I am filled with awe that someone actually went through with this experiment... quite hilarious!
I was one of the testers, and it's a great cake, although the layers came out very domed and a bit cracked (I made it twice before getting back to them with the results, and it happened both times), making stacking them a bit tricky (I flipped the bottom layer upside down and used a shallow bowl as a serving dish, and mentioned the problem in my feedback). I was wondering if they ironed out this issue, but when I checked online, I saw that the recipe has been published in the February issue of 'Cook's Country'. I have a subscription to 'Cook's Illustrated', but unfortunately it costs a fortune to get here in Denmark, so subscribing to 'Cook's Country', too, is not an option :(
Have any of you seen this/tried this recipe? I was wondering about the final ingredient list and procedure (particularly whether they cut back to one egg white, which I suspected they might), so if anyone has this info., I'd really appreciate it.
Our stove is in the final stages of decrepitude, and we've decided to replace it; where we live, the readily-available brands include Gaggenau (we're currently wavering between it and Miele), but the reviews on their products are few (except in Dutch, and I don't speak Dutch!). They look well-made and reliable, but that's to sort of thing you just don't discover until you've actually workd with a unit.
So, I wondered whether any of you have worked with Gaggenau ovens/stovetops, and if so, whether they seemed reliable and pleasant to work with; we use our kitchen a lot, so this matters.
Have any of you successfully replaced evaporated milk with something else in an icing or candy recipe?
And if so, what did you use?
I'm in Denmark, and evaporated milk is not to be found anywhere; I've spent the entire morning looking.
Unfortunately, I am planning on testing a CI recipe (the 'Wellsley Fudge Cake'), which some of you may also be taking on. I was fairly certain I could find evaporated milk, but when I went to get it, I found that the tins were actually sweetened condensed milk, and (because of the added sugar and the relative water content) that's no substitute.
The most sensible sounding suggestions come from this site:
http://www.ochef.com/664.htm but I have no idea how they'd work out in practice.
IFF you have any experience with this, please share! I'd appreciate it enormously.
I used to find this in a lot of shops in the city (and thank you, izatryt, for reminding me of the name, I could only remember the way the packet looked), but now I can't seem to find it anyplace (actually, I didn't even have much luck finding sales staff that knew what 'marzipan' meant, not a good sign). And it is the best marzipan I've ever come across... here all I can get is the wretched local Odense stuff, and that's just no good, too heavy :(
I'm not certain how I missed this, but I only this moment came across Ferran Adria's tableware designs: http://www.facesdesign.com/indexf.html
Although I don't love all the ideas on the site, I do like seeing this sort of thinking; it's so easy to take for granted the objects we use every day, even if they're not necessarily ideal for our purposes.
Any thoughts on this, and have any of you ever had ideas for practical revamps of tableware, which might update or replace traditional designs?
Not that long ago, you mentioned your granddaughter's sensitivity to pasta, and I was wondering how the gnocchi went over... gnocchi are still pasta, although they involve the addition of some potato, and since there are evidently quite a few SE member with assorted food sensitivities, I think this of general interest. I'm really hoping to hear that this worked out well :)
(The PM of the holiday, meal, that is, not of someone who ate it ;))
I made most of the holiday meal this year, which consisted of roast goose with bacon, sage, and apple stuffing, red cabbage and caramelized potatoes (a Danish tradition, and a joint effort involving my boyfriend, his brother and, occasionally, his father), followed by a plum pudding. There were cookies, assorted candies, tobacco truffles, and coffee as to stave off starvation in the hours between lunch and dinner.
The tobacco truffles worked out well, although my first batch broke. The tobacco flavour wasn't particularly assertive, just a fairly elusive note that blended seamlessly with the chocolate (this was what I'd been hoping for). After my boyfriend and myself, my boyfriend's mother picked one up, placed it in her mouth, glanced about at us, and chewed, first cautiously, then more vigorously, hunting for the anticipated weirdness/unpleasantness. Then she reached for another. I'll definitely make these again.
The roast goose came out beautifully, with very tender meat and extremely crisp skin, thanks to a great goose and a reliable recipe (from 'The Best Recipe'), although the gravy went a bit to hell, owing to the removal of the wing-tips by the butcher; there wasn't enough gelatin in the bones of the neck alone to give the gravy a nice consistency.
