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Found 1,454 results

  1. I have been experiementing with macarons these last few months, and I have yet to make perfect macarons. Most of the macarons I have made are hollow on the inside. They're so hollow, if I nudge them a bit, the top crust just comes right off. They still taste decent but not what a successful macaron should be like. I don't think I am overbeating my meringue at all. They are always firm and stiff. I have tried whipping a little less than I usually do but still get hollows. I did some research and saw a few people recommend adding a bit of cornstarch to the dry mix. Yep. Cornstarch. This really perplexed me because I always see people saying not to use powdered sugar that contains cornstarch, so how could adding cornstarch prevent hollow macs? I also saw one person use tapioca starch to prevent hollows as well. This time around, I whipped the meringue at a much longer time, but no higher than speed 7 (kitchenaid), which gave me a super stable meringue. I also added cornstarch. I piped the batter out, and they looked super perfect the first few minutes in the oven. Sadly, they came out very wrinkled. The first batch was super wrinkled, but the second batch was less wrinkled, or bumpy even. Not sure if this is because of the silpat for the first batch and the parchment pper for the second hmm. Does anyone know what I did wrong to get these wrinkled macs and how to troubleshoot? Also some help on hollow macs would be appreciated! Thanks
  2. I couldn't find a thread covering this, but apologies if there is. As I'm planning the food for a family gathering I realise again that we have a few desserts that we often fall back on. Partly because they are easy to prepare, minimal effort for the cook that is busy producing food to feed 20-30, and don't suffer from sitting on the buffet table. But mainly, because these are the crowd pleasing desserts, the one that are enjoyed by young and old alike. They can be altered and elaborated but in reality everyone would be just as satisfied with the dish in its more simple form, perhaps due to the associated memories. some of our crowd pleasers are pavlova, banoffee pie and triffle. so what about other egulleters, do you have a tradition of easy crowd pleasing desserts?
  3. Troubleshooting Lemon Bars

    Hi all! I'm trying to perfect my lemon bar recipe, which is from my grandmother's Purity cookbook with all sorts of notations and changes she made. It's perfect in terms of flavour and the pâté sucree base works exactly as it should, but the topping is coming out too fluid. The topping is 3C sugar, 1/4C lemon juice, the zest off of those lemons, 1tsp baking powder, 6 eggs and 2C coconut. What can I do to firm it up a bit, so that it stays put once I cut the bars? Would cornstarch or tapioca flour do it?
  4. Has anyone seen this book yet? If so, do you have any comments about it you can share? The Praline
  5. 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
  6. The Fruitcake Topic

    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?
  7. [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.
  8. I finally found a place better than Molly Moons. In Seattle Washington for Ice Cream. I was actually not very found of Molly Moons. It is to cloy for me. Has anyone here been to Sweet Alchemy?(They don't have a website here is a blurb about them) It is on 43rd and University Way. I thought it was Haagan Daz still because they haven't changed the banner. It is really good! They just are slightly expensive...3.80$ for their cheapest cone. I forgot to check if they have a children's scoop. They do a lot of fun and solid flavors. A tale of two teas, butter beer, Blueberry Lavender, Chai Tea, etc. They even have a very good vegan option called Monkey Berry Bash! It is made with coconut milk and really is quite good. Besides the price. I think it is worth to go once!
  9. I just got Society member David Lebovitz's Ready for Dessert out from the library. I know that he's a big favorite here in the P&B forum, especially for his Perfect Scoop book (topic here). However, there's no topic for this 2010 book, a new edition of many of the recipes from his first two, out-of-print books, Room for Dessert and Ripe for Dessert. I'm eager to see what people have done with it, as it looks fantastic. Has anyone tried any of recipes in the book? If you have a favorite from Room or Ripe, what is it?
  10. I've just started baking with a commercial convection oven and have had mostly good luck with most of my standard recipes, but cheesecake is giving me a horrible time! I think the problem is the temperature--the first time I made the cake, I could see the batter boiling in the oven (this at about 225 degrees), and the second time, altho I didn't see any active boiling, there was a suspicious looking bulge in one side that looked like an incipient bubble. This would all be an academic question, except I've put cheesecake on my holiday menu, and several people have ordered it, and now I have to figure out a way to get a great product out to them fast (yes, I've learned my lesson this time, I think...). I've never been crazy about bain maries for cheesecakes; I prefer the dried, heavy texture of a NY style cheesecake, as did my tasters when I sampled cheesecakes last fall. What do I do? Suck it up and use my radiant oven, which would limit my production capability, or use the bain marie and tell my customers that it's better this way? Is there an alternative? Help me before I run out of cream cheese or go broke buying eggs!
  11. Yesterday I made my familiar go-to simple lime/cream cheese pie with one egg, some milk, lime juice & zest, etc, covered with a dark chocolate ganache: heavy cream, a dollop of butter. It's in the fridge covered with a plastic topper but I can cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Today's lunch guest is not coming...onslaught of sleet, freezing rain, and now snow...oh goodie...winter's here... Now she is slated for next Thursday. Is there any possibility that the pie can last that long and not poison or at least revolt us? Thanks.
  12. Freezing Cakes

