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Everything posted by JoNorvelleWalker

  1. If I have understood your post correctly you are not happy with the accuracy of the AWS scale. Could you please confirm as I was also thinking of getting this model. Thanks. Correct. My unit seems to be defective as best I can tell. The scale looks reasonably nice and the feature set is OK (except possibly for the plastic pans). I cannot recommend this model though since mine does not work for the intended purpose of measuring ingredients for recipes out of Modernist Cuisine at Home. I have not yet contacted the dealer or AWS about the problem.
  2. I'm about to do more than breathe on it. I have the scale sitting on a two and one quarter inch thick slab of maple butcher block, as far from windows as I can get it (except maybe for the bathroom). This is not a temperature controlled laboratory, but the temperature is 75 deg F. The scale passes calibration. Precision is about plus/minus one gram. The supplied 10g weights measure between 9 and 11 grams. I replaced the supplied AAA cells with no difference in performance. On my analog kitchen scale with 5 gram divisions, both 10g calibration weights measure between 15 and 20 grams together.
  3. I use only Diamond Kosher.
  4. I received my AWS GeminiPRO tonight. Like Chris Hennes' rice, it's very cheesy, but not objectionably so. It took much effort to get the battery compartment cover off nondestructively. Batteries and calibration weights were supplied. The problem is that readings jump around a lot. I will try calibrating again after the scale has sat in one place for a while, to see if that makes a difference. Cosmetically it looks rather nice for plastic, better than I might have expected.
  5. Anyone know of a mail order source of 50 pound bags of KAF Select Artisan Organic Flour? Amazon had it for as I recall $129 plus shipping, which seems more than a little over priced. I was not willing to pay that much, and as far as I can see now, Amazon no longer offers it. I called KAF and they said I would have to come to Vermont or go through a distributor. They do not ship. The representative gave me a list of KAF distributors but did not know if the distributors would sell to individuals. And I do not have a vehicle, I would need to have the flour delivered here. I like KAF flour. I have been making bread with it for about twenty years -- most recently about seven minutes ago.
  6. This is the scale I ended up ordering for measuring xanthan gum and such: http://www.awscales.com/portable-precision-scales-01-gram/247-geminipro-digital-milligram-scale I'll report back when I have tried it.
  7. That one seems better for the purpose. Even so I'd rather have just one scale out on the counter, with that one scale being able to weigh anything I'd reasonably use for cooking. I don't live in a New York apartment but I do live in an apartment, with flour in the bedroom and glassware under the bed.
  8. In the early 1970's I had a garden and grew cayenne peppers. I took needle and thread and sewed them together and hung them to dry naturally. When the peppers were dry I sealed a bunch in recycled coffee jars. I used one of the peppers for dinner a few weeks ago.
  9. Is this one of those tubes specially marketed for the purpose? Or have you found some common household item that makes a good tube? I've been intrigued by the "garlic peeler" tubes but - despite my love of gadgets - reluctant to let this particular specialty item take up space in my kitchen unless it got a resounding review. I think it was sold for that purpose, but I got it a long time ago and I really don't remember. It works though. My hunch is that the garlic tubes originally were for some other purpose and someone had the idea to market them for garlic.
  10. On what basis do you think that? Drug dealers depend on these scales, I don't see why we shouldn't. I've used one of these for a while now and it seems very accurate, and I don't see why it isn't good for +- 0.02 mg or so.If you want to cook the modernist items that use mg, you need to spend $9. You do not need to spend $200. That scale and a cheap one for heavier weighs will get you in easily under $50. They are not too expensive. If you want to go ahead and make your whole process easier, more precise and with less dirtied measuring equipment, you can spend another couple of tens of dollars for an additional scale that handles heavier stuff. I base my opinion on the manufacturer's literature that the scale has a Linearity of +or- 2d, Repeatability of +or- 2d, and a calibration tolerance of +or- 0.2g. http://www.awscales.com/portable-precision-scales-1-gram/237-amw-1kg-digital-pocket-scale ...as well as on the many Amazon reviewers who say the scale is inaccurate for small weights. The MC@H gelato recipe calls for 0.3g xanthan gum. I have never been a chef or a drug dealer but I used to be a scientist.
