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Posts posted by McAuliflower

  1. Everclear is an interesting idea but I'm not sure that it will work as the highest proof I can buy in Michigan is still 25% water.  I also don't want the flavor profile to be strong on alcohol.

    My wife has a food dehydrator in the basement that hasn't been used in years but should be in working condition.  That will make it cheap and easy to dry some raspberries and powder them in a spice grinder for a test.

    I will let you know how it goes.

    Whole Foods or any other natural foods store should have containers of the "Just Fruits" or "Just Veggies" line of dehydrated fruits. They're pretty inexpensive, and certainly less hassle than dehydrating your own, I'd think. You need to get them really really dry to make them powder, and I don't know that a home dehydrator will be up to the challenge...

    I've experimented with grinding up the "Just Fruits".

    Here's a picture of my balsamic truffle rolled in tempered chocolate and then strawberries:


    The drawbacks:

    - the powdered strawberries (and raspberries) are very hygroscopic. They turn gummy after one day.

    - grinding turns them into just really small particles. They never got small enough for my taste to use inside a truffle. But I wanted them to dissolve to nothing- not liking granular texture in my truffles.

    The Benefits:

    - the resulting powders are quite beautiful!

    I've dreamed of some sort of sugar substitution one could do with the powdered fruits to aid them in being less hygroscopic.

    Related to that intense fruit flavor in general. The ideal would be an essential oil that captured the berry essence, as opposed to its leaves and stem. Unfortunately this doesn't exist.

    Maybe we could fake a berry essential oil using the dehydrated fruits: soak them in alcohol as suggested and then evaporate off some / most of the alcohol using low temperatures to minimize heat altering the fruit flavors.

    How much of a berry's flavors are soluble in fat? Borrowing another method from perfume making- fresh fruit could be immersed in cold cream for weeks to draw its flavors into the fat. Again, having the dried fruits helps minimize adding water to the situation.


  2. You can get these insulated shipping containers for free from your nearby University biology / chemistry department. Our one lab alone received ~3 a week in various sizes, usually small ones (interior around 6 inches cubed). Some have recycling programs that involve shipping these boxes back to the manufacturer. Most do not though. You'll be doing them a favor by picking them up.

    To be clear: They are lidded styrofoam containers inside a tightly paired cardboard box.

    Science ones are used to ship temperature chemicals and reagents. The chemicals themselves don't come in contact with the container.

    I find them very useful!

  3. keep 'em coming!

    Have you looked at the Cookie Sutra? I have a picture up on my site, plus an extra credit one i photoshopped, but is totally do-able.

    Another recommendation is the cookbook Naughty Cakes. I have links to pictures from the cookbook up also. They're funny- some cheesier than others.

    I'm not even going to post my pictures of pussy cakes I made awhile ago. The marzipan is a bit blush inducing :laugh: Besides, not sure if your Bachelorette party swings that way :wink:

  4. this time around our lab made liquid nitrogen sorbet for our Friday fun:


    I was surprised that I didn't have to use a sorbet recipe to achieve a non-icy product. We made raspberry lemonade sorbet (using just straight up juice from a bottle) and a guava puree one that was thinned down with orange juice before freezing.

    The texture of these sorbets was amazing.


    Though we've done ice cream before, this set of experiments got me really excited. Maybe it was the Champagne we poured on top? :biggrin:

    Next time we're making frozen margaritas!

  5. what other flavors besides mint and lime do you think could be colored green for St Patrick's day? any ideas?

    ps I have been using 1/2 tsp Wilton icing color jell good success ...it is just enough color to make it look like the flavor with out being to intense ...

    Sweet fresh, er... well frozen peas would lend themselves wonderfully for green marshmallows.

    Sweet wasabi!

    Delicate kiwi complete with those cute crunchy little seeds.


    edited to add:

    margarita marshmallows! Lime-aide based with tequilla poured into the whipping fluff. And salted dusting powder...

    >> relatedly, you could make up margarita jello shots with lime or honey homemade marshmallows mixed in before they set up...

  6. Doh! From the thread title, "'the talk' w/ Kid" I thought this was a request for foods to accompany "facts of life" sort of talks!!

    I was excited to see the number of responses.

    The idea of making it a party was a bit adventurous, i thought :laugh:

  7. Rootbeer orbs sound like fun gfron1. Pictures?

    Isn't there a thread around here with rootbeer creme brulee? However, I believe that one used boiled down soda syrup.

    Another source for rootbeer extract would be to visit your local brew shop. They sell bottled extracts for home bottled rootbeer.

  8. I've made rootbeer from scratch- bottled with yeast for the carbonation.

    Using it did indeed give a taste that I thought detracted from the rootbeer flavor I wanted to come across.

