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Everything posted by kthull

  1. Gee, thanks everyone. I just want to point out that I'm a home baker too. I think I mentioned on another thread that the Desserts book is what pushed me to the next level. Herme is my idol and working through his stuff, you can't help but learn more and care more and try harder to achieve results. And the payoff is usually huge and it really blows people away, even when you screw up (they don't know what it's supposed to look like). And the whole component approach was a real eye-opener. And everyone's stuff looks great on this thread!
  2. And here are two pics I took a while back of the Tarte Grenobloise. I went through about 10 of these for various parties over the summer months. People went nuts over them (no pun intended). For parties, I'll slice the tart into 24 thin wedges BEFORE topping with the pecan-caramel mixture. Then I'll line 'em up and go into production mode with the topping. I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of the finished platters. It looks cool with them all in a circle, spread out with a big dollop of the caramel topping in the center (you definitely have left overs if you slice before you top...great to snack on!). Okay, okay...I'll stop talking about this one (for awhile anyway).
  3. Here's the Nutella Tart. I definitely used less hazelnuts than called for, about half. If you like this one, you'll like the raspberry tart in the Chocolate book too, same with the chocolate banana tart in the Desserts book. Kinda bummed my hazelnuts didn't brown more. Edited to add: I used half Schokinag 64% and half Scharffen Berger 62%
  4. Check out Lorann Oils (edited to fix the link)
  5. Frozen cheesecake...yummmmmmmm.
  6. Ok, I finally got my hazelnut sables done. I was pleasantly surprised by their lack of sweetness. I also noticed a distinct difference between relatively fresh out of the oven vs. an hour or two out. The "aged" cookie had more chocolate flavor. I also only baked off one "log" and threw the rest in the freezer to finish off later in the week as part of a cookie exchange. Here they are: I was also worried that the sweet tart dough layer was too thin, but was happy to see that it baked out to look just like the picture. On to the nutella tart!
  7. Seth, this has to be my biggest pet peeve with the Desserts book. The pictures all look so beautiful, but when you make the desserts and compare to the photos, most...if not all...of the photos must be doctored. I don't mean they are digitally retouched (aside from standard art direction), but they look like they're all mini versions rather than the full size that the recipe makes. So the layers are thicker or the whole thing just looks tighter than a full sized dessert. Or worse, they show a wedge when it would be helpful to see the whole thing (specifically the Riviera...still no clue how to decorate that one). From the Chocolate book, I had only made the Grenobloise, which seemed to match the picture well and all the photos on this thread prior to the nutella tart seemed to be in keeping with the book. So I guess they've done better at least by what's been tested here. Man that irks me. Not enough to stop worshipping Herme, but I've definitely learned to look more closely at the photos for clues on scale. Sorry for the rant.
  8. Man, I have to get going on this! Life keeps getting in the way. Nice looking stuff everyone. I did manage to get my sweet tart dough into the fridge tonight (love licking the bowl on that one). I have just enough hazelnuts on hand to do the sables so that'll be tomorrow. If I can find some decent ones locally (vs. trekking out to Trader Joe's) then I'll whip up the nutella tart soon too. You just HAVE to try the Tarte Grenobloise!!
  9. kthull

    Gold cake

    Anne, there truly is no end to your genius. I'm awestruck.
  10. I'll finally be getting around to the Chocolate Hazelnut Sables this weekend or early next week. I'm participating in a cookie exchange this year and will be including that in my packages. I'm stoked after seeing your pictures. I had some extra yolks hanging around, so I made the Breton Sand Cookies from the Desserts book...good eatin'! Aw, heck...maybe I'll try to crank out the nutella tart too. No promises, but I have a bunch of chocolate that has been around a little too long for my tastes. (thanks again for this thread...you rock!)
  11. kthull

    salt caramels

    Thanks pastrymama! I hope to have enough time to make them...I ordered some of the fleur de sel at King Arthur...great stuff, but expensive.
  12. You can build the layers inside of a dessert ring, freeze it until it's firm, then hit the outside of the ring with a blowtorch or *clean* hairdryer to remove the ring. If you don't have dessert rings, you can use the sides of a springform pan, though you'll get some imperfections from where the springform comes together. For individual-sized portions, you can use smaller rings, or I've even read of people using PVC pipe. The acetate will enable quicker release, but it'll take some doing to line the inside of your ring correctly.
  13. kthull

