Foodscience!: It's a Sickness

So, 3 a.m. , Saturday morning, and it came to me; instead of putting cheese slices on your hamburger, why not put a slice of barbeque sauce on top instead?

I know.

In my defence, a bit of searching on Saturday morning showed me that at least one other person has thought of this before. So I’m not completely crazy. Or I have company in my insanity. Anyway, I had two choices: methocel or agar. Methocel would set as the sauce was heated and liquify as it cooled, so you’d have to make and use it straightaway. Agar would set hard, but it would melt if it was placed on something hot…just like a cheese slice! So agar it was. I stole the idea of the swiss holes from Playing With Fire And Water, and soon I had created bbq slices. FEAR ME!

Barbeque Slices

After that, I decided I wanted to recreate Sam Mason’s soft chocolate. It’s a ganache that is set with gelling agents (either carrageen or agar & gelatin; I used the latter combination) and refrigerated. When it comes out of the fridge, it keeps its shape, yet tastes like, well, soft molten chocolate. It’s pretty simple to make too: just make the ganache as usual, pour in a boiled sugar/corn syrup/agar mixture and a little gelatin, and finally put it in a mould and leave to set. The chocolate soil also worked out pretty well, though I think that I might add some nutella powder in next time too.

Soft Chocolate With Chocolate Soil

That was Saturday. Today?

Garam masala marshmallows. Pimm’s and strawberry gummies. The marshmallows are based on the classic recipe for chocolate ones, but with garam masala switched for the cocoa powder. After whipping and leaving to set for nine hours, I coated the top of the mallow block with chocolate and cut into pieces with a pizza cutter coated with icing sugar. That was probably a mistake; I should have cut them into blocks first and then brushed chocolate onto the tops. The way I did it meant that the chocolate got coated with icing sugar while I was sealing the sides.


Garam Masala Marshmallow!

I made the gummies in two different ways because I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out. I was surprised that the gelatin/agar combination was the least successful; for some reason the underside of the gelatin just wouldn’t set (possibly interference from the Pimm’s agar layer?). Next time, I’ll try gelatin/gelatin. However, I made more of the gelatin solution than I needed, so I used the overflow to make sour gummy strips (dredging them in citric acid and granulated sugar). These are really good, and need to be made again in large quantities. Oh yes. The agar/agar batch set fine, but I forgot that the taste of agar gummies is a bit bizarre. Oh well.

Pimm's and Sour Gummies

Tomorrow? Absolutely nothing. I think I need a rest. Though I’ve just remembered the rice puree / egg white cracker idea from chadzilla…

currently playing: Santogold – Creator

The Only Thing More Annoying Than Blockvoting

Is the UK whining about it year after year. Unless the Eastern bloc have somehow managed to hypnotise their phone-owning population into voting for their neighbours…

(I think we also got a preview via France of how Mr. Jarvis Cocker would perform in such a situation. But yay for trying, Sébastien!)

currently playing: Cotton Mather – Church of Wilson

Hillary Clinton: Off The Edge.

In an interview with the editorial board of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader in South Dakota, she dismissed calls to drop out, adding, "My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it."


currently playing: Arab Strap – There Is No Ending

Happy Birthday Richard!

One more year like the rest of us :)

Even The BBC Is Getting Sick of It Now

This week brought news that archaeologists in the battleground state of Oregon had discovered the remains of cave-dwellers thought to be 14,300 years old - which would mean they died just in time to miss the start of the battle for the 2008 Democratic nomination.

It’s Kentucky and Oregon! YEAAAAHHHH!!!

(Seriously, it’s been over for a month now. Hopefully, the Edwards and Byrd endorsements, plus the rolling addition of superdelegates to Obama’s total, means that we might get an ending this week. I know, I’m asking for too much. As usual.)

currently playing: Cat Power – Aretha, Sing One For Me

Iron Man

I think Walky says it all:

currently playing: It’s Jo and Danny – Repentant Song

But...but wait! Our Creme Eggs are getting smaller!

American portion sizes over the last few decades.

And Cadburys are so lying about how Curly-Wurlys haven’t got smaller…

currently playing: Lykke Li – I’m Good, I’m Gone

With Places Like This

I continued to be amused at how often dating sites match me with girls who, let’s just say, prefer the company of girls. The Computer is trying to tell me something, obviously…

(and you’d think that the matching algorithm for that would be a fairly simple one, wouldn’t you? Especially since I seem to have the right settings on my side!)

currently playing: New Order – Mr disco

A Cheap Shot

Things Younger Than John McCain: A Series

currently playing: Santogold – L.E.S Artistes

Our prediction: Here.

Bonnie says Donna is going to die.