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Chris Hennes

Confections! What did we make? (2012 – 2014)

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No, no pectin. I think I just cook them slightly longer then most people, I like them to have nice sharp edges when cut, but they aren't hard or difficult to chew or anything. Just cook your caramel longer.

Can you elaborate further? I've been treating caramel as per any other sugar operation wherby temperature matters and time is largely immaterial.

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Time is immaterial but temperature does count - if you are finding them too flowing - just up the temp by a degree or two and see if that gives you a better result.

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Yay! Finally got a chance to use my copper sugar pot! And boy does that handle get hot! Made a small batch of caramels just to try it out.

I bought myself a copper pot years ago when I was still in culinary school but didn't have the best luck with it! I think I just had the heat too high because it cooked so fast the caramel burned before I knew it and it was so hot my silicone hot pads didn't work what so ever...so I gave it up and now it sits in a box in storage.

Maybe I should give it another shot...

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No, no pectin. I think I just cook them slightly longer then most people, I like them to have nice sharp edges when cut, but they aren't hard or difficult to chew or anything. Just cook your caramel longer.

Can you elaborate further? I've been treating caramel as per any other sugar operation wherby temperature matters and time is largely immaterial.

In Chocolates and Confections, Greweling does a good job of explaining it. Theres a tiny note at the end of the caramel recipe that says anytime you cook a caramel, you should always check the consistency by hand, despite having a target temperature that your cooking to. I do use a thermometer when I cook caramels, but its only a guide. When I get close to 235f, I pull it out, and check the candy by hand every few minutes. I just keep a bowl of ice water next to me, drop a small amount of caramel into it, and depending on the firmness of it, that will tell me what the consistency will be when the caramel is pulled off the fire and cooled completely in the frame. Someone else can probably give a better word picture of describe it more clearly, but when I see the caramel dripping into the water in a steady stream and the stream solidifies almost immediately, that's when I pull it. I might take a little bit of my sweet time to mix in the salt and pour it out, but when that caramel is cool, it sets up very nicely. If your caramel liquifies after a few days, its definitely not cooked enough. I've made caramel slab at least a week ahead of time for a wedding, wrapped it when it cooled, and cut the day before, and it help up fine, caramel has a pretty decent shelf life. Just cook the caramel longer then you might think you have to, and it definitely will firm up.

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Here's my second round of macaroon. They are filled with a dark chocolate ganache that has Cointreau and an oil of Bergamot.

Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2

uploadfromtaptalk1356720954426.jpg

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All the chocolate in here looks stupendous. Anyway, 2012 was pretty much the year when I started with pastry. Some attempts:

Macarons, here flavoured with beetroot.

8319330134_e415a15b63_b.jpg

Pàte de Fruit, here tarte tatin-flavoured (caramelized sugar, butter, apple juice). Made like a billion screwed-up batches with different flavours, before finding the right kind of pectin.

8309642381_509c8e4774_b.jpg

Flödeboller (unbaked meringue on shortbread, covered with chocolate), flavoured with beetroot (from Noma)

8318249705_ca80a5cba2_b.jpg

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All the chocolate in here looks stupendous. Anyway, 2012 was pretty much the year when I started with pastry. Some attempts:

Macarons, here flavoured with beetroot.

8319330134_e415a15b63_b.jpg

Pàte de Fruit, here tarte tatin-flavoured (caramelized sugar, butter, apple juice). Made like a billion screwed-up batches with different flavours, before finding the right kind of pectin.

8309642381_509c8e4774_b.jpg

Flödeboller (unbaked meringue on shortbread, covered with chocolate), flavoured with beetroot (from Noma)

8318249705_ca80a5cba2_b.jpg

You use beet for flavor? Or just for color? Can't imagine beet flavor with chocolate, but maybe I'm small-minded!

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You use beet for flavor? Or just for color? Can't imagine beet flavor with chocolate, but maybe I'm small-minded!

For flavour. Actually I like that earthy raw beet flavour together with chocolate. But in the picture above the chocolate coating is very thin and doesn't contribute that much to the flavour. Plus the beet flavour is fairly subtle in the meringue anyway, so there's no way they would clash.

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Nice work cookalong. What recipe are you using for your macarons? They look nice, and I love the idea of using beet as a flavoring, I love roasted beets simply because they are so sweet! Also, very nice Flödeboller, I've never hear of that, but great pics. Btw, I too have made so much pate de fruit that was all screwed up, and now I cant believe how easy it is with the right pectin, almost effortless!