Once the plum pudding was set out, I paid close attention to the texture of the plum pudding, particularly because of the fruitcake (and eggnog) thread that PumpkinBear started just a little while ago. This morning I had another slice for breakfast, dissecting it by the window; definitely not dry, nor rubbery/gummy. It made me think a bit of a the texture of a good honey cake. With unsweetened espresso, it tastes sweet, but not aggressively so.
How did the rest of you make out with your holiday dinners? Any experiments, triumphs, disappointments, or discoveries?
Well, it's been quite a day. I made fondant according to my usual recipe, and, even with my boyfriend and I taking turns for an hour, it wouldn't come together as fondant. Discouraged, I turned to item two on the list: truffles. Same recipe as always. The mix broke. It is a revolting greasy mess.
Fondant involved 5 C. sugar, 1.5 C. water, 1tbsp vinegar. Boiled to 114C (237F), and acted correctly for the soft ball stage. Cooled to the room temperature and worked vigorously. Then... nothing.
Truffles involved 0.5 C. cream, heated to simmer, and poured over 227g (8oz) coarsely chopped chocolate (73%). Then, as I mixed, the whole thing broke.
Anyone ever have similar experiences? Discovered the cause?
I have a (possibly morbid) desire to eat there soon, since each time I've been there, something so fantastically bizarre has happened, that it was impossible for me to focus on the quality of the food, which actually seemed as though it might be good.
A message board on Chowhound suggested that the place had closed due to gentrification pressures, but their website (http://www.thelandmarktavern.org/) is till up.
A couple of recent postings suggest that there really is room for a conversation category that is strictly nuts-and-bolts, no fooling about; a category where the irrelevant, hearsay, and pure visceral reaction are in the category of 'inappropriate content', and would be removed as such.
This would be a category in which BOTH the thread topics and the responses posted to them were objective, matter-of-fact, AND previously researched (if you're serious about something, it isn't reasonable to expect other people to do your research for you, Google it, or go to the library before asking!) So, no 'WHAT IS fermented shark?' in this category, since that can be looked up or asked elsewhere).
For example, a starting question such as 'Has anyone made fermented shark?' stated as a simple unadorned query; responses would be only objective, first-hand accounts.
No 'GROSS! Why do you want to cook that?' or 'that's too difficult to do at home' or 'That is a bad idea, you shouldn't do it';
once someone has reached the point of wanting to know whether or not anyone has tried an ingredient, source, or technique, then that is that--not opinions or reminisces--which they want to hear about.
So what do you think? Wouldn't a category dedicated to high-level technical questions remove ease some of the grouchiness that's been evident in the forums recently?
I'm interested in any FIRST-hand reports on how they treat knives, and how they deal with being sluiced down with boiling water (they are supposedly fine with temperatures up to 350F, but there's no way of knowing if that refers to wet or dry heat).
With the economy not looking so great these days, have any of you done some numbers-crunching on home-made versions of certain foods?
Frozen chicken thighs+backs have been heavily discounted at a local supermarket (about $2.50/kilo), so I bought half a dozen bags, and began making chicken broth.
Afterwards, I decided to pick the meat from the bones, for later use. My boyfriend wondered how much waste came out of the original 2 kilos (about 4 pounds) of chicken thigh and backs, so we weighed it: about 40% of the original weight gets binned.
This got me wondering about the cost of making broth at home: Figuring in the hour of electricity involved (electric stove), it cost about $8.50 (possibly less; we went for the outside figure for the electricity) for 2 litres of broth, plus a bit over 600g of meat for use in pasta filling or something.
Anyone have a particularly effective approach to getting the grit out of dried mushrooms?
I break the dried mushrooms down to the size I want, put them in a small pitcher, and pour about a cup of boiling water over them. Then, I let them stand, giving them an occasional poke. When I use them, I scoop out the mushroom pieces, being careful to not disturb the dirt residue at the bottom, and add most of the fluid above the level of the sediment).
I frequently find grains of sand or dirt in the finished product, however, and although I've simply regarded this as one of those things you have to live with, I'm wondering...
Any of you successfully de-grit you reconstituted dried mushrooms?
(THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE A CONTROVERSIAL POSTING, please play nice!)
Do you tell guests, when you use an ingredient that they may not like (I'm not talking about health-related or religious restrictions; I believe these should be respected)?
