Tuesday, October 31, 2006


ANOTHER pleased SWEETBOX recipient!!!
Go check out the post at Ace's Life on the Rim.
He has foodporn for you, too.

He got some of these:
(Minty Oreo Type cookies)

He didn't get any of these:

Orange Cookies with Orange Icing
(He almost got some of these. Almost. But then I remembered he said "NO CITRUS!" LOL! Whew...close call!)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ingredient 101 "The Petit Four"

Time to educate the masses. This post will explain it ALL!
"Explain what miss jin?"
"Why, what a petit four is, of course!"

I receive anywhere from 5 to 20 searches per week asking about these luscious little cakes. Usually something along the lines of: "What is a pedifor?", "How do you spell pedifor?", "What is pedifor dessert?" or, simply, "pedifor".

Petit Four


"pet-tea for"
(NOT ped-dea! "pet-tea")

A true petit four has MANY LAYERS INSIDE. (Some bakeries just dip a chunk of cake in icing...YUCK! Don't be eating stuff like that!) Follow along with me here, I'll show you pictures & explain.

1. The thin bottom layer is a lightly sweetened shortbread. I make this from scratch, roll it out & lay it in the pan.

2. The next layer is a fruit preserve. Seedless Raspberry or Strawberry Marmalade works best. Mine is imported from Switzerland (the stuff made in the U.S. is usually full of chemicals & preservatives, unless you purchase an Organic variety).

3. Next, I spread a thick layer of homemade frangipane (a bakeable almond sponge). After the trio is baked together I trim the top evenly, if necessary.

4. A deep layer of Belgian chocolate Ganache comes next. Two ingredients only: Belgian Dark Chocolate & heavy cream. This is chilled until firm.

5. They are hand-cut into approximately 1" x 1" squares. (Top view.)

(Side view.)

6. I glaze mine, by hand, with a thinned white or dark chocolate glaze. Traditionally they are glazed with a poured fondant which I find to be a bit too sweet, it almost seems to overwhelm the myriad of delicate flavours.

7. They are topped with a lovely seasonal decoration & they taste PHENOMENAL!!!

Any questions?
I hope you paid attention.
I will quiz you tomorrow.
In order to get an "A" you must:
1. answer everything correctly
2. suck up to me A LOT!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Scary Dude, the jin & the Police

What a day, what a day, what a day!!! I have TONS of awesome foodporn...but not now.
Now you get to see what happens when you try to fuck with the jin.

This is my: "Don't Fuck with me look."

I had to use that look today. In the photo above you see my shoppe security system. I have it near me at all times, just in case. In 13 years of biz I have only had to go for it ONCE. Today I had to go for it again.

Picture this:
A beautiful fall day, I have 3 elderly volunteers waiting on customers in the 'pastry display area' & my parents are in the front room chatting. I am in the kitchen finishing up a cake order. D isn't in yet; he's at home with the pup. From the kitchen I can see the front door & the hall leading to the front room. The door opens & a man sort of stumbles in. I was at least 20-25' from him but I KNEW RIGHT AWAY he was trouble. I said hello & he ignored me. He slowly walked closer to the kitchen area & ALL my warning signals started to buzz. He was about 6'3", maybe 275 pounds, around 50ish & I knew he was either drunk (not a HUGE threat to deal with) or jacked up on something (potential SERIOUS threat).

We don't usually keep cash around. Most transactions are check or charge. But today was an 'Open House' day, where we average about a hundred customers; half of which (today, anyway!) paid with cash.

All this is running through my head as I'm trying to read the guy. He wasn't just casing the place as he was too obvious. This left 2 alternatives: 1) he was just going to try & rob us or 2) he was on a bad trip. Ugh...either way...my heart was threatening to pound right out of my chest. He edged his way down the hall & into the front room after what seemed like an eternity. I heard my Dad ask him if he needed any help, he replied loudly & defensively, 'I'm just lookin!'. Well, at least I knew my Dad had noticed he wasn't 'right'. He stood there for several minutes staring at a cork trivet we have for sale. I heard my Mom ask if she could help him, he replied loudly & defensively, 'I HAVE MONEY! I could buy it! I'm just lookin!' He stands there for about 8 more minutes, not moving much, just slowly picking up things & looking at them, then putting them down. Customers are coming & going, my volunteers keep asking me for things & no one seems to notice this guy. I'm still really freaked out...I just have this BAD feeling, when all of a sudden he starts to back away, down the hall, to the front door & out he goes! YAY! I go to check & see if anything is missing (I'd rather lose a small item then to confront a guy like that & have something worse happen). It all seems to be there. I breathe a sigh of relief along with my parents who were also wary of approaching him.

