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Jillian Mead

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Ladies' Luxuries: Versace

Posted by Jillian Mead on Jul 25, 2014 4:35:00 PM

The 2015 theme of the U.S. Pastry Competition is Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend: Ladies' Luxuries.  As our finalists seek inspiration for their magnificant creations, we will look at some of the world's great designers and learn a little about the inspirations for their great works.

 

VERSACE:  INNOVATION LIVES FOREVER

 

What do Madonna, Demi Moore, Britney Spears, Halle Berry, Kate Moss, and Gisele Bundchen all have in common (besides being beautiful, wealthy celebrities)?  Each of these famous women has been appointed by Versace to endorse its luxurious brand.  One of the world’s leading fashion houses, the Italian design house was founded in 1978 by Gianni Versace and is known for its clothing, accessories, and cosmetics as well as luxe home furnishings.  Although the Versace family are from Reggio Calabria, a mountainous region in located at the “toe” of the Italian peninsula, the first Versace shop was opened on Milan’s Via della Spiga, one of the city’s most upscale and prestigious shopping streets, after Gianni completed an apprenticeship at his mother’s dressmaking business followed by working as a freelance designer for some top fashion houses of the time.

 Gianni_Versace

Versace’s first shop in Milan was instantly popular and eventually grew into a business with several lines making up the brand: Atelier Versace, Versace Couture, Versace Sports, Versace Home Collection, Versace Jeans Couture, Versace Collection, Young Versace, and Versus.  Versace Couture, the house’s main line, is extremely high-end.  Comprised of apparel that is often handmade, this is typically the only Versace line that is shown on the runway.  The company also operates a 5-star hotel, the Palazzo Versace, located on Australia’s Gold Coast, with another hotel scheduled to open in Dubai at the end of 2014.   

palazzo-versace1

 

Gianni’s bold designs consistently challenged the boundaries of the fashion industry and earned him a reputation as a creative genius.  The vibrant prints, distinctive cuts, and unconventional materials he used joined contemporary culture and high art brilliantly.  Versace won the Cutty Sark and Golden Eye (L’Occhio d’Oro) awards in 1982 for this Fall/Winter women’s collection, in which he debuted his famous chain-mail dress.  

 

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Gianni+Versace+Linda+Evangelista+super+models 

Versace’s passion for the performing and visual arts spanned and enhanced his career.  He began working for the Teatro della Scala in 1982, designing spectacular costumes for productions that were featured in stage events worldwide.  His ardent patronage of the arts solidified him an esteemed member of the international artistic community.  

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Gianni Versace was killed on July 15, 1997 in Miami, Florida by Andrew Cunanan.  Since then, the Versace family has retained control of the house of Versace in true Italian fashion.  His sister Donatella, formerly vice-president, stepped in as creative director.  Gianni’s older brother Santo Versace became the CEO, and Donatella’s daughter Allegra has owned 50 percent of the entire company since 2004 as bequeathed in Gianni’s will.  She has the final decision about many important details regarding the Versace clothing line.  

allegra

Allegra and Donatella Versace

While he was only 50 years old when he died, it is clear that Gianni Versace left a lasting impact on the fashion world.  He was named “the most innovative and creative designer in the world” by the Cutty Sark Award jury in 1988, and in 1993 he received the American Fashion Oscar from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.  He was honored by Italian and French presidents for his work, and the design house he founded remains highly respected and pioneering today.  

 

 

 

 

Topics: U.S. Pastry Competition

Methocel F50: Not That Kind of Meth

Posted by Jillian Mead on Feb 16, 2014 7:22:26 PM
Methocel F50: Not That Kind of Meth

 

Though it sounds like some sort of illegal or prescription drug, or possibly a top-secret weapon, Methocel F50 is simply a chemical compound derived from cellulose--the main constituent in plant cell walls. While it doesn’t occur naturally, Methocel F50 is derived from natural ingredients synthetically. Cellulose is heated with a caustic solution such as sodium hydroxide, then treated with methyl chloride. In the resulting chemical reaction, the hydroxl groups are replaced by methoxide, and this new composite is called methyl cellulose.

story-15-breaking-bad-1452721 

Walter White and Jesse Pinkman were good cooks, but definitely not chefs...

