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Posts posted by jbates

  1. 5 hours ago, Jim D. said:


    Good idea.  It would be a mess, but part of what we do for our art!  Thanks.

    What I've done for pop rocks is to put the pieces in a fine sieve and pour thinned chocolate over the top. Shake it around while the chocolate sets up.


    I'm sure caramel bits would work similarly.

  2. 55 minutes ago, no10 said:

    Does anyone know what mold Stick With Me Sweets uses to make their bon bons?



    For a 4x8 configuration I suspect it's a Chocolate World cherry (https://chocolateworld.be/winkel/moulds/frame-moulds/CW2116), or  perhaps a Hans Brunner (https://www.brunnershop.com/en/Frame-Moulds/Moulds-for-Pralines/Round-pralines/Ball-praline.html). Some manufacturers only produce the cherries in a 3x8 configuration.


    if you're in the US, Tomric and/or BakeDeco should be able to get these for you.

  3. 1 hour ago, horseflesh said:


    I'm here because I have that opportunity and I am trying to figure out if it is worth it. I am a super serious home cook with other crazy appliances, so I am definitely interested in the Control Freak. I can't yet tell if it's merely very cool, or life changing like sous vide was. If any fans or haters want to weigh in I am really interested in what you have to say!

    If you're serious about repeatability with your recipes then the CF is a great investment. I'm very OCD with my recipes so now I can make them perfectly every time. Perfect pancakes, none of the throw-away-the-first-one nonsense, just-so scrambled eggs, etc.


  4. On 12/8/2020 at 4:35 PM, Jonathan said:

    I think it’s relatively pure, I polish all the cavities with it and then re-polish with a clean cotton ball but I’m not 100% sure the second step is entirely necessary? I just worry about streaks or residue

    I always repolish, especially on larger flat surfaces like tablets. I get disappointed when an item has streaks or release marks, even if only I notice it 😊.

  5. 3 hours ago, allison_b123 said:

    Hi all, thank you for all of your info-sharing on the Control Freak!


    I picked mine up used a few weeks ago and it's been fantastic. I do occasionally get this error though. Has anyone else got this before?

    Unplugging it doesn't work every time; sometimes I have to unplug it multiple times and power cycle it.


    "Sorry there is a Problem


    Please unplug and re-start me

    If this error repeats go to the

    Breville website for help"


    Never seen that before. I'd recommend calling Breville, it may need a warranty service/replacement.

  6. On 9/10/2020 at 6:49 AM, lemniscate said:

    I'm not canning anything this year, but have been seeing the alarm over the lid shortage for 2-3 months.   Another thing I have heard is that some of the newer lids are not sealing after processing, some experienced canners are claiming 20-30% failures.  The going theory is something changed in the sealing material on the edge of the lid and it is not behaving as previous material.   

    There have been a lot of fakes appearing on Amazon this year. The main problem is that the real and fake boxes get thrown in together in Amazon's warehouses, and if you buy one that is "Fulfilled by Amazon" you can't guarantee you'll get a real one even if you buy from a trusted seller.


    The boxes for the fakes vary in quality, and the lids usually don't have the Ball/Kerr logos.

    • Like 1
  7. @Wisper And if you do use the ready-made truffle shells (I highly recommend this too), then also buy the matching truffle shell filling/sealing tray. Makes it much easier when piping the filling and capping them off.


    I bought the thick plastic one from PastryChef.com (I think it was around the $90 mark), but they don't seem to stock them any more. The only US online place that seems to have trays in stock at the moment is AUI (https://secure.auifinefoods.com/metal-sealing-tray-for-truffles-0041500000) but their thick aluminum/steel version is expensive ($235) for a metal sheet with some shaped holes in it — but it will last forever. If you're in the UK, then Home Chocolate Factory has them for £73.

    • Like 1
  8. 12 hours ago, AAQuesada said:



    You can get them on Amazon


    Pretty sure its not legal to use them -OTOH i've seen them on menus enough to figure no one it really cracking down on illicit Tonka bean use. *shrug*

    Amazon has a listing for 1 pound bulk bag, but it is currently unavailable, so it doesn't show up in the search. It was from a legitimate health food place in Canada.


    The first bag I bought via Amazon a couple of years ago (shared some with other attendees at the chocolate workshop in St Louis), and this year I bought direct to avoid the "Amazon tax".

    Just in case the "illicit" rules started getting policed again, DM me if interested and I'll share the site link.

    • Like 1
  9. 39 minutes ago, Toliver said:

    Please be careful with this combo of a garlic clove in olive oil. It can be a thriving environment for botulism. Read more info here (click).

    There's a process now for acidifying the garlic to remove the botulism problem, based on research from U of Idado: https://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/pdf/8568.pdf (including recipe).


    The original research paper and a bunch of other preservation stuff is at https://ucfoodsafety.ucdavis.edu/consumers/food-specific-resources-home-food-preservation

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  10. 1 hour ago, Toliver said:

    I was thinking the same....but along the lines of what I know as an "avocado picker" (click).

    I have one of those. I lined it with some inch-thick foam to cushion the fruit (plums would split on the mesh).

