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Found 1,510 results

  1. I have never tasted sweet potato pie. How different is it from pumpkin? I have been looking around at recipes, and I'm finding them many and varied. I'm finding they use a lot of heavy cream. Can I use evaporated milk instead? I just bought a ton at Costco as I use it for my pumpkin. So? And? Any loved recipes?
  2. I've tried five of Steve's desserts in the past week, three at Café Atlantico ($7.00 each) and two at Zaytinya ($5.95 each). My love lies in France, and I mean that quite literally, so first on my list of priorities was the classic french dessert Baba Au Rhum, or simply "Baba" at Café Atlantico. It's served "in a modern Latin style," meaning there is Jamaican rum, spices and "panela," which is basically pure cane sugar made from evaporation. The cream is tangy, not sweet, and this is a traditional but interesting rendition. Coconut is served two different ways in "Coco En Dos Formas" at Café Atlantico, and this simple, elegant dessert is accented by a "mango salad" and a "vanilla-lime Gelée," both of which surpass their understated names, and deliver the proper acidity to compliment this interesting dessert which - tragically - reminded me of Coppertone on the nose in the same way that Rossini's William Tell Overture reminds me of the Theme from The Lone Ranger. The Yogurt Cream at Zaytinya is a brilliant, must-have destination dessert. Layers of apricot, top-and-bottom, sandwich a brilliant "Samos Island Muscat-vanilla gelée" (the yogurt). This is a WOW dessert by my way of thinking, simple, but beautiful in every way. It's served in the same vessel as the "Coco En Dos Formas" dessert listed up above. If you go to Zaytinya, then get this. A trusted friend told me about it, and this reminds me of why I trust her. Ooh, bébé, the Warm Chocolate Cake at Café Atlantico is goood. Labeled "Bizcocho <a sponge cake> Templado <warm> de Chocolate con Banana," it's a three-ring circus of this wonderful cake which at once seems like ganache, a souflée and a flour-based cake. The banana foam was another take on creme (all three creme presentations at Café Atlantico were slightly different), and the banana-lime salad was a dazzling sidecar to the decadent chocolate cake. And then of course the Turkish Coffee Chocolate at Zaytinya, made with cardamom foam (espuma), was every bit the naughty diet-breaker. Literally cut from the same mold as the Bizcocho at Café Atlantico (it's served in the exact same shape), this is even richer, with less cutting acidity though it's tempered by Raki, a traditional distilled Turkish drink made usually from grapes. It can come across as a platitude to say things are "well-conceived," but all five of these desserts were, in fact, that. There was a little plug-and-play action going on in terms of the actual molds used to make the cakes and parfaits, but nobody would ever notice. These were brilliantly thought-out desserts. Let me finish by saying one thing: you would not do yourself a disservice by going out to get these desserts first, and then worrying about your savory courses afterwards. Nontraditional? Yes, but who cares. They're worth it, especially at these price points. Bravo, Steve, Rocks.
  3. Hello...its been a while since I baked much so I need some help. I need to make 4 pound cakes which are to be served in individually wrapped slices. I have to make at least some of them two days in advance (min. 36 hours before serving), because I have commitments which prevent me from baking more than one cake the day before (live in Japan, tiny oven takes only 1 medium sized cake at a time...). They need to be moist, of course, and also slice cleanly 36 hours after baking (without dragging or crumbling) and present an attractive cross-section... Current plans:...replace about 1/3 flour with almond meal, pour citrus or coffee or tea syrups over hot cakes before storing, avoid fresh fruit which might mold. Thoughts: potato flour would make them softer, but would it ultimately make the cakes too dry? Should I be wary of too many eggs, as they can also make a cake dry out faster? Cut back on whites only?? I'd appreciate comments on long-keeping tips, and also, of course, any great ideas for ingredients!
  4. Americans deep-six desserts at dinner One result, according to the article, "Mini Desserts." Houlihan's now, but I'm hoping the trend will catch on. I understand the economics of large desserts at large prices, but for those of us trying to cut down calories and minimize sugar intake, it's either smaller desserts or foregoing dessert. I'm all for mini desserts.
  5. What Chinese sweet pastries, candy and desserts do you like? Are there any that you used to eat as a kid but can no longer find them? (Edited - Just ignore this part if it's not relevant to you. Was just wondering about this.) Do you prefer Western sweet pastries / candy / desserts to Chinese ones?
