The Modern Techniques Kit that I designed is now available to buy!
Buy it HERE on Amazon
The Modern Gastronomy Kit will introduce you to various modern ingredients and techniques which will help you make delicious, striking, modern dishes.
Containing 11 different ingredients, equipment and recipes I developed specifically for this kit. It will teach you various techniques and help you understand how these techniques and ingredients work so not only will you be able to recreate the recipes provided within the kit but also adapt these techniques to create your own stunning dishes.
Recipes Included: Elastic flexible Caramel Gel, Orange ‘Glass’, Rose Air, Chocolate Soil, Gin and Tonic Spheres, Chocolate/Mint Chocolate Pearls, Watermelon Caviar, Yoghurt and Honey Spheres, Apple Gel, Sour Cucumber Puree, Coconut Fluid Gel, Dark Chocolate and Red Wine Mousse, Cranberry Fluid Gel, Olive Oil Powder
Kit contents: Sodium Alginate, Sodium Citrate, Calcium Lactate, Agar Agar, Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan Kappa, Carrageenan Iota, Lecithin Powder, Zorbit Tapioca Maltodextrin, Ultratex, Citric Acid. Slotted Collecting Spoon, Digital Mini Scales, Set of Measuring Spoons, Small Hemisphere Mould, Syringes, Pipettes, Recipe Booklet - containing techniques, tips, instructions and recipes
Buy it HERE on Amazon
This is a new technique I developed for curing egg yolks in tamari. The results are truelly delicious, the tamari cured yolks have a parmesan like flavour but also still something unique and not quite the same as an aged cheese. When I taught this technique in Athens a number of the chefs said it tasted like bottarga. But whatever you liken it to it is a stand out delicious product that can bring a big kick of umami to a variety of dishes. You can see the technique in the video bellow and the full recipe is given at the end of this post.
There are simpler, traditional methods for curing yolks in salt but I found that the results can be overly salty. I wanted something less salty but with lots of umami and a more complex, aged flavour. After trying a few different approaches, some trial and error and then time spent refining the method I arrived at this technique which I now use all the time. The yolks are cooked in a tamari cure (extra salt and sugar is added to the tamari) in a waterbath at 62°C for 6 hours. In this time the yolks are cured and set, then the cured yolks are dehydrated until completely dry. The finished tamari cured yolks can be grated finely with a microplane.
The dish pictured is from my upcoming book which should be released in May. It is a take on a salad with confit potato and fresh peas dressed in smoked yoghurt and hidden under a generous grating of the tamari cured egg yolks.
I’ll also be serving dishes featuring the tamari cured yolks at my upcoming supper clubs, so if you are in the Manchester area you can come and try them in person.
Tamari Cured Egg Yolks
Tamari cure liquid
Blend the ingredients for the tamari cure liquid together and place in a squeeze bottle.
For each egg yolk
Cut a piece of cling film and place over a cup.
Separate an egg yolk from the white.
Place the yolk in center of the clingfilm.
Pour the tamari cure over the yolk.
Pinch clingfilm together to form a package - excluding as much air as possible but careful not to break the yolk.
Twist the cling film to secure the package.
Clip the clingfilm packages in place.
Trim the excess clingfilm off.
Carefully place the packed egg yolks into the waterbath on a low circulatory flow.
Cook the yolks for 6 hours at 62°C.
Once cooked carefully remove yolks from their clingfilm packaging and pour away the tamari cure.
Finally dehydrate the cured yolks at 68°C for 6-8 hours until completely dried.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge until needed.
This is just a short blog to share a few photos from the course I recently taught in Athens. You can see a full gallery of around 60 images from the course by clicking here.
The course was titled 'Modern Vegetarian Cuisine' and was targeted at chefs working in high end restaurants and hotels, organised by Gastronomy Essentials.
I showed 22 dishes over two full days of teaching and we served tasters with every dish, so it was a very ambitious programme and a lot of hard work, but with the help of the fantastic team I had it went brilliantly and we got an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from the 50 chefs attending the course.
I'd like like to especially thank Harry from Gastromony Essentials for organising the course, Fay for heading up the kitchen team, and the rest of the chefs I worked with for all their hard work, as well as the chefs attending the course for their enthusiasm.
If you are interested please take a look at the full gallery and look out for information on things like this that I’m up to by following me on the Blog, Twitter and Facebook
I will be teaching this course in Athens in february 2015.
The focus of the course is modern vegetarian cuisine and I’ll cover a lot of topics over the two days, introducing and explaining techniques through a series of my own modern dishes which I will present, along with tasters.
I’m still finalising the dishes for the course but some things that will definitely be covered include -
Vegetarian applications of sous vide
Vegetarian uses of transglutaminace
Sous vide ‘caramelisation’ in various products
Umami in vegetarian cooking
Vegetarian gelling agents and techniques
Various vegan desserts
Modern presentation and ideas
and much more...
