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Patrick S

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Posts posted by Patrick S

  1. 10 hours ago, JohnT said:

    I am no medical expert and do not pretend to know the actual answer other than it is believed to be responcible or play a large part in obesity, liver and heart disease, dimentia and diabetics. Aparently the corn producing associations in the US have fought hard and long to try and cover-up these problems. I think your best bet is to do your own research and reach your own conclusions. I am led to believe that most European countries have also a ban on corn syrup - maybe some of the EU members on the forum will chime in to confirm or refute this. We are a high maize (corn) producing country and it is illegal to produce corn syrup or even import it. We use glucose or cane syrup as a sub in our products and I have never found any South African recipe that uses corn syrup - even going back to the 1800's.



    Without trying to derail this thread, I would say that discussions about HFCS are typically rife with misunderstandings of what the actual differences are between HFCS and other sweeteners. And most of the articles claiming some metabolic difference between HFCS and ordinary sugar actually point to metabolic studies using pure fructose rather than HFCS. HFCS is not higher in fructose than most other commonly used sugar sweeteners, and sugar sweeteners that are mixtures of fructose and glucose do not have the same metabolic effects as sugar sweeteners that do not also contain glucose.


    HFCS is manufactured and used commercially in two major formulations, a 42% fructose version and a 55% fructose version, with most of the rest of the sugars being glucose. So to an approximation, HFCS is basically a 50/50 mixture of fructose and glucose, just like sucrose, ordinary sugar. The only real difference between HFCS and ordinary sucrose is that in sucrose the glucose and fructose monomers are joined by a hydrogen bond. Following consumption, this bond is rapidly broken, or hydrolyzed, yielding unbound fructose and glucose monomers, and controlled metabolic studies have found no significant differences in their effects (e.g., with respect to fasting plasma glucose, insulin, leptin, or ghrelin).  Invert sugar and honey are even more similar to HFCS, in that they consist of unbound glucose and fructose monomers, in basically equal proportions (45/45 in the case of invert sugar, 49/43 in the case of honey), just like HFCS. Below are links to two articles, one in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and a review article in the journal Advances in Nutrition, both with free full-text available. From the abstract of the AIN article:


    ". . . a broad scientific consensus has emerged that there are no metabolic or endocrine response differences between HFCS and sucrose related to obesity or any other adverse health outcome. This equivalence is not surprising given that both of these sugars contain approximately equal amounts of fructose and glucose, contain the same number of calories, possess the same level of sweetness, and are absorbed identically through the gastrointestinal tract."







    • Like 4
  2. On 9/19/2017 at 12:24 AM, keychris said:

    I was at a vanilla farm just last week in far north Queensland (Australia) and they said a few things:

    A disease has wiped out a lot of production in one of the main countries, I forget which, sorry!

    Weather conditions (in Australia at any rate) have not been conducive to a good crop ( no clear wet and dry season the last year)

    Indian markets are buying up large quantities of vanilla at the moment, with a view possibly to controlling the market in the future (expect higher prices)


    I think one of the big factors in play right now is decreased production in Madagascar - cyclone Enawo in March put a big hit on their output this year.

    • Like 3
  3. 11 hours ago, EsaK said:


    Thanks so much Patrick for these! I hadn't for some reason ever ran into or thought about the inversion technique here, but it sure makes sense. By the way, do you see any harm in assembling the entremet, storing it in the freezer for a longer time, and then taking it out for glazing when needed? I guess it should be fine with the gelatins and agars etc in the mousse and brulee. And while I'm rolling out the questions.. any tricks on how to get that nice and thick glaze? 

    I recently bought a lot of nuts, including hazelnuts. Almond paste seems like quite a standard product in terms of recipes. But hazelnut praline paste, am I right to assume 100g nuts into caramel from 62g sugar, 17g water roughly does the job, blitzed into a paste (so this doesn't include any chocolate)? 


    Yes, the entremet will hold in the freezer just fine as long as you cover it well. The glaze is a standard milk chocolate mirror glaze of the type you can find all over the internet, with 100g of hazelnut praline paste added. In terms of making your own nut paste - you could make one that is delicious for sure, but you would have a hard time making one that is smooth enough to use in a mirror glaze - it just won't grind down fine enough, no matter how long you grind it, and you would end up with a bunch of tiny but noticable lumps in your glaze, which would ruin the mirror effect. At least, I was never able to get a really fine paste in the past when I tried to make it at home with a food processor, which is why I use a commercial (Callebuat) product now. A homemade paste would probably be just fine in the mousse or other components, however, where this tiny difference in texture wouldn't matter as much.

  4. 4 hours ago, RWood said:

    Haven't tried the Orelys yet, but I've been using the Opalys (33% white) a lot, and I have a bag of the Waina (35% white) that is different. Very vanilla-y. 