  6. Recently I have been playing allot with food influences from the subcontinent of India. There are of course a wide array of spices, and fruit that are used there (all which are very interesting). I have had some success with infusing chocolate with whole toasted spice, by letting the chocolate sit in the same airtight container as the spices. I have also experimented quite a bit with adding yogurt to ganaches (on a 1 to 1 ratio) and have had some excellent results. Just was wondering if any one had some creative ideas in the way of flavor combinations?
  7. Last night I got a call from that pain in the ass chef (the one that causes me all the headaches) I went from being his employee to his dessert supplier. 1 guest complained "How dare he charge $5.95 for 2 bites of tiramisu!" , I listened to him , but was cursing him in head. I use these rapid molds purshased from Kerekes they are 4 oz. individual round molds, pretty much standard in our realm. I have 3 sets (105 molds in all) as well I have other shapes. 4 oz. production molds My Tiramisu is flavored intense, so what do I do? change the size for this one guy (I'm only charging him $1.75 each). I have costed them out for this size. I really want to tell this guy that this is one customers opinion and that you cant expect to please everybody, no one else has complained except him and this customer. I feel the problem is he does nothing to the desserts, puts it on a plate with sauce and calls it a day. The real question-on both sides of the spectrum, as a pastry chef are these too small (or perfect) and to the consumers, would you make the same complaint? When is a dessert considered too small?
  8. Hi. This is my first post here. I saw a bunch of posts about the Cheesecake Factory - specifically in Hackensack, NJ- and saw things like the food comes frozen and wanted to point a few things out and shed some light on some of the myths and urban legends of the super-hyped disneyland of a restaurant that is the CF. I consider that job to be one of the most horrible places to work of all the jobs I've had in my waitressing career, so what I say I consider to be unbiased. 1. The food is extremely fresh and every single thing is made when you order it. Very little is pre-prepped. Nothing is frozen or microwaved. In fact, they will not even press down on a steak with weight like they do in any other chain restaurant to speed the cooking time, that is a fireable offense. So, if you order well, you are going to wait. They don't want the steak losing any of its juices -which happens when you weight down a steak. This is one of the reasons why your dining experience will be the longest in your life and you will sit an average of 2 hours or more at your table after waiting 1 to 2 to 3 hours. This also is what causes the 3 hour waits. When you order chicken madeira, for example, the chef reduces veal stock (the real thing, not instand bouillion or anything like that) and makes the madeira sauce ingredient by ingredient to order. When you order chicken fingers for your children thinking it will be fast, they do not flour them until they are ordered and your children will not eat for at least 15 minutes if not 20. If you order pizza, they roll out the dough then and there. It is the ONLY chain restaurant I have worked in where the cooks really cook and do not just mix together a bunchy of pre-prepped or frozen stuff. There are like 7 cooking stations, saute, broil, pizza, salad, fry, and I am sure something else I forget. Food will not go out unless the plate looks perfect to specification. Many times, they will make the cook remake something because something is not perfect. The cooks really cook everything just like a real restaurant. That is a reason for the "open kitchen" so that you can see them cooking everything and also so you know how clean and wonderful the kitchen is. 2. The waits are almost deliberate. That is why no reservations, no call-ahead. And, if in every CF there are 2 to 3 hour waits virtually every night of the week, why don't they build the place bigger when they open a new one? Because they want you to wait 3 hours, it is part of the hype. Before we opened the restaurant, we had many meetings with silly music (they actually played the music that they call basketball players to the court with and said while all of the management and training staff ran down the aisle: Meet your new kitchen manager.. meet your new server manager. They had motivational speakers. It was dorky and I felt like I was in a freaky cult). Anyway, they shoved it in our heads many times that "people wait over 3 hours!!! to get into "our" restaurant. They want people to come in and think the place must be so fabulous if there is such a crowd waiting and dying to get in. Makes it almost exclusive-like, sort of. Why don't they try to figure out how to get food out faster and get people out faster? Because they don't want to! Too much actual cooking many, many different dishes for a restaurant that size takes a lot of time. Ticket times sometimes reach 45 minutes for appetizers. The most disorganized organization is what I called that place. They had exact procedures for everything, expeditors and at least 5 food runners per shift, managers walking around with head sets, yet food goes to the wrong table constantly, cooks make things wrong and somehow special orders (lite sauce, no mushrooms, etc) are not heard or not communicated, things aren't ready for the same table at the same time so they send out 2 entrees leaving 1 person without food for 15 minutes on a table.... All this adds up to longer times that people sit at tables and why it takes so long for you to get a table. 