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aperture

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  1. aperture

    Is a "bullet cake" a thing?

    @Keychris, thanks for the tip on chocolate bullets. That's almost certainly it. Everybody else, thanks for the puns and fun facts.
  2. aperture

    Is a "bullet cake" a thing?

    Last August I ate dinner at a place called Ester in Sydney. Dessert was something listed on the menu as "chocolate liquorice bullet cake". It was a normal-looking slice of chocolate cake with 2-3 layers, a dense (but, I think, not flourless) texture, and a wonderful chocolate/liquorice flavor. My question: does "bullet cake" actually mean something here? Googling turns up various gun-themed cakes, which is something completely different.
  3. aperture

    Desirable Vintage Cookware

    I know somebody who scours a lot of garage/estate/vintage sales and skips over old cast iron stuff because they say a few too many people have used them to collect non-food oil (say, while fixing the car). I wonder how prevalent that really is.
  4. Weird question, but I'm looking at buying an old metal stovetop teapot off Etsy. The seller says it was made in the 70s or 80s in the then-USSR, and the branding on the kettle's base seems to say as much. Looks like stainless steel, no obvious damage. Now maybe this is just prejudice but...is it safe to buy and use something like this as a normal kitchen kettle? I assume, for example, that by the 70s nobody was using lead or something in kitchen products, but have no real idea. Also, no idea how I might even check that it's ok. I can link the item -- not sure of eGullet's policy on ecommerce links. Thanks!
  5. aperture

    Garlic in Infused Oil and Ghee

    So do these warnings on infused oil apply beyond garlic? For example, is infusing then straining with spices a no-go too?
  6. aperture

    Garlic in Infused Oil and Ghee

    Ah, didn't read pages 2 or 3 there. So oven or stove sans pressure can't produce guaranteed safe garlic oil. I wasn't aware of this 250F issue with unpressurized food. It's interesting, the incidence of botulism cases from garlic oil appears to be vanishingly low relative to the number of people engaging in scientifically unsafe practices. I don't doubt the science behind the temperature/acid guidelines, but the picture appears incomplete. Shouldn't we see more cases? It's not like vanilla food safety where lax practices may result in a few more conventional illnesses a year or something -- I don't think there's a "mild" case of botulism. So the low case count is strange to me.
  7. aperture

    Garlic in Infused Oil and Ghee

    Sounds like clarifying the butter on the stove and then "steeping" the clarified butter with onion/garlic/spices in a 275F oven for a couple of hours would be safe (I'm confident that my oven can maintain 275).
  8. aperture

    Garlic in Infused Oil and Ghee

    Various recipes call for making flavored oil or ghee by adding raw garlic cloves to fat, cooking over low heat for some time, and then straining the result. Since I'm pretty wary of raw garlic in fat (botulism paranoia), I'd like to know if anyone can explain how safe this is. The garlic itself is strained out at the end, but can botulinum spores persist in the fat itself? I imagine there is some temperature/time combo that makes this safe. For example, if I remove the milk solids from butter, add garlic to the clarified butter, and bring the result to a low simmer for 20 minutes -- good? I should specify that the recipes I'm looking at call for making a large quantity of flavored ghee at once and then storing it for weeks afterward.
  9. I see many recipes for ice creams that look very interesting. Unfortunately I don't have an ice cream maker and have been spending too much money in the kitchen recently so I won't have an ice cream maker for a while. My question is therefore: is there anything else I can do with the recipes for ice cream? Modify them to make custard perhaps? Or maybe hack my way around not having an actual ice cream machine? Thanks!
  10. aperture

    Why bake carrots in dough?

    @Plantes Vertes - This is along the lines of what I thought. I've seen salt crusts used for fish but never for vegetables and couldn't really tell why it would be helpful when carrots don't really "dry out" in the same way that fish can. @mkayahara - Perhaps it uses less salt but I'm not actually sure it's more economical to make a dough with flour and egg whites. Maybe it's different for a restaurant? @djyee100 - Thanks for the links. This is not a technique (clay or dough) I've ever tried but it actually sounds promising, along the lines of using a parchment or clay lid in a braise. I might try the clay-wrapped chicken soon. @gfweb - There's actually another recipe in the book that calls for beets to be baked in garden soil (just beets, garlic, rosemary, and thyme mixed into soil and salt and baked for a few hours). I'm not sure when/if I'll make this, but if I do I'll report back.
  11. aperture

    Why bake carrots in dough?

    On p. 116 of the VOLT ink. cookbook there's a recipe that involves making a dough out of flour, salt, egg whites, water, and ras el hanout, then dividing the dough in half, spreading one half on a pan and topping it with kaffir lime leaves, carrots, and olive oil, then laying the other half of the dough on top everything (so the carrots and lime leaves are sealed in). What's odd to me is that once the crust is baked to golden brown, the whole thing is cut open, the carrots are removed, and the crust is never mentioned again. In fact, the crust is made with dough that calls for 300g (!) of kosher salt so I'm pretty sure it's not meant to be eaten. So my question is why use the crust at all? Why use the ras el hanout in the crust? Is it really just for aroma? How is a dough crust much better than, say, aluminum foil if you're not going to actually use the crust? I'm guessing there's a reason behind this, but I don't know what it is. Thanks!
  12. aperture

    Edible Eggshells

    Bumping this to see if anyone else has advice for finding food-grade kaolin (for the edible stones in Mugaritz). Amazon seems to be mostly cosmetic, although I'm not sure what the difference would be.
  13. aperture

    What is the "heat chain"?

    OK, this is roughly what I imagined. Thanks!
  14. aperture

    What is the "heat chain"?

    I've been reading through Andoni Luis Aduriz's Mugaritz (a really wonderful, if impractical, cookbook) and noticed in the recipe for "Grilled Squid Smoked Over Grapevines, White Beans and its Concentrated Juice" the following paragraph (emphasis mine): "Just before plating up, put the squid in a smoker and expose them to smoke for a few minutes. Next, put them in a salamander grill (broiler) and heat the surface of the squid for 2-3 minutes. It is very important not to break the heat chain." I can't remember ever seeing the phrase "heat chain" before and am wondering what it is. Is it any more complicated than "keep it warm"? Thanks.
  15. aperture

    Dinner! 2013 (Part 4)

    Very pretty dish. Mind revealing what the thing sitting under the cherries, the flowers, and the dots to the right are?
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