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Kevin Liu

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  • in reply to: Making Vegan Marshmallows #9788
    Kevin Liu
    Kevin Liu
    Moderator

    Vrindavanath,

    It looks like you are not using enough stabilizer in the mix. The original article mentions that Genutine is a mixture of carrageenan and locust bean gum, but you don’t mention using any locust bean gum in your recipe. You might try adding some locust bean gum or maybe just a little xanthan?

    Can you post your full recipe here?

    in reply to: Question on powdered fats. #8708
    Kevin Liu
    Kevin Liu
    Moderator

    rms311: Probably not, but without a test, we can’t know for sure.

    Liquid oils do not “go bad” per se, rather they will go rancid – a chemical change that results in an off-flavor in the oil. Exposure to air, heat, and sunlight will increase the rate at which oils go rancid.

    N-zorbit-m should actually reduce the amount that oils are exposed to the atmosphere, as the powder functions by forming a protective barrier around oil molecules. With that being said, it’s important to store powderized oils in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place.

    N-zorbit-m and other maltodextrins can spoil if exposed to moisture; take care to avoid powderizing oils in particularly humid environments.

    Hope that helps, and always: if in doubt, throw it out.

    in reply to: Importance of molecular gastronomy #8644
    Kevin Liu
    Kevin Liu
    Moderator

    Hi Calvin,

    Molecular gastronomy and/or modernist cuisine is both a collection of cooking techniques informed by science as well as an overarching approach to the preparation and presentation of food.

    The best overview of the history and development of molecular gastronomy can arguably be found in Modernist Cuisine.

    Here are three important ways to look at the history:

    1. Most chefs and foodies would probably point to Ferran Adria’s work at el Bulli as defining the current ecosystem of modernist cuisine. If you look at this site, you’ll find that many of the plates adopt elements created or refined at el Bulli.
    2. The actual term “molecular gastronomy” was coined by French chemist Herve This in 1998 (originally, in 1988, he called it “molecular and physical gastronomy”). This always meant the term to refer to a field of study, not a style of cuisine. Regardless, the term has received some criticism for being both inaccurate and offputting to diners.
    3. In my opionin, the scientific roots of molecular gastronomy go back post-World-War-II America, when a premium was put on convenience products and new technologies. Technologies developed in this time included widespread home refrigeration, pre-frozen foods, and the electric blender. Also significant, the 1960s may have been the first time that “Sous-vide” cooking, or cooking food in plastic bags in a water bath, was tried.

    In summary, if you want to explore the role of science in molecular gastronomy, start by understanding how the food system in the United States changed after World War II and how a bias toward convenience created the technologies and products we have today.

    As for how has molecular gastronomy affected the food industry today, I’d say the effect has been minimal. Molecular gastronomy remains the specialty of top-tier restaurants. While the food industry could use techniques developed by chefs to create higher-quality packaged products, there simply doesn’t appear to be a market for these products.

    Much more significant to the food industry has been consumer demand for more healthy and health-defined foods (that is, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, organic, GMO-free, etc.) Just as the low-fat craze of previous decades spurred innovation in low-fat products, it looks like new innovations will focus on creating foods that are tasty, last long, and still meet the requirements of health-conscious consumers.

    in reply to: Trying to Make Fudge #8119
    Kevin Liu
    Kevin Liu
    Moderator

    @molecularnewbie,

    The reason most fudge recipes tell you to take sugar up to 235F or above has to do with the desired moisture content of the finished product. In the end, however, it’s not the 235F that’s important, it’s 110F, when the desired crystals within sugar is formed.

    So the question becomes: how do you decrease moisture level without raising the temperature to 235F?

    I have two ideas for how to approach this, but I’m not sure if either will work:

    1. Heat the jaggery up to its maximum non-burning temperature and hold for a long time (like, 30 minutes to an hour.) Perhaps enough moisture will slowly be driven off. You can even use a blow-dryer to increase air circulation and encourage evaporation.
    2. Bind up some of the moisture content with a hydrocolloid. Maybe if you dose the butter or condensed milk with a TINY bit of xanthan, or perhaps tapioca maltodextrin it will bind up the moisture content and give your fudge just enough structure. Now that I think about it, tapioca maltodextrin would probably be preferable of the two.