I head back into the kitchen to pick up where I left off when one of my volunteers tells me the tape in the credit card machine is almost empty. (The credit card machine is in the hall right between the kitchen & the front room.) I grab a new roll & start to work on the machine when I turn around just in time to see this guy coming back up the front steps to come back in! Before he walks back in the door I was able to warn my parents (jin urgently says, 'OMG he's coming back in!!!'), hopefully without scaring any customers.

I immediately backed away from the credit card machine into the doorway of the kitchen (closer to the bat, just in case) as he walked right towards me. I was very nervous (to say the least) & my hands started to get shaky (a sure sign that yours truly is upset/scared) so I folded my arms across my chest & stood about as tall as I could & put on the face you see in the photo above. I was trying to seem imposing. :-S He came right up to me & looked in the kitchen behind me. I did not smell alcohol on his breath- which made me positive he was fucked up on something other than alcohol- which made me even more nervous because I didn't feel I could predict his actions what-so-ever. FUCK! FUCK! FUCK!

Me- 'Are you interested in buying bakery today? That's not in here. It's in a different room.'
He yells- 'YEAH! I KNOW THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!'
I stood my ground but he tried to PUSH PAST ME INTO THE KITCHEN!
(I did not budge...no way was I letting him in there...the kitchen circles around to the pastry room where my elderly volunteers were along with the cash box.)
He- 'BUT I WANNA GO THERE!!!' (While he jabs a finger past my head into the kitchen, pointing.)
Me- 'Well, you CAN'T! We are licensed & customers are NOT ALLOWED IN THAT ROOM!!!!!!!!!!!'

I had never heard such an authoritative & threatening voice come out of my mouth, I don't know exactly where it came from! I looked him straight in the eyes with an icy glare & for one second I really thought he was going to shove me & walk right into the kitchen. All I could hear was my damn heartbeat & the words 'Please Goddess Help Me' echoing in my brain. He stared back at me & saw something that made up his mind.....he jumped back about 2 feet, waved his hands in the air submissively & said 'Alright! Alright! Ok! Never mind. Forget it....'

He walks back into the front room & picks up the trivet again. He is facing the wall & can't see me, but my Mom can. She has the cordless phone. I motion to her to pick up the phone & mouth the words "DIAL 911". She has no fucking clue what I'm saying. FUCK.

I'm still worried he's going to try something. I would have had to squeeze past him to get into the front room for the phone. No WAY! I also had a feeling he was going to try to get back in the kitchen. I decided to go the long way around, grab the phone, go back to the kitchen, slip out onto the porch & call the cops. I DID NOT want him to hear me calling them. I was worried it would set him off. I manage to get the phone, whisper to my Dad to BE CAREFUL (!) & get back into the kitchen.

We are not in a really big city so I decided to call the police station instead of 911. They usually answer immediately & TECHNICALLY...the guy hadn't done anything wrong...YET...

I told the operator who/where I was & that there was man either drunk or stoned that wouldn't leave my shoppe & he was making me VERY nervous. She dispatched a police car immediately before she even took down the details. Then she asked for his description. Just as I was finishing up with her I heard my Mom's canes (she can't really walk & uses 2 canes to push herself around in an office chair) & I thought Oh shit! My Mom's a toughie & I was worried she'd confront the guy without realizing the potential threat. I start to come back in the kitchen & I see the guy walking out the front door. I tell the woman on the phone that he left & is walking down the street. She said not to worry, the officer would still have a talk with him & if the man comes back in again call her IMMEDIATELY.

