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  1. In another thread, one of our members @scott123 said that he is looking for a Chinese pickle jar. Similar to this: Or this: Since we have a lot of members in the New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia area, I thought someone might be able to help him out. My little Chinese restaurant supply has a whole range of different types and sizes but unless he is planning to take a vacation to Costa Rica soon, that doesn't help a bit.
  2. Pork Belly which is vacuum sealed and was sous-vide-d for 48 hours. It's been sitting in the fridge for a few months, not in the meat drawer (which is close to freezing). I was thinking of putting it (still wrapped) in the Anova Oven at sv temperatures to get warm, and then opening the bag. If it still smells okay, can we eat it?
  3. Help! I am an amateur and make chocolate truffles, bonbons, and caramels for friends and family. I made some soft caramel for filling molded bonbons. The flavor and consistency are fine, but the caramel is filled with bubbles. I don't know how to get the air bubbles out, and am concerned using it in my molded chocolates. I would like to know if it is okay to use. I have been making confections for about four years and this is the first time this has happened. I would really appreciate any help! I'm new to the forum and don't know anyone yet.
  4. Hi all!! I work at an amazing little New Zealand Style ice cream shop in the beautiful Denver Colorado. I was hoping to get a little help on the subject of adding fruit into ice cream after extracting it and ensuring that, when the ice cream is frozen, the fruity bits don't turn into rock hard shards. I am planning on doing a cherry chocolate ice cream and I was going to soak some dried cherries that we're no longer using for something else. I was planning on using some brandy and a ton of sugar, but I was really hoping someone had a tried and true method they could send my way so that I KNOW that the fruit will be luscious as it's frozen. If you have a certain sugar ratio. I know there is the brix test, but to be honest it's been many years since pastry school and I am very rusty. Would love to hear from some of my fellow sugar-heads. Thank you! Amy
  5. I'm relatively new to chocolate making but now that I've finally got the hang of tempering (by hand using the seeding method) I'd like to work on incorporating less air during the process. I mainly make bars at the moment so I can tap out air bubbles after filling but I want to start making dipped biscuits and that's not going to work! I've watched oh so many videos of people stirring their chocolate while tempering and can't pick up any nuances that make their process different to mine, though they clearly have significantly less air in their mixture. Any ideas how I could fix this problem or should I consider incorporating air bubbles into my biscuit design?
  6. Hi all! I just wanted to pop in here and see if anyone had some advice on canning/jarring caramel sauce for ready-to-eat consumption. The ice cream shop I work at is putting together gift baskets for valentine's day and we wanted to toss in some caramel and fudge jars in to add some tasty treats. We have a recipe that works great in the shop in our squeeze bottles for topping the ice cream, however I don't have a ton of experience with the canning process to make it shelf stable and shippable. I've canned tomato sauce and salsa in the past, but my method wouldn't be efficient for canning hundreds of jars for consumption. What is your method for success? Does it all hinge on the sealing process, and if so what are your favorite (cost efficient) products? Do you know of a jar that is self sealing or more durable than others? Thanks for any suggestions!
  7. Hi, I need to make portions of exactly 12g (=0.423oz) of truffle ganache. These truffles will be packed in a cardboard box with the total weight written on the package - so I cannot mess up... What solutions do you have to control the weight of the ganache for truffles? I tried to measure them on the scale but it's time consuming and not very reliable... I bought a silicone mould - the cavities are too small and the ganache seems to stick to the mould. Have you tried to make your own shells for truffles? It's not very clear how many cm in the mould will translate in how many grams in the product.... any suggestion will be appreciated.
  8. I made my fifth ever batch of chocolate over the weekend, a 45% milk chocolate. I did the usual warming of everything, and the batch started off without a hitch. After running 24 hours I got ready to cool the chocolate to temper, and the stone seemed awfully hot. Sure enough the chocolate was 147 degrees F. Normally it comes out at around 120. The chocolate seemed kind of thick, but this is my first batch as low as 45%, so not sure if that’s normal. The chocolate tempered just fine, and tastes fine for have gotten so hot. I’m wondering if I got a minuscule amount of water in the batch? I’m not sure how that would have happened, though thinking of everything ad nauseum I can think of possibilities. The ingredients themselves are all ones I’ve used before without issue, though first time with the roasted nibs, but they came from the same reliable source as all my other nibs. Just curious if anyone else has seen this happen.
