The use of different shapes is essential in pastry. I really love using silicone molds. They offer both versatility and consistency. As you may already know from looking at my pictures...I really like spheres and dots. To get perfect spheres or hemispheres (half circles) you really should use silicone molds. When purchasing silicone molds there are a few things you must consider...what am I going to be molding? Is the mixture hot? Am I going to need to bake or freeze the item? How am I going to unmold the product? These are all questions you must ask yourself before deciding which type of mold to use. There are a few different places where I go to purchase my molds. JB prince in NYC has quite a large selection of nice molds. Another really great source is the Chicago Mold Making School. Here is a link to there geometric mold section of there online store.
There are a host of different ice cream and sorbet stabilizers on the market today. A lot of companies sell "pre-mixed" stabilizers. When I say pre mixed I mean...there is usually more than one type of stabilizer and/or emulsifier included in the mix. A few common ice cream and sorbet stabilizer mixes that I have used are: Cuisine Tech's Cremodan 30 (Ice cream) and Cremodan 64 (Sorbet). These stabilizer mixes are very useful when creating frozen dessert recipes. They both help to minimize the formation of ice crystals, provide a creamy mouthfeel, provide excellent flavor release, as well as help heat shock stability (going in and out of your freezer during service). These are all very important factors to consider when choosing the right stabilizer mix. I have also used a lot of gelato stabilizer mixes from MEC 3. I really like the mouthfeel that these specific mixes provide. Some of my favorites are Tuttopan F50, Supergel, and Base Divina. Tuttopan F50 is characterized by the ability to disperse in a cold milk based solution. Meaning you don't have to heat your ice cream/gelato base to add your stabilizer. It also has a very pleasant flavor. To me it adds a hint of maltiness and vanilla to your mix. I was first introduced to supergel when I was working at per se. I fell in love with this particular sorbet stabilizer. I usually use this stabilizer in conjunction with water and fruit based sorbets. Supergel can be hydrated in either hot or cold water based mixes. It provides a very airy structure to your sorbet while still providing great flavor release and stability. When you think of making ice creams and sorbets you probably don't think of using alcoholic bases because of there lack of freezing properties. Base Divina helps your alcoholic base to freeze properly without the formation of ice crystals. I have made beautiful champagne sorbets, lemoncello granites, prosecco sorbets/granites using this stabilizer mix. When formulating your ice cream and sorbet recipes it is always important to add a percentage of stabilizer to the mix to insure a great mouthfeel, and prevent the formation of ice crystals. You can always buy pre mixed stabilizers or you may choose to formulate your own stabilizer mix, either way you are going to provide your guest with a higher quality product that is going to stand up over time in your freezer.
Today was my first day at work. I am the Restaurant Pastry Chef at the Fontainebleau Miami. I will be in charge of running the pastry departments at 2 of the hotels Signature Restaurants, Gotham Steak, and Hakkasan. I am very excited for this opportunity. Check back for updates!