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  1. Guests arrive this week on Thursday afternoon and the Double Chocolate Mousse Bombe birthday cake is to be served at Saturday lunch for two of the gentlemen. That's two days later. And it was specifically requested and agreed to. This chocolate cake is refrigerated and contains both a milk chocolate and a dark chocolate mousse, and is covered by a chocolate glaze which the instructions suggest you apply only 30 minutes before serving (and which I cannot realistically do.) In fact, the entire cake is now practically speaking beyond my energy level these days...but there you are...don't bother going there, please. I've now already listened to a lecture by my dear Ed ( who never listens to sense himself.) The cookbook says you can refrigerate the cake with the two mousses up to 48 hours before serving. That would mean making the second mousse Thursday morning for lunch on Saturday morning. Could I realistically make the cake on Wednesday? Or is that pushing it just too far? The recipe comes from One Cake, One Hundred Desserts, by Greg Case and Keri Fisher, 2006. Plus I have salads to make and they can't be made far ahead either: potato salad, cucumber salad, pepper salad, tabbouleh, and bean salad. I'm planning on laying them out in a sort of mise en place style ahead of time. Might just skip the potato salad. Yes, I used to be able to do all this...but that was then and this is now. I would say that this is definitely the last time I do this at all. The last three years have not been good ones health wise. Sorry to whine while asking Pastry & Baking questions.
  2. [Host's note: to avoid an excessive load on our servers this topic has been split. The discussion continues from here.] Many batches of Apple Pie Ice Cream later and I'm still in love...think it's the crust factor although I am embarrassed to say so. I've never had cookie dough ice cream, but I imagine it's pretty much in the same category. I'm thinking about making Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream...or pretty much any pie ice cream...well, not Lemon Meringue...fruit pies, nut pies,...???? Thanksgiving (in October here in the Far Frozen North) might be a good time to try the Pumpkin idea.
  3. Ever since Todd talked making cupcakes I have been cupcake crazy. Although, I am not a cake maker but more of a pie person. My first dessert that I love that I make is my Coconut Cream Pie w/heavy whipped cream. I don't use low fat anything and probably angioplasties is necessary after this baby. My second is Peach Cobbler w/rich vanilla ice cream. I never met a cobbler that I didn't like, but peach is my favorite. I don't make these often because I wouldn't be able to get through the front door if I did. How about yours? .....Janet
  4. This started out as a take on a standard lemon curd. This version will give a softer set that's good for tart filling - if you want something with more structural integrity, use all dark chocolate or increase the dark chocolate content by 50%. The quantities here will give enough for a 16cm tart. 2 large oranges (for a stronger orange flavour and more acidity, use 3) 80g sugar 2 large eggs 80g milk chocolate 80g dark chocolate - Wash then zest the oranges directly into the sugar, stirring between oranges. Set aside, preferably overnight. - Juice the oranges and weigh or measure the volume of juice - there will probably be around 250ml (three will give you around 375ml). Put it into a pan or microwave-proof bowl and reduce until you end up with around 120ml of juice (this increases the flavour and acidity). - Break the eggs into the sugar/zest mixture and beat well. - Break up the chocolate into a large bowl, then place a sieve or strainer over it. - Pour the hot juice over the egg mixture, mix well, then pour into a pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens to a bit thicker than a crème anglaise consistency. This should be around 85°C, or until it coats the back of a spoon. - Take off the heat and pour through the sieve/strainer over the chocolate. - Let it sit for a minute or so, then stir or blitz with a hand blender until it forms a smooth, ganache-like consistency. - Pour directly into a tart shell and refrigerate. It will set quite softly, but will still slice. For a firmer curd, see the comment at the top. ETA: I forgot to adjust the sugar content for the milk chocolate - with all dark, use 100-120g, depending on the cocoa %. I've tweaked the chocolate levels as well.
