Author Topic: Secrets from a Baker  (Read 29812 times)

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Zilla

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2012, 08:29:37 AM »
Custard pies.


I can make flan perfectly.


But custard pies eludes me.  It comes out almost scrambled and not creamy like custard should.


Any ideas why?

Try using room temp eggs. That worked for me.


I was talking with a friend of mine last night and she remarked that custard pie might be very different from flan.  (we never had custard pie)


I am expecting a creamy almost jello like consistency.  Is custard pie like that?  And does it get that slight greasy top? (flan doesn't)

PastryGoddess

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2012, 08:57:52 AM »
.....Swiss Meringue Icing!


Recipe:
  • 2 cups or 1/2 L Whites
  • 2.5 pounds of sugar
  • 2.5 pounds of butter, cut into small chunks.  put in fridge or freezer
  • Heat the whites and sugar together over a double boiler. 
  • Stir frequently until sugar is dissolved and/ or temp reaches 140.  If you do not have a thermometer, there should be steam coming off of the mixture
  • put in mixing bowl and mix on MEDIUM for about 10 min and on HIGH FOR 20.
  • Turn speed down to LOW and start adding cold butter one chunk at a time
  • Once all butter is in, mix on LOW for 5 min then crank up to HIGH for 20 min
  • Voila!! You now have Swiss Meringue Icing
Keep away from all children, husbands, and dogs.

Wow! That's enough meringue for an army.

Q; I thought Swiss meringue was the one where you add the sugar in syrup form to the whites while beating?
That's what I use for Swiss meringue icing. Comes out heavenly.
That's Italian Meringue, even more dreamy, but not everyone is comfortable pouring boiling hot sugar into egg whites ya know :)

You can use your same recipe with my SM Icing method and it'll come out dreamy

General Jinjur

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2012, 11:40:14 AM »
Custard pies.


I can make flan perfectly.


But custard pies eludes me.  It comes out almost scrambled and not creamy like custard should.


Any ideas why?

Try using room temp eggs. That worked for me.


I was talking with a friend of mine last night and she remarked that custard pie might be very different from flan.  (we never had custard pie)


I am expecting a creamy almost jello like consistency.  Is custard pie like that?  And does it get that slight greasy top? (flan doesn't)

It's not terribly different from flan, but yes, the consistency isn't quite the same. It's softer and not jello-like at all.  It is supposed to be smooth and well-incorporated, though, not scrambly! I ruined a delicious coconut custard once that way.

Foureyesonemouth

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2012, 03:41:29 PM »
Thank you all for the tips on the cheesecake. I will have to give those a try.

SoCalVal

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2012, 09:44:10 PM »
Thank you also from me for the cheesecake tips (although I'm wondering why not to use a springform pan?).  I've been trying to get around to making the pumpkin cheesecake I meant to make at Christmas-time.  Then, it got to Easter so I was going to make a lemon-marbled cheesecake, but only got as far as making the lemon curd.  I'm hoping to get it done tomorrow and appreciate all the tips, especially about the water bath since I forgot about that one but also when to add the eggs and cooling in the oven (however, I don't have a cake pan with a removable bottom and don't want to have to run out and buy one so my springform pan will have to do).



HoneyBee42

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #35 on: April 15, 2012, 12:49:53 AM »
I want to make my own donuts. Is it better to buy a donut iron (similar to a waffle iron) or to buy a donut pan so I can bake them in the oven?
Um ... my advice would be neither.  A nice deep pan with some oil (if you're doing an old-fashioned, heat the oil to 325; yeast, 350; cake 370).

Generally speaking, for an old-fashioned, once they float, fry for 15 seconds, flip, fry for about 75-90 seconds (watch carefully for the golden brown color), flip again and fry for another 60-75).  Yeast donuts will fry for about 30 seconds per side (and only turn the once).  Cake donuts fry for about 60 seconds per side.


Foureyesonemouth

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #36 on: April 15, 2012, 05:51:28 PM »
Thank you also from me for the cheesecake tips (although I'm wondering why not to use a springform pan?).  I've been trying to get around to making the pumpkin cheesecake I meant to make at Christmas-time.  Then, it got to Easter so I was going to make a lemon-marbled cheesecake, but only got as far as making the lemon curd.  I'm hoping to get it done tomorrow and appreciate all the tips, especially about the water bath since I forgot about that one but also when to add the eggs and cooling in the oven (however, I don't have a cake pan with a removable bottom and don't want to have to run out and buy one so my springform pan will have to do).

Southern Living's pecan-pumpkin cheesecake with the caramel top?

