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Steve Klc

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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    Washington, DC mostly

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  1. Steve Klc

    Using a Pacojet

    Some people with both a Paco and a batch freezer still do their sorbets in the batch freezer, me included. If you haven't seen it yet, there's a very nice section in Torreblanca's book on doing ice creams and sorbets in the PacoJet, about 20 recipes or so. I think the main thing working against you getting a "tight" sorbet in a Paco, after you adjust the sugars, is whether you can reliably freeze the beakers deeply enough--if you can, you should be fine getting the texture/firmness you want.
  2. This might be a little misleading, Sharon. No matter what care or method you employ at home or in a pro setting--even with a Sumeet--you can't produce a nut flour at all comparable to the commercial product. You can grind it up and get varying degrees of fineness--but there's no way to press the oil out to get nut "flour." What you get still has all the oil in it--what you get is some form of "meal" not flour. Flour has 80-90% of the oil pressed out of it--and hence its value in certain applications, a la macaroons and other things you'll find recipes for in the best pastry books. If you
  3. in case anyone is wondering about the designers and pastry chefs who actually collaborated on those dresses pictured above, the first was by Austin Scarlett and Robert Twardzik, the vampire M&M number was by Diana Kane and Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez, the wedding dress with white chocolate (I believe) was Celestina Agostino for La Châtelaine & François Pralus, the Egyptian themed one was by Martin Howard, of course, and worn by Martin during the runway show, who was accompanied by a quartet of servants, fanning him with chocolate palm fronds. Some savvy veterans I know time their visit
  4. half to two-thirds should get you off to a good start, it'll extend baking time, and don't forget it will continue to cook and set once it's removed from the oven and allowed to cool.
  5. yeah, the container is irrelevant--just something you can seal effectively. I know people who bake these both in a water bath and not, in radiant and convection, covered and not, and every possible combination--everyone has a personal way of doing these. I lean toward convection, water bath, covered with plastic but that's not always practical in a restaurant setting.
  6. Marlene--the "theory" behind using a convection oven for custards is that the fans ensure better air circulation, keeping the oven at the same temp all over, and hence less need for a water bath--whose real function is to help coddle the custards while they are cooking and to prevent them from over-heating or heating too quickly, as they might in a radiant heat oven where the focus of the heat is coming from the bottom of the oven. But that water bath can help baking and setting, too--if at the start of baking you pour very hot water in as the bath. so convection can be really good for creme
  7. Much the same thing could be said about certain restaurant reviewers, professional, anonymous or otherwise.
  8. Steve Klc

    Using a Pacojet

    Right, and for most things to work right in the Paco, Wendy, you have to use a freezer that gets really cold, at least -5, and hold beakers for 24 hours at that temp before you spin. That means if you fill beakers at 7PM, set them in the freezer overnight, and then try to spin them for service next day at 10 or 11AM--they haven't been frozen long enough. One reason there's such...inconsistency...with the Pacojet is some freezers are shared use, doors opened and closed, defrost cycles go on and off automatically, etc. Most mixtures have to be really cold to stand up to the shaving action like
  9. Steve Klc

    Using a Pacojet

    It broke because it had too much fat--I do mine in the Paco with a 0% fromage blanc, learned that tip from Philippe Conticini, works well. Use anything else with even a small percentage of fat, the Paco will break it or you have to reduce the amount of olive oil and then you lose its taste. CTB--in general--owning a Paco is like a little club, and it's an exclusive club requiring you to put in your own work, go through your own learning curve, before you feel like a member. Sorry, but that's the way it is--it'll be better to ask more specific questions, like what else do I need to know before
  10. no, it's best if you discuss particular equipment in separate threads--and do a search for previous discussion threads on the items you're interested in, mixers, ranges, etc and after reading them, maybe adding a post onto them. good luck with your purchases, begin with a Hobart.
  11. Not that this is the best place to explain this, but since new members are continually joining and it comes up from time to time, I'll go over it again: joesan--your heart was in the right place, but thank you for not posting a lengthy recipe verbatim from a book--that's not considered to be "fair use" by eGullet, which holds to a very stringent standard protecting content creators. What you can do within reason, however, is put a recipe into your own words--using your language--especially if you work from it and are passing along your own comments based on your experiences. In this case, if
  12. Really well-organized mette, congratulations. Two thoughts to add for those trying at home: 1) sometimes the top rims break because they are molded too thin--even after filling with a second layer--it can help to leave the bowl to set inverted after you've tapped out a coat, propped up a bit to allow cool air to circulate; 2) on the two-color balloons, the warmer dark chocolate (higher temper point and working range) may have pulled the milk chocolate (lower temper point and cooler working range) out of temper as it was setting if it was trapped inside. same thing could happen with dark and
  13. everyone is going to have their own methods for this, which work for them and for their shape--and that variability is ok because what's really important is developing the "feel" for it. The great value of a hands-on class with top notch instructors is just this--there's someone there to make sure you "feel" what you're supposed to feel, to say that's too warm or not warm enough, etc. With more complicated curves and rods that bend into 2D and 3D spheres, I do score the entire length and I score deeply, to within maybe 1/32 of an inch of the sugar--so I can just peel the plastic tubing apart
  14. Badly if you don't take precautions. Merely sliding a saucepan across Corian will "scratch" it but depending on the color you choose you might not even see the scratch unless you bend down to just the right angle and shine a light on it just so. Of course, anything that really bothers you you can buff or rub out--but if you choose a good color (mine is Glacier white) you won't see any scratches anyway. If you are that kind of person who'll fret any mark, perceived or not, get Zodiaq/Silestone, not Corian. I'd make sure your vice/clamp has good rubber feet and you may want to let your install
  15. It all comes down to having an open mind as a diner, having trust in your chef, and having the ability to tell when something "tastes good." Most diners don't possess all three. Good comment, Doc. And anzu, thanks for that mention of tavuk gogsu--the more reading anyone does, the deeper you dig, I think you'll find that much of what can be perceived as nouvelle cuisine or avant-garde in any given time period has culinary historical precedents. I helped open a modern Greek and Turkish-influenced restaurant a few years ago with Jose Andres, and I remember when he came back from spending a f
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