“I am working on a dessert, using vanilla bean crème fraîche to accompany it. I want to make it as thick as possible, comparable to Greek yoghurt. Should I heat my cream, and how do the temperatures change the milk? Also should I use a 2:16 ratio of equal parts Greek yoghurt and cultured buttermilk to 35% cream to achieve the thickets possible cream?” [Read more…]
A couple weeks ago I had lunch with my friend at a local roaster, Industry Beans. It was a hot day and we were enjoying a fifty/fifty, which is two coffees sipped side by side, one a cold drip and one a cold immersion brew. As we enjoyed our coffee we enviously drooled over their huge cold drip set up. You can check out the size of it on this Urbanlist article. My friend then told me how much we wanted one of these set-ups at home so he could have cold drip coffee at home, but he couldn’t afford it.
I, being a chemologist, just looked at the thing and thought ‘lab glassware’ and said to him I could just buy some glassware and put it together way cheaper. Boy was I wrong. I would need a 500 mL separatory funnel, a glass filter funnel and a conical flask to collect coffee in… and all that, plus postage of glassware (!) adds up to nearly the price of the fancy Japanese setup!
So what does any good lab chemist (or kitchen chemologist) do? They lab hack it (or kitchen hack it). When we needed specialist gear back in the lab and couldn’t get it, we would MacGyver something together. So following that premise, I thought about MacGyvering a cold drip set up out of things I have in my kitchen.
Have you ever seen these ugly looking fruit? It is autumn here in Melbourne and I came across some of them at a local farmers market last weekend. They are called quinces and they are like a cross between an apple and a pear. Straight off the tree they are practically inedible. However with some cooking and chemology they become a delightful addition to your kitchen. So what is it that makes quince paste red?
Do you like toast better than bread? Roasted coffee more than green beans? A perfectly grilled steak better than steak tartare? There is one important chemical reaction that makes your cooked food taste better than raw food and there are four things you can do to make your favourite steak taste even better.