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Everything posted by HQAntithesis

  1. 24g?? Wow, that's a heavy sheet. The ones I've worked with were 2g. Are you sure you weren't looking at the weight of the packet containing multiple sheets? In either case, you'll be needing 5-6g of gelatin and so you can just weigh the sheets before putting them in water.
  2. Choux, could you please tell me more about the science/philosophy explained in his book: for example I think he discussed the use of chocolate in mousses and the use of truffle in gateaux but I'm not sure what else there is. Did you those bits of any interest/use?
  3. Wow, that meringue really is very sweet, even as far as meringues go! I would have thought you could even halve the quantity of sugar (though then you may need to make a bit more of the batter to have enough for the cake). As gfron said, one hour may not be enough time in the oven to cook the meringue though, at that temperature, it should eventually start to colour. After baking, you can always just turn off the oven (leaving the meringue in there) and let the residual heat continue to dry out the meringue. Be warned though that if you do lower the sugar content of the meringue, that will further increase the baking time (additional water in the recipe). For the bavarian cream, I recommend reducing the sugar content to one or two tablespoons. The gelatin content is correct, but the problem is that volume measurements of gelatin are quite unsafe: not enough and you have thick soup and too much and you have rubber. You also have to catch the custard/chocolate mixture at just the right temperatue when you add the cream: it should be just a little below body temperature though if your whipped cream is at fridge temperature you could probably get away with incorporating it at body temperature because there's so much of it. With the gelatin powder, how much water did you bloom it in? For two teaspoons you'd need about 40ml. If too much extra is added, that will also make the bavarian runny.
  4. I'm not sure if this is the reason but pate de cacao has a different percentage cocoa butter to normal chocolate. I can't remember if it has more of less but I think it's more. I suppose by combining the two you might be able to get something with less cocoa solids and more cocoa butter than what is normally available on the market. Unless I'm wrong about which percentage is higher in which case you'd do it to get something with more cocoa solids and less cocoa butter .
  5. Wow, that's really suprising you guys found it so cheap. The price I got from Chocovic, where the chef is based, quoted me 150 euros, plus a minimum of 30 euros shipping (just to ship it from Spain to France!)... that would come to about 250USD I think! Now shall I or shan't I argh...
  6. I had the chance to see it at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris and it seemed good. I'm thinking about ordering it now but am reconsidering it because of the hefty price tag. Has anyone else seen it? What do you think? Here's the link for information about it on chips books: http://chipsbooks.com/chocramn.htm
  7. I agree that it is a bit patchy. The information comes out on the website usually less than two weeks before the show is due which I feel would give businesses, who are already busy preparing for the festive season, difficulty in participating.
  8. I think, to begin with, there are certain environmental factors that would increase the shelf life of the gingerbread house and those that would decrease it. Exposure to air, humidity and light would be somewhat detrimental to the gingerbread. Fats become rancid faster than oils do, so, if everything else was constant within the recipe and environmental conditions then the oil one would be better with shelf life. Perhaps it may be a little less sturdy if it were to be held in a higher humidity environment? Dense gingerbread would fare better too. It's more difficult for air, light and moisture to penetrate. The density of the final product would be affected by the mixing method (whether the fats are creamed, and if the mixture is worked after adding the eggs). As for ingredients, it's a balancing act I suppose. With each ingredient playing a part: I'm not totally familiar with the action of each ingredient though. Sugar: Initially a brittleness, adds density, increases rate of moisture absorption. Fats/oils: increases softness and friability, decreases rate of moisture absorption, if it contains an emulsifier it would give a lighter product which again changes things. Invert sugars: gives softer result than sugar initially but does not increase rate of moisture absorption over time like sugar?
