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Everything posted by jfrater

  1. Hey all, I have just made a pound cake with a Mary Berry recipe which is an all in one mix with sultanas and cherries and raisins. The cake has sunken slightly in the middle even though it is cooked. I also made her large all in one Victoria sandwich from the "Mary Berry baking bible" (same book as above) and had the same issue - I tried the recipe again in case I had made a mistake but got the exact same result. I made no substitutions at all. I also found in all three cakes that the cake tin (correct sizes as per the recipes) were quite oily and the cakes all had oily bottoms - there was even a trace of oil seepage when pressing the base of the cakes. Both of these recipes use the same principle of mixing everything on one bowl and both have the same base ingredients (225g self raising flower) but in the Victoria Sponge she adds an extra two teaspoons of baking powder. I am using New Zealand ingredients but otherwise I am following things to the letter. Does anyone have any idea why this may be occuring? the flavor of the cakes is excellent and I'd like to keep using the recipes if I can get them right. I also made her black forrest cake and her Very Best Chocolate fudge cake and both were excellent with no issues at all.
  2. Larry for sure - though I have to say it is so much fun that I am now tempted to fill my garage with enough meat to feed 10 Italian families for a year! My butcher is going to love me
  3. Last week was the first week of my switch away from carbohydrate rich foods to animal fat products. I lost 1kg (2.2lbs) after eating eggs and bacon fried in beef dripping for breakfast, fatty meat for lunch, and meat and veges for dinner. I didn't reduce my wine intake and I didn't cut out dairy. I am using nuts and cheese and meat for snacks. I feel great - week two now. I plan to stick at this for the rest of my life. I am eating very very well.
  4. Thanks again Larry - I checked out the site and Jason says (on this page: http://curedmeats.blogspot.co.nz/2008/08/pancetta-easiest-cured-meat-of-all.html) that cure #1 is fine in this case as the meat is solid. I am not quite sure what that means but at least I know it is safe I am not excited to say that I will have a 4kg bacon and a 4kg pancetta! I bought a commercial meat slicer so I can't wait to try it out. Oh - also, Jason says to hang the meat for 3 weeks for pancetta so I will just leave it in the fridge when I am smoking the bacon.
  5. Thanks Larry - do you recommend "cooking" the unsmoked bacon in the smoker for the same duration and temperature without the smoke generator turned on?
  6. Thanks for the advice guys. The duck is AWESOME - so delicious. I have another question - I am making the MC bacon and I decided to do a double batch so I currently have two 4kg blocks of it drying in the fridge after the curing process. I was thinking that it would be nice to have one smoked and one unsmoked. Given that the smoking on the bacon is done hot - do I need to cook the unsmoked bacon before consumption? Also, will the cure be too overpowering for the bacon if it isn't smoked?
  7. Merkinz when I was cooking the huge US BBQ from MC I was also quite disappointed in the dressing for both the potato salad and the coleslaw - I found them boring and - for the first time in my memory - there were leftovers of both. Yesterday we had another BBQ but it was just a typical kiwi style one. I made my normal coleslaw and potato salad but - thanks to MC - I made a few changes which really did make a huge difference; I put bacon fat in my coleslaw dressing and I used muscat vinegar in the potato salad. They were big improvements to my original recipe which was already hugely more tasty than the MC version. I tend to think that the main point of these books is to teach a new technique and style and that maybe that is more important than the flavors in some of the dishes. So even though you feel your MCAH experience hasn't been all that great so far - I bet you will end up using some of the techniques in future dishes. Having said all that - I would still use the MC recipes for the meat on the BBQ as it was truly stunning.
  8. Hi all - I am in the middle of cooking my sous vide duck confit - can someone tell me how long it will last in the fridge? I did a double batch so if it is not going to keep for too long I will freeze some of it.
  9. Great review Merkinz - thanks for that. My copy hasn't arrived yet (I ordered it from Book Depository) - how are you all getting your copies before the shipping date?
  10. lesliec I haven't yet - I ought to do that soon though I guess! I am waiting for all the documentation to arrive so I can read more info on the structure and timetables.
  11. The Taubes book looks fascinating - I just ordered it and will read it.
  12. Great tips loki - your substitutions are very clever and the base soup sounds like it would be as good (or better) than any you get in Vietnam.
