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Over whipping using iSi whip

Perfect, thanks! I have 5 hours to buy cocoa powder, do a test run, and then do the real thing. And make a raspberry sauce.

Dec 24, 2014
ah6tyfour in Home Cooking

Over whipping using iSi whip

Thanks! I'll have to see if I can find a good brand of cocoa powder. I'm a bit limited by what's around me today. I guess I'd have to also supplement sugar. I'll try to do a quick test batch today (skipping the earl gray) to test for chocolatey-ness and sweetness, then do the real thing with the earl gray infusion.

Do you think the coffee would interfere with the earl gray?

Dec 24, 2014
ah6tyfour in Home Cooking

Over whipping using iSi whip

I do, but I'm at my parents' place for Christmas and don't have access to them. In any case, most of my relatives coming to the party are a generation ahead of me and I'm very slightly weary of serving raw eggs to 60-65 year olds.

Had I known how much trouble this mousse would have been, I would have used my immersion circulator to pasteurize some eggs and used them to make a traditional mousse.

For my final attempt today, I'm going to try 100mL cream, 300mL milk, 100g chocolate, and add in cocoa powder if it doesn't seem chocolatey enough. Hopefully this will be less viscous.

Dec 24, 2014
ah6tyfour in Home Cooking

Over whipping using iSi whip

Update: I followed the recipe exactly and still no success.

I strained it, shook 10 times, then chilled for 2 hours. Then I shook 4 more times and what came out was just a very slightly aerated version of the original contents. Very little came out and the rest was stuck.

Then I warmed the iSi whip with the chocolate mix inside in very hot water to get everything fluid again, re-charged it, and immediately shook it and dispensed. It was better, but still not very aerated.

I have a feeling this recipe is flawed. Which is strange because all the chocolate mousse recipes on the iSi website have the exact same components and measurements. There's far too much chocolate and not enough liquid. I would say I could double the cream/milk (or even use mostly milk) and half the chocolate.

I'll have to try again tomorrow, but I'm going to have only one shot at it before I'm forced to run to Marie Calendar's and buy a pie instead.

Dec 23, 2014
ah6tyfour in Home Cooking

Over whipping using iSi whip

Thanks! I'll be trying this when I do some more testing tonight. I have 24 hours to perfect this before Christmas dinner.

Dec 23, 2014
ah6tyfour in Home Cooking

Over whipping using iSi whip

haha, I loosely followed directions. It was the first attempt with the canister, so I wanted to just try it out and troubleshoot along the way. The recipe itself was followed exactly with everything weighed and liquid volumes in mL. The correct canister size and official iSi charger was used. That's how I tend to cook. I look at the ingredients, gloss over the step-by-step, and sort of experiment until it works.

I did not seive prior, but I will for my test run tonight.

I didn't realize it said to let it sit at room temp for 10 min, so I'll try that tonight as well.

As for the shaking, it was me trying to distribute the contents to try to cool it quickly. I figure the metal acts as a great conductor to chill the liquid touching it, so by shaking it, I could get most of the molecules of this mix to touch the metal at some point and have the heat drawn away. The result was probably 150-200 shakes over a couple hours. I think I don't quite understand the physics of how the whipper works. I didn't realize that every shake causes the contents to get more whipped. I assumed the N2O gets dissolved into the solution and this solution is then stable until you pull the trigger and the "foam" is formed as the contents are forced out of the narrow opening. Apparently, I am completely wrong, since it's definitely already a whipped product while contained inside the whipper.

The good thing is this allows me to spend all night doing multiple tests of this same recipe and see how different variables affect the final product. Which, to me, is the best part of cooking.

Dec 23, 2014
ah6tyfour in Home Cooking

Over whipping using iSi whip

I used this recipe from the official iSi Whip website:
http://www.isi.com/us/culinary/for-pr...
Except I left out the Stevia and infused the heavy cream with earl gray tea prior to adding the chocolate into it.

Maybe the powdered sugar is making it even thicker? The conrstarch binder contained in the powdered sugar ends up in hot cream and I can definitely see that activating its thickening powers. Perhaps I can switch to an equal weight of granulated sugar?

I'll do another test batch tonight and try shaking it only 10 times. And maybe I'll try another batch where I shake it 10 times and then immediately dispense it into serving containers while it's still hot to cool individually in the fridge. That would get around the problem of the chocolate mixture cooling into something too firm to come out of the whipper.

