Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by KKLL00b

  1. What texture are you after? I've been using my iSi Gourmet Whip for quite a while with great success. You have to make sure you shake your iSi VERY, VERY vigorously to mix your mixture and the NOS before dispensing it. I normally use heavy whipping cream, sugar and/or honey, and fruit puree for flavoring. I had problems the first couple of times I used my iSi, with the mousse coming out very runny. No problems after I started shaking the iSi very vigorously before dispensing.
  2. Make matcha-mallows ! ! ! Green Tea Marshmallows
  3. There are two-compartment pastry bags out there. Do a google search on dual color striping bag. You'll find entries like this one
  4. I use a similar recipe to make vegan truffles and adjusted the amount of tofu and other liquids like coconut, soy, rice, almond, or hazelnut milk to make mousses, gelees, panna cottas, etc. I use agar agar powder in place of gelatin when I need a gelling agent. I've made various flavor variations including earl grey tea, green tea, lavender, lemongrass, ginger, and mint. One of the surprisingly good ones was a "Mexican chocolate" version using cinnamon, Kona coffee, ancho, and chipotle peppers with a smidge of cumin thrown in. I just winged it and kept adding ingredients until I got the flavor balance to my taste. Unfortunately, this was one of the few times I did not record the amounts I used so when I do this again, I'll make sure to write everything down. I've also tried alternative sweeteners like maltitol, sucralose, erythritol, and agave syrup, but I prefer the taste and texture of plain old sucrose or honey. I plan to use stevia when I get some samples from a friend. My vegan friends really like the vegan versions and my diabetic friends like my sugar-free, no-sugar-added, or low-sugar versions.
  5. Just got back from our weekly Farmers' Market. Had a chance to talk to one of my beekeeper friends about the "creamy" honey. Turns out that there are only two varieties of flowers in Hawaii that will produce creamy honey. One is kiawe, which is a variety of mesquite, and the other is ohia lehua, which is a variety of myrtle. The honey is very creamy when it's fresh from the hive and it darkens to what we know as the "regular" honey color and consistency over time. They harvest the freshly-produced honey and chill it to keep the creamy color and consistency. One of my pastry chef friends makes an exquisite truffle using kiawe honey and it's one of my favorite flavors. I was successfully able to make my own version which is also very, very good. The neat thing is that I was able to get kiawe honey from three adjacent districts on the island of Oahu, Maile, Nanakuli, and Waianae, and each variety of the kiawe honey has its own terrior. The same species of tree growing a few miles apart results in very different tasting honeys. Not too say that one is better than the other, they are all good, but different. I plan to make a medley of kiawe honey truffles with honey from each district. I plan to use the same chocolate and same recipe, probably E. Guittard 72% or Dole Foods Waialua chocolate to see what differences the honey makes. I will also make a matching set of beehives to see how they turn out. Then the fun part will be to select a "matching" chocolate for each type of honey. I'm sure my friends won't mind taste testing. Hope this answer's Lior's creamy honey question. Aloha.
  6. The fermented honey I got is a mixture of all of the leftover honey that the beekeeper dumps in a bucket after bottling the harvested honey. I guess after a while, the yeast in the air starts to do its thing and the honey starts giving off an "alcochol-like" aroma, but it's still sweet. It also starts to get a bit watery. One of the best Chambord truffles I made was with some fermented honey, but I used that batch all up. My friend says he has another jar of fermented honey for me the next time I see him. As for creamy honey, some honeys that are harvested very early are naturally creamy. At least that's what the info I got from another beekeeper who sells "creamy" stuff. I'll try to get a better explanation.
  7. KKLL00b

    Creme Brulee

    I had pretty good results with a lemongrass/ginger panna cotta so I decided to see how it translated to creme brulee....FABULOUS!!! I recently took some classes on Mexican cooking techniques and we made flan de coco and flan con queso. I may try my hand at a coconut creme brulee since the coconut flan turned out great. My kaffir lime trees are about 12" tall now so I may use a few leaves to make a "Thai" influenced brulee with lemongrass, ginger, and kaffir lime leaf. I may also use pandan instead of vanilla, but I'm wondering how the green color of the pandan extract will affect the color of the finished brulee. Don't want it to look "unappetizingly green".
