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About teonzo

  • Birthday 11/05/1975

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    Venice, Italy

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  1. Pichet Ong - "The Sweet Spot: Asian-Inspired Desserts" Hardcover version for $5.75 (81% discount). Teo
  2. Help with savory palmiers

    150° F is way too much, as @JohnT wrote then most probably it's a thermostat issue. But beware that an oven can be pretty tricky. Temperature fluctuactions are a given, if you set your oven at 400° F then you must anticipate it will fluctuate between 380° F and 420° F, fluctuation can be even bigger. Oven thermostats are set to work within a relatively wide range, meaning the heating mechanism will be activated when the temperature goes below X and then deactivated when the temperature reaches Y. The difference between X and Y can be more than 40° F, it has no sense for a domestic oven to be more precise, otherwise the oven will be on and off every few seconds. This means that if you set the temperature at 400° F and keep a thermometer inside the oven, you will see it fluctuating in a relatively wide range, it's pretty normal. So it is pretty normal that you set the temperature at 400° F and you check with a thermometer at a given moment, then you can get differences of 40° F or even more. If the difference is 150° F, well, then it's not normal. There can be other troubles. One depends on where the thermostat is placed. Depending on its position, the difference for the real temperature when you use it with or without the fan can be quite big. If you turn it on with the fan and set it at 400° F, then the next time you turn it on without the fan (always set at 400° F and starting from a cold oven), then when the thermostat goes off for the first time you can get a difference of more than 50° F, I would say 80° F is still normal. It just depends on how near the thermostat is to the heating system and the fan. When you cook puff pustry the goal is to give it a huge kick at the first minutes of cooking. If the puff pustry does not get that kick, then it's ruined, there's nothing to save it. It's much better to cook puff pastry at 500° F than at 350° F. So your aim is to get a HOT oven, then reduce the cooking times (or the temperature) if needed. Looking at your last photo of savoury palmiers, they came ok, but they were cooked at the lowest end of the correct temperature window. This means that if the oven was 20° F cooler then you would have incurred in some undercooked puff pastry. If you cooked those palmiers at 50° F higher then you would have got a better result. Cooking puff pastry is counter-intuitive: for almost all the other uses it's better to not go higher about temperatures, for puff pastry it's the opposite. It's better to err with higher temperatures, you don't ruin puff pastry if you cook it at 500-520° F. You ruin it if you cook it at 350°F. Teo
  3. You had me worry and count my fingers when I read the title. Teo
  4. Peanut Butter and Jelly - The Sandwich

    I tried peanut butter something like 20 years ago and did not like it. Same reaction with all the Italians I know that tasted it for the first time in their adult life. Maybe it has something to do with our eating habits and psychology. More probably it's because it's hard to find peanut butter here, you find it only in some specialty shops, so I'm pretty sure we get low quality products (just like happens with maple syrup, tahini and so on). I guess it's time to give another try, this time starting from whole peanuts. I have a lot of homemade jams, so finding a new use for them would be very welcome. Little personal curiosity. First time I crossed the wording "PBJ" was when I bought "Chocolates and Confections" by Peter Greweling, where there is a PBJ chocolate bonbon (if my memory is right it's a dual layer with peanut butter ganache and raspberries pate de fruits, @Chris Hennesmade a step by step thread years ago). It took me ages to understand that PBJ was referred to the sandwich and it was a food staple in the USA. Teo
  5. Help with savory palmiers

    I wouldn't say the problem is due to rolling them tightly. The outer "sheet" of puff pustry cooked at half: the exterior half cooked, the interior half did not cook and remained "melted" (it's translucent, layers did not form properly). Properly cooked puff pastry is golden brown, the ones in the photo are pale. Both these details are signs of undercooked puff pastry. Good thing that the oven temperature is correct, but it's not everything (every oven is a different beast and blabla). The main thing is how heat is transferred to the food, temperature is only one of many factors to this. Puff pastry needs a huge initial heat kick to cook properly, otherwise it "melts" (becomes trasnlucent and you don't see the mini-layers forming) and remains pale. The only way to solve this is to give a higher heat kick, both raising temperature and turning on the convection fan if possible. With puff pastry the big problems happen when the temperature (or better, the transferred heat) is lower than ideal, not when it's higher. If it's lower, it does not cook properly and you can't save it; if it's higher (within certain limits), it just cooks faster. Teo
  6. Help with savory palmiers