I hope you can join me in Athens in 2015
All the best
Rich Chocolate Ice-Cream - Sous Vide
This incredibly rich, luxurious chocolate ice-cream is simple to make with the precision of sous vide cooking and will seriously impress every time!
It’s got an immense intensity of flavour from the dark chocolate and a perfect rich, smooth texture which is always spot on and consistently repeatable with the accuracy of sous vide cooking.
For the ice-cream base the sous vide method aids consistency, accuracy and makes the ice-cream making process easier and neater. This means you get fantastic results every time and have more free time, so its an ice-cream technique that suits home cooking when you are busy or can allow you to focus on more technical culinary exploits knowing your ice-cream is taken care off.
The cooked ice-cream base will keep in its vacuum bag in the fridge for up to a week before being frozen. So it 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.
500g Double cream
250g Dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
150g Caster sugar
150g Whole milk
110g Egg yolks (approx 6 free-range medium egg yolks)
First melt the chocolate and butter either in the microwave or in a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water.
Now bit by bit stir the cream into the melted chocolate.
Combine this chocolate and cream mixture along with all the other ingredients in a blender and puree until the mixture is completely smooth.
Now split this ice-cream base between two vacuum bags and seal in a chamber vacuum at approximately 40% vacuum (the vacuum strength is relatively low to prevent the ice-cream mix bubbling up out of the bag) or seal the mix in ziplock bags excluding as much air from the bags as possible.
Place these bags of ice-cream base into a waterbath at 82°C, the water temperature will briefly drop, as soon as the temperature climbs back to 82°C start a timer for 20 minutes.
Cook the ice-cream base for 20 minutes at 82°C then remove the bags from the water bath and immediately chill in cold water while squeezing the bag to ensure the contents are moved around well.
You can store this ice-cream base in its in the fridge for up to a week before freezing, or freeze immediately by your preferred method, I use a simple ice-cream machine at home.
Let the ice-cream soften at room temperature before serving.
For more on Sous Vide cooking check out my books and the Sous Vide Category of the blog
Sous Vide equipment is available from www.Modernist-Chef.com
Picture - My new marshmallow technique applied for Gin & Tonic Marshmallows (a dish which will be in my next book)
Probably once a month I get an email asking me for a good vegetarian marshmallow recipe and I have now finally gotten around to creating one. In fact in the end it turned out the way to make the best marshmallow possible was actually to make a vegan recipe - there are two big advantages to this -
1) Everyone can eat these (they are Vegetarian & Vegan, Gluten Free etc)
2) This technique for making marshmallows allows you to add flavours, alcohol etc into the marshmallow mixture itself (in fact I just finished a recipe for Gin and Tonic Marshmallows based on this technique).
So not only are these marshmallows vegan but they can be flavoured in ways that traditional marshmallows can not (including adding alcohol into the mixture).
The texture and taste of these marshmallows is genuinely identical to traditionally made marshmallows, in fact they can even be toasted like traditional marshmallows!
These marshmallows can be toasted just like traditional marshmallows!
While the technique may appear to be a little complex if you are not familiar with some of the ingredients, it is worth the effort as it gives you incredible results. If you read the recipe well beforehand, measure out all your ingredients, and work in an organised way this recipes should be achievable for everyone.
The modern ingredients used in this recipe are available from - www.Modernist-Chef.com
Other vegetarian marshmallow recipes often over simplify and call for agar, a gelling agent which is great for some things but does not set with the correct texture for making soft marshmallows. So here I use a combination of Kappa Carageenan and Locus Bean Gum, which when used in synergy create a gel with the same texture as a gelatine gel. This is perfect for texture we want in marshmallows.
Then in the place of egg whites this recipe uses Methylcellulose, which is a modern ingredient derived from plant cells that acts as a whipping agent - allowing us to whip the marshmallow base into a very stable foam (even more stable than egg whites would be). And using methylcellulose also means flavourful liquids can be whipped into the marshmallow base, opening up a huge range of potential creative flavour possibilities.
Its also possible to add freeze dried fruit, nuts, spices etc to the marshmallow base once it has been whipped, so it’s really easy to make some interesting, exciting, flavoured marshmallows.
Strawberry Marshmallows with crushed freeze died strawberry folded through the marshmallow base
My Basic Modernist Marshmallow Recipe
This can be adapted for a range of flavours
Before you try making this recipe read it though well and measure out all your ingredients. The hydrated methycellulose slurry can be made well in advance and stored in the fridge or even frozen indefinitely (see the end of this post for detail on how to prepare the hydrated methylcellulose).
