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Everything posted by jrshaul

  1. I tried the following yesterday. You'll excuse the lack of pictures; the cake was basically inhaled. - Cook 5 egg whites to 150 sous vide with 310 grams of sugar for one hour. - Beat until stiff peaks. Or, in my case, you're worried of overheating the kitchenaid mixer. - Add 4oz room temperature salted butter and 8oz room temperature peanut butter. It was good, but stll needs work. Does brown sugar work in meringues? And any advice on sous vide swiss meringues?
  2. I have a peanut butter swiss meringue buttercream frosting / pie filling recipe that goes like this: 1/2c butter 1/2c creamy unsalted all-peanut PB 3 egg whites 2/3c granulated sugar 1/2c brown sugar. (I use regular sugar for cake frosting.) Pulverize brown sugar to dust in blendar. Mix warm melted butter with PB and brown sugar; do NOT heat PB or it gets all grainy. Make swiss meringue with egg whites and sugar; fold together. It's not bad, and as an improvement on the traditional Cool Whip PB fluff pies, it's a huge improvement. Compared to the Jif-butter-and-powdered-sugar "buttercreams" I've seen...well, it doesn't physically engage my gag reflex. But it's too heavy for a pie and not quite smooth enough for either application. I'd also like to do a pistachio or hazelnut version using whole pistachios and hazelnuts; raw pistachios are cheaper and easier to get as a consumer and they produce an excellent color. I was thinking just blend the pistachios, butter, and sugar in a blender, but I imagine there's a more clever option. (Added bonus: Any thoughts on pasteurizing eggs sous vide for meringue? I can't get it to work; they're fine for mayonnaise but won't whip.)
  3. I don't have an oven with a thermostat (there's a dial, but no numbers) and the CSO-300 was my go-to for everything. Spending $500 on a replacement is a bitter pill to swallow, but if it really is better...
  4. Does it use a relay? It's usually something solid state, which have an unfortunate habit of causing collateral damage when they go boom. SOP on audio equipment is to assume a dead transistor blew up adjacent components, too, but I'm not too clever with analog power electronics. The motor appears to be a shaded pole motor. In theory, I could wire it to the mains power bus and just use a toggle switch to turn it on and off. I can't afford another one, and it's broken anyway...
  5. I appreciate that I'm painfully late to the party here, but what's the verdict on sous vide vs. nitrous vs. simply waiting for different flavors? And for which materials? Also, has anyone tried a magnetic lab stirrer? I picked one up on eBay for $10. And is anyone using antioxidants like ascorbic acid or potassium sorbate to improve the shelf stability of their infusions? I've had great luck with oldschool lemoncello, but I feel like I could be doing this a lot more efficiently.
  6. Fixing things what aren't meant to be fixed is what I do. A dud motor is the easy option - finding something close enough isn't difficult, but dealing with dead control logic is a nightmare.
  7. If you want to see if your fan is running, you can widen one of the slots on the top on the far right of the machine and look down. The shaded-pole motor is clearly visible.
  8. Does anyone have any ideas on mending the fan? Is it an electrical or mechanical problem?
  9. Can I use health food store cocoa butter with pigments, or do I need the more expensive confection-grade stuff?
  10. Does anyone know how to tell if the convection fan is on? I am unsure if mine is malfunctioning or simply inaudible.
  11. 811NV at Amazon for $53/5kg with free shipping. The next cheapest option - H.R. Gygi - is about $65 shipped, and the local foodservice places wants somewhere around $90. https://www.amazon.com/Callebaut-Chocolate-Block-Semisweet-54-5/dp/B0076UJ8BY/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=callebaut+chocolate&qid=1588312278&sr=8-6
  12. There's a fitting that allows it. Your flow is limited slightly, but unless you're trying to deep-fry an emu it's not much of a hindrance.
  13. To answer my own question, the folks who do the Chinese Cooking Demystified youtube videos use exactly what I'd originally suggested - a small Iwatani butane burner good for about 10,000BTU. I've been eyeballing a 110,000BTU jet burner that's $40 online. I live in a tiny 1-room apartment, but it's on the ground floor, so cooking outside is appealing. Cooking for multiple people is a bit tricky with a small wok because either (a) you let everything get cold or (b) everyone eats without you, and there's the added substantial benefit of being able to deep-fry a ton of food. That said, I'd probably avoid it without one of the gas flow pedals used in Chinese restaurants. Imagine driving your car if you had to take your hand off the wheel to work the gas pedal? (Also, the steering wheel weighs fifteen pounds and is on fire.) My stove is a cheapo compact apartment special, good for maybe 6,000BTU. To put this in perspective, the nicer butane hotplates are good for 15,000. It boils water slower than something I used to make coffee on picnics. That said, a burner-focusing ring like the Wokmon sounds like a good idea, especially considering they're demonstrating it on a butane hotplate. I don't have typical equipment; I have a stove that can barely boil water and an oven with no numbers on the dial. The $40 butane burner is a massive improvement.
  14. I saw what that guy did with a butane hot plate. Not sensible in either case. Anyone tried using a portable propane burner?
  15. What's the best way to make stir-fry without a decent stove? Mine is half as powerful as that butane burner.
  16. "Traditional" as in "not the appalling claptrap that most Americans believe to be Chinese." Iwatani makes high quality butane stoves, though none specifically designed to hold a wok. If you can suggest a Chinese alternative, I'm all ears - preferably without Iwatani's steep price.
  17. I have a less than excellent stove, and would like a butane burner for indoor and outdoor use. I've seen Chinese cooking channels use butane for traditional wok cooking and would appreciate a recommendation. I quite like Iwatani products, but the 15000BTU 35FW is a bit steep, and there are less expensive options of similar output - possibly some designed specifically for woks. Alternately, I'm open to a 50,000+ BTU propane burner like this one if it offers the necessary heat. Does anyone know if these can be used with disposable propane cylinders with an adapter?
  18. jrshaul