3. The beepers work until Sharper Image in the mall. When I worked there, the customers were told that when they got their beeper; customers went to Houstons and got a beeper, and to CF and got a beeper, whichever went off first was the place they went. Then, they left beepers all over the mall. They cost A LOT of money to keep replacing. So, now they tell you you can't leave the restaurant. It's a lie. 4. The cheesecake is made in a factory in Texas and is frozen and shipped. It is then thawed. That is why sometimes they run out, sometimes they do run out, other times, the bakery waits till they are out of something and *then* tells a manager and then the manager gets it from the freezer and it has to be thawed to be served. I don't think it's a big deal, it tastes good anyway. Imagine though, you are a waiter/waitress, someone asks for a recommendation for cheesecake.. You sell them on the Oreo cheesecake. You put it in the computer. You go to the bakery to the area where you would pick up your cheesecake for said table. There are several pieces of cheesecake, none are yours. "Run desserts, people. Don't just stand there." is shouted at you. So you run a few, come back and check and still no dessert for your table. The bakery staff is working on the line of people going out the door and no one is working on the desserts for tables. So, you go do something else for another table. "Run food. Let's go, food in the window! Let's get it out" is shouted at you. You are now in the weeds... You are sat 2 tables and they are looking around for a waitress. But, you dutifully run food. Go to 2 new tables. Both are not happy, one asks for kid's menus. We don't have any. Not happy. One table has no idea what to get, as they peruse the menu while you stand there fidgeting thinking about the other table's cheesecake. You make several suggestions thoroughly describing each dish (because most people do not know what something like Thai Chicken Pasta entails and everything has to be described and I must say whether or not I like this dish). This table decides they need more time. Phew, on to the bakery to get my dessert. I see the table waiting and try not to make eye contact, but I know they are looking around very anxious and almost annoyed, wondering what in the world could take so long to get a dessert. Go back to bakery. Bakery staff person tells you, sorry we are out of Oreo cheesecake, we just put it into the computer. Great, I am so glad they put it in now as opposed to when they really ran out so when I ordered it 15 minutes ago, the computer would have told me! So, now, after all that time, I have to go back to my table and tell them that sorry the wonderful Oreo cheesecake I talked you into is out of stock. There goes my tip and this leads to #5.... 5. I can not say how many times I heard: "you must make SOOO much money here" when I waited tables at CF. If I had a nickel for everytime I heard that, I wouldn't have to wait tables... Sometimes, yes the money can be good, but not that much better than some other restaurants. In fact, I work somewhere now where the food is so cheap, the customers are cheap and miserable and I make much better money more consistently than I did at the CF even though the food is pretty expensive (a check for 2 people can be $75 EASY) and the clientelle supposedly a bit higher class. A. They made us tip out a minimum of 27 and a half percent of our tips, but more like a third plus some. So, on a Saturday night, if you have $150 in your pocket, you hand about $50 out to the busboy, foodrunner (even though you are constantly yelled at to run food no matter how busy you are and how long your tables are sitting there before you can get to them), and bar. B. People who wait 3 hours for a table are miserable and crabby and miserable, crabby people are usually miserable tippers. And, trust me I gave GREAT service and rarely scewed up. In addition, all the screw ups that happen due to the size of the place as I mentioned previously, cause mistakes to happen to your customer's food and then you get screwed on tips. C. Since every table has appetizers which can take 1/2 hour to 45 mins sometimes, and then the dinners take forever, and EVERYONE has dessert, you have no turnover. You can get 25% tips from all your tables, but you make more money if you can turn your tables faster. It is definitely quantity of tables versus quality of tips except in rare cases that makes a waitress money. D. If you work in smoking in the bar, the middle high-top tables are first come, first serve... people waiting for tables park themselves there