    Considerations for going yeastless:

    - yeast consumes the recipe's sugars(carbs) to create the bubbles. Most rootbeer recipes are formulated to take this into effect. Eliminating the yeast from a traditional recipe will likely yield a final product that is too sweet. If you have a hydrometer on hand- test the terminal gravity of a commercial batch of rootbeer (which has already had some sugars consumed by their yeast). Use the reading from the soda that has the level of sweetness you desire for your own batch of rootbeer. (Did I explain that ok? :unsure: )

    - yeah- you said you don't want carbonation... but kegging it (with out conditioning it) and using nitrogen would be a fun alternative.

    - Or you can use a recipe with yeast and just not seal it, thus preventing the build up of CO2 (the carbonation). For this method you'd likely need an airlock (bubbling device available at brewing shops) to prevent contanimation of your product. The airlock would off-gas the CO2 though and not compromise the original style of yeast+ recipe.

  9. alanamoana's advice is spot on.

    I'd also recommend smaller batches than what the recipe is written as. I regularly make up the marshmallows in 1/4 sized batch: using just one packet of gelatin. This is good for if you want to flavor experiment with out ending up with pounds of weird marshmallows.

    Nightscotsman's Marshmallows Vanilla Mini Batch

    gelatin envelope 1
    water 3 Tbs
    vanilla extract 3/4 tsp
    sugar 3/4 c
    water 3 Tbs
    corn syrup 1/4c + 1Tbs
    (those sliding plunger style measuring cups work great for the corn syrup)
    salt 1/8 tsp

    I find that this fits into a sandwich sized plastic storage container (holds 3.4 cups) quite well, though it does make for tall marshmallows.

    Nightscotsman's Marshmallows Fruit Mini Batch

    gelatin envelope 1
    water 2 Tbs
    fruit puree 2 Tbs
    vanilla extract 3/4 tsp
    sugar 3/4 c
    water 3 Tbs
    corn syrup 1/4c + 1Tbs
    (those sliding plunger style measuring cups work great for the corn syrup)
    salt 1/8 tsp

    I just made a mini batch of vanilla with spiced cider soda syrup stirred in. It's the perfect size to try new flavors with!

  10. has anyone a recipe for chocolate dough hamentaschen?

    see the entry a couple ones up from this and pm Pam R.

    They're quite stunning, but I don't think I could give up my favorite orange poppyseed ones even for a chocolate one!

  11. Regarding bananas... adding them at the normal fruit puree step can be done with no problems.

    Marshmallows not fluffing and resembling taffy is a temperature issue with the sugar solution.  Your solution was brought to too high of a temperature and passed the crucial  soft ball stage.

    I've made amazing brown sugar banana marshmallows with hints of butterscotch due to the all brown sugar.  Definitely recommend it.

    What do you do to keep the bananas from browning? Also, am I correct in assuming the adding of the fruit puree is at the very end of the process and more of a folding in procedure?

    Your brown sugar banana marshmallows almost sound like Bananas Foster....maybe add some rum to them in addition to the vanilla? Instead of jello shooters, you'd have mallow shooters! LOL

    No- don't fold the fruit puree in. Follow the Nightscotsman marshmallow recipe we are all so enraptured with and have the fruit in the bowl with the blooming gelatin.

    And don't worry about the bananas browning- they don't.

    Toasting those babies is very much like a bananas foster! I put my homemade vanilla in (the bourbon based one), which helps draw out the similarities too!

  12. Regarding bananas... adding them at the normal fruit puree step can be done with no problems.

    Marshmallows not fluffing and resembling taffy is a temperature issue with the sugar solution. Your solution was brought to too high of a temperature and passed the crucial soft ball stage.

    I've made amazing brown sugar banana marshmallows with hints of butterscotch due to the all brown sugar. Definitely recommend it.

  13. Everyone wants me to do chocolate ones, which I've largely side-stepped.

    I'm thinking of simmering a cocoa powder and water solution to drizzle in towards the end of the whip?

    My recent experimentation with black sesame paste marshmallows gave me the idea to add the chocolate at the end of mixing to minimize disruption of the marshmallow’s volume during whipping.

    Here are the results of making two variations of chocolate marshmallows.


    Pictured on the left is a basic vanilla marshmallow recipe.

    The middle is the basic vanilla marshmallow recipe with the dissolved cocoa added after whipping; swirled in.

    The right hand marshmallow is the chocolate variation suggested in the strawberry marshmallow recipe, which takes away 2/3 of the water used to bloom the gelatin and uses it to dissolve an equal amount of cocoa powder (by volume) which is all then added to the gelatin in the mixing bowl before the heated sugar syrup is added. Essentially, the cocoa added before the whipping.

