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Everything posted by mjc

  1. mjc

    Paint Sprayers

    Is it still common to spray chocolate? I've been told that it was kind of out/old fashioned.
  2. I believe this should help to prevent a grainy texture. Napoleons that i've seen have always had multiple layers.
  3. Just a tip for using the beeswax: I usually melt it on the stove with equal parts of butter and wax. I put the butter and wax on a piece of foil in the pot, so that it doesn't make a mess and its easy to keep the extra. Also I've found that the brush you use to apply it, becomes almost impossible to clean.
  4. There is an article about Canneles in today's LA times. I enjoyed this piece since it seemed to somewhat echo my experience and others on this board. There is a second story about which is better: silicon or metal molds. She concludes silicon, because of ease and cost. I found this piece disapointing, as it seems that the writer might not really understand the tradition/flavor/"craftmanship" of the pastry. I think that using silicon definetly can easily lead to inferior product.
  5. mjc

    Sauce Jacqueline

    JG has a recipe for "jacqueline broth" in cooking at home with a 4 start chef. But it uses neither chicken stock nor cream, but does have carrots.
  6. mjc

    Durham, NC

    Do you find the magnolia grill accommodating these days? I lived in Durham for 4 years went once and never returned, because the kitchen refused to accommodate my father's simple special dietary request, which every other restaurant in the country has honored. s'kat, I would definitely recommend having lunch at Foster's on a nice sunny day. And I think Nana's is one of the best and Four Square is great too.
  7. have you looked here: french laundry web site and here open table web site
  8. mjc


    Make sure you stop at Mondrian (Michael Willaume's new place), on the way down from Payard. It is my new favorite patisserie.
  9. Nice story. But what's wrong with salad and pizza? What about salad on pizza?
  10. I have a digital thermometer for "human" use.....would that work? What are the precise temperatures the chocolate needs to be heated to, cooled down to and reheated to? I don't think so, but I could be wrong. Someone once told me that different "human" thermometers were calibrated differently so that a "normal" reading at each part of the body (mouth, ear, rectal) would read 98.6, even if the normal temp for that body part was different. A "human" thermometer works the same way a "normal" thermometer, but usually has a smaller range of temperatures that it is calibrated to read. Also they usually work really slowly, definetely not instant read.
  11. i recently undertook a mission to find the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. I made the neiman marcus cookie, the double tree hotel cookie, something I found on the internet called the world's best chocolate chip cookie, Bill Yoses chocolate chunk cookies (which include vanilla beans and hazelut paste), and a few others I don't remember. They were all very good, but by far my favorite was David Liebowitz's chocolate chunk cookie from his book Room for Dessert. It was very simple, but excellent. I'll have to try Alton Brown's cookie though.
  12. The way I temper chocolate is to first melt it to somewhere between 115 and 120 degrees F. I've found this to be the most important step. If you bring the temperature of the chocolate to high you will not be able to achieve a good temper. Different chocolates have different maximum temperatures, so if you are having problems, this may be one area to investigate. After you have melted the chocolate and brought it to the right temperature you then cool it down. You want to bring it down to around 80 degrees, but again this can vary slightly with the chocolate you are using. There are different methods you can use to cool, the chocolate. I use the Tabliering method and pour about 1/2 of the chocolate on a marble slab, where I spread it with a spatula to cool, and then add it back to the bowl. Then combine the cooled chocolate with the warmer chocolate in the bowl. You should now have achieved that approx 80 degree temp. But now of course the chocolate will be to think to work with, so you have to carefully rewarm it to around 90 (also varies slightly). To rewarm it, I usually just put it back over the water bath that I used originially to melt my chocolate, but have been off the heat for awhile. It is important at this stage I believe not to get the chocolate too hot. I'm not a professional, but this is the method that works best for me. I usually achieve a very good temper. When I don't, I find that I have accidently warmed the chocolate too much. Hope this helps.
  13. I made these chocolate canneles this weekend and was dissapointed in the outside texture, they were soft and not crispy. I have made the classic canneles many many times and they always come out with an excellent crispy crust. Col Klink says his were "almost crisp". What were your chocolate ones like?
  14. The best tiramisu that I've had in NY is at Mezzaluna on 3rd Ave. (just off 74th). It is the perfect balance of cream and espresso/kahlua soaked lady fingers.
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