    I’m pretty confident you can achieve what you’re going after, but it will definitely take some experimentation.

    Looking forward to your results!

    in reply to: Stuffed Gnocchi with Egg Yolks #7628
    Kevin Liu
    Kevin Liu
    Moderator

    Philip,

    This was a tricky question! I dug around and this is the best summary of the research I found:

    Freezing Egg Products

    basically, as of the writing of the above chapter, scientists still were not sure about all the mechanisms that cause egg yolks to gel at freezer temperatures. However, various researchers had developed solutions to the problem.

    Here are the most applicable to the home chef:

    • -dope the egg with 2% salt (you’re already doing this, so you could try increasing the salt content)
    • -add some papain to the yolks. papain is a naturally-occurring enzyme found in Papaya that breaks down proteins. It’s commonly sold in ethnic markets in powdered form as meat tenderizer. Not sure how much to add, and you may run the risk of the yolks becoming too runny.
    • -try “overmixing” the yolks. the chapter mentions this and I’ve noticed the effect when testing scrambled egg recipes. If you toss the yolks in a blender and just beat the heck out of them, they actually lose some of their gelling ability. However, keep in mind that the yolks will be crazy aerated; you could vacuum them if you have a vacuum sealer to get the air out, or let them rest for a while.

    A couple of other ideas, off the top of my head:

    • -It’s pretty well known that more alkaline egg yolks are more runny. Not sure how this would affect gelation in freezing conditions, but it’s easy enough to try doping your yolks with a little baking soda.
    • -The chapter above mentions that cooking thawed, gelled egg yolks at 60°C/140°F causes the yolk to become runny again. You could maybe try pre-cooking the yolks at this temperature; I know that this sort of “tempering” works with chocolate and some vegetables, but I’m not sure if the gelling mechanism in yolks is the same.
    • -And of course you could always try creating a themoreversible fluid gel that happened to taste like egg yolk using various hydrocolloids… 🙂

    Hope that helps and be sure to let us know how your experiments go.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by Kevin Liu Kevin Liu.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by Kevin Liu Kevin Liu.
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Forum Replies Created

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • in reply to: Making Vegan Marshmallows #9788
    Kevin Liu
    Kevin Liu
    Moderator

    Vrindavanath,

    It looks like you are not using enough stabilizer in the mix. The original article mentions that Genutine is a mixture of carrageenan and locust bean gum, but you don’t mention using any locust bean gum in your recipe. You might try adding some locust bean gum or maybe just a little xanthan?

    Can you post your full recipe here?

    in reply to: Question on powdered fats. #8708
    Kevin Liu
    Kevin Liu
    Moderator

    rms311: Probably not, but without a test, we can’t know for sure.

    Liquid oils do not “go bad” per se, rather they will go rancid – a chemical change that results in an off-flavor in the oil. Exposure to air, heat, and sunlight will increase the rate at which oils go rancid.

    N-zorbit-m should actually reduce the amount that oils are exposed to the atmosphere, as the powder functions by forming a protective barrier around oil molecules. With that being said, it’s important to store powderized oils in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place.

    N-zorbit-m and other maltodextrins can spoil if exposed to moisture; take care to avoid powderizing oils in particularly humid environments.

    Hope that helps, and always: if in doubt, throw it out.

    in reply to: Importance of molecular gastronomy #8644
    Kevin Liu
    Kevin Liu
    Moderator

    Hi Calvin,

    Molecular gastronomy and/or modernist cuisine is both a collection of cooking techniques informed by science as well as an overarching approach to the preparation and presentation of food.

    The best overview of the history and development of molecular gastronomy can arguably be found in Modernist Cuisine.

    Here are three important ways to look at the history:

    1. Most chefs and foodies would probably point to Ferran Adria’s work at el Bulli as defining the current ecosystem of modernist cuisine. If you look at this site, you’ll find that many of the plates adopt elements created or refined at el Bulli.
    2. The actual term “molecular gastronomy” was coined by French chemist Herve This in 1998 (originally, in 1988, he called it “molecular and physical gastronomy”). This always meant the term to refer to a field of study, not a style of cuisine. Regardless, the term has received some criticism for being both inaccurate and offputting to diners.
    3. In my opionin, the scientific roots of molecular gastronomy go back post-World-War-II America, when a premium was put on convenience products and new technologies. Technologies developed in this time included widespread home refrigeration, pre-frozen foods, and the electric blender. Also significant, the 1960s may have been the first time that “Sous-vide” cooking, or cooking food in plastic bags in a water bath, was tried.

