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French Sugar

Bakers who tackle French recipes get stumped by the sugars, which don’t necessarily correspond to the sugars available elsewhere. All supermarkets in France carry white granulated sugar and there’s often unrefined sugars, such as cassonade, which grocers stock and are widely-available. In America and elsewhere, bakers often have to do a bit of hunting around to find the corresponding sugar. French brown sugars are quite…

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Over the years, a number of people have asked if it was possible to bring a KitchenAid mixer from the United States to Europe, and use it here. I certainly couldn’t live without my 5-quart mixer, and since they’re less-expensive in America than they are abroad (because of the electrical modifications and shipping), many folks, naturally, want to know if they can bring their mixer…

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To Use Powdered Gelatin -Sprinkle the granules of gelatin over the surface cold water or liquid. Use 1/4 cup, 60ml, or whatever quantity is called for in the recipe, per envelope. Do not dump them in a pile, as the granules in the middle won’t dissolve. -Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. -Add warm liquid or heat gently, stirring until dissolved. To verify the…

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A subject, and and ingredient, comes up frequently when talking about baking and candy making. And that’s about using corn syrup in recipes. I use it judiciously when it will make a discernible difference in a recipe. For those of you who are regular readers of the site and my books, you’ll notice almost all of the time, I rarely use pre-packaged or convenience foods in my…

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One of the things that no one prepares you for when you write a book, is that people are going to be in touch, many that you haven’t seen in a long, long time. When Room for Dessert came out in 1999, I heard from people that I knew all the way back in high school. While I don’t quite share everyone’s glee for wanting…

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One of the least expensive, and most effective, things you can do to improve the taste of your cakes, quick breads, cookies, and muffins is to switch to aluminum-free baking powder. Baking powder is a leavening agent, and it’s usually called for in recipes where there are alkaline (as opposed to acidic) ingredients. In actuality, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is one of the ingredients in…

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It seems like there’s a wave of macaron questions that are sweeping my way. Unlike les brownies or le gâteau weekend (poundcake), successful macarons are more the result of the technique, rather than following a mere recipe. There’s lots of tips and tricks around the web that will help you out with these little devils, including some interesting recipes, too. You can find my chocolate…

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I happily eat raw-milk cheese. I’ll dive into steak tartar without any fear. And heck, I drink horse milk like it’s going out of style. (Actually, if someone could tell me that drinking horse milk never was in style, that’d be great, so I can stop drinking it…) But I have a confession to make: I wash melons.

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For a number of years, this forum has been a place to ask questions about ice cream making. However after hundreds of questions, everything that could be asked and answered about ice cream making has been said. So comments have been closed and if you have a question, you can use the search feature on your browser to scan the comments. I’ve learned a lot…

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