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Ed Hamilton

Sugar Cane syrup

126 posts in this topic

No, when you compete it's tough to get a handle on what everyone else is doing and it's even tougher to take good pictures. You sort of rely on others to document. You'd have to go to the event website, rummage through the archives, etc. After you finish this--you've been up essentially for like 34 hours straight--you're not worrying about documenting your stuff. You have to clean your kitchen and you just hope you didn't embarrass yourself in front of your friends and colleagues. You go to sleep.

One year my parents attended but they couldn't get close enough to get good pictures, one year all the showpieces were vandalized by kids and by humidity before the official photographer could get studio-quality shots, last year Michael Schneider, editor of Pastry Art & Design and one of the organizers, was actually moving one of our pieces to have it photographed better and it inadvertantly broke. Stuff like that happens. I've talked about it before on eGullet I think--especially about trying to do the chocolate showpieces in the heat outside under a tent, in 1999 I did the chocolate work, in 2000 Colleen did the chocolate piece, in 2001 I did. After that I decided I had supported the event enough and had done my little part to raise awareness. I got out of it what I was going to, as well.

We tend to move on pretty quickly to the next event, the next project, though. If there is any admiration, it is shared and it comes hopefully from watching live or from the TV special--conveying what it is like over the 10-12 hours--watching the work unfold and the competitors deal with the adversities of temperature and equipment not working, baking at altitude, etc. It's really quite exciting. But thanks for your nice words.


Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Why do some recipes for baked goods call for adding dry and liquid ingredients alternately (like 1/3 the dry, then 1/3 the liquid, repeat, repeat) and some call for all liquids at once and then all drys?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I may very possibly be incorrect, but to my knowledge it is to avoid overmixing and thus creating more gluten. I believe that by slowly incorporating the wet and dry ingredients together instead of all the flour at once, you avoid beating it too much at the end? So by gently mixing wet,dry, wet, dry, the ingredients are still thoroughly combined but not at as much risk as being beaten to death by overwhelming it with dry ingredients?? That's my take on it at least, but please correct me if I'm wrong someone!

Edited to note that the only recipes I have seen for adding dry at the end are almost always quick breads like pancakes or muffins; these usually don't call for super-thorough mixing and lumps are permissable. This is usually when you just want to fold it in to produce a super tender crumb--I THINK.


Edited by Elizabeth_11 (log)

-Elizabeth

Mmmmmmm chocolate.

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I may very possibly be incorrect, but to my knowledge it is to avoid overmixing and thus creating more gluten.  I believe that by slowly incorporating the wet and dry ingredients together instead of all the flour at once, you avoid beating it too much at the end?  So by gently mixing wet,dry, wet, dry, the ingredients are still thoroughly combined but not at as much risk as being beaten to death by overwhelming it with dry ingredients?? That's my take on it at least, but please correct me if I'm wrong someone!

Makes sense to me, especially in cakes and pastries.

Not to put too fine a point on it, it also probably ensures thorough mixing at the same time -- no pools of liquid or clumps of flour to suprise you when you think you're done.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I always learned that this method was used to produce a smooth batter without lumps


"Chocolate has no calories....

Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence

SWEET KARMA DESSERTS

www.sweetkarmadesserts.com

550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554

516-794-4478

Brian Fishman

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Let's separate another category of unpaid labor: according to the law (US), if one is receiving academic credit from an accredited institution, one needn't be paid.

And one can sign any waiver one wishes, but one cannot sign away one's constitutional rights in any situation in the US. Also, we have a minimum wage law, the violation of which can carry severe penalties.


Edited by La Niña (log)

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This may be more than you want to know, so I apologize if it's overkill.

First, it depends on the type of dough/batter you're talking about. For example, there are three yeast bread doughs; lean, rich, and quick breads. There are high-fat cake batters and low-fat cake batters, and there are also quick breads. Each has a different mixing requirement which leads us to... Second, you need to understand the purpose of mixing a dough based on the type of dough or batter you’re making.

With yeast doughs, the purpose of mixing is to:

1. combine the ingredients into a uniform dough

2. disperse the yeast evenly in the dough

3. develop the gluten

Now that you know the purpose of mixing a yeast dough, know that there are three different kinds of mixing to achieve that purpose: straight dough method, modified straight dough method, and sponge method.

Straight dough method. Dump everything in the container and mix. Used for simple breads with little or no fat or sugar such as a loaf of French or Italian bread. You need a strong gluten so the time used to develop it also combines the ingredients as well as disperse the yeast.

Modified straight dough method. This is used for rich yeast doughs. Combine everything but eggs and flour in the dough. Then mix in eggs one at a time. If you add them too quickly, the result looks like eggs that have curdled. The other ingredients (fat, sugar, milk solids, etc.) didn't have time to incorporate with the eggs; hence, a big gooey and lumpy mess in the mixing bowl. After the eggs are blended you should have a smooth, homogenous mixture. Now you're ready to add the flour. The flour will absorb what looks to be excess moisture, but when you're done, you'll have a rich dough ready for baking. Think sweet rolls and brioche.