Dec 23, 2014
ah6tyfour in Home Cooking

Over whipping using iSi whip

I feel rather dumb now. Heh, I was trying to cool the contents down, so I would take it out of the fridge every 15-20 min and shake it some more in an attempt to distribute the cooler cream touching the metal canister with the warmer cream towards the center.

Dark chocolate Earl gray butter sounds like a perfect spread for a cinnamon raisin bagel.

Not really on topic, but what would be a good garnish for a dark chocolate Earl gray mousse? Maybe raspberry?

Dec 23, 2014
ah6tyfour in Home Cooking

Over whipping using iSi whip

Butter? I completely forgot that was possible. I guess I'll have to do another test batch before I try to make it for Christmas potluck.

Dec 23, 2014
ah6tyfour in Home Cooking

Over whipping using iSi whip

I recently got an iSi whip and used it for the first time today to make a dark chocolate earl gray mousse. While the flavor was great, it was definitely over-whipped, came out really "un-smooth", and about 80% of it was stuck inside the canister. Does anyone have any ideas about what went wrong or how to prevent this from happening?

Here is what I did:
-Heated heavy cream and milk, infused with earl gray tea
-Melted chocolate in double boiler
-mixed cream and chocolate together, pour into iSi whip
-Charged whip canister
-Shook up and down 20-30 times (too much?)
-Stored in fridge upright for 2 hours, during which time I would shake it a few times every now and then
-Dispensed into serving vessel

From what I could gather, maybe I just continued to shake for too long? The last few times I shook it, it felt like the contents were no longer fluid at all. I also did not strain it, so maybe the opening was a bit blocked? I have also read that the canister should be left on its side while in the fridge instead of upright. Not sure why that would matter.

Anyone have ideas as to how to ensure I don't overwhip next time? Chefsteps seems to show actually letting half the N2O out after charging, but the instructions in the manual state to use one charger per pint.

Dec 23, 2014
ah6tyfour in Home Cooking

"Seasoning" a wooden butcher block - should I gently heat block in oven?

I'm going to try a few layers of just mineral oil in the coming days. It looks like the wax does not prevent the oil from penetrating, so I should be okay. I'll also try adding extra oil to the oil/wax blend. It's definitely a lot more beeswax than your mix.

It's too bad your board picked up bits of fabric and needed sanding. Were you using a normal paper towel? I used a shop towel to buff off the excess wax this morning and nothing got caught. Maybe the normal paper towel just left some lint that looked like it was caught?

Dec 20, 2014
ah6tyfour in Cookware

"Seasoning" a wooden butcher block - should I gently heat block in oven?

Thanks for the tip and the warning! I read it this morning and changed how I approached the oil/wax treatment tonight. I used multiple layers of a thick towel to gently heat the surface of the board and it seemed to work great. I applied the oil/wax, applied some gentle heat, and a few minutes later the board looked dry and starving for more oil.

Had I not seen your post, I probably would have ironed the board with just a sheet of shop towel protecting it from direct heat. So thanks!

Dec 20, 2014
ah6tyfour in Cookware

"Seasoning" a wooden butcher block - should I gently heat block in oven?

That's really nice of you! They'll be as thankful as I was to receive my board. I didn't know what was coming, but had a UPS tracking number and watched my package wind its way across America for a week. I actually stayed home from work on delivery day because I wanted to rip that box open the minute it arrived. Who knew I'd rip open a box containing something I've been wanting for a long time but couldn't afford? Internet strangers can be great people.

"Seasoning" a wooden butcher block - should I gently heat block in oven?

I decided to do your method today and it worked well. I used a very thick towel folded twice to try to get heat to the board as gently as possible. After applying a layer of wax/oil, I put the towel over it and used the iron (steam turned off) to heat the towel. Did this for a few minutes and was happy to see that the board looked dry instead of the waxy film I had this morning. So it seemed to work great!

Dec 20, 2014
ah6tyfour in Cookware

"Seasoning" a wooden butcher block - should I gently heat block in oven?

Thanks! I like the parchment on top of towel idea. I'll see if I can pick up a $10 iron anyway. I only have a travel iron and it would be much easier to do this with a full size iron. And I didn't even think about the bottom. I'll have to put a couple layers of shop towels underneath too just in case. Nothing would make me more happy than seeing the oil/wax actually go all the way through and come out the bottom. That would mean I got maximum conditioning.

Howard's just says to warm it up, apply, leave on for at least 20 minutes, and buff off the excess. Repeat 4-5 times for a new board. To me, it just seems non-ideal to warm it up and rub onto a cold board, so I figured I'd ask. Luckily you guys didn't think I was crazy.

