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  1. I'm not sure we are talking about the same thing, especially looking at that pistachio tablet. It's a full tablet without fillings, to prepare it you just fill it with chocolate and wait until it's fully crystallized. Only possible downside is that some chopped pistachios detach from the bar / tablet, zero risks to find chopped pistachios in some excess tempered chocolate you will use for other products. The pralines by this chocolatier still have a filling, the ones with nibs on top are not full solid chocolate with nibs on top, are a filled praline with nibs on top. Which means that you need to fill the cavities with tempered chocolate when the nibs are already in, and turn them upside down to let the excess chocolate flow out, to leave the empty praline shell to be filled with ganache (or else) and then capped. When you turn the mold upside down there is the possibility that some nibs / solid pieces will fall together the excess chocolate, out of your sight. If you say this probability is really low since the tempered chocolate has low fluidity and acts as a shield, then we agree. If you say the probability is zero, then sorry, I don't agree. That excess chocolate will be used in other products, maybe even for making the ganache for that praline. Every chocolatier wants to avoid the risk of getting unwanted and unseen solid pieces in the chocolate he is going to re-use, for a lot of different reasons. Teo
  2. Kerry already answered for chablon. I went by memory writing "insertion ratio", didn't check it, seems like I was mistaken and it's not an English word, sorry. I was meaning the ratio between the solid pieces (since "insertion" is not a word, please suggest the correct one, thanks, "inserts" maybe?) and the fluid phase. The "roof" of the praline in the photo seems to be composed by white chocolate plus some solid pieces (can't understand if they are ground slivered almonds or what else). To prepare that rectangle you need to spread that mixture when the white chocolate is in fluid state, otherwise you can't succeed in spreading it. So when you spread it you have the fluid phase (tempered melted white chocolate) and the "insert" solid phase (forgive me, I can't spend 1 hour to write a post checking every technical term). The higher the solid/fluid ratio is, the more difficult it is to spread it. Especially if you try to spread it inside a small rectangular chablon / stencil: you will have lot of troubles trying to fill the corners, if you want to get a perfect result like in the photo then you need to spend quite some time and patience. It's much easier and quicker to spread a full sheet then cut the rectangles before the white chocolate sets. When you cut something with all those solid pieces you need to cut up-down (pick a scraper, lay it on the sheet along the line you want to cut, press it down), not from side to side with a pairing knife. Teo
  3. Years ago I made a maple syrup ganache in the most basic way: 200 g milk chocolate + 120 g maple syrup. It was cloying if tasted alone, but it was fine when enrobed with a 70% dark. So I would suggest to try to taste it with some of the 72% dark, your sensation may change quite a bit. After all it's what happens with all white chocolate ganaches: taken alone they are always cloying, but we keep using them. I used that ganache for a dual layer praline, the other layer was a jalapeno dark chocolte ganache. Jalapeno hotness helped to cut the maple sweetness. I was pleased with the result. If you can add other flavours besides maple, then you can play with bitter / hot flavours. If you have bitter almond oil at hand then you can try it, the bitterness should cut some of the sweetness and the bitter almond taste should be shadowed by the maple. I would suggest using tonka beans, but they are illegal in the USA. Cocoa nibs would work better than pecans/walnuts in my opinion. A bit of chestnut honey can help too, or bitter roots like gentiane and rhubarb. Teo
  4. For the praline in that photo (didn't see anything like this in the photos I watched yesterday, so thanks for linking it!), I think that he spreads a thin layer of the compound on an acetate sheet then cuts the rectangles. It's almost impossible to get those precise corners using a chablon, especially if the compound you are spreading has a high insertion ratio (like that one). In this photo you can see clearly that the cocoa nibs were sprinkled in the mold after some chocolate was poured in each cavity. Lots of different techniques and ideas, we can only bow and compliment. Teo
  5. I suppose some care must be taken to prevent troubles. If you sprinkle stuff like cocoa nibs on the bottom of the mold, then fill the cavities with tempered chocolate (as usual to create the shell) then a good amount of the crumbs/nibs/whatever would fall with the chocolate in excess. My guess is that he pours a small amount of tempered chocolate on the bottom of each cavity, then sprinkle the crumbs/nibs/whatever, wait for the chocolate to start setting (before it crystallizes, to avoid it detaching from the mold), then proceed as usual to create the shell. Can't think of other ways to keep the crumbs/nibs/whatever in place while creating the shell. I'm really liking what this chocolatier is doing, so thanks for pointing him @akonsu. He is clearly using rectangular molds. Which is a neat idea for a lot of reasons. Handling and packaging is much easier and effective. Some decorations (paint brushstokes and similars) seem to be made afterwards the pralines were unmolded. Being rectangular you just need to place them attached one to each other, so you get a big rectangular surface that's quick and easy to decorate, minimizing time and wastage. Lots of interesting flavors as well, at least from the few reviews I read. Kudos to him for his personality! Teo
  6. I'm a donkey, I forgot to write the recipe, sorry. ------------------- Here is the last one I used: 50 g butter 125 g sugar 50 g orange juice 35 g flour (low gluten, the one used for cookies) 120 g ground almonds Mix butter (soft), sugar and orange juice just enough to combine. Add flour and ground almonds, mix just enough to combine. Deposit on a pan lined with parchment paper, cook at 160° C for about 8-10 minutes (don't trust the timer, trust your eyes since the cooking time can vary a lot from case to case). You can adjust oven temperature and cooking time to get the color you want (they can range from light brown to dark brown, as for caramel). This batter freezes great: I freeze it after rolling it in a log (spread the batter on a sheet of parchment paper, then roll the log by hand keeping it inside the paper, at room temperature this batter is really soft), then cut thin slices from the frozen log. Otherwise you can use a scoop to deposit it. Beware it spreads a lot while cooking, especially if you deposit it with a scoop. If you need a large circle like in this case, then I suggest to cut many thin and small slices, then depositing them at a distance on the pan (about 2 cm one from each other, this depends on how big the slices are). Slices will spread and merge during cooking. Avoid depositing a big mound, it will cook unevenly giving poor results. You can sub sugar with honey. You can sub orange juice with whatever liquid you want. You can sub part of the flour with cocoa powder (on average I'd say 10 g cocoa powder and 25 g flour). You can sub the ground almonds with whatever dry ingredient you like (nuts, seeds...). ------------------- Here is the one by Ducasse: 100 g sugar 100 g glucose syrup 100 g butter 100 g ground almonds Put sugar, glucose syrup and butter in a pan, bring to the boil. Turn off the heat, add the ground almonds. Deposit on a pan, cook at 180° C until they are colored. ------------------- Teo
  7. teonzo