I hang up & my Mom tells me he was picking up the jewelry we have on display & dropping it on the floor. (UGH! Sorry Jewels! Nothings broken & I 'smudged' it the SECOND he was gone!) She went over by him & he backed into the hall. She asked again if she could help him & he said he was just 'watching'. Did I mention my Mom's a toughie?!!? I guess she told him that he HAD to leave, he couldn't just stand there. LMAO! I guess that's where I get it from! That's when he turned around & walked out.

It was not even FIVE MINUTES from the time I hung up the phone to the time the police car pulled up. Then another one slowly drove by. I had to give the cop the description & explain what happened. He told me I did the right thing by acting authoritative & 'drawing the line' so he couldn't come in the kitchen.

The cop (he was really nice...some aren't you know! :-S) told me I could have dialed 911. I said I didn't because technically he didn't DO anything. The cop said, 'If it ever happens again, you DIAL 911!' Then he continues to really grill me on the guys appearance. I knew his, face, hair, cap, height, weight & approx. age...but for the life of me I couldn't tell him what he was wearing, no idea even on colours. I suppose that's because I was keeping constant eye contact. The cop finishes with, "I had to double check your description. There was an INCIDENT earlier & you just described the same guy. If he comes back you call 911 RIGHT AWAY! Got it?"

FUCK!??! He never said what the INCIDENT involved. I don't think I want to know.

My Dad ran an errand about 30 minutes later. He saw 2 cop cars a few blocks down from the shoppe. They had got the guy.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


It's best to not anger the jin.
Even my dear blogfans know that.

Enjoy this brilliant story today


(It really happened how they said!
See the pictures?
They go with the story perfectly!!! ;-)

Jin made a list
of things not to ask
but some still insist
in folly to bask.

She made a fine cake
of chocolate and cream
with sprinkles on top
that made the room gleam.

(Gleaming Room with Chocolate & Cream Cake)

But some foolish guy
was less than impressed
preferring cream pie
(not one of the guests).

(Cream Pie for the Eye of that Guy)

Jin wasn't hurt.
She was glad to comply
and lodged the dessert
right in his eye!
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Then quick as a blink,
Ms. Dagger-eye Jin
Made the gargantuan fool
Wipe the drool off his chin.

Hit him she did,
With a cake ten feet high!
Chocolate swirls lined the edge
On this wedge of bliss pie.

(10 Foot Tall Cake with White Chocolate Edged Swirls)

"Yum yum," the fool grunted
Through the layers of thick cream.
But his final "needs ketchup"
Made the smashup chef scream.

Thanks you 2!!! You made my night!

With an honorable mention to rich, for he truly intended to add 3 more stanzas before Blogger died & his comment was lost forever in the bowels o' the net.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Customers From Hell Volume VII
"Could you please repeat that? Actually, DON'T!"

10 things you should never ever say to a pastry chef:
(Yes, I have been asked ALL of these throughout the years!)

1. "Have you ever dropped a wedding cake?"
(In casual conversation, with a friend, this might be ok...it's the ones that ask you with an evil glint in their eye that you have to look out for! For the record- No, I have NEVER dropped one!)

2. "But, your buttercream is awful! It doesn't taste anything like the stuff in the can!"

3. "I really love your cakes, but could you please add Crisco & salt to the frosting this time?"

4. "Could you bake this for me please? My oven doesn't work."
*As she hands me a Betty Crocker Cake Mix in a box.*

5. "The price says $2.00 per cookie, that isn't right! You MUST mean for a whole pound!"

*As I'm carrying it to the display table.*

7. "Price doesn't matter! I want the best . . . oh, & how much will that cost me?"

8. "I'm having 500 guests at my wedding. I don't want to pay more than $250.00 for a cake."

9. "I don't care if it tastes good, as long as it looks nice."

10. "Oh! Free coffee & samples! I don't have to buy anything then!"
*And she didn't.*

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Portmanteau? Not Exactly.....

"Chocolate Brownie Tarts"

Would you believe that some of my most PHENOMENAL creations have not been preserved by a photograph? A few of my truly fantastical wedding cakes.....no picture proof, they're only in my memory. If I think about this too much I'll get bummed out. It just happens sometimes.

The camera will break.
The flash will need recharging.
The digital camera will need recharging.
The client is early for the pick-up.
I could be running late.
.....all these & many more.