    I bought a box of molten chocolate cakes from Presidents Choice that you cook from frozen in the microwave for 45 seconds or so. They come out perfect but the chocolate they use is inferior. My question is, if I was to make my own chocolate cakes let them cool, then freeze them, reheating them in the microwave for the same amount of time would they work. I like the fact that I can have a dozen or so in the freezer and just nuking them when friends pop in. Help me make this work! Please.
  13. Given that this is the time of year I feel like making pies, I decided to buy the book Pie by Ken Haedrich. I have a ton of recipes for pie dough but I found his explanations and instructions very helpful. One thing that made me wonder, however, is that he doesn't recommend using a food processor unless it's a large capacity one---the 14-cup Cuisinart or the like. He says that the large one has enough room for the fat to be cut in properly. I have been making pie dough in my 11 cup for years and found this to be an interesting point since I haven't noticed a problem. I tried making pie crust in my Kitchenaid today for the first time and found that the butter didn't cut down very small. I was using the whisk attachment since that's what the author recommended, noting that this would simulate the cutting in of a pastry blender. I also have a lot of experience doing it by hand, as well. So I'm wondering what all of you prefer? Any tips or experience with these various methods?
  14. This is one of my all time favorite desserts. Have had several versions of this. What should a novice home cook know about this dessert? Is there a basic recipe that could be of help here? Where should one go for the best of its kind in the US? Where in the world could one get a sampling of some of the best panna cottas?
  15. Chinese Bow Ties

    I have been asked to make Chinese Bow Tie desserts for a function. However, I have never made them, but using Mr Google, there are a number of different recipes out there. Does anybody have a decent recipe which is tried and tested? - these are for deep-fried pastry which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
  16. 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 the earlier thread said that the key is to start with the best Pistachio Paste.   Any advice is appreciated. Here is where I am now: I purchased a brand of pistachio paste through named "Love 'n Bake." When it arrived, it was 1/2 pistachios and 1/2 sugar and olive oil. I purchased a second batch through Amazon from FiddleyFarms; it is 100% pistachios. I bought raw pistachios through The only raw ones were from California. If anyone has advice on using the MC recipe or on best approaches to ice cream with this ingredient I'd appreciate them. I will report progress on my experiment in this forum.
  17. Pancake Mix

    I love pancakes! Which is a good pancake mix to use for making pancakes? Thanks!
  18. Makes 40 cookies, 2 loaves. 50-60 g very aromatic olive oil 80 g honey 120 to 150 g sugar (I use 120 because I like it only gently sweet) 2 eggs 2 teaspoons of fine lemon zest, from apx 1 lemon 230 g flour 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 75 g lightly toasted peeled pistachios 50 g lightly toasted almonds (you can replace some with pine nuts) Optional: a little rosemary or anise seed Optional: more olive oil for brushing Heat oven to 170 deg C. In mixer (or by hand), mix oil, honey, sugar, lemon, egg and if desired, the optional spices - until uniform. Separately mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add flour mixture to mixer bowel with liquids and fold until uniform. Dough will be sticky and quite stiff. Don't knead or over mix. Add nuts and fold until well dispersed. On a parchment lined baking tray, create two even loaves of dough. With moist hands, shape each to be rectangular and somewhat flat - apx 2cm heigh, 6cm wide and 25cm long. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and baked throughout, yet somewhat soft and sliceable. Rotate pan if needed for even baking. Remove from tray and let chill slightly or completely. Using a sharp serrated knife, gently slice to thin 1/2 cm thick cookies. Each loaf should yield 20 slices. Lay slices on tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until complelty dry and lightly golden. Brush with extra olive oil, if desired. This will and more olive flavor. Let chill completely before removing from tray. Cookies keep well in a closed container and are best served with desert wines or herbal tea.
  19. Rookie Joins the Pros