Methyl cellulose is a hydrophilic white powder that dissolves in water to form a viscous, clear gel. It’s used as a thickener and emulsifier in the cosmetics and food industries, and like cellulose it is non-toxic, non-allergenic, and not digestible.  It’s added to  everything from hair shampoo to ice cream to toothpaste, so chances are there are plenty of items containing methyl cellulose in your household. 

 

Pistachio Noodles in mulled wine 

There are about 20 different types of methy cellulose. Each one is similar but has distinctive properties, differing in their dispersion and hydration requirements. Methocel F50, commonly used to stabilize whipped foams, is one of the more forgiving types to work with. It can be dispersed in either hot or cold liquid.  The best method of dispersion is to put the base liquid into a blender, then whir it until a vortex forms. Sprinkle the Methocel F50 into the vortex and blend to combine, then refrigerate.  Methocel F50 needs to be chilled to complete the hydration process, which can take several hours. 

Get This Cuisine-Tech Recipe

 

Making a foam from Methocel F50 is pretty easy. Combine it with a flavored liquid, then whip in a standing mixer with a whisk attachment until the mixture forms soft or firm peaks.  You can add some xantham gum to further stabilize the foam.  A 1% to 2% ratio of Methocel F50 to liquid is typically used for creating foams, along with 0.1% to 0.3% xantham gum.  The higher the ratio of Methocel F50 and xantham gum, the denser the resulting foam.  Once whipped, the foam can be served or dehydrated to create a sort of meringue texture.

 

Creative culinary uses for Methocel F50 abound. Watch our demonstration video for more information.

Topics: Cuisine-Tech

Kappa Carrageenan: Seaweed Goes Haute Cuisine

Posted by Jillian Mead on Dec 12, 2013 10:51:04 AM

When you think about agriculture, you probably envision a farm with rows of wheat and vegetables growing in the soil. But there is also an entire business comprised of underwater agriculture, and that’s where the modern food industry cultivates carrageenan.  A totally natural extract from a particular species of red seaweed, kappa carrageenan is sourced mainly from Kappaphycus alvarezii. VIDEOS AND RECIPES AHEAD....

carrageenan-post-pic

This type of carrageenan (there are three main commercial classes) forms the most rigid, strongest gels of the carageenan family (especially in the presence of potassium) and is widely used for its gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties.  Since carrageenans can strongly bind to proteins, its main application in the food industry is in dairy and meat products.  Kappa carrageenan can also be used as a vegetarian and vegan alternative to gelatin in some applications. 

 

Seaweed varieties, farming methods,  and facilities in the Philippines.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of converging with a strand of seaweed during a swim in the ocean, you’ve probably noticed it’s typically coated with a viscous, jellylike film.  This unique feature of seaweed was also noted by our forebearers, and the gelatinous extracts from seaweed have been utilized as a food additive for hundreds of years.  In some parts of Scotland and Ireland a traditional dessert known as “carrageenan moss” is still made by boiling specific seaweeds in milk, straining it and adding sugar and flavorings like cinnamon, brandy, whisky and vanilla.  The end result is reminiscent of panna cotta.

  Watch our demonstration video for more information on how to use kappa carrageenan.

Nowadays chefs are using the unique properties of kappa carrageenan to their advantage in modern cuisine: modernist mango custard, maple-suspended pancetta, and craft beer gels are all possible thanks to kappa carageenan.  To use kappa carrageenan in your own creations, simply disperse in water or milk (dispersion into cool liquids is best), then shear (rapid, vigorous mixing, as an immersion blender or Vitamix creates)  and heat until completely dissolved. Kappa carrageenan is soluble in hot water at temperatures above 140º F. 

