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[Modernist Cuisine] Caramelized Carrot Soup (3•301 and 6•150)


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  • 1 month later...
I think there is something missing in the recipe for Coconut Foam. The herbs total 14 grams and we are to save 10 grams of the puree but the recipe says to use 20 grams of it after straining.


This is one of my pet peeves with MC as well; scaling of some components of recipes often has no relationship to other components. In this case, the default weight of herbs listed is much smaller than what you need for one batch of coconut chutney foam. Another example is with the rub for beef cheek pastrami, except in that case they give you 6 times more than you need.

In any event, I prepared the foam base today for dinner tomorrow. I couldn't find "Coconut Cream" anywhere, but did find a 200g block of "Creamed Coconut" at a local store. It was very hard, and called for dissolving in hot water. I ended up dissolving it in a can of coconut milk and using 400g of the resulting mix. It turns out that the mix isn't sweet at all, and with 20g of the herb paste turns quite green rather than the white in the photo. I laboriously picked leaves off the mint and cilantro (2x weights called for to be sure I had enough), whizzed them up in the food processor, and then attempted to force the resulting mix through a strainer. It didn't go through easily and I ended up with a greenish black paste on the other side of the strainer. There wasn't nearly enough paste (4-5g) so I just took some of the mix not yet put through the strainer to top it off to 20g. I used Chef Rubber Gellan, which I'm not sure is low-acyl or not. The mix set up a little bit but I wouldn't call it a firm gel.

I can't say that I like the flavor much — not sweet and a somewhat bitter/gritty flavor from the herbs. Perhaps when aerated out of the siphon and paired with the soup it will taste better, but I have my doubts.

Has anyone else had success with the Coconut Chutney Foam recipe? What's your secret?

Post-meal edit: As always, the soup tasted great and was a hit. I made a triple batch and it worked and tasted just as good as my earlier single-batch versions. I cored the carrots this time, but I can't say I tasted any difference. The foam worked well mechanically (remained stable) and visually (green pillow of foam floating on orange soup looked cool), but I'm still not convinced that the foam adds anything from a flavor perspective. It definitely tasted better with the soup than stand-alone, but I'll probably pass the next time I make the soup.
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  • 2 weeks later...

This is the latest version I have made. I got several complaints about the texture of the micro-cubed ginger, tarragon and ajwain seeds, so I powdered the seeds and left out the tarragon. I found a recipe in MC that uses tapioca pearls to carry oyster flavor into a dish. I decided to cook some small tapioca pearls and soak them in ginger juice overnight. It worked like a charm. The pearls were infused with the ginger flavor without the fibrous texture of fresh ginger. I tried Seattle Food Geeks suggestion for coconut foam but added 1% agar and .2% xanthum gum to thicken it a bit. It all came together very nicely and was the subject of much conversation among my guests.

Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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  • 2 weeks later...

Made this after reading this thread through. First off, the recipe corrections have been made in the second printing of the book so no need to check the errata page. I was concerned about the burning/adding water issue but had no problems, in fact the opposite!

I was making only a half recipe so added only 40g of butter and no water. Brought the cooker quickly to pressure and then turned the heat down low (I have an induction hob so the heat reduces almost instantly) and after 20 minutes there was plenty of liquid but not a lot of caramelisation. I took it back up to pressure and cooked for another five minutes which gave a medium caramelisation. So the trick here seems to be getting the heat right after the pressure has been obtained.

One other observation is that the recipe states that 635g of carrot juice can be obatined from 700g of carrots. Not from my carrots! I have a juicer that produces a pretty dry pulp but even so I could manage only 360g of juice from 700g of carrots. Maybe you need fresh pulled carrots for this rather than cheapo supermarket ones that have probably been in the store for three weeks?

The result was amazing. Superb caramel flavour and an incredible sweetness despite using the cheapest carrots I could find (65p a kilo). I have never found that elusive 'sweetness' of shop bought carrots despite using stove top recipes that usually call for a spoonful of sugar to be added. This tasted like half a pound of sugar had been added despite there being none!

I spent ages chopping the ginger finely and it gave the perfect 'zing' every now and then when catching a piece. There was no problem with the texture when cut so finely. It occurs to me that this might work well and look good with a ribbon of ginger gel laid across the foam and soup or perhaps centred tagliatelle style. Only needs the one ribbon per dish though, anyone got any ideas what I might do with the rest of a sheet of ginger gel?

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You made one half of the recipe but forgot that it calls for 635 grams of carrot juice from 1.4 kilos of carrots. You should easily have gotten 315 grams of juice from 700 grams of carrots.

