Technique

Garden Salad Dessert

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I thought it would be nice to share this dish on the blog a year on from when I created it at the end of last summer for an event for Google where the theme was ‘The Garden’. So I took inspiration for the dish from the idea of a garden salad but turned into a dessert. The dish features in my new book -
‘Modern Vegetarian Chef’. It’s a delicious, light, refreshing dessert that uses a few techniques and ideas that I think people will find interesting. .

The first thing that tends to surprise people is the fact that the centrepiece to this dessert is a piece of lettuce which has been vacuum infused with chamomile syrup to sweeten it, then been frozen to create a crisp, delicate, sweet leaf, which makes a beautiful, if slightly unusual, finish to the dish.

The ‘Caramelised Almond Milk’ also uses a technique that is new to most people. I make my own almond milk, then vacuum pack it with sugar and cook it sous vide
at 90°C for 24 hours, during which time Maillard reactions occur which turn the almond milk a deep caramel brown and give it beautiful butterscotch, nutty, caramelised flavours. Its a great technique which I also use a version of to make caramelised white chocolate for other dishes.

The final noteworthy feature of the dish is that its served with an infusion of chamomile which is poured over dry ice to carry the scent of chamomile and citrus to diners as they eat the dessert.

The other items at the heart of the dish are a refreshing apple, cucumber & gin sorbet, caramelised walnuts & a sweet almond milk emulsion to mimic a dressing.


Apple Sorbet

  • 300g Fresh apple juice

  • 300g Cucumber juice

  • 75g Caster sugar

  • 75g Glucose syrup

  • 35g Gin

  • 7.5g Malic acid

  • 1g Ascorbic acid

  • 1g Xanthan gum

Blend all the ingredients together then freeze in an ice-cream machine.


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Chamomile Infusion

  • 500ml Water

  • 5g Dried camomile

  • Zest of 2 lemons

Bring the water to a boil then pour it over the dried chamomile and lemon zest.
Allow this to infuse for 30 minutes then strain.

Chamomile Syrup
  • 350g Chamomile infusion (see across)

  • 350g Caster sugar

  • 2.5g Ascorbic acid

  • 2.5g Citric acid

Combine all the ingredients together and blend well until all the solids are dissolved.


Chamomile Infused Frozen Lettuce

  • Chamomile infusion (from above)

  • Baby gem lettuce

Remove the outer leaves from a baby gem lettuce and place these into a vacuum bag with the chamomile syrup.
Vacuum infuse the leaves with the chamomile syrup in a chamber vacuum on full vacuum, then repeat this process.
Place the infused leaves on lightly oiled baking paper on a tray in the freezer
Freeze the infused leaves until solid.


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Homemade Sweet Almond Milk

  • 500g Blanched almonds

  • 1400g Water

  • Seeds of a vanilla pod

  • 300g Caster sugar

  • 5g Salt

  • 3g Xanthan gum (0.15%)

Soak the almonds overnight in fresh water to soften them.
Drain the water off the almonds.
Blend the softened almonds with the xanthan gum and the water.
Now strain this mixture and reserve the liquid almond milk that is drained off.
Now blend the sugar and vanilla into the almond milk.
Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or store in the freezer.

Caramelised Almond Milk
  • 500g Caster sugar

  • 250g Sweetened almond milk (see previous page)

  • 10g Bicarbonate of soda

Combine the sugar, almond milk and bicarbonate of soda and gently stir together (try not to introduce too much air into the liquid as it will foam a lot when vacuumed)
Then separate the mixture across 2 vacuum bags.
Vacuum seal the mixture on medium (60% vac). Now cook in a water bath at 90°C for 24 hours.
Maillard reactions occur during the cooking which give the almond milk an incredible caramel, nutty flavour and darken the milk to a caramel colour.


Almond Milk Emulsion

  • 150g Grapeseed oil

  • 50g Sweet almond milk (see across)

  • 50g Water

  • 50g Caster sugar

  • 2g Soy lecithin

  • 1g Xanthan gum

Blend together all the ingredients except the oil.
Then gradually emulsify in the oil.


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Parsley Oil

  • 200g Parsley leaves

  • 300g Grapeseed oil

Blanch the parsley leaves for 45 seconds in rapidly boiling water then refresh immediately in ice water.
Strain the parsley and squeeze out any excess moisture, then allow the leaves to dry off. Combine the parsley & oil in a pan and gradually heat to 60°C. Now while hot pour into a blender and blend continuously for 10 minutes.
Allow the oil to cool and infuse for around two hours then strain through muslin.

Crushed Caramelised Walnuts
  • 75g Walnuts

  • 50g Caster sugar

  • 25g Sunflower oil

Cook all together in a nonstick frying pan for 2-3 minutes on a medium heat - the walnuts should be toasted and the sugar should caramelise. Cook until the sugar reaches 160°C.
Tip the caramelized walnuts out onto baking parchment and spread them out.
Let the sugar cool and set then lightly crush the caramelised walnuts into smaller pieces and store in an airtight container.

To Serve
Pre-chill bowls in the freezer, then place a scoop of the sorbet in the centre of a bowl. Dot some of the almond emulsion next to it and spoon some crushed caramelised walnuts over that.
Drizzle some caramelised almond milk and parsley oil around the plate. Then finish the dish by placing one of the frozen infused lettuce leaves over the sorbet.


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Easy Whip

Coffee

EasyWhip

EasyWhip is a product I designed for ‘Special Ingredients’ who produce a variety of innovative ingredients for cooks.
You can use it to make light airy mousses or meringues out of virtually any liquid. Simple to use - just blend
EasyWhip into your chosen liquid then whip it to a light stable foam. You can even dry these foams out at low temperature to make sweet or savoury meringue from almost any liquid.  

Bellow I’ve included some recipes using
EasyWhip and at the end of the post I also include a base recipes you can adapt and make your own, using your own choice of flavours, suited to your own unique creative dishes. 

Easy whip is available to buy online
HERE

Recipes, suggestions and tips Bellow

Mojito

Apple Mojito Meringue

300g Apple Juice
200g Caster Sugar
75g Fresh Lime Juice (approx 2 limes)
20g White Rum
15g Citric Acid
Zest of Two Limes
One drop of ‘Special Ingredients’ Mint Essential Oil
3g
EasyWhip


Combine the apple juice, lime juice, rum and mint oil in a jug.

Separately combine the dry ingredients - the sugar, citric acid, EasyWhip and lime zest.

Add the mixed dry ingredients into the liquid in the jug. Blend well until thickened.

Whip this mixture in a stand mixer (or with an electric whisk) on high for around 10 minutes until the mixture is light, airy and forms stiff peeks.

Spread this mixture thin on several non stick sheets.

Dehydrate at 60C for 8 hours in a dehydrator (or place in a low oven at as close to 60C as possible for 8 hours).

Store the meringue in a sealed airtight container until just about to serve.

Serving Suggestion -

Serve shards of the mojito meringue in a bowl with fresh mint as a refreshing, acidic, palate cleanser at the start of a meal or before dessert.

Beetroot

Savoury Beetroot Meringue

500g Beetroot Juice
80g Isomalt
20g Caster Sugar
3g
EasyWhip
Salt and Pepper

Mix together the isomalt, sugar and EasyWhip.

Mix this dry mixture into the beetroot juice and blend well until the mixture thickens.

Whip this mixture in a stand mixer (or with an electric whisk) on high for around 10 minutes until the mixture is light, airy and forms stiff peeks.