    Hello, All. My monniker is Tennessee Cowboy. In real life I am a retired lawyer who has invested way too many hours in ice cream making! I have tested over 100 recipes over the last five years, and I would like to go to a new and higher level. . . hopefully with your help. One of my fixations over the years is how to make low- or no-sugar recipes so that my friends who are on sugar restricted diets can enjoy what I make. At the moment I'm working on pistachio ice cream, and trying to make the pistachios more flavorful and present. My wife is a spectacularly good cook, and I'll share some of her secrets if she will let me.
  20. 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
  21. Fondant ruffles

    I've been requested to make a cake inspired by Prince circa the Purple Rain era - "a riot of purple" and white ruffles like the shirt he wore. I have little experience with fondant, am planning to use marshmallow fondant (melted marshmallows + powdered sugar). Does anyone have any tricks to making the ruffles perky and 3-D? Should I drape them over something the day before and let them dry? I want them to add dimension. Thanks!
  22. What went wrong with these cookies?

    Last night I made "Fudgy Chocolate-Walnut Cookies (flourless)" for a Seder dinner tonight. What emerged from the oven weren't cookies at all, but rather a crisp puddle with vaguely cookie-shaped broken pieces floating on it. Tastes wonderful, but looks pretty bad. No photos--too ugly. The recipe includes 9 oz. toasted walnuts chopped very fine in the food processor, 3 cups confectioner's sugar, 1/2 cup + 3 Tbs. Dutch process cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 Tbs. vanilla, and 4 egg whites (unwhipped) . The instructions say to preheat the oven to 350 and bake for 20 minutes. My first thought is that the oven temperature is too high for anything with egg whites in it. Any other ideas? I will try this again at a lower temperature, but there's no time to do it today (plus I'm out of both walnuts and confectioner's sugar). I'll bring them tonight, but it's a little embarrassing to have to break this big dark brown cookie/cracker into uneven pieces to serve it. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks-- Nancy in Pátzcuaro
  23. I'm probably the worst person to kick off a Chinese Dessert thread. I have the least sweet tooth on the planet, but I know there is interest in the topic. I often read that the Chinese don't do dessert. Not quite true. They don't necessarily serve sweet dishes at the end of a meal, but they may turn up midway through. Chinese food is not normally served in a strict order, serial way. That said, it is not uncommon to finish a no dessert meal then head for one of the many places selling only desserts. Sweet yoghurt, cakes, candied fruits etc are everywhere.
  24. I well remember the first time I made DH a Boston Cream Pie. And I thought he would be so happy. I think I followed a Martha Stewart recipe. But no. He is the son of a French-Canadian cooking, baking, Mother and if you know anything about French-Canadian cooking, Sugar Pie is a regular feature. And pure pork Tortiere. DH grew up on Millefeuille and Napoleons and Rhubarb Pie which had so much sugar in it that you couldn't taste the rhubarb. (Sorry, dear departed M-i-L.) And so my cream filling simply wasn't rich enough. Make it richer, he said, Like my Mother did. And so I am asking. Take your regular Creme Patisserie and add what to it to make it 'richer'? Butter? Several tablespoons? I've Googled 'very rich pastry cream filling' and can't get back the usual egg, cream...and maybe a smidgen of Help please.
  25. I'm frustrated! The restaurant kitchen has two gas convection ovens, a Wolf with a 6-burner top and a Viking with a French flat top top. The Wolf has long been the pastry oven and I've baked approximately a zillion things in it, including a few thousand French macarons. Unfortunately the Wolf has been out of commission and I'm left with the Viking. The cream puffs, brownies, and shortbread have been baking fine, but I've had two batches of French macaron with really poor foot development and some cracking on top. I made a batch today and gave at least a third of the shells to staff because of poor rise. I don't think I rushed the drying, they seemed appropriately skinned-over before baking. It's a nice sunny day and I've made plenty of macarons in the rain so I don't think it's the weather. The Viking seems like a moister heat when I open the oven, is it possible that one make of oven would create a more humid heat, or have I simply lost my macaron mojo? Help!