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  1. Just tried this recipe and it was looking so good until the cooking. I've ended up with the feet spreading too much and the shells being thin and completely hollow. Cooked on a variety of surfaces, all steel baking sheets one with a silicon liner, one parchment and one a teflon sheet. Oven temp was 150C and cooked for approx 12 minutes. Any tips?
  2. I started a new job last Summer at an electronics firm and was pleased to discover my colleagues often brought in home baking. Joining in, I appear to have started the baking wars with some fierce competition between bakers to win over the taste use of the rest of the office. The scores are level and I'm looking to up my game (and play with my new stand mixer). What are your favourite recipes to share at work? So far we have had From me - spelt & ginger cookies, oatmeal & sour cherry cookies and a pound cake From others - carrot cake, barabrith, chocolate Guinness cake and a sponge cake
  3. I'm baking for a few cake sales to raise money for the Red Cross and was wondering what your favourite recipes are for this type of event. Ease of baking, low cost and popularity are all important considerations
  4. Not sure about the thermo, but my 0.5l gourmet has a neck about 5cm wide so it should be plenty big enough to put ice inside. The gourmet could be coated in a neoprene sleeve like the ones you get to keep beer cans cool to protect your hands from the dry ice
  5. Why not use an ISI Thermo Whip? All you would need is a strainer of the right size. Just dont fit a nozzle and keep it upright when you come to release the pressure using the product release handle. Insulated, pressure capable and perfect for the task. You could also carbonate further if required with their CO2 cylinders
  6. I've been thinking that a salt, sweet or sharp foam would be useful to float instead of coating the rim of a glass. I can imagine a Margarita with a Salt foam float. I've been researching and found some more interesting links Robert Hess interviews Jamie Boudreau Photomicrography of Cocktail crystal structures Apple White Lady (Sous Vide)
  7. Having been working through the excellent Hydrocolloid recipe list at http://blog.khymos.org/2007/08/14/hydrocol...ipe-collection/ its given me the idea to start compiling some technological cocktails in a thread here. I'd like to include alcoholic and non alcoholic cocktails which can be in any form - liquid, solid or gas and use interesting preparation techniques or equipment such as Cream whippers, spherification etc. Its a fine line between whats a food and a drink but it'll be interesting to see where this is crossed. For starters, here are two links to some ideas Wired Cocktails Tony Conigliaro Cocktails (Guardian Newspaper)
  8. tkerby

    V1 Vacuum Decanter

    Would you chill red overnight to keep it or would you leave it at room temperature? I'm not sure whether temperature cycling does more damage than faster oxidisation. I'm almost tempted to use my Isi Whipper to squirt nitrous oxide into the top of the bottle before putting the normal cork / screwcap back. Might be preferable
  9. Just been - he'll be lucky to find much open until September as it's holiday season at the moment. In town, I tried Il Coriandolo which was a fairly good Italian restaurant with very large portion sizes. I really enjoyed the food there and it was what I'd call good quality for a business trip - not gourmet but your beats most hotel restaurants etc. I also went to an amazing restaurante called Donizetti on 5 Via Gaetano Donizetti, 20017 Rho It was a 6 course fixed gourmet menu including Octopus Carpaccio, Veal Terrine, Veal Escalope, a traditional potato based pasta, smaller than Gnocci, sea bass, prawn risotto and desert. Probably wouldnt have ever tried raw octopus if it wasn't put in front of me but I'm glad I did. Note that they speak no English! Edit: I found the phone number Donizetti S.A.S.Di Clavenna Gianpaolo & C Via Donizetti Gaetano, 5 20017 Rho Tel.: (+39) 029304530
  10. I tried a lemon air last night and froze it using my Bamix immersion blender. 50/50 lemon juice and water with a dash of agave syrup to take off the edge (and I couldn't be bothered dissolving sugar in the mix). I actually found the blade was better than the tilted disc or the whisk disc (perforated). The trick was to get the height in the liquid just right. Too low and you create a whirlpool destroying the forming foam. Too high and it splatters, also killing the foam. The two things I noticed were - Using a flatter container (sandwich box) was better than a tall blender beaker. Keeping the blender in a corner allowed the foam to gather elsewhere in the box. - Using a baffle to stop the whirlpool effect. I placed a large spoon in the box near the blade to break up the flow. This allows bubbles to rise and stops them being destroyed I found freezing to work but bubbles defrost really quickly and don't remain stable when they have defrosted. I think I added a bit too much lecethin when I was annoyed it wasnt foaming because whilst it tasted fresh when made, it picked up a slimy soapy taste and mouth feel when frozen. Interestingly, my gourmet whip arrived last night and as I was cooking Thai curry noodles, I had spare coconut milk and tried the Pina Colada. Very surprised it worked as I was using fresh pressed pineapple juice and I thought the bromelain enzyme would stop the gelling process from working. I can only presume the juice may have been pasteurised by the supermarket. I have to say it was exceedingly tasty (especially with double the rum, you couldn't taste it to start with) and had the interesting effect of making me tipsy despite the fact I only had around a shot of alcohol total in the few glasses I made
  11. That reminds me of a cocktail popular among the theatre techs at University - The Black Techie. I'm not sure I'd recommend it but it was interesting to try - Drink half a pint of 80 shilling beer (a dark, strong ale) - Order a double vodka and coke with ice - Pour said double vodka and coke into top of pint - Stir with your Maglite or Leatherman File for a hint of metallic aftertaste - Drink Coke and beer probably mix better than coke and wine as it sweetens the bear and the aromatics merge to some extent but even still, it wouldn't be my choice. On a nicer note, if you have cheap Whisky you want to make better, add 1 drop of high quality vanilla essence to each glass and it makes a huge improvement. Alternatively, a few vanilla pods dropped in the bottle have a similar effect. It's a tip I picked up from Herve This when he was last in Edinburgh and has been proven in a blind taste test with friends. In fact, as long as you weren't comparing to an Islay (with a characteristically different smoky flavour), most friends preferred the cheap whisky + vanilla than some expensive Speysides. None realised it had been tampered with. Apparently Vanilla contains many of the aromatics missing in cheap whisky and acts as a decent substitute. Perhaps liquid smoke + vanilla would turn cheap Speyside into an Islay Equally, cheap vodka passed through a times gets a lot more palletable. That one is from my student friends....