Pipe this mixture as mini meringue on a non-stick sheet then finish with a scattering of fresh ground black pepper.

Dehydrate at 60C for 8 hours in a dehydrator or place in a low oven at as close to 60C as possible for 8 hours.

Store the meringue in a sealed airtight container until just about to serve.

Serving Suggestion -

The beetroot meringue works especially well with cheese. Try serving with herbed goats cheese and apple puree, or as part of a savoury dish of your own creation.

Coffee

Coffee mousse

400g Freshly made coffee - cooled
150g Sugar
5g Cocoa Powder
Seeds of one Vanilla Pod
2g
EasyWhip

Combine the dry ingredients - the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla seeds and easy whip.

Blend these dry ingredients into the cooled coffee until the mixture thickens.

Whip this mixture in a stand mixer (or with an electric whisk) on high for around 10 minutes until the mixture is light, airy and forms stiff peeks.

Store store this mousse in the fridge.

Serving Suggestion -

Serve as part of a dessert with complimentary flavours. For example, coffee mousse with finely grated dark chocolate, crushed caramelised hazelnuts and a caramel tuille.

Yoghurt

Whipped Yoghurt

200g Greek Yoghurt
150g Sugar
50g Water
25g Fresh Lemon Juice
3g
EasyWhip

Combine the dry ingredients - the sugar, and EasyWhip.

Now mix together the yoghurt, water and lemon juice.

Add the sugar and EasyWhip into the yoghurt mixture and blend well.

Whip this mixture in a stand mixer (or with an electric whisk) on high for around 10 minutes. This mixture will not reach stiff peaks but will form soft peaks and approximately double in size - resulting in a light mousse texture.

Store in the fridge

Serving Suggestion -

Serve as part of a dessert featuring soft fruit or other fresh, acidic, elements. For example, whipped yoghurt topped with fresh blueberries and peach and rosehip meringues made using EasyWhip.


Base Recipe and Tips Bellow

Base Recipe - For a Basic Mousse or Meringue

See the ‘Tips’ at the end of this post for more guild lines to help you great great results.

400g Liquid (flavoured liquid of your choice)
150g Sugar
2g
Easy Whip (0.5% of liquid weight)

Mix the EasyWhip and sugar together.
Add the sugar and Easywhip to your chosen liquid.

Blend these together well until all the solids are dissolved and the mixture thickens.

Whip this mixture to a stable foam ideally with a stand mixer but an electric whisk works as well. Whip for 5-10 minutes typically.

Serve as a foam/mousse or make dehydrated meringue

To create meringue either pipe the foam or spread it thin on a non stick sheet and dehydrate at 60C (or in a low oven) for 6-8 hours until crisp and dry. 

Store meringue in an airtight container until needed (them soften quickly if not kept air tight).


General Tips

Typical Percentage Use -  Typically use at at 0.5% - 1% of recipes weight.

Use fruit juices or vegetable juices as a base for your foams.

Thin liquids work best for these foams so if using a puree thin it with another liquid first.

It can take some time for the foams to form and whip to stiff peaks, allow 5-10 minutes whipped at high speed.

You can add alcohol to your recipe to create edible cocktails.

Use ‘Special Ingredients’ flavoured oils or flavour drops to create imaginative flavourful dishes.

For savoury mousses or meringue reduce the amount of sugar or replace it 1:1 with isomalt.

For longer term storage of EasyWhip meringue store along with silica packets in an airtight container.

Elderflower

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Elderflower - Cordial, Vinegar, Vodka, Honey, Fizz

Elderflower is a fragrance and flavour which immediately transports me to idyllic summer memories. It’s easy to forage for and is fantastically versatile.

This is going to be a short blog on how to forage for and prepare elderflower, then a couple of things you can do with it. This should give you some basics and a few recipes but there’s so many uses for elderflower I hope to revisit this in the future. For now I wanted to get this posted while the elderflower is still in season and you can go out and forage for it. Here I’ll tell you how to make Elderflower Cordial, Elderflower and Juniper Vinegar, Elderflower and Lemon Vodka, Elderflower Honey and Elderflower Fizz.

I might add more recipes later for instance one of my favourite things to make is apple puree smoked by burning dried elderflower, it gives the puree a delicious smoked flavour but with the unique aroma of elderflower. This is something I use in a dish which will be going into my next book but I won’t give too much away about that for the moment.

For now I hope you find this blog helpful and if you’re limited for time and only make one thing from these recipes I’d say make the elderflower honey, it’s so simple and so delicious you really can’t go wrong.


E2

Picking and Preparing Elderflower

Elderflower is in around in the UK from late May to early July. Its easiest to find in wooded areas and hedgerows. The fragrant flowers bloom on small Elder trees and are fairly easy to identify (but obviously if in doubt with any wild foraging go with someone who knows what they are looking for or consult guilds).

It’s best to pick elderflower in the morning when it is at it’s most fragrant and don’t leave it too long between picking and processing.

The way I find best to prepare my picked elderflower is to dip the heads of elderflower into a bowl of cold water to remove any hidden insects then allow the heads to dry upturned on paper towel. Then when using the elderflower in recipes trim off the flowers with as little of the stem as possible and discard the
excecess stems.

Bellow you will find some simple short recipes to get you started with using elderflower


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Elderflower Honey

8 Heads elderflower
650g Honey

Simple mix the prepared elderflower into the honey and leave to infuse for one week.
Strain the elderflower honey and store in jars in a cool dark place.
This stuff is insanely delicious, especially with cheese!!


Elderflower Cordial

25 Heads elderflower
Juice and zest of four lemons
1kg Sugar
60g Citric acid
1.5 Litre water

Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the elderflower and lemon zest. Cover this over and leave to infuse for 24 hours.
Strain this liquid and add the sugar, lemon juice and citric acid to it.
Bring the liquid to a simmer for five minutes.
Allow to cool and finally bottle up.
Store short term in bottles at room temperature or long term in the freezer.
This is great in alcoholic or soft drinks and I also use it in various ways in cooking - especially desserts.


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Elderflower Fizz

20 Heads elderflower
Juice and zest of four lemons
1.5kg Sugar
100ml White wine vinegar
8 Litres water

Mix together all the ingredients (except the elderflower) until the sugar is dissolved then and pour this liquid over the elderflower.
Leave this mixture to infuse for four days at room temperature.
Strain the infused elderflower liquid then pour it into bottles which can withstand carbonation.
Ferment the elderflower fizz for four weeks, checking on it regularly.
If it is not carbonated after four weeks you can leave it for up to four more weeks to fully ferment.
The elderflower fizz is lovely with an extra dash of elderflower cordial in it.

Elderflower Vodka

16 Heads elderflower
750ml Vodka
Zest of two lemons

Simply mix the prepared elderflower and lemon zest into the vodka.
Allow this mixture to infuse for two weeks then strain and keep it until you need it.

Elderflower and juniper Vinegar

16 Heads elderflower
1 Litre wine wine vinegar
25g Dried juniper berries

Heat the vinegar to a simmer then pour this over the prepared elderflower and dried juniper.
Leave this mixture to infuse for two weeks then strain and use as desired. It works well in simple dressings and pickles.