 Get This Cuisine-Tech Recipe

It is also soluble in colder temperatures when mixed with sodium salt, and since kappa carrageenan binds well with dairy proteins you can also use milk bases the same way with great results.  If you’re adding sugar, do so after it is fully hydrated as it doesn’t dissolve well in the presence of sugar.  The amount of kappa carrageenan you should use depends on the type of liquid and the firmness of the gel you want to create.  Typical usage levels for kappa carrageenan are between 0.75% to 1% in water, and .35% to .5% in milk.  Most similar to agar agar in behavior, kappa carrageenan creates a thermo-reversible gel type that is not freezer stable.  To “supercharge” kappa carrageenan, it can be used in conjunction with locust bean gum. When combining with locust bean gum, you can reduce the amount of kappa carrageenan to about one-third of the concentration usually required, and the resulting gel will be more resilient.

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Topics: Cuisine-Tech

Seven Ways To Use Chestnuts Every Day

Posted by Jillian Mead on Nov 27, 2013 10:18:00 AM

Sylvain Leroy, corporate chef of Paris Gourmet, shares his favorite ways to use the myriad incarnations of chestnuts: candied (whole and pieces), individually quick frozen, fully cooked shelf stable vacuum packed, flour, unsweetened puree, as well as multiple pastes and purees of varying sweetness.

 

When Chef Leroy started talking about chestnuts, it was immediately apparent not only how versatile this lovely ingredient is, but also how much nostalgic sway the fruit of the chestnut tree holds for so many cultures. Nothing would ever compare, he said, to the marron glacés he enjoyed during his childhood in France during the holidays. He’d beg his mother for just one perfect glazed candied chestnut, glistening in the windows of the patisserie shops. Chestnuts are also extremely popular in Italian and Japanese cuisine, and even Americans associate the aroma of simple roasted chestnuts with cozy, happy feelings.

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Imbert, the company that produces Paris Gourmet’s line of candied chestnuts, pastes, and purees, exclusively uses the marron variety, long considered the cream of the crop: large, sweet chestnuts, with one large chestnut nestled inside each shell. Other varieties such as chataigne are smaller, with two little chestnuts per shell, and a texture and flavor that aren’t as delicate or desirable as the marron.

historique2-big

 

Imbert uses only fresh chestnuts, and is the only company in its field that does NOT use frozen peeled chestnuts. The production campaign runs from mid-October to the end of March. Today, approximately 800 tons of fresh chestnuts are used as part of their annual production.

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The Ardeche region of France, home of Imbert, produces the most chestnuts of any departement.

 

Here are seven of Chef Sylvain’s favorite ways to use chestnuts, in both sweet and savory applications.

 

Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) Blanched Chestnuts

Try these in a chestnut cream soup. Boil them briefly until soft, then drain and puree them for the base of a classic creamy soup. Fold in or garnish with some chopped chestnuts for additional texture, if desired.

 

Fully Cooked, Shelf Stable Chestnuts (Vacuum Packed)

These precooked chestnuts are ideal for savory uses. Perfect as an inclusion for stuffings and soups, they are also a wonderful partner for game or turkey dishes. Try a chestnut and celery puree folded into your mashed potatoes for an earthy, nutty take on a favorite side dish.

 

Whole Candied Chestnuts

These beautiful chestnuts are what you should use for the classic marron glacé. The candying process is quite complicated, and requires at least 9 steps to complete. You wouldn’t succeed at making candied chestnuts in a typical kitchen, so it’s important to start with an already fully candied chestnut. Simply mix some of the syrup from the can with a bit of icing sugar (Never throw the syrup away!), then brush onto the candied chestnut. Bake them briefly to form a nice glaze.

 

 See how master artisan Jean-Louis Corsiglia makes his marrons glaces.

Candied Chestnut Pieces

Include candied chestnut pieces in a buche de noel for a beautiful--and beautiful tasting--holiday centerpiece. You can’t go wrong with the combination of chestnuts and chocolate.

DON'T EAT THESE!  They are the "dirty water dogs" of the chestnut world...

