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  1. Add the gelatin to the simple syrup + eggs, just after heating them and before starting whipping. In this way the gelatin will be fully dispersed in the mixture and you won't risk to get lumps. Most probably your lumps are due to adding the gelatin together with the whipped cream: whipped cream is cold, so when gelatin comes in contact with it then it gels quickly. Some other suggestions: - whip the cream before whipping the eggs and reserve it in the fridge; - melt the chocolate before whipping the eggs, it must be added around 35° C - 40° C, so check the temperature before folding it in the whipped eggs, if necessary heat it briefly; - after whipping the eggs work QUICKLY, you need to add the melted chocolate and the whipped cream as fast as you can, to avoid deflating the eggs. If you are using dark chocolate then I would suggest to check the recipe, usually you don't need gelatin, the cocoa butter in the dark chocolate should be enough for setting the semifreddo. Teo
  2. teonzo


    I would need more specifications... Do you have access to a car, or are you relying on public transportation? There is a great pizzeria in a small village near Mestre, but you need a car to get there. The easiest place to get with public trasportation is Mestre (tram, bus or train). It's a place for stores and offices, so there is not much going on after the working hours (for example a couple of years ago a good cocktail bar opened and it's already closed). Within walking distance from the main tram stop (called Piazzale Cialdini) I can suggest these ones: Pizzeria da Pino (Piazzale Candiani 17/19) - surprisingly good for being a chain Gelateria Chocolat (Via Gino Allegri 27) - this is the best ice-cream shop in Mestre, they have 2 locations, this is the one near the tram stop On the other side Mestre can offer some really good pastry shops, but they close before dinner: Pasticceria Bido (Piazza Erminio Ferretto 3) - overall this is my favourite of them Pasticceria Pettenò (Via Mestrina 25) - they have 2 locations, this is the one near the tram stop Hora Biasetto (Riviera XX Settembre 14) - this is owned by Hora, they sell pastries made by Luigi Biasetto (a pastry chef who won the Coupe du Monde in 1997 and has the main shop in Padua), but they have a small choice and service is subpar Teo
  3. teonzo


    I would suggest substituting a part of sugar with chestnut honey, it pairs well with figs and being bitter it cuts the sweetness. Also I would suggest using rosemary, I love the combo figs + chestnut honey + rosemary. Teo
  4. Beware that most clingfilms (almost all) release toxic compounds when subjected to high temperatures. It's not a wise choice to put clingfilm on direct contact to some food that is going to be baked. Teo
  5. teonzo