E4

PDF versions of my books

All my books are now available
to
download as PDFs!
These can be viewed on computers, tablets, phones etc

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£3.99 Edible Cocktails
£3.99
Vibrant Vegetarian
£3.99 Modernist Vegetarian

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These PDF versions of the books contain all the same content as the iBook/iTunes versions but work on all platforms and devises. They contain hundreds of high quality images and detailed recipes as well as links to videos which illustrate the recipes & techniques.

I hope you enjoy the book and if so please have a look at some more of my work and my other books and tell your friends or colleagues.

Thank you for supporting an independent creative venture like this.

Cheers


Eddie Shepherd

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Please note - the books are large files (between 700mb and 900mb each), it may take some time for each to download and open as they contain many images, please be patient.

IT IS BEST TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF TO A COMPUTER FIRST THEN TRANSFER IT TO ANY PORTABLE DEVISE AS IT IS A LARGE FILE

You can re-download your copy of the book up to 3 times.

I hope you enjoy the books and keep a look out for more coming soon.

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£3.99 Edible Cocktails
£3.99
Vibrant Vegetarian
£3.99
Modernist Vegetarian

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Rosehip & Violet Meringue

v1


This recipe and video for Rosehip & Violet Meringue comes from a dish in my new book ‘Vibrant Vegetarian’

The dish is a Sparkling Chamomile Palate Cleanser with Rosehip & Violet Meringue and Lemon Balm.

Here I’m going to share with you the recipe, technique and video for how to make this delicious, light, colourful meringue. I hope if you are interested in this you’ll check out the book,
‘Vibrant Vegetarian’, itself which is available now on iTunes for £3.99.



Rosehip & Violet Meringue

50g Hydrated Methylcellulose Slurry (see the bottom of this post for the preparation method)
50g Isomalt
20g Caster Sugar
20g Lemon Juice
80g Rosehip Syrup (Full recipe in
‘Vibrant Vegetarian’)
200g Cranberry Juice
1.2g Xanthan Gum
1g Ascorbic Acid

Combine all the ingredients except the isomalt and caster sugar.

Whip the mixture whilst slowly adding in the isomalt and caster sugar.

Whip well for at least 5 minutes until the mixture forms stiff peaks.

Spread thin onto no stick sheets.

Crush some crystallised violet and sprinkle over the meringue.

Dehydrate at 57°C for 10 Hours.

Store in an airtight container with silica.



Methylcellulose Preparation -

Top prepare the hydrated methyllcellulose slurry you will need
Methylcellulose f50 or the Texturas Brand ‘Methil’.
Available from
www.Modernist-Chef.com

6g Methylcellulose
400ml Water
 
Boil the water in the kettle then measure out 200ml of just boiled water.

Now blend the Methylcellulose into the hot water with a stick blender.

Next begin to cool this mixture over an ice bath while stirring intermittently until it is cool.

Allow this mix to sit for a couple of hours for the methyl cellulose to fully hydrate.

You can prepare this mixture in batches then keep it stored in the freeze indefinitely to defrost and use as needed.



All Eddies ebooks are now available to download as PDFs

Ginger Sorbet with Orange Glass & Citrus Mist

GInger 1 - done


Please enjoy this recipe and video from my new book ‘Vibrant Vegetarian’. The full recipe is featured bellow along with a video.

Vibrant Vegetarian is out now, I hope you enjoy this sample recipe and video and if so check out the whole book - available via iTunes and iBooks

Cheers

Eddie



All Eddies ebooks are now available to download as PDFs

Ginger Sorbet with Citrus Mist



This is a really refreshing end of meal dessert.
Citrus and ginger with coriander give a bright, clean flavour.
The orange glass gives the dish a little texture and yet more vivid citrus flavour.

The exclamation point to the dish comes in the form of the sensory impact of the citrus mist, both aromatically and visually dramatic.

I think this makes for a beautiful way to end a meal - light and vibrant. It’s a dish in which both the flavour and presentation are memorable and elegant.

Ginger Sorbet

250g Caster sugar
400g Water
70g Grated ginger
Juice and zest of one lemon
40g Cointreau
1.5g Xanthan gum

Squeeze the grated ginger in cheese cloth to extract as much juice as possible. Set the ginger juice to one side and keep the grated ginger solids separately.
Heat the water and sugar in a pan with the grated ginger solids. Simmer for five minutes.
Now strain the hot liquid into a bowl to remove all the solids. Add the ginger juice, cointreau, lemon juice and zest into the hot liquid and then allow the mixture to cool.

Once the liquid has cooled blend in the xanthan gum, then allow the liquid to chill for a couple of hours in the fridge.
Pour a little of the chilled sorbet base into a metal bowl. Then fast freeze the sorbet by whisking in powdered dry ice (or place the chilled liquid into an ice cream machine and churn while it freezes) then store this in a sealed plastic tub in the freezer.
NOTE – Dry ice is very cold (-78°C) so should be used with caution, and ensure no pieces of dry ice remain in the sorbet when it is served.

Orange Glass

170g Fresh orange juice
20g Lemon juice
10g Cointreau
Zest of two lemons
20g Kuzu
30g Caster sugar
10g Isomalt
½ Teaspoon chopped dried safflower petals


Mix all ingredients except the safflower petals together and stir well.
Now heat this mix while stirring until it thickens and turns translucent.
Take the mixture off the heat and stir in the chopped safflower.

Spread this mixture thinly thin on a non stick sheet.
Dehydrate at 64°C for 14 hours (or in a low oven for the same amount of time or until crisp).
Store the orange glass in an airtight container with silica until ready to serve.

Citrus Mist

500ml Water
Juice and zest of three lemons
One bunch of fresh chopped coriander
20 Crushed cardamom pods
2 Sticks of lemongrass
10 Dried kaffir lime leaves
One piece of chopped ginger


Heat all the ingredients in a small pan and simmer for five minutes.
Then turn off the heat and leave covered to infuse.
Store the citrus infusion in the fridge.

Serving
Spoon a little dry ice into a bowl and cover this over with slices of lemon and orange.
Spoon some of the sorbet into a glass and sit this on top of the lemons in the bowl.
Place a piece of the orange glass in the top of the sorbet and garnish with coriander.
Finally pour the citrus infusion over the dry ice and the emerging mist will carry the citrus scent adding a final layer of flavour to the dish.


VIbrant Vegetarian - OUT NOW



My new book Vibrant Vegetarian came out today, please have a look at the promo video and if you decide to buy it and like it then please, if you don’t mind, suggest it to your friends or write nice review of it on iTunes

Cheers all

Thank you

Eddie



All Eddies ebooks are now available to download as PDFs

Chocolate, Lime, Rose

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Dehydrated Chocolate Mousse
Sous Vide Lime Curd
Crystallised Rose

This is a beautiful, small, simple dish. Just a couple of bites worth of food with just three main flavours.

The deliciousness of the dish all hangs on the flavour combination and the two contrasting textures - the crispy, light, dehydrated chocolate mousse juxtaposed with the rich, smooth lime curd.

The combination of chocolate and lime is nothing too unusual and neither is combining chocolate and rose. The thought to combine all three flavours like this came in part out of thinking about spice and mexican flavours and also from the combination of lime and rose in a Gin and Tonic with Hendricks (perhaps my favourite gin - it is infused with cucumber and rose).

The dehydrated chocolate mousse carries a really intense chocolate flavour but in a very light form.

Then the Lime Curd is made Sous Vide. This makes the lime curd less labour intensive than using traditional methods but also makes it extremely consistent, as well as helping to infuse the lime zest flavours into the lime syrup - giving it a really ice aromatic lime flavour.