  9. I'm going to hazard a guess about the graininess and suggest it's either the cocoa fats (from the chocolate) or the milk fats (from the butter/cream). If the mixture was perfectly emulsified and set while perfectly emulsified then everything would be in tiny particles which, theoretically, would not be detectable on the tongue. But say, if the ganache took too long to cool, even if it was perfectly emulsified, I think it might become granular also. An example is like this, If I remember it rightly, igneous rocks have crystals whose size correspond to the rate of setting: if allowed to cool slowly: larger crystals develop because they have the time to and, if set quickly, smaller crystals develop because they're 'shocked' into it. Why not then put ganache in the fridge to set? I think it's the same as putting chocolate that hasn't fully set into the fridge. The cold shocks the chocolate into setting and you get the development of unwanted cocoa butter crystals and, to begin with they may not be noticeable, but they'll melt and coalesce etc as time goes on. It's not just about temperature, all that setting. Crystallisation processes aren't linear, they're hyperbolic (or some other fancy term, I don't know). For example, if you made a perfectly emulsified ganache then put it in a warming cabinet at say... 27C (which was the temperature which beta crystals form), it would take a long time to set and would probably become granular over time. Another issue involved is the type of chocolate used: like chocolates, milk and white chocolate ganaches take a longer time to set. What some people do to accelerate the process is to add tempered cocoa butter into the ganache. This gives the crystallisation process a head start and allows for a much more rapid crystallisation. Notice that rapid crystallisation, as opposed to slow crystallisation, is not a problem unless it is caused by cold temperature. That's how I figure it. The same problem does not appear in compound chocolate because all hydrogenated vegetable fats have the same setting point and don't have the same properties of cocoa butter though if it was a high butter compound chocolate ganache it might be more inclined to become granular if set too slowly/quickly.
  10. I think Tammylc may be right. If you add the butter to the choc/cream mixture while it's hot enough to completely melt the butter then you'll get a less pronounced butter flavour and perhaps a slightly firmer setting texture than if you added the room temperature butter when the choc/cream mixture was cooler (31-32C). At that temperature, it's a bit hard to get the butter to incorporate though, and an immersion blender becomes useful. I think it's something about destructuring of the butter. Perhaps if you boiled the butter with the cream? Or had the butter sitting on top of the chocolate and pour the boiling cream on top of both. The reasoning is that butter/cream mix will always boils at the same temperature so it eliminates the issue of what temperature the mix will be before you add your butter. With the second method, the butter is a part of the cold mass that drops the overall temperature, meaning you wait less time before mixing... I suppose the shelflife might be marginally effected?
  11. I think PCB would have a distributor in Australia. Depending where you're based you could try the Savour School (Melb) or The Essential Ingredient(Syd/Melb( for smaller quantities or Meyer(Syd) or Creative Ingredients(Melb) for larger quantities.
  12. An anglaise based ganache makes a cremeux (though usually done with a lower proportion of chocolate and used in gateaux rather than chocolates). The presence of the egg will have a negative influence on the shelflife. I think the creme fraiche could go well: the slight acidity would work against the sweetness of the white chocolate and the overall richness of the truffle.
  13. HQAntithesis


    For all effects, due to the very low moisture content of isomalt, it doesn't have a shelf life. I'm not sure about it's structure molecularly but I remember reading somewhere that it colours at 190-200C. Then again, perhaps it's subject to the same rules as cooking sugar, where if you cook it for a longer period of time it will start to yellow even without reaching normal colouring stages. If you like, try this recipe (the glucose is added to prevent the poured isomalt from becoming hazy after absorbing moisture): 1kg isomalt 100g glucose Water (enough to cover bottom of casserole with depth around 1/2 cm) In a casserole with the water, pour 1/3 of the isomalt and cook till dissolved. Add another 1/3 of the isomalt, cook till dissolved. Add remaining 1/3, cook till 170C. Add glucose (brought to boil in microwave) Cook to 170C again, pour as desired. For a smoother appearance on the surface, hit the surface of the isomalt with a blowtorch immediately after pouring (it's really amazing how much more glasslike it is even if you don't see any bubbles).
  14. It took me to the 4th post before I realised you weren't talking about the tail's of real cats .
  15. Thanks for posting the report David, I was looking forward to it for what seemed like ages! A question on the 'splash' petals for the flower, how are they made? I've never seen anything like it before.