  13. In reply to you and also to HungryC below you, there has been no link shown between consumption of animal fats and cholesterol/heart disease. There is a link between cholesterol and heart disease but no study has yet shown that cholesterol levels are affected by animal fat consumption. Here is review of various studies on the subject: http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.co.nz/2011/01/does-dietary-saturated-fat-increase.html
  14. Okay - I got everything sorted for the bacon - my butcher suggested using easy-yo yoghurt powder as a substitute for fermento so I did. Here are the ingredients all set out: And here is the pork belly vacuum packed in the cure - to stay in the fridge for one week:
  15. Dcarch - life expectancy is higher now but it is impossible to attribute it to food because of medical advances and so many other variables in life. I am certain they ate tastier and better though
  16. Baselerd that looks absolutely stunning! Well done. I am going to have to give that a try. On another note - does anyone know what I can use as a substitute for fermento in the house cured bacon recipe? I can get everything else but not fermento. My butcher said that he isn't aware of a similar product on the New Zealand market. I see some people on another forum talking about using some kind of citric acid - any thoughts?
  17. mm8431 - thanks for the book title - I will check it out for sure. Rob - I think that Modernist Cuisine comes to similar conclusions about obesity being - in part - caused by heavy promotion of low-fat diets. Also, the anti-fat brigade gets much of its argument from a study that found a link between high cholesterol and heart disease - but it made no claims (nor have any other real studies) that eating high fat increases cholesterol - there is no evidence at all that there is a connection. Baselerd - I too am enjoying cooking with Modernist Cuisine and it is my essential reference now for any food related stuff (along with two books by Harold McGee). I like the MC approach to using old fashioned animal fats in their recipes where needed so I am hoping to combine the old fashioned with the "new fashioned" - traditional ingredients with a modernist twist. Today is my first day on my new style eating and I have had - so far, toast with the best NZ butter you can buy topped with one farm fresh egg fried in lard and a latte made with raw milk and sugar (I normally have trim milk and artificial sweetener). I will let you all know how I progress!
  18. I have decided this week to drop all artificial sweeteners and other highly processed foods from my diet. I am also now getting weekly deliveries of raw milk and fresh farm eggs. I will be cooking primarily with lard, dripping, and butter. Has anyone else made this change to old fashioned eating? I was actually inspired to do this by Modernist Cuisine because of their reports on studies of the benefits of animal fats and the possible link between the reduction of animal fat in our diets with the increase in obesity.
  19. I am excited to say that I will be able to give a report in the school from the inside as I just got accepted into the diplome de cuisine for 2013! I decided to do the full course for the experience. I can't wait to get started!
  20. Oh my God - amazing. This meat was some of the best I have ever eaten. I will never BBQ another way. Pork ribs with dry rub, beef brisket with East Texas BBQ sauce, and pork ribs with Kansas city BBQ sauce. Stunning. The real star - the one I will cook for the rest of my life was the pork ribs with dry rub - it was put on the BBQ for a few minutes to crisp up the skin. Absolutely incredible.
  21. So - the countdown is on to the BBQ - the first complete dish is done - the modernist potato salad. I didn't use the pink onions as I had none and no time to make my own - but as I was using red skinned potatoes I figured it would be contrast enough. NZ eggs are extremely rich so you can see that my sous vide yolk is a lot more orange than in the book (I consider that a plus for the quality of NZ ingredients!) More photos to come. Meat is heading into the sous vide to finish now.
  22. Argh! Biggest annoyance with Modernist Cuisine so far: finding anything in the kitchen manual! I have to use the website to find everything.
  23. Merkinz - it is a really good reason to return On another note - can someone please recommend a sous vide temperature to use for ALL of the BBQ meat in the book? I have cooked it all already at the temperatures required for each cut but now need to get it all hot again for the BBQ tonight.
  24. Merkinz - I got it from "on trays" in Petone. They must have a huge stock of it because I got a specially made up ziplock bag full. I should also mention that they stock the full textures range and also every unusual ingredient needed for the BBQ sauces - stuff like distilled vinegar, muscat vinegar, liquid hickory smoke, tomato powder etc. The owners are into modernist cooking - they own MC and can basically get you anything you need. When I couldn't find one of the modernist ingredients they spent 10 mins on the net researching it and viable alternatives and sent me away with a five page chemical analysis they printed out. Outstanding service.
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