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Messages - Gyppo

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Word Play / Re: Must be getting old...
« on: May 16, 2021, 04:54:19 PM »
'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'

I once had a t-shirt which read 'Do unto others before they do unto you.'

I recently purchased a horse
from a maiden who claimed to be Norse
seeking Thor's hammer
and horned-helmet glamour
but she met me instead, which was worse.

A feminist went to Valhalla

The Bar & Grill / Re: BWF Bar and Grill
« on: May 16, 2021, 04:29:13 PM »
How did you manage to bust your collarbone, Geoff?  It was quite a common postal injury amongst ones who fell from their bikes.

   These are my now standard wholemeal shortbreads, but raised to luxury level.  Half dipped with melted chocolate and then patterned before it cools too much with a serrated edge plastic scraper.

    I only dipped six of them.  I did two to show the girls how it was done, and then Alma and her mum did two each.   

    Then I poured some chocolate onto a sheet of silicone, spread it out an eighth of an inch thick, and when it cooled - but was still slightly soft - showed them how to cut out chocolate circles, square, triangles and diamonds.  Commercially we used to use these to decorate the tops of cakes.  At the bakery the puddle would have been about eighteen inches by thirty inches, the size of a full baking sheet.   

The triangles would become chocolate sails on a small marzipan boat for the top of a birthday cake, sailing on a sea of blue icing.  Fifty-five years ago it would never have crossed anyone's mind to buy them ready made.  These chocolate shapes were the sort of things bakers did in between other jobs.

    If you poured and spread the chocolate on a marble slab it cooled really quickly, even in an otherwise warm bakery.  If you had a separate  pastry room away from the ovens so much the better.

   If you worked with a sheet of silicone baking parchment on top of the marble slab  you could then just slide the whole lot into a wooden bakers tray and stack them about six or eight deep.  It didn't take long to have a tray full of each shape, ready to be stored in a cupboard until needed.

    If you worked directly on the slab you slid a long palette knife under the whole lot to break them free then packed them onto the boxes, in which case a sheet of ordinary greaseproof paper between each layer was adequate to stop them sticking.  The trimmings went back onto the melting pot.

    Made with ordinary baker's milk chocolate they'll melt at body temperature if you handle them too slowly.  If you used expensive dark chocolate couverture, (this is the stuff used by confectioners making expensive chocolates), it has to be tempered by getting the temperature just right.  It will melt in your mouth but not in your hand.  This stuff needs a thermometer, or a thermostatically controlled melting pot and is very fiddly in comparison with basic baker's chocolate.  Very unforgiving stuff if you don't follow the rules for heating.  But an absolute joy to work with once you know what you're doing.  With a fine piping bag and a steady hand you can make delicate three dimensional chocolate lattice work to decorate a cake.  (I would have to look up the temperatures if I was going to use the 'real stuff' again.)

    There is a very good reason why confectioners who specialise in high end chocolate work consider themselves to be an elite.  They've earned that rank ;-)

    I enjoyed doing the demonstration and sent the girls home with a little box of goodies to eat.  There are traces of shortbread crumb in the melting pot so I may just crumble a whole biscuit into there and turn it in a chocolate biscuit bar.

    I've had fun today, exercising old skills.

    Left click to enlarge.


The Bar & Grill / Weird effect. I can imagine this as a book cover.
« on: May 11, 2021, 10:18:07 PM »
Morning sun barely peeping over the fence.  Thin red curtains.  Tomato plants on window sill silhouetted against the fabric looking like some kind of mutant trees.

I can imagine this as the cover for some apocalyptic tale.

Left click to enlarge.


Word Play / Re: The last person to post here wins
« on: May 11, 2021, 03:50:48 PM »
Here's your chance to do it again.

Word Play / Re: Still making it...
« on: May 11, 2021, 03:46:32 PM »
A very busy clothing salesperson.  Possibly moonlighting in more than one shop.


The Bar & Grill / Re: Cookbook time
« on: May 11, 2021, 03:26:34 PM »
More shortbreads ;-)

Slightly different recipe, using Shipton Mill's wholemeal pastry flour.  This is milled a little more finely than the Allinson  wholemeal I've used previously.   They don't look all that different from white flour shortbread but they taste different.  Mix made 24 fairly thick biscuits, which took 16 minutes to bake at 360 F (180 C).

I also added an egg which made a slightly wetter mix.  Used one size smaller cutter, with a view to packing some into a Pringles tube to send to a relative abroad.

Some of this batch will be half-dipped in chocolate, so I can teach my Grandaughter how.  Will also try for the combed 'wavy' pattern

Commercially i would have probably sprinkled them with caster sugar as well, but they're sweet enough without adding extra on top.  I could reduce the sugar even more if I have to.

Left click if you feel hungry ;-)


Word Play / Re: Word association
« on: May 10, 2021, 01:48:02 PM »

I recently purchased a horse
from a maiden who claimed to be Norse

Word Play / Re: Word association
« on: May 09, 2021, 05:44:00 PM »

Word Play / Re: Change a letter
« on: May 09, 2021, 05:43:28 PM »




(Patti: Only the gods know where my mind was, and I don't think they're about to enlighten me either.)

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