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Found 31 results

  1. So I've been experiencing cracks on the foot of my bonbons that I've been unable to find the cause of, hoping to reach out to the community to get to the bottom of this costly problem. I work for a small chocolate company that makes our own bean to bar couverture. We use a continuous tempering machine with enrobing belt attachment. The process: ganache is made and then piped into round silicone molds, which are then footed with tempered chocolate before being placed in the freezer until frozen enough to pop out of the molds. They are then set up right and left to thaw and dry out overnight on a equipped with fans aimed at the bonbons. The next day we send the bonbons through the enrober, and then they are transferred to a speed rack to set up, either at room temp (generally around 68-70 degrees F) or in a homemade cooling cabinet (an insulated box equipped with an air conditioner + dehumidifier + fans) that generally fluctuates between 50-56 degrees F (I know, large range). Problems occur with both milk and dark couverture, with bonbons kept at room temp or in cabinet, thickness of foot doesn't seem to make a difference (we've tried thicker and thinner). Crack doesn't immediately appear; it usually takes a couple of minutes after being completely set before showing. It looks as though the foot is popping out, cause a hairline crack between the shell and the foot. I've attached pictures. You'll notice in the photos, that when the bonbon is cut in half, the foot separates from the shell pretty significantly. Thoughts? Suggestions? Similar experiences?
  2. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1keOm7TxIn19oaw2KPxT4avaFeBGiTEMd/view?usp=drivesdk https://drive.google.com/file/d/1g6UlqTLcKlO7JXKVv6KGbbabrIOU5O44/view?usp=drivesdk
  3. I'm a small-scale hobbyist candymaker (making things for myself and friends, not for sale), and I'm interested in learning more about sugar panning (mostly soft sugar panning, but also interested in hard panning). I recently made myself a panning machine, and understand the very basics of the process, but I'm finding it difficult to find thorough information on the process that is useful for home candymaking - most of the information I have found so far has been of the sort "here is how to use this product that you can only buy in 100-lb quantities", or "this $200 industry manual has a section on panning techniques that may or may not be useful, but you can't tell until after you buy it". Is there a good book/website/other source that thoroughly explains all parts of the panning process with enough detail to figure out how to do things with the materials at hand, and more importantly how to know at each step if things are going right? I have access to the book "Confectionary Science and Technology", which has been a HUGE help, but there's still quite a bit that it doesn't talk about. I also have a couple of specific questions, and would appreciate any info: 1. How do I add color? Adding gel food color to the syrup only provides slight coloration, and I have food color powder but am not sure if I should add it to the syrup, to the sugar, or just it to replace the sugar. 2. I have some carnauba wax to use for polishing, but I can't find any info on how to use it - do I just pour a small quantity of melted wax to the centers in the pan? Do I need to mix it with anything? Huge thanks in advance for any information you can provide.
  4. This probably sounds like a strange subject to bring up when most of you, as @CantCookStillTry would say, are up to your knickers in snow and ice but some of us right now are in a heat wave. Although Costa Rica is in the northern hemisphere, Central America only has two seasons. Wet and dry. Wet season is from sometime in April to sometime in November so that puts us in the dry season right now and our two hottest months are March and April. CCST is in Australia and going through a real hot time. We'd like to know what you do to beat the heat. What are your favorite hot weather recipes? How do you cook in the hot weather to keep from heating up your kitchen? Any and all suggestions and anecdotes are welcome.
  5. Tropicalsenior

