This recipe is a great starter for people getting used to working with chocolate. I use Abuelita Mexican chocolate to add a bit of spice and crunchy. Super delicious and easy to make.
The Pastry Incident
The space race trickled into kitchens in the 60s and 70s, including one curious tool that's faded away in the years since: the thermal pin, a heat pipe skewer that can halve cooking times for roasts:
Heat pipes are thermal superconductors, transferring heat 500-1000 times more effectively than solid copper (some people in the sous vide thread have discussed copper pins). They're hollow tubes with the air evacuated and a small amount of working fluid, often water. The usable temperature range is limited by the triple point and the critical point, with additional constraints near the edges. Water is effective from 20C-280C /70F-530F, which comfortably spans most cooking temperatures.
Modernist Bread has an excellent section on how bread bakes, including a diagram of the internal heat pipes that develop, summarized here. (click for a good photo!)
Sous-vide solves the overcooking side of the gradient problem, but it's still limited by total heat diffusion time-- doubling the size of a cut quadruples the time needed for the center to reach temperature. Heat pipe pins should make larger cuts practical, or normal cuts cook faster. Here's a graph from "The heat pipe and its potential for enhancing the cooking and cooling of meat joints", showing average temperatures over time for 1kg joints of meat convection baked at 190C/375F for 110 minutes (foil removed for the last 30 minutes):
Thermal pins were sold commercially from 1956 to about 1990. They're listed occasionally for about $20 on ebay. They even made potato baking racks with heat pipes-- though now you can easily par-cook a potato in the microwave and finish it in the oven.
I don't know why production of thermal pins stopped, or what fundamental problems limited their usage. It seems like pans and commercial griddles would be improved by adding heat pipes to spread heat throughout and avoid hot or cold spots. Perhaps roasts fell out of favor as the culture of entertaining shifted away from monolithic centerpieces to smaller, more precisely cooked portions.
I've been working with the Boiron purée recipe tables (chocolate and PdF, ice cream) - some good successes. However the document is very terse and I wondered whether anyone who is experienced with these formulae might clarify what the expected result is:
- "Fruit ganaches" and "Fruit and caramel ganaches". I think these are supposed to produce a ganache for cutting and enrobing, although when I tried it came out far too soft to be dipped???
- "Ganaches to be combined with fruit pastes" - I think these are to be layered above PdF and enrobed - is that right?
- "Chocolate molded sweets" - Are these intended to be served as is, ie moulded without a layer of couverture going into the mould first? However the instructions talk about pouring into a frame.
- "Fruity delight" - looks like a fairly light dessert to go into a parfait glass. Has anyone done these and how do they turn out? How do they compare to the sabayon-based ones in the Boiron ice cream book?
I'm going to start working through some of the ice creams next week and it will be interesting to see how these turn out.
Thanks for any advice.
Long story, but I have a friend with whom I share a lust for French patisserie in general and kouign aman in particular. We have another friend, kind of a starry chef in France. We'd like to surprise our Parisian friend by being at least marginally competent with the kouign the next time we meet up.
I had always heard of a specialty rolling pin called a Tutove (I think it's the name of the manufacturer). It's supposed to be the Secret Weapon of puff pastry. The idea is that the pin has grooves/ridges that better place butter into the layers of dough.
So I found one (a real one, made by Tutove) on Ebay at a good price, but I need any basic tips y'all have for using it. Anyone here use one, or have a resource for how to roll with a Tutove?
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