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Everything posted by martinlersch

  1. In addition to tonic water (which contains quinine) you can also use riboflavin (vitamin B2) which will glow with a bright green/yellow color under a black-light.
  2. Great title - great topic! I live in Europe, love to cook - also from American cook books, but in the end I got tired of using single ingredient conversion websites, so I put together a Excel calculator which converts about 275 ingredients from US customary volume measurements to grams based on densities (corresponding to the Estimation method mentioned above). It recognizes all the common volumentric measures such as t, T, floz, c, pt, qt and gal as well as the weight measurements oz and lb. The calculator includes a differentiated rounding algorithm, so that you do not end up with recipes that call for 943 grams, but rather 950 grams (but always taking care that the imparted error stays low, typically below 2-3%). It's still a work in progress, but many have found it useful already. Densities are mainly taken from rec.food.cooking’s FAQ and conversion file (this is the same source as "Convert me" is built upon) and USDA National Nutrient Database. The most tricky ingredient by far is flour, so I added "spooned" and "scooped" as choices for all-purpose wheat flour. The excel calculator is available for free download from: http://blog.khymos.org/2014/01/23/volume-to-weight-calculator-for-the-kitchen/
  3. OK not an app, but close enough: I got tired of using single ingredient conversion websites, so I put together a Excel calculator which converts about 275 ingredients from US customary volume measurements to grams based on densities. It includes a differentiated rounding algorithm, so that you do not end up with recipes that call for 943 grams, but rather 950 grams (i.e. always taking care that the imparted error stays low, typicall below 2-3%). It's still a work in progress, but many have found it useful already. Densities are mainly taken from rec.food.cooking’s FAQ and conversion file (this is the same source as "Convert me" is built upon) and USDA National Nutrient Database. The excel calculator is available for free download from: http://blog.khymos.org/2014/01/23/volume-to-weight-calculator-for-the-kitchen
  4. Thanks - I'm glad you find it useful! When using Texture - consider taking a picture if you follow recipes without a picture. That way you can all help make Texture even better.
  5. Thought I'd let you know that a major revision of Texture is now available for download: http://blog.khymos.org/2014/02/15/texture-updated-and-available-for-download/ "Texture - A hydrocolloid recipe collection" (v.3.0) features: many new recipes, now counting 339 in totalmore pictures (A big THANK YOU to all contributing photographers!)a new chapter with non-hydrocolloid gelsa new table with viscosities of 1% solutions of hydrocolloidsmany minor corrections throughout the recipes and appendixconversion from US customary volumetric units in new added recipes done with Excel calculator available from http://blog.khymos.org/2014/01/23/volume-to-weight-calculator-for-the-kitchen/
  6. Chris Young found time in his increadibly busy schedule to reply to my interview-by-email a couple of weeks ago. Amongst other things he explained a little about how he became part of the project and his time at The Fat Duck. He also shared the email from Nathan Myhrvold that got him on the team: > From: Nathan Myhrvold > Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2007 > To: chris@thefatduck.co.uk > Subject: Crazy Idea > > Why don’t you come work for me? > > Nathan BTW Chris Young presented Modernist Cuisine at The Flemish Primitives in Oostende, Belgium on Monday. I was so lucky to peak into what was possibly the first copy ever in Europe
  7. Version 2.3 of the recipe collection is now available for download. The major change since version 2.3 is the inclusion of pictures. The pictures often give you an idea of the texture, and they're also a good indication that the recipe has indeed been tested. There are now approximately 310 recipes in total now. And one more thing: You can still help me add more pictures to the recipe collection! You can find more information on how to contribute pictures in my post from January 5th.