    Homemade Corned Beef and a plea for help

    At Groundhog's Day each year I start hunting for a good piece of meat to make corned beef for Saint Patrick's Day. I found the perfect piece yesterday and I have the perfect recipe (I found it 20 years ago on Food Network). I'm all set except that I have a small problem. My recipe calls for saltpeter and my supply is running low. I'm all set for now but saltpeter is impossible to find in Costa Rica. I usually have my grandson bring some when he comes but he almost always has a panic attack when he does it. I just can't imagine why he gets so nervous just bringing a little white bag of powder through customs. However, I can buy curing salt here. I've been on Google trying to find a pundit who can give me an amount substitution for curing salt and saltpeter. They all said that it can be done but no one seems to have a clear idea of how much to use and by how much I need to adjust the salt in the recipe. Because we have some real experts among our members I'm hoping someone can give me an idea about how to do this. Please, I need your help. Homemade Corned Beef I started my Saint Patrick's dinner yesterday. I used a homemade corned beef recipe that I have had a lot of success with. Corned beef is totally unheard of in Costa Rica so it is homemade or nothing. I love it so much that I make it at least two or three times a year. My biggest problem has been finding the meat that I need. The only type of cattle raised here are a big Brahma cross and they are all pasture-raised. The meat is lean and stringy and they always cut the brisket into small strips to be used for soup. To get a brisket you have to go to a slaughterhouse and buy the full brisket. Recently, I found a cut of meat that is not sold in the supermarkets or in the 'boutique butcher' shops. It is considered peasant food and it is wonderful. It is called giba (HEE-bah) and it is the hump of the Brahma bull. It's nice and marbled and very tender. They only sell it in the small local butcher shops and usually they have to order it for you. My two pound piece of meat ready to go. In the brine. Two weeks to go but it's going to be worth it. If anyone would like the recipe, I will post it on Recipe Gullet. Update: The recipe is here.
  6. I take great pride in that knowing the fact that I can replicate recipes on my own. I've had some pretty good success with coming up with flavors and foods that remind me of my youth, specifically, takeout items. I think I do a pretty good job of burgers, fried chicken, pizza, a multitude of a Chinese food dishes, etc. One item that I cannot seem to figure out, which should be so simple to do, but it's frustratingly and deceptively difficult, is Asian broth. I'm talking wonton soup and phö broth. I can't figure it out and I need help. I've scoured the forums here and tried everything. But I can't get a clear broth and I can't get the right flavour. I need to know what I'm doing wrong, I've spent a decade trying to figure this out. To me, there is nothing in this world like good soup broth. Can someone find it in them to help me, please? I would be forever grateful. Regards, Mike
  7. I like to make roasted eggplant/aubergine for baba gahanouj, bharta (etc.) on coals that impart a wonderful smoky flavour. I've had good success doing it in a barbecue (actually a Big Green Egg). So, now that it's winter, I thought "why not try it in the fireplace, after the fire has burnt down to glowing coals?" I cut a few slits in the eggplant so that it wouldn't explode, did NOT wrap it in foil, thinking that would just seal out the smoky flavour, and popped it into the fireplace (with glass doors) for 15 min. It came out looking good, perhaps a little under-cooked, but basically OK. The taste was TERRIBLE - very strong flavour of fire place ash. I only had a couple of bites, despite my Methodist ancestors looking disapprovingly over my shoulder, because it really was bad. So has anyone else tried this? I'd like to make it work. Should the eggplant be wrapped in foil? Should I wait until the coals have died down further? Does it depend on the type of wood? This was mainly aspen - crappy firewood at best, but it was free (Methodist ancestors won this time.).
  8. ChefDavid84

    Kitchen space requirements

    Hi, I'm David. I'm in the process of starting a new venture, and need some advice. I'm starting a catering company to cater to 4 golf courses, and hope to expand into other offsite catering after a year or so. I'm looking for a space to put a central kitchen to cook everything, and truck it out from there. We will be serving about 1200 people per weekend. Im having trouble visualizing how big of a kitchen space I'm going to need, and am having trouble finding anything online to help calculate the size of said space. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, Chef David
  9. I used my homemade toffee in a cookie recipe hoping that the toffee will add a crunch to the cookie... it didn't turn out well as the toffee melted and didn't keep its hardened crunch form. How can I prevent my toffee from melting in my cookie recipe?
  10. Tuber magnatum

    Edible helium balloon

    Having experienced the "Edible Balloon" dessert at Alinea, I have been on a quest to try this at home. Only recently was I able to find purportedly a recipe: https://www.buzzfeed.com/raypajar1/these-edible-helium-balloons-are-dessert-from-the-future?utm_term=.ut6r3PnMk#.acGNVWmd6 the video of which is found below. I tried this and probably no surprise, it failed. The bubble collapsed / popped with only a little distension. I wasn't sure if the problem was that a "secret" ingredient (e.g. some kind of surfactant to stabilise the bubble or using a different kind of sugar) was missing. Or maybe I didn't allow the mix to come to correct temperature etc. Elsewhere I thought I had read that the original recipe was in effect some kind of taffy. Has anyone else had success, or do any candy makers /modernist chefs, have suggestions they are willing to share?
  11. Hello and Happy Holidays! I own an ice cream company and am looking for some information about equipment to use for scaling large batches of caramel. Right now, we cook sugar over electric heat in an approx. 6 qt. stainless steel pot. Once the caramel is at the correct color and temp (more on that below), we add our dairy to the hot mixture. Obviously, this is not a viable option for producing large batches. I'm familiar with confectionary equipment from Savage, but don't have the budget for an automated piece. Does anyone have experience with using just one of their copper or stainless steel kettles over a regular sized burner on electric heat? We've tried to use a single larger flat bottom pot sitting in the middle of all 4 burners on the stove to make a large batch of caramel, but it doesn't heat evenly. I'm wondering if the rounded bottom of the kettle helps the entire pot cook evenly -- would we be able to set the kettle right on the burner; or, have to use it in a double boiler setting? Additionally, any recommendations for thermometers that work well with caramel would be welcomed. We've used digital probes and candy thermometers, but on numerous occasions, the color and smell of the caramel that we associate with "doneness" is a dramatically different temperature for each batch. I came across a similar post on this topic from 2016, but aside from a recommendation for a large piece of equipment from Savage, there wasn't any other feedback. Hoping to get some good input that will bridge the gap between extremely small batches and mass production.
  12. SNewman004