    I found his recipe. He uses a bit less gelatin and a lower sugar temperature. Roasted banana puree is pretty close to strawberry puree in texture. Might be worth a shot. Any thoughts on using cardamom?
  19. jrshaul


    I made a batch of marshmallows via the following procedure and found them awfully rubbery. I've had some wonderfully ephemeral marshmallows using eggs, but these were a bit on the soggy and rubbery side. Would also appreciate a cooked option for the egg whites - a swiss meringue would work, but I'm reluctant to add sugar. 1. Bloom 3 envelopes Knox gelatin in 1/2c water, add flavoring 2. Cook sugar syrup of 1/2c water, 2 1/2 c sugar, 1/2c corn syrup to 245f 3. Combine sugar syrup with gelatin in stand mixer on low 4. Fold in 2 beaten egg whites. I also have some peanut flour ("PB2 powdered peanut butter") I would love to use in these and would like to use roasted banana puree if anyone has any ideas.
  20. I can't find any that aren't $25-$35 a unit - I'm surprised there's no smaller packaging. That said, while I looking for it, I found Pastry Depot sells Chef Rubber tinted cocoa butter in smaller quantities. $10.50USD for 50 grams does sting a bit. Not a bad idea. Unfortunately, I only have one kind of chocolate at present. Now that's a black friday sale I'd get in on...
  21. A kleptomaniac flatmate stole my microplane graters, a ton of spices, my good vegetable knife, and a few other things. Any advice on replenishing my supply? At least I still have cast iron coming out of my ears.
  22. Anyone know where I can get these whole at a sane price? I'm used to paying $2 for a massive bag, not $20 for a dinky jar that invariably tastes flat.
  23. ER physician, chocolate wizard, AND production food science engineer? I no longer feel as good about changing my own motor oil. Are you actually six people in a trenchcoat?
  24. I just picked up a set of polycarbonate molds to make some more attractive chocolates. I dimly recall the existence of commercially prepared aerosol cans of pigmented cocoa butter, but they appear to be long gone - without breaking the bank, what's the best way to add a few shades of primary colors to my bonbons?
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