    The one on the left is Opalys, and the right is Waina. Very different. 

    I was looking on Valrhonas website, and they also have passion fruit and strawberry chocolate. Getting a little crazy.



    Things have definitely changed quite a bit recently! I took a break from baking for several years, and only remember the Manjari, Guanaja, Caraibe, Ivoire and Jivara varieties from those days. Now, just a few years later, there is this whole zoo of crispearls, single origins, blondes, and all other manner of new stuff. I know that different folks have different opinions when it comes to white chocolate, but personally I just love the Valrhona Ivoire. I haven't tried the Waina or Opalys, but I'm sure that will happen once the weather cools and I have a moment of Amazon weakness. Add to that list the Azelia hazelnut chocolate, and the Itakuja (passion fruit) and Kidavoa (banana) double-fermented chocolates. I did try the Dulcey and Caramelia. We loved both of them so much that when it came time to cook, I found that my kilo of feves had dwindled to about 200 grams due to a sustained pattern of late-night nibbling. Being a home baker, I probably won't do much more than sample some of these new varieties, since there are other ways to add that extra note (caramel, hazelnut, fruit flavors, etc) to whatever I'm making.


    For those of you that are mostly focused on chocolates/confectionary, what do make of this recent big bang of varieties? Are you using many of these new products in your commercial work? Do you find any of them to be actually interesting or innovative, or do you see most of the new products to be gimmicky and faddish? 

  5. 11 hours ago, EsaK said:


    Looks fantastic to me! If you don't mind a couple questions.. How did you assemble that? Crisp on bottom, mousse over it, almond cake on top with more mousse, freezer, setting creme brulee onto different mold and then adding it, together with last set of mousse? I've done some entremets, and issue with few was that I had small gaps between the layers. 

    Additionally, would you be willing and able to send recipes for the almond cake and mousse you used? Super grateful fan of your work!


    Thank you so much, EsaK!


    1. Tri2Cook is of course correct about the method of assembly. I set a ring mold on a sheet, wrapping the bottom with plastic wrap. The inside of the ring mold is lined with an acetate strip, preferably one exactly the same height as the ring mold. A little mousse is piped into the bottom, and drawn about half way up the sides with an icing spatula. The whole mold then goes into the freezer for a few. Then the next layer (preprepared and frozen) is nestled down into the mouse, twisted just a little so that it is snug and no gaps remain. Another later of mousse is piped and spread, and the the next layer (preprepared and frozen) is pushed, twisted in nice and snug. Repeat with more mousse, and then the base layer. Cover and freeze the whole mold overnight. Unmold and invert right before glazing.


    2. The almond cake recipe, from one of Bachour's Valrhona demo videos, is as follows:


    Almond paste 170g

    Unsalted butter 170g

    Sugar 150g

    1 vanilla bean or equivalent

    Large eggs 3

    Flour 128g

    Baking powder 3g

    Pinch of salt

    Sour cream 155g


    Cream almond paste, butter and sugar with paddle until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Fold in sour cream. Bake in ring mold at 325F/165C for 15 minutes


    3. I'm not sure where the mousse recipe came from (it's in a notebook), but it is as follows:


    200g milk chocolate

    130g Hazelnut praline paste

    5g silver gelatin sheets, or 4.2g gold gelatin sheets, bloomed in cold water

    100g whole milk

    450g heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks


    Melt chocolate and praline over double boiler. Heat milk to almost boiling, and add drained gelatin to milk and combine. Combine gelatin and milk mixture to chocolate mixture and combine well. When the mixture has cooled to 113F/45C, fold in the whipped cream until uniform and no streaks remain. I think for my last recipe I used a 1.5x quantity of this. 

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  6. I admit that I'm a sucker for new chocolate varieties, being a novelty-seeking type in general. I'm looking forward to at least trying the new Orelys from Valrhona, for instance. I'm interested to see what Callebaut's Ruby really brings to the table. If it's just a novel color, I'm not particularly interested. But if it hits some kind of new note in the flavor department, I'd be happy to give it a spin!

  7. A recently bought a few kilos of hazelnut praline paste to play with, and started by making this entremet, adapted from a recipe by Antonio Bachour. The glaze needs work, but otherwise it turned out fine. Components include hazelnut praline crisp, creme "brulee" (a stovetop version set with a little agar and gelatin), and a soft almond cake set in milk chocolate/hazelnut praline mousse, and glazed with hazelnut praline/milk chocolate mirror glaze. Bachour's recipe for the almond cake is great, probably my favorite of the versions I've tried. It's made with almond paste like a pain de gênes, and lightened with some sour cream.



