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Your Daily Sweets (2005-2012)


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Our first attempt at Brioch.

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I will report back when we cut into it.

Congratulations to all, the photos in this thread are gorgeous.

Jmahl

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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Wow! The level of skill has definitely gone up in the past year or so! :smile: Everything on this page looks gorgeous, and those are some very creative flavours, gfron!

I am so excited and honoured to be baking for Alice Medrich (and the ticket holders at her event tomorrow.) I am in charge of three desserts. My co-bakers are Pastry Chef Dana Cree and Pastry Chef Neil Robertson (nightscotsman!) who are each doing three desserts as well.

Here's the spicy linzer tart from her book, Pure Dessert. I haven't had a chance to taste it yet, obviously, but the dough scraps were dee-lish!

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Here's the Italian chocolate almond torte. Very simple--just egg whites, sugar, unsweetened chocolate, and ground almonds. I'll dust it with cocoa tomorrow before serving.

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Edited by Ling (log)
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I've just started baking from Medrich's Pure Dessert. I love her almond cake, and although I sort of like the Italian chocolate almond torte, it seems a little too much like a version of brownies. Very good brownies, very fancy brownies, but still too much like a brownie in terms of flavor and texture. I've baked it three times now with slight variations in, say, more finely-ground amonds and chocolate and a bit of flavoring, but it always ends up sort of too brownie-like.

I'd like to find a chocolate dessert as airy and as light as that, though, but with a little less of the brownie overtones. Anybody have something?

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Devlin: I don't think mine turned out like brownies (although I haven't tasted it yet.) I didn't even have cream of tartar at home, but I think I usually do a pretty good job of minimally deflating the egg whites. In fact, the cake rose so high in the oven, it collapsed a little bit after it cooled. You can't tell from the picture, but the edges are about .5" higher than the center of the cake. Did yours turn out like that? I hope it's good...guess I'll find out tonight!

Lior: did you find the same recipe? I can paraphrase it for you if you didn't find the same one. This one has 7 egg whites and 7 oz. of unsweetened chocolate.

Here are the pecan polvorones. Kind of rustic-looking, but I guess that's the point?

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Edited by Ling (log)
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Devlin: I don't think mine turned out like brownies (although I haven't tasted it yet.) I didn't even have cream of tartar at home, but I think I usually do a pretty good job of minimally deflating the egg whites. In fact, the cake rose so high in the oven, it collapsed a little bit after it cooled. You can't tell from the picture, but the edges are about .5" higher than the center of the cake. Did yours turn out like that? I hope it's good...guess I'll find out tonight!

Well, when I say mine reminded me of brownies, I meant more that the flavor and even the texture in some ways reminded me of brownies. The torte itself was light and airy and rose like mad, and from what I can tell from your photo, ours look identical, so it's not that it was dense or chewey or thick. I can't explain it really. It just wasn't quite what I'd thought it would be. And it tasted like brownies. Good brownies, but that's not quite what I was looking for.

Edited by devlin (log)
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The Alice Medrich event was a lot of fun. There was a food writer there for the Seattle PI and a photographer, so I think the article will be in Friday's paper.

Alice was really sweet and very friendly. She even took us all out for late night food at Café Presse after the event! About an hour after the event started, Kim Ricketts introduced us and we were supposed to talk about each of the desserts we made. When I was describing my desserts to the people there, I mentioned that you could adapt the Linzer tart to your tastes and use spices such as white pepper and/or cardamom in addition to (or instead of) the cinnamon and cloves the recipe calls for and Alice loved that idea! She said she is going to try it at home.

Here's Dana, Alice, me, and Neil

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cutting the Linzer tart

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Neil's saffron cardamom panna cotta

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Neil's chestnut walnut meringue

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Neil also made the tiniest, cutest ice-cream cones using the tropical lace tuiles and the sour cream ice-cream. I am so sorry I didn't get a picture of that! They were one of my favourite items.

Dana's citrus chocolate tart with jasmine cream

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Dana also made the "New Bittersweet brownies", the lemon bars (also one of my favourites), the gingersnaps, and the twice-baked shortbread seen here:

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Here are some of the items on the buffet table (some of the items were in the kitchen and extras were covered and held on the back porch because there was not enough room!)

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Thanks for sharing that Ling! Beautiful sweets and it sounds like it was a great time!

Here's what I made the other day - Chocolate-Peppermint Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars. The base is made out of those Candy Cane Joe-Joe's from Trader Joe's (their version of Oreo's, except they have a peppermint creme filling).

