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Old 10-08-2011, 09:13 PM   #586
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I always try to get corner pieces with balloons or whatever on them if possible, with regard to cake. The more frosting the better. Then I usually eat all of the cake out and leave the frosting for the end. Sugar rush.
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:45 PM   #587
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My wife says she can't stand how sweet I like my sweet things. She can't stand how sour I like my sour things. When I make juice from concentrate, I only put 2/3rds of the water recommended.
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:24 AM   #588
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oh eww, i'm not a fan of the whipped frosting

ya. no bueno.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:29 AM   #589
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Ok all this blondie talk has got to me so I've just ordered a brownie tin off ebay haha
It looks quite good - the base comes out and lifts up and there's this divider thing to make 18 compartments so you end up with individual brownies - cannot wait to try it!
oh yeah, i've seen commercials for those. i don't like them because then every piece is a corner piece

re: all this frosting talk, don't anyone think i don't like sweet stuff. you should see how much sugar i put in my tea, haha.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:43 PM   #590
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it was funny, after i moved to France, when my kids had their first birthdays here, i made their cakes and iced them how i used to do them in England, decorated with brightly coloured fondant icing based on different themes - all the English kids (and parents!) at home used to LOVE birthday cakes like that, but here, the French kids wouldn't touch the icing - they had a nibble and found it too sugary, and would only eat the cake! - in England it never seemed to be the cake that mattered but more how it was decorated!! but here it was the opposite - the cake had to taste good! so after that, for my kids parties i would always ice their cakes with chocolate ganache, and if i wanted bright colours i would have to use white chocolate and colour it, and that way it all got eaten... my French friends here hadn't had "frosting" before and have been intrigued when i've made them cupcakes lol!! it's even quite hard getting hold of baking supplies and colouring pastes etc here, ingredients that are readily available in the UK - i think the French are still quite snooty about their own traditional patisseries (quite rightly though because they are astounding!!) and tend to order special cakes for special occasions from a good bakery, whereas i do all my own baking... i do love experimenting on my friends though with my non-French recipes haha
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:58 PM   #591
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French and Italian meringue buttercream tastes so much better than the powdered sugar/shortening mix that most people are used to. Simple buttercream is definitely much easier to work with than a meringue based buttercream but I can't stand it. I had to make 100 vegan cupcakes yesterday and everyone loved the buttercream because there was so much powdered sugar and shortening in it that it reminded them of grocery store frosting. That's what I aim for as a pastry chef
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:19 PM   #592
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I really don't like shortening (like Crisco) in frosting, especially if I can tell that there's a lot in there. If it's not noticeable, then I don't mind as much.

I used to work in a deli where I had to make whoopie pies, and the frosting recipe was powdered sugar, powdered whipped topping mix, and a whole lot of Crisco. The cake part for all the flavors except chocolate was a boxed cake mix, some eggs, and more Crisco. Nasty.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:16 PM   #593
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French and Italian meringue buttercream tastes so much better than the powdered sugar/shortening mix that most people are used to. Simple buttercream is definitely much easier to work with than a meringue based buttercream but I can't stand it. I had to make 100 vegan cupcakes yesterday and everyone loved the buttercream because there was so much powdered sugar and shortening in it that it reminded them of grocery store frosting. That's what I aim for as a pastry chef
I use a French buttercream recipe for my yule log every year - i've got 2 recipes which (according to the recipe book) produce very similar results - one is the traditional meringue based recipe which i haven't dared try as i'm not very confident with boiling sugar lol! but the other recipe is fabulous and based on a "creme anglaise" recipe but with a higher proportion of eggs and sugar to milk, so the finished result is much lighter than a creme anglaise and it sets beautifully and is wonderful to ice with... i make it in large quantities and freeze any extra... i really can't eat simple icing sugar/shortening frosting, just can't do it! another frosting i do for cupcakes is with an egg white and sugar in a saucepan which you whisk while it's cooking - it's really easy, and i can manage that one - it's from my mother's old recipe book from the 1970s... that makes a super light meringue type frosting without too much pain lol! and you can add food colourings if you're quick and make it really pretty...

here is a piccie of my yule log with the French buttercream which i flavoured with melted chocolate: (excuse the decorative royal icing rhinos my kids made - i let them have free rein with putting the decorations on and making shapes with the extra green icing and they decided that the cake needed festive rhinos to go with the ivy )



this is also an old photo of my egg white and sugar frosting with pink food colouring paste - it was still a bit runny when i took the pic and hadn't firmed up yet, but does sets nicely... it isn't as thick to pipe as normal frosting with shortening - i think i should've let it cool and solidify a bit more, but i always rush too much so everything always looks a bit lopsided lol!!!