  16. Airbrushing sounds like a good way to go I think, if you're using a waterbased ink, be especially sure to add glucose when you're cooking your isomalt. I would have thought a cocoa butter imprint would have worked on sugar though? For example, if you pressed flat a transfer sheet onto the sugar then squeegeed out the airbubbles, hit it with a hot hairdryer then chilled it?
  17. I got the chance to make sorbets last week at school and we tested it with a refractometer before pouring the mix in the machine, only we aimed for an optimum reading of 33. When it was too low we'd add some dextrose powder to increase it and when it was too high we'd add a little bit of water to descrease it. It's a lot easier to have a consistent texture like this I guess, but I haven't any idea how different the textures would be if they had a refractometer reading of 30, for example, because all the mixes had virtually the same reading.
  18. Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone has eaten any of the chocolates of Franck Kestener or have visited his shop in Sarreguemines? Any comments? Thanks!
  19. Could they be overcooked? The eggs might be cooking against a part of the bain marie or bowl which then gets mixed into the meringue. What shape is the vessel holding the whites? If it's a standard saucepan shape, there's a good chance of bits of egg white cooking along the outer perimeter of the base.
  20. I hope I'm allowed to post this here? ----- Bonjour tout le monde, Je m'appelle Jonathan Lee et je suis d'Australie. Actuellement, je suis a Perpignan pour etudier mais je vais etre a Paris de 8 Juillet jusqu'a 11 Mercredi (mais je n'ai pas des temps a Mercredi) pour une classe 3 jour a l'ecole Bellouet Conseil. Je voudrais savoir si il y a quelqu'un qui veut me recontre pour diner un soir a un bon restaurant. Aussi, je espere faire un tour de la patisseries de Paris si il y a quelqu'un veut m'accompagne. Attention sil vous plait, je ne parle pas bien la francais donc c'est mieux si vous pouvez parler de l'anglais ou si vous avez la patience. De Jonathan Lee. ----- Hi everyone, My name is Jon Lee and I am from Australia. Currently, I am in Perpignan to study but I am going to be in Paris from the July 8th until Wednesday 11th (but I will be busy on Wednesday) for a 3 day class at the Bellouet Conseil. I would like to know if there is anyone who would like to join me for dinner at a good restaurant. Also, I hope to do a tour of the patisseries in Paris if anyone wishes to accompany me. Please note, I don't speak French well so it is better if you can speak some English or have patience. From Jonathan Lee.
  21. Hi everyone, So I was walking through a bookstore and saw two books on macarons, one by Glacier and one by Felder. And I can,t decide zhich to get. Does anyone have either of them? I:m less interested in the recipes and more interested in the science behind them. Ciao!
  22. I'm not so sure having it too warm would affect it. I've accidentally left a transfer sheet in my car and had the cocoa butter melt and parts of it smear on my hands and... ok I'll stop there but the bits that weren't smeared still turned out fine. That's to say they transferred, there might be a shine issue involved though?
  23. Thanks for the reminder, I've been frantically studying French so I forgot to post the results. It's not quite a scientific experiment but what I did was try cooking small sticks of rhubarb, one in just boiling water and one in a hot syrup that was around the 145C mark. I found the rhubarb cooking in boiling water was 'just' ready in about one and a half minutes while the one cooked in the syrup was ready in about one minute. There was a difference with the texture between the two, the one being cooked in syrup holding it's shape better though neither being really 'crisp' or 'crunchy' so to speak. I'm not sure if the syrup-rhubarb was better off simply because it had a reduced cooking time though. Another thing I found with both was that the outer red 'skin' seemed eager to slide off after cooking and it took a bit of coaxing to make it look like it was all as one intact piece. So that's what I found from my experimenting, it's not really conclusive but for me the difference wasn't really worth boiling the sugar and cleaning the pot afterward etc. I'd be inclined to get a hold of the article before trying again.
  24. Oooh, I think I understand now . I'll give it a try this Saturday and tell everyone how it turns out. Wish me luck!
  25. Hmmm... mooshy, that does sound nice but wasn't quite what I had in mind. Is there a way to cook the rhubarb without it losing while maintaining some texture?
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