Posts posted by Stuckey
Thank you for your advice.
I've actually got some maltodextrin at home. Its DE is 17. Migoya states in Frozen Desserts that atomized glucose syrup commonly has a DE of 42 or 43, and there is a table in the book which shows that atomized glucose with a DE of 40 has a sweetening power of 45-50%, and solids content of 95%.
I've also got some dextrose monohydrate, which I understand is pure glucose/dextrose. Migoya says that pure dextrose has a DE of 100, a sweetening power of 70-75%, and 92% solids content.
He mentions that many contemporary ice cream recipes call for a combo of granulated sugar, powdered glucose syrup, and dextrose, but he chooses not to add dextrose as a personal preference to avoid excessive sweetness. I'm not too confidence with my own math abilities, but I'm thinking whether it's possible to combine my low-DE maltodextrin with the pure dextrose (and perhaps granulated sugar) to approximate a quantity of atomized glucose syrup with a DE of 40, whilst maintaining a solids percentage of 95. I suppose the most important aspect is to maintain the solids content, as its purpose is more for structure than sweetness, and that it may not be possible to hit a sweetening power of 45-50%. I may have to put pen to paper and start playing around with numbers and see what I can come up with.
I recently bought Migoya's Frozen Desserts book and am trying to get my hands on atomized glucose. This thread has established that "atomized glucose" refers to glucose syrup which has been atomized/powdered, and is not the same as dextrose powder.
I am having difficulty in sourcing atomized glucose in Australia. Is "powdered corn syrup" a suitable substitute? I can get that from home brewing suppliers. However, they claim that powdered corn syrup is the same thing as maltodextrin (not tapioca maltodextrin), and I'm not sure how accurate that is.
I would appreciate any advice! Thank you.
I've got both books open in front of me. The main difference between both recipes is the starch. Greweling calls for cornstarch in the At Home book. In the Professional book, he also adds citric acid along with the flavourings, but does not add this to the At Home version, for some reason.
Kerry, thanks for giving this a try. It's interesting yours turned out OK given enough cooking time. I will also omit the nuts in my next batch - pistachios are expensive! I'll add them once I get the rest right. I've just checked my batch and the Turkish Delight is no longer delightful - the surfaces of the pieces have gone all gloopy! Good thing I decided not to share any of it at work! Into the bin it goes!
The Turkish Delight did not quite turn out as it should have. It was too soft - the cut pieces have held their shape (so far), but there is little chew in the mouth. Next time, I would:
- Cook the mixture to around 223F, instead of waiting for the mixture to become "clear". Even undercooked, the Turkish Delight turned out with a clarity that I would expect, so waiting for the mixture to become clear as an indicator of doneness may not be very accurate (in my limited experience). As well, I'm suspecting undercooking of the mixture is to blame for the Turkish Delight absorbing the powdered sugar/cornflour coating after only a few hours.
- Toast the pistachio nuts before adding to the mixture. The residual heat from the mixture was not enough to cook the nuts.
- Use fewer pistachio nuts. I would use one quarter of the amount that Greweling calls for in his recipe.
- Add a bit more rose water than the 2 tsp called for. I don't think an extra half, or even one, teaspoon would overwhelm. The 2 tsp is a bit too subtle a Turkish Delight than I am used to! I used three drops of red food colouring, which gave it a nice, not excessively pink, hue.
Is there no one else making Turkish Delight? Oh well, I hope these posts will be of assistance to someone!
Tonight, I made Turkish Delight from Peter Greweling's excellent Chocolates and Confections at Home. The recipe was reasonably straight-forward, until I got toward the end.
The recipe calls for whisking the sugar syrup and starch paste over low heat until smooth and clear, and says this will take around 20-25 minutes. I didn't have a problem with the mixture coming together. It was pretty smooth the entire time, and I was just waiting for it to go clear. What I was looking for was for the opaque, frosty mixture to hit a point where it would turn clear so that I could see the bottom of my whisk, but this did not happen, even after standing there stirring for almost 40 minutes. I then quickly had a look at the Turkish Delight recipe in Greweling's professional book, and even though the ingredients were different, I took note that that recipe calls for cooking to 223F. I checked the temperature of my mixture, and it was only around 205F. Out of impatience, I added the mix-ins and poured the mixture into my prepared pan. I will see how it turns out tomorrow, but I would love to know:
1) Did I take the mixture off too soon? If I had persevered, would it have magically become clear after reaching a certain point, or is Greweling's description of "smooth and clear" as an indicator of when it's done somewhat vague and/or misleading?
2) I presume that whether I under- or overcooked the mixture, this would affect the texture of the final product? Or is it the initial cooking of the sugar syrup to 260F the primary determinant of the final texture?