    The inclusion (onion + bacon + cheese) is an obstacle to the formation of the natural shape of palmiers, so don't expect to be able to get a perfect result as with standard palmiers. Having said that, those in the photo are undercooked, meaning they need a higher oven temperature. 425°F should be ok in theory, so I'm guessing the 425°F mark on your oven does not give a real 425°F internal temperature. I would suggest to raise the temperature to the 450°F mark and turn on the convection fan (if your oven has it). Try to check the internal temperature with an oven thermometer. Teo
  7. Peanut Butter and Jelly - The Sandwich

    Please consider there aren't only US members in this forum. I'm from Italy, never ate a single PBJ sandwich in my life and don't know anyone here who did. So what you find boring can otherwise be interesting to people from other cultures. Teo
  8. Drowning in Figs!

    I would suggest to prepare figs puree then freeze it, so you have it available all year. Wash the figs, cut them in half to make sure they are good (nothing rotten, no bugs...). Add a bit of lemon juice (around 20 g lemon juice for 1000 g figs), then blitz them with a hand held blender until you get a puree. Then pass the puree through a sieve to eliminate the seeds. This is a bit of a PITA to do, but a seedless puree is much much better. You can use a food mill with small holes to speed up a bit (I have the food mill tool for my stand mixer, so the machine does all the work). Once you prepared the seedless puree you can freeze it in whatever container you prefer. This way you have fresh figs puree whenever you need it. You can use figs puree to make fig jam, just add the needed amount of sugar and cook as usual. You can use it as a base for sauces, for example mix it with reduced duck stock, then serve the sauce with duck breast. You can use it as a base for sorbets / ice creams. Figs sorbet recipe is really easy: 300 g figs puree, 200 g simple syrup (100 g water + 100 g sugar). You can use it as a base for mousses (figs puree + Italian meringue + gelatin + whipped cream), in which case you need to cook the figs puree (above 90° C) before use. Figs contain ficain, an enzyme that dissolves gelatin, so if you don't cook the puree you end up with a liquid sauce and not a mousse. Figs + saffron is one of the best pairings ever. Anice, licorice, cinnamon are great too. Other pairings: walnuts, almonds, pecans, caramel, pineapple, peaches, ginger, fennel seeds, Sichuan pepper, long pepper, allspice, jalapeno, mustard seeds, mint, melissa, bay leaf, rosemary, most black teas... Teo
  9. Fresh Sesame Products

    I haven't tasted it, definetely true. But it's made from pure black sesame without any other additions. If you say I'm not able to imagine the taste then you are the one going too far. I know the taste of highly roasted black sesame. I know the results of grinding black sesame. There will be differences in taste from my experience, that's for sure, due to the difference in quality between the raw products (I'm pretty sure we don't get top quality sesame here), due to the minor oil content, due to the finer grind. But these differences can't be that huge to make it a totally different product from what I can imagine. Besides that, a good pastry chef (with enough imagination and skills) can use pretty much all kind of ingredients in desserts. Recent history in restaurant desserts prove it. This black sesame paste can't be an exception. Teo
  10. Offal: Sourcing, Cooking, Eating

    It's the same technique as for foie gras: soaking in milk help to get some blood and impurities out of the liver. This way the liver tastes less sharp and milder. I don't see any reason to soak chicken livers in milk, better going for the full taste. My preference goes to corned ox tongue. It's great for sandwiches, slice it very thin and add a green vegetable of your choice and some horseradish. If you have a parmigiano crust then shave the outside layer (the one with the burnt letters), roast it on an open flame until it's tender, then eat it with corned beef tongue, perfect match. Teo
  11. Fresh Sesame Products

    I used black sesame in many desserts in the past, being robust and savoury is not a problem if you balance your recipes. That paste would be ideal, since it's really smooth and most oil have been extracted. I tried black tahini, but it always tasted stale, most probably since there's low turnover for it. Having a black sesame paste which is smooth and almost without oil would be a great help for making mousses, sorbets, caramels, croquants and so on. Plus it has a great color. It will remain a dream and I'll continue to use a stand blender with not ideal results (not perfectly smooth, still has all the oil). Teo
  12. Fresh Sesame Products

