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Found 415 results

  1. Panaderia Canadiense

    Sugar Syrup Stages at High Altitudes

    Here's a question for you confection gurus. I'm aware that at high altitudes, the temperature at which water boils is reduced (for example, at 3,000 meters, where I live, water boils at 89.8 C.) Does sugar behave the same way: to wit, do I have to calculate a much lower temperature than I'm used to for firm-ball syrup? If so, do I use the same ratios I'd use to compute water boiling time to figure out what my new temperature is? I ask because my syrups have been cracking out well below the temperatures I'm used to using, but if I'm overshooting by tens of degrees I wouldn't be surprised by that.... Otherwise, I'm not sure what's causing it - my instruments are all spotless and without the kind of flaws that would normally cause this kind of behaviour, and neither the sugar I use (98% sucrose from the San Carlos mills in Guayas) nor the water (distilled) has changed. Thanks in advance. (edited to fix a non-sequitur)
  2. buttercreambella

    Buttercream flowers

    I'm wanting to learn some new flowers using pastry tips. I know some basics but would love to learn more. If you have any good reads on the subject that would be awesome too.
  3. Hi all -- So I have plans with a friend to make these amazing-sounding thai-flavor infused peanut butter cups: Thai Peanut Butter Cups However since I've never done that kind of chocolate work before, I figured I'd ask for advice here. The recipe seems to suggest using small foil or paper candy cup liners, and brushing chocolate on the inside, piping the filling in, and then adding chocolate on top. I'm wondering about the brushing step -- how thick to make the chocolate layer? How to get the bottom layer of the chocolate to meet up with the top layer? Am I being prematurely neurotic? Thanks for any help you chocolate masters can provide! Emily
  4. Is anyone attending the March 22 class at the French Pastry School (Chicago) being taught by JP Wybauw. I'm going and would enjoy meeting up with fellow eGullet contributors. HOST'S NOTE: Click here for the terms under which this is listed on the eG Forums.
  5. TylerK

    Candying fruit

    This being the tail end of cherry season up here I am now in the process of candying cherries for my annual Christmas baking. Having read some of the threads recently on food safety, botulism and dangerous temperature zones, I have some questions about the safety of the candying method. I'm using the standard candying method that I've read on here and other websites where over a period of a couple weeks the concentration of a sugar syrup containing the fruit is gradually increased until the product is shelf stable. Every two days I pour off the syrup, add more sugar, bring to a boil and then pour back over the fruit. Is this boiling every two days enough to make sure it remains safe, or are there other safety measures I should be looking into? Is the natural acidity of the fruit enough to ward off any botulism? Tyler
  6. u2star

    Ewald Notter CE Classes

    Does anyone here have any experience with the continuing education classes at Notter's in Orlando (specifically with chocolate) such as learning to temper, etc... http://www.notterschool.com/
  7. Hi, I was wondering if I could get some opinions on the safety of tools (paintbrushes/rollers) used for making your own transfer sheets and painting molds. I am always hesitant to use them as they are not food grade. What is your opinion on this? Am I overly cautious? Thanks! Jenny
  8. Minister of D®ink and I are thinking of venturing out in the real world after a few more inches fall. I've never not gone to a bar on a snow day since I've been of boozing age... Minister's still partially honoring the early stages of the South Beach Diet...and I'm pretending to follow in his foot steps. So, where can we go to get a hot drink that's cooler than our Tazo teas at home? Someone said Oyamel for hot chocolate? Why is this? Please help! Our wagon is out of fuel.
  9. Parts of this show are interesting, especially the ideas they come up with using chocolate. It started Tuesday on TLC and appears to be on for the next few Tuesdays. Is anyone else watching it?
  10. Kerry Beal

