Newsletter #28 & Halloween Classes and Royal Icing Recipe

News and Fun Facts   La Toque’s big news is that I’m teaching 6 Halloween classes starting next week.  Think spider cookies, ghost cupcakes.    Or host a Halloween cooking party with your friends.   I’d just like to make this holiday fun this year as trick or treating may not be an option.

Top Tip  During a recent class we made chocolate custard pies.   They were delicious but I was sad to see so much sludge in the sieve when I strained the custard before baking.  To prevent loss of so much deliciousness, try this trick from Cook’s Illustrated – hand immersion blend before straining. 


What I’m Reading  Don’t lean towards packaged foods as an easy way out. Some foods, think cornbread, brownies, salad dressing, are just as easy homemade vs. a package. If you’re in the packaged foods camp, read “ Jacques Pépin’s Advice For Newbies In The Kitchen: Don’t Stress Out

What I’m Watching  Christina Tosi of Milk Bar in NYC hosts a weekly Bake Club “class” online.  This week was about an Albanian breakfast. Not baking but sounds delicious. Lots of red pepper!  See it here

What I’m Cooking  In preparation for all of those Halloween classes I’ve mentioned above, I’m weighing out the pros and cons of royal icing with meringue powder vs egg whites.    Here are the two options.  If you try out both and prefer one over the other, write back.  Just mix the ingredients together until smooth.  If it works out, the icing should pipe easily but retain a it’s shape.  We’ll be using this in the Halloween cookie with royal icing class on October 27

½ cup water, room temperatures + 53 grams meringue powder + 2 pounds confectioner’s sugar + 2 teaspoons flavored extract such as vanilla or lemon

10 2/3 ounce confectioner’s sugar + 2 large egg whites (4 tablespoons)

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