    Chefsteps gummies

    If you are using a silicone mold and end up with the troubles you described, then you can put the mold in a hot oven or in the microwave, just to heat enough the gummies so they go back in fluid state to fill the mold cavities an be on level. Teo
  8. I can't think about something that would remain crispy (without absorbing humidity) and does not involve chocolate... Florentines have the same trouble, you should be forced to coat the bottom side in chocolate. I would suggest you to use the tuile nougatine / orange tuile / lace tuile family. I never understood if this family has a coded name in French pastry, I always found it described with a boatload of different names (Ducasse calls it tuile nougatine in his pastry book, but I'm sure I've seen it with different names in other French books), so I don't think there is one. I mean the kind of tuiles you can see in this photo and in this other photo. In my opinion it would fit dobos torte much better than a tuile made with pâte à tulipe: the lace effect is really elegant; it gets a good caramel flavour; it's really thin and easy to bite (contrary to the traditional caramel). It cuts neatly while warm, so you can cook a big tuile that covers the cake, cut the round shape and then the segments. Unless you are as quick as Flash it will harden before being able to cut all the pieces, you just need to put it back in the oven for some seconds. You must coat it with cocoa butter, but you don't need an air compressor, just sift some Mycryo on both sides, not a big effort that asks for equipment you don't have, unless you want to be "traditional" in the techniques you use. The basic tuile nougatine recipe is pretty eclectic: you can add cocoa powder or instant coffee or spices to the batter; you can add chopped nuts / seeds; you can use whatever honey you like; you can sub the orange juice with other fruit juices, or just with water. Plenty of ways to change taste/color and add crispness, while maintaning the lace effect and the thinness. EDIT: never cut tuiles on a hot silpat, unless you want to destroy the silpat (it cuts as butter while hot). Always use parchment paper for this use. I'm sure you know this since you are a professional, but it's better to point this out if some reader wants to try it. Teo
  9. I thought they were made the standard way, not with sorghum, sorry. Teo
  10. teonzo

    Lasagna baked in bainmarie style ?

