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Everything posted by mckayinutah

  1. Wendy, Could you list 2 or 3 of the books you would recommend for entrements? The only 1 I have on my to get list is Creative Compositions for Cakes and Pastries by Andreas Heil ( Anyone have it by the way? ) Most of the pro pastry books ( Friberg, the new CIA baking book, etc... ) have chapters on cakes of the sort, but I would love a book that shows how to create the type of entrements you see at the pastry championship. We also must think alike cause I, after typing my original post, thought about the pastry championship and had a gander at the pictures that were on their site, which lead me to believe a book on the championship ( showpieces, entrements, Petit fours, the whole enchilada ), would be great The pictures of the showpieces look good, but I can't really decipher what the showpieces are composed of. That's why I think a reasonably priced book on showpieces ( chocolate and sugar ) would definitelty be well received. I have the sugar artisk by the Fassbinds, but it isn't very big and since it is in 4 different languages, it takes 4 pages to see a technique that should only take up 1 page Plus, some of the basics are well told ( pulled roses, blown balls, etc... ) but some of the advances stuff looks very outdated and tacky ( a blown sugar dinosaur comes to mind ). Jason
  2. Having read the thread with the Q&A session with Sam Mason, I got to wondering about what subjects in the baking and pastry arts is most lacking when it comes to books. ( and also about who I would like to see a book from ) In recent months I have read about the following PC's plans to write books, hopefully to be out sooner than later: Pichet Ong ( formerly of Spice Market in NYC ) Patrick Coston ( now Exec PC at the Ritz Carlton Las Vegas ) Kate Zuckerman ( PAD Top 10 winner, PC at Chanterelle in NYC ) Johnny Iuzzini ( Jean Georges PC ) Sherry Yard ( PC at Spago - a 2nd book for her ) I am looking forward to Coston's book, as I am a fan of his style, beginning from when he was in LV for the 1st time, at Picasso in the Bellagio. As far as subjects, I would love to see an AFFORDABLE book(s) on chocolate and sugar showpieces. ( The only ones I see recently cost more than $100 ). Also would like to see more books on Entrements ( for professionals that is - books on cakes for home cooks are easy to come by ). As far as for books by people, a book by Jean-Philippe Maury of the Bellagio ( on any subject ) would be a must have for me. My biggest problem ( besides having a list of books that cost $1,500 total ) is that I am very weary of buying a book that I can't browse through ( like from JB Prince or CHIPS BOOK ). I own many books but only go to a few for inspirations, so buying a book " blind" that could basically contain stuff that may be of very little use to me, plus cost so much, is very undaunting to me. So, who or what would you like to see written by or about? Jason
  3. OH. MY. GAWD! You have my deepest sympathy! I hope your bins are well labeled and that this disaster will NEVER repeat itself. ← Thank you for your sympathy The only guess I have that someone saw the salt in a container lying near my other bins and figured it was sugar and dumped it in the bin. My granulated sugar comes in in 50# bags and we only use kosher salt in the kitchen, which comes in 3# boxes. We think somehow some table salt( which is used in the restaurant and comes in larger bags) found its way into the hands of one of the linecooks or dishwashers ( who are not very profecient in reading English ) and since they are used to seeing the coarser kosher salt, figured it was sugar. Well, lessoned learned, and no bad comments on the other cakes I had to make so quickly ( they weren't set up as much as I would like, but you do what you have to to make things work.) Jason
  4. I've probably got everybody beat. On Tuesday, while sitting around waiting for some chocolate cream cakes to set up before cutting for a party of 200 ( a total of 13 cakes - party starts at 3:00 in one of our banquet rooms that you need to drive to), the Banquet chef comes running into my office ( at 11:00 AM ) yelling, " There's something wrong with your cakes, they taste really salty!" What? So I go to taste the cream on the cakes and you guess it, salty. Someone had put salt in my sugar bin! So now I have these chocolate cakes that need to be redone, and did I mention, a party that required 4 of the same cakes that were cut and ready to go already, also need to be redone ( Party starts at 12:15!) Luckily I had 4 chocolate cakes baked and I quickly filled and decorated them ( and then put in the freezer to set up as quickly as possible ), but now needed to make 13 more chocolate cakes, bake ( which takes 45 minutes ) cool in the freezer, cut, assemble ,and set up enough to cut by 2:30 ( banquet chef needs to have food at functions 1/2 hour before party starts at the latest. ) Well, I "rigged it" as a chef I used to work for would say, and got them cut and ready at 2:30 on the dot. Did I also mention that the ganache I use to make my chocolate cream had salt in it? Also had to remake 6- 10" white chocolate raspberry cheesecakes that my pastry cook had made, salt in them as well. This happened on Tuesday and I still do not know how this happened. Needless to say I now taste the sugar in the bin EVERY SINGLE TIME I need some. Jason P.S. My staff of 3 was already gone for the day so I had to redo everything by myself.
