Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"An Instant Chemical Emulsion."

Welcome back to me. Welcome back to you as well.! I hope as you are reading, you are thinking about the good food that you had over the Memorial Day weekend. I would like to first thank all of the Veterans and Servicemen and women for the work that they do for our country. If it was not for them, we would not have such diverse food (story why would be explained at a later date).!
As all of my readers know, I am a big fan of the theories and principals of molecular gastronomy. As we were finished in my cake decorating class, another training Pastry Chef asked me about the process of "Pop Rocks." If you are unaware of what it is, basically it is two acids (in powder form) that you would find in the average bake shop, in equal parts. When you put it in your mouth, you get this unbelievable popping and foaming.
After playing around with it some, we developed a formula for chocolate "pop rocks", and strawberry "pop rocks." Both were equally good and felt amazing in your mouth, but the strawberry with strawberry powder was my favorite.! We are going to try a round two tomorrow, so return for pictures for they are well worth it.! I may even bless the blog with a video of the reaction process.! Until later.... In the great words of Alka Seltzer "Pop, pop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief.!!!!"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Icing Fit for a King: Royal Icing.!"

As stated earlier, I am posting the results of my introduction to the world of cake decorating.!
The cake on the left is mine, as the one on the right was done by my classmate Yoona. Both of the cakes were presented during lunch, in from of all of the Chefs and academic Instructors.!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"As fine as wine, but as cheap as caviar."

What am I referring to, might you ask.? The appraised Lapsang Souchong tea leaf.! Today I set out to find this really smokey tea that comes from the Wuyi region of the Chinese province of Fujian. Unlike other tea leaves, these are smoke-dried over Pinewood fires, which offers its distinct flavor. Not only could this tea be used to drink, but it also used in the culinary world, and pairs well with roasted ribs. For more information about this tea and its uses, leave a comment, and I would be sure to reply to you.!
The reason for me searching for this praised tea, is because as stated in previous posts, I am experimenting with the science of Molecular Gastronomy.! I came across this pretty cool recipe for a Tea Air/Foam.! This weekend, I am going to try it, so check back this weekend for cool pics and possibly recipes.! Until later.... To brew the perfect cup of Black Tea, pour water at 195º over one teaspoon of tea leaves, for three minutes.

Monday, May 12, 2008

"Hello World..."

I had this urge to write something.! Not just because I am currently listening to Jason Mraz's new album (not plugging him or anything); not because I have just ordered my immersion blender to practice different forms of Molecular Gastronomy, but because I am typing up my notes from my Cake Decorating and Candy Making class.! Not only am i really excited about all that I have learned in just one week, but I am elated that the chef gave us tips and notes that most people take their entire career to find out.!!!! Just looking down right now, I see how to properly cut any shape cake, and the proper way to bake large 18" cakes.! I mean GOSH.!
Okay, enough about that, and back to my Molecular Gastronomy stuff.! So this weekend, I am going home for a barbeque for my mothers college graduation. Not only would this be a chance to cook and bake up some good food, but to also try out some really tricky techniques with family friends (and of course the random friend of a friend, of a friend.lol.). Well look out for my pictures because they will be up no later than sunday night.! Until later..... BUTTER ALWAYS MELTS AT 85ºF.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

As easy as a piece of cake... NOT

Well this past week in my cake decorating and candy making class opened my eyes to show me that I actually enjoy decorating cakes. Not only does it use my passion for food, but also uses my love for the arts.! As one of my gifts to my mother, I made her a cake.! Not only did I make an Italian buttercream icing to go on the cake, but it is also covered in homemade rolled fondant. For those of you who have made fondant before know that this is a task that is both tedious and delicious.!!! To finally decorate the cake, and to make it look like more than a couple of blocks of cake, I decorated this exquisite cake with royal icing.!!! Let me know what you think of the cake. Until later, it's not about how the cookie crumbles, it's about how the cake is covered.!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

WHat My Title....?

If everyone did not know, my nickname according to my baking classmate, Yoon An, is "Food Nerd." We are not condoning name calling, but it was pretty funny that she called me a nerd.! The reason is because I had just got finished reading this book called "
Twinkie Deconstructed" by: Steve Ettinger. In the book it pretty much describes all of the ingredients (at the time of publishing) that are in the infamous Twinkie. And not much to my surprise, everything pretty much came from some sort of science lab. This book is a great read.! Until later.... "Beware of the Twinkie."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"It's all in the whip."

Hello World.... Today was an amazing day. Well yesterday was as well because we made this amazing pound cake using the recipe from one of the best, if not the best, pastry chef in the United States, Chef Bandula. Well we baked off our three tier cakes yesterday, so today we made our icing. OMG... This was not just ANY icing, but it was PERFECT Italian and Swiss Buttercream Icing.!!! When I say that these recipes not only made me happy, but it also made my mouth water.! I totally cannot wait to post the recipes for the world to share.! Or you could at least email me and I would forward it to you. Tomorrow we are making Fondant to cover the cake, so come back for more.! Until later, enjoy good fine, and enjoy fine art.!

Shaymar W. Higgs

Saturday, May 3, 2008

First shot at fruit caviar.!

Alright... I promised a picture, so here it is:

I think that is looks good. Leave your comments and let me know as well.!!! By the way, I used orange juice because surprisingly, that was all that I had in the house. I am leaving to go back to school tomorrow, so I had to use what I bought last night.! Until later......
Okay... Today I would like to start with HELLO to all of my future readers.! Now that that's done, I am going to get into the "meat and potatoes" of my day.! For those of you who do not know what molecular gastronomy is, it is an intense food process that is as follows, according to Wikipedia.com:

Molecular gastronomy is a scientific discipline involving the study of physical and chemical processes that occur in cooking.[3] It investigates the mechanisms behind the transformation of ingredients in cooking, attempts to explain them, and investigates the social, artistic and technical components of culinary and gastronomic phenomena in general (from a scientific point of view). The term was coined in 1988 by Hungarian physicist Nicholas Kurti and French chemist Hervé This,[4][5] although atomic physicist Nicholas Kurti debuted the principle in London in 1969.[6]

So I tried to make fruit caviar, and they came out perfectly. Pictures will be up soon.! Nevertheless, this is only the beginning of my food tests and excursions.! Look forward to many more experiments and recipes for you to try as well.! Until later......