  5. Last night I made a cranberry upside down cake from a Williams-Sonoma book called The Complete Seasons, the cake tastes incredible (I am eating the leftovers right now for breakfast) but I had a couple problems. First the caramel like topping, it said to melt butter and brown sugar in the cake pan over a medium heat, until the sugar melted. I think I messed this part up because was still a little lumpy (but evenly lumpy) and there was butter separated at the edge of the pan, even mixing didn't seem to pull it together. I was worried it would become to brown so I pulled it off. My second problem with the topping is that the cake pan I used has a ridged bottom, it looks like a waffle grid but on a very small scale. The finished cake did not release well, I lost parts, and the caramel was lumpy and hard in places and non-existent in others and the caramel had grid marks on it. My next big problem was with the cranberries, it said to place them in the pan with the caramel topping and then to place the cake batter on top, this I did. However, while cooking I noticed the cranberries were popping up at the top of the cake, I assumed they would sink back down to the bottom but they never did. So my cake looked a little like an upside-upside down cake, when inverted onto the caramel was on the top and there was a layer of cranberries on the bottom! The picture in the cookbook has a lovely layer of caramel and cranberries on the top with a wonderful creamy looking cake below. This was by far the best upside down cake I have ever had, but I think it could have been better or at least looked better. Suggestions? This is what the cake should have looked like instead it looked like this
  6. Once again, I tried to recreate my mother's shortbread cookies, using her recipe, and they didn't turn out. They were so crumbly they fell apart when you picked them up. I'm very attached to this particular recipe -- she told me that she got it from the first boy who ever kissed her, whose Scottish mother was renowned for them. That's one way to get a recipe!) She made them at all holidays. Here the recipe: 1 cup of butter 1/2 cup of sugar 2 cups of flour pinch salt I've been creaming the butter and suger and adding the flour, chilling it and rolling it out and baking them at about 300 degrees. They spread more than hers did and they're just way crumbly. The taste is good, though. I wish I could as her for advice, but she's no longer with us -- can anyone help me?
  7. Greetings I'm looking for a pancake recipe that inspires fluffiness, that is nice thick pancakes, but not heavy. Thin will simply not do. Flavor is not of quite as much importance. This recipe is for a contest that is graded on flavor, presentation, and fluffiness. Also, does anyone know of any exciting ways to present pancakes? Thanks a heap!
  8. Has anyone found the perfect recipe for either of these? I use them only for wedding cake orders, which is my main concern for posting this. They fall into one of those 'have to make' items that I secretly cringe inside over because I still don't have a recipe to brag about. I do have a decent scratch white cake but in taste tests everyone still picks the mix over the scratch cake. And YELLOW cake has lately been my cake from hell flavor. I like a butter cake, but lets face it it's not the texture people rave about in a wedding cake. They want moist and fluffy. I've don't mind yellow chiffon cakes but they don't hold up well in shape for wedding cakes. I've made countless versions of both cakes and don't lack for more recipes to try. Instead I'm looking for recipe help from someone who's mastered these, anyone?
  9. I watched a program on TV called, How It's Made, on how cheesecakes are made. What I wanted to know, is that on the program they mentioned they added sour cream to the cheesecake batter that was specially cultured, does anyone know what they might have meant by specially cultured?
  10. Mid-Autumn festival is still a month away but mooncakes are starting to rear their ugly heads in SF Chinatown. I know people who actually like them, but I suspect most people view them as China's version of the fruitcake. They're for giving, not for eating, and you sort of know that whomever you give them to will give them to someone else. (At least that's my view.) Do you like mooncakes? If so, what style do you prefer, the Cantonese varieties that have everything but the kitchen sink in them, or the more spartan northern style? Meat-filled Jiangsu-style? Ice Cream mooncakes (I kid you not)? Any mooncake memories?
