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Found 390 results

  1. We have a local Italian bakery my mom loves, but they are very expensive and hard for her to get to. She also really likes cookbooks (she reads them even if she never cooks from them ) so I was thinking for her birthday I could get her a cookbook that has similar cookies and cakes, and offer to make a few things for her on request also. I'll obviously look myself, but eGullet is always well informed about the quality of cookbooks so I wanted to know if anyone has any recommendations. The thing about the Italian bakery is that the stuff they make seems to me to be not as sweet as classic American recipes, and often have more complex flavors and also are usually on the light end for whatever the item is. (Like even something that's intended to be dense doesn't have a very heavy sensation in the mouth.)
  2. Hi: I'm making some homemade peanut butter cups, but shaping them like bon bons instead. I don't have bon bon molds, so instead I'm dipping the peanut butter centers into tempered chocolate. As the chocolate coating sets, it contracts and my soft peanut butter center squirts out a little. Is there a way to prevent this, or do I need to do a second dipping? I've tried with both frozen and room temp centers (although peanut butter with a little vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar doesn't seem to freeze at all).
  3. It's that time again - I'm the group leader for a group of newly minted Ecole Chocolat grads taking a masters course. This one is in Wieze, Belgium. You may recall my last trip as group leader for Ecole when I took a group to Valrhona in France. I got my packing done on Sunday - was all prepared, car was to pick me up at 6 pm to drive me to the airport. Got a little suspicious when the child was late getting off the bus from school - the driver said that the highway wasn't moving well. At about 5:15 I got a call from the limo service to say that the car that was coming to get me had moved 2 car lengths in the last 30 minutes. Apparently a car roll over on the westbound lanes of highway had ejected two people into the eastbound lanes and the entire highway was closed in both directions. So I set out in my own vehicle - which of course had no gas, and needed oil... at least the toll highway got me past the problem. Airport wants $175/week to park - so a quick text to @Alleguede and he came to fetch my car from the airport to park in his driveway until I return. So here I sit in the lounge awaiting my departure. I'm doing the Jet Lag program that I have done several times before that has worked well for me. Overcoming Jet Lag, by Charles F. Ehret and Lynne Waller Scanlon. This involves food and caffeine modification. So for the past 4 days I've been drinking Rooibos Provence throughout the day and between 3 and 4:30 slugging down as much real tea as my bladder can handle! The dietary part consists of alternating days of 'feasting' and 'fasting' with high protein breakfasts and lunches and high carb dinners. I had planned to get the driver to stop at the Tim Horton's at the top of my street to pick up the black coffee that is to be taken at around 6 pm the day of travel - unfortunately as I was driving myself that didn't happen - so when I hit the lounge I drank down two cups of strong black caffeinated coffee - better late than never. I'm not much of a coffee drinker - and particularly not black. Should be good for some palpitations when I start the next part of the program which is to sleep as soon as I get on the plane! This is a 'fasting day', 800 calories suggested - I left my carb meal until I reached the lounge. ] One of the two cups of coffee. These are the "Gentlemen Retire to the Library' chocolates that I posted before that I am taking along - port wine PDF and tobacco ganache. I used Sosa tobacco flavouring this time instead of a cigar so I don't have to concern myself with nicotine poisoning.
  4. The Sweet Makers on BBC

    I'm watching The Sweet Makers on BBC - four British pastry chefs & confectioners recreate Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian sweets with petiod ingredients and equipment. A little British Baking Show, a little Downtown Abbey. Check it it out for a slice of pastry history. BBC viewer only available to the U.K., but on this side of the pond where there's a will, there's a way.
  5. Induction Cooktop and confectionery

    Hello! I was wondering if anyone on here has tried using an induction cooktop with confection making (caramels, fondant, marshmallows ect...). My stove has literally three settings, and the low setting still burns sugar and there is no such thing as maintaining any sort of "simmer". I was looking into getting a cooktop and buying some copper sugar pots and mauviel makes this thing that goes inbetween. I would love to hear any input into this idea or your experiences! ~Sarah
  6. Greetings all! Quick question ...Has anyone used confectionery coating in ganache, and been successful? I'd normally not do this, but I have a very dear friend who is allergic to chocolate. Her son is graduating from high school, and she hired me to do chocolates. We'd all like for her to enjoy something from the selections at the reception. The only pieces I can do for her without any chocolate derivatives is of the white chocolate variety. So, white confectionery coating is the only alternative I can find to sub in. Now, with the actual chocolates, I did a butter ganache with white chocolate, mango puree and coconut. (Tastes amazing, btw.) If I do the same method with the softened butter, glucose; then mix in melted confectionery coating, will it harden up when I add the puree, or stay soft? I tend to think it would be okay, but I absolute hate the idea of wasting that puree. So, thought it best to ask here and see if this a disaster in the making- or a decent alternative... Thank you for any help and advice you're able to lend. As always, your expertise is very much appreciated! Andrea
  7. Intricate chocolate molds

