Saturday, July 30, 2011

Blakes #3

Black strap molasses royale cube, brûléed peaches, oat crumble, peach ginger black tea sorbet, ginger microwave cake, rye wiskey noodle and bubbles, Cataluna spice tuille.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lecithin Air

The other day Blake brought in an aquarium pump to make rye whiskey air. The basic concept of using an aquarium pump to create bubbles is simple. Plug the pump in, regulate the air flow of the pump to create air bubbles. The air was made using rye whiskey, simple syrup, and 1.5% lecithin. The ingredients were sheered well using a vitaprep. Now usually I have seen and used handmixers to sheer the mixture to form stable air bubbles. By using an aquarium pump fitted with a rock diffuser you can create bubbles that have a larger structure to them. Now common physics tells you that the smaller the air bubble the more stable the final mix will be. Using lecithin in your recipe will help in emmulsification as well as the stabilization of these air bubbles. The air itself had great flavor release. It tasted pretty close to taking a shot of whiskey. The bubbles were stable for about 5 minutes or so before they began to deflate. By using the aquarium pump you achieve a very unique looking bubble that not only looks visually appealing but also tastes great. Below are pictures of the aquarium pump blake used, and the rock diffuser. The videos show first the bubbles created using the rock diffuser in water and then the rock diffuser being submerged into the rye whiskey mix creating large stable air bubbles.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Manhattan Magazine

Below is a link to the July-August edition of Manhattan Magazine where one of my desserts is published

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Principles of Modernist Cuisine

The concept of Modernist cuisine is still young and evolving. Its direction has been determined by the vision of individual chefs, rather than by committee or consensus. Still, looking at the movement today, it is possible to discern some shared general principles. In much the same way that the Gault Millau guide outlined the “10 commandments” of Nouvelle cuisine.

1. Cuisine is a creative art in which the chef and diner are in dialogue. Food is the primary medium for this dialogue, but all sensory aspects of the dining experience contribute to it.

2. Culinary rules, conventions, and traditions must be understood, but they should not be allowed to hinder the development of creative new dishes.

3. Creatively breaking culinary rules and traditions is a powerful way to engage diners and make them think about the dining experience.

4. Diners have expectations — some explicit, some implicit — of what sort of food is possible. Surprising them with food that defies their expectations is another way to engage them intellectually. This includes putting familiar flavours in unfamiliar forms or the converse.

5. In addition to surprise, many other emotions, reactions, feelings, and thoughts can be elicited by cuisine. These include humor, whimsy, satire, and nostalgia, among others. The repertoire of the Modernist chef isn’t just flavour and texture; it is also the range of emotional and intellectual reactions that food can inspire in the diner.

6. Creativity, novelty, and invention are intrinsic to the chef’s role.When one borrows techniques and ideas or gains inspiration from other chefs or other sources, that should be acknowledged.

7. Science and technology are sources that can be tapped to enable new culinary inventions, but they are a means to an end rather than the final goal.

8. First-rate ingredients are the foundation on which cuisine is built. Expensive ingredients such as caviar or truffles are part of the repertoire but have no greater intrinsic value than other high-quality ingredients.

9. Ingredients originating in food science and technology, such as hydrocolloids, enzymes, and emulsifiers, are powerful tools in helping to produce dishes that would otherwise be impossible.

10. Diners and chefs should be sensitive to the conditions under which food is harvested and grown. Whenever possible, they should support humane methods of slaughter.

(Modernist Cuisine-pg. 56)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Carbonated Fluid Gel

So the other day I was looking at Blakes iSi Twist and Sparkle and thinking of things that would be cool to carbonate. I had an idea to carbonate a fluid gel. Now, I have put gels into iSi's (thermowhips, etc.) and charged them with Co2. When you do so, the gel airates with the combined pressure of the Co2. Though you do achieve carbonation, the resulting gel becomes more of a foam. I wanted to produce the same carbonation that you get with a thermowhip but did not want the gel to foam. I wanted the same viscosity you would have with a normal fluid gel. The Twist and Sparkle provided me with the ideal vehicle to achieve this result. I set a loose fluid gel using .5 % low acyl gellan and water as a control. I filled the Twist and sparkle with the water gel and carbonated it twice with Co2. The video below shows the 2nd charge of Co2 into the gel. You can see the suspension of Co2 within the gel. The resulting gel was effervescent and held its structure for about 10 minutes before the carbonation began to fizzle out. The picture below is of the carbonated gel about 5 minutes after being charged twice with Co2. Notice the Co2 bubbles suspended in the gel. I believe this technique could open up a lot of possiblities to create some pretty interesting fluid gels.