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Pete Fred

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    Yorkshire, UK

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  1. I had some surplus cream so made free-standing crème brûlée. This loop is hypnotic. Viewer discretion is advised.
  2. Some chefs use machines that both line and bake the tart shells. No doubt Cuisinart will be releasing a home version any day now. 😉 And here's the same fella going old-skool and using strips of pastry.
  3. I'm sure's there's some tiny risk. Just like cancer causing chemicals could be leaching out of plastic bottles and contaminating my drinking water. Or radiation from the mobile phone in my jeans' pocket could be sterilizing my gonads. Or microscopic toner particles from my laser printer could be clogging up my lungs. All of those have been shown to be real. However, they are not things I choose to worry about. If I concerned myself with every potential hazard that I encounter daily, however ridiculously small, I might as well construct a giant Biosafety Level 4 cabinet and never step foot outside of it, contenting myself that my miserable existence was to some greater end and serving a useful purpose. But I would be wrong. If anybody is worried about toxic clingfilm poisoning, please feel free to ignore me and abstain from lining your tarts with it.
  4. I took another run at the monkey bread, this time using a sweet dough enriched with eggs (from a Richard Bertinet recipe) plus additional orangeyness thanks to a bit of extract. Both worked extremely well. The texture was much lighter. Now it's like a tear-and-share chocolate orange doughnut. Boom!! Below is a side by side of the two doughs... Ottolenghi (left) vs Bertinet (right)
  5. Yup. 👍 By 'conventional' I mean one disc of pastry - larger than the ring - lifted into position and pressed into place. Then, rather than removing the excess by rolling over a rolling pin or using a knife, just leave it hanging over the rim. It will overbake and look awful, but once trimmed away with a serrated knife or microplane, nobody will be any the wiser, and you'll be left with a nice, clean edge. You can do this at the fully blind baked stage, or after the filling has been added and cooked. Here's how it looks in a pro kitchen I saw on Instagram. Line the ring, leaving the excess... ...then blind bake the shell. After blind baking, you can trim away the excess or leave it in place and continue with the filling. When it's all done, trim for a neat finish... ...before sending it out for service. Simple. 😋 (These skillz belong to Adam Degg, I believe.)
  6. You can see a couple of the previously mentioned tips in this video. I find clingfilm (plastic wrap) and rice work best for blind baking. It really helps with defined corners. For conventional lining, try folding the pastry outside the ring to combat shrinkage. Then, for clean edges, use a microplane. All three are employed here. With a bit of practice you'll be surprised how straightforward it is. This lemon tart looks alright, and I ain't no pro. For the fully baked, empty shells you've posted, the 'secret' is really just well made pâté sucrée that's rested and doesn't shrink much, combined with good lining technique and a bit of post-bake shaving to neaten up any rough edges.
  7. Yotam Ottolenghi's Chocolate and Orange Monkey Bread. I halved the recipe and made it in a 1.4 L (6 cup) Bundt. I found the dough a little heavy; after kneading it didn't feel particularly "springy and soft". Not sure if that was my error or not, but I'd probably go with a lighter enriched (brioche) dough next time. The chocolate sauce worked well but needed more orangey oomph, so extra zest or a splash of extract might help. Overall, a bit of tweaking necessary for my tastes, but shows promise.
  8. Pete Fred

    L'ambroisie chocolate tart

    This well travelled gourmet has some interesting insights into the Pacaud tart. " a hallmark of the original pie is a slightly solid layer on top of the fluffy, shaving-foam-like centre and a thin molten layer on the bottom." and "the recipe in L’Ambroisie’s cookbook is not the complete one."
  9. Apricots were plentiful at the market yesterday. They were ok but nothing special, promising more than they delivered (like most fruit these days). I made clafoutis... Not much of a looker but, with better apricots, it would've been a winner. The 'recipe' was based on one by Guy Savoy. I preferred it next day, cold, when the flavours had married somewhat. I also made Yotam Ottolenghi's Apricot and Almond Cake from Sweet... This was good. You make a cake batter, lay halved apricots on top and pour over an eggy-cinnamon topping. As the cake rises, the apricots and cinnamon-goo sink - a little too far in this case as the apricots were quite large (heavy). Next time I'll start at a higher heat and finish lower, and see if that sets the cake and captures the fruit better. Plums or peaches apparently work well.
  10. You wait ages for new contributors and then two come along at once. Typical. 😉
  11. Well, after lurking for a while, I thought it only polite to join in. Half the fun is seeing what other people get up to, huh? I'm based in the UK and bake for fun. Here's a few things from the last couple of months. Some of the photography's a bit ropey, so apologies for the ancient iPhone. I usually take a picture of the out- and insides for reference and to look back on wistfully when my faculties inevitably abandon me. Quite by accident, I seem to have bounced around the globe this summer. But let's start with an English classic, Bread & Butter Pudding. Yum. Pumpkin Espresso Cake... Galaktoboureko... Gateau Basque... Toscakaka... Cannele... Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart... Chocolate Cake... Sticky Ginger Cake... Hot Milk Cake with Water Ganache...
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