The ginger gel sounds okay but I like the infused tapioca pearls since they are easily picked up on the spoon and the "dosage" can be controlled quit easily. I guess you could use excess ginger gel in any sushi like preparation. I have made one for many years using a cored out cucumber stuffed with crab meat and a few slices of roasted red pepper, spinach and pickled ginger. Use the gel instead of the pickled ginger and slice in 3/4" rounds. Serve with a ponzu sauce or your favorite asian preparation.

Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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You're right, bit of brain fade there! I weighed the juice but forgot that I had already weighed the carrots to 50% before juicing :unsure:  I ended up using all the 360g of juice instead of the called for 317.5g and it gave just the right consistency without having to add any water afterwards. Carrot juice probably tastes better than water anyway!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Greeting, i tried the pressure cooking with soda method with carrot and caramelized onion, both worked very well,

although the recipe is well written and easy to follow, and my trial outcome are more the satisfaction, i am curious why baking soda would catalyze the caramelization reaction ? 3-300 "add a bit of baking soda to the pressure cooker to catalyze the reaction. "

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Hugo Lin said:

Greeting, i tried the pressure cooking with soda method with carrot and caramelized onion, both worked very well,

although the recipe is well written and easy to follow, and my trial outcome are more the satisfaction, i am curious why baking soda would catalyze the caramelization reaction ? 3-300 "add a bit of baking soda to the pressure cooker to catalyze the reaction. "

Maillard reactions (the caramelizing effect) occur more quickly under alkaline conditions. Acid conditions inhibit Maillard reactions.

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I made it for XMAS day dinner as the soup course. One of my guests tends to be a very finicky eater. She loved it. She came up to me afterward and said that she does not like carrots at all, but loved the soup. It was a hit with everyone. I made carotene butter using the refrigerator method and bottled carrot juice from Costco. It really was wonderful.

Pre XMAS I also tried this method using acorn squash and just pureeing the results for a mashed accompaniment. While it was a bit thin, it was delicious and fast. I have had my pressure cooker for many years, but it has always ben relegated to the few times a year I make corned beef and cabbage. Now I love it more.

THanks

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  • 3 weeks later...

I made this a few times now with great results. I used fresh carrot juice and finished it with some butter and it was perfect. I was shocked at how flavorful it is. I paired it with a 63 degree egg, pickled carrots, fennel, bacon. I also tried the technique with fennel and it worked out perfect. I didn't make a soup just a puree that I used on a pizza. So good. 

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The Caramelized Carrot Soup was superb.Our pressure cooker hadn't seen much use either. I sense this will change.

On a humorous note, my wife microwaved a reserved portion of "Chicken Tikka Masala" marinade and took a spoonful, thinking it was leftover soup..... I ran in to see what the screaming was about.

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  • 3 weeks later...
To what extent is it important to melt the butter without evaporating off all the water it contains? Since butter is, what, 15% water, could this have an impact on whether the carrots burn? (I'm thinking that normally, for sautéeing, you want to get rid of that water, which is why you wait until the foam subsides.)

Also, has anyone tried this with anything other than plain orange carrots? I'm thinking that red carrots could make a strikingly coloured soup.

I tried this with pineapple and coconut oil and it browned nicely. I then took the caramelized pineapple and pureed with fresh pineapple. It was served atop the panna cotta prepared by Melissa Clark in the NY Times in January. I discovered as much as I like caramelized anything, fresh pineapple is still better! But mixed with the caramelized pineapple, it brought out the best of both.
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To what extent is it important to melt the butter without evaporating off all the water it contains? Since butter is, what, 15% water, could this have an impact on whether the carrots burn? (I'm thinking that normally, for sautéeing, you want to get rid of that water, which is why you wait until the foam subsides.)

Also, has anyone tried this with anything other than plain orange carrots? I'm thinking that red carrots could make a strikingly coloured soup.

I have used it to make caramelized Butternut Squash as well as Brussels sprouts. Both turned out nicely. FOr the Butternut Squash, I used the carotene butter in it but didn't thin it any more since it made a very thick and extremely tasty soup with just the amount of liquid in the squash. After it was cooked, I pureed in the pot with a stick blender, then added the carotene butter and just a hint of cloves. Yum Yum.

It was a big hit. It turned out very smooth.
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I've tried the technique with butternut squash (without the juice, only the caramelized puree as the base for a risotto), with beets (for a soup with nice color!) and pears (with agar and xantana to solidify, then cut into square blocks that were put into bluee chesse water).

But the best variation was developed by a friend, who writes the great blog Umami Madrid, the first home cook in Spain trying modern techniques and showing them in his blog for years: caramelized carrots with orange juice instead of carrot juice, crayfish (or similar seafood), almost-burnt hazelnuts, sichuan pepper oil (or chili oil), and chervil. Excellent mix of textures and flavors.

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  • 1 month later...

I've now made this a few times, and it's always a hit with the guests. I don't have a centrifuge (yet, but I'm keeping my eyes on Craigs list)
so I use a cheese cloth to wring out the liquid from the solid carrot, then I have been drying the leftover carrot pulp then powdering that for other uses.