  8. I made the beehives with some "fermented" honey that a beekeeper friend gave to me. Turned out really good. Now I have to make the hives a bit larger to put more honey filling. Maybe I'll make a series of hives with different ganache/honey combinations. The first hives I made were too small so they kept slipping off the dipping fork. I narrowed the space between the tines, but then it got too narrow and balancing the hive was "very challenging". I'll also try stabilizing the honey with cocoa butter to see how it works. Beware of the hives of March!!!
  9. In addition to piano wire, you might also look into braided stainless steel fishing leader. Some friends use it for stringing necklaces and it would be interesting to see if you could find the right guage for guitar cutter use. It comes in coated and uncoated form. You can do a google search on "stainless steel wire fishing leader".
  10. KKLL00b

    Cocoa Powder

    I've used Scharffenberger, Valrhona, Cacao Barry, Droste, and a few others, but I prefer Bensdorp.
  11. I once ate "the best" panna cotta ever at a friend's restaurant before it closed. It was infused with lemongrass and a bit of ginger. I googled several panna cotta recipes on the net and finally settled on the one I found at Lynne Rossetto Kasper's Splendid Table website. It calls for heavy whipping cream, sour cream, and gelatin. Try the recipe asis before reducing the gelatin. To minimize the "cooked" taste in the cream, after blooming the gelatin in water, microwave the gelatin/water mix at low power for about 10 seconds and stir until it's fully dissolved. You may need a few more zaps before the gelatin completely dissolves. Once you dissolve the gelatin in the water you can stir it into the barely warmed cream mixture. Just be sure to stir gently so as not to form air bubbles. I've made several variations of this recipe, including the lemongrass/ginger, green tea, Earl grey tea, passion fruit, guava, Chinese five spice, and a few others. I actually like my lemongrass/ginger version more than my friend's restaurant recipe.
  12. I've taken the Scharffenberger tour a couple of times, when I was in Cupertino for some computer classes at HP. We drove up to Berkeley and found it was really easy to find the place...just follow your nose to the "chocolate smell". When you take the tour, try to stay in the back of the group. They passed out samples of the various chocolates so the guys in the back are caught holding the basket of samples. We were in the front the first time, but did manage to snag a few more samples when they put the basket on the table before beginning the factory tour. We lucked out because we were one of the first groups to sample their newly released chocolate sauce at the time. On the second tour, we were in the back and got to munch on *LOTS* of dark chocolate samples. The basket was almost empty when I returned it to the table. To put the icing on the cake, Alice Medrich was visiting the factory after we finished the tour so we got to spend several minutes talking with her an reminiscing about her Cocolat shoppe in Berkeley, which was the whole reason I got into making truffles. Once she closed, it was very difficult to find high quality truffles in Hawaii, so I learned to make my own.
  13. I help a friend in his commercial kitchen and we use blocks and pistoles. Pistoles are more convenient to work with, but some of the chocolate we use only comes in five kilo blocks. I coarse chop the blocks and run those pieces through a food processor to get small/fine pieces. Our standard recipe use four pounds of chocolate so I often practice making various garnishes like shards and curls when chopping the block. I change the angle and thickness of the cuts to get various textures/sizes. It's kind of neat when I get everything "just right" and all the fine "needles" fall of the knife blade as I slice through the block. Each manufacturer has different size pistoles. Guittard has the largest of the brands we use. Peters is in-between, and Cacao Barry and Callebaut are the smallest.
  14. I like your idea of using a stand mixer to make ice cream. I won't have to buy an ice cream maker now. If you want an easy method of getting all of the dry ice out of the bowl, try lining the inside of the bowl with a sheet of aluminum foil. Just press it firmly against the inside of the bowl and add the dry ice. All of the dry ice gets removed when you lift the foil out of the bowl.