    I would love to be able to find fresh black sesame paste here in Italy. It would be perfect for a lot of desserts. Teo
  13. Help with Olive Oil Ganache

    @Jim D.: thanks for the nice words! @RWood: I would definetely avoid white chocolate with olive oil. Here are some recipes I have in my books (I multiplied/divided the quantities and rephrased the instructions to avoid legal troubles). ------------------------------ ROSEMARY AND OLIVE OIL GANACHE (slabbed and cut with guitar, from "Couture Chocolate" by William Curley) 800 g cream (35%) 8 g rosemary sprigs 120 g invert sugar 4 g salt 900 g dark chocolate (66%) 30 g butter 135 g olive oil Boil cream, add rosemary, cover and infuse for 2 hours. Strain the cream, add invert sugar and salt, boil again. Make ganache with cream and dark chocolate. Add butter and olive oil. ------------------------------ CARDAMOM - OLIVE OIL - HONEY TRUFFLES (truffle ganache to be piped into hollow shells, from "Fine Chocolates Great Experience 3" by Jean-Pierre Wybauw) 200 g cream 200 g honey 100 g glucose 160 g maltodextrin 2 g salt 8 g ground cardamom 160 g glycerol 680 g milk chocolate 60 g olive oil Mix cream, honey, glucose, maltodextrin, salt, ground cardamom and glycerol. Bring to boil. Make ganache with previously boiled ingredients and milk chocolate. Add olive oil. ------------------------------ TUSCAN EXTRAVIRGIN OLIVE OIL GANACHE (slabbed and cut with guitar, from "Come Musica" by Luca Mannori, winner of the 1997 Coupe du Monde) 1600 g dark chocolate (64%) 800 g hazelnut paste 160 g Tuscan extravirgin olive oil 2 g salt Melt dark chocolate. Add hazelnut paste, olive oil and salt. Temper ganache. ------------------------------ Teo
  14. Help with Olive Oil Ganache

    I made various tries for olive oil pralines. This is the last one (can't find the others on this PC sorry): -------- 350 g dark chocolate 70% 250 g extra-virgin olive oil 30 g cider vinegar 1 g salt Temper dark chocolate, add olive oil, vinegar and salt (these 3 ingredients at around 30° C), mix -------- It came out really firm even with that huge amount of olive oil. So don't expect something super soft if you substitute all the dairy with olive oil. Taste was pretty strong, I used a quite strong olive oil from Tuscany, without the cider vinegar this praline would have been too unctuous and overwelming. There are other ways to make olive oil ganaches. Pastrygirl already wrote one. Another one is substituting a part of nut paste (hazelnut or almond) in a "cremino" (don't know the English term for "cremino", sorry, I mean a filling made with 1 part milk or white chocolate and 1 part nut paste). Quick example: 100 g milk chocolate, 75 g almond paste, 25 g olive oil. You can still taste the nut paste, so this won't be a pure olive oil ganache. Once you decided which style you prefer for the ganache, then you have to re-balance the recipe for each olive oil you will use. Delicate olive oils will require a higher %, stronger olive oils a lower %. You may need to use different chocolates for each olive oil, especially if you use dark chocolate. Same recipe (with the same olive oil) can be mediocre with a chocolate with mainly fruity tones and really good with a chocolate with mainly toasted tones (or viceversa). If you want to highlight each different oil, then I think the best choice is the one wrote by Pastrygirl: substituting cream with olive oil + water. For example: 100 g dark chocolate, 20 g olive oil, 40 g water. Temper dark chocolate, add olive oil, then water. Olive oil and water added at around 30° C. Water must be boiled just before making the ganache for shelf life reasons. A pinch of salt is a fine idea. You can increase olive oil to 30-35 g without big differences about texture and firmness, so you can adjust each recipe for each oil just changing this variable. I wouldn't go over 35% olive oil (ratio in terms of dark chocolate) otherwise it will be too unctuous. If you want to be creative and add other tastes to the olive oil, then my favourite group is acidic ingredients to act as a contrast. My favourite choice is clementine juice, but you can use whatever is added in every kind of "vinaigrette" (I know vinaigrettes are meant only with vinegar, it's just to give a point of reference), like lemon juice, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, raspberry vinegar and so on. Teo
  15. As far as I know a full loaded dishwasher consumes much less water than washing the same stuff by hand, even if you put big bowls and not only small / thin stuff. Teo