  11. For removing the skin of garlic cloves when I am preparing a lot I use a soft plastic tube. Put the garlic in the tube and rub the tube back and forth with my palm on a smooth surface.
  12. I've tried garlic paste in a tube (I do not recall what brand) and found it unsatisfactory. I use a garlic press, mortar, food processor, or knife as appropriate. I also use a lot of organic garlic powder.
  13. I use this one (http://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh-Signature-Series-Digital/dp/B002SC3LLS) I don't believe that scale would have the precision for MC@H gelato though. I ended up spending several hours last night looking at scales. I found one that would measure 0.01 gram up to a kg. It was about $200 however. And for that I could get a pressure cooker. But it would let me use one scale for all my kitchen needs. I gave up on the idea of mg scales as they are too expensive.
  14. Tonight was chicken mechoui, spit roasted. Chicken mechoui is such a wonderful dish but for me spit roasting anything is a pain so I don't do it very often. The results are worth it though. I served it with round bread and red olives.
  15. You have to have the pressure cooker to achieve a higher temperature for the caramelization. The PC is a worthwhile purchase. Digital scales are cheap, but you can use cups/tbsp/etc. I wing the SV setup at this point by using digital probes. Pacojets aren't for the home cook. I really would like to have a pressure cooker again. Maybe if there is enough left over from my tax refund. While I don't have a digital scale, I have a nice analog scale. It's just not very good for micrograms. The smallest division is 5 grams. To make the peanut butter gelato I first weighed out three tablespoons of xanthan gum, then calculated that 0.3 grams was approximately a third of a quarter teaspoon. Fortunately the recipe worked. I've been looking at some digital scales that will measure milligrams. Does anyone have thoughts or recommendations? I mentioned not having a pacoject only because MC@H devotes a full page to it! Not sure why I never got a microplane. Perhaps because they come in so many shapes and sizes.
  16. Emily, for the peanut butter I used "Natural Jif" which is not exactly pure peanuts but I like the taste. I lack the technology to produce smooth nut butters beyond my trusty mortar. I would like to make the recipe again using a commercially ground product that was just peanuts with no added salt or sugar. Note I made peanut butter gelato, not PB&J gelato. Here it is the season neither for strawberries nor for concord grapes. Though I do have an old unopened bottle of organic concord grape juice in the pantry that I may try. However I can't help but think the resulting color would be disgusting and I like the idea of plain peanut butter better. To save anyone confusion, the MC gelato recipe and the MC@H gelato recipe are different. Both recipes are said to produce similar results. Ruben, I had checked the pistachio sources from the blog post on your website. Callebaut is regionalized. If you select some countries you see pistachio paste as a product, but for the US they offer only hazelnut. I saw Whynut looked local but I did not ask if they exported. Because of the bioterrorism laws here, importing food or "food contact surfaces" (i.e. cookware) can be a nightmare. There is a local candy company that must use pistachio paste. Perhaps I will ask if they will sell me some or at least tell me who their suppliers are. By the way, can anyone tell me how the eG multiquote feature works?
  17. I'm having some of my peanut butter gelato from MC@H. Wonderful stuff. All the texture and mouthfeel of ice cream but with no egg or dairy. Easy to make. Particularly good, I would think, for those who do not care for custard. After a few hours of hardening the gelato was perfect for scooping. After a few days in the freezer it gets quite hard indeed, but no icyness develops. What I really would have liked to have made is MC@H pistachio gelato. Sadly I could find no pistachio butter or pistachio oil locally. Even more sad are the prices of the online sources. Question for anyone who can answer: are pistachio butter and pistachio paste the same thing?