Caramelized Carrot Soup. Coconut Chutney Foam, Ajowan seeds, Minced Ginger.

One question I have though, is how can I make the coconut milk and coconut cream from a coconut? is that explained in the book?

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There are many recipes on how to make coconut milk and cream on the 'net, but I just bought a can of good coconut milk from the store. As always, it had separated into the milk and cream, which was good. I simmered the chopped herbs with the coconut milk/cream, and then pureed the mixture before pushing what I could through a conical strainer (don't bother with a chinois). I then tossed a tsp of the remaining puree into the strained milk, did the gelling part, added the spices, and loaded the siphon. I heated the siphon per the directions, but it was not really worth it. By the time it was served, it was room temperature. But the herbal/menthol and heat mixture was a hit as if the soup was not enough.

I think there is something missing in the recipe for Coconut Foam. The herbs total 14 grams and we are to save 10 grams of the puree but the recipe says to use 20 grams of it after straining.


This is one of my pet peeves with MC as well; scaling of some components of recipes often has no relationship to other components. In this case, the default weight of herbs listed is much smaller than what you need for one batch of coconut chutney foam. Another example is with the rub for beef cheek pastrami, except in that case they give you 6 times more than you need.

In any event, I prepared the foam base today for dinner tomorrow. I couldn't find "Coconut Cream" anywhere, but did find a 200g block of "Creamed Coconut" at a local store. It was very hard, and called for dissolving in hot water. I ended up dissolving it in a can of coconut milk and using 400g of the resulting mix. It turns out that the mix isn't sweet at all, and with 20g of the herb paste turns quite green rather than the white in the photo. I laboriously picked leaves off the mint and cilantro (2x weights called for to be sure I had enough), whizzed them up in the food processor, and then attempted to force the resulting mix through a strainer. It didn't go through easily and I ended up with a greenish black paste on the other side of the strainer. There wasn't nearly enough paste (4-5g) so I just took some of the mix not yet put through the strainer to top it off to 20g. I used Chef Rubber Gellan, which I'm not sure is low-acyl or not. The mix set up a little bit but I wouldn't call it a firm gel.

I can't say that I like the flavor much ”” not sweet and a somewhat bitter/gritty flavor from the herbs. Perhaps when aerated out of the siphon and paired with the soup it will taste better, but I have my doubts.

Has anyone else had success with the Coconut Chutney Foam recipe? What's your secret?

Post-meal edit: As always, the soup tasted great and was a hit. I made a triple batch and it worked and tasted just as good as my earlier single-batch versions. I cored the carrots this time, but I can't say I tasted any difference. The foam worked well mechanically (remained stable) and visually (green pillow of foam floating on orange soup looked cool), but I'm still not convinced that the foam adds anything from a flavor perspective. It definitely tasted better with the soup than stand-alone, but I'll probably pass the next time I make the soup.
 
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  • 3 weeks later...

I've now made this a few times, and it's always a hit with the guests. I don't have a centrifuge (yet, but I'm keeping my eyes on Craigs list)

so I use a cheese cloth to wring out the liquid from the solid carrot, then I have been drying the leftover carrot pulp then powdering that for other uses.

The MC site has a variation of the Centrifuged Carotene Butter that does not call for a centrifuge. It is really easy, and worth the while. But what no one has mentioned is the caramelized carrot pulp leftover after straining the butter. This is the most delicious little tidbit. I put a small dollop in the middle of the bowl, and sprinkled some tiny chive tips, tarragon, and ginger on top.

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  • 7 months later...

It seems that the recipe for the Carrot soup differs between Modernist Cuisine and Modernist Cuisine at home. In Modernist Cuisine it calls for 80g of butter for 500g of carrots. In Modernist Cuisine at Home it calls for 113 of butter and also 30g of water. Any idea which one is better?

I haven't made the carrot soup with the At Home Recipe, but have used the same principal for making it with butternut squash.

Ideas?

Thanks.

Jack

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I'm not absolutely sure on this, but I think it's because some readers had trouble with scorching the soup. So we started recommending people add a little bit of water. That seemed to help people. If you never had problems with burning, however, you might not need to add the water.

Judy Wilson

Editorial Assistant

Modernist Cuisine

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I've made a couple of the soups, starting with the carrot, and found that the results are very salty, so much so that we could not finish our servings . I believe the volume measurement of 1.25 tsp of salt in the ingredient list is too much. Looking at it closer, I found that 1.25 tsp of regular table salt does not equal 5g, but in fact 9g. What sort of salt is being used by the cooking lab for these measurements? I suspected sea salt, but I got 8.125g for 1.25 tsp.

As recommended, I'll be sticking to weight instead of volume!

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