Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

A Sweet Guide to Tasting Chocolate

Looking for a fun time with other food-minded friends? Or, do you just love chocolate and want to know everything out it? Consider a chocolate tasting! Like wine, chocolate is a multifaceted food, with each step of its growth and processing—from bean to bar—impacting its texture, flavor, and usability. No […]

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 Notes Plus, Family Fun

All About Meringues

Have you ever tried to make a lemon meringue pie and ended up with a sort of sad, droopy meringue top? We all have! Luckily, once you master the meringue, it’s a super simple trick to have up your sleeve for pies, cookies, and even cakes! Whipping egg whites with […]

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 […]

Pies and Tarts

Apple Slab Pie

Makes one, 5 1/2 by 17-inch slab pie Ingredients 2 lb Golden Delicious apples, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1 cup granulated sugar 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg Egg wash, as needed […]