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40 posts in this topic
I've been requested to make a cake inspired by Prince circa the Purple Rain era - "a riot of purple" and white ruffles like the shirt he wore. I have little experience with fondant, am planning to use marshmallow fondant (melted marshmallows + powdered sugar). Does anyone have any tricks to making the ruffles perky and 3-D? Should I drape them over something the day before and let them dry? I want them to add dimension. Thanks!
A Wolf, a Viking, and a French macaron walk into a bar...
I'm frustrated! The restaurant kitchen has two gas convection ovens, a Wolf with a 6-burner top and a Viking with a French flat top top. The Wolf has long been the pastry oven and I've baked approximately a zillion things in it, including a few thousand French macarons. Unfortunately the Wolf has been out of commission and I'm left with the Viking. The cream puffs, brownies, and shortbread have been baking fine, but I've had two batches of French macaron with really poor foot development and some cracking on top. I made a batch today and gave at least a third of the shells to staff because of poor rise. I don't think I rushed the drying, they seemed appropriately skinned-over before baking. It's a nice sunny day and I've made plenty of macarons in the rain so I don't think it's the weather. The Viking seems like a moister heat when I open the oven, is it possible that one make of oven would create a more humid heat, or have I simply lost my macaron mojo? Help!
What went wrong with these cookies?
By Nancy in Pátzcuaro
Last night I made "Fudgy Chocolate-Walnut Cookies (flourless)" for a Seder dinner tonight. What emerged from the oven weren't cookies at all, but rather a crisp puddle with vaguely cookie-shaped broken pieces floating on it. Tastes wonderful, but looks pretty bad. No photos--too ugly.
The recipe includes 9 oz. toasted walnuts chopped very fine in the food processor, 3 cups confectioner's sugar, 1/2 cup + 3 Tbs. Dutch process cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 Tbs. vanilla, and 4 egg whites (unwhipped) . The instructions say to preheat the oven to 350 and bake for 20 minutes.
My first thought is that the oven temperature is too high for anything with egg whites in it. Any other ideas? I will try this again at a lower temperature, but there's no time to do it today (plus I'm out of both walnuts and confectioner's sugar). I'll bring them tonight, but it's a little embarrassing to have to break this big dark brown cookie/cracker into uneven pieces to serve it.
Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks--
Nancy in Pátzcuaro
Rich pastry cream filling: I mean REALLY, REALLY rich
I well remember the first time I made DH a Boston Cream Pie. And I thought he would be so happy. I think I followed a Martha Stewart recipe.
But no. He is the son of a French-Canadian cooking, baking, Mother and if you know anything about French-Canadian cooking, Sugar Pie is a regular feature. And pure pork Tortiere. DH grew up on Millefeuille and Napoleons and Rhubarb Pie which had so much sugar in it that you couldn't taste the rhubarb. (Sorry, dear departed M-i-L.) And so my cream filling simply wasn't rich enough. Make it richer, he said, Like my Mother did.
And so I am asking. Take your regular Creme Patisserie and add what to it to make it 'richer'? Butter? Several tablespoons? I've Googled 'very rich pastry cream filling' and can't get back the usual egg, cream...and maybe a smidgen of butter...recipes.
Whipping creme anglaise
I'm making the citron cream recipe in Migoya's Elements of Desserts (p318/9?).
It says to cook the anglaise to 85 degrees, place on an ice bath then whip the anglaise. I've done that but it doesn't seem to whip (let alone to a medium peak).
This is a new technique I've not tried before so I'm at a loss. Anyone have any ideas?
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