    Thanks donk79! I'll try to explain my point of view about these two topics (lasagna in bainmarie; radicchio and orange salad) in a more articulate way, since I'm passionate about them and we are in a discussion board of people that are passionate about food. For me (and the vast majority of people here) lasagna is not a simple dish, it's a festive ritual. Unfortunately it's going lost with the younger generations (more on this later), but most people over 30 grew eating lasagna as a festive ritual. The family person (mother or grandmother) in charge of cooking was not able to prepare lasagna during normal days, it's time consuming and she was in charge of all the home chores. So making lasagna was a collective process, made when all the family was gathered together and could help (well, not all, it was rare for adult males to partecipate). All female members, children and teens helped making lasagna, in a way or another. Then it was put in the oven, while it was cooking people moved to prepare the table, continuing to chat and have fun. While it was cooking you started to feel those awesome smells from the oven, drooling in anticipation. Then came time to portion it and eat it. The corners were the most coveted portions, since they had the most crispy parts: if there were more than 4 children then you had to prepare yourself for a lot of screams and battles (which were not a bad thing, if what you are battling for is a piece of lasagna then life is great). Then came the eating and the cheers, making a huge family party during that festive day. Being invited by a friend to eat lasagna at his/her home was the biggest honor, it was like saying "you are part of our family". Most of us grew up this way. So we don't think about lasagna as a simple dish, we think about it as a ritual. It has not much sense for us asking why it smells so great while it cooks in the oven (nobody could care less about Maillard reactions), or if there are any ways to make it better. That was the ritual from many generations, a ritual that said "family party" in the best possible way. So seeing it made in a different way (cooked in a bainmarie or whatever) makes me shiver, not because of how it could change, but because this means stripping it away from all the festive ritual. Eating your piece was just a part of the pleasure, keeping the eating part and stripping away all the rest is like killing this dish for me. When I went at university the refectory served lasagna each week. Nothing to say about the execution, the cook made it perfectly. But it did not feel like eating lasagna, it felt like eating a layered pasta dish. Same food group, much different feelings. When I read about the Bottura dish I exclaimed "this is not right". I don't doubt that dish is super delicious, most probably in a blind taste I would say it's the best pasta dish ever. But it's stripped from all the festive feelings: when you eat it at his restaurant you are not partecipating in the family preparations, you are not there free to scream, laugh hard and make whatever jokes you want. No doubt it's a great dish, on an intellectual point of view I'm sure Bottura succeeded in making the "quintessential taste" of lasagna, but on an emotional level it feels like a soulless exercise. At least to me. If I will ever be lucky to go dining there, then for sure I'll ask to keep that dish out of my menu. Eating lasagna is one of the fondest and most powerful food memories for almost all Italians. So changing it is not like changing a dish, like would be for pizza, tiramisu, spaghetti al pomodoro or whatelse, it's like changing a ritual that defined our family lives. It would struck a cord to which we are really really affectionate, touchy and protective. Unfortunately all this ritual is going lost in the past years. Families are smaller and smaller. The Sunday gathering is falling apart (most people stopped going to visit their brothers/sisters, uncles, so on). Both parents work (which is a good thing, same rights for all sexes), this causes that a lot of people rely on ready made food (making Giovanni Rana happy) or simple and quick stuff. So the lasagna ritual is going lost and this is really sad for me. You can find great lasagna at restaurants, rotisseries and so on, but it just does not taste as good as the family one. About salads, the concept of "insalata" ("salad" in Italian) is different from region to region. Here in Veneto the word "insalata" is used both for the side dish and for a vegetable (a kind of lettuce). So the quintessential insalata is just lettuce with some salt, vinegar and oil. We use the word insalata to describe a side dish that consists of raw vegetables which are seasoned with salt, vinegar and oil (olive oil is a recent use, up to few decades ago it was a luxury and most people never tasted it in Northern Italy). I mean vegetables in the common sense here (stuff used in savory applications), which includes fruits like tomatoes and cucumber. Adding fruit to an insalata is an alien concept here, nobody adds local fruits like cherries or peaches, the idea of adding oranges would not cross the mind of any native Veneto. We don't add nuts, dried fruits or seeds. We don't add cheese, only expection can be mozzarella, but it's a big stretch. We don't add cooked vegetables: no cooked broccoli / cauliflower, no cooked cabbages, no cooked artichokes (neither raw ones, raw artichokes are non existent here), no cooked anything. So saying that radicchio and orange salad is traditional here is really far from reality, especially because it's a concept that is alien to our food habits (if you add walnuts to a salad you are considered weird). Things are pretty different in the other regions. This to say that in this day it does not require much effort to check things like this one. Up to 20 years ago it was really difficult, almost impossible. Nowadays it just takes few minutes: just look for a local authority and ask for infos. I don't want to make it seems like the food shows produced by Italian televisions are better, far from it, they make much worse mistakes. Teo
  11. An old restaurant adage says "when in doubt, put a tuile". Probably it can be applied to your case. (I love dobos torte and think it should be much more present in pastry showcases) Teo
  12. This is really interesting! I used sorghum flour, but never heard about any edible use for the stalks. Stalks were used mostly for making brooms or for compost. Next time I'll talk with a farmer that cultivates sorghum I'll try to ask if he is interested in trying to make this syrup. Can you suggest some reliable sources for the production method please? Thanks! Alcohol in the sense that this sorghum syrup is distilled like for making rum? Or fermented like for beer / cider? Can you describe the final result please? Teo
  13. Next time you just need to make 10, so there will be small chances that a couple of them will survive enough. Can you post some photos of this experiment? Teo
  14. teonzo

    Lasagna baked in bainmarie style ?