Or do you go quietly ahead, knowing that your guests are very likely to enjoy the dish, if they don't know that something a bit out of the ordinary is present in their food?
I'm not talking about the intent to trick guests into eating something, by the way.
In my post about using a pinch of tobacco to flavour chocolate truffles, dbcurrie raised the very valid point of considering guests' preferences.
The thing is, how far do you take take this?
When we prepare food that goes beyond 'just fill 'em up' (a meal prepared for others is is usually intended to be at least a bit beyond the ordinary), at what point does our judgement of the best choice conflict with accommodating guests?
I know, for example, that the presence of dairy products in savoury dishes makes them as inedible to me as the contents of a spittoon, but if there IS dairy in such a dish, and I can't tell, I don't want to be enlightened.
I know my attitude is purely psychological, and there are probably many things I would miss out on, if I were informed, out of courtesy, that they contained milk, cream, yoghurt, etc.
Your turn: What are the ethics involved in telling guests precisely what is in their food, and what determines this?
I have a sort of vague recollection of this being a brief fad in the culinary world, when I was in my teens, but can't remember much about it. I didn't pay attention.
Now, I'm seriously considering it as a flavouring for this year's chocolate truffles.
I thought a bit about what I might add to the mix that would resonate without adding an alien or pointless note, and rejected everything except espresso (I'm toying with the idea of ground cinnamon or cardamom). Then I wondered if I could think of at least one other flavour that would work as well... and thought of tobacco. I'm aware of the risks of nicotine poisoning, and making the flavour too strong. On the other hand, there IS chewing tobacco (I know that it's spit out, not swallowed, but some of it must be absorbed), and I'm thinking in terms of adding perhaps half a dozen shreds of tobacco to the mixture.
Have any of you experimented with tobacco as a flavouring ingredient, and if so, what were your experiences?
It comes in a small, rectangular packet of heavy, plasticized foil, and is sealed at both ends; it is an organic Italian brand, and the name – which I unfortunately cannot remember, or I would look for it online – appears on a paper label. The place where I used to buy it ('Dom's Fine foods', on Lafayette) closed some time ago, and I haven't seen it anyplace else in NYC, when I've visited recently.
This is a marzipan with a very fine, lovely texture, and a distinct almond note; if anyone could tell me the name of this (or suggest a brand with similar qualities), I'd really appreciate that (I can get Anton Berg and similar brands here in Denmark, but don't like them very much; the flavour is more nut-like than almond-y, and the texture is coarse).
In the past few years I've spent a great deal of time in Denmark, which essentially does not have a homelessness problem, so each time I return to NYC, I find the sight of people begging on the street really painful.
When I see these people, it's hard not to give money--that's what they want, right?--but if they have so little, I imagine that they probably go for the cheapest food going. That's GOT to be depressing (yes, I know some of them spend their money on drugs and alcohol, but I doubt they all do), since one of the marginally affordable pleasures is eating well.
So I find myself ducking into the nearest decent bake shop, and getting something nice for them to eat, too... just a change, you know? to make them feel a bit more human.
I know that if food was just fuel to me, I wouldn't have this reaction, regardless of how badly I felt for the homeless, or how much hardship I'd personally experienced.
As fellow people who care about food, do you also find yourselves reacting in a similar way to that which I've described?
I'm back in NYC for a couple of days, and would love to hear of any recent and much-enjoyed food-related finds you may have come across in the last few months... it seems as if things are changing even faster than usual, these days, and a lot of my old favourites are just GONE.
I'd heard of body shots, but never really gave the concept much thought; then, a friend of mine mentioned 'body sild' ('sild' being Danish for 'herring'), but I though he was joking, and promptly forgot all about it.
Then I heard recurrent references to it, and realised that people are actually doing this, which struck me as odd. When I asked my boyfriend about this, he said it seemed a 'natural' extension of 'body tequila' (evidently the most popular body shot in Denmark). This definitely deserved elaboration, so i persisted. He pointed out that the most traditional Danish liquor is 'snaps', and one normally has this with herring. So, pounding back a shot of snaps, then consuming pickled herring off somebody's cleavage is just a perfectly natural outcome of being seriously hammered.