    Mississippi Delta Tamales

    What is the best way to execute tamales as an appetizer in a restaurant? I'm looking at 7-10 minute ticket time. I can only think of pre-steaming the tamales and steaming or simmering in sauce to order. Does anyone have any experience with these in the professional kitchen?
  13. pastrygirl

    GF flours - why so gritty?

    I was cooking for a party last night at which a gluten free cake was served for dessert. I had a few bites and aside from the cake being dry and the frosting very sweet, there was that tell-tale grittiness that GF baked goods seem to have. This particular bakery uses a blend of millet, sorghum, tapioca and potato flours. I used some Bob's Red Mill GF flour to satisfy a customer request for GF shortbread and found the same grittiness - they use garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, whole grain white sorghum flour, tapioca flour and fava bean flour. Obviously some sacrifices of flavor and texture are made when trying to replicate the magic of gluten, but why can't these flour blends be softer? Can't they be milled more finely? Or is it just the way the particular starches or proteins in those other flours are felt on the tongue? It's like that chalky cold cooked rice texture, do you know what I mean? Why can't it be better? Almost every time I eat something made with substitute flours, it makes me sad and want to fix it.
  14. I was making onion confit the other day. After slow-cooking the onions in duck fat and duck stock for 14 hr., I wanted to reduce the liquid before finishing the onions off in the oven. So I got out a bowl and a sieve and took the inner container out of the IP to make it easier to pour. Then I got distracted talking to my wife, not that I'm blaming her. The next thing I noticed was liquid all over the counter: I had put the sieve on the IP and strained the onions into it. (Fortunately, it was cool and unplugged). Now, the IP documentation warns against immersing the IP in liquid. "The housing has electronic components and should never be immerse [sic] in water.Doing so will damage Instant Pot permanently. The housing can only be wiped clean." (http://instantpot.com/portfolio-item/after-purchase/#toggle-id-20). I was therefore wary about just plugging the IP in again, but didn't want to just throw it away. So I had to investigate. Removing the bottom plate was easy (one screw to undo), and inside it actually looked pretty good. The control board was clean and there were just a few splashes of grease here and there. The inner pot has two drainage holes; one is just visible at about 1:30 in this pic and the other is below the control board and not really visible in this pic. The back of the control board is protected by a plastic base. But I wanted to check the back of the board, and to do that I had to remove a few screws and connectors: Most of the connectors have little flanges that hold them in their sockets. Getting them to release required a lot of probing with a very small screw-driver, accompanied by a fair amount of swearing. Below is the multi-pin connector, which was the hardest to remove. Once that was off, the control board could be removed without disconnecting any more wires (which had proved recalcitrant, in any case). The back of the control board was clean, as was the inside of its plastic base, which I removed next. The back of it was coated in duck fat. Finally, I removed the plastic ring around the base of the IP. It housed the socket for one end of the power cord, but this snapped out easily. All the plastic pieces I had removed got a good wash in hot soapy water. I cleaned up the rest of the hardware as best I could with paper towels and cotton swabs. Then I put it all back together (thanking myself for having taken that initial pic). I replaced the inner pot, added some water and ran the "sauté" function for a couple of minutes until the water started to steam. Then I turned it off, put on the lid and ran a "soup" function with pressure for 5 min. There was a bit of smoke that I attributed to residual duck fat (It smelled culinary.), and which only lasted 15 sec. or so. Huge sigh of relief. Having gone through all this, I think it was probably not absolutely necessary, but there might have been a bit more smoke and smell. It was worth doing for the peace of mind, though. And the onion confit turned out fine.