    Hahahaaha, yes, he looks like his name! I like him because he is really funny and positive, never a bad word from his mouth and always a genuine smile. This is really sad to know, I'm sorry. Yes, if the tried that here he would be backlashed really hard. Teo
  15. teonzo

    Lasagna baked in bainmarie style ?

    I'm not the usual Italian when the discussion goes about food traditions. Tomato is the usual example I make when discussing with the extremists: when someone says something like "ethnic restaurants should be banned in every city" (which is way too frequent, it sounds obscene to me) I reply with "and we should enforce pizza to be made only with the tomato varieties described by Pliny the Elder". Unfortunately most of them don't catch the joke. I think that traditional food is what you find in most home cooking in a region / area in that time, nothing more and nothing less. It can be something recent, something really old, something made only with local products or with imported stuff. The caloric intake of my grandfathers consisted mainly (I'd say over 50%) of polenta (corn was imported from America), potatoes (same) and clinton (a wine made from American vines, Vitis riparia x Vitis labrusca, most farmers drank way more than 1 liter per day). Those 3 were the main staples from 1900 (I suppose even before, I'm referring what my grandmothers told me) to 1950. When people here start claiming we should protect our traditions, I always point out that if our ancestors made so then they would have starved to death, not much sense in choosing to die for preserving your food traditions. Besides that, we are full of traditional dishes that are made with imported ingredients. Most spices are imported, can't imagine our food without black pepper. You can't talk about Venetian food and keep out baccalà (dried cod, imported from Norway). The list is really really long. If we try to find something that remained the same from the Apicius times, then we come empty handed. So being protective of our traditions is something I find really silly, since we (as Italians) are the first ones that did not respect them. There are various things that are marketed as traditional and can't possibly be. Recently a dish called "cinghiale in dolceforte" came to the mouth of many people, it's wild boar cooked in a sauce made with spices and cocoa, this dish is said to be "traditional in the Tuscany of the Middle Ages". Cocoa in the Middle Ages? Yeah, sure, imported by Columbus' grandpa. Another thing I point out to the "tradition talebans" is the history of Venice. This city based its existence on open commerce, they welcomed people from abroad that carried their products. Most of the traditional dishes here are rooted in those trades, what's the sense in closing the possibilities to foreign influences when our history is based on that openness? Shakespeare wrote 2 works based in Venice, in one there is a main character that is Moor (not exactly Venetian), in the other there is a Jew (same). Marco Polo went to China, he was an alien to them and was treated like a superstar. When he came back to what is now considered Italy he got imprisoned immediately for being from a different region (big crime!). Trying to avoid foreign contamination is some of the most closed minded things ever in my not so humble opinion. Having said that, I still think that to claim that some dish is traditional then that dish should be prepared in many homes of that place in that peculiar moment in time. I've never seen a radicchio and orange salad here, so I'll never say it's traditional, but I'm not opposed to it since I tried those 2 ingredients together by my own will years ago; at this moment in time that salad is not traditional here, in the future maybe (I'd be happy). Tiramisu is the perfect example for my perspective. The version considered "classic" is documented to be created around the end of the 60's. It's made with savoiardi (called this way because they come from the Savoy region of France, not Italian), coffee (not Italian), mascarpone (only thing that can be said to be Italian) and cocoa powder (not Italian). At the beginning of the 80's it was in every home here and considered super traditional (I suppose this was due to the fact that it's both delicious and really easy to make and redo even in those years when recipes were passed by word of mouth). From non existent to super traditional in a matter of a dozen years, quite absurd for the ideas of every tradition taleban here, but none of them would claim tiramisu is not traditional. Personally I would really love if people here would return to the openness of centuries ago. I would love to find a real Chinese restaurant, a real Ethiopian restaurant, a real Vietnamese restaurant and so on. I really envy you in the USA for this. I can't even find a good pastry shop with traditional Sicilian pastries (my favourite) because people are so narrow minded, and it's stuff from Sicily, not from Saturn. Teo