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Old 10-09-2011, 04:34 PM   #594
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I don't know why I said French...I never make that. I make Swiss all the time, which is what you mentioned with cooking the egg whites. I really love Italian the best, which is the one where you have have to cook the sugar. Cooking sugar is really easy if you take your time prepping your pot properly.

That's an awesome picture! My boss asked me if I've ever made yule logs, which I have, so I think I'm going to make some for work. But I like to make mine with meringue and then torch the heck out of it What do you put inside yours?
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:51 PM   #595
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thanks!!! oooh torched meringue sounds really really good!!!

i use a "Joconde" sponge which the whole family loves - i've tried lots of different recipes over the years and that one was voted the family favourite some years ago, so it's now become a family tradition lol! it's super light and i find the almond/sugar powder gives it a really nice flavour... i've tried it with a Genoise sponge as well, but definitely prefer the Joconde...

i brush the sponge with a heavy sugar syrup which you can also flavour with rum, and then i spread it with some of the chocolate French buttercream i mentioned above, roll it up, brush again with the heavy sugar (+/- rum), trim the ends off, position them on the sides as "stumps", stuck on with more buttercream, and then cover the whole log with the buttercream and make the bark with a fork... i end up spending all of Christmas Eve afternoon making my Yule Log from scratch, so i always make enough for 2 cakes and freeze the extra sponge and buttercream ready for New Year's Eve as well... i also like to cut the second Joconde sheet into 4 small rectangles and layer it up into a Clichy but using coffee buttercream - that's really good too!

my French baking bible is called "The Art of the Cake" by Bruce Healy and Paul Bugat - it's an awesome book as it breaks everything right down - it has everything in there, and the measurements are given in g, lbs and cups so anyone can use it! i had it for a few years but didn't dare attempt to bake anything from it until a friend asked me to make a "Fraisier" for her birthday party, which i'd never made before, didn't even know exactly what one was lol!! but the book was brilliant, and the explanations were very clear, so it feels much less daunting now!
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:04 PM   #596
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I've seen that book before...maybe next time I go to a bookstore I will take a closer look at it. I agree, a Joconde is much better to use for a yule log or roulade than a Genoise. I make a lot of Genoise sheets and there's no way I'd want to try to roll it into a log. I've never done the yule with rum. That sounds delicious! I was thinking about doing mine with raspberry jam and covering it with chocolate mousse and maybe adding some raspberries to the mousse. I suppose I could brush mine with Chambord

Torched meringue makes me really happy. I adore lemon meringue. It's one of the few desserts I make that I would actually eat.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:06 PM   #597
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i love lemon meringue pie! it's one of my favourite things to make and eat haha - last one i made though was for a dinner party - i have to say it looked beautiful - but the host dropped it in the kitchen and brought it to the table all smashed up and sorry-looking - i seriously nearly cried haha
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:30 AM   #598
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I've seen that book before...maybe next time I go to a bookstore I will take a closer look at it. I agree, a Joconde is much better to use for a yule log or roulade than a Genoise. I make a lot of Genoise sheets and there's no way I'd want to try to roll it into a log. I've never done the yule with rum. That sounds delicious! I was thinking about doing mine with raspberry jam and covering it with chocolate mousse and maybe adding some raspberries to the mousse. I suppose I could brush mine with Chambord
send me a piece please?
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:12 AM   #599
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Oh GOD!


mama cass if you like doing buns, ever tried choc and mint pieces on top? thing is, what I had was not icing, it was like........something else. LOL!
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:37 AM   #600
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this is also an old photo of my egg white and sugar frosting with pink food colouring paste - it was still a bit runny when i took the pic and hadn't firmed up yet, but does sets nicely... it isn't as thick to pipe as normal frosting with shortening - i think i should've let it cool and solidify a bit more, but i always rush too much so everything always looks a bit lopsided lol!!!


did you add this photo later on I didn't see it yesterday! You can pipe warm meringue. In fact, the quicker you use it the better it will look on your product. Maybe it wasn't whipped long enough. Do you mix it in your mixer after you take it off the stove?

I always cook my sugar and make an Italian meringue because that helps keep whatever shape you've pipped stable. Also, sometimes even the tiny drop of color you've added is too much moisture and will cause your meringue to be runny, but I've never had that trouble using Italian meringue.
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