  9. Does anyone know if using a high-protein flour, rather than AP flour, in a quickbread formula could create a gummy texture as a result of the protein slightly developing as it absorbs water? I was attempting to reduce water activity in the formula by using flour with 14% protein rather than 8-10% protein. Am I out in left field on this one?
  10. Hi all, Hopefully someone can help me with this? I really enjoy making tartalettes of sorts. When baking the dough rises a lot meaning that there is not really a lot of space to fill with something nice. I am using glutenfree flour (Peak's All Purpose) and have tried blind baking them. But from my first blind baking try, it seems that the bottom stays raw. Have put it back in the oven 'unblinded' (can i use this term? :)) but still its not the way i want it. Could sure use some tips on how to get these tartalettes nice and thin. Thanks in advance to anyone who tries to help, i appreciate it. regards
  11. About two weeks ago I made a jar of oranges in brandy. I think the seal is bad and the fruit has started fermenting. There’s a few bubbles and a slightly sour smell, the taste is still sweet. The oranges were off our tree (no spray) and it’s a simple no cook recipe that calls for sugar, brandy and spices. The jar was sterilised. What would you do ? Is there a way to rescue them, are they still safe to eat ? Any advice will be much appreciated.
  12. I'm a Brit. I'm also a closet Frenchman. To cap it all, I'm happily retired in Bangkok, the city of a street food culture that's second to none. The Thais are healthy and slim. I'm just this side of alive and far from slim. Lockdown has me fantasizing about my days working in London, Paris and New York, an existence, if one could call it that, revolving around gastronomy of one kind or another. They paid me, not so very much as it happens, to do what I enjoy doing most in life. We all get to do it, but I was one of a fortunate few who made it his metier. Well all that's in the past now, but I still dream of my time in Paris when lunch was a tad short of 2-hours, little-known local bistros remained affordable until the day they were discovered by La Bible (Michelin Guide) and the students were revolting - this was the summer of '68, for heaven's sake. Someone should open bistro here in Bangkok with a table d'hote of Soupe a l'Oignon gratinee, Blanquette de Veau, a stinky Epoisses and Tarte Tatin to finsih with creme fraiche. Ah, it's back to lockdown and pad Thai.
  13. Here's where I'm at with baker's percents: 150% Salted Butter 58% Trader Joe's 72% Belgian Chocolate (I don't enjoy super chocolate-y brownies) 240% Sugar 100% All Purpose Flour 91% Eggs Melt butter with chocolate (I take it to 170F). Mix in everything but eggs. In separate bowl, whisk eggs and then add eggs to everything else until just incorporated. Bake at 275F for 70 minutes My goal is Two Bite Brownies. I'm looking for an end product that's chewy and a bit dry with a homogenous texture. I don't want any fudgyness- at all, and, right now, even with 70 minutes at 275, my end product has a super fudgy crumb and a crispy exterior. I don't want a cakey texture either. This is the territory that I'm shooting for: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKDujihI6Es&app=desktop These are not exactly Two Bites, but, if you look at the beginning, you'll see that the crumb is pretty dry. The only major difference I'm seeing between their process and mine is that they add the flour last, while I add the egg last. They don't show the flour being mixed in, but they do show the batter being dispensed into the baking pans and it definitely looks a bit thick- not cookie dough thick, but definitely not batter-y either. The goal is a brownie with more of a cookie texture, which might mean less eggs, but, before I take that direction, I wanted to see if anyone here had some thoughts on this.
  14. I have been working on buying an already existing diner and then Covid-19 hit and crippled the economy. Now I'm having second thoughts on fulfilling this venture. Is it still a good idea? Will I succeed? Do you all have any advice?
