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  1. paulraphael

    Home Made Ice Cream (2015– )

    I'd start with an added emulsifier, like lecithin (find a brand that doesn't have a strong taste. Like WillPowder). Then a bit of stabilizer. I like to mix my own. For eggless ice creams, sometimes a little extra lambda carrageenan will give the same custardy mouthfeel as egg yolk.
  2. paulraphael

    Home Made Ice Cream (2015– )

    Vodka will definitely soften the ice cream ... ethanol has enormous powers of freezing point depression. But I don't think adding alcohol is the best solution, because you'll trade hardness for iciness. Alcohol will increase the amount of unfrozen water in the final product, without doing anything to control that water. The most elegant way I know to control hardness is with sugars. Adding dextrose to the mix allows you to control hardness and sweetness independently. Fructose or invert syrup will offer even more control. I've written about this here.
  3. That's an interesting product. It appears to have about 70% the fat content of regular Guanaja. I wonder if other companies make similar versions of their couverture. Here's a sample recipe on Valrhona's site using that chocolate: https://inter.valrhona.com/en/by-your-side/chocolate-recipes/glace-au-lait-p125-coeur-de-guanaja
  4. If I understand the thing correctly, it would be ideal for precision cooking anything liquid. The stirrer would mean you're circulating the food, not just the heat transfer medium. So it would work great for making custards, tempering chocolate, pasteurizing small quantities of anything, and the killer app for me ... cooking ice cream bases.
  5. I don't know about unanticipated. I've been anticipating such a thing for a while, but without any luck. What's unclear to me is the design / purpose of the vessel. Seems like the thing should work with any induction-capable pot on top.
  6. No idea how the upper part of this thing works, or if they'll ever make it. But in principle it's what I've been begging for: http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?PageNum=0&docid=10028609&IDKey=C0D9F4BF5D3D&HomeUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fpatft.uspto.gov%2Fnetacgi%2Fnph-Parser%3FSect1%3DPTO2%26Sect2%3DHITOFF%26u%3D%252Fnetahtml%252FPTO%252Fsearch-adv.htm%26r%3D22%26f%3DG%26l%3D50%26d%3DPTXT%26p%3D1%26S1%3D(%2522food%2522%2BAND%2B%2522cooking%2522)%26OS%3D%2522food%2522%2Band%2B%2522cooking%2522%26RS%3D(%2522food%2522%2BAND%2B%2522cooking%2522)
  7. paulraphael

    Small Dumb Toaster Oven

    Our many decades-old black + decker dumb oven finally burst into flames, so it was time to act. I picked out a couple of great looking sub-$50 toaster ovens by Toshiba and Hamilton Beach, and we were about to pull the trigger, when my girlfriend spotted deep in the reviews that they have mechanical timers that make a ticking noise while toasting. I thought "who cares?" She thought "I'd rather die." So we descended back to the lower basements of the internet for more research. And what did we find but a smaller, less smart smart oven by Breville. The interface is straightforward and pretty intuitive. It has annoying presets ("Pizza") but you can ignore them and just use toast, bake, broil, etc. There's no convection feature, and I don't care. This will be used 90% for toast, and the rest of the time for reheating, for broiling things like croque monsieurs, and maybe for warming plates. I don't need to roast a cornish hen or bake a cake in my toaster. The thing is about halfway between the size of our old toaster oven and the full size ones that will fit a 12" pizza or full chicken. About right for us. The 1800 watt quartz elements cook toast evenly and reasonably quickly. Haven't used it for anything else yet. I'm especially impressed by the design of the crumb tray. Trivially easy to pull out and clean. Its biggest weakness so far is a complete lack of insulation. You could probably make pancakes on the top surface
  8. paulraphael

    Francisco Migoya's Frozen Desserts

    I spent some time with this book when it first came out and found quite a few head-scratchers that I suspect are editing problems. I don't remember that exact formula. Have you worked out the math and then analyzed the results, to see if they match the intention?
  9. Cheap alloy aluminum pans sit on 30,000 btu/hr burners in restaurants all day long. The worst thing that ever happens is they warp. I'd maybe worry if we were talking about magnesium.
  10. I'd be interested in people's experience with surface treatments. I have an old aluminum griddle that I've seasoned like cast iron, with no special surface treatment. As could be expected, the seasoning flakes off pretty easily. A griddle gets rougher treatment than a pizza steel, but I'd still be curious about ways to improve the durability, either physical or chemical.
  11. paulraphael

    Sugar-free ice cream

    Certainly dextrose. Not sure about other non-sugar or non-caloric options. I've never done battle with sweetener crystallization.
  12. Has anyone found a 1/2" aluminum slab for pizza, or priced one from a metal yard? Seems like a good idea. You'd need the slab to be at least thick as your steel (ideally thicker, if you're trying to match the heat capacity) but it would still be lighter. You'd want to season the thing like cast iron, to blacken it and increase its emissivity. Kenji's test of of copper vs. steel showed the copper to be inferior despite much higher conductivity. Uncharacteristically, Kenji made a dubious analysis of what was going on, but if you dig into the comments thread, you'll find some physics-minded people who correctly posit that the difference is in emissivity, and that a pizza steel / stone / oven deck heats primarily by radiation and not by conduction.
  13. I don't believe it's about stabilizers. I think it's combination of cocoa butter (hardening the fats) and extra glucose (softening the frozen portion).
  14. paulraphael

    Sugar-free ice cream

    Ok. Here's a paper on using erythritol in ice cream. It says the hardness comes from crystallization of the the erythritol itself; the freezing point depression factor is actually three times stronger than that of sucrose. The suggested compensations are to combine with other sugar alcohols (sorbitol, sucralose, polydextrose). The complete sugar reduction is achieved by taking out the crystallisation inhibiting glucose syrup. However, due to erythritol’s strong crystallisation behaviour, a crystallisation inhibitor is indispensable. Several options from the polyol range were tested in the frame of the project. It was found that sorbitol, maltitol, xylitol and their mixtures, all perform quite well alongside erythritol. It was also discovered that all three indeed soften the ice cream structure. This creates a great toolbox where the polyol pair can be varied to modify product hardness and creaminess. The actual second polyol can be chosen according to individual preference as they all will harmonise with erythritol. Texture as well as sensory analysis revealed that the preferred polyol ratio should be in a range of three parts erythritol to two parts of the second polyol.
  15. paulraphael

    Sugar-free ice cream

    I don't know what's going on in your particular formula, but the inverse relationship between freezing point depression and molecular mass isn't just some pet theory of mine. It's a basic principle in chemistry. Chemists actually use it to calculate the molecular mass of unknown chemicals in solution.