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Everything posted by pastrymama

  1. Hi Lee, this report is so interesting, I hope you have time soon to add more. What a great opportunity to learn from such an artist. I'm jealous. Holding my breath until then. Marilyn
  2. Paula, Thank you for your reply. The clafoutis I made with your recipe was wonderful tasting, it was just the texture that i was wondering about. I will try again and blend it better, I did have some small lumps, but I thought they wouldn't matter and I'll let it rest longer. I have been a pastry chef for almost 30 years and have tried a few different clafoutis recipes, they usually came out like you described, dense and rubbery. So I have avoided them. I am working with a French chef now and would really like to get this right. I think it is so great that you take the time to read our questions and answer us. Thank you so much. Marilyn
  3. Hi, You could try the hand cleaner that mechanics use. It comes in tubs and is sort of like the texture of shortening. You can buy it anywhere they have auto parts, even Walmart. Just rub a blob on the grease and work it in with a brush like a big toothbrush or the edge of a spoon until you see the grease beginning to move. Then wash in a washer with hot water and detergent. It should get most or all the grease out.
  4. We have a pancake dropper but I think the opening would be too large for a small pan, the bottom is about 3 inches across. We also have a fondant funnel or sauce gun which I use for some things but it would not drop a batter or dough that is thick, only rather liquid. They have the sauce guns at J B Prince about $150
  5. When I said pastry cream powder, instant made with water, I was referring to the way it is listed in my catalog. There are two kinds listed, one you don't cook, just add water and stir up, like instant pudding and the other you add water or milk to and cook it. What I did was used the instant powder instead of the cornstarch called for in my pastry cream recipe, with the milk and eggs and cooked it until it boiled for a couple of minutes, just like I make it with cornstarch. It didn't get as thick as with cornstarch and the eggs curdled. Normally with cornstarch it is nice and thick and creamy then I add the butter and vanilla. That is why I am wondering if the pastry cream powder being used by others is the kind you would normally cook.
  6. Thanks for the link little ms foodie, but I don't see any reference to the texture question that I have. If anyone else can enlighten me I would be grateful. Thanks, Marilyn
  7. Is the creme de poudre that is referred to here the instant-mix with water kind or the cook with water or milk kind. I tried what I have-Elfroy instant mix with water in my regular pastry cream recipe instead of the cornstarch and it didn't thicken the pastry cream enough at all. My eggs curdled and I had to put it in a blender and strain it. When cold it was more like a creme anglaise. When using the cornstarch the pastry cream is very thick when cold. Could someone explain further. Thanks,Marilyn
  8. Dear Paula, I made your recipe and have a question about the baking temperature. The clafoutis puffed up and looked great until I scooped some out, it seemed to be curdled. I am wondering if the 425 temperature is correct and is the clafoutis supposed to be curdledly looking. I always thought they should be smooth textured. Any help will be appreciated. The flavor was outstanding and I would like to make it again, but would like to know what it should be like. Thanks, Marilyn
  9. I second what Steve had to say. I have an assistant that went to college and received a BA degree. Then she decided she really wanted to go to culinary school. She had worked part time in a bakery while in college so she knew some of what it would be like in the business. The executive chef let me hire her but put the pay at $9.50, when our yearly raises came around he gave her 4% or 38 cents. We were both shocked because she is the best assistant I have ever worked with. Always willing to go the extra mile, I only have to show her once anything I need her to do. So after 2 years and a change in executive chefs I had to literally crawl on my hands and knees to get her a decent raise. She is now making the grand sum of $14.00 an hour. This in an area where a 1 bedroom apartment runs around $1000 a month or more. This is definately not the career to have if you think you will have an interesting, easy life. I have always said when people ooh and ahh when they hear I am a pastry chef that the word pastry chef is just another word for slave. Make sure she has the chance to really see what it is all about and that she feels she has to do it. She will never be paid enough in money, you must be able to get paid with less tangible things like feeling great when your products come out great and people enjoy them, and by the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a long hard day.