    I live 25 km from Venice but I'm ashamed I can't be a great help. Everything is overpriced in Venice, so when I go there I tend to avoid going to restaurants. As @liuzhou wrote, first rule is to keep far from the tourist roads, 99.9% of restaurants placed on the turist roads are going to screw you. If you have kids, then the best suggestion is to look for "bacari". Bacari are the equivalent of the tapas bars in Spain: informal pubs/restaurants where you can eat a series (how many as you want, of course) of small plates, most of them have vegetarian options. No problem with kids there. Can't give you direct suggestions, sorry. Bacari have a strange story. Up to to the advent of Tripadvisor and similars, they were the best kept secret in Venice. All of them were placed far from the tourist roads, so only people living here knew them. When you visited almost all customers were speaking Venetian dialect, they were local restaurants for the locals. You could find the authentic Venetian cuisine for cheap prices. There was the tradition of "giro dei bacari": you spent the evening/night going to a bacaro, eating a small plate with a glass of wine, then going to another, until you were able to stand on your feet, and without spending a fortune. After the advent of the reviewing sites bacari became known outside of the locals, so a lot of tourists started to flood them. Almost all of the historical names went to hell (raised prices and became hip spots). This phenomenon caught the attention of people who open new places in Venice, so there are a good amount of new bacari that open each year. The usual story goes this way: first few months you find good quality for correct prices. As the restaurant starts to get customers, then prices rise and quality lowers. I'm not up to date on current names, my best suggestion is to search "best bacari Venice" with google and read only the comments that were written in 2018. As far as gelato, I stopped trying. Every time someone said to me "this gelateria in Venice is top notch!" I always ended up being disappointed. I would suggest you to try Grom, it's a chain with a lot of stores in Italy and abroad. They have 4 stores in Venice. Their stuff is not the best but it's good. Their sorbets are made from real fruit and not from industrial powders, a rarity for Venice. The only good name for pastry shops is Vizio Virtù in my opinion, they are focused mainly on chocolate. All the other good places closed or have been bought out. Well, you can find some top places in San Marco, but their prices are much more over the top. Teo
  6. Have you tried searching on Eat Your Books using all these ingredients? Maybe you are lucky and someone indexed that magazine. Teo
  7. In the zone where I live there is (was) a typical kind of bread called "pan boemo" ("Bohemian bread"). It's a small loaf, crumb is really fluffy (I would say the fluffiest crumb of all the breads sold here), crust is really thin and tender (almost non existent). I'm pretty sure it's made with some milk and sugar. I tried to look for some more infos in various libraries but to no avail, couldn't find any mention anywhere. Nowadays there is only one bakery that keeps doing it. The others closed or changed ownership. I asked to this baker what he intends to do with this recipe, since all the other bakers who made it kept it for themselves and died. His answer: "this recipe will come with me in my tomb". Such a shame. Teo
  8. This is another example of a text written/translated by someone with no professional experience (seems like a frequent happening with this book). After reading the recipe I'm pretty sure that the original French term was "poudre à crème", somehow it was translated as "powdered cream". "Poudre à crème" is a product used only in France to thicken/gel custards, flans and so on. As far as I know it's a given in France (meaning they think everyone else should know what it is), while outside that country it's almost unknown (even in Belgium). "Poudre à crème" is a mixture that can vary in its composition, it's mainly modified cornstarch (including dextrines), some producers add vanillin, others not, and so on with minimal differences. You can substitute it with the starches you use for you go-to pastry cream recipe (this is a basic pastry cream recipe, after that you'll have to add butter and hazelnut praliné to make the mousseline). Teo
  9. I would suggest you to contact the restaurant and ask them directly. If you still have a receipt of your order (confirmation e-mail, whatever) then attach it. Teo
  10. I'm totally old school when it's up to chocolate bonbons' aesthetics, my experience is on enrobed/dipped bonbons, so my experience about these kinds of decorations is almost null. My uneducated guess is that they used a similar method to the multiple pastry bags. If you insert 2 or more disposable pastry bags into another empty disposable pastry bag, then you can pipe out something with 2 or more colours at the same time. In this case I suppose they used a good amount of pipettes, each one filled with a different coloured cocoa butter, each one activated at the same time (probably electronic pipettes?). This way you get multiple colored drops falling at the same time in the cavity, then you apply some compressed air (I suppose with a good dispersion) and hopefully it works. If it's made this way, it should be pretty quick. I repeat, this is just my guess. Teo
  11. (this seems like the usual case where the text is written by a ghost writer who's not practical with pastry making) Tempering at step 2 seems like overkill, it has not much sense since when you pass the mixture in the grinder at step 4 you are going to heat it and melt the chocolate / cocoa butter. So it doesn't change is it was in temper or not. I would omit that tempering passage. I'm pretty sure that with "grinder" he means a professional chocolate grinder with granite stone wheels, the big version of the small machine you use and call "melanger". Don't really think he means a grinder with blades. If you temper the gianduja with the tabling method then you need to go to lower temperatures, around 24° C. The reason is similar to why you use lower temperatures to temper milk and white chocolate: the added fats interfere with the cocoa butter crystalization. If you are pratical with the tabling method (meaning that you don't need a thermometer to check it, you just "feel" if it's in temper) then trust your feelings for tempering the gianduja too, the difference between tempered and untempered is the same. Teo
  12. Andrew Friedman - "Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll" Title is a bit misleading, the book talks about chefs, very few about drugs and rock & roll. This is a fine read, dealing with the change in the American fine dining scene, from mostly French restaurants helmed by Frenchmen to the blooming of the American chefs/owners and the celebrity chefs. Due to its nature this book is fragmentary, Friedman tried to talk about a lot of people that became iconic and the various scenes where they got success. It's based mainly on California (Los Angeles, San Francisco and Berkeley) and New York. It's an interesting read with some intriguing anecdotes. I had a good idea of most of those happenings (from reading here and there), but it's nice to find all the story covered in a single book. My main criticism is that I would have liked to see more pages dedicated to some figures like Jean-Louis Palladin, Charlie Trotter and Rick Bayless. They get a quick naming and nothing more. I understand the practical problems of interviewing them, I understand that Palladin was French and not American (well, Puck is Austrian and got a lot of coverage), but they deserved a couple pages each at least. Probably there are more big figures I'm missing. Not a detracting criticism, when you write such a book it's impossible to include everyone, there will always be people saying "you needed to add _____ and ____" (that's what I just did hahahahha). Teo
  13. Anne-Sophie Pic - "Le Livre Blanc" Now on sale for $11.37 (original prize $60.00). If you like restaurant cookbooks for their food porn, then this is a steal. If you want recipes to use at home, then keep far. Teo
  14. teonzo