  5. Haven't received mine yet either, but from Wendy's enthusiasm, it seems that they are improving. The very 1st issue didn't really have much to offer in my opinion, but the 2nd one was better, so hopefully the 3rd and future issues will continue to be good. I also just picked up the newest issue of PA&D, and although good, I would have liked to have seen more about the competitors. And on a side note, I did check out another magazine that had an article on the Ritz Carlton Lake Las Vegas, and I was surprised to find out that Pat Coston is the new Exec. Pastry chef there. From what I had read and heard in the past, his chocolate company in NY sounded like it was really well received and was going to take off, but I guess not. Jason
  6. Thank you for the recipe chefpeon. I will try it out soon. Jason
  7. Ok, I've asked her, and she said she takes it out of the freezer, then puts it in the oven, and once in the oven, the buttery edges start to melt and slip into the pan. ← Maybe blind baking first? Making sure the weights/beans fill the entire pie pan. I've had the same problem, which is worse with butter crusts, or anyway in my experience. So I began to blind bake those crusts, using aluminum foil folded a bit over the sides of the pan and beans pushed flush against the pan sides and mounded in a hill. ← Does anyone have a recipe that doesn't require blind baking? I mean after you chill the tart pans lined with your dough. I make my dough , chill it, then fill my pans with it, chill again for at least 1 hour, but still need to put some beans or rice in it or the sides slip down. I used to work at a resort in which the recipe we used ( didn't remember to write down when I worked there ) didn't require blind baking, as long as the dough was chilled well once put in the pans. I ask becasue it is very time consuming to mess with beans or rice when you have many smaller size tarts to do. Thanks, Jason
  8. I would have thrown the batter out. If you have return clientele who know this product, they will become suspicious if they see something that isn't what it should be. But I would also change the name of the muffin. If this is a signature product, it should have an original name. Morning Glory is used everywhere, especially in muffins, and new customers may associate it with a morning glory muffin from somewhere else that isn't as good as yours . ( just my opinion ) Jason
  9. Thank you all for your comments. The recipe I use is: 160 cups Powdered sugar 20 cup Ap shortening 12 1/2 cups Milk 6 ounces Vanilla I cream sugar and shortening till smooth. Gradually add milk and vanilla and mix till smooth. ( I don't remember where I got this recipe so I can't look back and see if I am doing the mixing wrong or not ) The amount of milk makes this a great spackle, but not a great frosting, so I usually need to add 3 to 4 times the amount of milk just to make it spreadable, which is why it looks broke. This is the 5th recipe for frosting I have tried and the best so far, although nowhere near where I would like the frosting to look. I like your suggestion Wendy about dipping the cookies in a simple powdwered sugar/cream mix, but there are two problems with that: 1. All 8,000 cookies are rolled out by hand ( I have no sheeter ) , so rolling out, cutting, baking, and then dipping that many is out of the question. 2. The dept. on property that these cookies are for is very CHEAP, and complained last year when I charged $.15/ per cookie with frosting. $.15/cookie with frosting doesn't even cover my ingredient cost never mind labor, so that is a big problem with dipping in a homemade fondant as well. The powdered sugar/cream mixture is what I use for the sugar cookies I make for the bakery that we have in property, but that thickens up 20 minutes after dipping, so 4 or 5 hours of sitting around won't work as well. The icing doesn't need to set firm and I believe the kids use spatulas to decorate them. Thanks again, Jason jason
  10. Hello all, Every year the place that I work does this event for Halloween where kids can come in and decorate sugar cookies ( pumpkins and ghosts ). I make and bake the sugar cookies and give them frosting to decorate the cookies as they wish. The frosting I have used in the past is good, but it looks somewhat broken. The recipe consists of milk, powdered sugar, AP shortening, and vanilla. I always have to add 2 to 3 times as much milk as the recipe calls for to get it to spreadable consistency, where may be my problem with the broken look. Does anyone have a good recipe for sugar cookie frosting that will stay spreadable and soft for several hours at room temperature? The kids are usually 5 to 6 years old, so the softer the frosting the better. Also, I need to make alot ( For the month of October, the event takes place on every Saturday and Monday, and I will be making 1,000 cookies every Saturday and 500 cookies every Monday, so a large amount of frosting is needed for all those cookies - although I do not need to make frosting for all 8,000 cookies at once ) Any help is greatly appreciated. Jason
