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Everything posted by Digijam

  1. Albert still owes me a copy of Natura. Used copies occasionally show up on Amazon, but they are never priced below $249. Worth every cent! With the El Bulli book it's worth noting that Amazon.ca have it much more heavily discounted than Phaidon. (37% disount.)
  2. Very late reply, but I stumbled on the same technique when first playing with isi whipper cavitation a couple of years back - http://afeastforthesenses.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/over-a-barrel/. It works surprisingly well, though obviously there are likely some subtle, long-term chemical reactions that you don't immediately replicate.
  3. Tool-wise, many require nothing more than a paint/chocolate spray gun (okay, a LOT need a sprayer). Other than that, I think maybe three dishes use a Volcano Vaporizor, one or two a cream whipper/soda syphon, and in a couple of instances a thermomix or vacuum chamber/sealer is necessary. Other than that, it's more about building on classical techniques using surprising flavours, a few interesting gels (ie. some gellan, pectin, agar, a bit of spherification), and inspired execution. To fully replicate everything as shown in the book would also require a lot of custom/home-made silicon molds, but then the composed dishes - stunning as they often are in their modernist way (Migoya is a master of visual minimalism and clever serving ideas, though there are also a couple of nods to Natura-style presentations) are as much there to show how building blocks can be put together and balanced, as well as to inspire. You can obviously make the bacon maple ice cream without necessarily molding it into the shape of a small pig and surrounding it with hay scent. Arguably more important are the base recipes for the many components, and the sections discussing pastry terms, techniques and ingredients (including those hydrocolloids), and flavour/texture balancing. I've only had it a couple of days, but really the only two issues with the book are that the title doesn't really let people know just how modern the content is - this very definitely isn't a trawl through the pastry classics. And that the 'show then tell' structure means there's a fair bit of back and forth with the pages in order to read through one complete dish. Other than that it really is quite astonishing, and gawd bless Amazon - astonishing value.
  4. Do yourself a favour and put preconceptions triggered by previous CIA publications aside and check out Migoya's other two books. The Modern Cafe is just astonishing in its depth and breadth - with loads of inspiration for home cooks, brasseries and more upscale places, as well as cafes. The pastry section alone is worth the purchase price. Frozen Desserts is, by definition, a bit more limited in scope, but the depth of detail on ingredient balancing for both pacotised and regular churn ice creams, sorbets etc, plus the key recipes for provided flavours make it a superb reference tome. I fully expect The Elements of Dessert to be my favourite cook book of 2012. Just a shame Amazon UK still have it listed as a December release. Looks like it'll be quicker and cheaper to switch to Amazon US.
  5. For savoury, you've got the option of either: 1. Incorporating the sweetness into the final flavour - think gastriques/sweet-and-sour, or other flavours where sugar plays an active role. At allium we serve cotton candy flavoured with vinegar as part of our 'lamb with hay and wool' dish. 2. The alternative is to eliminate the sweetness. As mentioned back up on the thread, envision will temporarily muck about with the diner's sense of taste. You only need a small amount of the envision powder, so it blends well with the sugar prior to spinning. You can check out the results of my savoury candy floss tests here: http://afeastforthes...ry-candy-floss/. One way to create your own powders for sprinkling is to utilise maltodextrin. Should work well for strongly flavoured things like yuzu and soy. We use this technique at the restaurant to make our own vinegar powder. I covered the basic technique over on allium's blog: http://alliumfood.wo...12/a-sour-note/ Alternative you can buy commercially made vinegar powder, or the slightly dodgy home sushi version of it. Mushroom powder is fairly easy to make yourself or can be purchased online.
  6. I believe Sosa's Elastic is a carrageenan and bean gum blend, not agar - the addition of lbg gives something stronger and more stable than a regular kappa gel. They often use the same sort of blend with jellies for store-bought desserts and pet foods.
  7. Justin's right - lactisole will definitely work with your popping candy. With unflavoured pop rocks the lactisole pretty much leaves you with the pop and nothing else, so it's primed and ready for fat or powder-based savoury flavours. Though keep in mind it will also temporarily tone down the inherent sweetness in everything else on the plate.
  8. No, I mean my Revel - the very same model - had those problems. Guess I got a particularly duff one. Or at least a different kind of duff.
  9. You didn't find that attempting to grind anything wet would cause liquid to dangerously spill out down towards the motor, or that it would give occasional electric shocks? Count yourself lucky It's obviously in a different price bracket but Bamix do two small grinding attachments for their blenders, one specifically for wet and dry.
  10. I'd second the recommendation for The Handbook of Hydrocolloids. It's probably the most accessible of the textbooks out there, and though it's still pretty dry and heavy going compared to Modernist Cuisine, it does provide a great grounding on the why, when and how for each ingredient. Not exactly cheap, though, and a lot of the example recipes are already available via Khymos.
  11. Another big thankyou for posting this one. Reading an Egullet thread has never felt so bitter-sweet.
  12. Digijam