    Cookbooks 2018

    Some books for the professionals (mostly fine dining restaurants): Albert Adria - "Tickets Evolution" Jason Atherton - "Pollen Street Social" Tommy Banks - "Roots" Fredrik Berselius - "Aska" Nick Bril - "33" Mauro Colagreco - "Mirazur" Kobe Desramaults - "Kobe Desramaults" Hendrik Dierendonck - "Carcasse" Leonor Espinosa - "Leo el Sabor Ancestral y Moderno" Will Goldfarb - "Room for dessert" Brooks Headley - "Superiority Burger Cookbook: The Vegetarian Hamburger Is Now Delicious" Ignacio Mattos - "Estela" McMillan + Morin - "Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse: Another Cookbook of Sorts" Junichi Mitsubori - "Kado: The New Art of Wagashi" Mouratoglou + Carré - "Mazi: Modern Greek Food" Redzepi + Zilber - "The Noma Guide to Fermentation" Simon Rogan - "Rogan" Stone + von Hauske - "A Very Serious Cookbook: Contra Wildair" Teo
  15. Here in Europe we use some words with different meanings from what you use in the USA. "Praline" is referred to what you call "chocolate bonbon", that's the main use. If you say "praline" then a European will instantly think about a chocolate confection filled with a ganache. I must admit I was really puzzled the first time I opened an American book where filled chocolates were called "bonbons" and the term "praline" was used for the New Orleans confections. "Praliné" (please notice the accent on the last letter, similar word but different pronounce) is referred to the ground mixture of 50% hazelnuts and 50% caramelized sugar. If you talk about "praliné" without specifying then it's always hazelnuts. Almond praliné is used on a minority of cases, the tradition here is hazelnuts and hazelnuts. In recent years there appeared also pecan praliné and pistachio praliné, quite rare to see something on sale with these. "Gianduja", as @pastrygirl wrote, was first created in Turin in 1806, just to face a cocoa shortage caused by Napoleon. Up to around 1950 Turin was the chocolate capital of Italy, there were dozens of bean to bar manufacturers. Most of them disappeared after the chocolate industrialization (caused by fellow Piedmontese producers like Ferrero and Caffarel). If you say "gianduja" without specifying then it's with hazelnuts and dark chocolate (not milk chocolate). If it's made with milk chocolate then you need to specify. If it's made with other nuts then you need to specify too (be careful, here in Italy you will be considered an heretic if you define "gianduja" something without hazelnuts). It's worth to mention Gianduiotto, it originated from gianduja and is probably the first wrapped chocolate bonbon in history. Here in Italy we have another term (never seen used outside Italy, but it's a staple here): "cremino". It's made with 50% nut paste and 50% tempered chocolate. Percentages can vary. The nut of choice is hazelnut, of course, so if you don't specify than that's what you get, but the term can be used for other nuts too. For type of chocolate the usual choices are milk and white. The most famous confection is "cremino bicolore" (mostly known just as "cremino"), it's made with 3 layers: first layer is cremino made with hazelnuts and milk chocolate; second layer is cremino made with hazelnuts and white chocolate; third layer is cremino made with hazelnuts and milk chocolate. Just 3 visible layers, not enrobed in chocolate. This is the best seller of almost all chocolate shops here in Italy. About pistachios, I always suggest to try to source the Iranian ones at some ethnic store. They are usually better and cheaper than the ones from other countries. A huge amount of what is sold as "Sicilian pistachio" is actually sourced from Iran or Turkey: the productive capacity of Sicily is much smaller than what is demanded and what they label and sell as Sicilian, so a lot of dishonest people (guess who) buy inexpensive pistachio from abroad and re-label it as Sicilian, selling it for much more. Teo