    They can be a bit aggressive on softer fruit, or if it's firmly attached. For my Eureka lemon tree I had to really yank the fruit and that sometimes broke the little branch it was attached to.

    I haven't yet got the Fisker I mentioned but it's on my list. Planning to attach a funnel-like collector underneath with a tube that runs down the shaft (either mosquito netting or PVC). I should be able to cut off multiple fruits without moving the blades too far. Not sure what the bottom end of the tube will have but maybe a peg to hold everything back and then just open it over a bucket that's close enough to avoid bruising the fruit.

    (Got this idea from a video of an automatic apple picker)

    • Like 2
  11. 18 hours ago, heidih said:

    I do a single jar of marmalade at a time.. Oranges still on trees though unfortunately all the the easy pickers are gone and can not reach  much higher.  Got in middle of orange  and lemon and got a few. Thin sliced and chopped. Added some craisins for interest, boiled up and let sit after salting just a touch. Then added sugar and more water, got a nice little jar that will  do me for weeks on home made bread. Very empowering. Tastes lovely. 

    Perhaps look into getting telescoping shears? Perhaps attach a little basket underneath to catch the goodies before they fall to the ground.

    I was thinking of something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-7-9-12-ExtendableTree-Pruning-92406935K/dp/B00004TBMV/


  12. For those that stumble across this thread, the links on the NCHFP site have changed, and the PDF for the paper on garlic from UC Davis has been updated. It's now at https://ucfoodsafety.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk7366/files/inline-files/250352.pdf and via https://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/Details.aspx?itemNo=8568


    It now includes details on how to create acidified garlic in oil to avoid the botulism problem completely, using research from the University of Idaho Extension Service.


    • Like 3
    • Thanks 2
  13. 2 hours ago, EsaK said:


    Thanks @CanadianHomeChef! So the rim (or is there not a rim at all, hard to see from any video/photo?) as pointed out in the below screenshot, shouldn't be an issue? I mean if a pan goes beyond the rim, it should still get contact and heat? 


    Quickly checking Modernist Cuisine, I suppose GN pans aren't the greatest conductors with their relative thinness, when comparing to for example regular frying pans. Would be curious to hear still if anyone has used GN pans on their Control Freak. 

    Screenshot 2020-06-27 at 12.40.39.png

    The glass rim is nice and smooth and the steel falls away so an oversized pan will have no issues, but I would recommend placing the pan so the longer side faces the user, so it doesn't cover the control panel.


    I have used a large Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker (hotel style) that is over 11 inches in diameter and it worked fine, but it's round and definitely a lot thicker than a GN pan so the sides heated up quite rapidly. (I haven't measured the differential across the surface yet - anyone want to buy me an IR camera? 😁)


    I haven't tried a GN pan on mine yet, but I'll do a test for you soon. I think a good start would be a pan full of eggs, starting with a cold pan.


    • Like 1
  14. Adding my caramel experiences to this thread.

    Most of my caramel recipes are of the "cook everything except butter" type. I use a probe thermometer for accurate temperatures.


    I have replaced up to half the butter with cocoa butter in my firm caramels, they set up with nice sharp edges and have a good mouth feel.


    Rather than making slabs and stressing about the cutting process after they're set, I pour into the (somewhat expensive) silicon candy molds from ChefRubber that make perfect little squares or rectangles. I demold them chilled (a few minutes in the fridge) to avoid any deformations when I pop them out.


    Be aware that if you're not enrobing them, and if the butters haven't been sufficiently emulsified, you may end up with little white cocoa butter splotches on the edges. To avoid this I always use a stick blender to start the caramel moving, add grated butter (which was left to reach room temperature while the caramel was cooking) and once completely incorporated add the just-melted cocoa butter.

    Hope this helps.


    • Like 2
  15. 20 hours ago, jaw said:

    i'm thinking of getting this set: https://anolon.com/collections/nouvelle-copper-cookware/products/nouvelle-copper-luxe-hard-anodized-nonstick-frying-pan-set

    Nouvelle Copper Luxe Frying Pan Set -- 8.5" & 10"


    does anyone have that smaller 8.5" pan? i'm wondering if it tips when empty on the CF. the handle looks kinda beefy, so that's why i ask.


    i apologize if someone already answered this question, but i scanned this thread and didn't see it.


    I got what I believe is the same set (based on the above recommendation):


    and the smaller one works fine.


    If it's exactly centered on the sensor then it'll lift up on the far side by just a millimeter or so (1/32 of an inch), but if you move the handle closer to the sensor by an extra centimeter or so (½ inch) it balances perfectly.

    • Like 2
  16. 16 hours ago, jedovaty said:

    Sooo... what's the experience level requirement for something like this?  Intended audience?  In another thread I mentioned I was going to look into classes offered nearby, however, after review, they are not for me.  I may have a reason to be on other coast soon, timing would work out well.  I've been eating chocolate bars that I make from scratch for nearly 4 years, have made dipped treats a couple times, and bon bons once 😁

    Any experience level is fine, the more the merrier. The attendees have a range of experience from those who just started to full time professionals.


    I attended for the first time last year, and I was very happy that I did. Met a bunch of great people, all of whom are willing to share and help. Learnt some new techniques and shared everyone's creations.


    • Like 1
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