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Posts in category Recipe

gelatin filtration

I followed the recipe for gelatine filtration given in Texture (a lot of excellent stuff in there) – you can also read about it in The Curious Cook. The source material was carrots: I run some particularly unexciting and fibrous carrots through my crappy HEMA blender until I was bored – which in normal time would be two to five minutes. The resulting orange slurry was additioned with gelatine dissolved in hot water to achieve a 0.5% solution.

If you did a 0.5% agar-agar solution, once solidified you could probably walk on it. With gelatine you get a very weak gel. Don’t despair, give it the time to set properly. A few hourse in the fridge did the trick for me.

Then I took the weak, disappointing gelatine and popped it in the freezer. Then I forgot about it for a few days. When I remembered about it, it had frozen to a solid block – excellent. I then placed it in a paper coffe filter adapted to a colander and placed it all inside a recycled yogurth container. Then I forgot about it for a couple of days. As you can tell, this procedure is a sort of low intensity really slow food activity. 

What I found in the container yesterday was expected but nonetheless really odd. An almost perfectly transparent essence of carrots. It tastes like carrots, but it looks exactly like water. No viscosity, no color, no suspended anything. I could place a picture of it here, but it is faster to ask you to imagine a glass of mineral water – there, you got it.

Instead, here is a picture of what was left in the filter

 

Pretty unappetizing, but if you look at it in detail, you can see that the spongy frozen gelatin structure is quite visible

 

 

 

 

The amount of transferred carrot taste was quite shocking. See, when you drink carrot-flavored things or eat carrot-flavored dishes like carrot cake the carrot taste is reduced to a certain, simplified carroty sweetness. In the essence you will find the complete carrot taste experience, from the first note to the carrot aftertaste. From a sensorial point of view, this is really disturbing, because it is the carrot without the carrot… 

Next time I will try the filtration with something more exciting than carrots: I have read that anything water soluble works really well, and also some fat-soluble things. 

Chocolate chantilly with marsala

one of the truly new and exciting recipes I have found out about recently is chocolate chantilly. It employs the physical properties of chocolate and a thermal cycle to form a stable cream or even a crumbly foam. The recipe (also here) is due to Hervè This, and it is really simple and delicious. Somewhere I had read a hint that you can do the chantilly with any liquid, so I decided to try with marsala, an Italian sweet wine from Sicily.

I also decided to do a little experiment with the amount of liquid. I had previously did the chantilly with the same amount of water and chocolate: so a 200 grams tablet of dark semisweet chocolate with 200 grams of water. I suspect that the cocoa in the chocolate is what does all the work in the recipe, and in fact when I tried it with milk chocolate (that always has much less cocoa) it did not work so readily. 

Boldly, I added 150 grams of marsala to 120 grams of dark chocolate (68% cocoa). I melted it in a steel bowl placed insde a pot of water, and as soon as the chocolate had started melting I boldly added all of the marsala (if you add it a little bit at a time the chocolate "seizes", which is something you don’t want) and whisked it all together. I had a nice liquid cream, very liquid, and then I transfered the bowl into another bowl full of ice and water (the very plain bowls IKEA sells work really well for this), and I started whisking. The mixture chilled, it started forming bubbles, but no matter how much I chilled it it would not thicken. Not enough cocoa!

The beautiful thing about chantilly is that it is rather forgiving: if this happens, you can just return the whole mess to the pot of hot water and add more chocolate. This I did: 40 more grams of chocolate. Melt, whisk together until smooth. I returned to the ice bowl, and it all came together very satisfying, just like theory says. I whipped it until it became crumbly, and used some of it to make chocolate truffles (melt chocolate, temper it, dip little balls of chantilly in it, wait, coat with cocoa), but most of it is being eaten right now.

What does it taste like? Delicious! 

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