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lizziee

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  1. lizziee

    Cheesecake

    Cheesecake CRUST 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 c all purpose flour 1 c almonds (about 3 1/2 ounces), llightly toasted, coarsely ground 1/2 c packed dark brown sugar 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped 2 T (1/4 stick) unsalted butter l 1/2 tablespoons water FILLING 2 lb cream cheese, room temperature 2 c packed dark brown sugar I tablespoon vanilla extract 4 large eggs TOPPING 1 c sour cream 1/4 c packed dark brown sugar 20 whole almonds FOR CRUST: Preheat oven to 350'F. But- ter 1O-inch-diameter springform pan with 23/4-inch-high sides. Using electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Add flour, almonds and sugar; mix until well incor- porated and small moist clumps form. Press dough evenly onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Bake until edges start to brown and crust is set, about 20 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 5 min- utes. Maintain oven temperature. Combine chocolate, 2 tablespoons butter and water in heavy small sauce pan. Stir over low heat until melted Spread 2/3 of mixture over crust. Reserve remaining chocolate mixture. FOR FILIING: Using electric mixer beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended. Spoon filling over crust. Bake until cheesecake puffs, sides are set and center moves only slightly when pan is shaken, about 65 minutes (cake may crack). Transfer to rack; cool 5 minutes while preparing top- ping. Maintain oven temperature. FOR TOPPING: Rewarm reserved chocolate mixture over low heat. Mix sour cream and sugar in small bowl until smooth. Spread sour cream mixture over cheesecake. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon chocolate mixture decoratively over top- ping; reserve remaining chocolate mix- ture. Return cheesecake to oven; bake 3 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool 1 hour Reheat remaining chocolate mixture over very low heat until melted. Dip each almond halfway into chocolate; arrange around top edge of cake. Cover; chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keywords: Dessert, Cake ( RG419 )
  2. lizziee

    Cheesecake

    Cheesecake CRUST 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 c all purpose flour 1 c almonds (about 3 1/2 ounces), llightly toasted, coarsely ground 1/2 c packed dark brown sugar 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped 2 T (1/4 stick) unsalted butter l 1/2 tablespoons water FILLING 2 lb cream cheese, room temperature 2 c packed dark brown sugar I tablespoon vanilla extract 4 large eggs TOPPING 1 c sour cream 1/4 c packed dark brown sugar 20 whole almonds FOR CRUST: Preheat oven to 350'F. But- ter 1O-inch-diameter springform pan with 23/4-inch-high sides. Using electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Add flour, almonds and sugar; mix until well incor- porated and small moist clumps form. Press dough evenly onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Bake until edges start to brown and crust is set, about 20 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 5 min- utes. Maintain oven temperature. Combine chocolate, 2 tablespoons butter and water in heavy small sauce pan. Stir over low heat until melted Spread 2/3 of mixture over crust. Reserve remaining chocolate mixture. FOR FILIING: Using electric mixer beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended. Spoon filling over crust. Bake until cheesecake puffs, sides are set and center moves only slightly when pan is shaken, about 65 minutes (cake may crack). Transfer to rack; cool 5 minutes while preparing top- ping. Maintain oven temperature. FOR TOPPING: Rewarm reserved chocolate mixture over low heat. Mix sour cream and sugar in small bowl until smooth. Spread sour cream mixture over cheesecake. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon chocolate mixture decoratively over top- ping; reserve remaining chocolate mix- ture. Return cheesecake to oven; bake 3 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool 1 hour Reheat remaining chocolate mixture over very low heat until melted. Dip each almond halfway into chocolate; arrange around top edge of cake. Cover; chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keywords: Dessert, Cake ( RG418 )
  3. Once and for all, we will find out who the supertasters are at Egullet. Click here to find the brutal truth: http://www.gayot..com/tastes/newsletter0403.html
  4. lizziee