3) The recipe calls for 12oz shelled, unsalted, and undyed pistachios. Should they be raw or toasted? I used raw. I've made Greweling's Peanut Brittle, which calls for adding raw peanuts to a sugar syrup at a much higher temp, which obviously cooks the peanuts. But would adding raw pistachios after taking the mixture off the heat be sufficient to "toast" the pistachios? In addition, I used 200g of pistachios, and I think even that quantity is too much for the amount of Turkish Delight produced. I would use only 100g next time, unless you're going for quite a pistachio-dense Turkish Delight.
Thanks for any guidance, and I will report back tomorrow to share how the Turkish Delight turns out. Cheers!
Thank you all very much for your advice!
I tasted the unsweetened chocolate before I made the cookies today, and while I don't think I'll make a regular habit of eating it out of hand, I didn't detect any off flavours, and so I was happy to use it.
I've got about a pound of unsweetened chocolate (Kennedy & Wilson - an Australian brand) that has a "best before" date of one year ago. The chocolate has always been kept in a cool part of the house, and it shows no signs of bloom. I've not tasted it because, well, it's not really meant to be eaten out of hand, but do you think it would still be fine to use in baking? I know it doesn't contain any milk solids, which would obviously shorten the shelf life, but as it is a food item, it's not going to have an indefinite shelf life. I understand that cocoa butter is a relatively stable fat, and I would think that if it's gone rancid, I'd be able to know by the smell.
I'm going to be baking 3 batches of Dorie Greenspan's Chocolate Chunkers, and despite the recipe calling for only 1oz of unsweetened chocolate, I'd hate for anyone to get sick by eating a cookie containing chocolate that's one year over its "best before" date. I'm probably just being over-cautious, but better to be safe than sorry!
Thanks for any advice!
I have just finished my 3rd batch of marshmallows, and I would like to share some of the little tips that I learned along the way. Hopefully, they will be of some assistance to new marshmallow makers!
I have been using recipes from Eileen Talanian's Marshmallows book. I just noticed that she has posted in this thread! It's a terrific book, full of many flavour ideas, and I highly recommend it!
The first batch I made was Tahitian vanilla bean. I used the seeds from one bean and some extra vanilla extract, and added that to the bloom. I wasn't crazy about this batch. The flavour was a bit strange to me - perhaps it's the difference in flavour and fragrance between Tahitian and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans. I dusted this batch with corn flour. The texture of this batch was not to my liking. I thought I may have overwhipped it, but at that point I wasn't sure. I definitely had to scrape the mixture into the pan as it was very thick, and it held its shape and didn't settle completely flat, so the top wasn't level. These mallows were a bit too firm and chewy for my liking. I prefer mallows which melt in the mouth.
The second and third batches were total successes. I used Boiron puree to make passion fruit mallows. This time, I whipped the mixture (in my Kitchenaid) until it was fluffy but still quite soft. Getting it into the pan was simply a matter of pouring it out (still had to scrape the bowl), and it settled in the pan completely flat without any cajoling. These mallows had exactly the texture and flavour I was after. Very bright passion fruit flavour, and tender soft mallows which still held their shape after cutting. These ones were coated in potato starch.
Two weeks after the second batch, the leftover passion fruit mallows are still soft and flavourful. They're stored in a ziplock bag.
Some tips on cutting the mallows:
I spoon some starch onto the surface of the mallow slab while it's still in the pan, then use the back of the spoon to spread it around the entire surface. Then I position a wooden chopping board over the top and carefully flip both over together. The mallow slab doesn't come out of the pan yet - I have to insert a finger into the corner of the now upside-down pan and coerce an end-section out, and then the rest of the slab will follow the weight of the freed end-section and slowly release from the pan. Then I cover the now top of the slab again with starch. Instead of oiling my knife, I coat it with starch between every cut, and I do this simply by running it through the excess starch that has accumulated on top of the slab or on the board. I get 60 mallows from a 9"x13" pan by cutting 10 short strips, and then cutting those strips into 6 pieces. I thoroughly coat each cut piece with starch, put them aside and let them sit for a while, then I lightly coat each piece again and then thoroughly but gently pat all 6 sides of each mallow to get as much starch off as possible. This is time-consuming, but I feel necessary.
One problem I have found with these soft and tender mallows is that they are more delicate and susceptible to heat-damage. I express posted a package of these as a gift cross country, and was told that the mallows, which had just been put into a ziplock bag (and a thin postage satchel, no other protection), had melted somewhat and had formed one BIG marshmallow! Admittedly, there was a heatwave going on over there, but it's still something to be mindful of.
BTW, I use Davis-brand gelatin, which is manufactured in New Zealand, and it's not vegan but it is a Halal product.
