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Jim D.

society donor
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    Staunton, Virginia

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  1. I don't know if you have read through this thread, but it contains a great deal of information relevant to your questions. If you absolutely know that you will never do more than occasional painting of molds as a hobby, then what you propose will work, but it won't satisfy you if you get "hooked" on decorating chocolates. You might look in this thread for a discussion of what are the essentials for a good compressor. HP is not the main issue; storage capacity is, and I noted that in the specs for the Iwata compressor you mention, the storage is left blank. A compressor that has
  2. I think that, by definition, ganache contains chocolate, but if you are making a filling without chocolate, I don't see any workable way to do what you want. You could undoubtedly find a way to thicken it (cornstarch, pectin, etc.), but the water content would be so high that (assuming you are intending to make bonbons) the shelf life would be unworkably brief. I attempt to get fruit flavors as close to the taste of the original fruit as possible by making a pâte de fruit, then (after some steps to reduce its water content) pipe it into a mold, usually layering it with something else--one ex
  3. I would guess that it would emulsify without a problem, but the final water content might be cause for alarm (in terms of bonbon shelf life). It sounds more like a chocolate sauce.
  4. There have been quite a few previous discussions of this issue, and no one has come up with a solution. It doesn't usually happen with domes (such as your first photo), but it often occurs with the shallow molds (such as the "quenelle" in your second photo, also with demispheres). I used to worry about it a lot until I saw examples from Melissa Coppel's chocolates. My "solution" is that if she can ignore it and put those photos out there for the world to see, then I can learn to ignore it too. If you are really meticulous and careful, you can sometime scrape the chocolate from the cocoa bu
  5. If I had to choose a favorite, I think it would be a raspberry-chocolate tart. The basic recipe for it came from an ancient issue of Bon Appétit, but a friend and husband had something similar at a pioneering "gourmet" Boston restaurant to celebrate their anniversary, so I tweaked the original to incorporate her description of what they had (alas, their marriage ended soon afterward, so perhaps I should recommend the tart with caution). It consists of a pâte sucrée crust (for which I sometimes substitute a pâte brisée), then a layer of pastry cream incorporating ground toasted alm
  6. Doesn't that take a lot of extra time? And doesn't it thicken the bottom (and we all know how we hate a thick bottom)? 😛
  7. It's 2141 (shows in the second photo).
  8. I agree. Unless your work space is unusually cold, I see no reason to do it, and there is the danger of getting them too warm.
  9. I agree. Even after multiple attempts, with the mold looking as if the spaces between cavities are completely clear of chocolate, I remove the acetate sheet (either plain or a transfer sheet), and there is still a lot of chocolate. When I empty the mold, it is very difficult to get the chocolates out since they are "cemented" to that remaining chocolate. When it works, It's a great effect and, in particular, helps when the filling is a little too high and can't be removed (as when I use a cookie inclusion), but I need more practice.
  10. Thanks for that. In browning the butter, do you cook it until there are little brown bits, and do you include the bits? I find it difficult to know when to stop--brown to black happens quickly.
  11. Jeanne, all of those desserts sound wonderful, but I was intrigued by the pear tart. I have worked on getting adequate pear flavor into a bonbon with only modest success. Can you say more about what is in this tart?
  12. Ruben Porto of icecreamscience.com is considered one of the gurus of ice cream. He explains every detail and why things happen as they do and what various ingredients contribute. He also has detailed reviews of all mainstream machines. I love his ice cream, BUT one must be truly dedicated to the process and have an excellent digestive system that can accommodate the richness of the final product. Making it according to his recipe requires standing at the stove for a long time, stirring constantly, keeping the mix within a very narrow temperature range. A freezer that can go very low is a
  13. Are you stirring fast? And what tool are you using? There is no need to stir madly (as some people assert). As long as the Type V crystals are being mixed in, a slower stir might be in order. And if you are using a whisk or something similar, try switching to a spatula or anything that doesn't incorporate air.
  14. Previously I mentioned that the brand I bought at a local grocery is no longer carried, and I have forgotten the name. The one I purchased through Amazon was Judee's Dried Egg White, and even though it gets an Amazon rating of 4.5 out of 5, I threw it out as inedible. I hope I haven't just insulted the brand that you use in your smoothies. 😄
  15. A followup to the attempt to create a "marjolaine" bonbon (second try, actually). This time I made nut meringues using pasteurized egg whites and a recipe I found for the nutty layers of the marjolaine cake. Piping the batter into the circles of a chablon did not work as the meringue batter stuck to the silicone form, so I moved to piping them directly onto a Silpat. This worked well, although some of them were a little misshapen, but I discovered, when assembling the bonbon, that the meringue cookies were quite forgiving when being trimmed. I baked these at 300F. I made dark c
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