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Everything posted by pastrymama

  1. Hi Jeanne, You are so welcome. I'm sorry the weekend was so difficult, but I am glad that the purses worked out well.
  2. I make this type of dessert with my warm chocolate cake recipe which has chocolate, butter sugar and eggs. I always double up the phyllo or use brick pastry which is a little sturdier. If you want the chocolate cake recipe I'll be happy to send it to you.
  3. We are having a father - daughter night at the club where I work. The theme is the 60's. They would like to have a "Groovy" dessert, whatever that means. Does anyone have any ideas for me? I am at a loss. Thanks for any help. Marilyn
  4. The isomalt will probably work, since you can make a syrup with it just like with sugar. The proportions are the same. The only difference is the isomalt doesn't taste as sweet as sugar, so you may have to add some additional flavor. I make a sugar free icing by using the recipe that cooks flour in milk, then whips in butter and sugar. But instead of sugar I use Sweet n' Low or Equal after it is getting fluffy. I don't have the recipe in front of me, but if you want it I will post it later.
  5. I have done several cakes for people that are older. I usually do a google search for the year they were born and look for interesting things that happened or inventions that were important. I will take a few of those ideas and make items such as an airplane or car or a poster of a political person or entertainer out of gumpaste. I have been able to print faces or pictures of cars onto rice paper and attach them to a gumpaste plaque. Then I do the same items, but how they look or people in the same type of job for the current year. Usually the things I make are pretty small and you could fit several on a cake. You could also do the same type of thing with important things that have happened to him during his life. If you are not up to making things like this, you could probably buy miniatures from a hobby shop.
  6. I get that same icing comb at my local cake decorating store. Maybe you can find one near you that carries it.
  7. I have made a maraschino cherry cake similar to the first recipe in the following link, but I didn't add cut up cherries or pecans. It made a nice pink, cherry flavored cake. Maybe this would work for you. http://www.post-gazette.com/food/20010419mailbox.asp
  8. Martha Stewart has a nice recipe, I have made it and it worked out well and tasted good too. Here is a link http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/site/m...s&rsc=ns2006_r1
  9. I make Swiss meringue for key lime and lemon pies. I use double the amount of sugar as egg whites (1 cup whites to 2 cups sugar) with a pinch of salt and stir in a baine marie until it is very hot. Almost too hot to put your finger in. It will begin to thicken and look a little like mucus at the edges of the bowl. Then I put it in my Kitchen Aid and whip on high until thick and cool. Place on the pie as usual and bake until browned. Cool at room temperature, then refrigerate. This always lasts a few days before weeping out.
  10. I have been a pastry chef for many years. I have made cakes for many famous people so I am not speaking from no experience or knowledge. I suggested the Wilton set to someone that wanted to begin to learn and not spend a lot of money to get started. I know they are not the BEST quality but they are affordable and if you can follow written directions and photos I believe you can get a good start and later if you want to persue it further spend the money for better cutters etc. Just so you know I am not inexperienced here are some of my past photos. http://groups.msn.com/MarilynsCakes/shoebox.msnw?albumlist=2
  11. Wilton has this book and kit it is what I first learned with the book is very easy to understand and there are enough cutters etc. to make many types of flowers. They sell just the book or the book and cutters together. http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.c...F363A0047978DFF
  12. I have a homemade one I got from the people I bought my temperer from. It has about 2" high plexiglass strips screwed on each side so they rise up about 1 1/2 inches above the table to keep the molds from falling off.
  13. They most likely use it to taste with. I have worked with several chefs that keep a large spoon in their back pocket for tasting. And yes they do wash them in between uses.
  14. I would also be interested in learning about consulting. I still work as a pastry chef but in the next few years I will be slowing down in the production of pastry and am looking for another way to use my knowledge. Thanks for any help. Marilyn
  15. That was absolutely beautiful. I'm amazed that your puffs all seem to be identical in size. Great job. As for a savory croquenbouche, you could use melted cheese to stick it together if the cheese would go with the flavor profile.
  16. I make a meringue that is basically the same thing by heating the egg whites and sugar over water until very hot, then pour them into the mixing bowl of my kitchen aid and beat until it is fluffy and cool.
  17. I prefer a convection oven for cakes, but if you can afford a good one it would be great to have one with a fan that can go high, low and still bake with it off. Some items don't do well with a fan blowing. Also no matter what they say about even baking in a convection, you will most likely need to turn things while they are baking. The fan blows in one direction so you most always get uneven browning. The only oven I didn't have to turn things around in was a combi-convection. It was so deep the sheet pans could go in long ways or side ways. But I think it cost around $60,000. A little out of my price range.
  18. I just thought you guys might be interested in all the information and recipes on the site that can be used even without a machine. I didn't think anyone would be interested in the machine itself, since it is just like the American ones.
  19. I'm not sure if this is the right place for this, but I wanted to share this with all you chocolatiers. It is a link to a site for a machine similar the the small home tempering machines but it is European I believe. There is a lot of information on tempering etc. and about 40 chocolate candy recipes. You will need to open the link then click on Tips then choose what you would like to read. http://www.chocolatier-electro.com/english/index.htm
  20. here is the link for the two missing cookie recipes. http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo...ack=1&cset=true
  21. Instead of totally changing careers, you could choose to use your skills in a less demanding job. I am 60 years old and still a working pastry chef, but now I work in a private club that has a fairly small elite membership. We don't do the volume that you have to at hotels and restaurants. Around the holidays we have quite a few banquets but it is not unmanagable. I work around 9 to 10 hours most days, but when it gets really slow some of the summer and in January and February I only work 4 or 5. I am on salary so it doesn't affect my pay if I get to go home early. You could also think about teaching or consulting. Also I know a lot of chefs go into the purveyor field as salesmen.
  22. For anyone looking for new cookie recipes for the holidays. Here is a link to an article in the Los Angeles Times about a cookie challenge to pastry chefs in LA. There are several recipes attached. http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo...ll=la-home-food You may have to register to view but it is free.
  23. I like to let my bundt cakes cool in the pan about 15 minutes. It seems to steam the crust off the pan and they just drop out nicely. Every time I try to get them out sooner they break just like you described.
  24. When I use gelatin to stabilize whipped cream I use 3 sheets of bronze gelatin for each quart of cream Since the pastry cream is heavier I might add another sheet . This might give you a starting point.
  25. Yes you can torch it before the party, actually the meringue will probably hold up better if you torch it right after applying it.
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