Last year I read about a pastry chef-turned-candymaker in Los Angeles. She was becoming known around those parts for her tender caramels, blended with wisps of sel de mer (sea salt.) Inspired by the amazing CBS, caramel-beurre-salé caramels produced by the master himself, Henri LeRoux, Christine Moore’s caramels are indeed the best I’ve had in the US. A friend drove me out to the Silverlake…

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Winter Fruits

Pears Good pears are in danger of disappearing. The best-tasting varieties (Comice, Bartlett, and French Butter) become easily bruised as they ripen, so large stores are reluctant to carry them. So what can you do? Buy them when you see them. Don’t be afraid to purchase rock-hard pears of these varieties: unlike most other fruits, pears don’t ripen well on the tree and should be…

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There’s always much debate over when it’s okay to telephone someone at home. How late is too later? How early is okay to call? Are they friends, or family? When I moved to Paris, a friend told me, “Never call anyone before noon on Sunday.” I made that mistake once, and that was all it took. So I’m sound asleep at 8am this Saturday morning…

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Jean-Charles Rochoux has perhaps the tiniest chocolate shop in Paris, located on an unassuming side street off the Rue de Rennes. It’s hard to see and easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. But what causes most passers-by to stop are the window displays, filled with intricately-sculpted statues and figures, crafted entirely of chocolate. M. Rochoux spent many years in the workshop of…

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On a recent radio interview that I did, the producer wrote immediately afterward that they were inundated with requests for my recipe for Cocoa Nib Sausage, which I use to top my Chocolate Pizza Dough from The Great Book of Chocolate. I get a lot of quizzical looks from people when they hear the words ‘chocolate’ and ‘pizza’ in the same breath, but adding sugar…

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I am kind of crazy for Chinese dumplings, and dim sum, of all kinds. Any kind of dough filled with chopped pork or shrimp (or even vegetables), is my kind of food. Many people don’t realize how simple dumplings are to make. Most ingredients are pretty easy to find, and if you use store-bought won ton wrappers, most of the work is already done! In…

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Kevin at Seriously Good tagged me with this, The 2006 Food Challenge of This Year I Dare! You’re supposed to talk about things you’re going to do different in the kitchen this year. Here’s a few… Garbage Bags I’m only going to buy premium, top-quality garbage bags this year. No more el-cheapo, whisper-thin bags that you could read Le Monde through. I generate mounds of…

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Holy Merde!

When my internet service went down a few months ago, I telephoned the company to arrange an appointment for the repair. After three long weeks, service was restored. Then this came with my phone bill: In France you get charged to speak to someone in ‘customer service’, at 35 centimes per minute. Let’s say you’re on hold for 30 minutes. You get a bill for…

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