Archive | October, 2011
Sour cream

A curdling tale: Home-cultured sour cream

Continuing with my curiosity about fermented milk products, but lacking the time for a full-fledged cheese project, I decided to take on something a little more set-it-and-forget-it: sour cream. In the idyllic past, cows would be milked and the milk would be left to stand, allowing the cream to separate and rise to the top. […]

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Green and brown coffee 2

The green and the brown: Coffee roasting at home

It is one of my fundamental beliefs that most foodstuffs can be made successfully at home. The results may not be the best example of their type – there’s a reason specialist producers exist – but they are at least consumable and, with a little understanding of the physical and chemical reactions involved, often very […]

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Heat gun

Tech rundown: Heat gun

One of the fundamental skills of cooking is controlling the way that heat goes into (and, sometimes, comes out of) food. You can use a very gentle heat, like a controlled-temperature water bath, to warm the food slowly until the whole thing is the same temperature as the cooking medium. Or you can use a […]

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Doctor Cocktail

Friday Night Cocktail: Swedish Punch and the Doctor Cocktail

When working on a homemade cocktail ingredient, I always find it helpful to try someone else’s version first, to establish a basis of comparison, so I know what I’m aiming for. Take Swedish punch. Despite having read about it many times, I never had the chance to try it until this summer, when I found […]

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Pickled myoga

Pickled myoga

At times, I have a certain compulsion around food: when I read about an ingredient enough, I eventually have to try it, no matter the cost. (OK, within reason.) In this case, it was myoga, a Japanese ingredient related to ginger. Nearly every Japanese cookbook I have mentions it, but I had never seen it […]

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Caramelized Squash Soup

Caramelized vegetable soup redux

Autumn is undeniably soup season, not to mention squash season, which may explain why my speculation on soups made from caramelized vegetables other than carrots went so quickly from “I wonder if it would work?” to “What’s for dinner?” I started by seeding, peeling and dicing a small butternut squash, and weighing the flesh. I […]

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Damson Crumble Cake

Damson crumble cake: The other half of liqueur-making

Once you’ve made your damson gin and used it in a Modern No. 2, you’ll be left with the other half of your project’s materials: gin-soaked damsons. I’ve always struggled to use these up somehow. I find booze-soaked fruit to be fine in small quantities, but its appeal fades quickly. For some reason, the fruit […]

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Modern No. 2

Friday night cocktail: The Modern No. 2

Two days from now, after a month of marrying Plymouth gin and local damsons, my latest batch of damson gin will be ready. I’ll taste it for sugar (the damsons seemed unusually sweet this year, so I was restrained with how much I added at the start), then I’ll get to mixing. After I made […]

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Caramelized Carrot Soup

Modernist Cuisine: Caramelized carrot soup

It seems that one of the most popular recipes so far from Modernist Cuisine is the caramelized carrot soup. This probably has something to do with the accessibility of the recipe: it requires no special ingredients, and the only special equipment it needs is a pressure cooker. (OK, there’s the whole question of the centrifuge […]

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