Sponge method. This is common with pizza dough. Mix the water, yeast and some flour together and let it 'proof' for 10 minutes. Then add it to the remaining ingredients to thoroughly mix the ingredients. The main difference between the straight dough method and sponge method is to give the yeast a head start in the fermentation process. Other products include sour dough bread, but don’t confuse this sponge method with the sour dough sponge. That’s in a different thread.

Cake batters are basically broken down into high-fat cakes and low-fat cakes.

With cake batters, the purpose of mixing is to:

1. combine the ingredients into a uniform batter

2. disperse the leavening agent (baking powder/soda) evenly in the batter

3. NOT develop gluten

For high-fat cakes there are two methods: creaming method and two-stage method. For low-fat cakes the methods are: sponge method, angel food method, and chiffon method.

First, high-fat cakes:

Creaming method. Cream the butter or fat first (usually butter), then start to add other ingredients a little at a time. A little bit of dry, a little bit of wet, a little bit of dry... The reason for this is you want to slowly build a homogenous mixture; you don't want one (such as dry) to out-volume (if I can use that as a transitive verb) the wet. If it does the batter won't properly develop as you'll spend time trying to get the two together rather than mixing. The result is an over beaten dough which will result in a uneven shape and a course, tough texture. Think of your basic yellow or chocolate cake for this method.

Two-stage method. This is for cakes that have more sugar than flour. Also the liquid portion is higher than normal. Mix about 3/4 dry ingredients along with the fat (usually shortening). Then add remaining 1/4 dry ingredients followed by all the wet ingredients. This makes for a rather viscous batter. You do it this way because the flour can't absorb all that liquid at once, and to develop the proper structure; meaning that you'll get a smooth batter and the sugar will be dissolved so the finished product won't have a grainy texture. Think pound cake.

Secondly, low-fat cakes:

Sponge method. This is for sponge cakes which contain whipped egg whites and well-beaten egg yolks. You cannot have a single drop of egg yolk in the bowl in which you are whipping egg whites. It just won't work. You need to mix them separately. Usually the recipe says to mix your egg yolks and sugar together, then add your flour, and finally, fold in your egg whites. Hmm, think jelly roll, if that helps.

Angel food method. Same as the sponge method, only there are no fats (egg yolks). Think angel food cake.

Chiffon method. This is a combination of sponge and angel food methods. You mix the flour, sugar and oil together and then fold in the separately whipped egg whites. Think chiffon cake.

And finally <phew!> you have quick breads which offer two methods of mixing: biscuit method and creaming method.

With quick bread doughs, the purpose of mixing is to:

1. combine the ingredients into a semi-uniform batter; expect lumps

2. disperse the leavening agent (baking powder/soda) evenly in the batter

3. develop a little bit of gluten

Biscuit method. This is the same method used to make pie crusts. Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening. Add wet ingredients. Knead the dough for about 30 seconds. Also great for biscuits in Southern cooking.

Muffin method. Combine dry ingredients together. Combine wet ingredients together. Combine dry and wet ingredients together. Do not overmix. Expect to have lumps. This is the same method used for making pancakes.

In conclusion, :biggrin: I think whether or not you want to develop the gluten has the greatest importance in how or when you add the ingredients during mixing. You can test this by making a muffin using the straight dough method for breads. It will turn out tough, chewy, little height gain, and probably very heavy. Make a loaf of French bread using the muffin method for quick breads and you’ll end up with pockets of flour, pockets of wet gummy stuff, no height added, and very, very tiny air pockets.

Each type of dough/batter requires its own type of handling.


Edited by Really Nice! (log)

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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Sponge method. This is for sponge cakes which contain whipped egg whites and well-beaten egg yolks. You cannot have a single drop of egg yolk in the bowl in which you are whipping egg whites. It just won't work. You need to mix them separately. Usually the recipe says to mix your egg yolks and sugar together, then add your flour, and finally, fold in your egg whites. Hmm, think jelly roll, if that helps.

I prefer this method.

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Adding liquid and dry ingredients,

what if you add dry ice?

CAULDMAR.jpg

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Really Nice:

Your post was more than really nice.  It was a handbook for baking.  Wow. Excellent and thank you. I'm gonna print it out and save it.

Ditto. Diana (age 12) actually asked the question; your reply has been printed and added to her cooking notebook. She and I really appreciate the detailed, yet simple, explainations.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Thank you Really Nice, that was really nice! :raz: Ya learn something new everyday! :wink:


Edited by Elizabeth_11 (log)

-Elizabeth

Mmmmmmm chocolate.