Watch the video of me preparing the dish then you’ll find the full recipe bellow.



Dehydrated Chocolate Mousse with Rose

150g Dark Chocolate – 70% Cocoa Solids
200g Free-Range Egg Whites (Approx 5 Whites)
60g Free-Range Egg Yolks (Approx 3 Yolks)
60g Caster Sugar

Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water.

Now off the heat mix the egg yolks into the melted chocolate, then set that to one side.

Next beat the egg whites to soft peaks, at which point reduce the speed of whisking and gradually add the sugar until the mixture forms stiff peaks.

Now take a quarter of the whipped egg whites and beat them thoroughly into the chocolate.

Then gently fold half of the remaining egg whites into the chocolate followed finally by the last of the egg whites.

Spoon the mousse onto a non stick sheet and spread it thinly with a palate knife (approx 2-3mm thick).

Now take some crystallised rose petals and crush them in a pestle and mortar. Then sprinkle the crushed rose over the chocolate mousse.

Now place the chocolate mousse in a dehydrator at 68°C for 14 hours.

Once dry break the dehydrated mousse into pieces and store in an airtight container.

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Sous Vide Lime Curd

100g Free-Range Egg Yolk (Approx 6 Yolks)
200g Caster Sugar
100g Fresh Lime Juice (Approx 4 Limes)
Zest of Four Limes
300g Unslated Butter - Cubed and Chilled
Pinch Maldon Salt.

First vacuum pack the egg yolks in one bag.

Then in a separate bag vacuum the sugar, lime juice and zest.

Now place both bags (the yolks and the lime syrup) into a water bath set at 64°C and cook for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes remove the bags from the water bath and ,while still hot, blend the lime syrup into the cooked eggs yolks.

Now Bit by bit blend in chilled cubed butter.

Once all the ingredients are combined rest the lime curd in the fridge at least 3-4 hours before serving.

Before serving transfer some of the lime curd to a piping bag and keep this chilled until needed.

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To serve -

Spoon some of the lime curd into a piping bag and keep this chilled in the fridge.

When ready to serve take a pice of the dehydrated chocolate mousse and pipe a large dot of the lime curd onto of it.

Then sit another piece of the dehydrated chocolate mousse on to of the lime curd.

Serve immediately.
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I hope you like the recipe, technique and video. Keep and eye out here and on my twitter page for announcements about my new book and a tasting menu diner both coming soon :)

Cheers

Eddie


Sous Vide Caramelised White Chocolate

Sous Vide Caramelised White Chocolate
&
Caramelised White Chocolate and Saffron Ice-Cream - Sous Vide

caramelised_white_chocolate

NOTE THE FULL RECIPE FOR THIS DISH APPEARS IN MY NEW BOOK ‘VIBRANT VEGETARIAN’




Caramelised white chocolate is a delicious product, with flavours of caramel, dulce de leche, white chocolate and nutty/coffee roasted notes. Strictly speaking it turns out we shouldn't really call it 'caramelsied', as i'll explain in a moment, but for convenience and because it sounds best i'm happy to continue to call it 'caramelised white chocolate’.

It’s usually made in the oven but I have been working on a method to make it sous vide which makes the process much more consistent, accurate and convenient. Basically the white chocolate is vacuum packed then cooked in a water bath whilst it slowly browns, no fuss, no mess, and a consistency fantastic finished product with amazing flavour.

I give you both the recipe for Sous Vide ‘Caramelised’ White Chocolate and for a Sous Vide Ice-Cream made with the caramelised chocolate bellow but first how this process works is worth a brief discussion.

At first I thought in this technique that the sugar in the chocolate was caramelising and causing the browning at the comparatively low temperature of 90C over a long cooking time in a similar way to what Harold McGee’s discusses in his excellent article about caramelisation here.

However having done some more tests I've found that actually rather than the caramelisation of sugar what we are really seeing here is a Maillard reaction.

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Vacuum Packed White Chocolate

The amino acids from the protein rich milk within the white chocolate react with sugars - this causes the browning and slowly creates delicious caramelised flavours. (To confirm this I ran various tests of caster sugar cooked SV at 90C for eight hours and whilst sugar alone won't caramelise or brown in these conditions sugar with the addition of a little milk will brown and develop caramelised flavours - this points to the Maillard reaction as the process at work. The Maillard reaction requires the presence of amino acids (in this case from the milk protein) and sugars, thus when I tried to brown the sugar on its own at 90C there was no reaction but with the addition of a splash of milk to provide the protein the browning reactions and flavours occur).

Basically caramelisation and the Maillard reaction are separate and distinct processes that can some times look very similar and are frequently confused. At times they can even produce similar flavours, as in this case. But Maillard reactions can occur at lower temperatures than caramelisation, which is why due to its protein component we can achieve the flavourful browning of white chocolate at 90C over 8 hours but not brown caster sugar at this temperature, at least not over a similar timescale.

Maillard reactions produces a wealth of flavour compounds which in this case give us the caramel flavours and roasted notes which make the 'caramelised' white chocolate so delicious.

So now following these experiments I’m really pleased to have a fantastic sous vide method for making this awesome product at a comparatively low temperature with much more consistency than I could achieve before in the oven. And understanding it as the Maillard reaction opens up possibilities of some more things I'd like to try in the near future.

The important thing to focus on though is not the science but that this is an amazingly delicious product.

The primary reasons here for cooking the chocolate, and also the ice-cream base, sous vide are - consistency, acuracy & convenience - already since mentioning this technique on twitter a lot of fellow chefs have commented on how useful it will be to have a method for ‘caramelising’ white chocolate which is this consistent without risking burning the chocolate.
Both the ‘caramelised’ white chocolate and the ice-cream base can be made using other techniques, but not with the precision and repeatability that sous vide offers or how simple it makes both these techniques.

DSCF8817

Sous Vide Caramelised White Chocolate after 6 hours at 90C

Sous Vide Caramelised White Chocolate

300g White Chocolate

Vacuum pack the chocolate and cook for 6 hours in a water bath at 90C.
The chocolate will turn a light gown within the first hour or two of cooking then gradually continue to darken.
I found that 6 hours gave me a great caramelised flavour and the intensity I want for the ice-cream but you could probably even push the cooking time on for another hour or two if desired for a darker caramel.

I’ve posted a version of caramelised white chocolate ice-cream before using ‘traditional’ methods for both the chocolate and the ice-cream, but I’ve chosen to revisit the ice-cream here as well as it also benefits from being cooked sous vide, so it seems like it fits neatly into this blog.


Caramelised White Chocolate Ice-Cream - Sous Vide

I then use this caramelised white chocolate in an ice-cream which is also cooked sous vide before freezing. In the case of the ice-cream base once again the sous vide method aids consistency, accuracy and makes the process easier and neater.

The method is incredibly simple, basically all the ice-cream ingredients are blended together, then vacuum sealed and cooked at 82C for 20 minutes which gives you a perfectly cooked ice-cream base which will keep in its vacuum bag in the fridge for up to a week before being frozen. So the ice-cream can actually be made well ahead of time but frozen as close to serving as possible to prevent the formation of large ice crystals and so keep a beautiful smooth texture.

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Caramelised White Chocolate Ice-Cream ready to be cooked Sous Vide

250g Caramelised White Chocolate (from above)
250g Double Cream
500g Whole Milk
100g Caster Sugar
6 Medium Free-range Egg Yolks
Pinch Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Saffron Threads

Combine all the ingredients except the saffron in a blender and blitz to a smooth consistency, then pass through a sieve.

