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Posts posted by ermintrude

  1. Was doing OK, no collapse


    But then they all slowly collapsed apart and only two uncollapsed left. Please I am keeping the collapsed ones, and will let the sugar finish it's final magic over the next few weeks but why the collapse. I did eat one to see how things were going and it was a mix of wow but skin stil a bit bitter and core needs a bit more.

    1. By intuition tells me the fruit I brought was to fresh. I bought fruit with leaves still attached, clemantines like this have leaves attached etc, the skin is loose. I then see other clemantines in a supermarket and it's skin is tight against it. Think of it the same way as eggs, fresh eggs great for poached eggs but vice a versa if you want a meringue.

    2. The concentration went as to low to start and then went up to quickly - well I followed the recipe but when in jars 1/3rd was left over which could mean concentration to loww to start and then with 100g increments would accelerate faster - a possibility.

    3. Possible wax or oil coating (not removed by the boiling) on the fruit's surface that prevented it being impacted by the syrup as musch as the fruit inside hence collapse. Part of me thinks this could be the case, as I get the impression sugar is only going into the fruit via the pin holes not the skin (Or should I do skewer from tip to bud)

    Me normally a non sweet person but this has got me interested, as while some of the failed fruits I've eaten have been bitter, pithy not quite there I can see a potential if not turned into pure sugar (as I generally find candied fruit) . It's got my name on it - but we will see.

    Anyone know where I can get (i.e buy) a sample of definitive candied whole fruit that will ship to the UK so I can see if I need to pursue this?

  2. propylene glycol alginate have about 220g in my cupboard unopened, never known how to use it in comparison with Sodium Alginate, what's the difference, does it go off?

    The applications I've noticed it in are more related to emulsification/stabilization (e.g. the "bulletproof beurre blanc"). From johnder's link it looks like the protanal ester version would be best for those applications.

    "bulletproof beurre blanc" buy a thermomix LOL

    I think the idea is you can refrigerate it, freeze it, etc. then just heat it back up and you are ready to go (i.e. still have a nice emulsion).

    Makes sense now, will have to crack it open and have a play (Best wait for my MC to arrive first)

  3. propylene glycol alginate have about 220g in my cupboard unopened, never known how to use it in comparison with Sodium Alginate, what's the difference, does it go off?

    The applications I've noticed it in are more related to emulsification/stabilization (e.g. the "bulletproof beurre blanc"). From johnder's link it looks like the protanal ester version would be best for those applications.

    "bulletproof beurre blanc" buy a thermomix LOL

  4. First I look at what your plans are and think it’s all very traditional. For dinner you have "L'Oranger, Gordon Ramsey, Le Gavaroche, Marcus Wearing" and high end (french influenced) restaurants, if that's what you really like then go for it. But here are my thoughts:-

    Firstly if Gordon Ramsey is "Royal Hospital Road" then reports I’ve had is while good it’s not exceptional, and also in the UK Gorden Ramseys reputation and restaurants seem to be in decline Claridge's has gone from 2 to 1 to zero) look at the threads about these restaurants.

    Secondly if your last trip to the London (I assume your not in the UK) why not go to Bray (London, 30min train ride and 10mins in a cab and the same back) and if you can get a reservation why not go to the fat duck, or the waterside inn. Doing that will up your costs but if cost an issue, save by swapping one of your high end choices for dinner to for lunch, some such as , Le Gavaroche are famous for their lunch and then for dinner do something of inexpensive and local or off the E.g. travel on the tube to zone 3 and have vegetarian indian restaurant (I recommend the tomato curry) do that and you'll see a different part of London, and more of it’s international cuisine.

    Another one to suggest r is http://www.viajante.co.uk/ if your into modernist dishes, as an alternative for one of your dinner choices.

    I also see your going for three late afternoon teas (meaning we'll need no dinner) are you sure. Yes afternoon tea is fabulous but three, and while you may not want a three course+ dinner you will probably need some super if your like me. How about doing dim sum at http://www.yauatcha.com/

    You could do things that very few tourists see, go for breakfast at the cock tavern (before 8am) in Smithfield market, a real working English pub and as you’d expect bellow the meat market that the traders visit, a real English breakfast. And even at 8am join the traders in a pint.