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I love this cookie so much I want to share it with all yins out there in baking land. I had it at my neighbor Hilda's house last fall when she hosted the 2nd Annual Rutledge Oyster Roast. A friend had made it for her--I hastily scribbled the recipe in my drunken hand and proceeded to turn out about four batches during the holidays--I figured out how to get this very simple [though, of course, surreptitiously tricky, as recipes can be] cookie right.

Hilda's Friend's Almond Shortbread

3/4 c melted butter

1 1/2 c sugar

1 1/2 c flour

2 beaten eggs

pinch salt

1 t almond extract

Mix butter and sugar til creamy; add aggs and mix well; add flour, salt and extract and mix well. Grease your standard cast-iron skillet and line completely with foil. Pour the stiff batter in and spread it to the sides. Sprinkle the top generously with slivered almonds and more sugar. Bake @ 350 30 mins. Cool completely before removing.

Notes: this is so easy it's addictive. I use the Kitchenaid and pretty much just dump in the ingredients in the proper order and let the machine do all the work. I recommend taking the pan out after 25 min. and checking that your oven isn't cooking too fast. The top of the cookies will brown only VERY slightly. You might think they aren't done and want to stick them back in for 5-10 minutes--DON'T. Becasue I was making them during a cold spell, I took the skillet out on the porch and let them cool overnight. Once completely cool they set and firm up. Cut them into thin slivers and serve them with coffee or tea or alongside another dessert like chocolate mousse.

These are the best cookies I've discovered in a LONG time. They are like a rich, soft chewy biscotti. Hope you like them, too.


Edited by stellabella (log)

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Stella, they sound scrumptious. I love shortbread. Thanks for posting the recipe.

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Shortbreads are such great (and EASY!) cookies. Thanks.

Question: my plain CI skillet is biggish -- 12 inches. I'm thinking I could use my 10-inch CI grill pan, and that way I'd have pre-marked the shortbread for cutting. Do you think that would work all right? Or would it bake unevenly?

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StellaBella, You know I love buttery cookies and this recipe sounds great, I can't wait to get out my

cast iron skillet.

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Thanks Stellabella!

What size Cast Iron skillet did you use?

I feel like making them now (2:28 AM, EST).. but will bake a pistachio cake instead.

I have no desire to sleep. I shall bake and hopefully not tease my own SO and the neighbors with smells. :rolleyes:

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Having just recently succeded, (with a lot of help from some of you out there), in making a good loaf of sourdough. I am now looking for a good, simple recipe for sourdough cinnamon rolls.

Thanks in advance. :smile:

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In fact, I have a recipe for sourdough starter pancakes that I like to use. My son loves them so they must be ok. :smile:

Waffles do sound good though.

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Hoping you get a sourdough cinnamon roll recipe.

I agree with the sourdough pancake people. The best. And, sourdough with whole wheat flour. Or buckwheat. Extra yum.

Would you like one for sourdough fruitcake??? If so, I can help there!!


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I've never heard of a sourdough fruitcake. Sounds interesting.

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I've never heard of a sourdough fruitcake. Sounds interesting.

Sourdough Fruitcake

1 1/2 C raisins

1 1/2 C currants

3 C mixed candied fruits, or peels, or dates, figs, etc.

1 C hard cider (or sherry, port, rum, Muscatel or brandy)

1 C sugar

1 C brown sugar

2/3 C shortening (I use buttery-flavor Crisco)

1 1/2 t cinnamon

1 t nutmeg

1/2 t allspice

2 eggs, beaten

1 C sourdough starter

1 C sliced almonds (or chopped pecans)

4 C sifted AP flour

1 t baking soda

2 t salt

Rinse, drain, coarsely chop raisins; rinse, drain and pick over currants; chop fruits and peels. Combine all fruits with cider (or wine or brandy or whatever). Cover and let stand overnight. Cream together the shortening and spices until fluffy. Beat in eggs. Stir in starter. Combine with fruit mixture and nuts. Sift flour, soda and salt together into batter and mix well. Turn into two loaf pans that have been greased and lined with heavy brown paper. Bake below oven center in very slow oven (275º) about 2 1/2 hours. Remove from pans. Cool on wire racks before turning out and removing paper. Spoon additional 2 or 3 T wine or cider over each cooled loaf before storing. Wrap in foil and refrigerate. These will mellow day by day.

Bonus recipe:

Sourdough Biscuits

1 C. AP flour

1 1/2 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

1 T sugar

1/2 t baking soda

1 C starter

1/2 C shortening

Combine all ingredients, starting with dry ingredients, and knead on a floured board or pastry cloth 10 times. Pat out to 3/4" thick. Cut out biscuits, either round with top of glass, or (easier) just make square biscuits. Place in greased pie pan and bake 425º for 15-18 minutes.

Makes 8 large biscuits.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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