  15. So I tried my hand at croissants for the first time in about 5 years. I used the recipe from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. Despite the fact that I really struggled rolling them out (the dough was very stiff and resisted rolling), tore the dough layer in small patches quite a bit on the last turn, and probably took too long letting the butter get too warm, I got nice layers on the outside and on the interior and they did shatter nicely on the outside. I did not get that beautiful open honeycomb interior, however. I’d love any tips or feedback or advice anyone could offer to do better next time—thanks!
  16. 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.).
  17. 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?
  18. I have seen referenced in several places on the internet, including Wikipedia, a stat about escoffier recommending 40 minutes for scrambled eggs in a Bain Marie. I cant find where this number is from. On Wikipedia it refers to the book I currently own, the "Escoffier le guide culinaire" with forward by Heston Blumenthal by h. L. Cracknell...specificly page 157 for the 40 minute cooking time of scrambled eggs but it's not in my book on that page! Even tho there is the recipe for scrambled eggs on that page... I've seen the 1903 first edition online.. And it's not in there either.... Where is this number from?? Id like to know in case there is some even more complete book or something out there that I'm missing. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you.
  19. I'm trying to make bonbons with milk shells for the first time and I'm struggling. When I melt my milk chocolate it is really thick. Is this normal? I'm pretty sure humidity is not an issue. I'm concerned that my shells wont empty out well and I'll be left with no room for ganache. I tried adding some cocoa butter last time but it affected the flavor. Disclaimer: I'm using pretty cheap milk chocolate (Ghirardelli) cuz I'm still learning. If you think this is the only issue please let me know.
  20. I need some advice on a safe(ish), easy, and fast way to cut buttermints I often make buttermints for friends for the holidays, and have run into problems cutting them into bite size pieces before the sugar cools and starts to crystallize too much, so I'm looking for ideas on how to do it more quickly so I can do larger batches. Note that I am doing this at home and have very little budget, but on the plus side I don't need to end up with perfectly uniform pieces. The basic process for making the buttermints is: 1. cook butter and sugar to 260 degrees 2. pour out onto buttered marble slab and let cool slightly 3. add color and flavor, and pull like taffy while it cools further 4. when it just starts to show signs of crystallizing, roll into ropes and cut before it crystallizes much further (I have maybe 2 minutes if I'm lucky to get all the cutting done) The main problem I run into is that when handling the candy during steps 3 and 4, my hands need to be buttered so the candy doesn't stick to me, and even if I quickly wash my hands, any cutting tool needs to also be buttered to prevent sticking, and basically it's nearly impossible to maintain a good grip on anything. The second problem is that the candy at this point is hard enough that if I try to snip it with scissors it will tend to slide along the blade instead of getting cut, yet it is still plastic enough that if I pick it up it will tend to sag under its weight and thin out too much while I'm concentrating on getting the scissors to cut right. My best results so far have been with leaving the candy on the marble and cutting it with a pastry scraper, but pressing down hard enough to cut all the way through with a slippery (due to the aforementioned buttered hands) pastry scraper while trying not to gouge the marble underneath is not particularly fun. I did try pruning shears once because the curved blade holds the candy in place instead of sliding along the blade, which worked fine except for the fear of lopping off parts of a finger made it too nerve-wracking to be done quickly. Basically, I'd love to find something that works like this, but for something with the consistency of a hard caramel: Any ideas? -Trufflenaut
  21. Hi, This is a slightly odd question, and I think this is probably the right place for it. As I mentioned previously, I'm hosting a failed selfie exhibition and will be doing food and drink to match. One thing that I thought would be fun to do, however, was encase a functioning telephone in a set jelly/jell-O and have people call it. It would be set on vibrate, obviously Anyway, this is not something I've done before, and the logistics are a bit interesting: - How can I stop the jelly destroying the electronics? Would a phone survive being vac-sealed? - Which proportion of gelatin to water do I need for structural stability, but maximum wobble? - Would a larger jelly wobble more satisfyingly? - Is a phone's vibrate setting even strong enough to wobble jelly? - Fully transparent or coloured? I don't intend to serve this as food, so food safety and flavour are not an issue. All suggestions welcome.
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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