    Creme Fraiche Chocolates

    My friend just got back from Belgium and England (bringing lots of chocolate to taste) and said one of her favorites were the creme fraiche chocolates (and these she didn't bring back for me to taste). A quick internet search shows that a number of chocolatiers offer them, but there is no description of the praline itself. So does anyone know, is this a ganache using creme fraiche in place of the cream or something else? A very basic recipe would be welcomed.
  11. This is one of a series of compendia that seeks to provide information available in prior threads on eGullet. Please feel free to add links to additional threads or posts or to add suggestions. Jacques Genin and Pierre Marcolini Chocolate Recon Lovely chocolatier Questions about a la Petite Fabrique Chocolatiers of Paris NYT Buche de Noel C Constant
  12. I miscalculated and overbought this weekend, so now I have a pint of organic cream that's going to go bad real soon if I don't do something with it. I'm going to look through my confection books and see if there's something I've been meaning to try, but in the meantime, I thought I'd ask here. Anyone have an interesting caramel recipe, or some other kind of interesting confection that uses cream? I have some bar molds poured and could put something in them. I'm not particularly interested in ganache today - looking to try/learn something new. Thanks!
  13. Has anybody made the orange raspberry bon bon from Notter's book "The Art of the Chocolatier: From Classic Confections to Sensational Showpieces"? It is described as a smooth raspberry coulis, atop a dark ganache, infused with fresh orange juice, encased in a dark chocolate shell. What did you think of it? I'm very curious about the texture and taste of the raspberry coulis. Unfortunately the book shows a picture on the finished piece (no step-by-step photos or a cut-away photo).
  14. I am a newer member of eG Forums and would like to thank the organizers and members for this amazing web-site. It's very educational and enjoyable! I've been making caramels at home for about a year, and have been running into problems with delayed crystallization. I have been using Recchiuti's Fleur de Sel recipe from his 'Chocolate Obsession' book which uses the dry technique for making caramels. My caramels start graining up about a week out, despite being enrobed in chocolate and stored in a sealed container to hopefully limit moisture attraction. I'm wondering if there isn't enough 'doctoring agent' in this recipe? Here is my current recipe: 5 drops Lemon Juice 298 g Sugar 1/2 Vanilla Bean 232 g (1 cup) whipping cream 38 g light corn syrup 14 g 82% Butter 1/2 tsp fleur de sel +/- toasted cashews Are there any general guidelines for the ratio of corn syrup to sugar? If I do increase the corn syrup and decrease the sugar by equal amounts, will this affect the texture of the caramels. Could the cashews be contributing to the crystallization too? Thanks in advance for your suggestions. Burny
  15. Hi! I'm a newbie to confectionery. I've been lurking on this board for a few weeks and I've learned a lot, thanks to all of you. This is my first time posting! I hope you can help me with my little problem. I made a half recipe of Greweling's Rasberry Bites butter ganache. I poured it into a 8X8 pan and it set up nicely. Then I realized that it only made a very thin layer, so my chocolates would turn out very thin. So I had a bright idea - I made a half recipe of the Peanut Butter Gianduja (also Greweling) and layered that on top. That also set up nicely, actually somewhat harder than expected. Anyway, I managed to cut the ganache (bottom coated) and dip the squares in dark chocolate. They looked nice for a while, but after a few hours, hairline cracks have appeared along the corners on many of them. Also, droplets of sugary stuff are leaking out in places - looks like raspberry jam. I had the window open for a while (50F outside) because it was too warm in the kitchen. Temp. inside never got below 65F. Could this have caused the cracking? Thanks a lot for your help! Prabha
  16. Coconut is one of my favorite flavors with dark chocolate. I've been working on a coconut truffle filling for molded pieces that is coming along, but I'd also like to create a more shelf-stable filling for a chocolate bar, like a coconut gianduja or a coconut version of a peanut butter cup. I've been making Greweling's PB cup recipe, and I'm thinking something like toasted shredded coconut and possibly powdered coconut milk with coconut oil in place of the PB, plus the cocoa butter to firm it up. Anyone tried anything like this? I would do the bars in 60% or 70%, should I be concerned about fat migration with the coconut oil and dark chocolate? I would want these to have a shelf life of 2-3 months. Thanks for any ideas! Andrea
  17. ChristopherMichael

    Confection frames

    I'm looking at buying confection frames for ganache centers. Does anyone know where to buy them other than Tomric (they dont stock anything and I don't want to wait 3- 4 weeks) or Pastry Chef (to expensive)? Here's a link to what I'm looking for. http://www.tomric.com/ItemDetail.aspx?cmd=local&item=4969 Thanks in advance.
  18. Lior

    shipping chocolates

    I often get requests for my chocolates from Europe and even a few from the U.S. Lately I have a request for a nice ongoing bulk order to Europe- to a tea house. I have no idea how to even begin the logistics. Does anyone do this? Is anyone willing to offer tips, refer me to places,or make suggestions?
  19. I worked out the details to colour the coat on these bunnies and showed one of my students how to make them. She is trying to make 30 of the middle sized rabbits for someone in time for easter, and is molding them solid rather than hollow. She has found they are frequently breaking at the neck or feet. I have had similar problems with some of my figural molds in the past. I have a lovely Antoine Reiche mold of 3 rabbits and a basket and when molded solid it often breaks across the neck of one of the rabbits. I also have a fabulous chef mold that breaks at the feet almost every time. The chocolate appears to be well tempered, it unmolds cleanly. Any thoughts?
  20. Megan Blocker