    Some chocolate makers have incredibly intricate chocolate molds that boggle my mind. How do they clean them? Or do they not clean/polish them? Or have an army of interns? Or just do it perfectly every time and polishing molds is for suckers anyway? They are beautiful, but seem so very impractical. What am I missing? The Soma is not bad, mostly thin lines, but the Askinosie ...
  8. Making Caramel with Milk

    Hi All, I am having a caramel problem. I have access to some delicious water buffalo milk (28% fat). I attempted to use it as a replacement for heavy cream(36% fat) in my usual caramel recipe. Unfortunately, when I added the hot milk to the hot sugar, the mixture split into an ugly, grainy mess. I did manage to improve it by blending it with an immersion blender, but the final texture was still grainy. The flavour was great though! The method I used was to make a dry caramel with white can sugar, then I added a small amount of glucose and the buffalo milk that I had heated to a simmer. I cooked this to 252 and added butter before pouring into a pan to cool. Does anyone understand the science better who could recommend a different method or adjustment to the ingredients that might make it have a smooth texture as caramel should? My supplier for buffalo milk does not have a separator, so using buffalo cream at this time is not an option. I thought about adding butter to the buffalo milk when heating it to bring the fat content up to that of the regular cream, and/or using an emulsifier or something like lechithin or xantham gum. Any thoughts? It seems I am constantly coming to you for help. Thanks, as always.
  9. Host's note: this topic was split from Pâte de Fruits (Fruit Paste/Fruit Jellies) (Part 2) I took a look. Rather manipulative site: you have no idea what your selection will cost until you have finished choosing chocolates. And the descriptions are a masterpiece of marketing: dulce de leche is "succulent homemade milk jam"--a rather grand description of cooked sweetened condensed milk. Really! But you are so right, they look amazing.
  10. Rose Jelly

    Hey there wise E-gullet-ers! I have another question to put out there. I am interested in making a rose jelly - one that I can layer with a chocolate ganache similar to a pâte de fruit. I don't really know how to go about this. Do you infuse water with dried rose petals and make a syrup? What's the best way to gellify it? I'm very curious. Has anyone made jellies with any other botanicals? Is anyone willing to share their recipe as a guideline? Many thanks! Christy
  11. Good morning! Long story short: I am doing a spin off the coconut/chocolate/almond candy (almond joy), and trying to create a specific shape out of the almond. My hands are cramped after a couple dozen failed attempts whittling roasted almonds, so now I'd like to try a different approach, and instead, create some kind of sub-candy or cookie with roasted almonds that I can put into a mold or use a mini cookie cutter. I'm fairly new to sweets, my knowledge in this area is pretty slim. Some ideas so far, I don't like any, but it might help turn some gears: 1. dusting almond over a stencil, but that's not enough almond nor crunchy enough 2. almond brittle, but that's too hard and sweet, I'd like it more of a soft crunch, and bringing the almond flavor forward 3. meringue with almonds (sort of macaron-ish), however, weather has been humid and raining here, and I'm ending up with a gooey mess instead of that soft crunch In addition to having almond-forward taste and soft crunch texture, it'd be fun to explore something modernish - I have a accumulated a few tools and ingredients not customarily found in homes. There are dietary considerations I will have to account for, however, no need to worry about that now, I am just looking for ideas and a place to take it from there Thank you for your time in reading!
  12. Hello, hoping someone can help me with some workflow questions. I've recently taken over the pastry role in a small tasting menu restaurant and we'd like to produce molded chocolate truffles for either mignardise or take-aways. We have 5 poly trays of molds that hold 40/tray and we'd like to produce roughly that many per week (200). Time and space is tight so I'd like to do this in one go, once per week. The problem I'm having is I don't know the proper workflow for creating this many candies at once. We do not have a tempering machine so it would be stovetop tempering. Is it possible to do that in one go with one big bowl of chocolate? In the past I've made truffles, but always discarded the chocolate after filling the molds. Is it a bad idea to put chocolate from the molds back into the large batch of tempered chocolate? (i.e. fill the molds with chocolate, let the shell set (1-2 mins) then when tipping the chocolate out, can that be tipped back into the large batch?) Also, any tips for large batch tempering of chocolate? We don't have a marble slab so the seeded method is really the only one. The real question is how can I keep a large batch of chocolate tempered for the time it takes to produce 200 molded candies? We have minimal equipment for this kind of operation and I'd be tempering over a double boiler then using ambient heat from a frenchtop to maintain temperature. Is this too much to do without a tempering machine? I'm worried about maintaining the temperature of the tempered chocolate during the time it takes to fill 200 molds with filling. I know I can retemper if I lose it but I really need to work fast and efficiently to get this done in the timeframe that I have (~1hr). If anyone has some insight into a workflow it would be much appreciated. Thanks, Jesse
  13. [Host's note: to ease the load on our servers this topic has been split. The discussion continues from here.] Chocolate nails... And a "How it's made!" video...
  14. Looking for your opinions and experiences... I am planning to put some wire shelving in my chocolate & confections kitchen. The kitchen has a concrete floor. This shelving will hold ingredients, colored cocoa butters, and packaging. Wondering if I should get casters for this shelving... what are your thoughts on this oh so important question? ;-)
  15. I'd like to do a smores flavor and a few other uses of marshmallows in some molded chocolates. Can anyone give me some guidance on preparing marshmallows so that I can pipie them into the molds? I see a problem similar to the PDFs....by the time they are cool enough to put in the chocolate shells, they are too firm to pipe. Anyone have any tips, pointers, suggestions, etc.?
  16. Ideas on why enrobed marshmallows stored at room temp (68 deg F) have recrystallized sugar particles while the same batch of enrobed marshmallow stored airtight in a cooler (40 deg F) do not? I'm all ears! Thanks, Heather
  17. Pistachio Pralines