    Also what about St John, you don’t have to do the full on restaurant you drop into the bar and sample some of the food, great for lunch and is generally under £20 with a drink, you’ll get the idea of what St John is about and if it takes your fancy you could book for dinner.

    Another interesting one for lunch is North Road that has the Nordic vibe and the set lunch is outstanding value and the tasting menu (not done yet but want to) looks excellent.

    I’m sure everyone else can suggest loads of other places and since it’s your last visit I think you should do the top of the tree things like the Fat Duck or the Waterside. Also try some of the up and coming things, local restaurants etc etc.

  5. Has anyone thought “A modernist cuisine” would be perfect as the basis for an educational TV series or DVD set. Looking at the photographs and think how amazing some would look filmed, also animations showing how gels and emulsifiers work . What could be done and it’s use as an educational tool has amazing potential.

    My gut feeling that it would be best produced as and educational set not intended for general TV as often things can get dumbed down or sensationalised for better TV and not better education. I’d see it being of a quality that could be used in universities, cooking schools but still accessible by the general public (Thinking similar to some of the more stunning documentaries – BBC springs to mind )

    I’d not see it as a replacement to the book which would be the ultimate reference but it should be able to stand alone. The book would go deeper and have the parametric recipes etc.

    All that said, done to the same quality and standards of the book (going by hearsay as my copy has not yet arrived – sob) it would not be inexpensive to produce but to me I’d buy a set

    What do you think?

  6. Anybody know if they have wifi at elBulli?

    Are you sure you want Wi-Fi ?

    Enjoy the experience, lose yourself. While we all want pictures and reports so what if you forget or don't take pic's as you had to eat it and were lost in the experience. We can wait for the report, this is once in a lifetime experience forget egullet, enjoy then report. This will probably be more accurate than a "as it happens pic and post" which would IMOHO distance you from the experience.

    Just my thoughts.

    Also even though elBulli is closing there is always the 2+ restaurant at http://www.elbullihotel.com/ which is well worth a visit, the hotel is amazing, one of the restaurants does a "best of elBulli", the others much more traditional I had a plate of ham every day and to hell with the price, also the only place you can have an "elBulli breakfast!" which is wonderful.

  7. I keep saying this, but you really should not pay much attention to Amazon shipping predictions. It's not like they know something special or secret. Typically they will set expectations low until the point when suddenly it ships - that pattern has occurred many times in this thread.

    Nathan, I know this, but it's just I, and others, can't wait to get our hands on the book.

    I presume it's still in transit, but since it's Amazon there is a risk that I may not be one of those who gets a first edition if they are over subscribed in the UK as I do not know how they allocate.

    While I know there is nothing you can do except for any shipping info you may have, but having a place where we can just share our frustration and eagerness to get hold of the book makes the wait and worry a bit easier. in no way was I expecting a response just sharing my angst. Considering on amazon.com the last time a looked a copy was going for $2000, not that I'm planning to sell mine, you'd have to drag it from my cold dead hands, but it shows the demand for a copy.

    Not sure about kissing the delivery person when it arrives as it could be taken the wrong way :unsure: but may have to give them a bunch of flowers or something :biggrin:

  8. Oh no just just got the dreaded Email from amazon UK

    "We regret to inform you that your order will take longer to fulfill than originally estimated. Our supplier has notified us that there is a delay obtaining stock for the following items you ordered on November 28 2010.

     Nathan Myhrvold, et al "Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking"


    We are awaiting a revised estimate from our supplier, and will email you as soon as we receive this information"

    Now worryed if. i'll get a copy!

  9. Had lunch at Dinner last Saturday and very enjoyable it was.

    First a cocktail in the Mandarin bar where we all meet, the websites a bit confusing as it makes it sound like this is a separate bar but you have to go through it to get to Dinner and the entrance is labelled "Dinner by Heston" but that's minor the major thing was they can make a good martini.

    The room was small than expected from photo's I'd seen but was bright and airy.


    Started with the lamb broth. I loved this dish, a rich lamb broth poured over a mixture of raw and lightly pickled vegetables with what I believe was a sous vide egg in the middle, not sure as the yolk was runny while but had a set white around it. The egg added an extra richness and the contrast between the broth and the vegetables made this while rich also a light and refreshing dish. My dining companions had:- the "Rice and Flesh" this was liked and the portion was perhaps a bit large as it was very rich; "Savoury Porridge" which was very good and the 4th diner had


    the meat fruit which I'd also ordered as second starter (I had them both arrive together) this is another good dish as described in many other posts. And provided you were hungry and had one of the lighter starters is not a problem to have as an additional course.