I wanted to try Cook's Illustrated Kalbi (Korean ribs) recipe, so I went out to buy boneless beef short ribs. I don't think short ribs, as a cut, are very popular in Australia. When do you see them at the butchers, they're normally cut flanken-style rather than English-style.
I asked my butcher for boneless short ribs, so he showed me a slab of beef ribs and cut the bones off, leaving me with a foot-long square section of meat, which was comprised of two separate muscles, separated by a thick, hard layer of fat. The meat that came off the bones was well-marbled, as rib meat should be. However, the layer of meat above it had no visible marbling. Would I be right in assuming this top layer shouldn't be cooked in the same way as the rib meat? I'm not sure which part of the rib section it was cut from. Might it be chuck, or some other muscle that I should use for stewing? I've separated and trimmed the meat, but I'm not sure what to do with the non-rib meat. Any ideas?
Does anyone know where one can buy Meyer lemons in Sydney? Cheers.
Thanks for the info, Bud!
Next time I make bacon, I'll try adding the dry cure using the salt box method, just to see if there's any/much difference to the measured method that I've always used. Cheers, mate.
I am currently dry curing a belly in the fridge for bacon. The belly is just under 2.5lbs, and I used 25g of dry cure. It's been curing for 5 days now in a ziplock bag, and while there were a few tablespoons of liquid for the first few days, it appears today that there is no liquid at all in the bag. It seems like the belly leached out some liquid early on, but has for some reason re-absorbed it all again. The bag is resting on a tray, which is dry, so I know that the liquid hasn't leaked out of any holes in the bag. I understand that it is important in some recipes for the meat to always be in contact with the brine, but when there is no brine to speak of, what does this mean? I've dry cured half a dozen bellies in the past, and while none of them really gave off heaps of liquid, this is the first that has had no liquid in the bag at the end of curing (typically 5 days). Any thoughts on this? Cheers.
Does anyone know where to get guanciale in Sydney? Thanks.
Could someone do me a huge favor? I'm in France without my book, and I need to make a fish terrine for next week. The shrimp terrine with salmon inlay would be perfect. I've made it before, way back on page 62 of this thread, and I'd love to be able to maike it again and amaze the French. Does anyone have a spare 15 minutes to type up and PM me the recipe? A free dinner in France awaits whoever is kind enough to help me out!
I'd be happy to do it. Got the book in front of me right now.
Edited to add: Done. PM sent to Abra.
I made Lemon Sables for the second time on the weekend. Absolutely beautiful! So buttery, so tender, so good.
Everyone should have at least a log or two of both the Lemon Sables and World Peace Cookies in their freezer at all times. You never know when the craving will hit!
I think the problem I had with tempering was that the chocolate was a bit too old, and it may have been out of temper. It was the last 500g from a 10kg bag that I bought quite a while ago. I went and bought a new 10kg bag today, and I am looking forward to trying again with some fresh chocolate!
I should have been clearer with my post. I had only intended to refrigerate my ganache to firm it up so that I could cut it. After I cut the ganache into pieces, I left them to dry at room temperature for 24 hours and they were much easier to handle. Still quite soft to bite into, but definitely dippable.
The formula for this batch was simply 3/4 cup cream to 8oz dark chocolate (I use Callebaut 54%). I realised afterwards, when I realised the ganache was very soft, that I had strayed from my standard formula of 3/4 cup cream to 10oz dark chocolate. I'll definitely remember for next time. Although the softer ganache is still fine, it's a bit more work than a firmer ganache.
Thanks for your advice, David!
I pre-coated the bottom of the slab with untempered chocolate, then chucked that in the fridge for a little bit to set, then cut the ganache. The pieces of soft turned out fine.
Tonight, I went to dip the centres, and could not for the life of me get my chocolate in temper. I used my standard seeding method, but it just wouldn't get my chocolate in temper. An hour's worth of much frustration later, I decide to dip the centres anyway and keep the chocolates refrigerated. It's back to the drawing board for me. I thought I knew how to temper, but it seems I still need a lot more practice!
Thanks for your advice, Desiderio!
I learned that ganache containing dark couverture chocolates are best left to sit for 24 hours before dipping/coating. I sometimes get cracks the day after finishing moulded chocolates when I pipe in the ganache filling, chill for about an hour, let come back to room temperature and then cap. On the other hand, at school, where we let it sit the full 24 hours at room temperature there wasn't any problem.
I've been refrigerating mine until I'm going to enrob them. I'm having trouble with cracking as well. I will try letting them sit out unrefrigerated awhile next time. It's ok if they sit out 24 hours?
