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Anyone know anything about Balkanika coming soon on 9th Ave in HK?

I noticed Balkanika recently, looks appetizing. I've walked by it a couple of times, but (as is too often the case) was already on my way someplace else.

Do they not have a website? I tried looking it up for the menu but I couldn't find anything. There aren't any reviews out there that talk about the food either. I could only find this super short one (http://hellsbellenyc.blogspot.com/201...), and of course, this thread.

Maybe next time I'll ask for a take out menu (if they have one). I like to take my time with them, but when I'm out with people I never want to hold up the group... so reading menus ahead of time has become a really entrenched habit for me.

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Balkanika
691 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

Jun 08, 2010
Demitasse in Manhattan

What have you given up trying to cook?

Caramel. I made rock the first couple of tries and a weird frosting in my last attempt. I read that using a thermometer helps a lot, but I still feel like that's overdoing it. It's just cooking sugar, isn't it? It sounds like it should be so simple... and yet I've never made caramel that was remotely salvageable.
Oh well, you win some...

Mar 10, 2009
Demitasse in General Topics

What have you given up trying to cook?

The same thing happens to me all the time... sometimes I tweak intentionally ("I wonder what if I..."), others purely by accident ("oops, there was cinnamon in that chocolate?"), sometimes to lovely surprises ("hey what did you put in this to make it a little spicy?"), and unfortunately some total flops (*i like to forget those happened*). Maybe most importantly, I invariably learn something--and that's always good, right?

Mar 10, 2009
Demitasse in General Topics

Hiding Your Face on Facebook

I heard the next one will be about Twitter.

Mar 10, 2009
Demitasse in Features

Salted Caramel Frosting

Salted caramel was my first attempt at a frosting. It tasted great but I'd go easier on the butter next time.

One unfortunate thing was that it came out very gooey and flat, less like a frosting and more like a... melty dulce de leche type thing, only not really. I don't think it was related to the recipe, more likely it was just bad technique on my part. What are some common reasons why frosting can fail to fluff up nicely? I'll try making it again sometime, but hopefully without repeating the same mistakes.

Sep 20, 2008
Demitasse in Recipes

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Made these cupcakes yesterday and they turned out ok, but not sensational. Here are some things I learned in the process that could be useful for the next person to try it:
1) The vanilla flavor I got out of the bean was very mild, so I recommend adding 1 or 1.5tsp to your mix in step 5. If you're not queasy about tasting batter with raw egg in it, that would probably be a good time to do it. You can then decide whether it needs the added flavor.
2) Like JasmineG commented above, I also noticed my cupcakes came out smallish, so making 20 instead of 24 would be a good idea. I was just using your standard issue cupcake tray, nothing bigger than normal.
3) Emilies and NYchowcook point out that the recipe may call for too much salt. I agree though none of my customers complained when they devoured theirs. I probably wouldn't go as low as 1/2tsp though, more like 1tsp. Remember if you are using regular salt instead of kosher (which has a larger grain), you need a pinch less since it packs tighter.

Rasam - I used all-purpose flour instead of cake with good results. Using a substitution trick I found online (just search for cake flour substitutions and you'll probably find the same ones), my cupcakes came out fine: soft, springy and with good crumb. The general rule I followed was to measure 1cup all-purpose, remove 2tbsp, and replace with 2tbsp cornstarch. Alternatively, measure 1/4 cornstarch, then fill the rest of the measuring cup with all-purpose until you reach the 2cup mark.

If you can find cake flour though, that's probably better than my sub, but I had to make do with it since I couldn't get my hands on the real thing. Hope that helps!

Sep 20, 2008
Demitasse in Recipes