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Everything posted by tikidoc

  1. Me too. As both a parent and a physician, I found it cringe-worthy as well.
  2. Paprika here too. And books on kindle.
  3. I ended up adding some milk powder and cocoa butter and the astringency mostly went away. Made a few bars, which were not terribly shiny, but I anticipated I would have issues because it’s just too warm in my work space right now. I mostly wanted to get some in an easily edible form. I may throw in some peanuts next. Got some nice Virginia peanuts at Costco. I just scraped what chocolate I could out of the melanger bowl, and I figure a little chocolate wouldn’t hurt the peanut butter...
  4. We really love our Lacanche. They have several options for cooktops. We have a ‘French top” which is an 18k burner with a large solid cast iron plate over the burner, with a cutout circle in which you can put the included wok ring. With the cutout in place, it is great for things like big pots of tomato sauce or stacks. There are also several options for the other burners including one that gets very low. It comes in a 28” version, with either one oven and storage drawer or an oven and a smaller second broiler oven. We have a gas range with electric convection ovens and love it. I also like that there is minimal technology involved. No computer electronics, just excellent build quality to last a lifetime. And it comes in lots of cool colors, if that matters to you - was not part of our decision to go with this range, but I do like the look of the blue in our kitchen.
  5. There is an AUI rep in my area, and as long as I’m not in a huge hurry, he will either meet me somewhere locally or drop off orders to my office when he is coming to visit other customers in the Richmond area. Handy when getting frozen purées. I don’t spend a whole lot of money, maybe $200-300 once or twice a year, but he has been very helpful and supportive.
  6. Albert Uster sells Felchin. I really like the Maracaibo for dark and milk. The Eidelweiss is an edible white (I consider most whites to be not really edible, so that’s a pretty high compliment for a white for me).
  7. Hmm. Maybe in the fall, if he continues to offer it. My work space will be cooler, and my partner at work won’t have vacation, so I won’t be getting slaughtered at work. It’s what I hate about summer...
  8. Since several of us bought melangers at this year’s workshop, I thought it might be a good idea to start a thread where we could compare notes and troubleshoot. There has been some discussion on another thread but i figured having dedicated thread would make the information easier to find. With the high heat and humidity recently, I have not messed with chocolate much lately. In anticipation of a (finally!) cooler weekend, I started a batch of chocolate in the melanger on Thursday, so I could play with it this weekend. I started with some nibs that I got from royalcacao.com. They are pre-roasted, not raw, so I did not roast the nibs. I made a 70% dark, simple 2 ingredient chocolate. It’s still in the melanger, but as of yesterday when I got home from work, it was quite smooth and the flavor up front was good. It had a slightly bitter aftertaste, and a hint of an astringency that I didn’t like, sort of like a much milder version of the feeling you get in your mouth when you accidentally get some of the stringy stuff from the inside of a banana peel in your mouth. Mildly puckery. I’m going to just let the melanger run until this afternoon when I have some time to mess with it, hoping this will fix it. So, should I have re-roasted the beans? Is that the problem? The website says “these nibs are made from sun-dried and roasted Arriba cocoa and have their husks removed.” I did taste them before putting them in the melanger, but my palate is still pretty poorly educated when it comes to nibs. It did not taste dramatically different from the nibs we roasted at the workshop, but nibs in general taste kinda lousy to me. The ones I brought to NOTL were advertised as being “raw nibs.” If the astringency is still there this afternoon, I was thinking of adding some cocoa butter and milk powder to make a dark milk (I’m not a huge fan of milks, but I do like some dark milks) in the hopes that the creaminess will help. Thoughts? Lastly, opinions on lecithin? I am a hobbyist, not in business, so the chocolate will likely be used to make bars and, if workable enough, bonbons for friends and family, so I don’t feel the need to be an absolute “no additives” purist. Will I have better luck working with this stuff with a little lecithin? What is the percentage? Do I just add the granules directly to the melanger, or should I blend in to a little melted cocoa butter first? As a hobbyist who does not do this stuff anywhere as often as I would like, and who also does not have strict climate control in my work area (basement), the less finicky the resultant chocolate is, the better. So, any suggestions would be appreciated, and please share your own notes, so we can all learn from each other!
  9. Damn, I really would love to take this class! I need 4 more hours in every day. And better climate control.
  10. Finally sprung for one. It arrived today, and there was a huge dent in the side of it. Sigh, back in the box.
  11. So even when using pre-prepared colors, you still strain? Do you get much particulate matter?
  12. Hmm, after all this reading about you guys taking the online course and making your own colors... they don’t make powdered colors, do they? Because I need more colored cocoa butter like I need a hole in my head (especially after the Tomric visit), but I’d be interested in dabbling in making my own colors.