and order drinks from the bar and take up your table while you make no money from them at all and there is nothing you can or are allowed to do about it. All of those factors add up to sometimes you make good money, sometimes not - when you bust your ass on very long shifts and deal with a lot of hostile, not so happy people and sometimes a very stressful work environment- it was all not worth it! The most I ever made was on a 14 hour straight through double with a 5 minute break while I shoveled food in my mouth sitting in a corner on a milk crate with someone yelling at me that I should hurry as it is unfair to the person watching my station; I felt like I was in a war zone by the end of the night- beat up and disheveled. I've made more at my job in a 'dive' now in a 7 hour dinner shift than that double. 6. They make the wait staff wear all white because the owner is superstitious and thinks white causes people to be hungry. That in addtion to they think it is very neat and clean looking and makes peole think everything is neat and clean. All white would be ok if you didn't have to touch any food, but when you are sometimes almost elbow deep scraping out a dressing container or you stack plates with sauces on your arms and go the other side of the Earth with them trying to not get bumped into as you weave through crowds, white sucks. I burned holes in my clothes from all the bleach! I don't know any recipes, everything is top secret. We had to know the key ingredients (like what is in tex mex eggrolls) and everything on the menu thoroughly, but we never saw recipes. We even had to sign a confidentiality contract. The only way I know of to get a table faster: sometimes when I was in smoking, people would bribe me to give them tables. Yep! I did it! By the time the hostess passed the table to check if it was "open" like they do, someone was sitting and they didn't know it was someone not from their list; no one was the wiser and I was $10 or $20 richer. Nope, no guilt for it either. If you are desperate, I would try that. I eat there myself nowadays, but not so often because I want appetizers, salad, entree and dessert and I end up with a huge check. But, I don't wait more than 45 minutes so I go later in the night after prime dinner time. Tip 20%. www.tip20.com
  9. Kara Newman's tale of two cakes, and two wars. +++ Be sure to check The Daily Gullet home page daily for new articles (most every weekday), hot topics, site announcements, and more.
  10. The eGullet universe is probably not the place to find a representative sample, but I'll ask the question anyway: are desserts (and I'm talking about confections that require some cooking and preparation, not a bowl of ice cream) becoming a "reward" that people no longer have much at home, but reserve for special restaurant occasions? Are pies, cakes and other sweets moving into that special preserve of arcania that the average person has ceded to the professionals?
  11. Mamster eats a lot of dessert. +++ Be sure to check The Daily Gullet home page daily for new articles (most every weekday), hot topics, site announcements, and more.
  12. Authentic sweet potato pie, or banana pudding? Tbe NY Times would like to know ...
  13. Great article in NJ section of the Sunday NY Times by David Corcoran and Karla Cook highlighting desserts served in NJ restaurants. I was thrilled to see so may food articles in The NJ Sunday section. Marge Perry also wrote a very interesting article about a cheese maker in Vernon. John Foy has an article about top restaurateurs in the state and there is an article about culinary students in Newark. So--what are some of your favorite desserts and where are they served?
  14. I haven't been on the forum for a while, but I'm back. My friend Silvie is getting married on August 16th of this year. She asked me to make her wedding cake, to wich I said yes. Now I know all the details of what she wants but I just need suggestions on how to assemble the cake and such. She wants a cake big enough for 50 people. It'll be the only desert also. She wants the cake to be a white chocolate cake, inside she wants a thin layer of strawberry jam and strawberry butter cream and the outside she wants a white butter cream (she does not know wich flavor). She also wants some flowers made out of fondant on her cake ( I have the pictures for them). Is there anything special that I should know. Any tips and tricks? Thank you!
  15. I bought a set of odd-sized square pans (15, 13, 11) from Pfeil and Holing - and they come from Fat Daddio. They seem heavy enough. But the inside corners are "mitered" - meaning they slope and aren't square. I'm so used to my trusty Magic Line pans that I am wondering if I should send these back and just do a special order from Parrish's. I also noticed that P&F has a line of unusual shapes that I get from Australia (such as comma, petal, hexagon, octagon, triangle, cut-corner rectangle, etc) and now I wonder if those are coming from Fat Daddio too. Has anyone baked in these square pans? What do you think? How do those corners come out? Got any of those odd shapes? Do you like how these pans perform?