    Home Freeze Drying

    If you don't want to hand over ten grand for a tabletop dryer you could always try using a couple of dog food bowls. No, seriously. I wouldn't expect this setup to make an appearance in the next edition of Modernist Cuisine (and it does ignore the ideal pre-freeze temperature range for fruit) but for an entertainingly low-tech, MacGuyver-style attempt at freeze drying check out this video from BBC show 'Jimmy's Food Farm'. The freeze drying stuff starts at around the 22 minute mark. Mark
  13. There's a link to the full recipe on the post above, or here. No splitting necessary - though it's no problem if you want to use frozen (and therefore slightly split) sloes. Volume is obviously limited by the size of your cream whipper, but given that you only need to keep them in there for a few minutes it's really no hassle to do two or more batches, as dictated by your supply of sloes and gin.
  14. Very well. It may sound like a shortcut, but the results are amazingly complex. All the notes from the stones as well as the sour flesh come through, and the technique offers greater control over both the sweetness and tannin levels of the finished product. In a side-by-side test with classic 5-month steeped sloe gin, a quick-made batch actually seemed brighter, more sour (and less bitter) and generally more rounded.
  15. For those who don't have the patience to steep their sloes, we've had great success using nitrogen cavitation. Full-flavoured Sloe Gin in minutes instead of months. Mark
  16. But let's not forget that frying always magically creates an impermeable shell on meat, sealing in all those precious juices. Mark
  17. I'd second the advice to check the calibration of your temperature probe. I've got the same tempering machine(the ACMC) and quickly discovered that I need to up my figures a notch to compensate for its readings. Don't be afraid to work on the upper limits for your chosen chocolate type and to shut the machine down for a few minutes once you do get a working temper. Mark
  18. I've read enough negative reviews of places like El Bulli and The Fat Duck in my time to know the answer to the that one. It's not. Far from it. Maybe I'm biased, as Allium has become close to a regular place for me over the last few years, but that's because I'd rather eat there than any other restaurant in this part of the country. There are few places (anywhere) that offer the same blend of nose-to-tail cooking (really getting maximum flavour from good suppliers) with just the right amount of invention and - recently especially - a surprising lightness of touch. Had a meal there a couple of weeks back that certainly eclipsed experiences at other local Egullet favourites like The Champignon Sauvage and the mystifyingly Michelin-starred Wheatsheaf, or even Hibiscus back in the Ludlow days. Sticking in the knife in in a way that suggests he'd made up his mind about the place before he ate a single bite, and pointless whining about cheese trolley positioning aside, it's worth noting that John Walsh rates Chris Horridge as 'close to genius'. Make of that what you will.
  19. Also worth checking out Malmaison Oxford. Nice dining room, great steak. More costly than Branca, though.
  20. I'm pretty sure the HV2002 uses a 2 stage turbine rather than a compressor, so the low PSI shouldn't be an issue, at least not with the supplied gun. Trying to force the chocolate through a thinner nozzle than the one they supply might be another story. I've just bought an Earlex 1900, which is a much cheaper HVLP turbine system (with an even lower PSI), and had great success getting a fine, even spray - with 200g dark choc to 100g of cocoa butter - onto a cake at the weekend. Haven't had a chance to try it on chocolate moulds yet, but based on test sprays onto card imagine it will work well. The only thing I'm not sure about is if the fact it has a bleeder mechanism (ie air flowing at all times) will mean there's enough pressure/flow control for splatter effects... As HQ says it is advisable to warm the gun up to ensure there's no seizing once the liquid chocolate gets drawn up.
  21. Or if you want to be real cheapskate, you can find the original version of the recipe, from way back in 2005, in Ferran Adria's chapter in The Cook's Book. It's $23.40 on Amazon.
  22. Also works well with venison, rabbit and the like.
  23. A problem with too much calcium in your water supply, maybe? Try using bottled water and see if it gives a thinner algin bath.
  24. It is - out of 16 I managed to coat 2 and not very pretty at that! Think I'll need to play one weekend and see what happens. Perhaps rolling in one of coco, cornstarch, maltodextrin may give the chocolate enough traction. ← It's not just a problem of traction, it's the difficulty of getting the chocolate to set on a wobbly surface without cracking. I mucked about with both methods a good while back and would say if the freezing and enrobing method doesn't work for you then the molded chocolate method is the way to go. It's easier, less messy and prettier Here's a pic taken after cutting into a molded chocolate with a wine sphere...
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