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Everything posted by kthull

  1. That is one serious library! I only wish I saw something that impressive at local bookstores. I know you've mentioned a few books here and on the P&B forum, but can you list some of your all time favorites? Especially those that you are using currently. Thanks!
  2. Hey, this is great stuff Wendy. Thanks so much for sharing. And don't be embarrassed about how you eat. I've been guilty of the same on many occasion. In fact, last night's dinner consisted of a good sized chunk of white cake, topped with Girl Scout caramel delight ice cream, drizzled with fresh brewed coffee...damn tasty for a spur of the moment thing. I mean, I made fish, but it tasted funky, so all that was left was sweets! I can't wait for more of your story. P.S. I found an incredible new pastry shoppe in Geneva. PM me if you want the info.
  3. I love making mini domes. They're just perfect to serve whole and they still have the same wow factor. Maybe even more because the person gets to eat the whole thing. When I do minis, I will cut a thinner sponge, but I definitely include the middle piece of sponge as well as the bottom piece. And they're way easier to handle than the big dome. Go for it!
  4. Ok, so I'm resurrecting this thread because my daughter's Communion is next week and she wants white cake. My tests earlier in the thread left me preferring mkfradin's white cake, but the later recipes had me intrigued, especially based on the high test rating of the Rich White Cake from Betty Crocker. So I made that as is and loved the flavor, but thought the texture was on the dry side and too fall-apart tender. Not wanting to abandon it because of the flavor, I turned to my Cook Wise book from Shirley O'Corrihor. Based on her percentages of a "standard" high ratio cake, it looked to me that the recipe had too much fat and could be moister if I subbed in some oil for the butter. I also changed the mixing method. There was also too much baking powder (5 tsp), again based on the recommendations in the book. Below is my modified recipe. But first, a couple weight notes: I used superfine sugar. The original recipe called for 2 cups sugar, which should be 400g but when I weighed out 2 cups of superfine, it was 480g. The taste rocked, so I kept it at that (and used that in my high-ratio cake percentages). The original recipe also called for 3-1/3 cups sifted cake flour. So I sifted into my measuring cups and weighed it. Mine came out to 400g. Those are my numbers and using them yielded a better cake. Modified Betty Crocker Rich White Cake 400g cake flour, sifted 480g superfine sugar 1 tsp salt 4 tsp baking powder 1 stick unsalted butter, softened 1/4 cup oil (I used almond oil) 1-1/3 cups water + milk (50/50) 2 tsp vanilla 180g egg whites, unbeaten (approximately 6, though I used exact weight) Sift dry ingredients together and mix well to combine. In a separate bowl, mix water/milk mixture with vanilla and egg whites. Bring to room temperature. Mix butter and oil into dry ingredients, then add just enough of the liquid to allow you to beat the batter at medium for 2 minutes and yield a thick smooth batter. Scrape down bowl. Add 1/3 of remaining liquid ingredient and beat at medium speed for 20 seconds. Scrape down and repeat two more times. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake at 350. I used a parchment-lined half sheet pan, greased and floured. Mine finished in 22 minutes. This version had the same taste as the original, but was moister and not fall-apart tender, but still very tender. I'm going with this one for next week. I think it could also work with a bit more oil (1/3 c) and one more egg white to keep the egg to fat ratio in check, but I won't be testing that. Another interesting note: the original recipe baked in 28 minutes. The modified version finished in 22 minutes...that's 25% faster. I'm guessing because of the oil?
  5. Very cool stuff. Thanks for posting the pictures Wendy.
  6. That is a serious spread. And I'm with you on both the chocolate dome and the melody cake. Nicely done.
  7. Wendy, I have an excuse you can use to make the Korova cookies: it's Friday (or any other day ending in y).
  8. Hi Thornado. I've made the dome before in a round bowl with a flat bottom (I'd guess 4" round of flat surface). As long as your dome is good and frozen, you can work it out of there. It'll just be a bit harder than with a perfectly round bowl. Good luck...your guests won't be disappointed!
  9. My wife is a serious addict of the Breton Sand Cookies! I'll have to give the ice cream a closer look. A while back, whenever I had extra ganache, I'd make a vanilla ice cream base, then add the ganache...usually about a 50/50 mix...and my god was that heaven in a bowl. I'll have to see what Pierre has concocted. Seth's description brought that memory back as it was a similar experience (I'm also no fan of the so-called chocolate ice cream which tastes too heavily of cocoa powder).
