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Everything posted by jmacnaughtan

  1. Nice. When I read the title though, I was expecting a butchery thread
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. It was the Old Russian New Year this week, so we celebrated with Russian party food and fortune-telling. As I'm forbidden from making the classic dishes, I was relegated to dessert, booze and chiromancie. I dug out the old standby, the Medovik I put together a few years ago with help from the many fine minds here at eGullet, but played around with the presentation a little to make it more wintery. I used pine honey this time, though, so the honey flavour was a lot more pronounced.
  13. N°3 I get, but there are workarounds if you're willing to install more power points. For the first two, I'm not so sure. Here, in any case, there are plenty of cafés which serve food and drink at lunch times, but still allow people in to work during their down time - so there's no real reason why restaurants can't do the same. I think they're governed by the same licensing and lease laws (for example, there are restaurants which serve non-stop, so there's no obligation to close during services). The space wouldn't have to be unsupervised either - take one junior member of staff and put them at the bar. If you've got a dozen people working there, that's his/her salary covered.
  14. Following a recent discussion with some friends, I started wondering why dining rooms are left empty for massive stretches of the day. Obviously, it is expensive to keep staff on full time to run a café service - but this represents a big chunk of unused and expensive real estate, when all the actual staff are working in the (generally smaller) kitchen. I've never seen it happen (so there may be a good reason for it), but what's stopping restaurant owners from hiring them out as coworking spaces, for example? They already have tables, chairs, power points and Wi-Fi. The only real investment would be power strips, and possibly a lock on the wine cellar door. If you sold an 8-11:30am slot and a 3:30-7pm slot, you could potentially increase your turnover by a large margin without much effort. It might even let you drop an unprofitable lunch slot altogether.
  15. jmacnaughtan

    Pommes fondant

    I second that, it seems a fairly pointless preparation. Why would you go to the trouble of getting a decent crust and then submerge it in stock? If I want something like that, I just do pommes Anna. Easier and more satisfying to eat.
  16. A cold beer and lots of paper napkins for greasy fingers, face, hair, furniture, etc. Also, let it get to room temperature before you try and remove any slices from the pack. Straight from the fridge, it's a solid block. IMO, pan con tomate isn't enhanced by the ham, so keep it for breakfast the next morning.
  17. I don't understand these awards. How can you have a world's best cheese? They're all so different.
  18. Mont d'Or. The only cheese (IMO) which is excellent hot or cold. Unfortunately, only available in winter.
  19. It looks like there'll be no more local fruit around this year, so I've looked a bit further afield. Bizarrely, this is the first ever dessert I've made with mango... Mango and lime tart Lime sablé breton Mango brunoise Lime and mint chantilly I've really gone off glazing cakes recently, possibly due to an Instagram overdose of glazing videos. Here's to visual texture! Eta: formatting
  20. Not at all - I spread some chantilly onto a sheet of acetate, put another sheet on top and crumpled it. Then I just pushed down a cake ring on top of that and froze it before putting the crumple layer on the cake. It would probably be easier to do it directly onto the cake as it was assembled though...
  21. I've been playing around with different finishes recently, and come to the conclusion that glazes are overrated. Go rough and crumpled! Apple, pear and molasses cake Speculoos base Apple genoise Pear tatin Apple butter Molasses and tonka chantilly Crushed speculoos Candied pear (Actually the second attempt. Fittingly, for Halloween, the first was a clear-glazed nightmare, in which each of my attempts to make it look better just made it more and more like foie gras in aspic. The horror. THE HORROR.)
  22. @Kerry BealHave you seen this? Apparently he came second in the junior heats... That's one of the best chocolate and sugar pieces I've ever seen. And, if I'm not mistaken, there are three full-size cakes on it too.
  23. Just ask. Most Parisian waiters would be more than happy to serve you a cheese, bacon and Chantilly galette
  24. In an effort to get the cherries in kirsch out of the house, I'm running with the Black Forest Gâteau thing. All of the elements are the same as the bûche from last weekend, but it's tweaked to make it a bit lighter. I'll see if I've succeeded tonight 🤔
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