    • Like 17
  8. Pistachio-strawberry dacquoise, recipe loosely adapted from Christophe Michalak. Soft almond dacquoise covered with pistachio paste-infused white chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries glazed with melted strawberry jelly, garnished with crushed pistachios. The ganache gave me some problems - the emulsion kept breaking when I tried to whip it. I'm pretty sure I made an error weighing out my ingredients, using too much white chocolate. In any event, it was delicious.

    res IMG_0494.jpg

    res IMG_0529.jpg

    • Like 11
  9. 6 hours ago, rotuts said:

    the USDA  numbers are a bit high.  whole egg 60 C ?


    however  they want to be on the safe side so Im guessing that's the reason for the numbers


    130.1 F   (  a trad less than 55 C ) will pasteurize anything if you leave it ' in the bath ' long enough, then treat it appropriately 


    after its ' done '


    I wonder what a 140 egg is like , has it begun to ' cook ? '  i.e. 60 C ?


    they do say albumin @ 55.6 C is pasteurized.


    its also important that the pasteurized egg does not get re-contaminated after its pasteurized :


    i.e. you can't put it back in the egg carton unless its also pasteurized  


    The USDA guidelines are indeed high in that they are designed to achieve a level of reduction in pathogenic organisms that is sufficient to prevent foodborne illness even in vulnerable people. The target is something like a 5-log reduction in the case of egg products, meaning that the conditions in their guidelines are designed to reduce microorganisms in the product by a factor of 100,000. And it is true that above a certain minimum temperature you can achieve an equivalent log reduction by increasing the amount of time-at-temp, but it's worth pointing out that as the temp decreases, the time-at-temp required increases logarithmically. For instance, USDA recommends cooking chicken to 165F, which hits the reduction target in a matter of seconds. You can achieve the same reduction at 136F, but that would take over an hour. 


    Finally, a whole egg at 140F will just begin to see some protein coagulation. Ovotransferrin, a protein component that makes up 12% of the white, will start to coagulate at 140F. Ovalbumin, which comprises 54% of the white, starts to coagulate at 180F. Yolk proteins don't start to coagulate until right around 149F (65C), so pasteurizing at 63.3C should not result in any appreciable thickening. 

    • Like 2
  10. Going bananas. Entremet composed of: hazelnut dacquoise, caramelized banana cake, banana compote, dulce de leche. All of that is set inside of a caramelized white chocolate mousse and glazed with a milk chocolate mirror glaze. Adapted from recipe here. I made some tempered white and dark chocolate decorations to go along, but I had some bloom and left them out. But I have since further educated myself on tempering and determined to nail it.



    • Like 11
  11. We've been craving tacos. So dinner tonight was carne asada tacos with lime and chili-marinaded sirloin, cilantro, onion, tomatillo salsa and cojita cheese. The tortillas I just bought off the shelf. 


    • Like 14
  12. 1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

    @Patrick S, I had exactly the same experience with the magic cake. Everything happened as it was supposed to, but all I could think of after eating it was "This is what magic tastes like?" I love custard, but did not find this cake appealing. I always wonder what I did wrong when so many people rave about something (such as this cake), but your experience appears to confirm mine.


    Would you mind if I sent you a PM about your macro lens? I have had no success with mine--people on eGullet get better photos with their smartphones than I do with my $$ lens.


    Sure, feel free to hit me up via PM anytime!

  13. I was wanting to take the new 100mm macro lens for a spin, but didn't have time for a major project. So I ended up making one of those vanilla "magic" cakes. It starts with a foamy batter with the consistency of egg nog. The recipe worked as advertised, separating into more or less discrete layers upon cooking. But I didn't find the end result particularly magical. Finished with dulce de leche.


    • Like 11
  14. 4 hours ago, keychris said:


    I've been on the hunt for a mirror glaze recipe for a while, any chance you could share one :D


    Edit: "on the hunt" really means... vaguely looking every now and then :P



    Sure. There are plenty of variations online that work great. Here's one from Reddit that I've used.





    20 g Gelatin Powder

    120 g Cold Water

    300 g Glucose

    300 g Sugar

    150 g Water

    200 g Sweetened Condensed Milk

    300 g Chocolate


    Bloom the gelatin in the first quantity of cold water for 5 or more minute, then gently heat in microwave until melted.

    Combine the glucose, sugar and second quantity of water in medium pan, and bring to boil. Take of the heat and add the gelatin mass and the sweetened condensed milk.

    Pour over the chocolate, and let sit for a couple of minutes. Blend well with an immersion blender to smooth it out. For a white color, add some titanium dioxide. For other colors, use a fat soluble coloring. Be careful not to incorporate air. Cool to 90-95F before using.


    This recipe makes almost 1.5 kilos. This freezes well. I store portions in vacuum bags, and reheat to about 100F in a sous vide bath or a pot of hot water, taking it out and squishing it to get the temperature homogeneous. If you get air bubbles in it when you reheat, just hit it with the immersion blender again.


    I've used the recipe below for a salted caramel mirror glaze, which worked fine.






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