  18. I have made espuma hollandaise (well, bearnaise actually), although not prepared sous vide. While good, I don't feel that using a siphon adds anything to the presentation of the sauce. I cook my hollandaise and bearnaise in a copper pot over direct heat. The pictures of the procedure on page 107 show the sauce being added to what looks an awfully lot like a Thermo Whip, with instructions to use a water bath -- something iSi says not to do. Tonight however I made my first real recipe from MC@H: peanut butter gelato (pp 370-371). I had set off to make pistachio gelato but was unable to find the ingredients locally. The result astounded me. Other than the salt being a little much, the gelato was perfect, and wow, did it taste like peanuts. I had three scoops. Then I compared it to a bowl of my twenty something percent butterfat custard vanilla ice cream. Texture, mouthfeel, and meltdown were remarkably similar. I had two more scoops. Would the MC version of the recipe be any better? MC@H is a beautiful book, but I have to say I am a little disappointed. I was hoping for something like On Food and Cooking, but with pretty pictures. I realize now that was not the intention of the book. Part of my disappointment is that I don't have the tools for many of the recipes. I'd love to make the caramelized carrot soup (pp 178-179), but I don't have a blender or a (working) pressure cooker -- part of my love/hate relationship with Cuisinart who don't sell replacement parts. Can the soup be made without the pressure cooking step? I also don't have a digital scale, pacojet, blowtorch, combi oven, microplane, microwave, nor sous vide setup.
  19. I did the experiment as best I could. The milk got up to 185.2, as when I lifted the pot off the stove at temperature, the burner cover stuck to the bottom of the pan! I was measuring seconds but I got a bit discombobulated. After a minute or so I cooled the pot in a water bath. The milk tastes fine to me for drinking -- which is good because there is a lot of it. I will leave further milk experiments to people with better equipment, more agility, or at least more milk. Maybe some whole egg in your custard would give more thickening at a lower temperature?
  20. Off topic: For tonight's almond munavalgekook I folded the batter with my hands. Best it has turned out. I could not decide, so I served two desert courses: cake, then ice cream. It seemed wrong to present them together.
  21. I prefer higher butterfat in ice cream than Migoya specifies. In my case, if I had dextrose, I would substitute it for a portion of the sucrose, as dextrose is less sweet than sucrose. Somewhere on the web there is an old paper (circa 1930, as I remember) on dextrose in ice cream. The researchers tested a large number of volunteers and found that with low butterfat people preferred an all sucrose formula, however at higher butterfat people preferred about 10 percent dextrose and 90 percent sucrose (the actual ratio is stretching my memory here). That being said, recently I've been able to make something that I like using only sucrose. I still would like to get some dextrose and atomized glucose to play with.
  22. A harder experiment with the (lack of) equipment that I have! Should be doable though, once I get more milk. However, although Migoya calls for a custard to be cooked at 185, McGee says 180, MC@H says 181, and Rose Levy Beranbaum says 170-180 ("Do not cook above 180").
  23. In order to help understand the relationship between temperature to which milk has been heated and taste I did the following experiment: Using homogenized, pasturized whole milk, Shoprite brand, as a control, I heated a pot of milk and took samples at increasing temperatures while raising the milk to a boil. I covered, labeled, and refrigerated all samples overnight. I then visually inspected, smelled, and tasted the samples. Results: uncooked No visible defects. Normal milk aroma and taste. 130 deg F/54.4 deg C No visible defects. Normal milk aroma and taste. 140 deg F/60 deg C No visible defects. Normal milk aroma and taste. 150 deg F/65.6 deg C No visible defects. Normal milk aroma and taste. 160 deg F/71.1 deg C No visible defects. Normal milk aroma and taste. 170 deg F/76.7 deg C No visible defects. Normal milk aroma and taste. 180 deg F/82.2 deg C No visible defects. Normal milk aroma and taste. 190 deg F/87.8 deg C Some visible protein denaturation. Acceptable milk aroma and taste. 200 deg F/93.3 Some visible protein denaturation. Acceptable milk aroma and taste. Boiled Visible protein denaturation, skin formed. Pronounced cooked flavor, reminiscent of ultra-pasteurized whole milk.
  24. I just wrote a long reply and lost it. Anyhow, it depends on the DE number of the maltodextrin. See the wikipedia entry under maltodextrin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maltodextrin For the past couple of months I have been looking into atomized glucose as well as dextrose for additives for ice cream and sorbet. The manufacturer should specify DE number on their datasheet. A problem is that atomized glucose is typically sold in 5kg bags or buckets, which for a home user makes a lot of ice cream. In the US I have seen two suppliers of small quantities of atomized glucose that are probably repackaged and with no DE number specified. As is evident from reading this thread they may not know what they are selling. My own preference would be atomized glucose made from wheat rather than from corn. If you get some atomized glucose or maltodextrin or whatever and use it for making frozen dessert, please report in the ice cream thread!
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