  16. I spend most of my time at work, for the last year now, decorating cakes and my left arm is about to fall off. Anybody else have a problem with possible repetitive motion injury? Yesterday I raised my arm to flatten the top of a cake and it hurt all the way up to and it felt like around the socket the top of my arm bone rotates in. It hurts to even heft the clicker up tonight to find something interesting in the wasteland of tv. i use fairly long narrow spatulas. Maybe I could use a lower bench, short spatula, do the sides with a bag with a huge tip. I don't know. On days when I'm just filling the freezer I'll do upwards of 80-90 cakes. That's not often. I usually do what I need for the next three or four days, and that can be 30 cakes finished.
  17. I need to order a birthday cake for my MIL's 70th birthday. Looking for recommendations for bakeries in N.Yorkshire either in York or in the general Easingwold/Boroughbridge neighbourhood. I'm in Vancouver, BC, so would prefer to do this online. Any help much appreciated.
  18. A Brit friend's birthday is Sunday and I want to make him a McV's milk chocolate cake. I could just crush McV's in between layers, but what fun is that. Does anyone have a graham based cake recipe?
  19. This is an interesting concept, especially considering that cupcakes are the trend du jour. Cupcake Caps Not sure how I feel about them. I might order a dozen just to see. They say they're NOT fondant, but the closest way to describe them would be to relate it to a marshmallow. Hmmmm.
  20. I hate making topics on forums for fear of duplicating another post, but I need help. Search didn't turn up what I was looking for. I'm making my friend a Kit Kat cake for her birthday. So far, my plan is chocolate cake, with chocolate cream filling and chocolate frosting. The cream filling will have crushed Kit Kat in it. The whole cake will have a Kit Kat border. I'm looking for a chocolate cream filling like the one they use in a Kit Kat, or other chocolate wafer cookies. And I'm looking for frosting similar to the Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker already made frosting.( my favorite) Nothing dark chocolaty, since we're both milk chocolate fans. Any help is greatly appreciated! For picture of the frosting I'm talking about, go here: http://www.aulsuperstore.com/images/products/44209-00446.jpg And kit kats: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kit_Kat Edit: While you're here, feel free to post your favorite chocolate CAKE recipe as well. Not a fan of chocolate cake myself, since I feel like it has no flavor, but I've never made one that wasn't from a box.
  21. So I've been using the same carrot cake recipe for over a year. I sell these to restaurants and coffee shops. About 3 of the carrot cakes I've made recently have had the carrot shreds turn green by the next day. I use pineapple, baking powder and baking soda, oil, brown and white sugar, eggs, flour, cinnamon. I haven't changed anything about the recipe and am using the same ingredients. I have begun using a convection oven instead of a conventional one, but this hasn't happened on all of the cakes made in it, only a few. Any thoughts?
  22. Lately, I've been increasingly interested in the different varieties of Chinese pancakes -both sweet and savoury (but much more leaning towards the latter). There's Peking pancake for duck (uhh not sure of its official name), popiah, green onion pancake, crisp red bean pancake and...well, that's as far as my knowledge reaches. Please help shed light on the other varities! I've seen some really peculiar ones lately and the combinations of foods you eat with the pancakes are ENDLESS! I figured it'd be a nice change from eating noodles and rice all the time -having crisp onion pancake with lamb as dinner for eg. I'm drooling... On to another note, has anybody here ever tried making Chinese pancakes (in any particular form at all)?
  23. Over twenty years ago, I made rose geranium pound cake using a recipe from the Hilltop Herb Farm in Texas. It was, at that time, a truly unique dessert, and everyone loved the subtle rose flavor. Since then, I have pondered other ways to use herbs in desserts; perhaps a lemon verbena panna cotta with blueberry couli or pineaple sage creme brulee. I have tarragon, thyme, verbena, pineapple sage and rose geranium in my garden as well as the usual suspects (basil, sage..) Any ideas?
  24. I'm looking to buy cake pans (more cake pans), and am wondering whether when producing, say, wedding cakes, the 2 or 3 inch depth is preferred.... Feedback?
  25. We're building our first mad hatter cake. Four Layers of butter cake (6-8-10-12). when we usually do a stacked cake, we usually have the cake boards in between each tier. I've seen photos where you cut out a portion of the bottom tier to make it "straight" so that you can inset the upper tier into it with plastic supports. This seems a little like overkill. I have always relied on the strength of our sturdy drinking straws for support between tiers. My question is what if we remove the cake boards between the tiers and have the straws poking up between the bottom and top tiers? Hope you can get the visual.
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