Vacuum bag the blended ice-cream base with the saffron.

Cook the ice-cream base at 82C (from when the water bath returns to 82C after the initial temperature drop as the ice-cream is added to the bath), for 20 minutes.

Then remove the bag from the water bath and chill in an ice bath while squeezing the bag to ensure the contents are moved around well.

Now store the ice-cream base in its vacuum bag in the fridge for up to a week before freezing, or freeze immediately by your preferred method.

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Churning the Ice-Cream

Enjoy and please keep checkin in on the blog over the next couple of weeks as there should be some cool stuff finally ready share here soon :)

Pressed Mushrooms - Mushrooms pressed and set with transglutaminase

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So I was going to hold off on sharing this yet but as my ideal date for publishing my forthcoming book has already passed I though it would be nice to share one of the techniques I worked on which is included in the next book. As far as I’m aware no one else has done this and it’s something new with the potential to be expanded on.

Basically this was an idea that I’ve had floating around for ages but hadn’t until now refined into something that worked how I wanted. The basic idea was to find a way to add protein to vegetables or a vegetable base, along with flavour, then bind this with transglutaminase (an enzyme which can bind proteins together sometimes know as meat-glue) so that you have an end product with a new texture and flavour which can be cooked if you wish but that is built from just a couple of ingredients.

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I used mushrooms, and this is now something I’ve made many times and given out tasters of, and it is truly delicious! Definately the meatiest thing you will ever taste that isn’t actually meat! Its got amazing depth of flavour from the combination of mushrooms with umami rich tamari and then a final stage of being smoked before being salted and marinated in oil. It has a flavour like a cured or aged product and a big hit of Umami

I’m going to share the technique and my recipe here but not the completed dish that I use this in, you’ll have to wait for the book for that and the other new ideas I’ve been developing (now due in september).

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So before the recipe here is the break down of the techniques basic steps

1) Slice & dehydrate your chosen vegetable (in this case mushrooms sliced thin)

2) Rehydrate the vegetables in a 12% soy protein isolate solution along with additional flavours (in this case tamari)

3) Squeeze the vegetable to get rid of as mush liquid a possible

4) Stir 5% of the mixtures weight of transglutaminase through the prepared vegetables

5) Press the Vegetables in a tofu press or similar for around 4 hours to bind together

6) Now its set vacuum the resulting pressed block and cook sous vide at 62C for 2 hours to de-nature the enzyme (necessary in some countries for food hygiene when using transglutaminase)

Additional steps -

7) I then cut the pressed mushroom block into cubes and smoked it with oak using a Smoking Gun

8) FInally I salt the pessed mushroom cubes and marinade them in oil

Note - Transglutaminase is itself an enzyme rather than a meat product and so is suitable for vegetarians so long as you check with your suppler that it was produced in a manner suitable for vegetarians.

Recipe - Pressed Mushrooms
This recipe could be adapted so long as you use 5% Transglutmainase and 12% Soy Protien Isolate

80g Dried Sliced Mushrooms (from approx 750G fresh mushrooms dehydrated)
80g Tamari
500ml Boiling Water
60g Soy Protein Isolate
20g Transglutaminase Activa EB
Maldon Salt
Rapeseed Oil

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First slice thin and dehydrate approx. 750g fresh mushrooms.
Dehydrate at 52C for 12 hours

You should end up with approximately 80g dried mushrooms.

In a bowl mix the 80g of dried mushrooms with 120g tamari

Then in a jug mix together 500ml of boiling water with 60g Soy Protein Isolate, stirring well to create a slurry.

Pour this hot soy protein slurry over the friend mushrooms in the bowl and mix together well then allow this mixture to sit for one hour.

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Next strain the mushrooms and using muslin squeeze out as much liquid from the mushrooms as possible.

You should have around 400g of mushroom mix at this point.

Season with maldon salt

Mix in 5% of weigth in
transglutaminase - 20g in this case

Mix well.

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Place this mixture in a tofu press lined with muslin and place a heavy weight on top then let this sit at room temperature for four hours while the
transglutaminase binds the protein spiked mushrooms together.

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Take the resulting firm pressed mushroom block and vacuum pack it then cook SousVide at 62C for two hours. When finished cooking place immediately into ice water to cool.

Mushroom 8


Now cut the mushroom black into cubes of your desired size and place in a bowl. Use the smoking gun to smoke the mushroom cubes with oak and sit them in the smoke for 5 minutes.

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FInally sprinkle the pressed mushroom cubes with salt and place in a tub with a clove of fresh garlic and a couple of bay leaves and pour over enough rapeseed oil to cover.

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Allow to marinade in the fridge for at least 24 hours before serving.

Hope you enjoy it
Cheers
Eddie



Methylcellulose. An introduction and two recipes.

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(Savory Beetroot Meringue using Methylcellulose)

Methylcellulose

An Introduction and two recipes –
- Savory Meringue
- Super light and crispy Tempura

Available from www.Modernist-Chef.com

Methylcellulose is a popular hydrocolloid which can form a gel or act as a thickener when hydrated. Particular to methylcellulose is that it gels when its heated rather than once it cools. Because of this unique quality it’s often used to make mousses and gellees which are firm when they are hot but melt as they cool. Due to this many chefs have used methylcellulose in the pursuit of creating a ‘hot ice-cream’, the idea being to create something with the texture of ice-cream but served hot which then melts in the mouth as it cools (personally I haven’t come across a version of this yet which I think really works i.e. really gives an experience like eating ice-cream only hot –but I hope someone will crack it at some point).

Methylcellulose is used in various ways in modern cuisine. It can be used to great effect to create foams. Can be added to liquids which may then be dried to form films and baked into crisp brittle sheets. It can act a replacement for egg whites in some recipes as it can be whipped in a similar way to provide a similar structural element in a recipe (like with the beetroot meringue recipe bellow).

It’s also used in some deep fried foods, as when it comes into contact with the hot oil in a fryer it forms an oil impermeable film. Due to this using methylcellulose in deep fried products both reduces the amount of moisture which escapes from the coated ingredient and also reduces the about of oil absorbed into the coated item – this can help to achieve a crispier, lighter product with a great texture.

Methylcellulose is one of the very few modern ingredients I use which is not entirely ‘natural’ but synthesized from natural ingredients, namely cellulose - often from cotton. Its non-toxic and non-allergenic and a perfectly healthy and safe ingredient to use in food so don’t be scared off by the fact it’s synthesized. Bear in mind you most likely consume it fairly regularly already as it’s used in huge variety of products including foods and medicines (even vitamin tablets).

Typical use levels –

0.5% - 2% typical concentration for use in cooking

To replace egg whites use 2g Methylcellulose blended into 35g water to replace each egg white. Note – Methylcellulose prepared this way will whip to stiff peaks but you need to be persistent in your whipping to get it to nice stiff peaks.

You can buy Methylcellulose
here.

I will return to this post soon to add recipes and techniques for foams, hot gellees and mousses which melt as they cool, films, and brittle sheets - all using methylcellulose.

Savory Beetroot Meringue (vegan)

Methylcellulose here replaces egg white in giving the meringue its structure and texture. These meringues are then dried until crisp in a dehydrator. Here I’ve used isomalt to replace some of the sugar in order to create savory Meringue but sweet meringue could be made in the same way by simply upping the sweetness.