  10. pastrymama


    Hi Kerry, I ran into an article on Pastry Scoop about meringue and I remembered about this topic. The article is pretty good and you should read it if you haven't already. The way I use meringue in my desserts are pretty ordinary but also a little unique. I make a Swiss meringue to top individual pies and tarts, The unusual part is when I am warming the egg whites and sugar I let it get really hot, the whites start to look like gelatin, I do stir it often while warming to make sure the sugar is totally disolved, then I whip in the mixer until it is cool. I keep it in a pastry bag in the reach in to top individual pies and tarts a la minute. Then I burn it with a torch. It keeps at least two days sometimes three. I make meringue sticks with and without nuts to use as garnishes on desserts. I make meringue sheets also with or without nuts and cut into small pieces or crumble. This I use as a base for ice cream that is a part of a plated dessert to keep it from sliding around the plate. The sticks and sheets can be made during a slow time and kept in a plastic container with a dessicant, I use limestone covered with parchment. I also make French meringue ghosts for our Halloween kids party. I pipe the meringue in a ghostly shape over a sucker stick. Then dry in a low oven. Then pipe small chocolate eyes and a mouth. The kids love them and they don't make a melt and make a mess like chocolate would. I make French meringue discs to make individual desserts layered with mousse and berries and chocolate etc. I love the meringue that Ohmyganache gave the recipe and technique for that is used for Floating Island. You can cut it into any shape and it keeps for a day easy. I have been a pastry chef for many years and I have never seen meringue used in a savory way, I would sure like to know how if anyone does use it that way. I hope some of my rambling will be of use to you. Best of luck with your article. Marilyn
  11. Hi Maria, I also work for an exclusive private club in Southern California. I don't have the same restrictions about my menu that you do, but I am constantly looking for new ideas also. Acrually the members at my club won't let me take off a couple of the items on the menu, whenever I have tried they just keep requesting them, I also have one member I always have to have an apple tart ready for and a couple of diabetics that I have developed special things for, that I must have ready at all times. Back to your problem. Are you able to offer say, creme brulee, but vary the flavors each week. Or a mousse bombe, but change the flavors. If so you could use fruits (obvious) but vary the flavors with different spices or liqueurs, even teas. You could mix different chocolates to come up with different flavors or use a different chocolate in a recipe. An example- I make the tried and true warm chocolate souffle or truffle cake with bittersweet chocolate, but I have also used gianduja, orange milk chocolate, regular milk chocolate with really good results. You could also insert different flavors of ganache or caramel or sauces frozen into the centers to give you a different result with a different name of course. You can look at wallpaper names or paint color names to give you ideas for different dessert names. If I think of anything else that will be helpful to you I will post again. Good luck and damn I'm jealous! Marilyn
  12. That's cool it made the link for me. go to the far right of the page and click on the view all link then you can change the page to find it.
  13. When the weather gets warm I always put my fruit consome with sorbet and a giant fortune cookie on the menu. It is made with mixed berries, mint, orange peel, lemon peel with a hot syrup made with 2/3 water and 1/3 sugar poured over and left to steep overnight. Then it is strained and chilled. We place the sorbet in the bowl then add some of the consome and assorted fruits around the sorbet and top with a giant fortune cookie complete with a fortune inside. My customers love it. You can see a picture of it at http://groups.msn.com/MarilynsCakes page 5 the last photo. Click on the photo to enlarge it. Sorry the picture isn't better and that I don't know how to make a link.
  14. I had an order for 12 cupcakes, so I asked my assistant to make them for me at night. When I came in the next day the order had changed to 24, when I looked at the pan of cupcakes she made I saw she had made more than 12 so I figured she knew about the change in number, so I went about making the decorations to go on top. Later when I was ready to ice and decorate the I pulled the pan out and discovered there were only 20 cupcakes, so obviously she just baked off the batter she made and wasn't aware of the change. Anyhow I needed 4 cupcakes quick. I remembered the two recipes from Ruth, so I decided to make the yellow cake because it looked so quick. Within less than 10 minutes I had the cake mixed and the pan in the oven. I wasn't sure what they would look like, but figured I could camoflage any wierdness. The cakes came out great. Nice dome, soft and fluffy. I had to eat one to see how they tasted. Very good and buttery. Thanks for the recipes, I'll use them a lot.
  15. On the Food Network site if you go to Chocolate with Jacques Torres there is the directions for making a gelatin mold. It is for a Champagne bottle but it could be used to mold almost anything, especially if it doesn't need fine detail. The episode is called Hold Everything and there is a link to the directions called Gelatin molded Champagne bottle.
  16. We have some portable units at work that are used on buffets, and a couple of built in units on the line. The people that put the portable units away aren't very careful and just stack them up all on top of each other, they don't appear to be scratched or or injured and work just fine. The only problem we have had is that a dish washer droped one of the vent covers on one of the built ins and it broke the glass. $1500.00 to replace it. We have been using the same portables for 3 years.
  17. Sounds like it was fabulous, I'm so glad for you that it went so well. Congratulations and thanks for sharing the up date. Good luck in your new position. Marilyn
  18. I signed up for both, I think it's great to have more to read and get inspired by.
  19. I think the site is great, I'm almost 60 years old and I was looking at it with the music playing, loved it. Love to see what the young up and coming or already have arrived are doing. Just wonderful!
  20. I do mostly use ganache because I don't like the stickiness of glacage, but I have used the torch with glacage also with good results.
  21. I just remembered this topic after I answered the topic, Chocolate glaze and bubbles. I think the tips I gave there could be appropriate here. I'm really surprised that no one has added to this, so I'm hoping this will help it along. http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=68186
  22. I also use a torch for air bubbles, but also to smooth out imperfections if I have accidently touched the surface and marred it. Also when I have glazed a full sheet of something and cut it into petit fours and want to add a garnish of nuts, cocoa nibs or chocolate curls on each piece and the glaze is already set up. I torch a few pieces, add the garnish then move on to a few more pieces. Quick and easy.
  23. Look in the recipe gullet for the petit fours recipe. It is really good, uses almond paste, cuts like a dream with no crumbs. I made it and didn't layer with anything just used a layer of the cake and topped it with a bittersweet/butter glaze and topped each piece with a piece of gold leaf. I thought it was outstanding.
  24. DiH, I didn't get a photo because it was a last minute order and I didn't have a camera, but next week the same people want a cake just like it so I will try to get and post a photo. Ruth Wells, When I made the buttercream with the powdered sugar I did notice a funny texture, I didn't think it was air bubbles, but maybe the sugar not dissolved or something, so I beat the heck out of it and then turned the mixer to low for about 3-4 minutes to knock the air out. Seemed ok to me, I didn't see any air bubbles in the flowers.
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