  11. I get the idea that technological products are very expensive for Kazakhs, but otherwise, I don't know what $50/month means in terms of local purchasing power. How much are you paying for bread and such-like at those bakeries? ← [/quote We just purchased a loaf of bread for 30 Tenge ( about $.22 American ) Dinner per person usually runs about $5.00 American, so it is cheaper here but still expensive for the local person. ( that would average out to $200 American per person if you brought home $2,000 a month in the U.S.) We visited the bakery today and it does carry some pastries, some that look like eclairs , napoleons, and cream puffs. I am alittle weary of trying them though since foreigners are told to consume only pasteurized dairy products and since many contain cream, I am not sure if it is pasteurized. ( I have been fortunate not to have gotten sick yet - knock on wood - and have some food that I am trying to stick to that I know is safe. To add to the concern, I have yet to see any eggs that are refrigerated, they are all left out and since yesterday was 106 F, I am staying away from eggs for now. Also the milk comes in bottles that look like bottled water containers, so none of that for me either. Jason
  12. Thank you all for your kind words. As far as maps go, they do have them but they are all in Russian. To add to that, Semey ( the town we are in ) is one of the poorest regions in the country and the only person that we have found who speaks fluent English is out translator, and she has her hands full with other matters. She did point out a bakery that only makes bread and is open 24 hours, but we did not have time to stop on the way back to out hotel and it is too far to walk. We are hoping to get our driver to stop this afternoon after we visit our son. Since this is a very poor region ( the average wage is $50 American a month ) camera or camcorder use outside of the orphange is not recommended. But, we did eat at a different restaurant last night and had some bread, one being a very dense tasting pumpernickel sort of bread and the other being a more tasty white bread that looked like a bialy to me, but was definitely just a white bread (although I probably could've eaten just that for dinner - I did enjoy it!) If I get a chance to visit that bakery I will ( sometimes times are tight since 4 families are sharing 1 driver and we all visit the orphanage for 2 hours, but not at the same time ) If anyone would like to see my wife's and mine progression here, PM me and I will give you are adoption website address. Thanks, (Spaciba) Jason
  13. Although I haven't mentioned it here, my wife and I are presently in Kazakhstan adopting our 1st child, and I just wanted to give some of you an insight into the cuisine here, at least from a baking standpoint ( since we are in that forum and I post here most of the time ) We were told that the bread here is very good and I had a chance to sample some yesterday. It was a white bread that was alright I guess, although not very tasteful to me ( it was used to make a tuna fish andwich ) I have eyed some of the pastries that I have seen in some of the little stores that are near our hotel ( we are advised not to wander too far from our hotel since everything outside looks the same, it is easy to get lost ) and they look very similar to stuff you get in the US but only smaller portions. Our translator has said that she is going to try to take us to a bakery that has really good bread, so I will try to report on it if and when she takes us ( she has to do paprwork for 4 families who are adopting here, so she is spread pretty thin ) Bye for now, Jason
  14. A couple of quick notes to pass on. I agree with Neil about the ultra pasteurized cream. In Michigan I only used ultra pasteurized and was only able to whip 1 gallon of cream to stiff peaks in a 20 quart bowl. I now only have access to pasteurized and can easily whip 2 gallons to stiff peak in that same size bowl, so it doesn't get as stiff or hold up as well. I did assemble my strawberry cream cake this week for a banquet without using gelatin as I normally do, and it held up very well, and cut nice as well, although not as cleanly as when I use gelatin. But since it meets my requirements and will make my life a lot easier, I have decided not to add gelatin to my whipped cream, unless it has to be used in a cake that sits in my pastry case for several hours. To add, the cream that I use for my filling for my strawberry cream cake is heavy whipping cream, sugar, and Torani strawberry syrup to taste ( found by the coffee stuff in most super markets ), so I do have added liquid added to the cream, but it still held up well. As for whipped cream without sugar and vanilla in it, I'll pass None sweetened whipped cream, to me at least, tastes like milk that is about 10 minutes away from going bad Jason
  15. I have the same problem. Cream whipped till stiff ( and left in the mixing bowl to use later) is soup 2 -3 hours afterwards, although if I pipe it on a cake in a rosette it stays stiff. Jason
  16. It took me several months to get the technique down, but this is what I do: I whip my cream till it is almost stiff. I then melt my softened gelatin in a saucepan, and add about an equal amount of whipped cream to the melted gelatin to somewhat " temper" it. I then mix together and put back over heat if it is not smooth and mix until smooth, then turn my mixer on high speed and add the melted gelatin/whipped cream mix to the 3/4th whipped cream. I usually then lift my bowl up some using my hands to make sure that if some of the gelatin has gotten to the bottom of the bowl, that it will be mixed in. I also will lower my bowl some to incorporate any gelatin that doesn't want to seem to mix in and stays at the top of the cream. This method works pretty well for me. I mix most of my cream on a 20 quart mixer and I unfortunately have a more difficult time adding melted gelatin to a kithenaid 5 quart mixer, as the gelatin on that mixer seems to like to stay on top and not incorporate very well, and I usually do end up with some "gelled" ( as I call it ) globs of gelatin, but usually not much. I must also add that any quantity of cream over 2 quarts that I attempt to add gelatin to just does not work for me. I find doing several smaller amounts is better. Hope I have helped some, Take care, Jason