Here this is just a base recipe which you can flavour up, add acidity or other flavours to but its a really solid technqiue and then you can build in and play with the flavours you want.

The way I do this now is to first make a methylcellulose ‘slurry’. This hydrates the methycellulose before you use it in the recipe and makes it much easier to work with for this technique.

Methocel slurry
 
3g Methylcelulose
200ml Water
 
Boil the water in the kettle then measure out 200ml of just boiled water.

Now blend the Methylcellulose into the hot water with a stick blender.

Next begin to cool this mixture over an ice bath while stirring intermittently until cool.

Allow this mix to sit for at least a couple of hours but for best results sit in fridge overnight.

Beetroot Meringue
 
45g Methocellulose Slurry – (see above)
260g Beetroot Juice
1.2g
Xanthan Gum
40g
Isomalt – powdered
10g Caster Sugar
Seaonings to taste
 
First blend together the beetroot juice, methycellulose slurry and xanthan gum with a stick blender.

Then in bowl start whipping this mixture with an electric whisk and add in isomalt and caster sugar bit by bit.
Whip this mix to soft peaks, this will take a little time (more than whipping egg whites) but will go to stiff peaks eventually if you persist and want more control of the meringues finished shape.

Pipe into neat blobs on a non stick sheet or spread into a thin layer (or basically produce any shape you like)

Dehydrate at 57C for 10-12 hours till crispy.
 
This technique can be adapted for a wide variety of juices and a similar textured liquids.


Tempura - Super light and crispy tempura. (vegan)

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Using Methylcellulose in this tempura batter helps to create an incredibly light, crispy batter inside which the vegetables essentially steam whilst they’re cooked. It helps to keep moisture in the coated ingredients and also reduces the about of oil absorbed through the batter.

As well as using methylcellulose here I’ve also replaced some of the water in the batter mixture with vodka, which boils out very quickly during frying, giving you a fantastically crunchy, crisp texture.

Finally I also carbonate my tempura batter in a cream whipper to help get a beautifully light batter.

350g Vodka
450g Water
250g Plain Flour (or Rice Flour)
Pinch salt
Pinch chilli powder
8g
Methylcellulose
Plus your choice of ingredients to batter – ie shitake mushrooms, broccoli, baby corn, carrot batons, strips of peppers etc.

Blend the methylcellulose into 250g of the water using a hand blender.

Next whisk the vodka into the flour (seasoned with a pinch of salt and chilli powder).

Now add the methylcellulose mixture into the flour and finally whisk in the remaining 200g of water.

Whisk the batter until smooth then pour it through a sieve.

Take 500ml of the tempura batter and pour it into a cream whipper then charge this with two Co2 chargers (soda chargers).

Give the whipper a good shake and place it in the fridge to chill of around two hours or until your ready to it.

When your ready to make your tempura invert the cream whipper and dispense the batter into a large mixing bowl.

Dip your ingredients to be fried into a little flour then into the batter before gently placing them in a deep fat fryer (at 190C). Only fry a few tempuras at a time.

The tempura will cook very quickly (less than two minutes), take them out of the fryer when they are crisp and crunchy and serve up with a dipping sauce or with as part of a larger dish.

Grape Amuse Bouche

P1010025_2Carbonated Anti-griddle ‘Seared’ Grapes - Purple Grape Glass - Fennel Sugar Strands

This dish is a celebration of grapes, with just a couple of simple complimentary flavours.

The ‘Purple Grape Glass’ is brittle and delicate but delivers an intense, lingering flavour. The fizzy, carbonated grapes are refreshing and palate cleansing, cutting the sweetness of the sugar strands. They also have a solid, then smooth and yielding, fast frozen edge. Finally the fragile, crisp, crunchy fennel sugar stands provide an extra hit of sweetness along with the distinctive and complementary flavour of anise.

This recipe uses fantastic bit of kit called an ‘Anti-griddle’. Its available on the
www.Modernist-Chef.com shop. It’s an amazing piece of modern kitchen equipment made by PolyScience, with a ‘griddle’ surface which chills down to bellow -35C . The anti-griddle allows you to freeze items incredibly quickly (thus giving you a smoother texture as ice-crystals don’t have time to form) and to freeze objects upwards from the ‘griddle’ surface by increment, allowing you to achieve unique textures and temperature contrasts within elements of a dish.

In this recipe the cut edges of halved carbonated grapes are frozen on the anti griddle. The top three quarters each grape stays soft and unfrozen so you keep the taste and texture of fresh grapes (with an added fizz). But you also get a texture and temperature contrast within each grape, and a really bright clean flavour from the frozen edge.

Whippers and The AntiGriddle available from www.Modernist-Chef.com


Grape glass
Above - The Purple Grape Glass

Purple Grape Glass

165g Purple Grape Juice
40g Pure-cote B790
15g Caster Sugar
5g Icing Sugar
Tiny Pinch of Salt
0.5g Ground Cinnamon
15g Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice (roughly equal to the juice of half a small lime)

Slowly heat all ingredients except the lime juice to 90C in a small pan whilst whisking, and hold the mixture at 90C for two to three minutes, continually stirring.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the liquid into a blender, now adding the fresh lime juice. Blend the hot mix for ten minutes on full power.

Now dab a small amount of olive oil on to a couple of sheets of acetate and wipe with paper towel to form a very light coating.

Pour the warm grape juice mix onto the acetate sheets and form as thin a layer of the juice mix as possible by moving the sheets around.

Place the acetate sheets into a dehydrator ser at 33C for 3 -4 hours until the juice mixture has become a malleable but dry film. (The coated acetate can be left at room temperature to dry overnight but I find this low temperature stage in the dehydrator works well and speeds up the process).

Peel the grape film away from the acetate and shape the film as desired. For this dish I tore small pieces of the film and simply crumpled them up a little, pinning then in that shape with transparent cocktail sticks.

Finally dehydrate the shaped grape film on baking paper at 57C for 10-12 hours until you are left with crisp and brittle, abstract shaped, pieces of purple grape glass on cocktail sticks.

(These can be stored in an airtight container - layering with baking paper along with a small wrap of silica crystals to prevent the fruit glass from absorbing moisture).

Fennel Sugar Strands

40g Isomalt
20g Glucose Syrup
20g White Fondant
0.75g Ground Toasted Fennel Seeds (about ¾ of a teaspoon)

Heat all the ingredients except the ground fennel to 165C in pan.

Once the sugar mixture hits 165C remove the pan from heat and let it rest for a few seconds, then quickly stir in the fennel powder. (The mixture should be clear and uncoloured except for the fine fennel powder suspended in it).

Pour the hot sugar mixture onto a silicon mat (such as a Silpat)

As soon as the sugar is cool enough to touch, but still flexible, pull and stretch thin pieces of the ‘caramel’ into long, fine abstract shapes, working quickly.

You want a variety of shapes – some small flatter pieces and some long thin strands of sugar. Allow the fennel sugar strands to cool and harden on baking paper.

(As with the fruit glass these can be stored in an airtight container – layered with baking paper along with a small wrap of silica crystals to prevent the sugar stands from absorbing moisture).

For the Grapes

A mix of good quality Green and Red seedless grapes
Two Co2 chargers

Take about 20 mixed grapes and cut them in half.

Place the halved grapes into a
cream whipper and charge it with two Co2 chargers. Then place the whipper in the fridge and chill for at least two hours.