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These were intense chocolate bars with a pound of chocolate in the filling and another half in the glaze! The candy canes on top were more for decoration than anything, but the people who enjoyed these today loved snacking on them after they devoured the bars!

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The Alice Medrich event was a lot of fun. There was a food writer there for the Seattle PI and a photographer, so I think the article will be in Friday's paper.

Ling, it's all so beautiful, and it looks like a fabulous time.

I was wondering what you thought about the Italian chocolate almond torte. Did it meet your expectations? Did you like it? I'm curious whether your experience after tasting was anything like mine.

And have you tried her almond cake from the same book? It's kind of to die for.

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^I didn't care so much for the Italian chocolate almond torte, although one lady there came up to me and said that was her favourite on the table, and her friend's favourite as well. Neil also liked the torte--he said it was light, but rich (with the nuts and chocolate). He said it was better than "the other sponge" in the book (I am not sure which recipe he was referring to, maybe the almond cake you're talking about? I haven't made that recipe yet so I don't know what it tastes like.)

I definitely didn't think the torte was brownie-like (at least, not like the brownies I make.) :smile: I mentioned earlier that the torte was from a list of desserts from the book that Alice suggested we make for the party so I'm guessing it's one of her favourites.

From the party, I thought the best recipes were:

-spicy Linzer tart (I did use 3/4 cup of raspberry jam instead of the 2/3 cup she specified to cover the bottom of the tart, and I would also use a low-sugar one next time. This was a favourite on the table.)

-lemon bars (also a favourite that went very quickly)

-sour cream ice-cream (Neil says this is one he'll definitely make again)

I didn't care too much for the "New Bittersweet brownies". I like more chocolate in my brownies. The pecan polvorones were quite tasty, but I did have to use a bit of extra melted butter (about 2.5 tbsp) because they wouldn't hold together with the amount of butter Alice specifies. (I checked online and her recipe has about half the amount of butter compared to other recipes for those type of cookies.) Neil also adjusted the amount of saffron/cardamom in the panna cotta, and Dana said she made her recipes with no adjustments.

Edited by Ling (log)
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Made a batch of Biscotti this morning - not very fancy but really good. Lots of eggs, butter, nuts and fruit.

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After making biscotti for over ten years I didn't make any chocolete or marble biscotti this time. - There was no chocolete in the house when I got started this morning.

Ling - your stuff is always impressive. BRAVO.

Jmahl

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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Bitter cold and snowy here in Buffalo, so I screwed up my courage to try making macarons for the first time. Despite my food processor's feeble attempts at finely grinding the almonds, I think they turned out pretty well:

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Then I filled them with sea salt caramel. Yummy!

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There are definitely things I'll do differently next time -probably use almond meal, cook the caramel a bit darker, and use butter that hasn't been sitting in my fridge for months (bit of an off taste, to say the least).

Done properly, these little guys, and variations thereon, are definitely going into my holiday gifts this year!

Patty

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patris, those look perfect! Too bad about the butter. The description, with the sea salt caramel's makin me drool now (ignoring the butter detail). I would love to be able to make them but blanched almonds really clean out my wallet. Case in point:

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Made an Opera cake for my birthday and served it to my friends with dinner (recipe from Paris Sweets by Dorie Greenspan). Thought I'd push whatever baking skills I acquired in the last few months since I graduated to the limit (okay, I'm sure this isn't the hardest thing on the menu... but my pans and utensils aren't that many! I used a frakkin blender to grind those blasted almonds!). :smile:

As you can see one of the joconde's noticeably thicker. I must live on a slope or something (or too blind to even out the batter in one direction). Also, my pans were not as large as stated in the recipe, so ++ thicker. Sorry to those who think glacage looks cheap, but I've never tried it before, and I really love how it looks, since my ganache smoothing skills leave a lot to be desired. Thank God some of my friends actually loved the glacage's taste! I got the recipe from CakeChef (same as gfron1, I think, following his instructions on temperatures-- but I did it from start to finish in the microwave).

(Asking you guys now what to do with extra glacage, beside eat it like a cocoa jelly)

Edited by jumanggy (log)

Mark

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

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Thanks, junehl! Actually? Assembling's no problem. Making joconde's scary at first but turned out okay. The most annoying part's grinding your own almonds-- spent an hour on it-- but if I had access to fresh almond flour, it's a breeze :smile:

Mark

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

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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