  15. Hi, I've tried to make the spherical mussels recipe from the Modernist Cuisine books and it didn't work as I expected, so I would appreciate any advice that may help here. The recipe calls for calcium gluconate which I couldn't get hold of, so I replaced it with calcium lactate gluconate that I had at home. I used the same ration (2.5%) When I tried to create the spheres in the sodium alginate bath I encountered two main problems; 1. instead of spheres the mixture just stayed as uneven shape on the surface. The bath was 1Kg. water with 5gr. sodium alginate and I let it rest in the fridge for 24 hours before using it so I think the problem is not here. However, the mussels jus mixture (100gr. mussels jus, 0.5gr. xanthin gum and and 2.5gr. calcium lactate gluconate) had a lot of air bubbles in it. Can that be the issue? 2. In the book the spheres seem to be completely transparent whereas my mussels jus mixture was pretty white and opaque. Is it because I replaced calcium gluconate with calcium lactate gluconate? Or maybe it's because the jus itself should be clarified before it is used? Thanks in advance for your support, Tom.
  16. (1) I have a Miele Induction cooktop and a recently purchased Lodge Cast Iron 12 inch skillet. I have been poring over recipes from Cooks Illustrated and many of them recommend pre-heating the skillet in a 500F oven and then placing the skillet on a cooktop (no mention of glass cooktop or induction). Before I go ahead and try this, am I running the risk of damaging the cooktop by placing a pre-heated CI skillet on to the (Schott Ceran) surface? (2) A related question is that, on admittedly little use of the Lodge CI so far, I have triggered the overheating feature of the induction cooktop resulting in the burner in use shutting off. I have not used the burner any higher than 7 out of 9 and even then and for about five minutes for pre-heating. This is frustrating to say the least. I have had the same problem with a new Matfer 12" carbon steel skillet while trying to season it.
  17. I am a Baker and Cake Decorator in India. India has a huge Vegetarian Population that does not even eat eggs/gelatin. So I am constantly looking at finding vegetarian options. Issue at Hand: Regular Butter Cream - American Butter Cream ( Icing Sugar 10X + Butter + Milk/Lemon Juice / Cream) is an option ..and a lot of decorators use this as it sets hard, and they also add shortening into it ..and I am like , Nope I can't eat that , much less serve it. Its too Sweet /Gritty and Crusts and just tasteless. It has also made sure that people in my country to completely throw out any butter cream cake . You say Butter Cream and they say - too Sweet/gritty. I have been successful in the last two years to break that impression by making European Meringue based butter cream - I love Swiss Meringue Butter Cream . It is smooth, just sweet enough , takes colour well, pipes well , and is mostly temperature stable. But I can't serve it to people who don't eat eggs. I have so far been making a substitute - Ermine/Rue/Cooked Butter Cream - a Flour + Milk+ Sugar custard (AKA Pastry Cream minus the eggs) and whipping butter into it. It tastes good - people like it ..nut its a misery to work with - will not hold shape , will not colour well , and most of all weeps and weeps some more when we chill the cakes. So I am looking for suggestions on finding a starch that will not weep when frozen in a custard? And my second approach is to move to Aqua Faba to build the meringue and make SMBC. The starch custard option is easy and economical and does not leave me with mountains of Chickpeas . would love to hear thoughts . Thanks
  18. boombonniewhale

    Induction Cooktop and confectionery

    Hello! I was wondering if anyone on here has tried using an induction cooktop with confection making (caramels, fondant, marshmallows ect...). My stove has literally three settings, and the low setting still burns sugar and there is no such thing as maintaining any sort of "simmer". I was looking into getting a cooktop and buying some copper sugar pots and mauviel makes this thing that goes inbetween. I would love to hear any input into this idea or your experiences! ~Sarah
  19. So I've been looking for the ultimate matcha brownies (technically blondies but it just doesn't have the same ring to it). I've made chewy and fudgy regular brownies, but I find white chocolate based blondies to be much trickier. I have made a few matcha brownie recipes in the past, but they all came out sad and cakey. So I have taken it upon myself to come up with my own recipe. My matcha brownies came out very moist and "fudgy" but not chewy. I'm thinking next time I should try using vegetable oil instead of butter and only dark brown sugar.
  20. LaMiaCucina