  11. I'm preparing for my annual holiday pie baking (I only make pies twice per year). I'm generally okay with the crust method I've been using - "Pie Crust Sticks" and I add a spoonful of orange juice in place of part of the water. Works really well and I plan to continue unless you folks can convince me that I'll get a truly superior crust if I make it from scratch (I'm open to discussion but please note that I have no mixer or food processor if that makes a difference). Here's the focus of my problem: in an effort to make a pecan pie that stands out from the ordinary and has a truly rich flavor to the filling, I've been experimenting with ingredient variations. For starters, I use 1/2 dark karo syrup and 1/2 light rather than all light syrup. I've also been replacing about 1/3 to 1/2 of the total amount of Karo syrup with real maple syrup for richer flavor. I have also been replacing the refined white sugar with dark brown sugar. People absolutely love the pies - the flavor is richer and more intense than a traditional pecan pie but I have a problem with consistency - the filling tends to stay a bit towards the liquid side. I recognize that the maple syrup won't "set" or thicken in the same way as the Karo syrup. Should I reduce the proportion of maple syrup or can someone suggest a way overcome this obstacle. Also.... is the use of dark brown sugar impacting on this in any way? Would using turbinado raw sugar perhaps be a better way to get a richer sugar taste but possibly with better results? Any and all suggestions appreciated. TIA!
  12. I'm trying to narrow down (to one, maybe two) places from which to order fruitcake. Jokes aside, my mother loves fruitcake, and I've been procrastinating so she's not getting any homemade ones from me this year. Going through eGullet, I've found the following: Andro's Sweets and Treats--but it seems I can't go through an online ordering system, and I would have to call them to order (I'm in Japan, it's a PITA) Caribbean Cake Connoisseurs--I know my mother loves Black Cake, and her one source back home no longer sells it. Abbey of Gethsemani--I like the way these look, and I'm sure my mother will appreciate my supporting the church in some way, since I no longer go to church. Holy Cross Abbey--same as above Collins Street Bakery--these were the first "gourmet" fruitcakes I remember seeing in ads. I always thought they looked good. When I found the above during an eGullet search, some of the posts in which they were mentioned were quite old. Does anyone have any recent experience with any of the above to recommend them? Right now I'm thinking of going with Caribbean Cake Connoisseurs and either Gethsemani or Holy Cross. But I'm open to other suggestions, as well!
  13. Today I would like to share with you the recipe for swift autumn cookies with French pastry and a sweet ginger-cinnamon-pear stuffing. Served with afternoon coffee they warm us up brilliantly and dispel the foul autumn weather. Ingredients (8 cookies) 1 pack of chilled French pastry 1 big pear 1 flat teaspoon of cinnamon 1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger 2 tablespoons of brown sugar 1 teaspoon of vanilla sugar 2 tablespoons of milk Heat the oven up to 190C. Cover a baking sheet with some baking paper. Wash the pear, peel and cube it. Add the grated ginger, cinnamon, vanilla sugar and one tablespoon of the brown sugar. Mix them in. Cut 8 circles out of the French pastry. Cut half of every circle into parallel strips. Put the pear stuffing onto the other half of each circle. Roll up the cookies starting from the edges with the stuffing. Put them onto the baking paper and make them into cones. Smooth the top of the pastry with the milk and sprinkle with brown sugar. bake for 20-22 minutes. Enjoy your meal!
  14. I posted this on YouTube the other day and thought I'd post it here. Personally, when I make them for me I only use Erythritol (a sugar substitute) but depending on the friend sugar or a blend of the two. Unlike other zucchini brownies, these don't use egg white, so they're not cake-y, but dense and fudgy. Oh, and because I use whey protein, they're higher in protein and good for post-workout bite. Ingredients 300 -400 grams zucchini 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup sugar or sugar substitute 1/2 cup cocoa 1-2 tablespoons flavoring (brandy, rum, vanilla, etc) 2 shots of espresso (or instant, 60ml/2oz) 2 egg yolks 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup oatmeal 1 cup whey protein (or milk powder) 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, but adds nice flavor) 1. Mince the zucchini in the food processor with the salt. 2. Add the sugar or sugar substitute and process until the sugar is dissolved. 3. Bloom your cocoa: In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa with HOT espresso and your flavorings (including cinnamon). Stir until mostly dissolved. 4. To the food processor add the cocoa mixture and two egg yolks and blend together. 5. Add the whey protein or milk powder to the mixture and blend together. 6. Add the oatmeal and blend. 7. Add the flour and pulse to incorporate (in other words, try not to over mix). 8. Pour into a brownie pan and bake for 20-30 minutes at 180C/350F
  15. I had a wonderful book on cheesecakes and I LOST IT when we moved to our new house !! My husband's favourite was the "basic uncooked cheesecake".. needless to say that I cannot remember the recipe. Would anybody help please ?