  17. Ohmyganache, A quick question - is the Ritz there in SF stilling looking for an Exec Pastry chef? I had just read that the last one had relocated to the Ritz in Buckhead and I seem to remember the listing for a replacement on their website has been posted for a while. So basically to stay on topic, are the ideas for your brunches the Assistant Pastry chefs or is there a collaberation from the entire pastry team? Jason
  18. My bad, I see the Hotel Hershey chocolate decorations on some of the desserts. Jason
  19. Drewman, Beautiful stuff! Where exactly do you work? Jason
  20. Are these the non-latex ones, Andie? They're basically thin plastic baggies that are glove-shaped? If so, I'd love to know a source for a non-professional to buy them! I had a pkg of 20 that I bought a long time ago and haven't been able to find them anywhere since... Any/all ideas are greatly welcome! Curlz ← These are the ones I use. I get them at Smart & Final. Any restaurant/bakery supply place will have them. There are plenty of places open to the public. ← Thanks for sharing...these are what I can find--but prefer not to get b/c of the powder. What I can't find are what I described; basically plastic baggies in the shape of a glove! Loved them for things like handling chicken. But I'll keep searching... ← They do make non-powdered latex gloves, although I find them very hard to put on if you have any moisture on your hands. I know of the baggie gloves you speak of - you see the workers at Subway wearing them to make sandwiches. Maybe you could inquire at your local Subway as to where they get theirs - or better yet, if you don't go through alot, perhaps persuading them to sell you a box? The workers in the deli that make the sandwiches here at where I work wear the baggie gloves, but most kitchen workers know that they are too baggy and not tight enough for prep work, so they generally choose the latex gloves, either powdered or non-powdered. Take care, Jason
  21. Great stuff Wendy! I have much respect for fellow pastry chefs who are willing to share their ideas and desserts to others. ( I know of too many who don't and won't do that ). A question about your books. I see that you have Balaguer's and Herme's, but do you also have Bau's? And if so , out of those 3 , which would you recommend the most for a pastry chef whose interests are mainly plated desserts? You also get much kudos from me for the inventiveness. I am somewhat in the same boat as you, as the stuff I make here at work is not exactly what I would be ideally doing, so I am generally not to motivated to do new stuff, but by golly you sure are! I love the creativeness that you have, I only wish I had 1/2 the talent ( or patience - I am a very impatient person ) that you have to create such ingenious desserts. Again , great stuff and I can't wait to see the next installment of the Wendy DeBord blog ! Take care, Jason
  22. I unfortunately for a while was only able to get pink boxes from my purveyor ( the first time I saw them come in on an order, I asked if they carried white ones - no luck ) here in Utah. Had never even seen that color before until I move here from Michigan. I no longer use that purveyor and was glad to see that my primary purveyor carries only white boxes. And on a side note - I have yet to see a pink box that is sturdy enough for me - - I always had to put 2 or 3 cardboards on the bottom for fear of the box bending in half while someone was carrying it. Jason
  23. I recently put creme brulee on my dessert menu after much resistence, since I had never heard of baking creme brulee in a convection oven and all 8 of my ovens are convection. Finally found a recipe that can be baked in either a conventional or convection oven, and as many have said, no water bath for the convection. The temperatue to bake is also very worrisome, as it calls to bake them at 150 F Convection ( low blower ) Works great though, with about 30- 35 for minutes for a traditional 5 ounce creme brulee dish to bake till almost set. here is the recipe if you would like to try: 8 cups Heavy cream Vanilla to taste 12 egg yolks 2 eggs 1 1/2 cups Granulated sugar Heat cream and vanilla to a simmer Mix eggs, yolks, and sugar together Temper hot cream into egg/sugar mixture, pouring all the cream in strain through a chinois Pour into molds Bake I turn the oven off and crack the door some after I feel they are done or very close to being done, then let cool at room temp. for about 30 minutes before refrigerating for at least 4 hours before serving. HTH Jason
  24. That looks like it is going to take quite a while to clean up If the only thing to burn was the walk-in, there seems to be more damage to the rest of the place than what I would have expected. Again, I am only judging this by the pictures. Is the cause of the fire known yet? Jason
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