Complete the following steps once you are ready to serve the dish (and have prepared the Fennel Sugar strands and Grape Glass)

Lightly oil the surface of the anti-griddle and turn it on around ten minutes before your ready to use it so it can fully chill down to temperature.

Now, when you have everything prepared, fully vent the gas from the cream whipper, then carefully open it up and remove the grapes.

Place the grapes, cut side down on the lightly oiled anti-griddle. Allow the cut edge of the grapes to freeze and the freezing to continue up the grape by about a 2-3mm (this will happen very quickly)

When the grapes are frozen at the base remove them from anti-griddle surface with a silicon spatula. This should be done as close to serving as possible so that the edge of the grape remains frozen whilst the rest is fresh and fizzy from carbonation.

Putting it together

Alternately place the prepared grapes and some of the smaller pieces of fennel sugar in a small shot glass.

Arrange a couple of the longer thin strands of fennel sugar protruding from the shot glass.

Finally take one of the pieces of purple grape glass on its cocktail stick and gently press the tip of the cocktail stick into one of the grapes in the shot glass, so that the purple grape glass sits above the shot glass.

Smoke Clip



I plan to start adding more video to the site, so this is my first test run.
Here you can see a clip of ‘Elderflower Smoked Apple Gelee served under Elderflower Smoke’ (using the PolyScience smoking gun)
This is a potential element of a dish I’m working on, although it’s likely to change somewhat by the finished version.
This is just a test of how easily I can film and upload video of dishes, techniques and recipes.
I’ve kept it very simple here, I’ll be building on this soon.

Any feedback would be appreciated (ie, can everyone view this well)

Thanks, Look forward to expanding on this stuff soon.

Eddie

Serving Dishes Under Smoke


Serving Dishes Under Smoke

You can purchase the PolyScience Smoking Gun from
www.Modernist-Chef.com

The Antigriddle


The Antigriddle

A short video of a few things using the antigriddle

The Anti-Griddle is Available via www.Modernist-Chef.com

More videos coming soon

Eddie

Bronze Fennel, Apple and Elderflower Infused Cucumber, Feta

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Bronze Fennel, Apple and Elderflower Infused Cucumber, Feta


This dish was inspired by some of the things growing in my parents garden in the summer. This dish is just a couple of elements but to me it is my parents garden at this time of year on a plate.

I loved the shapes and look of the bronze fennel leaves and their natural taste, so I did nothing to these except for pick the tips at random. The leaves have a slightly sweet anise flavour, almost like liquorice.

I decided to pair the fennel with elderflower that was growing near by and then also apple, which goes beautifully with both fennel and elderflower.

I prepared a sweet and aromatic infusion of apple and elderflower, with a hit of calvados and vacuum infused (
see bellow) cucumber with this liquid. The vacuum infused cucumber has a really interesting texture and a translucency that makes it look like gellee once it’s been cut to small 2mm cubes.

Vacuum infusing the cucumber with apple elderflower is my play on the idea of the dish as a salad. I also used tiny cubes of feta give a nice salty and sharp touch.

I loved playing with idea of presenting the dish in a way that contrasted the beautiful natural and spiky shape of the fennel leaves with the geometric shapes I cut the feta and infused cucumber into.

NOTE - I actually came back to this dish a year later and did a version of it for Norwegian D2 Magazine, here I included some diced pickled beetroot and a smoked apple puree.
They ended up using the dish on their front cover -

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Apple and Elderflower Vacuum Infused Cucumbers

Apple and Elderflower Liquid -

200g Calvados
400g Apple Juice
4 Tablespoons Dried Elderflower
75g Caster Sugar
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon

Heat all the ingredients except the lemon juice in a pan and bring to a simmer. Allow to gently simmer, occasionally stirring, for 15 minutes.

Set the pan to one side to allow the liquid to slowly cool.

Then strain and add the lemon juice.

Chill in the fridge until needed

Cucumber Infusion –

The easiest way to perform this vacuum infusion is using a chamber vacuum machine, however if you do not have access to one you can go to the following link for information from Dave Arnold on other infusion techniques - see his post
here

So first off I cut thin (a couple of millimetre thick) strips of cucumber flesh.

Place the cucumber strips in a tub. Pour over all of the chilled apple and elderflower liquid to cover the cucumber well.

Now pull a vacuum on the cucumbers which are submerged in the infusion liquid - you will see air bubbling out of the cucumber strips.

When you release the vacuum the air rushes back in - this will force liquid into the space left from removing the air from the cucumber

Once infused the cucumber will turn translucent. You then just need to cut the cucumber into small 2mm cubes.

Feta

Simply cut good quality feta to the same 2mm cubes as the cucumber

To Plate Up

I simply placed a few springs of the bronze fennel around the plate. Then placed cucumber and feta cubes all around the plate and finished off the dish with a sprinkling of fresh elderflowers and a pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt.

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Ultrasonics in the kitchen

The PolyScience SonicPrep

2 ps done

This is just a quick blog post and also abit of a teaser for my ebook coming out in the next couple of weeks - ‘Modernist Vegetarian’

This is a short introduction to one of the modern pieces of equipment, an ultrasonic homogenizer, I used in the book. It is explored in more detail (along with a couple more videos) in the ebook. Infact the very first dish in the book uses it aswell.

Check out the video and then some more info below for an outline of how the ultrasonic homogenizer works and some applications. Then you will have to keep an eye out for the ebook for more detail I’m affraid. The good news is the ebook is going to be very cheap and accessible though and full of a ton of other great stuff aswell.



This piece of equipment is really new to culinary application so its full potential certainly won’t have been reached yet but with some great chefs now beginning to use it would be reasonable to expect to hear more about this bit of kit in the near future.

For now this an edited shortened intro to how the PolyScience SonicPrep works and, as I said before, you will then have to wait for
‘Modernist Vegetarian’ to come out to see more on this.

So - the PolyScience SonicPrep emits high intensity sound waves via an ultrasonic probe creating alternating high and low pressure cycles within liquids. This creates tiny vacuum bubbles within the liquid, which then implode generating incredible forces (both heat and pressures) but on a minuscule scale. This process is called cavitation.

These powerful forces acting at such a minute scale can be very useful in cuisine for creating very fine and stable emulsions and infusions without damaging our finished product.

Shock waves in the liquid created by the cavitation process cause high speed jets of liquid (again on a tiny scale) within the liquid. These can disrupt and disperse a fat and help in the creation of an emulsion with a tiny fat droplet size.

This effect means that fats can be dispersed in tiny droplets so small in fact that in low fat concentrations (around 2.5%) an emulsion can be created and remain stable for days without the addition of any emulsifying or stabilising agent. These ‘milks’ (low fat emulsions) where one of my favourite applications of the SonicPrep.

Adding a stabiliser (such as xanthan gum) or emulsifier (such as soy lecithin) can help to keep the tiny fat droplets dispersed when using a higher fat percentage, thus giving you very fine emulsions with a higher fat content, this is useful in creating a stable culinary preparation.

The effects of cavitation can also allow us make infusions very quickly without the application of heat to the whole prodcuct (although I still prefer Nitrous Infusion for this). Along with having a myriad of other potential culinary applications.

Keep an eye on the blog and my twitter for more announcements on the ebook release and



Cheers
Eddie

Fresh Home Made Tofu

I thought I’d right a short post on making your own tofu, it’s a totally different beast from the shop bought stuff and can be genuinely delicious.