  8. Back in 2007 Jack (jackal10) came up with a wish for pictures in his reply to one of my first posts. Already then I thought that it would be great to expand the collection with pictures. And finally I've now started the work to collect pictures - sorry it took so long. But to get things going I definitely need all the help I can get. Here's the deal: A picture is worth a thousand words, and this is also true for recipes. Several who have downloaded “Texture – A hydrocolloid recipe collection” have asked for pictures and now it’s time to do something about that! A picture can illustrate texture well and is an excellent supplement to the descriptions. I therefore invite to you to contribute to the recipe collection by taking pictures to accompany the recipes. But before you run to grab your camera, please take a note of the following: Pictures should clearly show the component described in the recipe. If you take a close up picture against a neutral background it’s good if one still has a feeling of what the scale is. Only send a picture if you actually followed the recipe! This way the picture can also serve as an indication that the recipe as been tested. However, if you for some reason have modified a recipe for a better or different result I would also be very interested in hearing about this. Pictures should be in focus and well lit. But remember that Photoshop can do wonders, so please do send pictures even though the colors seem a little dull. Pictures will be cropped to a 1:1 aspect ratio as shown above Preferred minimum resolution is 450 x 450 pixels It’s a requirement that the picture is taken by you and that you are willing to provide it for use in “Texture – A hydrocolloid recipe collection” under a Creative Commons Attribution – Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License since the whole recipe collection is published under such a license I reserve the right to crop pictures and do color/brightness/sharpness adjustments I reserve the right not to use pictures received (and I only intend to include one picture for every recipe) Pictures will be attributed to the photographer as shown in the above illustration. If you have read the above and agree you’re ready to send your texture pictures to me at this email address: texture.pictures (at) gmail.com. Remember to include the name of the recipe photographed and your name as it should appear under the picture. Thank you very much for helping me make this collection even more useful!
  9. Just a small note to let you know that I've just published an update of "Texture - A hydrocolloid recipe collection" (version 2.2). There are two file sizes available: screen resolution (~1 MB) and high resolution for printing (~5 MB). It published under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License so the download is free. What is new? The total number of recipes is now around 270. Supplier list updated New index for alcoholic preparations Small glossary added Typos corrected As usual I'm always interested in feedback. You are always welcome to provide new recipes. What can be done to further improve the collection?
  10. The smaller diameter of the glass cylinder will make layering easier (compared to layering in a soup bowl for instance). A slight increase of viscosity will prevent mixing of the layers. The glueing part is tricky as you want something which tolerates water (at least for a couple of minutes), yet it shouldn't stick to hard to the plate (or the soup would end up everywhere else than in the bowl when guests need to use force to release the soup. I agree that gelatin might work, but probably only with cold soups. Remember that gelatin melts around 40 °C. Your options then are to use agar (80-90 °C), low acyl gellan (does not melt), high acyl gellan (70-80 °C) or high methoxyl pectin (does not melt). For all the hydrocolloids you'd probably need to use higher concentrations than for normal gelling. Caramellized sugar could also work as it doesn't dissolve that fast.
  11. Just to let you know that version 2.1 of "Texture - A hydrocolloid recipe collection" is now available for download. Changes include corrections of typos, minor additions to the property tables plus an important update in the gelatin section and a recipe for agar filtration (similar to gelation filtration, just faster!). There is also a formula for conversion between gelatin bloom strengths. More info on the formula for conversion between gelation of different bloom strength: Note that this formula differs from one found in another egullet thread - the simplest way to compare the two formulas is to multiply the bloom strength with the weight or the check the formula is to multiply the bloom strength of a sheet with the weight of the sheet. I got better results by omitting the square root, i.e. simply assuming that the product of the weight and bloom strength is constant. Avg bloom g/sheet bloom * weight sqrt(bloom) * weight 140 3.3 462 39 170 2.5 425 33 205 2.0 410 29 250 1.7 425 27 Relative standard deviation for product using "new" formula: 4% Relative standard devation for product using "old" formula: 17% New formula: mass B = mass A x (bloom A/bloom B) Old formula: mass B = mass A x (bloom A/bloom B)^0.5
