or both? Growing up in the UK, I learned early on that scones are first and foremost a vehicle for butter/clotted cream and jam. Is it the same for these? I remember following a Francisco Migoya recipe for "scones", and being a bit uneasy about what came out of the oven (but I have other issues with him too)...
  22. I'm most impressed by the pastry - the colour and thickness look outstanding. Chapeau!
  23. I've never had much luck with that - just big chips and a lot of powder afterwards. Maybe just put them in a freezer bag and whack them with a rolling pin.
  24. I'd still pound them. And judging by the big gap on the tray, you and your tasters had no problems with them either
  25. Not really - you've never seen a piece of meat retract in the pan? Seems more unlikely that you'd get a perfect contact across the meat. In my experience, you're less likely to have any scorching when you've got a lot of liquid fat. Maybe try it out. No, I use rendered animal fat. If you don't have any lying around, you could probably buy beef suet or duck fat.
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