  13. I'm not sure if you ever get to Richmond, but I got our granite at http://www.bestgraniteinrichmond.com. They directly import much of the stone, instead of going through middle men, so prices are often really good. They have lots of remnants in the shop. Talk to Alex, and tell him I sent you. They did a LOT of work for us (he did some non granite stuff for us on weekends for some extra work, so we know him pretty well).
  14. Another thing to keep in mind is that all granite is not alike. Some are much more porous than others, and would be more likely to stain than others. The stuff I have in my kitchen is not porous and seems virtually impossible to stain. I have had oily things on it many times and there is no staining. What is the granite in your kitchen? I also second those who say to get a remnant. Granite comes in big slabs, so often there will be decent sized pieces left over from large projects, and they can often be had for very little. We have used remnants for the counters in our bathrooms, and got great deals for less than the price of formica. Don't go to the big granite showrooms, go talk to the fabricators, the guys who actually cut and finish the granite. We had quite a bit of work done in our home, and so the granite guys gave me a good deal on a nice sized remnant, I think about 4' x 2', that sits on a big table in my basement where I do chocolates. I asked for something that would not likely stain or crack (was not concerned with looks), and ended up with something that looks similar to uba tuba or verde butterfly. Super easy to clean, I just run over it with a hair dryer to melt any chocolate spatters, and wipe it off. Mine is fairly thick, which is fine because it's not meant to be moved, but granite comes in various thicknesses. We have some on the walls of our master shower, and it's quite thin, maybe 1/2".
  15. I'd love to do the course, but I just don't see being able to do it on any kind of a strict time schedule. I hope at some point he does some sort of a class format that would allow more of a "work at your own pace" class. I would expect less feedback with that sort of a class, but as a hobbyist with a more than full time job, it's the only way I can see doing it before I retire...
  16. I’m really looking forward to picking all of your brains in St. Louis next year.
  17. The beans I used were very floral (would not call them astringent) but they were dramatically different as a fairly dark milk, in a positive way, and I’m not a huge milk chocolate fan. I added both milk powder and cocoa butter. So you might just think of adding the stuff for a milk and see how it turns out, if you want to experiment.
  18. They showed it last night. Painful to watch. I miss both of them.
  19. Has anyone tried the new Misen cookware? I got a set of their knives, which are very nice quality at a very reasonable price. That recently came out with cookware.
  20. Mine were actually fairly inexpensive. I brought a pound to NOTL to experiment with, so you may have tasted them - I put most of the resultant chocolate out on Sunday. There was some plain, and some with a sprinkling of sea salt. http://www.cocoasupply.com/cacao-nibs/, $30/5# plus shipping, which was reasonable, as I remember. They are quite floral in flavor, but that calmed down quite a bit with 48 h in the melanger. These nibs are not sold roasted, unlike many that I see online. I also got some of the nibs along with the melanger, but I’ll wait until I know a bit more before I use those. I tempered the dark milk and put some in a bar mold and the rest out on some parchment, which I broke up into pieces and bagged when set. It unmolded nicely but it was a tiny bit streaky and not terribly shiny. It’s hot and humid here, even in my normally cool and dehumidified basement, so I suspect that is the problem. I have about a kg, so I’ll try tempering again on a cool evening, if we ever get one.
  21. My melanger is also running in the basement as I type! I’ve made one batch since the workshop, a dark milk chocolate made from Ecuadorian nibs that I really like, and I’m doing a simple 2 ingredient dark right now. Planning to temper the milk today and mold it into bars. If they come out pretty, I’ll post photos later. If not, we’ll just eat them.
  22. I stumbled on this tribute to him, and I think it is particularly fitting. https://verysmartbrothas.theroot.com/anthony-bourdain-was-remarkable-because-he-possessed-qu-1826682165?utm_medium=socialflow&utm_source=theroot_facebook One of the things I loved about his shows is how he made the people in the places he visited just as much a focus as the food. He had empathy, and was not afraid to show it. In today’s political environment, in which xenophobia is quickly becoming the default accepted state in much of our country, we need more people like Anthony Bourdain. Lots of celebrity deaths in the last couple of years, but this one seems to be hitting me harder than even Bowie and Prince, both of whom I was a fan of.
  23. So sad. I remember reading his posts back before I joined eGullet and just lurked and learned. I loved his attitudes about travel, and using food to learn about other cultures. I think I'm going to pull out my copy of "Les Halles," which I have not cooked from for a while, and make something from it this weekend, and raise a glass of wine to Bourdain. One of the few cookbooks I have read, like a novel, from cover-to-cover, and thoroughly enjoyed. It's like cooking with a smart-ass friend.
  24. So sad. Condolences to his family and friends. He will be sorely missed.
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