  10. How many desserts do you have? The description of 'sample tasting of any one dessert' ... which I think sounds just fine ... starts them thinking of only one choice right off the bat. Maybe a different phrase could be used for the single tasting and for multiples. Wildfire sells wine in 'flights' which are a sampling of four different wines, each about half a glass. Maybe you could develop a few dessert flights of three or four mini-servings that play with contrasting textures or flavors. Come to think of it, I also went to a Thai restaurant a while back that had a platter of like 18 different single bites of dessert. I can't remember the name of the restaurant, or if the platter represented all the different desserts available...I don't think so. So maybe you can keep 'The Dessert Teaser' as is, then follow that with a 'Teaser Trio' which is any three of their choosing and then maybe a 'Grand Teaser' which offers all the desserts (unless you have some ungodly number of them).
  11. The amoretti compounds are very cool. I've only played a teensy bit, but have been very happy with the extra punch. Plus, if you call them up, they'll send you samples!
  12. Wendy, on the thought of including nutritional info on the menu, we discussed that very subject in class last night. The instructor said anyone doing that is just asking for trouble. What if you have to sub an ingredient one night? What if the portion size isn't exactly what it's supposed to be? If there's a sauce, what if there's too much/too little? I've seen places with net carbs listed for some items and that could run the same risk, but it would be safer than listing calories, protein, etc. Not to mention what the sugar substitutes do to the equation! As for sweeteners, I'm a huge fan of Whey Low. It's much cheaper than Splenda ounce for ounce and it tastes like sugar and acts nearly identically to sugar. It's all natural. The regular version carries a net 1g of carbs and there's also a diabetic version. There's been plenty of discussion at eG about it, both positive and negative, so you may want to give it a go. And I love the dessert tasting idea! Do you have a 'one of everything' offering? That would be me, hands down.
  13. Awesome snap Patrick. Looks like you came into my house and stole some of my cookies! I used chopped TJ's Pound Plus Bittersweet. Dorie, you were not kidding in your description in the recipe about eating the whole batch. My fingers are still crossed...no results posted at school this evening, and I'm not back there until Wednesday, so I'll have to wait until then to see how they fared against the competition.
  14. If that's the case (and I was guessing the same thing), couldn't you just use acetate? I saw Jacques Torres do a Vegas centerpiece on Food Network the other day and to mold giant tubes of chocolate, he just coated the acetate sheet halfway, then rolled it onto itself so the chocolate is on the inside, then taped it. Could that be sturdy enough for this application? And if so, less expensive? Or are you looking for the solidity of the plastic tubes to also act as temporary storage for the tube/cake? Very cool tool, by the way.
  15. I've read of explosions from the unopened cans (from other forum members, no less). Never had that happen myself and I use the same method Abra described. Amazing stuff.
  16. I just made the Korova cookies (Paris Sweets, link is upthread thanks to Seth) as a test for what I'll bring to the school cookie bake-off. They are incredible. I strongly urge all of you to try them. I'll let you know if I win or not...the contest is Monday (no idea when results will be in). On a sadder note, I won't get the chance to make the Black Forest Cake this weekend. We're going out to eat instead.
  17. I was melting chocolate in a water bath and needed just a bit more. So like an idiot, I take block in one hand, regular kitchen fork in the other and attempt to break off just a smidge. Well, I never figured a plain old fork could go through my finger. Luckily, there was a delay from the puncture and I didn't bleed into the bowl.
  18. I so envy you lannie. I've been wanting to make that since I got the book. Kudos. I've been following the thread, but school and work have been keeping me overly busy and unable to contribute. But MIL's birthday is next week, so I suggested the Black Forest Cake (which I've also been waiting to make). I can't wait. I'm also attempting a dessert from the pro book today/tomorrow. It'll be dessert for Easter.
  19. Fantastic Patrick. My kids are big fans of banana waffles and banana bread pancakes.
  20. kthull

    Pectin NH

    I know it's used in neutral glaze. What else it's used for, I don't know. Also, whether another pectin could be used for netural glaze is also beyond me.
  21. I'll be attempting Herme's Strawberry Bed for Easter. Kirsch/Raspberry soaked genoise, strawberries, pistachio creme, more genoise, italian meringue and a glaze. It was hard to pick one, but that sounds like a nice flavor combo.
  22. As always, well done Abra!
  23. kthull

    Fresh Baked

    Hey, what's hot out of my oven today are Thyme Biscuits and Apple Thyme Jelly. I have to do an herb report for school and bring a tasting on Monday. I also tried a Lemon Thyme Sherbet, but figured that would be too hard to pre-portion and transport without it thawing. It's food production for the hot side, but pastry's in my blood so I had to pull off a baked good that shows Thyme in both sweet and savory applications. It's turning out to be a very cool project. Plus it's my wife's birthday today, but I'll be in class tonight, so I made some heart-shaped chocolate-raspberry truffles this morning for her to enjoy tonight. I almost have that tempering thing down.
  24. lemon curd - beautiful presentation and plating on the pave!
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