  15. I've tried a bunch of orange liqueurs, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Triple Sec, and Curacao, but the one that I really like is Orangecello. Someone gave me a bottle of Everclear a while back so I think I'm going to try to make my own orangecello by infusing orange zest and maybe a bit of Hawaiian vanilla bean for a few months. I'm trying to get some K'au oranges from the island of Hawaii to use so I can have a "Hawaiianized" version of orangecello. Several friends have tangerine trees and I always end up with loads of tangerine so I may try some "tangerinecello" as well. Besides using orange-flavored liqueur, try finding the cheapest orange brandy you can get your hands on and use it. I read an article in Cook's Illustrated a while back on how to make the best Cherries Jubilee and they mentioned that using a cheap supermarket orange brandy gave the best flavor. Problem is that most supermarkets I shop at don't carry orange brandy any more. Even specialty liquor stores I tried don't stock it. I do have a couple of very old bottles of Hiram Walker orange brandy somewhere in my pantry. We had our house fumigated and we had to box everything up and leave all of the edibles outside while the house was tented. Now I have to go through the various boxes looking for all of my cooking/baking ingredients. Tha's how a stumble on the Everclear. Should have labeled the outside of each box, but when you're in a rush to pack up...
  16. I've been trying various techniques and couverture when coating my truffles. The latest experiment was with a run of truffles for Father's Day. I formed my ganache rounds and let them sit for a couple hours in the fridge before coating them. I tempered my what I thought was my couverture and started hand-rolling the rounds to pre-coat them before wand dipping. I noticed that the "couverture" was very viscous, then I noticed that I tempered the wrong chocolate. I decided to just go ahead with precoating and the rounds turned out ok. After the chocolate set, I bit into one of the rounds and found that the coating was indeed on the thick side, but it had a very nice "snap" to it. The viscous chocolate was much too thick to dip with a wand so I used a fork and gently slid the rounds off. Not good at all!!! The chocolate was so thick that it took too long to set and as a result, I had several "bigfoot" truffles. Also, way too much chocolate was used in the coating process. Rather than dumping the tempered chocolate and using couverture, I added about 7% cocoa butter by weight and re-tempered. The resulting chocolate had a very nice viscosity for coating. It was fluid enough to flow fairly quickly and thin enough to set quickly with a very small foot on the rounds. I was able to dip with a fork and slide the rounds off using a paper clip bent into an "L" shape. The result was one of the best dipping jobs I've done. The rounds were very smooth and the resulting foot was quite small. Only one truffle out of 200 developed a crack and there were no "leakers". I'll have to try a couple more runs to see if pre-coating with a very thick chocolate then dipping using a very thin couverture get consistent results. I am very encouraged as lots of my taste testers said that this was the best looking batch of truffles. Just for the heck of it, I also hand coated some of the rounds using the thin couverture and got a very nice texture on the truffles. The packaging looked great with one hand coated and two forked dipped truffles in the box. Guess I'll have to pick up a digital camera so I can start posting pictures, but it's hard to show the process because I'm usually working alone in the kitchen after hours. I'll try to post pictures of the finished products and packaging after I get my camera.
  17. Try an orange/citrus jelly with Earl Grey tea ganache.
  18. Adding a bit of acid such as lemon juice, vinegar, or cream of tartar helps speed along the melting of the sugar. You might try replacing two tablespoons of water with two tablespoons of lemon juice and see how it works for you.
  19. Check out the Chocolate Alchemy website for info on how to make your own chocolate from cacao beans.
  20. I help out in my friend's commercial kitchen making truffles, jams/jellies/curds, and mochi. Check out the Strawberry Mochi aka "Ichigo Daifuku" (Fresh strawberries wrapped in red bean paste, then wrapped in mochi. He also sells fresh strawberries from Rincon Farms in Waimea, Hawaii. These berries are best eaten "ASIS". So "very"...Very juicy, very fragrant, and very tasty!!!
  21. How about adding coconut milk powder to your existing coconut milk to "concentrate" it. You could use a bit less than your target amount of liquid then stir in coconut milk powder to get the desired volume. I used this technique to make a somewhat "whippable coconut heavy cream". I found coconut milk powder in Asian specialty stores and in the Asian foods section at a local Safeway. Here are a few references Wikipedia Wilpowder King Arthur Flour Googling coconut milk powder will show others.