    In summary, if you want to explore the role of science in molecular gastronomy, start by understanding how the food system in the United States changed after World War II and how a bias toward convenience created the technologies and products we have today.

    As for how has molecular gastronomy affected the food industry today, I’d say the effect has been minimal. Molecular gastronomy remains the specialty of top-tier restaurants. While the food industry could use techniques developed by chefs to create higher-quality packaged products, there simply doesn’t appear to be a market for these products.

    Much more significant to the food industry has been consumer demand for more healthy and health-defined foods (that is, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, organic, GMO-free, etc.) Just as the low-fat craze of previous decades spurred innovation in low-fat products, it looks like new innovations will focus on creating foods that are tasty, last long, and still meet the requirements of health-conscious consumers.

    in reply to: Trying to Make Fudge #8119
    Kevin Liu
    Kevin Liu
    Moderator

    @molecularnewbie,

    The reason most fudge recipes tell you to take sugar up to 235F or above has to do with the desired moisture content of the finished product. In the end, however, it’s not the 235F that’s important, it’s 110F, when the desired crystals within sugar is formed.

    So the question becomes: how do you decrease moisture level without raising the temperature to 235F?

    I have two ideas for how to approach this, but I’m not sure if either will work:

    1. Heat the jaggery up to its maximum non-burning temperature and hold for a long time (like, 30 minutes to an hour.) Perhaps enough moisture will slowly be driven off. You can even use a blow-dryer to increase air circulation and encourage evaporation.
    2. Bind up some of the moisture content with a hydrocolloid. Maybe if you dose the butter or condensed milk with a TINY bit of xanthan, or perhaps tapioca maltodextrin it will bind up the moisture content and give your fudge just enough structure. Now that I think about it, tapioca maltodextrin would probably be preferable of the two.

    I’m pretty confident you can achieve what you’re going after, but it will definitely take some experimentation.

    Looking forward to your results!

    in reply to: Stuffed Gnocchi with Egg Yolks #7628
    Kevin Liu
    Kevin Liu
    Moderator

    Philip,

    This was a tricky question! I dug around and this is the best summary of the research I found:

    Freezing Egg Products

    basically, as of the writing of the above chapter, scientists still were not sure about all the mechanisms that cause egg yolks to gel at freezer temperatures. However, various researchers had developed solutions to the problem.

    Here are the most applicable to the home chef:

    • -dope the egg with 2% salt (you’re already doing this, so you could try increasing the salt content)
    • -add some papain to the yolks. papain is a naturally-occurring enzyme found in Papaya that breaks down proteins. It’s commonly sold in ethnic markets in powdered form as meat tenderizer. Not sure how much to add, and you may run the risk of the yolks becoming too runny.
    • -try “overmixing” the yolks. the chapter mentions this and I’ve noticed the effect when testing scrambled egg recipes. If you toss the yolks in a blender and just beat the heck out of them, they actually lose some of their gelling ability. However, keep in mind that the yolks will be crazy aerated; you could vacuum them if you have a vacuum sealer to get the air out, or let them rest for a while.

    A couple of other ideas, off the top of my head:

    • -It’s pretty well known that more alkaline egg yolks are more runny. Not sure how this would affect gelation in freezing conditions, but it’s easy enough to try doping your yolks with a little baking soda.
    • -The chapter above mentions that cooking thawed, gelled egg yolks at 60°C/140°F causes the yolk to become runny again. You could maybe try pre-cooking the yolks at this temperature; I know that this sort of “tempering” works with chocolate and some vegetables, but I’m not sure if the gelling mechanism in yolks is the same.
    • -And of course you could always try creating a themoreversible fluid gel that happened to taste like egg yolk using various hydrocolloids… 🙂

    Hope that helps and be sure to let us know how your experiments go.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by Kevin Liu Kevin Liu.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by Kevin Liu Kevin Liu.
Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)