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Thank you very much!

I prefer Pierre Hermés recipe for the shells, the Italian meringue method. For the filling I used a butter cream and added some beetroot juice. But it was far from optimal, the beetroot juice tended to separate a bit from the other ingredients (looked like minced beef), and the flavour didn't come through that well. I think a custard or a thick fluid gel would work much better. In the end it came together though.

Thanks, flödeboller is a typical Scandinavian sweet. I've never seen them with flavoured meringue before I found the Noma recipe though.

As for PDF, what can you say.. I really thought I would have to declare bancruptcy and lose my house to Boiron :)


Edited by cookalong (log)

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December 2012 Chocolate selection - IMG_2748 - for posting.jpg

Holiday chocolates... brandied cherry cordials, PBJs, muscovado sugar salted caramels, chocolate nougat (dipped in milk chocolate and dark chocolate) and bittersweet chocolate ganache (not included in attached photo).

Don't know if you are still looking at this thread, but I am curious about the chocolates with the orange stripes. Do you mind telling how you made that design? It is very attractive, as is the whole assortment.


Edited by Jim D. (log)

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December 2012 Chocolate selection - IMG_2748 - for posting.jpg

Holiday chocolates... brandied cherry cordials, PBJs, muscovado sugar salted caramels, chocolate nougat (dipped in milk chocolate and dark chocolate) and bittersweet chocolate ganache (not included in attached photo).

Don't know if you are still looking at this thread, but I am curious about the chocolates with the orange stripes. Do you mind telling how you made that design? It is very attractive, as is the whole assortment.

Jim D. that is actually not an orange stripe, it is milk chocolate. I piped lines of milk chocolate into my molds and then shelled with dark chocolate.

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I would still classify myself as a beginner at making molded chocolates (have been working a couple of months off and on) but thought I would be brave enough to show what I made for Christmas. I decided I should, at this point in the game, mostly stick to recipes from experts, and I have given the source of each recipe used. Almost all come from one of the following: Greweling's Chocolates and Confections, Shotts's Making Artisan Chocolates, Notter's The Art of the Chocolatier. I included some notes on what went right and wrong. In general, I thought the ganaches were fairly successful, but my molding technique still needs a lot of practice (I'm trusting that the camera does sometimes lie, or at least deceive).

chocolates-xmas-jimd.jpg

Clockwise from top, beginning with chocolate with blue trim:

Dark chocolate with milk chocolate and rum ganache (from Eddy Van Damme's blog). I expected more of a whipped filling (like a Milky Way), probably would not do this again.

White chocolate with banana rum caramel (a Wybauw recipe from Callebaut website), but I added the rum and a little lemon juice to cut the sweetness. A strong banana flavor, one of my favorites.

(far right of photo) Milk chocolate with Earl Grey tea ganache (Greweling recipe). Subtle flavor, but it's definitely Earl Grey.

Bittersweet chocolate with mint ganache (Notter recipe). Excellent flavor, a favorite with friends, has a nice crunch from a chocolate "cracker" that forms the bottom, but a difficult chocolate to make (not to mention preparing the crackers).

(at bottom of photo) Milk chocolate with pumpkin caramel ganache (Greweling recipe). A big favorite with friends, it's the spices of a pumpkin pie that make it so tasty.

Bittersweet chocolate with salted caramel filling (Shotts recipe). I didn't have the salt he calls for but used Sicilian sea salt; I found it a bit too salty, but others loved it.

(far left of photo) Bittersweet chocolate with pear ganache (I first tried Greweling's recipe but thought it tasted too little of pear, so took a basic butter ganache recipe and used reduced pear purée and pear eau-de-vie). It's still too subtle--only when people are told what it is do they taste a hint of pear. I found a pear paste from New Zealand that I plan to try next for the ever-elusive pear flavor.

Bittersweet chocolate with raspberry ganache and rosewater (Shotts recipe). I labored mightily over this one, but it is impossible to taste the raspberry purée (there is a lot of it) over the bittersweet chocolate in the ganache. I kept adding rosewater and now you can taste it--it is a great addition, in my opinion. Next time I will perhaps use white chocolate for the ganache or try a butter ganache with raspberry jam and eau-de-vie (I still have nearly a full bottle of eau-de-vie, so I have to keep trying).

