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  1. Jean-Pierre Wybauw's book has a couple of ganache recipes that use purees and the general technique seems to be: boil the puree and sugar together bring the cream to a boil blend the puree and the cream together pour over chopped chocolate to melt (if using) add invert sugar add butter incorporate thoroughly mixing in as little air as possible proceed as you normally would HTH, :Clay
  2. Taylor: If you don't already have a copy, I can recommend "The Chocolate Bible" by Christian Teubner. In addition to covering the basics of working with chocolate it gives a number of recipes with step-by-step instructions with pictures. You can probably find what you're looking for in here. This is not a replacement for a book like Jean-Pierre Wybauw's excellent "Fine Chocolates Great Experiences," but you'll probably find it easier to get comfortable with the basics as outlined in The Chocolate Bible before tackling Wybauw. An alternative to The Chocolate Bible might be The Ultimate Encyclop
  3. Wendy, I sort of knew all this, but I am a belt and suspenders kind of guy until I have the experience to eyeball it: knowing temps and times is part of my process, it forces me to pay attention in a different way to what I am doing. I'll let everyone know how it all works out. :Clay
  4. C- Bear: Thanks - that's what I thought, just not sure how wide the temperature variation was. It's a 5 quart pot, solid copper (the inner surface is not tinned), $102. :Clay
  5. I was at Bridge Kitchenware earlier this week replacing a saute pan that got dinged in shipment and I noticed some beautiful copper pans made specifically for sugar work. They are a lot cheaper than I thought (and much heavier), so I am going to treat myself to a large one when I move back in to my house after a nine-month renovation project. I plan to do a lot more experimenting with caramels of various sorts. Question: I have an old-style bulb candy thermometer and I wonder if that's the best kind to use or whether a surface-read thermometer might be better. I've always wanted an excuse to p
  6. I have to second David Lebovitz' characterization of LeRoux's caramels. Many consider them to be the best in the world and I must admit that I have tasted none finer. I've not been to Quiberon but they are available in Paris in Denise Acabo's fabulous shop, a l'Etoile d'Or which is near the Moulin Rouge (metro: Blanche). Two different ideas presented here strike me as very good ways to incorporate beer into chocolate: The first is to make a flavored caramel using beer. A Belgian-style lambic with a strong secondary flavor (e.g., raspberry) sounds the most intriguing to me, although a Guinness
  7. The ideal temperature for storing chocolate is between 55 and 60 degrees F with a relative humidity about the same (55-60%). One important aspect of this is that, insofar as possible, the temperature and humidity should not vary much. It is also important that the chocolate be wrapped to protect it from any incidental contact with moisture, against the possibility of the cocoa butter picking up any odors (cocoa butter is an odor magnet), and to keep the chocolate from "drying out." A dark cool corner of a basement or a temp/humdity controlled wine cellar set for red wine (which is what I have)
  8. {{{Shudder}}} I am trying not to imagine it. :Clay
  9. If you want to shorten cooking times when making DdL with tins of sweetened condensed milk, use a pressure cooker. A typical can takes 35-50 mins (YMMV) once pressure is reached. However, you MUST release pressure immediately and fish the can out of the hot water otherwise it will overcook and become grainy (sugar crystallizatio) and/or lumpy. Let the can cool naturally, don't shock it in an ice bath or you're pretty much guaranteed to muck up the texture. One other vehicle for the DdL for a cake layer that hasn't been mentioned would be {long beat} milk chocolate ganache. Make the ganache sli
  10. This is something I wondered about with chocolate and my research indicated yes and no - not all silica gel packages are made with food grade materials and you need to calibrate the size of the bag and the adsorbency of the gell to the amount of humidity present and the space. It's possible (if you're not sure of the specs) for the gel to overydry the items in question and ruin them. More interesting is a silica gel product designed to protect against condensation. This keeps moisture out of the air while not drying out the food product. Here's a link to one such product. :Clay
  11. Try Package Nakazawa. Japanese company with a sales office in LA. Several high-end hotels I know of were looking to use them for their packaging. Comparatively inexpensive, too. :Clay
  12. Oh please do tell how you make this choc/dulce de leche ganache !!!! I make my dulce de leche by cooking an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in a pressure cooker. Usually 30 minutes after the cooker comes up to pressure suffices, but there's a thread in Pastry & Baking that covers the process in detail with lots of different options (especially this post). If you do cook in a pressure cooker, be sure to release the pressure immediately and remove the can right away, otherwise you'll overcook it. And, let the can cool completely before opening. Next I make a milk chocolate ganache.
  13. Most of the recipes I have seen would make me think that the ratio is 1 drop to 1 pound of fondant sugar - which might be more reasonable. I like mklynch's approach a lot, but it strikes me as something that should be made a la minute or within a few hours of being served at most, otherwise the alcohol in the cherries, even with the cocoa powder coating, might start deconstructing the chocolate shell. Drying the surface of the cherries is important also, I imagine, otherwise there is the chance of the chocolate seizing (even with the cocoa powder coating). I have an event I am doing shortly an
  14. I attended a short demonstration given by Mr Linxe in 2003 here in NY. One of the reasons why he boils his cream three times is because he buys raw cream. The first two boils are to pasteurize the cream (and, I suppose to develop some flavors and perform some of the other chemical transformations). After the 3rd boil, any flavoring ingredients are added and left to infuse. :Clay PS. As an aside, I observed in a demo given by Pascal Le Gac of LMDC there in NY in 2004 that he used a wire whisk to mix the ganache - and confirmed that it was their usual practice when I asked. I know that this is t
  15. Chocolate-covered cherries are covered in-depth in the Jean-Pierre Wybauw book - in fact, there is a whole chapter on fruit-in-liqueur chocolates. There's too much detail to try to reproduce here, but there are several different recipes as well as complete instructions and a description of the chemistry. Invertase is an important part of all of the recipes. :Clay
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