  22. I've always wanted to make marshmallows and just saw an article describing matcha (green tea) marchmallows in Rachael Rappaport's Coconut and Lime Blog . I actually got the link via the Chicago Tribune food section, though the article is originally published in the Baltimore Sun. I didn't realize it was this easy. I had everything done and setting in the pan within 20 minutes, which including blooming the gelatin, boiling the syrup, and whipping everything together. The "agonizing" part was waiting the recommended 3 hours for the marshmallows to set. The marshmallows turned out very, very good, for a first attempt. I really like the subtle green tea flavor, but I think I'll add a bit more matcha powder the next time as I like it a bit more pronounced. I may also dust with potato starch or corn starch instead of powdered sugar. Buoyed by my success with the matcha marshmallows, I decided to have a go at guava marchmallows. I used the same basic recipe, substituing 1/2 cup of guava puree instead of 1/2 cup of water to bloom the gelatin. I also added about 1/2 teaspoon of dried yuzu for a citrusy accent. The guava marshmallows turned out a bit softer with a very, very delicate flavor with bursts of yuzu that got overwhelmed by the sweetness. I will add a bit more guava puree for the next batch, but I'm trying to decide how to cut down on the sweetness, perhaps reducing the sugar from 2 cups to 1.5 cups, or reducing the corn syrup. I may also use maltitol or Isomalt in place of some of the sugar. Next up are Kona coffee, lilikoi (passion fruit), jamaica (edible hibiscus), roibus (red tea), ginger, and whatever interesting flavors I can think of. One of my friends wants me to try a "Mexican chocolate" marshmallow as she and her husband really liked my Mexican chocolate truffles made with coffee, cinnamon, ancho peppers, and chipotle peppers. I may even try a "Hawaiian chile pepper" marshmallow as my volunteer chile pepper plants that the birds brought are fruiting.
  23. I add 0.1% (by weight) potassium sorbate. I had a problem with sugar free ganache early on with mold developing after a two/three of weeks, but no problems since I used potassium sorbate. I have not tried it with regular chocolate, but I'm fairly sure it will work as well. I normally use honey and or glucose in my regular ganaches.
  24. I was able to "patch" the cracks in the truffles by hand rolling them with tempered chocolate. I first spread a dab of melted chocolate along the length of the crack then feathered the chocolate to melt the chocolate on both sides of the crack. After that I put a small dab of chocolate on my fingertips and rolled the truffle so that the finish would be the same color. The disadvantage is that I no longer have a smooth finish, but at least I have 50 more truffles with no cracks/leaks. I'm beginning to experiment with thinning the chocolate is use to coat the truffles. I started out using 10% cocoa butter by weight, but the resulting coverture was too runny. I then went down to 5% cocoa butter and it's still a bit too thick and does not flow too well. I'll try about 7% cocoa butter this weekend and see how it goes. When I patched my cracked truffles, I also enrobed about 100 more truffles and before I shutdown for the night, I noticed a few had cracked and a few and sprung wormhole leaks. These last couple of batches have me frustrated because I've not had a cracking or leaking problem for quite a while, until last week. At least I know I can patch them by hand rolling. The truffle size increase a bit, but it's not as much as double dipping with a wand. I'll live with hand rolling to patch cracks because double dipped truffles won't fit in my packaging.
  25. I did a run of Valentine's Day truffles last week and in spite of my pre-coating of the rounds, I got about 25% cracked truffles. A few can be cut into samples, but having 50 defects out of 200 truffles is not a good thing. This is the first time I had a large amount of cracked truffles. I usually don't get any cracks since I started pre-coating the rounds, so I'm trying to figure what went wrong. The only think I can think of is that the ambient kitchen temperature was too warm or maybe the rounds were too cold and expanded as they warmed up to room temperature. I'm going to try to patch the cracked truffles by hand rolling them with tempered chocolate. They won't have the smooth finish of the wand-dipped truffles, but maybe the hand rolled texture will provide a nice contrast to the smooth truffles when they are boxed. I did a small test batch of a new recipe last night and the kitchen was much cooler because it was very rainy and overcast so the building did not heat up. I coated about three dozen truffles and none of them cracked, so I know my technique is fairly good. I'll keep dipping away and see what happens as I have to crank out another 400 truffles for Valentine's Day.
  • Create New...