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  1. When you fold egg whites / meringue in a batter then your goal is that the whites have the same consistency of the base batter. If it's so, then it will be much easier and faster to mix them. If the whites are harder then it's more difficult to mix them, because they are hard and give resistance to incorporating the base. So you end up mixing more, thus deflating them. This is a common mistake made by non professionals, because the natural thing to think is "the harder the whites, the most difficult for them to deflate", while the reality is the exact opposite (it's counter-intuitive). So always be careful about the source you are using, in this case youtube: it's full of people that look reliable, but give out bad infos. Always better to look at professional sources, not much for the recipes, but for techniques and explanations. That's a possibility, it's impossible to say from this far. Youtube videos are edited. So who knows if what people are showing is the real stuff. Teo
  2. Adding some sugar to the egg whites when you beat them is a good idea, you are already doing this. The problem should be in how much you beat your egg whites. You talk about stiff peaks and firm peaks, that's too much. You need to reach soft peaks and not more. If your whites are soft then it's much easier to fold them into the base. If they are hard then you need to fold much more, deflating them and ending up with a runny batter. So try beating your whites much less, just until they reach soft peaks. Be careful when you fold them, you need the correct movement and folding the less possible. It's impossible to explain this by words, try looking at some videos by professionals. Teo
  3. teonzo


    I'll bring dessert, thanks. Teo
  4. I'm totally ignorant about this. Can you summarize what happened please? Teo
  5. That's another good one. There are many quality books out there, the last 10 years were pretty good for this. Another couple of names besides the ones made by the other eGulleters: Chad Robertson (Tartine Bread, Tartine Book 3), Peter Reinhart (depends on what you want to learn). It's hard to choose one over the others, all are high quality. The choice depends mainly on what they deal with. Usually people suggest Hamelman because he covers almost everything, so if you start with that you get the best foundations. After that it depends on what you want to explore. Personal question: did you end up marrying Penelope Pitstop? Teo
  6. Cutting wires tend to break with frozen dough. Especially if there are inclusions like chocolate chips or nut pieces. Plus it's hard to go straight if you don't have a guitar type machine. If you want to do it safely and with good precision, then I suggest this. Go to your hardware store and ask for a sort of plastic half pipe, with a U shaped section. They should have a wide selection of section shapes (half circle, rectangle with 3 sides, oval, so on) and measures. The dough should be agle to rest in the pipe without moving, the pipe sides should go over the dough. When you find the correct half pipe for your needs, you ask to make an indentation on one side with a saw: the indentation should be as large as your knife blade. It should reach the bottom side of the pipe, without cutting it through of course, so your knife can cut the dough till the end. The indentation should be made near the end of one side of the pipe, at the exact width of the cookies you want to cut. So you just need to lay the dough on the pipe, so it's in line with the end of the pipe with the indentation, cut the cookie with the knife, go on. This way you get exact cuts and don't risk your fingers. Teo
  7. Gave a look, been disappointed, left it there. Teo
  8. Much depends on what your goals are. Commercial yeast or sourdough / levain / natural starter / howyoucallthat? Are you going to look for your "perfect" loaf then repeat it? Or do you prefer to be creative and go for the weird stuff? The best book to start is "Bread" by Jeffrey Hamelman. It gives you a great overview on the basics and most of the techniques. With bread is better to reason in baker's percentages, the transformation in metric is immediate, but reasoning in baker's percentages is much more useful. If you want to go sourdough and be creative, then I suggest "The Sourdough School" by Vanessa Kimbell, it's overlooked but really well done, both about explanations and recipes. Teo
  9. The best way to remain in business is making the best product possible and giving the best customer service possible. If they are not willing to listen to this kind of constructive suggestions to improve their product, well, then they can't complain if their sales are tanking. Teo
  10. You should contact their customer service, asking to implement these ideas in one of their next firmware updates. They should be open to these suggestions, since you help them making a better product. Teo
  11. I did not know you were a prince, so I bow down. Teo
  12. You can see it as a seasoning. Most of the times the only "seasoning" you see in pastry is a pinch of salt. But seasonings can serve in pastry as they serve in savory. Small amounts of peppers, acids, MSG and so on can make a good difference for the final product. If you add a bit of white pepper (not to detect clearly its presence) to strawberry sorbet then you enhance it. If you add a pinch of MSG to nut cookies then you enhance them. Acids help to cut fats and brighten the flavor, so on. Teo