    The decrease in marshmallow volume is quite apparent when dissolved cocoa is added at the beginning of the whipping step.

    The cocoa flavor of the swirled marshmallow is seems more acute though both chocolate marshmallows contain the same amount of cocoa.

    And the swirl marshmallows make killer striped smores (duh!). :wub:

  14. This Christmas I made a Marshmallow Tasting Kit composed of four flavors: Peppermint Swirl, Lemon Ginger, Black Sesame, and Green Tea with Azuki Bean. This kit afforded the opportunity to use some souvenir pastes from my trip to Japan this summer. It also served as a good opportunity to solidify my marshmallow flavoring techniques using the much loved Nightscotsman marshmallow recipe.

    Peppermint Swirls


    Flavoring: I used peppermint essential oil to flavor this batch. Making a half batch of the Nightscotsman recipe, I added two drops of oil at minute 7 of the whip up step. I stopped the mixer one minute later to taste, and added one more drop.

    Coloring: Making the peppermint swirl marshmallows was my first experience swirling in food coloring, a technique I've seen here in this thread. I simply dotted on several applications of food coloring to the top surface of the just poured marshmallows and swirled immediately with a toothpick. The swirls exhibit themselves beautifully through the final dusting of the marshmallows- I was pleasantly surprised by this.

    Spoons: I also discovered a fun gift making idea with this batch when cleaning up the bowl after pouring the marshmallows: making Peppermint Spoons. Scooping up the fresh remnants of the fluff into cute little teaspoons creates a flavored stir in that could be gifted to flavor coffee, tea, or hot chocolates.

    Lemon Ginger Clouds


    Flavoring: I added a yolk sized nob of ground up crystallized ginger to the bowl before the hot sugar solution was added. This would allow a touch of heat contact to help bloom the flavor. The small chunks of ginger didn't inhibit the volume of the marshmallows. Like the peppermint swirls, I also used essential oil, lemon, added before the whipping was done. This allowed me to add more lemon as needed towards the end of the beating. These marshmallows are extremely attractive to the mouth. I think spooning the fluff, especially if it had double the flavoring, could create a instant tea effect with the spoon swirled through hot water.

    Coloring: I double colored this batch, with yellow added at minute 8 of beating, and also swirling in additional yellow drops in the manner of coloring the peppermint swirls.

    Black Sesame


    Flavoring and Coloring: in Japan I picked up a small jar of smooth ground black sesame paste. Remembering cautions in this thread about the presence of fat inhibiting the volume of the marshmallow mixture, I didn't add this paste until the very end of the process. The swirl technique used to color the peppermints, adds color to just the top layer of the marshmallow. I wanted the sesame paste to be present deeper in the marshmallow, so I poured half of the marshmallow fluff, unflavored, into the prepared pan, poured the heated contents of the black sesame paste jar over the marshmallow and then poured the rest of the fluff on top. Having the sesame paste heated allowed it to flow out easily. I then vigorously swirled the layers with a knife, bringing the black layering up to the top of the marshmallow.

    The aesthetics of the black marshmallows add a nice contrast to the other more traditional colors. They strike me as coloring suitable for Halloween adventures... kind of cadaverish.

    The flavor is wonderful- with the black sesame paste coming through nicely in this sweet context. In fact it seems to strike most people as tasting like peanut butter.

    Green Tea with Azuki Bean Paste


    Flavoring: This flavor set was to indulge my memories of Japanese treats, and help show the ever present flavor pairing of green tea with azuki bean to my family. This was a double batch of marshmallows, with a layer of green tea poured first and topped with the azuki bean layer. To flavor the tea layer I added about two teaspoons of matcha to a half batch of marshmallows between minutes 6 and 8 of whipping. I also added matcha powder to the marshmallow dusting powder.

    The azuki bean layer was flavored with a jar of bean paste. I doubled the recipe amount quoted for fruit puree with no ill affect to the marshmallow volume. The bean paste delicately blushed the marshmallow mix and subtly flavored the fluff with a malty toasted flavor. Even with the doubling, this flavor was very quiet. The green tea flavor comes through very well.

    Once again, an amazing recipe that is quite open to alterations and additions!

  15. I received half a pound of Organic Tahitians that I've gifted out to friends this holiday season.: 15 beans or so in a jar filled with coffee beans or sugar.

    I've enjoyed grinding the whole bean and adding to my cookies or waffles.

    Have noticed that steeping a split bean produces a sticky mucilage like property. First noticed this property when making hot buttered rum batter. Very similar to when one heats up flax seeds in water: gel producing.

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