I Hope you enjoy the recipe
Before you begin lightly grease a small baking dish then dust it with 50/50 mixture of icing sugar and cornflour. Then set this dish to one side
50g Hydrated Methylcellulose Slurry (See the bottom of this post)
100g Caster Sugar
60g Water (or flavourful liquid)
1g Xanthan Gum
2g Vanilla Essence (approximately a teaspoon)
0.2g Rose Water (a drop)
Combine all the above ingredients except the sugar in a bowl and begin whipping them (ideally in a a stand mixer).
Slowly add the sugar into this this mixture whilst whipping.
Continue to whip until the mixture forms stiff peaks (like an egg white meringue)
Combine the sugar and water in a pan and slowly heat until the mixture reaches 125°C.
3.5g Kappa Carageenan
2.2g Locus Bean Gum (or 4.5g Biozoon Brand Locuzoon)
Once the temperature reached syrup has hit 125°C slowly whisk in the the 150g Water (being careful as the mixture may spit and bubble).
Then adding a bit at a time whisk the Kappa Carageenan and Locus Bean Gum into the hot syrup.
Stir this mixture well for approximately two minutes (the mixture will be consistency of a thick syrup).
Now for the next stage you need to work quickly.
Gently but swiftly pour the hot syrup mixture into the whipped marshmallow base whilst whisking the marshmallow base.
Then as soon as the syrup mixture is mixed into the marshmallow base pour the whole mixture out into the prepared, dusted baking dish, smoothing out the top of the mixture if necessary (working quickly is important here)
Now chill the tray of marshmallow in the fridge for at least an hour.
Then carefully slice the marshmallows to the desired size and coat them well with a 50/50 mixture of icing sugar and cornflour.
The marshmallows should keep well for a couple of days.
I hope you enjoy the recipe and it helps people to make some creative dishes of their own.
Methylcellulose Preparation -
Top prepare the hydrated methyllcellulose slurry you will need Methylcellulose f50 or the Texturas Brand ‘Methil’.
Available from www.Modernist-Chef.com
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.
Shiitake and Poppyseed Kuzumochi with Tomato Vine and Dulse Dashi, Lovage Oil and Spring Onion
Kuzumochi are sort of sweet set japanese kuzu dumplings. They and thickened with kuzu (a gluten free japanese starch) and set to a texture somewhere between a gel and a soft dumpling. Here I add poppy seeds to them to give them added texture. Then they are also flavoured with shiitake mushroom powder and maldon salt so the kuzumochi are a mix of sweet an savoury, which pairs perfectly with the delicate sweetness of the tomato vine dashi.
The sous vide tomato vine and dulse dashi has a beautiful complex flavour with a punch of umami from the dulse and the lovely aromatic flavours from the tomato vines. Then the dish is dotted with lovage oil, which is a unique flavour with notes of anise. And finally spring onion provides freshness and the dish is finished with fresh viola petals.
20g Caster Sugar
1.25g Shitake Powder (dried shiitake mushrooms blended to powder)
5g Poppy seeds
2.5 Maldon Salt
Combine the water, kuzu and sugar in a pan and stir well to dissolve the sugar and kuzu cold. Then gently heat the kuzu mixture in the pan, after a few minutes it will suddenly thicken and turn translucent.
Remove the thickened kuzu mixture from the heat and fold in the shiitake powder, poppy seeds and salt.
Now spread this mixture into silicon hemisphere molds (available here). Chill the kuzumochi in the fridge for one hour to set then carefully remove them from their molds.
Tomato Vine and Dulce Dashi
20g Dried Dulse
10g Yeast Extract
20g Tomato Vines
One Litre Water
5g Grated Long Pepper
10g Fresh Lemon Juice
Large Pinch of Salt
Vacuum pack the dulse, tomato vines, yeast extract, water and grated long pepper at a high vacuum.
Cook the vacuum packed dashi at 60C for one hour then immediately chill in ice water.
Season the dashi with the lemon juice, tamari and salt.
70g Lovage Leaves
210g Grapeseed Oil
Blanch the lovage in rapidly boiling water for 5 minutes, then place straight into ice water.
Strain the lovage and squeeze out any excess moisture, then allow the lovage to dry (you can speed this up buy placing the blanched lovage n the dehydrator for 30 minutes at 42C).
Combine the lovage and oil in a pan and gradually bring up to 60C.
Now while hot pour the oil and herbs into a liquidizer and blend continuously for 10 mintues.
Allow the oil to cool and infuse for around two hours then strain through a super bag or fine muslin.
For a really clear brilliant green oil I then spin the oil in a centrifuge but this is an optional step.
Gently heat the kuzumochi in a pan with the dashi up to about 60-70C.
Remove the kuzumochi and place one in the centre of each bowl.
Pour over a little of the warmed dashi.
Then place sling onion strips in the bowl and dot over the lovage oil.
Finally garnish with fresh viola petals.