PastryGoddess

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2012, 08:50:00 PM »
Thank you also from me for the cheesecake tips (although I'm wondering why not to use a springform pan?).  I've been trying to get around to making the pumpkin cheesecake I meant to make at Christmas-time.  Then, it got to Easter so I was going to make a lemon-marbled cheesecake, but only got as far as making the lemon curd.  I'm hoping to get it done tomorrow and appreciate all the tips, especially about the water bath since I forgot about that one but also when to add the eggs and cooling in the oven (however, I don't have a cake pan with a removable bottom and don't want to have to run out and buy one so my springform pan will have to do).

If you put a springform pan in a waterbath, you'll get water in your cheesecake, which will ruin it. Unless I'm thinking of a different type of springform pan.  If you follow the tips above, you will be able to flip the cheesecake out of the pan while it is still cold from the fridge.  If you are really worried about sticking you can put foil or parchment around the sides and bottom, but you shouldn't need it.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2012, 10:02:39 AM »
I just came across an article about how to avoid cracks in your cheesecake:

Use a waterbath.  Go ahead and use your springform pan but use aluminum foil around the outside to make it watertight so no water would seep in.  And finally, once you take it out of the oven, run a sharp, narrow bladed knife around the outside edge to loosen it from the pan.  Then let it cool.  If you don't do this, sometimes the cheesecake will cling to the side of the pan and will cause cracking as it cools.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2012, 10:31:04 AM »
Thread created to transfer knowledge of baking practices, tips, and tricks. Please feel free to post your questions

Please tell me more about pouring sugar syrup onto  cake layers to make it moist?  How much sugar syrup?  I'm talking about your standard 8-inch cake layers, not something industrial-sized.


Dindrane

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2012, 10:46:07 AM »
One thing I learned about baking cookies a long time ago: to get a softer cookie, lower the temperature of the oven and cook them a bit longer.  A higher temperature and shorter cooking time makes them crispier.

I have also made cookies with vegetable shortening, but I sometimes find it more of a hassle than it's worth (since vegetable shortening is not something I use for anything else in my kitchen).  However, the very best cookie recipe in the whole world that I've ever tried comes from the King Arthur Flour Cookbook, and it uses both vegetable shortening and butter.  The cookies end up ever so slightly crisp on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside.  They're wonderful.


PastryGoddess

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #41 on: April 16, 2012, 11:56:06 AM »
Thread created to transfer knowledge of baking practices, tips, and tricks. Please feel free to post your questions

Please tell me more about pouring sugar syrup onto  cake layers to make it moist?  How much sugar syrup?  I'm talking about your standard 8-inch cake layers, not something industrial-sized.

My rule of thumb is about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of simple syrup for each layer of cake.  You can flavor the syrup with any number of extracts.  Vanilla is always a good one.  If you are filling it with fresh berries or jam, lemon or ginger are good flavor enhancers.  For citrus fillings, ginger or cinnamon flavoring works well.  If you want to add alcohol, do a half syrup and half alcohol ratio...or not and just use straight booze :)

wheeitsme

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #42 on: April 16, 2012, 01:08:26 PM »
Thread created to transfer knowledge of baking practices, tips, and tricks. Please feel free to post your questions

Please tell me more about pouring sugar syrup onto  cake layers to make it moist?  How much sugar syrup?  I'm talking about your standard 8-inch cake layers, not something industrial-sized.

When I worked at the bakery, it was 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water.  Boil until dissolved.
When cool, flavor with extracts, alcohol, etc.
Using a food-safe paint brush, dip brush in syrup and brush on the top of each layer.

We usually used used rum, Patron Citronge, vanilla, or nothing at all to flavor the syrup.

alkira6

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #43 on: April 16, 2012, 01:57:51 PM »
Thread created to transfer knowledge of baking practices, tips, and tricks. Please feel free to post your questions

Please tell me more about pouring sugar syrup onto  cake layers to make it moist?  How much sugar syrup?  I'm talking about your standard 8-inch cake layers, not something industrial-sized.

When I worked at the bakery, it was 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water.  Boil until dissolved.
When cool, flavor with extracts, alcohol, etc.
Using a food-safe paint brush, dip brush in syrup and brush on the top of each layer.

We usually used used rum, Patron Citronge, vanilla, or nothing at all to flavor the syrup.

There is a huge difference in taste when you do this. I tried it once when I was in college and now I only don't do this when I make a cake for someone I really don't care for.

Cz. Burrito

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Re: Secrets from a Baker
« Reply #44 on: April 16, 2012, 02:53:35 PM »
I have heard that using vegetable shortening instead of butter can make chocolate chip cookies come out nice and soft. It is a straight across trade? One cup of shortening for one cup of butter?

Yes.  My recipe calls for shortening.  They are fantastic.  Won the red ribbon in my small home town's Fall Fair baking contest three years running.   (It's not a huge achievement - there are usually only half a dozen or so entries.)   :)

If you still want the buttery taste, a friend uses the butter flavoured Crisco.

I use half butter/half shortening.  The butter makes them chewy and the shortening makes them voluminous.