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Posts posted by cookman

  1. 58 minutes ago, andiesenji said:

    Denser cakes keep better and can be sliced thinner.

    Any ENGLISH recipe for fruit cakes, Dundee cake, etc., will slice much thinner.


    Some fruitcakes from England with big chunks of fruit can be sliced thin and look like stained glass windows.

    Very Interesting. How do you define a dense/English recipe? Is it a recipe with less flour?


    The last recipe I made had 2 cups flour/9 cups mixed dried fruits (all hydrated for a week in bourbon)/5 eggs/ 1 cup butter. It tastes great, but is impossible to cut neatly. The plumped fruit just pulls from the crumb, rather than slices through neatly. I was hoping for "stained glass". Could plumping the fruit make it too moist to cut through cleanly?

  2. I have a general question about fruitcake texture: Over the years, I have made many different recipes for fruitcake. All the recipes contain dried fruits and nuts. Some recipes seem to produce a dense loaf that can be easily sliced into thin slices, while other recipes produce a loaf that is full of moist fruit and have a moist crumb, but crumble when sliced, necessitating that one cut thick slices for serving. I can't seem to figure out what determines the final texture of the cake. Any ideas what makes a cake that can be thinly sliced and what makes the type that must be served in large chunks?

  3. I'm interesting in trying to make hard (sugarless) candies from xylitol. What I have found about it on the web says it is difficult to do. If any of you have tried it with success, can you please share the technique? Thanks!

  4. I was able to find the pages describing this technique on Google Books. Also had a miserable failure. The mixture started bubbling and fermenting after a few days, despite following the directions. Obviously the sugar concentration in the early steps was insufficient to inhibit growth of bacteria/yeast.

  5. I'm bumping this topic back up because Whole Foods had organic oranges on sale today for .79/lb, so I now have 10 lbs that I want to slice and candy. I've done this yearly by slow simmering in a crock pot, but I'm always looking for alternative techniques. I'd like to try Wybauw's 2-week increasing sugar concentration soaking technique, and even have a refractometer, but I can't find the details on how to do it. Does anyone have these details?

    Also , I keep thinking there must be a way to do this with vacuum packing and sous vide. Has anyone had success with this technique?

  6. VP215 has a much higher maximum vacuum than the VP210. The difference between 94%(VP210) and 99%(VP215) for compression purposes is significant.

    Does the difference in vacuum make a difference for sous viding? Is there a problem with bags floating more with the VP210 vs the VP215 because there is more air left in them?

  7. And for the people with H2O sensors on their Henkelmans: How useful is the feature in reality? Does anyone not use it?

    I'm trying to make my final decision on which chamber vac machine to buy. I'm also really curious to hear how important and useful these H20 sensors have been for people who have opted to buy machines that have this option. I'm assuming it makes it more of a no-brainer in terms of proper settings to have an H20 sensor, but is it that hard to figure out the proper settings once you are comfortable with your machine and the particular food you are vacuum sealing?

  8. Does anyone have any slicing tips? I want to make each biscotti thinner, but they usually crumble if I slice any less than 3/4 inch thick.

    I use an electric knife to cut them after the first baking, and can easily slice them to 1/4 inch or thinner.

  9. Does anyone know if Ultra-Tex 3 can be used as a substitute for Ultrasperse 3? I'm trying to follow a recipe from MC that calls for the latter, but can't find a source for it on the web. Are the two products comparable?

  10. The set and grate seems an extra step that while useful in a restaurant etc could be skipped at home.

    I didn't see the point of freezing and grating the cheese either. I made a "bulk" batch of cheese, then portioned it into 160 g portions by weighing this amount into the bottom of a bunch of round Ziploc containers. After freezing, I was able to pop the cheese 'pucks' out of their containers, and store them in a 1 gal Ziploc bag in the freezer. When I want to make a 100g batch of macaroni, I just melt the cheese puck in a saucepan over low heat, then add it to the macaroni once they are cooked. A simple stir, and it's ready to serve.

  11. DSCN2759.jpg

    I'm willing to bet that the sticker on the side of the box is in part responsible for the missing copies - when you announce on the side of the box that it contains something worth $625 US or $700 Cdn - that's got to be pretty tempting to someone who figures they could earn a few extra bucks by lifting it and selling it. Perhaps we should all be watching for e-bay sales of MC that don't have the kitchen manual to find the guilty parties.

    Today, on ebay, a copy with a Buy It Now price of $1600. Clicky here

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