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    • By curls
      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 (I prefer the one with raisins).
       

       
      And I was lucky enough to spot this couple in the sale moulds stock at last year's eGullet chocolate & confections workshop in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. These love bunnies help so very much with Easter chocolate production!  ;-)

    • By Jim D.
      I have an opportunity to obtain (without a trip to NYC, where everything appears available) some hard-to-find liqueurs or brandies for my chocolate work, primarily in ganaches. I already have a poire Williams eau-de-vie and a framboise one as well. I have German kirschwasser but am getting low on that, so am thinking of getting more while I have this chance. For new ones, I'm thinking primarily of apricot. I have heard there are some wonderful European apricot brandies/liqueurs, but don't know which really taste of apricots and are worth purchasing. And the other flavor I would like is a strawberry brandy or liqueur. Online I've found Dolceterra Marcati wild strawberries liqueur and Drillaut strawberry liqueur but know nothing about either. I lean more toward a liqueur/cordial than eau-de-vie because sometimes I think the latter does not always taste specifically of the fruit.
       
      Any guidance would be much appreciated, including ideas for fruits I haven't mentioned.
    • By chows
      I've recently started making caramels and been experimenting with lots of flavors and having a blast. One thing that I am having a hard time finding information about is the role of the different ingredients and how different ratios affect the firmness of a caramel. In particular, I have an espresso caramel recipe that I can't seem to get to the soft, no-effort-while-chewing texture that I've achieved with other flavors, yet I've stuck to the same temperatures as other recipes. This leads me to believe that the ratio of ingredients is key. I was hoping I'd be able to get some insight into how to alter ingredient ratios to produce a softer caramel. 
       
      Any help would be appreciated.
    • By melmck
      I am searching for a natural source of food colorings, to tint buttercream, & use in chocolate work. I don't like commercial FC, it is synthetic and toxic to boot. Has anyone found a good source/vendor who has naturally derived colorings
    • By Pastrypastmidnight
      Does anyone have a chewy chocolate caramel recipe they love? One that holds its shape but can be cut on a guitar? The recipes I’ve tried have either been not very chocolate-y or suuuuuuuper stiff. Like, I bruised the palm of my hand cutting them stiff :(. 
       
      Or or even if you can just point me in the direction of some theory, that would be great!
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