"Black Forest Gateau"

The first time it happened I was in tears. A dessert buffet of several thousand of my hand-made delicacies. Many of them "Once in a Lifetime" creations. It doesn't matter how/who/why... anymore... but there are no pictures for me to post. It has happened so many times since then, that I take it to be a given, it's simply a matter of when. I don't let it eat at me anymore. *jin shrugs her shoulders* Que Sera Sera. Whatever will be, will be.....

"Lemon Butter Cake w/ Fluffy Lemon Frosting"

Basically, all this means is that I have an incredibly large collection of pics that are taken with no regards as to background or the usual accoutrements. I also have many a photo of just the top of a cake, already in it's take-away box, mere seconds from leaving my shoppe to travel home with its proud new owner.

Which is what you have here today. Harried pictures of things ready to go out our front door. Enjoy. I know the people that left with them sure did! ;-)

"Cream Cheese Frosted Carrot Cake"

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It was WHAT?!!?

So, I KNOW you are all just dying to find out what this is:

The FIRST person to guess the correct answer was:

WOO-HOO!!! YAY!!! Katy!!!
*jin hands over 3 Blog Kudos*

It was, in fact, a photo of a mini Brioche.

"Mini Brioche Bun"

Not to be confused with this Brioche:
"Brioche the Pup"

Katy wasn't the only one to get it right!
YAY for:
Coaster Punchman
*jin gives CP 3 cyber kisses: mwah! mwah! mwah!*

With four honourable mentions
because they were pretty close:

The Phosgene Kid
(roll with tumor)

(baked whatsit)

(Cannibal Rolls)

(Dough Jin)

"Brioche in a Gift Box"

Now, let's review:
Can you find the Brioche in the photo below?
(I won't say anything about this photo.
I prefer to let all of you make jokes!!!)

OH! Look at ALL the mini Brioche!

Want my technical &
historical educated explanation
as to the particular design &
shape of this bread?

You sure?

French bakers are Pervy.
With a capital P.

You heard it here FIRST.
jintrinsique leaves no boob stone unturned.

Thanks everyone for playing with me!

Extra special thanks to:
(in order of appearance)
(Kick me if I missed anyone! :-S)
.....and the other 237.81 people who emailed me with their guesses (next time please refrain from sending me pictures of your thingys).

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Delicious Duo

A very 'unique' cake went out this weekend. Right, like they aren't ALL unique! HAHAHAHA!!! Ok, I guess I'll say this one had a 'unique' theme. How about that? It was for a renewal of vows. I believe, if memory serves, this couple has been married for 20 years. OH MY! That's a LONG time.....Hmmmm....lol...a VERY long time! What say you on that subject dear blogfans?

Solid Belgian White Chocolate Seashells adorn each tier. I made them!
I ate 10 chocolate shells.
I sampled one to be sure they were worth selling.

Remember that game we played a while back where you had to guess what the close-up was a photo of? Wanna play again? Oh, c'mon! Of course you do!!! LAZY, the lot of you!!! Play ANYWAY, it amuses me! ;-)

What is this?
Now, I want LOTS of guesses in the comment section before I will reveal the answer! You can guess more than once. The winner gets....um....I didn't think that far ahead yet....wait....ok, got it! If you are a guy & you win I will give you 3 cyber kisses. If you are a chick I will give you 3 blog kudos. If you fall somewhere in between I may require photographic evidence.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Rhapsody in Chocolate

This cake went out last weekend, the day after my spin around the world. I LOVE doing wedding cakes all in chocolate!!!

The gourds & apples were real; with faux leaves & wheat accents. Do you like this one as much as I do?!!?

You should all go over to Katy's place again. She's got pics up of a really cool cake. A cake she ordered from MOI! It shipped FANTASTICALLY and... well, I'll let you read the rest HERE.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Ladies of the Round Table

On Thursday afternoon I had the pleasure of catering this year's opening event for the lovely "Ladies of the Round Table" of Manitowoc County. To kick off their season entitled "Global Trends", David & I prepared various foodstuffs from all over the world. I also received the opportunity to educate them on dessert trends from 8 different countries of my choosing.

