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Corn-syrup substitute for chocolate glaze (for chocolate tart)?

Hello dear people—

I would love to know if you know of a replacement for corn syrup for the chocolate ganache used to glaze a chocolate tart. I'd really like to have that glossy look the glaze gives, but don't want to buy corn-syrup since I don't use it much. Is the corn-syrup for shine or viscosity? Would honey work instead?

Incidentally, if anyone has a favorite recipe for the chocolate filling inside the tart, I'd love to see it. Are there any advantages/disadvantages to making a mouse and chilling it in the pre-baked shell (per Thomas Keller's recipe in Bouchon) rather than baking the filling in the shell, like a custard?

Thanks!

Aug 31, 2013
david_ipse in Home Cooking

Where to find chickpea flour?

I get the Sadaf brand here in CA. Iranian recipes use two different kinds of chickpea flour—flour made from roasted or non-roasted chickpeas. The roasted variety is used for sweets (e.g. cardamom-spiced chickpea cookies—the best!), while the non-roasted variety, which is too bitter for sweets, is used in savory cooking. I've only found the non-roasted variety used in Indian food, mostly in pakora batter, so I'd make sure the flour is the kind you want wherever you end up getting it. Good luck

Apr 11, 2013
david_ipse in Greater Boston Area

First attempt at layered cake - Lots of questions!

Thanks :)

For the gelee cubes, I used 1 envelope of knox gelatine per 1 cup of fruit juice. I used half raspberry puree, half sparkling water, and some sugar for the raspberry gelee, and for the lemon one I made lemonade with the rest of the sparkling water. Chill, unmold (might need to warm the bottom of gelee mold in some warm water to release), and cut!

Apr 06, 2013
david_ipse in Home Cooking

First attempt at layered cake - Lots of questions!

Sounds fun (and so fine) to me. I had to improvise a bunch while making the layers and fillings, thickening here and thinning out there.

I did have fun making this but think you're right re starting it with right equipment and rested recipes. Next time :)

Apr 06, 2013
david_ipse in Home Cooking

First attempt at layered cake - Lots of questions!

O and I tried candying lemon slices yesterday for garnish, but forgot to turn the flame off when I was going to TJ's to get eggs for the cake and ended up with pure carbon ;/

Apr 06, 2013
david_ipse in Home Cooking

First attempt at layered cake - Lots of questions!

So yesterday night I set out to make the raspberry meringue layer. Thinking I’ll need to fortify it somehow to make it withstand the filling that’d go on top, and because I’d been reading dacquoise recipes lately, I decided to fold in some almond meal into the whipped egg whites. Well the layer cooked and although it’s not crisp, I think the chewy texture will be fine in between the two layers of sponge cake I made this morning. For the top layer I used Julia Child’s recipe for genoise (lemon flavoring and poppy seeds added). For the bottom layer (lemon sans poppyseed), I just doubled her quantities, but this time whipped the egg whites separately.

I made raspberry curd with 3 eggs and 3 yolks, a cup of pureed berries, lemon juice and a little corn starch, and got rasp jam from TJ’s this morning. Ended up like this, bottom to top:

- Lemon sponge cake
- Raspberry jam
- Raspberry “meringue” (w/ almond meal)
- Raspberry curd
- Lemon poppy seed genoise

Then I consulted my roommate (whose birthday it is) re whether frost it or not. She said she doesn’t like buttercream, so instead we whipped up some cream with lemon zest and extract and a little turmeric for color and a tiny bit of rosewater and added cornstarch to stabilize. Then she helped frost the accursed thing. We made a mess and had lots of fun. Then I cubed the lemon and raspberry gelees I’d made last night, and threw them on top of the cake with some fresh berries. It's pretty crowded on top, but I might throw on some mind leaves before serving if the mood strikes :)

Now I’m just hoping the cream doesn’t melt in the fridge (it’s been holding fine so far). We’ll be eating the cake in about 2-3 hours. When should I take it out of the fridge, just before serving or should I allow more time so it can come to room temp?

Thank you all for the useful responses. I learned a lot reading you. Thanks!

Apr 06, 2013
david_ipse in Home Cooking

First attempt at layered cake - Lots of questions!

Thanks for the tips. That trifle idea sounds brilliant! My poor miserable pan will have to do as my kitchen is the size of a public bathroom stall and barely has room for storing one more plate. I'll trim the edges to straighten them up.

Apr 03, 2013
david_ipse in Home Cooking

First attempt at layered cake - Lots of questions!

Holy Peeps. What's with the cult of simplicity. The point isn't to impress my friend but that in the one day I take off from school work I want to learn how to do things I usually don't have time to do (e.g. been wanting to try making spun sugar for quite a while). And if it all fails a nice simple bundt cake is an hour away . . .