(middle of photo) White chocolate with passion fruit ganache (Greweling recipe). One of my favorites; the tang of the passion fruit is a great contrast to the sweetness of the chocolate.

Many thanks to all on this forum who have answered so many of my questions and offered so many suggestions. I couldn't have done it without them.

Jim D.

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December 2012 Chocolate selection - IMG_2748 - for posting.jpg

Holiday chocolates... brandied cherry cordials, PBJs, muscovado sugar salted caramels, chocolate nougat (dipped in milk chocolate and dark chocolate) and bittersweet chocolate ganache (not included in attached photo).

Don't know if you are still looking at this thread, but I am curious about the chocolates with the orange stripes. Do you mind telling how you made that design? It is very attractive, as is the whole assortment.

Jim D. that is actually not an orange stripe, it is milk chocolate. I piped lines of milk chocolate into my molds and then shelled with dark chocolate.

Thanks, it's makes a beautiful exterior.

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Its raining here in San Diego, so some pate de fruit was my little project today. I just got some apple pectin last week, so I made some jellies using Grewelings formula. I wanted to try out Notters formula, and I really liked how it set up! And the added bonus for me is not having to have an apple puree on hand to make them, as Grewelings recipe states.

Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2

uploadfromtaptalk1356832505696.jpg

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My newest macaron flavor is Linzertorte. I toasted some hazelnut meal and used about 60/40 hazelnut/almond flour, plus a little cinnamon and a pinch of clove. Filled with raspberry buttercream. I love how versatile macaron is.

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Jim D: I love your chocolates, they are very pretty in my eyes! I just ordered the newest edition of Grewelings book from the U.S, can't wait until I get it, although it wont be for about a month according to Amazon...

Just curious where the banana rum recipe is? I looked at the Callebaut website (the Canadian-English one) but couldn't find it. It sounds really nice seeing as I love banana...

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Jim D: I love your chocolates, they are very pretty in my eyes! I just ordered the newest edition of Grewelings book from the U.S, can't wait until I get it, although it wont be for about a month according to Amazon...

Just curious where the banana rum recipe is? I looked at the Callebaut website (the Canadian-English one) but couldn't find it. It sounds really nice seeing as I love banana...

Thanks for your kind remarks about the chocolates.

This is the link for the banana recipe: http://www.callebaut...-moulded/frutti

The recipe makes a large amount of ganache; I cut it down to 1/4 of the ingredients to fill a single mold. It is also a very bare-bones recipe--I love that Wybauw just says "Caramelize" for the first step, assuming the reader will understand what that entails. And I highly recommend a few drops of lemon juice to balance the sweetness of caramel + banana pulp + white chocolate.

Jim

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My newest macaron flavor is Linzertorte. I toasted some hazelnut meal and used about 60/40 hazelnut/almond flour, plus a little cinnamon and a pinch of clove. Filled with raspberry buttercream. I love how versatile macaron is.

What a great idea! Haven't had Linzertorte in years, but your macarons brought back some nice memories. Thanks! :smile:

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Here a nougat torrone I did from Grewelings formula. I did a 1/3 recipe which yielded an 8.5x11 sheet, nearly brought my kitchen aid to its knees!

Torrone.jpg

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Wow. I brought back 5 kilos of turrones from http://www.monerris.com in Santander, Spain, mostly at the request of friends this October. Misjudged my share, a phenomenal confection and this could be the best source. (The rest of my payload was sixteen 380g tins of anchovies in salt from http://www.anchoasanfilippo.com https://maps.google....55139,-3.484163 also likely best of class.)

So I had no idea these could be made at home. I now have http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/0470424419 on request through my public library.

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I finally have time to post some pictures of the candy I made for my holiday gift bags.

The ones that look chrome plated are Greweling's Black Pearls. Given the name I thought some pearl luster dust would be a good idea but I think I over did it.


Edited by ElainaA (log)

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Is that a crunchy nougat? Nice pic!

Certainly is! By far one of my favorites to enjoy! I love making hard candy from pulled sugar, but the torrone is something that I really enjoy eating with some coffee or tea, you can only have so much hard candies! Unless your using a beefy mixer, I would not make more then 1/3 of the recipe. All in all, making the hard nougat translates into whipping egg whites with a syrup that would otherwise form a hard candy. When all the syrup was added, my mixer went from whipping super crazy on high to sort of a medium speed, I almost feel like if I made this too often I'm going to break my machine! I understand now who Greweling says to use a 12qt. planetary mixer!

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