  16. Hello! I'm fairly new to this site so I don't know if my search was weak. I'm trying to find a way to make Mandarin orange puree at home, but I couldn't find anything even similar in the forum. I am a home cook, but I have been making chocolate bonbons and other confections for over 4 years (intermitantly). It is too expensive for me to purchase this online- not because of the price of the puree, but the cost of shipping makes it prohibative. The recipes I've seen online are all differant and don't seem to be what I need. I would love any help with this! I look forward to hearing and learning from those who have much, much more experience than me. Thanks!
  17. In hopes of sleeping better, etc, etc, I have currently given up gluten, dairy and now sugar. The gluten and dairy pose no problems...the sugar does. I am not happy using mannitol or erythritol or any of those artificial sweeteners...they give me severe digestive problems. But I can tolerate stevia very nicely. The only problem is that there doesn't seem to be much sweetened with this ingredient. I do have a carob/coconut oil/peanut butter/stevia candy of sorts. I don't really like it all that much, but it does work. That's about it. Has anyone any recipes for desserts using stevia? Thanks.
  18. Hi all!! I work at an amazing little New Zealand Style ice cream shop in the beautiful Denver Colorado. I was hoping to get a little help on the subject of adding fruit into ice cream after extracting it and ensuring that, when the ice cream is frozen, the fruity bits don't turn into rock hard shards. I am planning on doing a cherry chocolate ice cream and I was going to soak some dried cherries that we're no longer using for something else. I was planning on using some brandy and a ton of sugar, but I was really hoping someone had a tried and true method they could send my way so that I KNOW that the fruit will be luscious as it's frozen. If you have a certain sugar ratio. I know there is the brix test, but to be honest it's been many years since pastry school and I am very rusty. Would love to hear from some of my fellow sugar-heads. Thank you! Amy
  19. Just came across this chocolate cake and was wondering if anyone has tried it or heard of it. Something tells me it might work well, but I want to know what your opinions are before I experiment. Thanks!
  20. Hi , Has anyone ever made King Cake? My customers are starting to inquire and I would love to accommodate them. Is it difficult? What about the baby? I assume that is inserted after the cake is baked. Anyone have a recipe they would be willing to share or a site where I can obtain one? Thanks in advance for your assistance.
  21. Aunt Susan and Aunt Betty used to bake over 50 pounds of fruitcake (my mother was a co-conspirator and I an active helper) for Christmas to be distributed amongst family and friends. Beautifully wrapped parcels would be sent with the driver to homes of relatives and friends as a Christmas and New Year gift. Mind you, Aunt Susan (Christian from Kerala) is married to Uncle Raj a Hindu. Aunt Betty is really Dr. Prabha Manchanda (Sikh by birth, secular by practice). This is a tradition we all follow not for religious reasons, but to continue what was brought to India with the foreign rulers. It makes for great festive mood. And all us kids loved this cake. The fruits were soaked in Gigantic Jars for 21 days in rum. Rum was more affordable than Cognac for certain and also easily available. I use Susan Auntie’s recipe each year. It is a big hit at the annual Holiday Bash that I have become famous for amongst friends and theirs. The cake is 9x12 and is made using 2 bottles of Cognac. I make at least 6 batches for the season. One with Armagnac and this is the one I serve for New Year. The reason I wanted to start this thread is that as I was putting stuff into the refrigerator, I realized that I had a 9/12 inch Fruit Cake from last year. I save each year at least one cake for the next year. This is a custom in the family and I am told it is also practiced in the UK. Is that true? We save the cake in a tin but the cake is wrapped in several layers of fine muslin that has been soaked in rum (Armagnac in my case) and every month you add more rum (Armagnac) into the cake. I drizzle lots of it all over the cake and then wrap the cake again and drizzle more over the already soaking muslin cloth. I then sprinkle confectioners sugar and wrap the muslin in Saran wrap and then place in the box, use another layer of Saran wrap and seal the box securely. The cake is always moist and by the next year, it is sublime. I had a nice piece of it just a few minutes ago. I have a buzz. There is LOTS of alcohol in this. Do others have their own Fruit Cake stories? What recipes do you use? Where do you get them? Do you even like Fruit Cake? Who eats them anymore? What makes a good fruit cake? What fruit do you use?