    I am planning to make Pistachio Ice Cream with broken up Pistachio Pralines as a mix in. I tried it once, using the Jeni's Ice Cream recipe (roast and run 1 c pralines through the blender until smooth, then add to her normal mixture. There is a discussion of the pistachio ice cream under new members forums. On the Pralines, I have read all of the posts in this forum on Pecan Pralines--click below if you want to see all of the posts. My questions are: 1. In general, how should I adapt the pecan praline recipes for Pistachios? I have attached a file with most of the different recipes from the generic pralines forum. Is there any reason to think one would be better than the other, as applied to pralines? 2. Any particular pistachio roasting recipe you think would work well? (I've purchased raw, unsalted) 3. To get more pistachio-related flavor, should I substitute Pistachio Extract for Vanilla Extract. Do I substitute one-for-one? 4. Is there a role for Pistachio Paste to impart a more intense Pistachio flavor? If so, how? Praline-multiple recipes.docx
  18. I saw a recipe on facebook today for making your own cough drops. It was a basic hard candy recipe of sugar (and water) with a little honey, lemon, ground ginger & clove - cooked to hard crack, made into droplets on a silpat or parchment and left to cool/harden, then tossed in powdered sugar. I'd like to doctor it up a bit and could use a little help. Would it be possible to add a little whiskey into the mix? Also, if I wanted to steep fresh ginger / clove / etc, what would be the best way to do so? I was thinking using the water - even though it will all boil off I could steep the flavorings in that before adding it to the sugar. Finally, what would be the best way to store them so they don't start to soften?
  19. Hi all - i've been trying to find out how using UHT cream and Invert sugar can help with shelf life of ganache (for dipped or molded chocolates). I understand the principles by which invert sugar helps and obviously, having a sterilised cream can make a difference. What i'm struggling with is being able to work out roughly how much the use of these ingredients would extend shelf life. Another week? Two? I understand the recipe makes a difference but for arguments sake, lets say a 2:1 Milk chocolate to cream ration with 30% (by weight of cream) glucose syrup added and....20% (by weight of cream) invert sugar added. ANy pointers?
  20. Does anyone here know what the story is with Lumette? I was just at a chocolate event and a local caterer was featuring these chocolates. I doubt that Ewald Notter is working for a caterer in Seattle, so is this a wholesale line he's doing? The website seems to be just a landing page for now. Just curious, it was odd to see the name at a local event.
  21. Is anyone here familiar with Pomati chocolate machines? Kerekes has this tabletop model http://www.bakedeco.com/detail.asp?id=32951 only 5kg but could be a good step up from hand tempering as I grow my company. They also have larger floor models. Alternately, if there is anyone near Seattle, Portland OR, or Vancouver BC who would be willing to show me your chocolate kitchen and tempering machine, I'd love to come for a visit!
  22. Fruit caramels soften over time

    Hi everyone, We are working on an apple cider caramel that is made via a wet method, with liquids split 50/50 between heavy cream and reduced apple cider. We cook to a high temperature, and the caramels are perfectly firm for about 48 hours, we enrobe them, then they start to spread, breaking through the shell. Thoughts on how the acidic fruit cider is causing this spreading? Advice on how to prevent it? Thanks! Heather
  23. Jelly Bean Centers

    Hello. I would like to know if someone has any idea of where can I buy the naked jelly bean centers?
  24. I have been playing with chocolate a lot these days; while I have no particular issues with tempering itself or any other techniques, I never seem to be able to get dipped candies right. The melted chocolate seems to harden too quickly to get anything done properly, and is really difficult to maintain at a safe working temperature without a fancy tempering machine or some sort of warmer. This problem is even worse when the filling I'm using is cold(things like relatively soft caramel/nougat/ganache .etc that are easier to handle when chilled)- the job quickly gets rather frustrating and I often find myself resorting to candy coating then feeling terrible about my culinary skills afterwards. Does anyone else making chocolates at home experience this, or is there something I'm doing wrong?
  25. I am looking for a new display case for chocolates. My current one was bought used and really is not up to the job, it was not made for chocolates, I modified it to work. I have decided to go new and get exactly what I want. I am in Florida, so refrigeration/humidity control is a must. Anyone have any recommended brands or ones to avoid? I have been searching the internet looking at various brands, they all market nice, but finding any reviews about any is practically non-existent. Even though they are cheap, I am avoiding going with no-name China imports. Any input would be appreciated. Thank you,
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