I wonder how much of the wax actually made it into the board today vs just solidifying as a layer right at the top of the board.

This guy literally dunks his raw chopping boards into a pool of hot oil/wax: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQg6p... (at 9 minutes and 30 sec)

Dec 20, 2014
ah6tyfour in Cookware

"Seasoning" a wooden butcher block - should I gently heat block in oven?

Yep, world record-setting online gift exchange two years in a row, with a third year essentially guaranteed. 192,256 strangers from 188 countries all shipping gifts to a random computer-generated match. Lots of people go all out. Lots of celebrities take part too.

So this butcher block means a lot to me now. Such pressure to take great care of it. Hopefully the iron method works. The only problem I can see is the oil/wax might saturate the towel and get onto the iron itself. So it might be better to go buy a really cheap iron to use exclusively for this purpose.

Dec 20, 2014
ah6tyfour in Cookware
1

"Seasoning" a wooden butcher block - should I gently heat block in oven?

Thanks! It was a gift from my Reddit online secret santa this year. She also shipped a bottle of Howard Butcher Block Conditioner with it. So this board was shipped to me by a complete stranger and I love it. I'll have to try really hard to take good care of it.

Now that I think about it, maybe I should have done a few coats of mineral oil alone first to let it seep all the way to the center before I started adding the beeswax to seal it.

Dec 20, 2014
ah6tyfour in Cookware

"Seasoning" a wooden butcher block - should I gently heat block in oven?

Nice! That block looks amazing!

I'll let my first coat sit overnight and try using some heat from a clothing iron tomorrow morning before my second coat. A paper towel is a good idea. I'm going to use a shop towel so it's lint free. It's what I used to apply the oil/wax today and also what I use to wipe down cast iron.

Here's a picture I took of my board halfway through the first application of oil/wax:
http://i.imgur.com/Er7ISR0.jpg

Dec 20, 2014
ah6tyfour in Cookware

"Seasoning" a wooden butcher block - should I gently heat block in oven?

Thanks! I thought I was thinking way too much about it, but apparently not. I feel a lot better about myself now.

What is a "heating dryer"? Is that the hair dryer you were talking about? I think I like your clothing iron idea. Maybe fold a towel a couple times and set it on top of the board to distribute the heat?

Dec 19, 2014
ah6tyfour in Cookware

"Seasoning" a wooden butcher block - should I gently heat block in oven?

I was just gifted a beautiful wooden butcher block and gave the raw wood its first coating of a mineral oil and beeswax blend tonight. I heated the blend, but applied it to a cold dry board in a pretty cold room. The blend definitely soaked into the wood, but seemed to firm up pretty quickly.

Has anyone tried warming the butcher block in a 200 degree oven when applying the oil/wax? My thought is the pores in the wood will open up and the oil/wax will stay liquid much longer to penetrate deep into the wood.

My only concern is if the heat would warp, crack, or weaken the board. I'm pretty hesitant to try it if it has never been tried. It's an end-grain board, so I want to make sure I take good care of it. I guess the other alternative would be to use only mineral oil, but I read a few guides on wooden boards and the consensus seems to be to start with oil/wax combo first to help the board resist water.

Dec 19, 2014
ah6tyfour in Cookware

In town for one dinner: need one amazing tasting menu

Hi Philly Chowhounds! I've been doing a ton of traveling (not for pleasure) and my two week roundabout tour concludes in Philly for a night (11/25) before I fly home for thanksgiving.

I'm traveling alone and have time for one dinner. I want the biggest most impressive/creative meal possible. I haven't had much free time, but I did spend a little time browsing the forums. So far, I have not been able to narrow it down to a single option. Anyone want to chime in?

I have no reservations. I would rather sit at a bar, but I don't mind sitting at a two-top by myself. No vegetarian/vegan menus, but besides that, I have no preference for type of cuisine. Cost is not an issue (especially in Philly where food seems to be cheap compared to LA/NY).

My last time in Philly, I had the tasting menu at Laurel one month after he won Top Chef. It was an excellent meal. But I assume a seat for one would be impossible to get on a few days notice.

I was planning on Vetri, but there are no openings per OpenTable. Fond is also booked full. Also thought about going to Sbraga, but they only take reservations for parties of two of more. Any use in calling any of these places to see if they might be able to accommodate one extra? Do restaurants in Philly general make all their tables available on OpenTable or do they hold some back for those who call in?

Probably should have planned earlier, but been so busy going from place to place that it never occurred to me that I finally had a free evening to myself.

Any help would be appreciated!