Thanks for all the helpful recs . . . I'll pass on the mint except a few leaves for garnish. Photos soon!

Apr 03, 2013
david_ipse in Home Cooking

First attempt at layered cake - Lots of questions!

Hello world—

My friend's birthday is this Saturday and I want to make her a birthday cake. Here are my limitations (besides it being a first timer):

- Many of the guests are of the health conscious kind (which is great), and I don't like buttercream anyway, so I need other options for frosting and filling the cake.

- Lemon and raspberry are my friend's favorite flavors, so I want to make something with those; touch of mint too because it's my favorite flavor :D

- The only cake pan I have is a 9x13 rectangular one, with a ridged bottom and stained sides and bottom, so I'd have to cover the whole thing with parchment (do I still grease the parchment? If so, both sides?): http://shop.circulon.com/store/p/513-9-x-13-Inch-Cake-Pan.html?utm_source=sside&utm_medium=naturalss&utm_campaign=sside

Following is my plan. I could use any make ahead tips you guys have (how long can I refrigerate each component, which ones do I need to make close to serving time, etc.), and also any opinions on whether these layers will work out or if I need to change something. And also any good recipes you have for any of the components.

1: Raspberry meringue (plain vanilla meringue with pureed berries added
)2: Raspberry curd (studded, maybe, with banana slices, because I really like the textural variety they add to cakes when used as filling—or would this be out of place + not keep very well over a day?)
3: Lemon / Poppy Seed sponge cake
5: Thin layer of raspberry fruit leather; or should I use a glaze like this (how would I add raspberry flavor?): http://berry-lovely.blogspot.com/2011...
4: Decorations: Stabilized whipped cream with lemon and mint extracts and rose water, + fresh raspberries, + julienned mint
5: And if I feel like it the day of, some spun sugar to top it off

I don't think I'll frost the sides. Now would the meringue work with the cake?

Thanks everyone. Whew

Apr 03, 2013
david_ipse in Home Cooking

Dill weed water and Peppermint water?

I got these today from a Persian grocery store. I've used rose water, in sweet dishes and rice, and orange blossom water both in sweet and savory, but never dillweed or peppermint water. I assume these are made from the plant blossoms and not the actual herbs (mint or dill)?

As there doesn't seem to be a plethora of information online about these, I'd appreciate any info as to how these are made and as to what to make with them. I'm thinking of adding them to drinks (coffee, tea, cocktails), and I haven't tasted them yet, but assume both wouldn't be bad in salad dressings, and the mint one would probably work nicely in desserts . . . ?

Thanks!

Mar 29, 2013
david_ipse in Home Cooking

Your best "meat sauce" recipe

I've made Marcella Hazan's bolognese (mix of pork and beef, and includes milk). The milk and pork add a really nice sweetness: http://leitesculinaria.com/84057/reci...

This guy Heston Blumenthal adds a bit of star anise to his.

Feb 20, 2013
david_ipse in Home Cooking

Eggs and Toast

When you're beating eggs for scramble, mix in: some tomato sauce; pesto; herbs; scallions.

My fav. is to first saute some chopped onion in the pan, then add 1 tsp turmeric and mix, and then scramble the eggs in the pan, mixing with the onions.

Toast some chopped nuts in the pan and then add the eggs.

Make oeufs en cocotte. This is eggs baked in small ramekins (1-2 egg per ramekin) in a waterbath in the oven. You can add anything you want to the ramekins with the egg: peas, spinach, cream, cooked sausage, etc. Then you make "soldiers" (thin strips of bread) and use them as spoons to eat the softly set eggs.

Feb 20, 2013
david_ipse in Home Cooking

Orange Glaze without Sugar?

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. After seeing all those left-over yolks when I'd made the cake, I gave in and made a thin orange curd and served with the cake and strawberries marinated in orange juice and black pepper. It was alright except that the tiny bit of saffron I'd used in the batter really took over the orange extract flavor, which was barely discernible.

Thanks again.

Feb 16, 2013
david_ipse in Home Cooking

Oats - good for lowering cholesterol....but most recipes use oats in sweet food. Anybody suggest savory dishes using oats?

Substitute for grits or polenta (or any kind of starch: rice, potatoes, etc.). Savory up the oatmeal by sauteing onion or celery or carrots or garlic or ginger in the pan before you add the oats and water. Or add soy sauce, chopped scallions, spices, etc.

Serve with roast chicken with a some of the pan juices drizzled on the oatmeal. Or top with stew. Yum.

For something ore elaborate, I'd look at Middle Eastern recipes for Haleem, Keskek and Harisa for inspiration. These are all thick stews made with meat, veggies, legumes and either coarse wheat or barley. The wheat and barley could be easily replaced with oats.

