First, a story to make you smile and to underscore my one of my baking philosophies–almost any recipe can be saved from disaster by some quick thinking. Just be the “little baker that could.” A note, from loyal reader and friend, Donna about a Palmier Adventure:
So here’s the deal, Jenni. I thought puff pastry and phyllo dough were one in the same. Guess what. They aren’t. So….[husband] and I took a stab at the palmiers anyway. And they looked kind of scary all rolled up there sitting in the fridge. We went ahead and sliced them, put the slices close together in a baking dish sprayed with Pam, sprinkled on more turbinado sugar (which was what was inside them), poured on melted butter, added cinnamon, and topped the whole thing off with chopped walnuts and a drizzle of honey. Thirty minutes in a 350 degree oven yielded a delightful baklava type dessert and salvaged what could have been a disaster!!
Donna and her husband were Intrepid Bakers. They knew a)palmiers wouldn’t work and b)the flavors of baklava, so they made a hybrid. I love this! Go, Donna!
Now, a question from Cindy, of Miss Patsy’s pound cake fame: What is the difference between almond emulsion and almond extract?
The main difference seems to be that emulsions are not alcohol-based. This means that there is not as much evaporation of the flavor during the heating process. Since alcohol has a lower boiling point than water, a lot of the flavor in an extract sort of boils away during heating. That’s why lots of custard recipes tell you to put the vanilla extract in last, after the mixture is off the heat. Emulsions can be used interchangably with extracts. You might want to play with the amounts since an emulsion just might pack a little more punch than you’re used to or looking for. Here’s a link to LorAnn’s Almond Emulsion on Amazon, if you want to take a peek or give it a try.
And that’s about it for now. Let me say a sincere “thank you” to all of you guys for stopping by and encouraging my pastry blogging madness. According to the handy hit counter, we have reached over 5000 hits just since the end of October! Thanks to the keen folks at Alpha Inventions for creating a lot of traffic, and thanks to you guys who tell your friends that there is something Fun and Interesting going on at Pastry Methods and Techniques! I certainly couldn’t have done this alone–I’m not that much of a narcissist to visit my own blog 5000+ times!
I’m hoping that 2009 will be more interactive. Rather than just babbling on about what I find interesing or amusing, I also want to answer your questions or explain any techniques that you’d like to know more about. As always, please leave a comment or just shoot me an email at onlinepastrychef [at] yahoo [dot] com. Happy weekend, everyone.