  12. Texture - A hydrocolloid recipe collection It’s a pleasure for me to announce that an updated version of the hydrocolloid recipe collection is available for free download as a pdf file (73 pages, 1.8 Mb). What’s new? Several new recipes have been added (now counting more than 220 in total), including recipes with cornstarch, guar gum, gum arabic, konjac and locust bean gum. All in all 14 different hydrocolloids are included (plus lecithin which technically isn’t a hydrocolloid). In each section recipes are now sorted according to the amount of hydrocolloid used. The appendix has been updated with tables for comparison of hydrocolloid properties, hydrocolloid densities and synergies. The perhaps biggest change is that all recipes have been indexed according both to the texture/appearance of the resulting dish and according to the hydrocolloid used. Let’s say you want to make spheres, this index will show you which hydrocolloids can be used (that’s right - there are other possiblities than sodium alginate) and list the example recipes. Table of contents Agar 6 Carrageenan 11 Cornstarch 14 Gelatin 18 Gellan 26 Guar gum 30 Gum arabic 32 Konjac 33 Lecithin 34 Locust bean gum 36 Maltodextrin 37 Methyl cellulose 38 Pectin 41 Sodium alginate 44 Xanthan 49 Multi-hydrocolloid recipes 52 Non-hydrocolloid foams 57 Appendix 59 - Comparison of gel texture in common gelling agents 59 - Volume-weight conversion of hydrocolloids 59 - Synergies 59 - Gelatin gels with alcohol 60 - List of common chemicals 60 - Conversion table for brand names 61 - Miscellaneous 61 - Comparison of hydrocolloid properties 62 References 65 Suppliers 66 Texture index 67 - Overview of texture-hydrocolloid combinations represented in recipe collection 67 - List of recipes according to texture and hydrocolloid used 68 Keyword index 73
  13. tkerby: Some good tips there! These are exatly the kind of tips and hints I would like to include in a future update, for instance in a master recipe or in an introduction to lecithin. Using a flat container and baffling makes sense. It's quite interesting that the foaming works better with the blades than with a tilted or perforated disk. I wonder if this is true for all immersion blenders? I remember that the foam/air was very fragile, but this might be because I expected something that would be slightly more stable. KLwood: No plans to print it on paper for now. But feel free to download the pdf, print it and distribute it!
  14. Jack, thanks a lot for many good suggestions! I agree that master recipes would be beneficial. For now readers would be advised to "cross read" the recipes and make up their own master recipe. I've made a note of your suggestions under b). Regarding non-gelatin espumas - do you have any recipes? (you mention carrot air) It was quite difficult to find good lecithin recipes - I've tried the Frozen parmesan air recipe and I must admit that it was not a huge success. This might be because my handheld immersion blender does not have the proper attachment for making airs (it has a knife, not a tilted disk). I did consider starch and flour, but I feel they are pretty well covered in other cookbooks. I will include them however if I find recipes that illustrate uncommon properties of these. Turkish Delight is certainly a good candidate. I'll look into that.
  15. I've put together a collection of more than 100 recipes utilizing the full range of hydrocolloids that are becoming available to the average consumer. The collection is available for free download from: http://khymos.org/hydrocolloid-recipe-collection-v1.pdf (433 kB, 29 pages) Download it, use it and let me know if you have recipes that should be included in a future update! Here's what I've writting in the introduction:
  16. Interesting! I guess if it came out stiffer than normal marshmallow it probably wouldn't serve the initial purpous (better flavour release). However, since the texture of marshmallows is quite fascinating I'd be very interested to learn more about this anyway. Do you know more about the relative amounts of agar and xanthan used? How about the water/sugar ratio? What aerating device is used? And BTW, what is TIC?
  17. Yes, proteins are excellent foaming agents. But many polysaccharides can act as foam stabilizers as well. That's why I was optimistic about gellan. My main goal was not to make a "molecular" marshmallow (whatever that may mean), but to utilize the flavour release properties of gellan. You suggest to try the following: foaming agent + agar foaming agent + gellan foaming agent + sosa vegetarian gelatin Do you have any suggestions as to which foaming agents could be used? An obvious pair would of course be gelatin and gellan. Any other suggestions?
  18. I've experimented a little with flavoured marshmallows (banana/parsley, mango). The flavour is a lot more intense when the mixture is still soft. Once it sets, the flavour get's locked up by gelatin. The other day I came to think about gellan, a gelling agent which is reputed to have an "outstanding flavour release". So I thought, perhaps it would be possible to make marshmallows with gellan. I tried the following recipe (which works OK with gelatin): 200 g sugar 65 g water 65 g mango purée 10 g gellan Sugar/water was heated to 115 °C. Once gellan was added, everything solidified so I added the mango purée and heated it all in a bain marie. This melted the gel again, but it all became very sticky and it was impossible to whip it. I tried to add more water, but it was of no help. Well - this first experiment was a disaster, but my question to you all is if you know about any recipe for marshmallows using gellan? Any suggestions on procedures and amounts are also welcome.