  12. I'd like to introduce the idea of a dinner crawl to those who have never organised such an event and discuss favourite reheatable / quick dishes suitable for the purpose. A dinner crawl is a similar concept to a pub crawl, but as well as getting hideously drunk, you also get well fed. A dinner crawl usually involves around 5 flats or houses within walking distance or easy public transport travel such as tube/metro/bus stops. Each nominated location and person is responsible for a single course of a meal. The aim is to start around 4pm and finish around 1am allowing approximately 30 minutes cooking, 30 minutes eating and 25 minutes travel per course. Preferably the travel time is kept lower but it depends on location. Number of courses can of course be varied and some can be quicker than others. Generally around 20 guests attend and are expected to bring plenty drink to cover those cooking and thus pay their way. The dinner crawl has many advantages - Many cooks do not spoil a meal (at least if they are in different kitchens!) Any one bad cook (and I've seen the worst meal thread) or something people dont like can be skipped over - The cooks get free drink - Economies of scale make preparation a breeze. Cooking one course for 20 is easier than cooking 5 courses for 4. - You get a nice walk between courses to let your food go down - You have a large collection of wine that can be matched to the course (generally the food isn't revealed before you arrive) - As it involves a large group, there is plenty time to mingle and meet new people. You also find out where some friends live and get a change of scenery - It tends to be a lot cheaper than a pub crawl! - Its fun cooking for a large number Does anyone else do this and what are your favourite dishes? Most have to be either prepared quickly or can be safely held at temperature or reheated quickly. Either that or food that doesnt need cooked
  13. I've had some bad experiences, may which I've tried to help recover such as suggesting our friend might want to parboil his potatoes before roasting them (after the solid lumps we got the last time) and put them in hot oil. Shame he decided he didn't need to turn them. Crispy and perfectly cooked on one side (if a little greasy) but hard, slimy and undercooked on the other Another memorable one we had was the duck we had got from a very good butcher which they had forgotten to gut. 30 minutes of pulling out its insides and the stench of rotting pondweed later, we put it in the oven but the smell continued to get worse. We gave up and got takeaway as I guess the meat had been tainted by the rotting stomach. That said, they did give us $200 of free steak when we mentioned it the next time we were in. The worst, however, has to have been the dinner party of a manic depressive friend. The house was thick with dirt, the bird in the hallway stank and the place was a tip. At least they were scrubbing the pots and pans, albeit out in the back yard. The meal was a thai chicken curry. Noodles and chicken were cooked, the chicken sliced and a tub of Lloyd Grossman sauce thrown over the top. I could have thought of worse and was so hungry I was pleased to have some food. I started slurping the noodles until my teeth crunched on something harder. What did I find? A kitchen matchstick, head still on. I poked around a bit to discover about 15 more and put them to the side of my plate and enquired to our host what had happened. I noticed the other guests were doing the same. Apparently they had dropped the matches in the boiling noodles and though they had managed to pick them all out. Unfortunately it was a jumbo sized box and they had missed more than a few and nicely steeped the noodles in a chemical soup. We carefully picked on the chicken, leaving the noodles and hoping for the best Then one of the guests offered a bottle of Bunnahabhain after trying to correct the entire party on its pronunciation (they were all correct, he was wrong). We all took a nip and were glad it was a closed bottle to start. Then he took it to the bathroom with him claiming he didnt want it spiked. The volume was still the same when he came back so we braved another shot assuming he was just being a bit odd. Only later were we told that he had added some of our hosts lithium tablets to the bottle to make it more fun. Luckily by this point we had only had a small sip of the second glass and myself and my girlfriend promptly left. That night we were both violently sick and I awoke multiple times in the night paralysed and in great pain from muscle cramps. I think I would have phoned the hospital had I been able to reach the phone downstairs. Luckily by the morning the effects seemed to have worn off and we had survived the experience left only with aching stomach and muscles for the next few days. I've had food poisoning before but I never expected chemical poisoning from a dinner party. We've not been back since.
  14. I'm wondering if freezing could allow you to place a free floating object within a sphere such as a piece of lemon peel or perhaps another sphere. I think if you froze the first one floating in the second substance you may have a chance of keeping it central. Otherwise you could use a two stage freezing process to stabilise then bulk out the shape. You would then need to ensure the gel layer remained thin
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