I may vary from my usual blog form to bring you a new & unique post. No, that doesn't mean there won't be pictures.....sheesh! In fact, there will be 5x as many photos as normal! How about that?!!? Ok, let's go! I hope you enjoy the trip. First stop:

"Le Monde"

"Le Quiche"

"Le Yum! Yum!"

For lunch we served a variety of Quiche. They could choose from:
Organic Broccoli & Cheddar
Organic Spinach & Garlic w/ Pepperjack Cheese
Mushroom & Black Olive
Asparagus & Toasted Pine Nut
Cheesy Garlic w/ Caramelized Onions
'Crustless' Quiche w/ Montery Jack & Diced Red Bell Pepper

We plated everything up, with an accompanying Caprice Insalata which is an Italian salad using only fresh organic tomatoes (I chose cherry tomatoes), a bit of fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil & a dollop of black olive paste. The plate was finished with 2 baked Parmesan crisps.

After lunch, I spoke about global food trends, dessert trends & common ingredients found in foreign kitchens. I am not really an 'Oriental jin', I just play one on TV.

"Tres Sex-ay"

We begin our trip around the world with POLAND. Please, sample one of these Polish Sugar Cookies called "Ciasteczka" that David is passing around. They are made with boiled mashed egg yolks, sugar, flour, butter & a hint of vanilla. That's all! Delicate & delicious.

Next we are off to BRAZIL! OH! You MUST try one of these! "Quindin" (pronounced keen-deen) are a rich creamy blend of yolks, sugar & butter with a macaroon-like bottom of coconut & a hint of lemon zest.

Now on to HUNGARY. Here, David is passing "Piskota Fank" for you to sample. It is a Hungarian Doughnut. They are made with an eggy yeast base, then baked, NOT fried, with a dollop of vanilla bean pastry cream in the center.

***Sing Along***
"I felt the raaiins dowwwwwwn in AAAAAFRICAAA....."
So let's stay where it's warm & dry & eat a "Samsa" instead! It's an almond sesame pastry baked in filo dough & glazed with syrup (usually found in Tunisia).

ALL ABOARD! This boat will take us on to THAILAND for some simple yet delicious "Coconut Bananas". Sliced bananas boiled in lightly sweetened coconut milk & chilled. Refreshing!

What? Are you getting tired already?!!? Well then, let's make a pit-stop in TURKEY for some fine, strong coffee & a bite o' delight. Lokum, aka Turkish Delight, a soft confection made with rose water & rolled in powdered sugar. MMMmmm....it is such a ..... *searching for the perfect word* ..... oh ..... such a ..... such a what? *GASP* OH! I've GOT IT!!! It's such a 'Delight'! :-D

Looks like David has the last tray! We must be in SPAIN & those must be "Tortas de Aceite"! A light & crispy cookie flavoured with Spanish cracked anise. Made with extra virgin olive oil. Not just good, but good for you, too!

We finished our presentation & allowed everyone to ask questions. The hottest topic that afternoon centered around Butter. I explained the difference between:
European Style Butter (YAY! The BEST! REAL butter.)
Regular Unsalted Butter (Second best with more water content.)
& finally
European Butter Blend (BLECK! :-P Don't buy it. It's just a little bit of butter mixed with stuff jin won't eat.)

The ladies had NO IDEA that Real European Style Butter can even be found in this area! Enter a HUGE plug for Humpty Dumpty Eggs in Reedsville (Hi Mark & Shelly! :-) cos that's where ALL our butter comes from! I had to repeat the name 3 times, so everyone there could hear me!

When the questions died down, I spoke briefly about Japanese confectionary, also known as "Wagashi". Wagashi is said to 'uniquely reflect it's creators ideas'; it is made by hand with all natural ingredients. Each guest received a 'Wagashi Take Away Box' created exclusively by Me n D.

On the box I printed stickers with the "Kanji" (Japanese system of writing with symbols) for:

Nestled inside each box was another mini trip around the world. A visit to:
Germany for a "Trier Square"
England for a "Currant Scone w/ Lemon Curd"
Italy for "Tiramisu"
France for a "Petit Four"
& a small "Brioche" bun.

Well, what do you say, think I'd make a good traveling companion?