  19. Check out the link in my signature. I have compiled a large list of books related to molecular gastronomy, kitchen science (and also some everyday science).
  20. Hello again and thank you for your replies. Nope! You haven't frightened me away from the forum, but I'm sorry for my delayed response. There's a couple of things I would like to comment on: I note that most are sceptical to adding anything to their wine, but I'm kind of surprised that wine is regarded as something holy and unchangeable. Perhaps the reason is the lack of success if people have tried to add things to their wine. And of course people do not want to "question" competent wine makers. But as britcook pointed out, I do not suggest you to take you best bottle of wine and start to add different chemicals to it. Of course the question is: is it possible to improve wine (in ways that are not "allowed" for a wine maker to use) by addition of flavours that would be formed naturally in wine/spirits that are aged in wood? From the little I know about winemaking it is clear to me that a number of chemicals and additives are used in the process of making wine. And this is not always regarded as "cheating". Clarifying wine for example is quite accepted, and I guess it would be naive to think that this does not change the taste, aroma and appearance of wine. Accelrated maturing by using oak chips is another example. Even though this is a wine forum (I didn't want to cross post, although I perhaps should have done so), I explicitly wrote wine/spirits. The much higher alcohol content of brandy/whiskey/aquavit might change things somewhat. Firstly, when these spirits are aged in wood, the higher alcohol content will extract more chemical substances out of the wood than wine would do. Secondly the higher alcohol content also changes the mouth feel, smell, aftertaste etc. I note that all the comments in the discussion so far have been on adding things to wine. Do you think it would be easier to improve spirits? Rebel Rose compares with food, writing that "Once the dish is finished, a careless and unplanned addition, however small, will ruin a dish that has been thoughtfully produced". I agree, but the addition of salt, pepper, parmesan, chutney etc. after food has been served is a planned addition and can often improve taste. I believe the same thing can be true for wine/spirits. Addition of vanilla is not at all a random addition. It's a carefull, planned action to mimic some of the procecess that naturally occur in the aging of wine/spirits. In a more general perspective I wonder whether there is a fear the "synthetic" or "chemical" as opposed to the "natural". Take the various "wine scandals". Here wine makers add various substances to improve the wine. This is normally not detected until a chemical analysis is done. Once this becomes known the public opinion of the wine changes from "ok" to "disagreable". But as long as long as people didn't know, they thought the wine tasted better. I totally agree that it should not be allowed for wine produces to add all sorts of chemicals to their wine. Yet it is a fact that in some cases addition of chemicals, before or after fermentation, has improved wine. Any comments on this? I think I'll leave it there and look forward to reading your comments!
  21. I use a very simple recipe: 1) 3-4 dl whipping cream, whipped 4 ts homemade vanilla sugar (chopped vanilla beans + sugar, leave for a month) 200 g ricotta cheese 200 g mascarpone cheese 2) 50 ml espresso coffe (cold) 50 ml brandy 3) savoirdi biscuits 4) cocoa powder mix 1), dip 3) in 2) make three layers (starting with 3)) in a bowl sprinkle with 4) leave for a couple of hours in a cool place to "settle" -- Martin
  22. In the circles of molecular gastronomy there has been talk about adding vanilla extract to wines/spirits to improve taste. The reasoning goes like this: when wine or spirits are aged in oak barrels some of the lignin (the "binder" in wood) is washed out into the liquid. The chemical structure of lignin is very similar to that of vanillin (and ethyl vanillin) and it is likely that lignin is chemically transformed to vanillin/ethylvanillin giving the vanilla notes in oak aged wines/spirites. The question then is - why not add a small amount of vanilla extract to wine/spirit to mimic some of the "aged" taste. A suitable amount would perhaps be 1-4 drops of vanilla extract for a bottle of wine (ie. you should not be able to actually taste/smell the vanilla - and you certainly have to shake the bottle well to ensure complete mixing). This will not mimic the complexity of a good bottle of well aged wine, but perhaps it will improve a cheap bottle? Has anyone tried this? What wines would be suitable for this experiment? -- Martin For books on molecular gastronomy, check out my homepage
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