[edit]
Actually, it doesn't even necessarily need to be a tasting menu, but I do prefer them. I wouldn't mind just ordering a bunch of dishes off the menu if there's no tasting menu offered at a great place. One such place would be Vernick, but again, they're booked.
[/edit]

Nov 21, 2014
ah6tyfour in Philadelphia

Is WD~50 a must visit?

That's how small I thought their kitchen was as well. I could have sworn I saw the kitchen during one of my meals there many years ago and it was more like equipment lining both sides of a hallway with the food pass in the center.

But I got the tour during my meal there last month and it was a decently sized kitchen. It's almost a square space with equipment along three walls, four cooking areas forming a center island, a dessert station off to one side, and the finishing/expediting counter centered and right in front of the entrance.

Here's a picture looking from where the guest stands towards the expediting counter. Chef was watching over the finishing of the chicken liver course and I had a minute or two to observe. The picture shows about 25% of the kitchen. I was about to turn around and take a picture of the rest of the kitchen, but plating had finished and Wylie was walking over to me, so I quickly put away my camera to chat with him.
http://i.imgur.com/x4jGemV.jpg

Oct 16, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

But that's the group session where the cost is $400 per person, right? I never quite understood the pricing since I doubt I'd go alone. But if I brought someone with me, we'd both end up with a full setup and a jamon each. I would do it if a group of two could split the $400 for one jamon, knife, and holder.

It's a shame they're doing away with it. It's been on my wish list for quite some time. Even though I'd give away most of the jamon and would probably never have a use for the setup again.

Oct 12, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

I no longer live there (I live in Vegas now), but my parents still do, so I don't know much about the newer places in Alhambra. Thanks for the tip! This is why Chowhound is awesome. I'm getting suggestions for places to try in my hometown from a forum dedicated to a city 3000 miles away.

Oct 12, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

Awesome. I'm really unsure about Tocqueville right now because it restricts the food adventure by quite a lot. But then again, the meal there should be excellent.

If I don't go to Tocqueville for lunch, I'll definitely do The Eddy for dinner. Or maybe we can somehow do both.

My other option is to save Tocqueville for lunch on Saturday right before I head to JFK. That leaves all of Friday free to walk around and eat. And then I'd have one really nice meal to cap off the trip.

Class 302 is my hangout spot. If you've been there more than 2-3 times and usually go late at night, you've probably run into me. It's almost as good as being in Taiwan. I haven't heard of Salju, but my hometown is Alhambra, so I'm apparently right nearby. I'll have to check it out.

Oct 12, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

Thanks for reminding me about Despana! I keep forgetting to check the place out. Too bad their summer paella nights are over. And too bad I can't afford to take their jamon-cutting class.

And I put Breads Bakery on my list. I have no idea what a babka really is, but I've always wondered since I'm a big Seinfeld fan. Too bad they don't also have cinnamon babka! =P

Oct 12, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

Thanks! I added The Eddy to the list of dinner options. Their menu looks amazing. Have you had their tasting menu? It's tempting, but I'd have to add on the bacon tater tots. Tater tots are my weakness. One of the best American culinary inventions ever.

I'll definitely drop by Snowdays too. I didn't realize shaved snow worked its way to the East Coast. Always thought it was something that's been getting popular on my side of the US (California). I hate how all the newer shaved snow places are serving in Yogurtland-ish cups. It makes it so much more difficult to eat. In Taiwan (where it originates), shaved snow is always served on a plate. The ribbons are allowed to delicately layer and you're able to eat them as layers. Only place I know that does that is Class 302 in Southern California.

Oct 12, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Long Island: Went to Chowder Bar and White Cap, any other places to try along Montauk Highway between Babylon and Patchogue?

They were excellent! Panko and lots of Old Bay folded in. And crusted with pulverized Herr's Old Bay potato chips for an extra hit of Old Bay/vinegar flavor. Served with a squeeze of lemon and a wasabi sauce that really enhanced the flavors.

Best clam chowder and crab cakes I've had yet! I might be a bit biased.

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

Thanks! I'll look into that other thread.

Starting with Tocqueville really could put a bit of a kink on the food adventure. It would probably last 2.5 hours and we'd be stuffed for another 2.5 after that. That $68 lunch tasting is so tempting though.

Oct 11, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan

Help me plan a one-day food adventure through East and West Village

Taim looks amazing! Thanks!

I'm up for anything. Stomach space is not a concern. See my trip review from a past Manhattan trip. I packed my second stomach for this trip as well: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/965876

Oct 11, 2014
ah6tyfour in Manhattan