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About jmacnaughtan

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  1. Potato Puree, Mashed Potatoes, Pommes

    If it is to do with the calcium, you may have to cook them for a lot longer. Here, the water is really hard, so I end up simmering potatoes for a long time. My mashed potatoes were no good at all until I started properly cooking them for at least 30-45 minutes, until I can no longer pick them up by spearing them with a knife.
  2. Oxtail Soup

    It's spelled chichi, I believe. But still, 17 dollars a kilo is ridiculously expensive for something that contains around two thirds bone, fat and gristle, and that requires 5 hours' cooking. You could get a very good steak for that.
  3. Potato Puree, Mashed Potatoes, Pommes

    Hmmm. It may be something about the calcium in the cream acting on the pectin in the potatoes. If, in fact, potatoes contain any pectin. Maybe the lower water content affected the heat being transferred, as well. Would you try cooking them for longer next time?
  4. Potato Puree, Mashed Potatoes, Pommes

    Interesting. Did you leave them chunky on purpose, or is that an effect of cooking them in the cream?
  5. Oxtail Soup

    Shin might be a good option. I love oxtail, but it's ludicrously expensive here too. When you factor in how much you're paying for bone and fat, it works out more expensive than fillet or ribeye... And that's without factoring in the 5 hours of cooking time
  6. Looks good! Your sponge looks a lot different from the dacquoises I'm used to making - would you mind sharing the recipe?
  7. What would you flavour a Day of the Dead cake with? Please don't say Mezcal.
  8. Is that brown sugar crumb just pure brown sugar? I know I enjoy eating the lumps in brown sugar myself, but I'm not sure I'd have the courage to put them straight on a cake...
  9. That's a French-style flan, like you see in every bakery here. They're built to be sturdy enough to take a slice out of and eat out of hand. Normally, it's just pastry cream baked in puff pastry, but you frequently see it with apricot or coconut. It's the first time I've seen it with blueberries. Looks good, though
  10. Solidified Brown Sugar

    Pure white silicon kitty litter with some distilled water works as a good humidifier. I've never used it with brown sugar, but it's a great way of keeping humidity up - I use it in my electric wine cellar, and it works like a charm. I got the tip from a cigar forum - if you need to know anything about humidity, technical cigar threads are a good place to start. And stop, quickly, before they drown you in tedious, tedious detail.
  11. How to Cut Jelly Donuts?

    The only proper way to cut a doughnut is with your teeth.
  12. That sounds like a tattoo if ever I heard one. Or an epitaph.
  13. Ah, I understand. I used to be the same, looking for extremely big flavours. I think it's partly food TV that's put me off - TV chefs and critics always wanting to be punched in the face with flavours. I think I just don't enjoy being punched in the face any more...
  14. Interesting. I used to do that a lot, until I realised that what I really wanted wasn't actually a dessert that tasted (for example) like a really intense pear, lemon or piece of chocolate (because I can get that by eating a properly ripened pear or a piece of good chocolate, and lemon on its own is not great), but rather one that tasted like a really good pear, lemon or chocolate dessert. I get more pleasure out of harmonising these flavour elements with sugar, fat, starch, etc. now than going to great lengths to amplify them.