    Recommendations

    Gareth, Have a wonderful time and if the eggs mollet is on the menu, be sure to have it. I think they will do a split - one for two. There is no prix fix so it is all a la carte.
  5. The trick with creamed spinach is to wring as much water out of the spinach as possible otherwise the spinach can't absorb the cream properly.
  6. "Taste is about the ability to notice things properly. I can't stress the word properly enough, especially the ability to notice which elements are present and work in harmony with other elements. And while that might include noticing and appreciating enhancements, which change perceptions, it will always be about the ability to notice what is actually there, not what is only perceived to be there." Steve, taste is just not finite. How we taste things is very personal and according to Helen Bauch "may very well be as individual as our fingerprints." To quote Diane Ackerman, "A Natural History of the Senses" : "No two of us taste the same plum." When you speak of taste, the definition, in its purest form is actually a very narrow definition. It includes the 4 basic tastes - sweet, sour, salty and bitter plus the fifth unami which is somewhat controversial and based on a reaction to the glutamate ion and translates as tasty or "yummy." Quoting Bauch again: "All other experiences during the evaluation of flavor are not taste, but are related to odor, the feeling factors - texture, pressure, pain and temperature, and finally, sight and sound." Moreover, you eat with your brain as well as your mouth. Andy Lynes wrote an interesting article on The Fat Duck. http://www.ukgourmet.com/heston.html Part of his review said: "I still disliked the crab, pigeon and pea creation for the simple reason that it reminded me of the texture of the chivers jelly and evaporated milk that my mother used to give me for dessert occasionally. On reading his notes, it turned out that this childhood taste memory of jelly coated with cream was exactly the sensation that Heston was trying to emulate. He loved it, I hated it." A part of taste, then, is memory association. Taste preference is also culturally linked. One man's meat is anothers poison. They have even done experiments that show that what a mother ate during her pregnancy influences flavor preferences of infants. They had two groups of pregnant women, one group drank either water or carrot juice. When cereal was introduced into the diet of the infants, the infants whose mothers drank carrot juice seem to prefer the carrot-flavored cereal more than the "regular" cereal. edit: spelling
  7. Claude, Do you find that when you get wines by the glass that you don't really have a chance to "experience" the wine? I enjoy noticing the changes of a wine over time from that first sip to the last.
  8. Steve, Should I ask which ones?
  9. Let's take an example where presentation is not only equal to but often more important than taste. The Kaiseki dinner is a ritualistic series of 7 to 10 tiny courses that follows a prescribed order that Dorothy Kalins in Saveur describes as "with so many art forms, style is key and presentation is all." The chef not only expresses himself and his style through the food, but in the artful way he presents it. This even extends to the "vessels themselves, a different one for each course: Are they rough pottery, red lacquer or fine blue-and-white porcelain? Round, square or oblong?" In fact, many of the best kaiseki chefs design their own pottery as well as the tableware. The chef is "acutely sensitive to the importance of choosing the right dish or bowl to express the integrity and seasonality of his ingredients." (As an aside, Thomas Keller is in the process of having dishes made by Limoges to complement and enhance his dishes.) Now, as to the issue of the constant of taste and tasters, there is a huge range of ability. A taster's expertise is not just a matter of his experience or knowledge. Scientists have discovered a genetic component to taste. There are super-tasters who have more fungiform papillae and therefore "feel" foods more intensely. In Savoring Flavoring by Helen Bauch she quotes Linda Bartoshuk: "This is like reaching up and feeling something with 500 fingers as opposed to 50. Super-tasters feel more 'burn' from substances such as ginger, alcohol, the carbon dioxide in soda and the capsaicin in chili peppers. Bitter tastes bitterer; salt a bit saltier, sour sharper and some sweets sweeter.... Bartoshuk has found that about 25% of the U.S. population are super-tasters, 50% are tasters and 25% are non-tasters." Hopefully our restaurant critics don't belong to that last category.
  10. In 100% agreement. And that's the point: Taste is perception.
  11. "This is a sad statement if it is true. This is certainly not the case at Arpege where the presentation is pleasant but in reality the food is plated very simply." Steve, That's the point. Arpege's statement is one thing, Veyrat another, Bras another, Adria another, Trio another, Keller another, JG another, and on and on and on. You have an exceptional palate. Why not let each chef speak his own language and let us as diners learn it their way?
  12. "Taste is perception. If you've modified the diner's perception, you've modified the taste." Stone, I am in complete agreement. Further, what the new modern chefs as evidenced by Blumenthal, Chefg, Adria, Gagnaire, Veyrat are trying to do is push this even further and alter your expectations, change your perceptions, push the envelope as it were. "What you and everyone else keeps on saying is, in an example where your tastebuds are impaired (and that can be done visually as well) you will taste things differently." Steve, taste buds weren't impaired. In the wine example, sensory clues were given that were unexpected and therefore the experts, relying on the tried and true, were wrong, even though the taste remained unchanged. These people weren't visually impaired, they were manipulated to think something different. But the bottom line of all of this is keeping in mind what a chef is trying to achieve. I maintain that if you take away the presentation aspects from Adria, Veyrat et al, you have changed what they set out to do and might as well go have a steak. \
  13. Robert, Remember this IS eGullet. Steve, The point is by changing the environment ie the appearance, I can change your perception of flavor and taste. I don't have to manipulate the food at all.
  14. Jonathan's mention of Chefg at Trio is an important distinction to make in this discussion. First Chefg's words: "I believe people do not come to Trio for nourishment or sustenance. I doubt whether they come because they are hungry. People are making reservations long in advance, how do they know they will be hungry? In fact I would say people plan their schedule to become intentionally hungry to go to high end restaurants to eat. If you make a reso at TFL 2 months before you actually dine, I would think you will plan your meals the day of your reservation accordingly as to not spoil your dinner. I hope I am not giving the wrong impression about the food served at Trio, it is not all vapors, and stamp sized pieces of paper. It is one of our goals that people leave satiated. And we do so with unique twists on fairly common ingredients, presented in an artistic manner. I think the more we intellectualize, the closer to my goal we are. We are crossing the line of "a meal" or "dinner" and moving into the realm of entertainment: in the forms of theater, education, discussion, visible art. The overall experience becomes so fullfilling on so many different levels it could become the ultimate form of recreation. OK, that might be a stretch, but you see what we are pushing towards. It is Chefg's goal to cross that line from meal or dinner to entertainment. If that is his goal, then presentation becomes a vital and important aspect of his cuisine. Take it away and what is left is not what Chefg wants to achieve.
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