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Posts by CowtownBrewster

Where did you run into trouble the first time 'round?   There are several different ways; the 'traditional' technique is to take a big chunk of butter, smash it into a square shape, wrap it in dough, and then just keep chilling, rolling and folding until you have the number of layers you'd like.  There's a great little tutorial for it here: http://www.joepastry.com/category/techniques/laminating-dough/   That's the way your teacher is going to want you to do it,...
Hey slepax, I can think of three possibilities off the top of my head.   First, you could have cooked your egg yolks with the heat from the cream, which would definitely give you a lumpy texture.  There's not really much you can do about cooked egg, unfortunately - on the plus side, this mixture can still be used in cookies! The second option is that your chocolate has seized; this happens when chocolate comes into contact with water, but it doesn't usually...
Thanks Pete, that's a really helpful article!  I keep meaning to read up for my wine knowledge, and I always get distracted.  Traditional ciders, like you mentioned, are a lovely alternative and I'm so glad you suggested them (I completely forgot about it =P)   mano, carbonation and hop bitterness are widely accepted tools in helping to clean the palate and aid digestion (many wine judging panels use sparkling water in between entries for this very reason).  They...
Oh geez - I could probably write about this for ages, but I’ll try not to go on for TOO too long. I am assuming that, considering the time of year, we are talking about thanksgiving?   First off, I’m going to advocate my (biased) opinion for beer over wine for thanksgiving meals - the carbonation and hop bitterness help ‘scrub’ the palate far better than grape wine will be able to, and should help elevate the entire flavour brigade for this adventure.     I’ll be...
Hi caejam;   Melted chocolate and cocoa will act differently in your baking; while cocoa powder is just cocoa solids, chocolate is a combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar (plus some emulsifiers and preservatives, usually).     It's not too difficult to substitute one for the other; cocoa to chocolate= take out some fat and sugar from the recipe, and chocolate to cocoa= add some more fat and sugar to the recipe.  The texture will never be exactly...
Hi Mei, shortening can usually be found at any local supermarket in the baking supplies; Crisco is a pretty common brand name.    If it's for buttercream though, consider using actual butter; hydrogenated vegetable fat (ie. shortening) doesn't actually melt at body temperature, and so you will often get a sensation of your tongue and mouth being covered in a 'film' of fat, if you use it exclusively. Butter (or even margarine or a coconut oil blend if you want vegan...
chefedb, Barb, Kippers, glad I could help, and thanks for the commendation!   Prettycake; for the record, it's 'she' is a beverage expert , and brewer (ie. beer) to be more precise.  I've dabbled on and off as pastry chef and-or baker for several years, so I take a tenuous prerogative to post in the pros' side of things.
Hi Sonya; are you using a muffin or creaming method for mixing up those cupcakes?  http://pastrychefonline.com/mixing-methods/   If creaming, you maybe need to be adding in your dry and wet ingredients in 'stages' - blend each separately, and then add them only half or a third at a time, alternating dry and wet.  This might help incorporate all the ingredients without altering the gluten production too much.   If you're using the muffin method, small batches...
Chana Ruth, have you tried adding some oil or honey to the recipe?  They will impede gluten chain formation, and will help the dough rise and result in a lighter crumb, if that's the texture you're looking for.   Siduri is correct; adding more yeast will speed things up, and make them harder to control.  You probably want ideally two rests - after the initial kneading (I usually hand knead for about 5min for challah) you want to cover it and let it rest until it's...
Check out 'The Brewmaster's Table' by Garrett Oliver to start with.  Then stop by your local breweries and speak to the brewers; ask them what they eat beside each beer.  The general principles for pairing (similarly to wine) are complement, contrast, or compound.   You can have two contrasting tastes to enhance one against the other and highlight the combination (eg. a nice bitter IPA with vanilla ice cream)   You can compound a taste, to increase the total...
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