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Cold Fusion


cakemuse
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A pastry chef turned me on to using the cold fusion method to flavor ganache for a molded chocolate filling. I'm experimenting with lemon, per her instructions:

-zest lemons

-cut lemons in half, measure out cream and let sit overnight

-cook cream, zest and lemons

-strain

(usual procedure for making ganache)

-add to white chocolate

-emulsify

-ganache!

Apparently, you can make a white ganache flavored with coffee beans the same way.

I've searched online for anything about this method and have not found anything. I understand it is an Asian technique?

So, later tonight or tomorrow I will proceed with the process. Very curious to see if this works. Anyone have any experience or info on this? I was wondering if she told me the wrong name or...

Not to make anyone feel bad but it is a gorgeous day here in the Bay Area! Cheers!

"But you have no chocolate? My dear, how will you ever manage?"

-- Marquise d Sévigné

"If I knew you were comin' I'd've baked a cake, hired a band, goodness sake..."

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Did you mean cold infusion? I do cold infusions all of the time. Coffee works. So do teas. It's great with mint or ginger too. Gives a nice, fresh flavor. Of course, if you are going to heat the liquid significantly after the infusion there's not a lot of point to it in many cases.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I find this technique to be very time wasting and not at all measurably better than standard infusion. Obviously don't boil ginger or lemon, or anything that becomes bitter...just watch your temperature. Herbs, I never infuse, hot or cold. I just finish my preparation and then shear the herbs in. For me it yields the best color and flavor, waaaaay over cold infusion, which provides no color at all.

As far as coffee beans...since when does heating coffee beans ruin their flavor??? Every day they are roasted to begin with, and then have boiling water dumped right over them and they always taste delicious to me!

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Thanks, all. Yes, INfusion - of course. I guess the only difference is letting the item/fruit/tea soak in the cream overnight. Please correct me.

I have been trying to make a lemon ganache - just never firm enough for filling chocolates. And specifically, with white chocolate. Hey, that lemon will certainly cut down on the sweetness of the white chocolate.

If anyone has a recipe that works well and feels like sharing, many thanks.

"But you have no chocolate? My dear, how will you ever manage?"

-- Marquise d Sévigné

"If I knew you were comin' I'd've baked a cake, hired a band, goodness sake..."

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I find this technique to be very time wasting and not at all measurably better than standard infusion.

In certain cases, I disagree. For many of my purposes no heating of the liquid will be required at any stage of the process so any benefits will not be lessened and sometimes the benefit is a cleaner flavor that is measurable (assuming you consider taste a unit of measure). Her example related to ganache but, as I'm sure you know, the technique isn't limited to that use. I'm not sure why it's time wasting. Tomorrow I want some cream cold infused with ginger so today I toss it in the walk-in and when I get to work tomorrow it's good to go.

Obviously don't boil ginger or lemon, or anything that becomes bitter...just watch your temperature.

Fair enough... but I'd argue that tossing it in the cooler overnight requires no more work time or effort than watching to make sure it doesn't overheat.

As far as coffee beans...since when does heating coffee beans ruin their flavor??? Every day they are roasted to begin with, and then have boiling water dumped right over them and they always taste delicious to me!

Heating coffee beans doesn't ruin the flavor, I was just answering the question as to whether or not it works. It does work. That doesn't mean it's necessary or even the best option. However, a white coffee ganache was the specific example and, as you said, much less color is transfered with cold infusing the coffee beans.

Edited by Tri2Cook (log)

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I find this technique to be very time wasting and not at all measurably better than standard infusion.

I think it depends a bit what you are looking for. For my chocolates, I find cold infusion works far better for certain flavours - generally herbs. I find mint to be a far "fresher" flavour when done via overnight cold infusion. Having bits of actual mint in the final product is also not always desirable from a texture perspective.

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In certain cases, I disagree. For many of my purposes no heating of the liquid will be required at any stage of the process so any benefits will not be lessened and sometimes the benefit is a cleaner flavor that is measurable (assuming you consider taste a unit of measure). Her example related to ganache but, as I'm sure you know, the technique isn't limited to that use. I'm not sure why it's time wasting. Tomorrow I want some cream cold infused with ginger so today I toss it in the walk-in and when I get to work tomorrow it's good to go.

I may be having a brain fart, but I really cant think of any preparation that never requires heat at any stage. Ok, whipped cream. But does heating cream denature the fats in some way that makes it whip worse? Its still far quicker to heat and chill something than it is to cold infuse it overnight...

Maybe this is a NYC restaurant thing, but in my experience the pastry department is encouraged to NOT cram tons of extra stuff into the walk in. Space issue more than time, I guess.

Heating coffee beans doesn't ruin the flavor, I was just answering the question as to whether or not it works. It does work. That doesn't mean it's necessary or even the best option. However, a white coffee ganache was the specific example and, as you said, much less color is transfered with cold infusing the coffee beans.

I guess my brain doesn't work that way. I want anything "basil" to be green, and anything "coffee" to be black or brown. Its just me. It is a valid technique but just not useful to me.

One thing I will say is that it is definitely not the best way to render clean, pure, strong flavor out of herbs. I encourage anyone who is looking for the best way to do that to try cold processing and compare the results to cold infusion (unless of course you want white, and not green). Cook and chill your base (ice cream, fluid gel, whatever) and blanch your herbs separately. Process the two together in vitaprep and strain (though a superbag, if you need it 100% homogenous, although just through a chinoise my naked eye cannot detect any "specks").

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Its still far quicker to heat and chill something than it is to cold infuse it overnight...

Ive only used cold infusion on a vary limited basis (beans and ginger are about all I use in this method), but the amount of work required between the two is of little difference overall. Now, if you need the cream today, you can't really cold infuse. But if youre planing ahead, like TC said, simply toss your beans, ginger, etc. in the cream, toss them in the chiller overnight, and when you're ready to begin making ganache the following day, the infusion step is already done. Kinda like using spare time today to lighten the load tomorrow. It might take less time to heat to and cool, but you aren't really working on the infusion all those hours the cream is soaking up flavor in a cold infusion, so you're basically getting free time!! I like knowing that my cream is getting flavor even when Im watching football!!

"It only hurts if it bites you" - Steve Irwin

"Whats another word for Thesaurus?" - Me

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