    Actual % of Humidity

    Wouldn't you know it! We have a family wedding in a couple of weeks, and I've had a misfortune in the basement adding some extra humidity to the air. It won't be fixed before next weekend, which is when I need to have everything finished. Adding to the problem is a lot of rain. I made a batch of pizzelle, and within hours, they were soft. Since I don't want to have to redo again, does anyone know what the optimal percent of humidity should be in the air when baking cookies that need to stay crispy? I'm looking for an actual number, such as 40%, 30%, etc. If I need to get another dehumidifier, I will. Thanks in advance! AG
  21. CanadianSportsman

    Thomas Keller Boeuf Bourguignon Question

    Greetings, I've cooked several recipes from Keller's "Bouchon" the last couple of weeks, and have loved them all! At the moment (as in right this minute) I'm making the boeuf Bourguignon, and am a little confused about the red wine reduction. After reducing the wine, herbs, and veg for nearly an hour now, I'm nowhere near the consistancy of a glaze that Keller specifies. In fact, it looks mostly like the veg is on the receiving end of most of it. Is this how the recipe is meant to be? Can anybody tell me what kind of yield is expected? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you, kindly.
  22. weinoo

    Recipe "Disaster!"

    Last week I wanted to try a recipe (for the first time) from a cookbook I've had for over 20 years. So I did just as the recipe instructed, even though after reading the recipe I felt like it wouldn't work properly - as it was written. But dutifully, I followed the many steps. The damn recipe took hours (fortunately, there was no rush), and when it was finally finished, it pretty much sucked. As a matter of fact, I didn't even give a taste to Significant Eater. Of course I should've known better, but I wanted to give the written instructions their shot. And then I thought of this video/essay from Jacques. Which is really what a "recipe" is about in a nutshell. http://www.pbs.org/video/2365717095/
  23. FOOD BRETHREN! I need some advice. I have one last piece of pork belly confit in the fridge. I brined these bad boys for about 5 days (brine included pink curing salt), vacuum sealed the squares of pork belly with lard and sous vide them at 158 F for 16 hours. I cooked this on 11/10/16 and its been in my refrigerator since. Here is the general recipe I followed, with some modifications based on my taste: https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/... The last piece is still vacuum sealed and submerged (mostly) in lard. Any visible pork only has contact with the bag. It's staring at me. And calling my name. I want to deep fry this sucker and have a little date night with the handsome devil I see in the mirror every morning, but the last thing I want is spoiled food. I can't find any conclusive information about how long pork confit lasts for. I've only seen references that duck confit or in general that the confit technique will last for months in the fridge. I have found no sources which directly addresses pork confit. Questions/Factors I'm Considering: - Does pork confit keep for as long as duck confit? - Does vacuum sealing have any effect on the length of preservation? - Does sous-vide cooking method affect the length of preservation? I know I am probably being a bit paranoid, but I thought I would do my due diligence before taking the plunge, so to speak. Any advice on these questions would be extremely helpful and appreciated! The Franzisaurus-Rex PS - you should totally make this if you are into sous vide, confit, food, or have any respect for the enjoyment of life. Flash-searing these things after cooking was OUT OF THIS WORLD.
  24. I've looked, but the search engine and I don't get on. I followed this recipe http://vst.to/SvrsUMj the result is dry and crumbly. Top notch ingredients went into the mix. I've only cut off a small piece to try it. Any ideas ? Thanks from a novice brownie baker....
  25. Franzisaurus_Rex

    Advice: Braising in Smoker?

    I've had an idea flowing across my brain waves over the last few months. It's on every channel and I'm getting ready to pull the trigger. I'd like to try to braise a dish in my smoker. I am thinking of braising a rabbit, but the I'm not looking for guidance on the protein/ingredients, rather the technique. I turn to you, o internet, in hope you will tell me your secrets. Has anyone ever braised in their smoker before? I've done some research, but I haven't seen much on the "how to" for the technique. Here's my plan: - Brown the rabbits on skillet (stovetop) - Get the aromatics/other stuffz sweated browned, etc. - (MEANWHILE) Smoker heats up to 300-325 degrees. - Add stock to rabbit, bring to a simmer on the stove top. - Transfer to smoker, braise uncovered for 1-2 hours, then cover with foil to finish for as long as necessary. I've seen folks smoke and then braise, but I haven't seen much on the idea of braising something IN the smoker. I saw something on CookingwithMe.at about doing something similar with pork belly, but that's about it. All I know is that after using stock+drippings from a smoked turkey created this CRAZY MIND-BLOWING flavor, so I'm basing this a lot off that idea. -Franz
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