Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

10 Sweet Ways to Celebrate Dad

Owing to its place in the calendar, Father’s Day has evolved into a major grilling holiday. That means dads all over the country are celebrated with steaks, when maybe some dads really want something a little sweet for their special day. If you have that kind of dad in your […]

Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

Add Parchment Cones to Your Pastry Toolkit

When it comes to the fine details on picture-perfect pastries, there is a handy tool all pastry chefs keep in their toolbox: parchment paper cones. Unlike large piping bags, parchment paper cones are very small. This makes them steady and easy to grip, but it also allows for a very […]

Chef's Notes Plus

All About Baking Soda and Baking Powder

Both baking soda and baking powder, referred to as chemical leaveners, give breads, cakes, and other doughs and batters a light texture by introducing carbon dioxide gas into the batter. The gas expands the bubbles that are already present in the batter due to the action of mixing or creaming. […]

Chef's Notes Plus

All About Chocolate

Bewildering arrays of cocoa and chocolate products exist and vary widely in quality and availability. The first step in properly selecting these products is to understand the makeup of each and their uses. Bittersweet/semisweet chocolate Often simply called dark chocolate, the FDA regulates that this type of chocolate must contain […]

Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

All About Gelatin

Gelatin is used as a stabilizer in many baking preparations. In small amounts, gelatin adds body, like to a sauce or whipped cream; in greater amounts, it can set a liquid so firmly that it can be sliced or cut into shapes. Using the precise amount of gelatin is crucial: […]

Chef's Notes Plus

All About Pâte à Choux

Pâte à choux is a simple and versatile French pastry batter made from milk (or water), butter, flour, and eggs. It is typically piped and baked to a crisp, hollow shell that is perfect for filling with sweet or savory ingredients. Even if you’ve never made pâte à choux, you’ve […]

Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

All About Rolling Pins

Available in many shapes and materials, rolling pins are essential to pie making and are necessary for rolling dough evenly. The most common rolling pin material is hardwood, but for pastry items, like pie dough, you might select marble or stainless steel, as these materials will remain cool and not […]

Chef's Notes Plus

All About Vanilla

When you’re making a simple dessert, like vanilla ice cream or crème brûlée, you have very few ingredients to distract from the flavors of the raw ingredients. For that reason, the best outcomes will come from the best ingredients. We know a lot these days about sourcing high quality milk […]

Cakes, Desserts

Angel Food Cake

Makes one 9-inch tube cake In order to reach a lofty height, angel food cake needs to cling to the sides of the pan, both as it bakes and while it cools. This is why the pan is ungreased and the cake is cooled upside down. Some angel food cake […]

Breakfast and Brunch

Apple Pie Scones

Makes 12 scones Pre-cooking the apples keeps these scones moist, but not soggy. You can do that part a day or two ahead of time, if you like. Galas are a neutral, crisp apple that are great for baking, but you can use Granny Smith or something similar if you […]