    Lady M Confections

    Hard to believe there isn't a topic on this one yet! I try to go to Lady M (at 78th and Madison) at least once every couple of months to sample the Mille Crêpes and an individual pot of the Lady M Grey tea. I've found the service to be...um...not so much lacking as it is ditzy. Everyone is sweet as pie, but it can be a nightmare getting seated or asking for the check. Today it was the former. I met my brother around 4:45, and we went in. There was a small line for tables, and we put our name down. A couple came in behind us and put their name down as well, then ran out to check out a store. They came back in, stepped in front of us, and were seated ahead of us. Not usually a problem (and not the couple's fault at all), but my brother was in a time crunch, and I was peeeeved. We ended up being seated quickly after that, and all was fine. Jeremy had a sort of banana cream pie type thing (sorry, they don't allow pics, and this one isn't on their site) - it was fabulous. Crisp, super-flaky pastry. Mountains of cream. And bananas galore. It was perfect with his hot chocolate. I made myself deviate from the usual Mille Crêpes and instead went for the Choux fromage (labeled Gateau au Citron on the website). It was delightful - cheesecake filling (though light as air and lemony) sandwiched between layers of pate à choux. Our check came uncharacteristically quickly.
  21. jrshaul

    Variations on Caramels

    I've been focusing on my confection skills, and have been making many variants. I'm not sure if I'm bodging the process, so I'm posting my results for your comment. #1: Lebovitz's Salted Butter Carmels: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/01/salted-butter-caramels/ I actually did a few variants on this, as the results I had were much lighter and color than his own results. I'm a bit perplexed by his recipe, as he shows a very dark carmelized sugar; however, his recipe (unless I misread it) features heating sugar to a clear 310F, adding cream, cooking to 260, and cooling. The end result is very much on the hard side. #2: Modified salted butter carmels Salted butter carmel heated to 260 are brick-hard. Heated to 250, it's much better. Am I doing something wrong? Or is my thermometer borked? #3: Salted butter carmels with carmelized sugar. I heated a dry carmel (ignoring actual temperature,) then added the cream and continued as standard to 260F. This was pretty tasty, though quite hard; I ended up adding a little milk and corn syrup and recooking to 250, which produced a good texture and darkened it considerably. #3: Cream-less caramels. The first batch came out burned and greasy. The second batch was made with a wet carmel (sugar syrup heated until it started to brown) of 1C sugar with 1T corn syrup, then 2T of butter, 1T corn syrup and some water was added to liquefy the caramel and it was recooked to 250 before a further 1T of butter was added. I actually think this one came out pretty well: I find that standard caramel, unless made with a lot of honey and other expensive ingredients, is somewhat tasteless, and this came out very nicely. #4: Fruit caramels. Assuming my thermometer was reading low (foolish, given it's alcohol), I cooked 1/3 cup cherry juice concentrate, 1/2 cup water, and 1.5 cup sugar to 250F before adding 2T of salted butter. The end result is pretty tasty, but it's not setting very well. Next batch will have 1/2 cup cherry juice concentrate, but it overall came out well. I'm not sure to what degree I'm reinventing a wheel, but I'm getting a lot of practice out of $2.50 in sugar. The only real catch is my inability to dry caramelize sugar: The combination of poor pans and an uneven electric stove results in dry carmels burning well before the majority of the sugar is melted unless 30+ minutes of careful heating is applied.
  22. Does anyone know of a natural alternative to using potassium sorbate as a marshmallow preservative??? Would citric acid or sorbitol suffice???
  23. ChristysConfections

    Making Plaques to Decorate Chocolates

    Hello All! I am new to the eGullet community, here to pose my first question: I really enjoy the look of handmade plaques to decorate dipped chocolates (I have posted an example picture below, but for reference Thomas Haas and Theo Chocolates use such decorations). Yes, they are time consuming and probably not worth the effort on a grand scale, but for small batch production I think they are a beautiful detail. I have been cutting the little squares by hand, which takes a dreadfully long time. I am considering a caramel cutter – one like a rolling pin with a bunch of cutting disks attached. Has anyone tried this? Do you have a certain time-saving technique that you like to use? I’d love to glean from your wisdom, if you have some to share. My apologies if this topic has been discussed elsewhere already. I tried searching the forums, but it did not yield the results I was looking for.
  24. Baylee Chocolate Lady

    Bonbons and Demon Summer Humidity

    HELP me please. During summers past, I may have lost a few bonbons to the humidity, but this year, I am losing whole trays. I keep them in a temperature controlled display case, with the bulk of them in the cold room and yet the fleur de sel is going to water, the sugar is puddling and they look sticky. Any suggestions please.
  25. Desiderio

    Mint chocolates

    Ummm I have done some mint chocolates in the past and I have used the peppermint extract, but I feel that the taste isnt that soddisfacent,so I did another batch with fresh mint instead ( I saw many chocolatiers make it with fresh mint ),so i did it , and finish up the chocolates. Unfortunally I tryed one yesterday and the taste its very very weird , too weird to be selled , the only positive thing is that it leaves a great fresh back taste in your mouth , but the firts taste I dont know how to explained but it is weird like you can actually taste the plante inside , I would say not too appealing. Now I am going to try a different appoach just to experiment something, I made some fondant and Im going to mix it with som epeppermint extract ( I need to find some mint syrup ) and the fill the chocolates with that. What are your experience with mint? And did this weird taste ever accour to any of you guys? Thank you