    salt caramels

    I haven't tried them yet, but the October issue of Gourmet magazine had a Fleur de Sel Caramel recipe that I intend to try for this year's holiday cookie/candy trays. Recipe's online at epicurious.com here with positive reviews. Please post feedback here if you try them out. Good luck!
  14. Something I hadn't expected, that turned out great, was that some of the caramelized sugar of the pralines dissolved when in contact with the mousse. Since these pralines were a component of a few ice cream recipes at emerils.com, I thought they'd hold up better. However, since they were also in contact with the gingerbread, the gingerbread soaked some of it up and had this nice caramel hit to it. Same thing happened with the crushed pralines on the surface of the dome. Really neat. The second batch had to done as a trifle. Still a huge hit, but I only have one dome mold and the first dome hadn't been set enough to unmold (the mini only took about an hour...the full size was on hour three at 1 a.m. and still a bit squishy).
  15. Ok, so I'm a little late posting, but I just tasted my dessert for tomorrow's dinners (no buffet service, just family dinner x 2). I basically did a pumpkin version of Pierre's chocolate dome from his Desserts book. In place of the chocolate cake layers, I made Gramercy Tavern gingerbread from epicurious (sorry, no time for a link). Swapped out the chocolate mousse for the pumpkin chiffon mousse (also epicurious...tried a few recipes before settling on this one) and in place of the pistachios in the mousse, I made Emeril's crunchy pralines. OMG...it's better than I was hoping for. So when it's unmolded, the very bottom will be a thin layer of gingerbread, topped with the pralines (instead of mixed throughout the mousse), then the mousse, another gingerbread layer and another mousse layer. I'll sprinkle crushed pralines on the outer surface of the dome. Now the bad news...it's near midnight and I have to make the second one. But I could really see this working as either mini domes (I made one as a test and it unmolded beautifully) or doing it in cylinders to serve at a buffet. Really great flavor and texture mix. Spicy chewy gingerbread, smooth pumpkin pie flavored mousse and with a surprise crunch of the pralines. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
  16. I got the same results as Neil...it does work. Personally, I'd cut back on the orange zest, but that's just me.
  17. Make the Tarte Grenobloise. No tricky ingredients and you won't be sorry!
  18. Anne, I think the pecan caramel is a much better match for the pumpkin cheesecake. Herme's tarte grenobloise has an amazing pecan caramel topping that holds extremely well in the fridge. PM me and I can send it to you if you'd like. Other thoughts: candied pecans, candied ginger, crushed gingerbread cookies, chocolate ganache
  19. I thought that could be it, but wasn't too sure. Cool idea. Thanks!
  20. TP, how do you get the scalloped edges around your icing layer on the individual cupcakes? They look really cool. And they look too regular to be impressions from the cupcake liner.
  21. Every year I try to do something different with pumpkin. Cheesecake, really good. Flan, wasn't worth it. Bread pudding, decent. Pies with other flavors, not worth it...plain is still the best pie Semifreddo, HEAVEN Of course there's cookies, pancakes, muffins and bread for before dessert. Not too sure what I'll do this year.
  22. I use Whey Low as much as possible in desserts (though I'm not commercial) and it would work just fine in a Zabaglione. It'll dissolve fully and there's no aftertaste.
  23. kthull

    Apple Cake

    I'll throw this one out there. I was toying with an apple pancake recipe, the kind that's as big as a plate with the apples all nicely caramelized into the batter. Anyway, the pancake would always lift really high, I'm talking a good two inches, then flatten as it cooled. So I was messing with the leavening to see if I could hold it, and in one failed experiement, I ended up with a damn good cake. I've tweaked the method a bit as if it were baked in a cake pan, but mine was actually done in a big non-stick fry pan, so I don't know exactly how well this will release. It shouldn't be that much different than releasing sticky buns, so if you turn it over onto your plate before it cools, I'd think it would come out nicely. Spiced Apple Snacking Cake 1 Granny Smith apple 2 tsp fresh lemon juice 2 large eggs 1 large egg white 3/4 cup heavy cream 1-1/4 cup all purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1/3 cup sugar 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed 1-1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/4 cup butter Preheat oven to 425º. Peel, core and slice apples. Toss with lemon juice. Heat skillet over medium heat. Add apples and butter and sauté until apples soften slightly, about 5 minutes. Pour into bottom of 9" round or square cake pan. Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl. In another bowl, whisk milk and eggs to blend. Mix into dry ingredients. Pour over apples in cake pan. Do not stir. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
  24. I used to have a real hard time with dry caramels because many recipes indicate to put all your sugar into your pan and heat it until it begins to melt. Some say to heat it undisturbed, others say to stir from time to time or only begin stirring once it starts to melt. Invariably, I would have clumps and the sugar would be approaching the burnt (not in a good way) point. Than I used Herme's recipe (and I'm sure other experts) which calls for heating just a few tablespoons of the sugar until it is a nice amber, then adding a few tablespoons more and stirring until that is melted, continuing on in small portions until it's all melted, at which point, you're practically ready to add the warmed cream. That method for a dry caramel has never failed.
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