I told him I was going to put this before the SE community, as I was curious as to your overall reaction (and now, so is my boyfriend :D): Is this a uniquely Danish phenomenon, or do parallels to this exist in elsewhere?
N.B. This is NOT intended as negative criticism of a cultural phenomenon; I'm simply a bit surprised and amused, and quite curious, as, although I sometimes like sild on rye bread, I would REALLY hate to have a clammy slither of it draped over any portion of my anatomy. I think. After all, I've never considered this while drunk...
Have any of you been drawn to works of fiction that include recipes (e.g. Laura Esquivel's 'Like Water for Chocolate', John Lanchester's 'A Debt to Pleasure'), and if so, have you tried them, and with what results? Any overall feelings about such works? If their recipes were/are any good, would/do you include such works in your 'kitchen library'?
redhead raised an important point about citations (this was originally going to be a reply, but I realised that it didn't answer anything, but raised another question), but I was wondering about the extent to which it's alright to post recipes on this site.
I've noticed many of the recipes say 'adapted from': Does this mean we need to make a minor tweak, and then cite something as 'adapted from'? I tend to be very precise about the recipes I pass along to others, so I have misgivings about this.
So far, I've simply held off from posting recipes, and have stuck with 'recipe x' from Y's book, 'z'. If the source is not necessarily an easy one to find (e.g. out of print), I feel bad doing this. What are the ground rules for posting recipes, apart from accurately citing the source in full?
This was on the west side of Lafeyette Street, and a block down from Spring Street.
I'm no longer in NYC, and only go back about four times a year, so I don't know when--or why--the shop closed. From the look of it, it's been a while, and I only made the discovery when I went there to buy THE best marzipan I know... and was foiled.
I Googled the name, but nothing came up for a new location, so I think it's just gone... unless anyone knows better?
Incidentally, if anyone knows of a place that stocks this marzipan (I cannot remember the name, but the quality is so outstanding, it must have other fans), I'd love to know. It is an Italian brand, comes in small a foil packet sealed at both ends, paper label, and is organic.
Have any of you ever participated in the slaughter (not hunting, but hands-on slaughter) of an animal for food? Did the experience affect you, and if so, how?
When I first began coming to Denmark, I stayed on a small biodynamic farm. A good portion of their meat came from their small flocks of free-range chickens and sheep.
On two occasions I was there when they slaughtered some of the chickens. I didn't do the actual slaughter—not a job for the untrained—but held the birds in place (and, yeh, turned my head away, and also prayed I wouldn't get a finger or something chopped off).
On both occasions, this left me shaking like a leaf.
I was raised as a lacto-ovo vegetarian (for ethical reasons). When I left home, I reverted to eating meat. In all honesty, I cannot supply a truly objective rationale for killing animals for food. On the other hand, I also believe that if they are raised and slaughtered humanely, this cannot be classified as cruelty.
My own experience with slaughtering chickens didn't change my views, since I’d had to sort through those a long time before, when I stopped being a vegetarian. Still, whenever I shop for meat I cannot help wondering if the animal died as painlessly as possible, or if it was, essentially, tortured to death. And this does affect what I buy.
After reading the article about Jamie Oliver slaughtering a chicken on television, I wondered what your experiences were with regard to this subject, and what views you held as a result.
I've eaten at 'City Bakery' since they were at their original location on 17th Street, and over time, it became THE place where I met friends; the baked goods were lovely, the atmosphere pleasant (particularly up in the balcony), and the location very central. The shop had an air of effortless, yet unrelenting efficiency that characterised similar establishments in Italy, where I grew up. I cannot precisely remember when things seemed... changed.
Suddenly, the staff was very different, more evocative of a Dunkin Donuts than a moderately upscale bake/coffee shop. The sense of efficiency was gone. The baked goods were frequently heavy or soggy, as if they'd been rushed into the oven without adequate rising time. The seats of some of the stools broke from their posts, and were not replaced. I came to dread going there. Last time (late November 2007), at least, the naked seat-post had been replaced with ordinary stools.
I know another branch of the bakery opened in LA, and the negative changes do date back to about the time that the owner was no longer around on a full-time basis; I also know that new business makes heavy demands of its owner. Still, it seems a shame to drop the ball on what was a really good thing.
Has anyone else noticed this? Any thoughts as to whether this slide is likely to be long-term?
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