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  1. 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.
  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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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 n
  7. I'd like help from anyone on making the best Pistachio Ice cream. This forum is a continuation of a conversation I started in my "introduction" post, which you can see at I recently made Pistachio ice cream using the Jeni's Ice Cream Cookbook. I love Pistachio ice cream, so I've launched an experiment to find the best recipe. I am going to try two basic approaches: The Modernist Cookbook gelato, which uses no cream at all, and ice cream; I'm also experimenting with two brands of pistachio paste and starting with pistachios and no paste. Lisa Shock and other People who commented on
  8. A friend is having a dinner for some of our friends. She is most famous for her Middle Eastern/Lebanese dinner parties. I asked her what I could bring and she said some dessert that would go with Middle Eastern food. Any ideas?
  9. 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 flav
  10. I'm very excited to share with you all a recipe that I developed for a double crust apple pie. I had been inspired a few weeks ago to come up with a series of 3-ingredient recipes that would focus on technique and flavor but still be simple enough for the unseasoned chef. I decided to make an apple pie as a challenge to myself--never having made one before--and as a way to show those who might find pastry intimidating how easy and adaptable it can be. Basic Shortcrust Pastry Ingredients: - 300g flour - 227g salted butter, cold - 2 lemons, zested with juice res
  11. Having experienced the "Edible Balloon" dessert at Alinea, I have been on a quest to try this at home. Only recently was I able to find purportedly a recipe: https://www.buzzfeed.com/raypajar1/these-edible-helium-balloons-are-dessert-from-the-future?utm_term=.ut6r3PnMk#.acGNVWmd6 the video of which is found below. I tried this and probably no surprise, it failed. The bubble collapsed / popped with only a little distension. I wasn't sure if the problem was that a "secret" ingredient (e.g. some kind of surfactant to stabilise the bubble or using a different kind of sugar) wa
  12. As someone born and bred in the Potteries, but now very much rooted here in Texas, one of the things I miss most of all are the wonderful, freshly made, oatcakes that I enjoyed back in Staffordshire. I don't mean the commercially made things that have now apparently found their way on to the shelves of Sainsbury's or Tesco in some of the less sophisticated parts of the UK (e.g. London). I mean real warm oatcakes, fresh from the griddle, making a perfect breakfast or fast meal. These wonderful alternatives to toast or bread for breakfast were the staple diet of potters, miners, steel workers an
  13. Posted 6 hours ago Dear EGulleters, ResearchBunny here. I've just found you today. I've been lolling in bed with a bad cold, lost voice, wads of tissues, pillows, bedding around me. I spent all of yesterday binge-watching Season 2 of Zumbo's Just Desserts on Netflix from beginning to grand finale. I have been a hardcore devotee of Rose Levy Beranbaum since the beginning of my baking passion -- after learning that she wrote her master's thesis comparing the textural differences in cake crumb when using bleached versus unbleached flour. I sit up and pay attention to tha
  14. After batting about .500 with my previous approach to macarons, I came across Pierre Herme's base recipe online. After two flawless batches of macarons, I've been re-energized to continue to work at mastering them. Specifically, I want to try more of his recipes. My conundrum is that he has, as far as I can tell, two macaron cookbooks and I don't know which one I should get. I can't tell if one is just an updated version of the other or a reissue or what the differences really are. I was hoping somebody had some insight. I have searched online and haven't seen both books referenced in th
  15. Anyone have a favorite recipe for chocolate cake using semisweet chocolate? My usual chocolate cake recipe uses cocoa, but I have some samples of chocolate I want to use up for a workplace party. Yes, I could make brownies or ganache frosting, or chocolate mousse or chocolate chunk cookies, just feeling like cake this weekend ...
  16. My supplier decided that cocoa butter is now special order so I had to buy a case. And now I have an excessive amount of cocoa butter, anyone need any? Cacao Barry cocoa butter pistoles with a best by date of April 2021 $66 for the 3 kg tub or $22 per kg plus shipping.
