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Pastry, Baking, Chocolate Goals for 2008


Mette
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Inspired by this thread on things learned in 2007 I have been thinking about what I want to achieve in 2008 on the chocolate front:

Learn how to temper on a tabletop

Get better packaging for my chocolates

Take some kind of chocolate skills class to imropve my technique and repertoire

And exercise more so I can eat more chocolate and more cakes :biggrin:

Anyone else?

(putting things in writing and public is a great incentive to get them done....)

Edited by Mette (log)
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I'll make this my first post I guess! I am new here, and my name is Alicia. I am a home cook and I love to bake and I am just venturing into chocolate making.

I don't temper yet, so I am at the moment using bada bada bing coating. Yeah I know, I feel almost ghetto typing that! Everyone here is so much more edcuated about food than I am, but I found myself reading your forums so much based on various searches I was doing, I decided to join!

I have been reading the Grewling book, and so far have mastered basic fondant. So I can fill things, and I am using transfer sheets, although I have yet to acquire a magnetic mold, it's on my list. I figure I will master some stuff with coating, then move on to tempering. It is much cheaper to screw up with coating.

One thing I am pretty decent with is decorating sugar cookies. I stumbled onto Elenis.com one day and got hooked, so I like to do that, and I collect cookie cutters, and try to stick with copper as much as possible.

So my goals for this year....

Taste a real french macaroon

Then master making them myself

Learn to temper chocolate

learn to make gumpaste flowers

learn to model with fondant

Anyhow I am happy to be part of this community and I look forward to learning from all of you.

Alicia

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I'll make this my first post I guess!  I am new here, and my name is Alicia.  I am a home cook and I love to bake and I am just venturing into chocolate making.

I don't temper yet, so I am at the moment using bada bada bing coating.  Yeah I know, I feel almost ghetto typing that!  Everyone here is so much more edcuated about food than I am, but I found myself reading your forums so much based on various searches I was doing, I decided to join!

I have been reading the Grewling book, and so far have mastered basic fondant.  So I can fill things, and I am using transfer sheets, although I have yet to acquire a magnetic mold, it's on my list.  I figure I will master some stuff with coating, then move on to tempering.  It is much cheaper to screw up with coating.

One thing I am pretty decent with is decorating sugar cookies.  I stumbled onto Elenis.com one day and got hooked, so I like to do that, and I collect cookie cutters, and try to stick with copper as much as possible.

So my goals for this year....

Taste a real french macaroon

Then master making them myself

Learn to temper chocolate

learn to make gumpaste flowers

learn to model with fondant

Anyhow I am happy to be part of this community and I look forward to learning from all of you.

Alicia

Welcome Alicia. We will look forward to watching your progress this year. There are topics here that will help you with all those goals. Never hesitate to ask.

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My goal is to have a shop this year. I have found someone who is willing to share space with me and I said I would like a start up date of March 1st. Still chasing a grant and it is on the go. Things to do: find a good name, package design, website...

This will be an exciting year. Almost was sold on the Selmi but the enrobing line is another 10k, so I will stick with perfect Equipment from Quebec.

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My goal is to have a shop this year. I have found someone who is willing to share space with me and I said I would like a start up date of March 1st.  Still chasing a grant and it is on the go.  Things to do: find a good name, package design, website...

This will be an exciting year. Almost was sold on the Selmi but the enrobing line is another 10k, so I will stick with perfect Equipment from Quebec.

Can't wait to see your shop start up. Can you attach an enrober to the perfect temperer?

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Yes, you can attach an enrober to the tempering machine. They have a new "automatic tempering machine" that has the enrobing attachment. last quote I had, it would cost $19k including delivery for the whole unit. I am checking with current owners to see how they like it. A Montreal chocolate store says they are happy with it. I do need to check with other owners. The machine is new for them so they haven't sold too many. Maybe 4 last time I spoke to Perfect. The Selmi would cost $33k with the enrober.

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Yes, you can attach an enrober to the tempering machine. They have a new "automatic tempering machine" that has the enrobing attachment.  last quote I had, it would cost $19k including delivery for the  whole unit.  I am checking with current owners to see how they like it.  A Montreal chocolate store says they are happy with it.  I do need to check with other owners. The machine is new for them so they haven't sold too many. Maybe 4 last time I spoke to Perfect.  The Selmi would cost $33k with the enrober.

Interesting. I assume that it's a small enrober like the Hilliard one. I knew I hadn't seen it on the catalogue I have from Perfect - time to get another!

The price seems quite reasonable.

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So now that I got my "what I learned in 2007" post out of the way, I can organize my thoughts for this year...