  22. Hi all, Hopefully someone can help me with this? I really enjoy making tartalettes of sorts. When baking the dough rises a lot meaning that there is not really a lot of space to fill with something nice. I am using glutenfree flour (Peak's All Purpose) and have tried blind baking them. But from my first blind baking try, it seems that the bottom stays raw. Have put it back in the oven 'unblinded' (can i use this term? :)) but still its not the way i want it. Could sure use some tips on how to get these tartalettes nice and thin. Thanks in advance to anyone who tries to help, i appreciate it. regards
  23. Hi everybody! I'm doing popsicles out of my pacojet ice cream! I've been making it in those silikomart silicon molds. The problem is to get the ice cream out of the molds perfectly I need to freeze the ice cream pretty hard, like way below -20C. Only when it gets frozen hard, it comes out in a pretty perfect shape, otherwise it gets all broken. The popsicle is a red berry ice cream (this recipe works really well in the pacojet!) and I coat it with a really bright white chocolate (I use titanium dioxide for the colour), looks great, but when you bite in to it you see the ice cristals (yes, I do use stabilizer!). The recipe I use is the following and I would love some inputs on how I can make this recipe softer/creamier after the popsicle gets coated and its store in a normal freezer at -18C. Red berry ice cream: 600g cream 600g milk 600g red berry puree 120g yolks 370g açúcar 10g stabilizer Thanks for the inputs!!!
  24. This is my mother's recipe, which always cracks. If followed to the recipe it's texture is more chunky than creamy. Recently I've tried using a water bath at 350 for 15 minutes, then 325 for 35 more. I've had decent success in stopping the crack, but I lose the texture -- though more people seem to prefer it that way. 1 lb cream cheese 1 lb ricotta 1 pint sour cream 4 eggs 1 ½ cup sugar ¼ lb salt butter 1 ½ tbs lemon juice 1 tsp vanilla 3 tbs cornstarch 3 tbs flour Bake 1 hour @ 350 In any case, for a change I was thinking about trying to use wide mouth mason jars (8 oz) for individual cheesecakes using my Anova stick. Using the same ingredients (I'm ok with skipping the flour and starch) what temperature should I use and for how long should I "bake" for? I was thinking I would pour the custard into the jars, and put the jars in the bath with the water level reaching above the custard. Or should I try sealing the jar and just submerging the whole shebang? I'm unsure of the latter, due to condensate and I definitely don't want these guys cracking. TIA for your suggestions.
  25. I have not posted for a time due to work load. Let me expand a bit. At the beginning of December I was asked by a local bowls and social club if I would be interested in cooking a dinner every Friday evening for members of the club. I accepted the challenge and was supposed to start the catering at the beginning of February - except the previous catering folk decided to abscond in December and thus I started the catering at the beginning of January. I have now done three Friday evening dinners with the fourth next week. Dinner consists of two courses - either a starter and main or main and dessert. Being summer at the moment, I am doing mains and deserts until the winter months start. Now, it may be a bit unlucky for some (I am not superstitious), but Valentines Day is on a Saturday this year and thus Friday the 13th is my meal evening and I was thinking of a simple dessert for the approximately 50 club members who order the Friday meal, with a Valentine's theme. My initial thoughts were a heart shaped meringue with a dollop of cream topped with red berries. However, I am not too sure of the availability of fresh red berries nor their cost at the moment. Also, these meals are low budget (what isn't these days) and thus I need to keep this in mind. Right, other than my meringue idea, mentioned above, anybody wish to throw in some thoughts or ideas?
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