Archive | February, 2011
Sponge Toffee

Foamed candy: Sponge toffee

It always irks me when people make the sweeping declaration that “foams” are a fad that will soon fade. While this may be true of some types of foams – although even there, I’m not convinced – foam is a structure that cuts across all categories of food, savoury and sweet. Take, for example, the […]

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Gin Bramble

Friday Night Cocktail: Gin Bramble

It’s a rare cocktail whose lineage can be definitively traced back to its original creator. This is no less true of drinks from the recent past than those dating from the 19th century, as the murky history of the Cosmopolitan shows. The Gin Bramble, however, is one such drink: we know, with as much certainty […]

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Canadian whisky sausage with herbes salées

One of the things that makes cassoulet seem so monumental is the variety of meats included in it. But there’s no reason you have to make them all the same day as you cook the beans. Then again, you can… and in this case, I nearly did. The “set it and forget it” sous-vide duck […]

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Cassoulet: The mother of all baked beans

For no particular reason – other, perhaps, than an inherent sense of their seasonality – I’ve been cooking and eating a lot of dried beans lately. Vegetarian chilli, the cannellini ragù from Ad Hoc at Home , classic baked beans… they’ve all made their way to my dining room table in recent weeks. So when […]

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Corked wine

Fixing corked wine

The idea of “fixing” corked wine by removing the offending molecule, trichloroanisole (TCA), is certainly not new. However, luckily for me, I rarely come across corked bottles. When I do, I almost always forget that this technique exists. However, the other night, I was reading through the wine section of Modernist Cuisine, and noticed that […]

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Sous vide duck confit

Sous-vide duck confit

One of the most surprising and controversial discoveries I’ve heard of from the work on Modernist Cuisine is that duck confit doesn’t need to be cooked in fat. A team of professional chefs, when blind-tasting duck prepared different ways (including traditional confit, sous vide with a small amount of duck fat, and precision-steamed), couldn’t tell […]

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Friday Night Cocktail: Weeski

Cocktail neophytes often wonder how to go about inventing new drinks. Personally, I don’t do it very often, because my back catalogue of interesting-sounding drinks culled from books and the Internet is already so long that I’ll probably be unable to get through it in this lifetime, unless I spontaneously develop a second liver. That […]

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Modernist Dashi

Modernist dashi

Through my involvement with the Society for Culinary Arts and Letters, I’ve been lucky enough to get access to a review copy of Modernist Cuisine, the 2,400-page, 6-volume tour de force cookbook by Nathan Myhrvold and his team that’s being released next month. For my first foray into cooking from the book, I decided to […]

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Candied Orange Zest

On the importance of garnish

“Do you want to make the candied orange zest garnish?” my husband asked me, about our next round of truffles, filled with an orange butter ganache. “Why not?” I replied. “The devil is in the details, and candied orange zest will make them that much nicer. Anyway, candied orange zest is easy.” And so it […]

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