So far in '08, I have started to work on new breads at my new baking job. I am making French Bread with fermented dough like I learned at school. I started a sourdough culture at work. I guess I want to keep practicing, keep improving, and keep learning as much as I can about bread.

I want to start making chocolates at home more seriously. This is the worst thing about my new job. No chocolate! I want to get an airbrush and play with cocoa butter.

I am inspired by all the people I've been reading about who have been opening their own business. A lot of bakeries/coffee shops have been opening up in Chicago the last couple of years as well. I want to start thinking more seriously about that, for sometime unspecified time in the future. I have so many ideas!!

In terms of work, something I worked on a lot last year that I want to keep doing is working on my organization and cleanliness. It's so easy to get disorganized when things get busy. That's something that has become really important to me.

Other than that, as I said earlier, I just want to keep learning as much as I can, by keeping my eyes and ears open. I want to become the best baker in Chicago. =) Maybe one day.

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I too want to taste and make a real french macaron

make perfect puff pastry (yeah, I know, good luck on that one I hear it's hard)

start buying better chocolate

learn to use my new decorating tip set I got for christmas

make sourdough bread

thats a starters....

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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my goals:

*make a good flaky tender pie crust (for some reason, pie crust is impossible for me)

*try to make croissants (very intimidated by this)

*become a better cake decorator (not sure if possible...my hands are so shaky, lol)

*continue on my quest for the perfect dinner roll (slightly sweet, a little wheat, a little white, fluffy but not too much and a good flavor)

*buy one of those hearth brick oven inserts for better bread making.

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Annie, If those are the two things I need to remember, then making puff pastry isn't just hard, it's near impossible for me! (Ambient temp in "winter" now is 82°F at night. Rolling out dough in these conditions increases the temp precipitously, sigh) That is a great goal you've listed, though :laugh: I should resolve it myself.

Some more goals:

Tuiles (just looking for the perfect application)

Do fanTAStic work with a piping bag (just bought an issue of Cake and Sugarcraft UK. It's not my thing-- not fond of sweet modeling clay cakes-- but I want to do intricate things with royal icing, it looks so elegant)

do fantastic work with chocolate decorations (my gosh, who's going to eat all these cakes?)

make decent bread (I just realized the flour I used in the past is crap. I now have Tipo 0 flour and Bob's Red Mill flour, though it cost a pretty penny)

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

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Alright - my turn.

Focus on basics - I tend to dive off the deep end, and I really need to learn some basic principles.

Finish that Amernick book! I'm only about 1/3 of the way through.

And I need help with my decorating skills too. I know practice, but geez, do I have to :hmmm:

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I have found with decorating, and for now I do alot of intricate cookies and such, the tips you use make a huge difference. I strongly suggest for any straight piping, go with PME tips. They cost way more than Wilton or any others, but they are stainless steel, and you wont have any curving or tails. I love them!!! Pick up Professional Cake Decorating by Toba Garrett, it is fantastic. You can get the PME tips at www.globalsugarart.com and a few other sites. The book is available at amazon. I am in the process of getting them all, and at 4.99 each, they are not cheap, but well worth the investment. I love to bake, and cake decorating is new for me, so I started with cookies, since they are smaller, but you use all the same skills.

I also am dying to attempt croissants. I have not yet, mainly because I have been trying so many sugar cookie recipes in search of the perfect one, and because I have been testing to many cake recipes in cupcake format. It seems that they are not as moist when baked as cupcakes, as they are as cakes, and I am not sure why. Maybe a more seasoned baker could clue me in on this?

I am so happy to be on this board, and thanks for the welcome!

Alicia

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I would like to master a few recipies from "The Patisserie of Pierre Hermé". That will require mastering several techniques that I was introduced to by Norman Love at the two day class at the French Pastry School last fall.

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I would like to master a few recipies from "The Patisserie of Pierre Hermé".  That will require mastering several techniques that I was introduced to by Norman Love at the two day class at the French Pastry School last fall.

Such as?

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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I would like to master a few recipies from "The Patisserie of Pierre Hermé".  That will require mastering several techniques that I was introduced to by Norman Love at the two day class at the French Pastry School last fall.

Such as?

Such as mousse, meringue, jaconde (and decorating it with paste), various methods of chocolate decorations (fans, multi-colored plaques, etc.) and macaroons.

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In 2008 I would like to do a lot of things, but here are a few:

I’d like to move beyond just making truffles to other confections as well.

I’d like to take an actual class on chocolate and confections since I have no prior training and no experience beyond October of last year.

I’d like to get some more of the basic equipment listed in the Greweling book so that I can attempt some of the recipes that are currently out of my reach.

I’d like to talk with my local government regarding the regulations involved in starting a food based business, so that I can be prepared for the next step once I am comfortable making confections.

Mike.

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