  13. You can freeze lemon juice in ice cube trays, so in this case you would just need to pick a lemon juice ice cube from the freezer, cut a small chunk and done. When cooking at home, especially for a single person, the needed amount of lemon juice is most times a fraction of a lemon. Personally I squeeze 5-6 lemons at a time and freeze the juice, so I have fresh lemon juice whenever I need it without the hassle of squeezing a single lemon at a time, with leftover juice and a juicer to clean. Teo
  14. There's not much use for a freeze dryer at home. I know only one restaurant in Italy that has one, if it's not sought after by chefs then go figure how much useful it is at home. The only case where it's useful is when you REALLY want to reduce the water content in a produce, see the uses for confectionery. Other than that it has not much sense, frozen and re-heated food tastes better than freeze-dried and re-constituted food. If you want a new toy then it's better buying a blast freezer, especially since you already have a vacuum chamber machine. Maybe add a new freezer too, to have more freezer space. Teo
  15. If you want to make something reliable then you are not going to end up with a system of linear equations, but with something much much more complex (logarithms and worse). Each ingredient interplays with the others, when you change the amount of an ingredient then the difference is not linear. Combine all this together and the result is a nightmare. If you structure this study with linear equations (which is what is done by everyone) then you get a decent approximation in the area very near to the experiments you are using for this; but it's still an approximation, so you need to make a trial and then fine tuning. The farther you go from the "trusted zone", the less reliable the approximation is; in this case your first trial will give something far from desired, so you need to do a raw tuning then fine tuning. What's the procedure without this kind of programs? If you want something in the trusted zone, then you just need to pick a trusted recipe then fine tuning (same exact thing as when you use those programs). If you want something out of the trusted zone, then you try a new recipe blindly, then raw tuning and fine tuning (again, same exact thing as when you use those programs). At the end of the day, these programs do not make any difference, you are going to make the same efforts when trying a new recipe. You are not basing your formulas on cocoa solids. Which is a major mistake. Cocoa solids affect aW (they absorb water) and texture. You can't estimate these effects with only the cocoa solids % in the chocolate, it varies with other factors, like the particle size: if the solids are ground to 15 microns or 20 microns average, then there will be a sensible difference in the aW and texture. Sugars interplay with each other, so the effect of 3% glucose and 3% fructose in the same recipe won't be the same as the sum of them taken alone. Different fats affect emulsions in a different way. Each class of fats (cocoa butter, milk fats, nut fats, so on) is composed of many different fats altogether, you are not going to find the same composition of cocoa butter in each chocolate. Or the same balance of fats in milk. So on. Fruits contain sugar. Purees usually have 10% added sucrose for many reasons, but that 10% is the value of the added sucrose, not the total value in the puree. Try googling "nutritional facts strawberry" (or whatever fruit you fancy) and you'll get the average sugars content. Which is average (can vary a lot) and is the overall class (including sucrose, fructose, glucose). There are fruits containing sorbitol (like plums), this will affect all the features of ganache in a sensible way. Dried fruits are packed with sugars, hard to know their balance. So, following the linear way will take a good amount of work for something that won't be reliable for when you'll need it. Taking the deep way is a herculean task that has no sense to be undertaken. I totally understand the will to learn these things and the "fun" in creating these formulas. But I'm more of the idea that time and energies should be spent for something useful. I think there are much more useful areas to study. Considering this peculiar moment in history, I would give the priority to get informed on psychological studies about marketing and so on, when this mess will end up people will be in an emotive state much much different than usual. Being able to re-start with the proper marketing campaign will make more difference than anything else. Taste is another side that most people neglect. Reading cocktail books will give many clues on the use of the bitter taste and how to balance it (mixologists are the masters of the bitter taste), this is something totally overlooked by chocolatiers, which is puzzling since chocolate is bitter. There is umami, another overlooked thing, it can give surprising results, to know how to deal with it you need to go out of the pastry zone (the dedicated books by Mouritsen and Anthony, many restaurant books). There is the pairing theory, a bonbon based on a well balanced pair of flavors will give more interesting results than a single flavor bonbon. And many others. If you spend your time and energies on these things then you'll get a better payoff. Teo
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