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Chris Amirault

Baking (Etc.) with David Lebovitz's "Ready for Dessert"

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Between the chocolate chip chouquettes and the croquants I might not be able to resist adding this cookbook to my collection. Every thing that you have made from this cookbook looks delicious FrogPrincesse.

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Between the chocolate chip chouquettes and the croquants I might not be able to resist adding this cookbook to my collection. Every thing that you have made from this cookbook looks delicious FrogPrincesse.

Thanks curls!

Speaking of egg whites, I made pavlovas for mother's day. I have this long history of failure with meringues so I was a little nervous about this recipe. I tried making meringues when I was 8 or 9 and could never get them right due to a very old and unreliable gas oven at my grandparent's house. I haven't attempted them since. Move forward a few years and I decided to try my hand at pavlovas after seeing them on lesliec's eG Foodblog a while back. A pavlova (named after the Russian ballerina) is a meringue with a chewy interior, a dessert that is extremely popular in Australia and in New Zealand.

They worked quite well. Most came out great although a couple were still a bit sticky underneath and super sticky inside. I probably should have cooked them a little bit longer.

8729296003_bfd2b9c14d_z.jpg

They were delicious topped with fresh fruit (pineapple, strawberry and passion fruit) and whipped cream. It's a light dessert that can be assembled at the last minute.

8757063022_c0ee7c8051_z.jpg

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Got the cookbook awhile ago and made the Croquants and the Bahamian Rum Cake, both were delicious! No pictures of the croquants but managed to get one of the Bahamian Rum Cake.

rumAndCoconutCake.jpg

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Curls - very nice!

This reminds me that I made the blondies from the Perfect Scoop a couple of weeks ago and they were gone before I remembered to take a photo... and this is not the first time that it happens!

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So I've made Chouquettes before, with good success, but for some reason recent batches have been a complete flop (same thing with gougeres) due to the dough being runny. It starts all perfect and then, when I add the last egg, and it becomes too liquid. I rescued this batch by keeping it in the fridge before piping it, but still it tasted too eggy (we ate the whole thing though...).

Are large eggs bigger than what I they used to be? Next time I will use skip the last one.

This recipe is from The Sweet Life in Paris.

 

Ant attempt at chouquettes

 

An attempt at chouquettes

 

 

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24 minutes ago, FrogPrincesse said:

So I've made Chouquettes before, with good success, but for some reason recent batches have been a complete flop (same thing with gougeres) due to the dough being runny. It starts all perfect and then, when I add the last egg, and it becomes too liquid.

 

These kinds of troubles with pâte à choux are usual when you make small quantities (5 eggs or less) and add one egg per time. It's better to pour the eggs in a jug, whisk them briefly to mix yolks and whites, then add the lightly beaten eggs from the jug, few quantities each time. This way you won't be adding a whole egg (about 50 g) but much less (say about 10 g), so it's much easier to control the final texture of the mixture.

If you need to rescue a liquid pâte à choux, then you can prepare some more of the cooked mixture, add it to the liquid pâte à choux, then add other egg if necessary.

It can be a problem due to bigger eggs. But it's not a given, the required amount of eggs depends on how much liquid evaporated during cooking (can't control it) and how much starch gelification happened during cooking (can't control it). So the required amount of eggs will always vary from time to time, unless you are a cyborg or are using machines.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Just now, teonzo said:

 

These kinds of troubles with pâte à choux are usual when you make small quantities (5 eggs or less) and add one egg per time. It's better to pour the eggs in a jug, whisk them briefly to mix yolks and whites, then add the lightly beaten eggs from the jug, few quantities each time. This way you won't be adding a whole egg (about 50 g) but much less (say about 10 g), so it's much easier to control the final texture of the mixture.

If you need to rescue a liquid pâte à choux, then you can prepare some more of the cooked mixture, add it to the liquid pâte à choux, then add other egg if necessary.

It can be a problem due to bigger eggs. But it's not a given, the required amount of eggs depends on how much liquid evaporated during cooking (can't control it) and how much starch gelification happened during cooking (can't control it). So the required amount of eggs will always vary from time to time, unless you are a cyborg or are using machines.

 

 

 

Teo

 

 

Thanks for the tips, very much appreciated. My success rate is barely above 50% it seems, which is a bit frustrating.

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A couple of years ago at the Institute for Culinary Education, Michael Laiskonis gave a class on choux pastry. I don't make gougeres all that often, but I was having the same sort of problem. I just couldn't get the egg quantity right, and wan't totally sure what the consistency of the batter should look like. The class was just for one evening, in what they call their "recreational" course of study. But it was just what I needed. I remember he mixed the batter, got to a certain point and said, "now this needs about another 1/2 an egg or so," and proceeded to add more egg practically in drops, until he reached a consistency that satisfied him. (And satisfied me, because now I knew what I was aiming for.) So teonzo's advice above is right on target. And you didn't even have to pay for a class!!

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26 minutes ago, cakewalk said:

A couple of years ago at the Institute for Culinary Education, Michael Laiskonis gave a class on choux pastry. I don't make gougeres all that often, but I was having the same sort of problem. I just couldn't get the egg quantity right, and wan't totally sure what the consistency of the batter should look like. The class was just for one evening, in what they call their "recreational" course of study. But it was just what I needed. I remember he mixed the batter, got to a certain point and said, "now this needs about another 1/2 an egg or so," and proceeded to add more egg practically in drops, until he reached a consistency that satisfied him. (And satisfied me, because now I knew what I was aiming for.) So teonzo's advice above is right on target. And you didn't even have to pay for a class!!

Yup.  You gotta love eG.  

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Years ago, my friend Annie AKA Chefpeon was testing Pichet Ong's pate a choux recipe (it's fantastic.  I'll even eat it plain it's that good).  Like teonzo, she cautions that the amount of egg is always variable, and dependent on how much you cook it, and how much you let it mix (to release the steam).  If she thought it needed more egg, she added the yolk first and then tested the dough again; adding the white if it needed it.  Using teonzo's method you'd just add more of the mixed egg in spoonfuls as needed.

 

I've been thinking eggs are getting smaller over the years; I have several recipes that call for a dozen large eggs, and for the last five or so years, I'm getting a different yield from the recipe, all other things being equal.

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I had the same thing happen recently when making my usual choux recipe for the first time in a couple of years (I'd been living alone...not much call for 5 dozen profiteroles at a time). I unthinkingly added 'em all, and it turned out to be "an egg too far."

 

I made a second batch and combined the two, as @teonzo advises upthread, so I was only out my first tray of testers. I knew those were doomed as soon as I started piping, but I froze them once they were out and eventually used them for a dessert (split and filled with ice cream for snack-sized ice cream sandwiches). 

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This recipe is actually from The Sweet Life in Paris. They are officially called "individual chocolate almond cakes" in the index, and are called chocolate financiers in France.

 

Chocolate financier

 

They are so simple and so wonderful. Every time I make them I am surprised at how delicate and intensely flavored they are. They are crumbless as they should be, and their texture is not dense. They also are an excellent use for extra egg whites.

 

 

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