Feb 14, 2013
david_ipse in Home Cooking

I. Hate. Leftovers!

I don't like the weird off taste of reheated left-over chicken. So I don't reheat. Use it in salads, cold wraps, etc.

Or I reheat it in another dish, e.g. throw it into pasta with tomato sauce, add it to fried rice at the last min. Or use as pizza topping. Or to fold into an omelet, or diced into scrambled eggs.

Left-over cooked veggies work well like this too.

You can parboil rice, drain, layer in pot with left-over meat and seasoning, and steam until rice is cooked (a Persian thing). The steam from the rice helps keep the pre-cooked meat moist, especially if you place a towel between lid and pot.

The only thing I hate to eat when left-over is probably roasted or fried potatoes. Gets leathery soon.

Feb 14, 2013
david_ipse in Home Cooking

Orange Glaze without Sugar?

Most glaze recipes I've seen use confectioner's sugar (added to OJ) as the thickener and, what-do-you-say, sticking agent. Frosting, basically. I want to glaze angel's food cake with something orangey, but how do I thicken it without sugar—so that the glaze doesn't just soak into the cake?

Would blending some apricot jam into the orange juice help? (Maybe the pectin would help set the glaze?) Perhaps add a little corn-starch? What I'm looking for is a light glaze to add some sheen and flavor.

On another note, do you think some grated ginger would work, flavor-wise, in the glaze, or would it be trying too hard? It's so easy to add stuff—orange zest, vanilla, cardamom, liqueur, coconut, etc.—you don't know where to stop . . . sigh

Feb 14, 2013
david_ipse in Home Cooking

Recipes for Tangy, Tart, Sour Food with Much Zing, please . . .?

That adobo sounds great, thanks. Never tried it before but will make tonight.

Aug 07, 2012
david_ipse in Home Cooking

Eggplant and tomatoes

Pasta alla Norma! Eggplants melting in tomato sauce with chili-peppers. Here's Marcela Hazan's recipe: http://www.notderbypie.com/marcella-h...

Aug 07, 2012
david_ipse in Home Cooking

Recipes for Tangy, Tart, Sour Food with Much Zing, please . . .?

If your mother is so fond of lemons, you should present her some underripe grapes (the stuff they make verjus from). They're divine with salt. Also, salt and lemon sprinkled and drizzled over cucumbers or sour apples. Stuck in the library dreaming of these

Aug 07, 2012
david_ipse in Home Cooking

I need help ! extremely picky eater & basically wont eat anything !

She likes chicken nuggets, so I'd try fish nuggets, then slowly switch to unprocessed breaded/battered food, which are similar to nugget in external texture, e.g. cutlets. Battered deep-fried mushrooms, although not exactly healthy, was my mother's way of getting me to start liking mushrooms. In the same way, battered fried shrimp introduced me to seafood. Felafels (deep-fried balls of ground chickpeas or fava beans) also have a nugget-like feel to them.

I'd basically try to mimic the textures and flavors of the "junk" she eats, using healthy (or at least, healthier) ingredients.

Aug 07, 2012
david_ipse in Home Cooking

Recipes for Tangy, Tart, Sour Food with Much Zing, please . . .?

Hello.

As evident from the title, I love tangy, even sour, flavors. After large meals, I peel a lime, halve it, salt it, put the halves together again, chew, and swallow. Very meditative. I snack on tamarind (not the sweet kind, of course) as often as I can. The vinegar/citrus to oil ration in my vinaigrettes is way off, nearly half and half. And I add mustard. And I love tangy pickles. I actually prefer plums under-ripe.

If you know of any recipes, or just ingredients, fresh or processed (e.g. a premade sauce), that you think fits the sort of flavor profile I'm after, please share, and I'd be grateful.

Thanks!

Aug 07, 2012
david_ipse in Home Cooking

Black Chicken (Silkies) — where to buy in the Bay Area?

Great. Thanks. 4.99 per lb. with coupon, not bad: http://www.99ranch.com/coupons_flyers...

Jul 28, 2012
david_ipse in San Francisco Bay Area

Black Chicken (Silkies) — where to buy in the Bay Area?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silkie

Where to I get these bird poodles!? Berkeley would be ideal, but SF, Oakland, etc. is fine too.

How expensive are they, as opposed to good old chicken (i.e.with feathers rather than fur)?

Also, any tested recipes would be appreciated. Although I'm thinking of a plain roast with salt/pepper, as I mainly want to see how this type of chicken tastes vis-a-vis regular chicken. I've read these kiddos are pretty lean, so suggested temp/time for roast would be greatly appreciated too. The recipes I've seen so far (of mostly Asian persuasions) all seem almost too spiced/herbed.

Thanks!

Jul 28, 2012
david_ipse in San Francisco Bay Area