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Science in Massimo Bottura's parmesan cream.


kostbill
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Massimo Botture created the famous cacio e pepe risotto recipe with the parmesan cream.

 

I have seen the recipe online in many articles, and I don't know the original recipe, so for example, in almost all articles and blogs, the recipe calls for heating it up to 80C two times.

I don't know if Massimo Bottura used some kind of special equipment so that we don't have to do that.

 

Anyhow, what is important to me is the science of this. Why does it work?

- Why up to 80C?

- Why twice?

- What happens above 90C that is irreversible?

- Since we are heating up to 80C, is it reversible?

- What are the three layers composed of?

 

Anyone can help?

Thanks!

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The recipe that you cited does not mention specific temps.

 

I wonder if what he did originally was found to work so the 80C temp became  the official method without experimentation to see t hat it was optimal.

 

The three layers would be fat on top, the boiling liquid plus aqueous stuff in the cheese, and then cheese solids on the bottom.

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You mean that Massimo didn't mention specific temperatures?

Even so, there are temperatures that the cheese/water mixture should not go above from.

What is the explanation for these temperatures? For example, the proteins will do <something something> when above a specific temperature and so forth.

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1 hour ago, kostbill said:

You mean that Massimo didn't mention specific temperatures?

Even so, there are temperatures that the cheese/water mixture should not go above from.

What is the explanation for these temperatures? For example, the proteins will do <something something> when above a specific temperature and so forth.

 

The Saveur link you provided didn't mention temps.

 

Different proteins do things at different temperatures.  I don't know how milk protein behaves with heat,  but that is doubtless mostly at the bottom layer and denatured both by fermentation and the heating, and its discarded.  There may be some protein left in the aqueous phase.

 

Chemically speaking he's de-emulsified the cheese and extracted the soluble components that he separated into aqueous and lipid groups. Broadly speaking most food flavor is not in the protein, but in soluble stuff...so he extracted the flavor.

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Oh OK sorry for that, here is a link with temperatures:

https://www.chefspencil.com/recipe/risotto-cacio-e-pepe/

"Put the grated Parmigiano and water in a large pan and slowly heat to 80°C (176°F). It is very important that the temperature does not exceed 90°C (194°F)"

 

Anyway, yes I understand that he did what you also say, but you know, my questions were more technical, I just want to see what to search for, if I want to do the same with other kinds of cheese.

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21 minutes ago, kostbill said:

Oh OK sorry for that, here is a link with temperatures:

https://www.chefspencil.com/recipe/risotto-cacio-e-pepe/

"Put the grated Parmigiano and water in a large pan and slowly heat to 80°C (176°F). It is very important that the temperature does not exceed 90°C (194°F)"

 

Anyway, yes I understand that he did what you also say, but you know, my questions were more technical, I just want to see what to search for, if I want to do the same with other kinds of cheese.

 

Purely guessing here...

Maybe temps >90 don't yield as clean a separation of the top two layers ....or cause precipitation of stuff in one of them.

 

If its so darn important, you'd think he'd say why.   90 is only 10 degrees less than 100 which isn't that much. Perhaps its a matter of boiling agitates things too much.

 

My chemical intuition says that probably a much lower temp would work to separate the lipid, aqueous and solid phases and might preserve flavors better.

 

If you are going to do a lot of this, a separatory funnel would make your job easier.https://www.amazon.com/Separating-Funnel-500ml-PTFE-Stopcock/dp/B07HXGLHJP/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&hvadid=78271538341637&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&keywords=separatory+funnel&qid=1629295486&sr=8-5

 

Maybe he'd respond to an email.

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