Thursday, May 28, 2015

Long time no see

As I write these lines I realize that it has been close to three years since I last posted on The Quenelle. Between then and now much has happened. The highlights being that I no longer am an instructor at The Culinary Institute of America, I have been the head chef at Modernist Cuisine working on a multi-volume book about bread since January of 2014. I also opened and proceeded to close a wonderful chocolate shop that I had named Hudson Chocolates. I closed because the opportunity to work at Modernist Cuisine comes once in a lifetime and I would have been foolish not to accept it. I can always open a chocolate shop later.

I will try my best to come back to posting here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012


This is basically a liquid chocolate base (water, chocolate, sugar, cocoa powder) gelled with agar and gelatin, then pureed very smooth, like a fluid gel. We put it in the whipper and let it get hot in the circulator (70 C) and then we put two charges of NO2 in the whipper. We keep the whipper in the hot circulating water bath (Polyscience), taking advantage of the hysteresis of agar (which means that if it got hotter than 85 C it will melt down again; colder and it will be too firm and you couldn't force the bubbles from NO2 into it, so this is why precise temperature control was so important) but in the circulating bath we can keep it hot AND gelled at a constant temperature. Once we pour the whipped hot chocolate into a bowl we coat the surface with turbinado sugar and caramelize it with a torch. We hit the surface with a quick blast of cold air from a cold-spray can to harden the sugar, and there you have it, whipped hot chocolate creme brulee. So good you can't imagine.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Improved Pastry Cream

Previous method required two people, in this case only one person. Pastry cream is done in less than 10 seconds. See original recipe here,;to make it this way, you must bring the liaison up to 120 F over a hot water bath instead of 70 F as recipe states... make sure the milk + sugar mix is at a rolling boil).

Monday, August 27, 2012

Creme Brulee-d Ice Cream

This method is adapted from the flaming sorbet from The Fat Duck, in which low acyl gellan gum is used in the ice cream base (sorbet in their case, ice cream here). This hydrocolloid works wonders at keeping the ice cream from melting. I don't want to give too much away on the recipe or method because that would be a very long post. The pictures will explain the process better anyway.