Jim D.

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    Staunton, Virginia

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  1. @Patrick S, I had exactly the same experience with the magic cake. Everything happened as it was supposed to, but all I could think of after eating it was "This is what magic tastes like?" I love custard, but did not find this cake appealing. I always wonder what I did wrong when so many people rave about something (such as this cake), but your experience appears to confirm mine. Would you mind if I sent you a PM about your macro lens? I have had no success with mine--people on eGullet get better photos with their smartphones than I do with my $$ lens.
  2. Name that mold!

    You are correct, the two molds have the same dimensions. The one you pointed out holds less (obviously) because of the indentation. In any event, whether 7g or 10g, that is a small piece of chocolate. As keychris wrote, we just need someone to make the quenelle shape in a larger size. I haven't yet tried to "glue" together two halves of this type of mold. I assume one would make each half separately, close each, then melt the feet to stick them together. Or perhaps there is a better way?
  3. Name that mold!

    I like that mold too, but although the pieces are considerably longer than the original one, they are only 7 grams.
  4. Name that mold!

    Just for the record: The chocolatier in the video did reply to my query and gave J.B. Prince as a source--it's the same Chocolate World mold that Lisa Shock mentioned. I was disappointed to see that the mold produces 10g chocolates, rather small compared to my other molds.
  5. Name that mold!

    @Lisa Shock, I think you are correct. Interesting that it comes from Chocolate World; I missed it on their site because it doesn't qualify as an egg (the category I was searching). Thanks very much.
  6. Name that mold!

    I came across a useful video on decorating chocolates that features the mold below. As far as I can judge from a frame in the video where the person is holding one piece, the cavities are about 1 1/2" long. The holes in the mold show that the pieces can be formed with a matching mold as an (somewhat elongated) egg but also work as a single mold. Several people responding to the video have asked the origin of the mold, but the chocolatier has not answered. I have scoured Bakedeco and Chef Rubber (two places she mentions as general sources for products) and looked under eggs on Chocolate World and on Chocolat-Chocolat, with no luck. (I should add that Chef Rubber's website has been under reconstruction since last fall, so polycarbonate molds are not listed--they sent me a list of what's available.) Chocolat-Chocolat has an egg mold with 16 cavities, but the shape does not appear pointed as does the one in the video. If anyone comes across this mold, please let me know.
  7. @DJ Silverchild: I don't know how adventurous you are or where you are located, but, in view of your physical limitations, you might want to try Pomona's pectin--I have become a recent fan. It is made in the U.S., and I don't know if it's available elsewhere, but you could look for a low-ester pectin (activated with calcium). There is a recipe on the Pomona's website that I have used frequently. Cooking time is just long enough to bring the ingredients to a boil. You can test it by putting a dab on a plate and chilling it for a bit, and if it doesn't set up to your liking, you cook it some more (I believe the limit for cooking time is 5 minutes, after which the pectin breaks down). It is a forgiving kind of pectin that appears, in my experience, to stand up to much more abuse (such as melting and resetting). The minimal cooking also preserves more of the fruit flavor. I have used Boiron purées and also those I make myself.
  8. Thanks very much for that answer. It's exactly what I needed to know.
  9. @David Ross, I'm planning to try your lemon bars, which look wonderful. Assuming I use your recommended 9 x 9 pan, about how many servings do you think the recipe would make? Thanks.
  10. @LS-Chocolade, Strikingly beautiful eggs. Do you mind giving us an idea of how you went about achieving the look?
  11. "There is a shuttle that is less than $10 that will take you to the Tuscany. Looking forward to meeting you and tasting some if your tasty treats." Ruth, Thanks for all the helpful answers, just what I wanted to know. Just a couple of followups: Will the shuttle specifically be marked for the Tuscany, or is it a multi-hotel arrangement? I wonder if you will find my "treats" so "tasty" when they have been melted. How did you and others get your confections safely from the airport to the hotel? Jim
  12. Thanks, @Chocolot, for the schedule of events for the workshop. I have a few questions. Those of you who have been to previous workshops, and especially those who were at the previous one in Vegas, will already know the answers to much of what I am asking, but this is my first time at a workshop (and also first time in Las Vegas). I’m posting the questions rather than using PM in case there are others with similar questions. 1. It’s great that we are going to Chef Rubber on Thursday, May 18. Is the time for this visit known at this point? 2. At the previous Vegas workshop there was a long list of confection-related places that might be visited. I don’t know how many of those the participants actually went to, but are there any others that are “must see” (besides Jinju, which is on this year’s list)? I don’t know the geography, but is it possible there might be free time in the morning or early afternoon to take in other places? 3. For transportation to the various locations (Chef Rubber, Lotus of Siam, Melissa Coppel’s, etc.): If we don’t have a car, do we just grab cabs, or are there likely to be rides from other workshop participants staying at the Tuscany Hotel? 4. For the meet & greet on Friday evening, I can’t quite imagine eating dinner after gorging on chocolates. Is the session likely to last beyond the stated 7-8 p.m. time frame? Any possibility of moving the event to a later time—after dinner? And a more essential question: Do previous participants have suggestions for transporting our chocolates? Even in carry-on luggage, conditions will be difficult, and I see that Vegas is likely to be between 90 and 100 degrees while we are there. We all know the melting point of chocolate. How was it done last time? 5. For breakfast before the workshop sessions, is the café in the Tuscany OK, or are there other places nearby? 6. I noted that last time there was a group dinner on Saturday night, but this time we are on our own. I am also staying over Sunday night, so have two dinners to think of. I have spent time reading reviews, and they offer the usual confusion: for every outstanding review for a restaurant, there is another that is really negative (even for Giada’s place!). In general I would like to try something interesting and exciting, but $200+ for a meal is more than I want to spend, and that price is not all that unusual for the Strip restaurants of famous chefs—not to mention the difficulty of getting a seat for one person in the higher-end places. Surely there must be chefs doing good things at a price for ordinary mortals. What are some good sources for reviews? (I have read Epicurious, TripAdvisor, and Eater, but some of them are limited in the number of restaurants covered.) Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for any help.
  13. My first attempt at Easter eggs: Clockwise from top left, the flavors are: strawberry cream, crispy hazelnut gianduja, dark salted caramel, and layers of crispy peanut butter gianduja and cherry pâte de fruit. The caramel proved to be a challenge. With the first batch, using my standard caramel, about a third of the shells developed hairline cracks. So I washed the molds, decorated them again, and made more caramel, this time using a recipe that included added white chocolate and cocoa butter. None of those has cracked so far. Any ideas as to what might have happened with the plain caramel? I used Ewald Notter's recipe, and it has not leaked or caused cracks when piped into smaller cavities, so I'm guessing the larger volume of the egg molds is a factor. The eggs are 2 3/4" long and, with the caramel filling, weigh about 50 grams.
  14. "That being said, there's some pretty nasty artificial vanilla out there." Not to mention the fake Mexican vanilla that comes in huge jugs and fools so many tourists (including my late mother). Not long ago I bought some Mexican vanilla beans from Beanilla and was quite surprised at the much more subtle flavor, compared to what my mother inflicted on all of us. I think it was CI that stated that product was not safe to consume.