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I work at a small business with about 25 employees where we make chocolates, popcorn and caramels. In capacity as head chocolatier I have to work with our facilities supervisor to develop a food safety testing plan for the facility.
Right now we are developing a plan to do the following: swab with ATP detectors to see if bacterial activity is present, test for Aerobic Plate Count bacteria (APC), and swabbing for the presence of nut proteins to verify our cleaning protocols are sufficient to eliminate nut allergens and test the floor drains for the presence of listeria.
Does anyone have any experience with food safety testing in chocolate plants?? If so, is there anything else that you think we need to be testing for?
I had completely forgotten about our dinner there in December.
Anyone who is a serious eater here on eGullet needs to come here soon. Highly recommended. @MetsFan5 - here is one place you might love over Gary Danko. You too @rancho_gordo.
I'll let the pix speak for themselves...
Horchata - Koshihikari rice, almonds, black cardamom, cinnamon.
Scallop chicharrón, scallop ceviche, crème fraîche.
Jicama empanada, shiso, pumpkin, salmon roe.
Smoked mushroom taco with pickled wild mushrooms.
Dungeness crab tostada, sour orange segments, sour orange-habanero salsa, Castelfranco radicchio, tarragon.
Pineapple guava sorbet
Fuyu persimmon, habanero honey, tarragon
Tasmanian trout ceviche, dashi, Granny Smith apple
Aguachile, parsnip, red bell pepper
Black bean tamales steamed in banana leaves, with salsa on the side
Smoked squab broth, pomegranate seeds, cilantro flowers
Tres frijoles with sturgeon caviar, shallots and edible gold leaf
Black cod, salsa verde, green grapes
Wagyu beef, pickled onion
Smoked squab breast served with spiced cranberry sauce, quince simmered in cranberry juice, pickled Japanese turnips and charred scallion, and sourdough flour tortillas
Yes, it's the same squab from which the broth was made.
And now the desserts:
Foie gras churro, with foie gras mousse, cinnamon sugar, served with hot milk chocolate infused with cinnamon, Lustau sherry and coffee.
By the time I remembered to take a pic, I'd eaten half of the churro. Dunk the churro into the chocolate.
Dulce de leche spooned atop pear sorbet with chunks of Asian pear, macadamia nut butter
Pecan ice cream, candied pecans, shortbread cookie, apples, clarified butter
The cookie was on top of the apples. Break the cookie and spoon everything over.
Cherry extract digestif, vermouth, sweet Mexican lime
We'll definitely return. I'm an instant fan.
Prepaid tix were $230 per person, plus there were additional charges due to wine pairings. It's worth every cent you'll spend.
3115 22nd Street (South Van Ness)
I love cooking my pulses and beans and have used a pressure cooker, slow cooker and top stove to do so.
However, the results often vary due to my carelessness.
I enjoy the results of sous vide and wonder whether cooking beans and pulses sous vide would make them deliciously tender without falling apart and going mushy.
I have looked up a few recipes but the temperatures vary enormously.
I'm wondering if there's a more scientific approach. Like, at what temperature do the walls of a pulse break down without breaking apart?
And does the amount of water the pulses are steeped in matter?
I'm gathering that pre-soaking is no longer the necessity it once seemed.
So I'd love an understanding of the optimum temperature to get fluffy, unctuous beans without the mush.
Any help or opinions greatly received.
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?
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