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  1. azenjoys

    Appliances for a "home-based bakery"

    My fiance and I bought a home several months ago with a secondary building (formerly used as a daycare) on the property. We are planning on converting that building into a kitchen and office space for my small baking business, which, until recently, I was running out of a shared commercial...
  2. azenjoys

    Jams, Jellies, and Preserves - Book Recommendation?

    Hi everyone! Does anyone have a good recommendation for a reference text on jams, jellies, and fruit preserves? Specifically, I'd like something with info on food safety principles for home canning. Most of the information I'm finding online is along the lines of "here is a recipe for this...
  3. azenjoys

    Bubbling under rolled fondant

    Hi all, I'm new to working with rolled fondant. I've been doing great with practicing on styrofoam dummies, but when I try to cover an actual cake I get a ton of air bubbles under the surface of the fondant. What causes this air bubbling and how can I make it stop? My cakes are covered in swiss...
  4. azenjoys

    Increasing spread for frozen/refrigerated cookie dough

    I make frozen, ready-to-bake cookies and sell them to local caterers, food truck operators, etc. and I’m having some problems with our product. When the cookies are baked directly from frozen or refrigerated in non-convection ovens at 350 F they spread perfectly to a 3-inch diameter cookie...
  5. azenjoys

    Chocolate Mousse Help

    Hi all, Sorry this post is a bit long.. As some of you know, I spent most of my career on the savory side of cooking, but started teaching myself pastry techniques a couple years ago. I’m now starting to explore the wide and exciting world of entremets. Yesterday, I made a dark chocolate...
  6. azenjoys

    Things that are not raisins for oatmeal cookies

    I'm a little tapped out on ideas and need help brainstorming... Does anyone have any ideas for dried fruit/spice combinations for oatmeal cookies? Ideally fruits that I wouldn't have to chop by hand and that are on the lower end of the price scale. Combos can be unexpected or traditional. All...
  7. azenjoys

    Making extracts/liqueurs/cordials

    Does anyone have any good recommendations for resources (books/websites/articles) on making your own extracts, liqueurs, or cordials? I'm specifically looking for resources that take a more scientific/reference approach (as opposed to just having a bunch of recipes) and ones that deal with using...
  8. azenjoys

    Sampling caramels

    Hi all! I'm doing a pop-up sale/tasting at a local "food hall" next weekend to drive holiday sales of my caramel and cookie gift boxes. Any ideas on the best way to sample the caramels? Here are the details: - I have four flavors and would like people to be able to try each one. - I am...
  9. azenjoys

    Lightweight mixer (mostly for cookie doughs)

    Hi everyone! I am moving my tiny business into a commercial incubator space (FINALLY! AND I AM SO EXCITED). In this new space I need to keep all my equipment on my own assigned storage shelf and move it to my work table when I'm working. I also have a serious back injury that is healing, but...
  10. azenjoys

    Ideas for a "red menace" dessert buffet?

    Hi - I have a potential client who is throwing a "Red Menace" themed Halloween party. Does anyone have ideas for desserts that would fit in this theme? Anything that comes to mind would be helpful since I am absolutely stumped.. Communism in the 1950s and 60s brings to mind cabbage and famine -...
  11. azenjoys

    Cornstarch vs. flour for baked pastry cream?

    I'm making a torta della nonna (italian tart filled with pastry cream then baked). Most of the recipes I've come across use flour to thicken the pastry cream, but my go-to pastry cream is thickened with cornstarch. I know cornstarch tends to destabilize as a thickener for sauces when frozen or...
  12. azenjoys

    Recipe Costing (with Conversions)

    Hi everyone, I’m sharing an Excel workbook I built for costing out recipes. It’s not perfect, but it’s free and it has a few nice little bells and whistles that I couldn’t find elsewhere. Basically, you can put in how much you paid for a 3 lb. box of salt on one page, and then when you cost your...
  13. azenjoys

    Ensuring quality on desserts made off-site

    Hi all, I’m trying to figure out the best way to insure that the desserts I wholesale to a small local wine bar make it to the plate the way they’re supposed to… I’m selling them two desserts: 1) an olive oil and buttermilk tart with basil-infused peaches and amaretto whipped cream, and 2) a...
  14. azenjoys

    Cost for desserts not made in house?

    A question for chefs and industry types - if you were bringing in desserts from an outside source to sell on your menu for $8-10, what would you expect to pay for those desserts wholesale? Assume you'd be plating the items to order and maybe baking off pastry (that was already par-baked) daily...
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