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About jmacnaughtan

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  1. Wow. That's something I've never seen before. How do you stop it sticking?
  2. Baking by instinct

    If you have digital scales, then it's just as easy to weigh the ingredients as to wing it. You do need to use instinct when dealing with fruit and other fresh products - they vary enormously, even within the same variety. But for structural ingredients like flour, eggs, etc. it's not worth the hassle. Find a decent recipe and stick to it. Use your intuition to work out when to take it out of the oven
  3. Bowling Ball Eggplant/Aubergine

    I like those. I'm not sure how you'd going about preserving the shape, unless you wanted to slice a "steak" out of it and prepare it whole. Recently, I've been tempted to do that myself - brown it off in butter, then braise it in stock. With any luck, you could preserve some of the texture. What I frequently enjoy doing is slicing it (whole) quite thinly, frying off the slices and layering them with equally finely sliced tomatoes. Bake slowly for a couple of hours, then top with breadcrumbs fried with... whatever you want, really. Bacon is good.
  4. Cardamom and Chocolate

    They may be. But you've got some big flavours jousting on that dessert... I'd be interested to see how you put them together. In any case, my problem with cardamom is that it tends to be way too powerful. In the original recipe for this topic, the poster uses "a couple" of cardamom pods for a chocolate mousse, which seems an enormous quantity. If I was doing it, I would take it down to just one or two of the seeds within the pods. You'd still get the aroma, but without that mouth-wash astringency.
  5. Cardamom and Chocolate

  6. A little smaller than the white chocolate leviathan above, but there were only four of us... Apricot Fraisier Genoise soaked in muscat syrup Whipped muscat curd Dried apricots reconstituted in reduced muscat Gariguette strawberries Marzipan Hedgehog (optional)
  7. If you're having trouble getting it out in one piece, you could try chilling it before unmoulding. Cakes are always much more fragile when warm, so if it's down to fridge temperature it will be more robust.
  8. Meat Blasphemy – Well-done Steak

    I disagree. A lot of the skirt you get here is closing in on an inch thick in places, and it's excellent rare. It's one of the few cuts I enjoy blue, mostly because there's so little fat
  9. Meat Blasphemy – Well-done Steak

    Agreed. Just make sure it has plenty of fat in it to keep it moist. I used to have my côte de boeuf (rib steak? Beef rib joint? The part that the ribeye comes from...) rare, and have come around to having it medium, even slightly well done. It's a big piece of meat - normally around 1.2kg - with a lot of different muscles, so you'll get very well done on some, then progressively rarer as you get towards the bone. This might be an option - when you carve, serve your wife the more done parts (which are still delicious), and keep the pinker meat for yourself. And then, preferably when she's left the table, attack the bone
  10. You make your own lemon curd in both. Oddly, the second one asks you to incorporate shop-bought lemon curd as well - I can't see the benefit of that over just making more lemon curd. I find it interesting that neither use gelatin. They must be very, very soft-set... What I like to do is make a good lemon curd (1:1:1:1, pretty much), and incorporate 1% gelatin and 3% cocoa butter. Let it set, then whip it for 15 minutes. You get a better lemon flavour.
  11. Bland sauce

    Your meat may be leaking a lot of liquid into the sauce. Let it rest properly first, then slice and serve. You probably need to season it more too. Pork loin can be bland, so you need to compensate for it. Or maybe you just don't like cream sauces.
  12. Carrot Cake - Bake-off XIX

    I made a carrot cake a while ago: It goes very well with squash and orange
  13. Honey comb versus honey

    I wouldn't think that would be a problem, considering that there would just be a small amount mixed with all the moisture and other ingredients in the dough.
  14. Honey comb versus honey

    Beeswax is perfectly edible. Comb honey on good bread with salted butter is one of the greatest breakfasts. Beeswax is also traditionally used to grease cannelé moulds. Not sure about putting it in a doughnut though. But then again, I've never heard of any sort of honey being put into a doughnut.
  15. Bangers and mash

    Does anyone use the Nigel Slater method of cooking sausages? i.e. putting them in a cold pan on the lowest possible heat with no fat and just... going back to bed for half an hour to an hour. It works surprisingly well. Always juicy and never burst Though it does help to turn them over once.