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Everything posted by nduran

  1. Well I'm sure you could bake them if you really wanted to, but you'll never get the crunch they're meant to have that way.
  2. Can any of the folks who seem to despise Fior d'Italia clarify what it is they dislike about it so strongly? I've only sampled a handful of dishes there, but what I had was not bad at all (aside from the bread which is admittedly quite horrible).
  3. A word of caution on using canned ingredients and flour: the falafel can explode. Literally. If you prepare a mixture that contains a great deal of moisture and then attempt to get it to hold together in the oil with flour, what will end up happening is the outer portions in contact with the oil will form a hard shell around the still-moist and very loosely bound interior. As the temperature of this interior continues to rise, the moisture will desperately want to get out of there, and you've basically got giant popcorn kernels sitting in a pot full of dangerously hot oil. I've seen the uncooked centers shoot up to three feet in the air of their own accord, leaving their charred, hollow husks behind. If one of these hit you in the face, you'd be in serious shape, and even if they don't explode, the results are still gummy and disgusting. Always, always, always use soaked dried chickpeas and fava beans, and regardless of what the recipe says, don't put a whole onion in all at once. Add it bit by bit and back off once the mixture starts getting so moist that it drips when you squeeze a handful of it tightly. It's also important to use olive oil for the frying. Peanut oil or your average bottle of Wesson will technically work, but the flavor just won't be there. The oil should be just deep enough to cover about 3/4 of each little lump, and I personally prefer to stick to small batches of 3-4 at a time to avoid greasy product. If you've got a giant fryer with a great thermostat on it, by all means, push the envelope. I have had extremely good luck with the following recipe, though the quantities of the seasonings are not set in stone and may be adjusted up or down to taste. I honestly don't even measure most of them myself. 1 cup dried fava beans (soaked) 3/4 cup dried chickpeas (soaked) 1 white onion 1/3 cup minced parsley 2 tbsps cilantro 3 garlic cloves 1 tsp baking powder 2 tsp salt 2 tsp hot Hungarian paprika 1 tsp ground cumin
  4. nduran


    So given the rather pungent smell and taste of freshly opened miso, how do you know when it's crossed over to the other side and needs to be thrown out?
  5. Yep, because I don't want it to be quite as soft as is necessary for piping, I want as thin of a shell as is possible, and also because I don't have any molds handy (or places to store them for that matter).
  6. Already tried and failed. Last sentence, second paragraph
  7. Interesting. I had considered giving gelatin, agar or tapioca a try, but had overlooked pectin. I'm afraid I'm quite unfamiliar with the various types available, however. Is it safe to assume that "X58" is a fairly specific and important designation I'm going to have to hunt for?
  8. I have a ganache and a soft caramel that I want to marry in layers, cut into squares and hand-dip in tempered chocolate. The individual components are both absolutely perfect in terms of achieving both the taste and texture that I am looking for, but unfortunately, they are proving very difficult to cut and dip due to their softness. I can manage cutting the ganache as any little breaks or tears are easily patted back together and smoothed over, but the caramel I simply cannot work with. If I make it as soft as I want it to be, it clings to the knife regardless of what I smear onto the blade, and being in the soft ball realm, it tends to run off the sides of the ganache block at room temperature if it sits out too long. Even when frozen, it's a mess. I could make a firmer caramel of course, but then the final product would be difficult to bite into and would likely hurt a few teeth. The softness I'm aiming for is similar to that found in many of See's non-molded offerings, so I'm positive it must be possible. Is there anything short of a $3,000 guitar cutter or liquid nitrogen I can use to make this stuff behave long enough to get it dipped?
  9. I have tried small amounts (1/4 tsp) of liquid, unbleached soy lecithin in my ganaches, and I've found it simply causes them to break into an oily, grainy mess quite spectacularly. Fixing them tends to require a great deal of boiling corn syrup, and then the texture ends up being wrong. I have used it successfully in simple soft caramels however. I find it lets me blend in more cream than I would be able to ordinarily.
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