I was working with fresh tofu for a new dish, which in the end I didn’t think was ready yet, I might come back to the dish and change it/ work on it in the future or it or it may never get re-visited. Don’t get me wrong it was pretty delicious but particularly as I work on my next book I’m setting a high standard for the dishes that are going to make it in there. So even thought the whole dish was a lot of work both in development and preparation, its not making the cut for the book as it is (but I think its important to be pretty strict in self editing).

However I really liked the fresh homemade tofu, especially when then marinated in cold pressed sesame oil with smoked salt and lemon zest. (I tested a variety of marinades and also smoked different homemade tofus with a variety of flavoured smokes too, but the sesame oil marinade was my favourite - it adds a light nitty flavour which I liked).

I’d highly recommend making your own tofu if you have never tried it or if you are dubious about how delicious tofu can be, its a real eye opener.

The recipe I’m going to give you is for a slightly lemon flavoured tofu, then marinaded in cold pressed sesame oil, with smoked salt and lemon zest. This is delicious lightly fried in a dry pan (so it cooks just in the oil it is marinated in).

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The picture above is the dish that didn’t quite make the cut for the book (but the tofu was delicious!)
All of the elements (listed bellow) were lovely, but for me the dish as a whole just didn’t quite cut it.
Lemon and Thyme Tofu
Cadamon Scented Dashi
Sweetcorn Panna Cotta
Smoked Lemon Zest Powder

This tofu recipe though I’m really pleased with -

Recipe - Lemon Tofu

350g Organic Soy Beans
1125ml Water - for Soaking the Beans
1200ml Mineral Water - for Cooking
4 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice (for traditional tofu use 2 1/2 tsp Niagri instead)
300ml mineral Water - to mix with lemon Juice

Soak 350g of soy beans in 1125ml water overnight

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Blend the beans in their soaking water until as smooth as possible.

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Now heat 1200ml of mineral water to the boil in a large pan. Then add the soybean puree into the boiling water.

Now bring the liquid back to a simmer, then drop the temperature and continue to cook for 10 mins on a low heat.

Strain this mixture into a container through muslin cloth collecting the soy milk liquid which pours through the cloth.

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Now mix 4 tablespoons of lemon juice into 300ml water (for a traditional tofu you would use 2 1/2 tsp dried Niagri). Reserve this to one side for the moment.

Heat the fresh soy milk in pan to approximately 70C. Then remove the pan from the heat and stir the soy milk to create a whirlpool.

Now slowly pour in half of the lemon juice and water mixture. Then stir milk in the opposite direction, again creating a whirlpool, and pour in other half of the lemon juice mixture.

Cover over the pan and leave it to sit for 15 minutes. The soy milk will split into curds and whey (very similar to making paneer if you have made that from scratch before)

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Note - the light foam on the top of the liquid, very similar to the texture/form of an ‘Air’ - this is due to the natural presence of lecithin in soy milk. Soy lecithin is a really useful emulsifier and also one of the things we can use to make stable, light, foams and ‘airs’.

Now strain the split soy milk through muslin to collect the curds.

Wrap these curds up in muslin and place in vestle – (a tub or colander) with holes in the bottom, then place a heavy object on top of the wrapped tofu and leave it to drain for at least 1 hour.

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Then carefully unwrap the tofu and gently rinse it in cold water.

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Then I like to break the tofu into chunks and place it in a bowl then sprinkle it with a good pinch of smoked salt. Add the zest of one lemon then finally pour over just enough cold pressed sesame oil to cover the tofu. This gives the tofu some seasoning and flavours it with more lemon, smokiness and nuttiness from the oil.

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These pieces can be stored like this in the fridge then removed and pan fried in a dry pan for a minute or so on each side.

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Enjoy :)

Tofu Temupra, Sour Cucumber Puree, Seaweed Ash

IMG_0683

Tofu Tempura, Sour Cucumber Puree and Seaweed Ash

This dish is taken from my next book which should come out this spring or early summer. Its built from a mix of traditional and innovative new ideas.

The Tofu is marinated in a simple, traditional, japanese dashi before being cooked as a tempura. To create an incredibly light crisp batter some of the water in the batter is substituted with vodka (which evaporates out much more quickly during cooking), the batter also includes methylcellulose F50, which forms an oil impermeable film in the batter (so the tofu steams inside the tempura and doesn’t absorb any oil or become greasy), finally the whole batter is carbonated in a cream whipper to create an incredibly light airy batter which turns out crisp and glassy once cooked.

The sour cucumber fluid gel is fresh and sharp with very clean flavours, it acts as the sweet and sour element in the dish, provides vibrancy and mimics the use of cucumber in fish dishes (here the flavour of the sea comes from the use of seaweeds).

Finally the whole dish is finished and seasoned with a Seaweed Ash, this is something I haven’t seen anyone else do before and I was really pleased with as a finishing touch for the dish. Incinerating the dried dulse seaweed to ash keeps its delicate flavour of the sea and slight saltiness whilst giving you a beautiful, unique new product to season the whole dish and provide the final flavour of the sea.



Sour Cucumber Puree
600g Cucumber Juice
120g Caster Sugar
8g Citric Acid
8g Ascorbic Acid
7g Agar Agar

Juice the cucumbers to obtain 600g fresh cucumber juice.
Immediately mix the ascorbic and citric acid into the cucumber juice, followed by the sugar.

Separate out 300g of the cucumber juice into a pan, whisk in the agar and gently heat to a simmer whilst stirring. Hold the mixture at a simmer for three minutes then remove from the heat.

Now off the heat slowly pour the cold cucumber juice which was set to one side into the hot juice in the pan. Stir and then pour out into plastic containers to set in the fridge.

Once the gel has set use a stick blender to blend it to a smooth puree.

Reserve in a squeeze bottle

Marinated Tofu
240g Plain Tofu
1 Stick / 12g Kombu
50g Dried Shittake
500 ml boiling water
1 teaspoon dried thyme
80g Tamari
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Combine the kombu, shitake, thyme, tamari and vinegar in a bowl. Pour over the boiling water and leave to infuse for 2 hours.

Strain the dash and cut the tofu into 3cm cubes. Marinade the tofu cubes in the dashi at least 24 hours before cooking.

The Tempura Batter

100ml Methylcellulose Slurry (Made by blending 3g methylcellulose in 200ml boiling water then stirring until it cools and thickens - store excess in the fridge)
85ml Vodka
125g Plain Flour
2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice
Pinch Dried Chilli
A good pinch of salt

Mix all the liquids together and stir well.
Combine the flour with the spice and salt in a bowl.
Now whisk the liquid into the flour until smooth.

Strain the batter to remove any lumps.
Pour into a cream whipper and charge with two co2 chargers.

Chill if the fridge. Ideally for arround two hours

Heat deep frying oil to 190C.

Place pieces of tofu first into flour and coat. Shake off excess flour.
Spray some batter out of the whipper into a bowl.
Dip the tofu into the batter then drop in the fryer, cook 2-3 mins until crispy.
Drain off excess oil on paper towel.

Seaweed Ash

Burn Dulse seaweed with a blow torch in a bowl until it no longer flames but just glows read.

Allow to cool, carefully place the ash in a spice grinder and powder, store in an airtight container

Plating up -

Dot cucumber purée arround the plate,
Place a few of the tofu tempura arround the plate.
Finish by sprinkling over the seaweed ash