    For the main course the beef royal was not even on the menu, I was going to ask the reason but never got round to it.


    I had the "Black Foot Pork Chop" and was warned that it came pink, this was delicious and comparing it to a companion that had "Sirloin Steak with bone marrow" a better dish. I'd had Iberico pork chop before but this was better and perfectly cooked. The others had "Braised Celery" and "Powdered Duck" and all the mains were well liked. To accompany we ordered chips, on asking it turned out the side of chips on offer are not triple cooked however they are happy to upgrade to these which we did and they were extremely crispy and very morish.


    For desert I had the "Tafety tart" which was wonderful and the blackcurrant sorbet a great accompaniment.


    Two of my collegues had the "Tipsey cake" which we were advised to order with our starters and mains as it takes 40 minutes to prepare, this was an individual baked brioche with a segment of slow roasted pineapple.


    The final desert was "Chocolate Bar"

    We asked for a closer look at the kitchen


    but could not get to close as they were still serving the chefs table, when we were there they had just finished making ice cream with the liquid nitrogen machine I enquired how much the table cost and was told for 6 it would be £1200 for lunch and £1500 for dinner. I also enquired about the private dining room and was informed they normally have a choice of two menus and it's £1500 to hire.


    When we got back to our tables a post desert was served which was a which chocolate and earl grey ganache with a caraway seed biscuit. This was very creamy, a bit like condensed milk and the biscuit very crumbly. It would go best with coffee which we had declined.

    Total for cocktails before, 5 starters, 4 mains, 4 deserts, 4 sides, 1 bottle of red and a bottle of white £431 which I though was good value.

    Well worth a visit and I want to go again, a good and interesting restaurant but not a destination restaurant like the fat duck, french laundry etc. But if your in town well worth a visit and I can easily see it getting 1 star possibly 2.

  10. This oven does everythingI want top/bottom, fan, gril,low temp, temp probe, steam (although not as well as a dedicated and a few others. Combined with a combination microwave/convection and a Sous Vide Supreme I'm sorted.

    I'm amazed that this item exists. It sort of changes the premise of my inquiry.

    Apart from the steam, I had the impression that most of these features are now standard for mid-range and better ovens; is this only in the EU?

    The temp probe is rare, i.e you put probe in food and oven alerts and switches off when temp reached

    Low temp also rare

  11. This oven does everythingI want top/bottom, fan, gril,low temp, temp probe, steam (although not as well as a dedicated and a few others. Combined with a combination microwave/convection and a Sous Vide Supreme I'm sorted.

    I'm amazed that this item exists. It sort of changes the premise of my inquiry.

    In the UK I got my version 4 years ago and shopping around on the internet for £750 but kitchen installers wanted £1750 for the same oven!

    Some comments the oven is accurate temp wise it can do 30C up (i have a health and safety calibrated probe I got for SV)

    The ability to set the oven to cook till the probe hit's X degree's is brilliant ( a massive rib of beef and 1.5 days to hit temp, a la heston was it's best test)

    The low temp - not as useful as you would think as it's low temp cooking that starts at 110C (a nod to SV) But the oven can easilly do much lower to 30C temps for drying and fermenting on other settings .

    The steam function - technically it is not a steam oven but it can do a lot of those functions, read the ovens data sheet.

    The steam. Function is not one I use alot but when I do it's great

    80% oven used in top bottom mode

    10% probe or low temp

    10% other

  12. I'd use tomato water you can either do this the traditional way or use gelatine filtration.

    Ideally if your deseeding a load of tomatoes just keep the pulp and filter the seeds out for maximum flavor.

    The advantage is that it is clear so the spheres would look better and the taste impact would be more of a surprise.

    I'd add calcium cluconate, freeze and then try to spherify. If the acidity of the tomatoes causes issues then after freezing drop the frozen spheres (or cubes they both spherify ok) into 5% calcium solution quickly and then refreeze, the external calcium layer can help form the initial skin after that the chain reaction takes over.

    By painting on calcium solution then layers of alginate you can do some interesting things like this

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