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  1. I don't doubt there are a few good spots. My point is that it's not like Rome, where almost every cafe will do a pretty good job, or Portland, where almost every one will do a pretty great job. In Paris you'll either need coffee-nerd knowledge very, very good luck. In Rome, it's not even 3rd wave-style espresso. It's super traditional, and not particularly interesting. But it's made well, it's familiar and satisfying, it tastes good. What I had all over Paris was just poorly crafted.
  2. That David Lebovitz article is from 2007, and describes acceptable espresso from that era. If you're looking for really good, though, most of what he says is obsolete. Good coffee is a very young idea (relative to good wine, good booze, good beer, good tea, which have all been pursuits for over two thousand years). We're learning about coffee in leaps and bounds year after year. Illy's idea of coffee got left behind by the 3rd wave.
  3. What did you like about it? When I was in Paris for two weeks a couple of years ago I had uniformly terrible espresso everywhere. Not Starbucks terrible but definitely leaning in that direction.
  4. paulraphael

    O Cafe NYC

    I'll check them out when I'm in the neighborhood. Always seeking good espresso. I've been striking out in Manhattan lately. It's been around 2 years since I've found a good espresso in any of my old haunts, or any of the new ones that have been recommended. O's website is all fluff. Nothing about the coffee. It will be interesting if it was Brazilian coffee you had, since most coffee from there is usually more big and chocolaty than bright tasting. But if it's a single origin it could well go against the regional expectations.
  5. I checked out the kickstarter. It looks pretty cool. I would prefer it worked more like a stirring hotplate that allowed you to use the vessel of your choice on top. Or at least if the vessel were plain stainless steel. I can't stand everything being gratuitously coated with teflon that's going to scratch off in a couple of years.
  6. "A slightly kitchenized lab stir plate" is what I've been begging the universe for. Generally I'm pretty cautious about crowdfunded manufactured goods ... there's so much that can go wrong for early adopters. But I'll keep an eye on this gizmo. It seems to me the killer app for this kind of thing is liquid foods that need to be cooked to a precise temperature ... custards, ice cream bases, etc.. You could maybe temper chocolate in it. Cooking liquids sous-vide is often a guessing game with regards to timing, because the liquid in the bag is not getting stirred, and we don't have any good thermodynamic model for convection and conduction of goopy liquids in a floppy ziploc.
  7. paulraphael

    Alkalizing Chocolate

    This. Not all fine chocolate is fruity. And while I love fruity chocolates, I agree with the OP on Scharffen Berger. It tastes like cherry cough syrup to me—one-dimensional, unbalanced fruitiness. If you read reviews, you'll find mention of chocolates that emphasize bass notes ... cocoa bitterness, caramel, leather, smoke, wood, spices. Chocolate variety, processing, and roast level all play a part in this.
  8. Cool to see this. Too bad that you sacrifice 30% of the max power when you use non-ferrous pans. I'll guess that this is due to some fundamental physics and not an engineering compromise ... anyone know? A workaround would be to use ferrous pans for the high-heat stuff, like searing and boiling pasta water. 2500 watts should be more than enough for saucemaking.
  9. paulraphael

    Bamix Immersion (Stick) Blenders

    I don't think consumer immersion blenders are designed to work at full power for long stretches, as you might with a Vita Prep. Commercial versions with similar ratings are usually bigger, heavier, and with more ventilation, like this: https://www.missionrs.com/waring-products-wsb40-quick-stik-plus-immersion-blender-10-inch-24-qt.html?st-t=i00600001&mrsdc=chill25&gclid=Cj0KCQjw6fvdBRCbARIsABGZ-vRL5DJwY6RDWIjtck7zykUCM4gJqDWwcLr7MNaBS9SCXnXO-lZ9Wd0aAuEkEALw_wcB I don't know about about this one in particular, but ones I've seen in the flesh are clearly meant for use in big pots and would be pretty unwieldy for the kinds of things most of us grab a stick blender for. I like the idea of high rpms for some uses. I don't think I need the thing to be excessively burly. If I need to blend a big volume of something thick I'll use a countertop blender.
  10. paulraphael

    Need a heavier duty immersion blender

    That's interesting. Do you think the pricing difference between this and a regular Bamix is largely because of different markets? Like the way there was no such thing as a sub-$1000 immersion circulator before the companies discovered cooks? Or is there something inherently expensive in a rotor-stator mechanism? Or does the motor itself need to be much more powerful?
  11. paulraphael

    Sous Vide safety question

    Check out this study: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi= I've only just glanced at it, but think you're safe with a few days to spare. Just chill that meat quickly, and keep it on ice. (This study was designed to look at the effects of higher temperature cooking on c.botulinum germination time, but they also an uncooked sample as a control. The uncooked sample is probably the one to look at, since your 72 hour cook will probably be lower than any of their test temperatures. Check out the chart on p. 1784)
  12. paulraphael

    Sous Vide safety question

    Beware simplified information like this. All bacteria have a temperature / time curve for pasteurization. Salmonella, e-coli, campilobacter, and trichinella are killed to pasteurization standards at 130°F in under 6 hours. In 72 hours they'd be dead dead dead. I don't have listeria data handy.
  13. paulraphael

    Home Made Ice Cream (2015– )

    My first question is if you're thoroughly chilling the base before spinning it. This makes a huge difference. Consider that much of what you're doing is making whipped cream in the ice cream maker; the milk fat needs to be partially crystallized. 8 hours below 38°F usually does it. Although 6–7% fat is pretty low and probably adds to the challenge. If this doesn't get you anywhere, you could try skipping the lecithin and glycerides and using polysorbate-80 at 0.02% to 0.04%. I haven't used this stuff, but its reputation as emulsifier is that it's especially effective at improving foam structure. A jar of this would last close to a lifetime. Does the ICE-70 tend to produce dense ice cream? If it's a slow spinning machine that favors low overrun, and you're going for a very low fat recipe, this could be challenging.
  14. paulraphael

    Home Made Ice Cream (2015– )

    These are great questions, and they're way beyond any research I've even skimmed. My personal experience is with plain old skim milk powder. I've written a bit about the functional differences between casein and whey, but when it comes to what the specific effects of monkeying with the ratios, or of denaturing whey proteins to one degree or another, most of this knowledge is probably locked up in the commercial labs at companies like Haagen Dazs and General Foods. One person you might try contacting is Dr. Cesar Vega, who's one of the world experts on ice cream science. He's on Twitter at @CesarVega76
  15. paulraphael

    Home Made Ice Cream (2015– )

    You could probably leave it out of these recipes entirely. There's already such a high level of solids form the chocolate and cocoa. The textural difference should be small.