I never refrigerate my truffles. I make the ganache, pour it out in some sort of tray so it is about 1 truffle deep, scoop out the truffles in a day or so (depends how soft it is). I then let them sit until they crust enough to roll between my hands to smooth them. I usually then let them sit for about another day before dipping.
Would a batch of ganache that is still soft after 24 hours, having been left to set at room temperature, eventually set firm if given enough time i.e. one or two more days? If it has not set even after several days, would refrigerating it in order to firm it up to cut into pieces for dipping be detrimental at that stage?
Thanks for your advice. I bought a 0.75L jar today because I just couldn't wait to get my vanilla extract started!
Every few days I shake the jar and store it inverted (you have to make sure it is well sealed) to keep oxygen out of the jar.
You can draw off some of the liquid and begin using it after a month but it is better after 4 months, at which time you can draw off a couple of ounces and store in a dark brown or opaque bottle, top up the jar and put it back, making sure it is well sealed.
It seems from reading this entire thread that most, if not all, people are using jars which they are filling up completely. I have a 1L hermetic glass jar and a 750ml bottle of Smirnoff vodka. Is it important to completely fill up the jar and eliminate as much air as possible? I can either see if I can buy a smaller jar, or spend US$25 for another bottle of vodka so that I've got enough to fill my 1L jar. With the second option, I'll have 1L of usable extract 6 months down the line, and I can use the extra vodka to top up as needed. Either way, I'm still curious to know whether not completely filling the jar will have any kind of noticable effect.
Thanks for the advice, Anna and lperry! I was thinking of getting the Handi-Vac so that I could buy meat in bulk. If I can't re-use bags for that purpose, then scratch that. I'll get the dang thing anyway - I'm sure I'll be able to put it to good use with other perishables.
Eventually, I'll get myself a Foodsaver. In the meantime, this'll do!
I'm in Australia, so there's pretty much no chance of being to buy a Handi-Vac over here. I've got a friend in the US sending me some stuff, and I was considering getting her to include a Starter Kit. However, I wonder if it would be worth it since I wouldn't be able to get any extra bags (short of having them sent over from America) locally. Is it possible to re-use the bags by simply washing them?
Thanks to everyone for your advice and reassurance!
I cooked up this beauty on the weekend:
I cooked it on my Big Green Egg and used the TRex method (sear the steak, then remove from the heat and let it rest for 20 minutes while the Egg settles down to around 350F, then about 4 minutes a side to medium-rare).
I was very pleased. In fact, it probably WAS the best steak I had ever eaten! I had simply rubbed it with Maldon salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil right before cooking, and I squeezed some fresh lemon juice over it before eating.
It definitely was NOT musty tasting in any way. No off flavours, either. It was very tender, but not as strong in flavour as I had expected. Just like Romaney had indicated, it was quite mellow, but in a good way!
I have to admit though, although it was a very good steak, I don't know if it was so good because it was dry-aged, or because it was just a very high quality steak to begin with. I've only recently started paying a lot more for premium meat from a gourmet butcher, so maybe I just hadn't had a decent T-bone before. I think to truly experience the difference between a dry-aged steak and one that hasn't been dry-aged is to do a side-by-side comparison.
Oh, and since I'm in Australia, I don't believe we have different grades of beef as there are in the States. I'm not sure whether my steak would've been considered a Prime cut or Choice.
Thanks again, everyone! Oh, and Merry Christmas!
I've never eaten dry-aged beef before, so I decided to splurge a bit and bought myself a nice 2-inch thick dry-aged T-bone steak, a bit more than a pound in weight. The butcher told me that it's been aged for around 7 weeks, but I understand normally dry-aged beef is aged for up to 28 days, so I'm really not sure if it's actually been aged 7 weeks.
I don't really know what to expect. I've read people say that dry-aged beef is rich and buttery tender, and others say that it tastes musty. I'm guessing the taste is not for everyone, and it's certainly not as widely-appealing as the average wet-aged beef that most people are used to.
The T-bone that I bought was cut to order for me. Parts of the steak are red, and other parts are dark grey in color. The steak doesn't smell rancid or have any other off smells, but I'm a bit apprehensive about eating beef that's grey, almost purple. Is this normal for dry-aged beef and safe to eat, or should I cut those parts off?
Current sales, deals, and bargains (Part 2)
in Kitchen Consumer
I have been in contact with Chronicle Books regarding the issues with the Kindle version of Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking, and they have just emailed me this morning to advise that these issues have now been rectified. I have updated my version of the book and it appears that this advice is true - fractions and ingredient quantities are now displayed correctly. I do not have the hardcover version of the book with which to compare the numbers but I expect that the corrections are accurate. It looks like the Kindle book is still on sale for $2.15 so now is a great time to get it before the price goes back up.