  17. Has anyone used Valrhona Absolut Crystal neutral glaze particularly to thicken a coulis or to glaze a tart? If so, how did you like it and is there another glaze you think worked as well but is less expensive or can be purchased in smaller quantities?
  18. Red Velvet Cake It does use a large amount of oil - 2 cups, but it sure ain't "dry." Red Velvet Cake was very popular back in the late 60's & 70's and there were frequently "Red Velvet Cake cookoffs." This recipe won the blue ribbon at several state fairs. 2-1/2 c sifted cake flour 2 c sugar 1 c buttermilk 1 tsp soda 1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp salt 3 eggs 2 T cocoa 1 T white vinegar 1 oz red food color 2 C vegetable oil - regular "buttery flavor" is good but, if you can't find it, use 1 Cup Orville Redenbacher Buttery Flavor
  19. Would anyone be willing to share how they ice dummy cakes for cake show competitions? I have done some before with royal icing (and I still don't have that down real well. ) I would like to do one with fondant and I'm not quite sure how to go about that. If I use the styrofoam circles with fondant do I need to round the corners so it doesn't tear? What do I put under the fondant to stick to the foam? I appreciate any help. Kelli
  20. Hi everyone, Melbourne (AUS) is having a bit of a warm spell at the moment that's looking to continue - 30+ celcius for about 2 weeks straight. I want to play around with a bit of chocolate making but it seems... foolish! In the mornings, the ambient temperature in my house is maybe 23, and i'm wondering if this would be ok for dipping (perhaps a quick trip to the fridge to help them set up for a few minutes?). With moulded pralines, it seems the brief fridge steps that some people recommend make sense since the whole tray is done at once, but it seems impractical for hand dipping, since i'd h
  21. What do you all think is the safety level of leaving raw shortbread out at warm room temp (75-80f) for 18 hours? Assume no eggs, just butter, sugar, and flour.... It will be baked, but I still fear that pathogens could grow. Or maybe it’s my years of pastry experience wherein cold dough has always been easier to handle and that’s why it seems so wrong. 😂 (This is not my doing, I have a renter in my kitchen.)
  22. So, what is everyone doing for the pastry & baking side of Easter? I'm working on the following chocolates: fruit & nut eggs, hollow bunnies, Jelly Belly filled bunnies, coconut bunnies, dragons (filled with rice krispies & chocolate), peanut butter hedgehogs, and malted milk hens. Hoping to finish my dark chocolate production today and get started on all my milk chocolate items. My father-in-law will be baking the traditional family Easter bread a day or two before Easter. Its an enriched bread and he makes two versions -- one with raisins and one without (
  23. I remember making bundt cakes with 'baked-in' filling, and now I wonder: would a basic fruit curd stand up to being baked in the middle of a bundt cake without horrible texture fail? Could something like this basic curd work, chilled enough to allow it to be applied with a pastry bag over the half-filled bundt cake batter, and topped with more batter? Dreaming now of a pistachio cake with pomegranate filling, but thinking about other combinaions as well--what are the key characteristics required in a 'bake-in' filling? 2/3 cup sugar 2 T cornstarch 1 cup pomegranat
  24. Hello, folks, thanks for reading. My husband thinks, I should start selling my popcorn seasonings (which I make for my family), it’s a good product. But I'm not sure if it’s interesting to other people... So, what do you think, guys? Our story: We’ve bought an air popper machine, but popcorn came out pretty tasteless. Then, we’ve bought different “popcorn seasoning” mixes... But it always ends with all the seasoning at the bottom of the bowl. Then, we've added butter, oil and so on before seasoning... we got soggy, chewy popcorn. Lot’s of disappointments…
  25. I’m trying to find a recipe to make caramel suitable for varegating or swirling into Ice cream when the ice cream is loaded out of the ice cream maker to the ice cream storage container. When swirled at this stage it crams a nice caramel swirl when dipping. I have made several attempts, first attempt tasted great but got stringy and difficult to cut with a spoon. If you wanted to you could pull it out like a Spiders web. A typical caramel sauce will just disappear into the ice cream and seems to break down into the ice cream. Another attempt it got very sandy when cold and had to be hot t
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