NYC_CHESTNUTS

 

Sweetened Chestnut Paste

Use 50% or 60% sweetened chestnut paste as your base for the elegant dessert called Mont Blanc: sweet chestnut puree topped with whipped cream, resembling the snow-capped mountain it is named after.

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 A beautiful Mont Blanc from La Patisserie des Reves, Paris.

Unsweetened Chestnut Puree

If you want your Mont Blanc a bit less sweet, or any other dessert you use chestnut paste for, simply fold in a little bit of the unsweetened puree to your taste.

 

Chestnut Flour

You can use chestnut flour to make shortbread or financier dough, sponge cake, cookies or crepe batter, but since it’s rather heavy it’s important to always cut chestnut flour with almond or all-purpose flour. Using only chestnut flour will not yield good results. One of Chef Sylvain’s favorite uses for chestnut flour is in a savory crepe batter, cooked and filled with ham and cheese. Or try a sweet crepe batter with chocolate and pear filling.

 

IQF Fruits: 9 Tips For Great Results

Posted by Jillian Mead on Nov 26, 2013 10:31:00 AM

I spoke with Jean Francois Devineau, chef technician for Ravifruit, about his best tips and suggestions for working with IQF (individually quick frozen) fruits.

An integral ingredient in every kitchen, fruits are a great way to add color, variety, texture, and, of course, flavor to so many applications. Ravifruit’s excellent selection of IQF fruits are a superb way to take advantage of the harvest, year-round.

 RAV985_APRICOT_1-2_1QF

 

 

1) Think of IQF Fruits as Fresh Fruits...Only Better

You can use IQF fruit pretty much anywhere you’d use fresh fruit: atop tarts, featured in plated desserts, blended into coulis and sauces, as a garnish, or cooked into jams and preserves.

Conversely, don’t use IQF fruits where you wouldn’t use fresh fruit. For example, if included in ice cream cake, the frozen water in the fruit would make for some unpleasant, icy bits and “disrupt” the eating experience.  In many ways, IQF fruits are actually better than fresh. Ravifruit only uses fruit at their peak of ripeness and seasonality for their products, so they are consistently of the highest quality.  There’s also no waste or prep involved--just use what you need right out of the freezer, no thawing required, and you don’t have to spend any time peeling or pitting.

 

2) Proper Storage

It couldn’t be easier: Take what only you need, then wrap up the rest air-tight and pop the package back in the freezer.  Because these are truly individually quick frozen, you can utilize exactly the number or quantity that you want for each preparation.

3) Gorgeous Garnishes

Improving upon nature’s design is tough, so fruits are always a great choice for garnishes. The IQF process ensures that the fruits stay intact, without losing shape or bruising. Simply pluck whichever fruit you like from the freezer and brush on a neutral, clear glaze for simple, stunning garnishes.

 4) Ideal Apricots

Ravifruit only uses French Bergeron apricots, a particular varietal grown in France right where Ravifruit headquarters are located. Juicy, tasty, and colorful, these apricots are one of Jean Francois’s favorite products in the Ravifruit line. Use them straight from the freezer, or place them on a baking sheet, skin side down. Sprinkle generously with "cassonade" (Sugar in the Raw), then bake at 320 degrees F for 20 minutes. Let them cool, then refrigerate until needed (they’ll keep for several days like this). This protects the fruit from oxidation.

 5) Unrivaled Rhubarb

Rhubarb has become so popular in the U.S., and chefs love how its tartness plays against sugar in sweet dishes like crisps, compotes, and pies. When using IQF rhubarb, Jean Francois prefers to remove it from the freezer, then sprinkle it with sugar and let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight covered with plastic wrap. This takes away some of the bitterness and sourness of the fruit without stripping it entirely of its characteristic tangy nature.  Rhubarb makes marvelous compote and pairs perfectly with strawberries.

6) Perfect Plums

Plums are so beloved that the Ravifruit line of IQF fruits includes two very different varieties: Quetsche and Mirabelle. Quetsche plums are large, oval, purple fruits with a bit of sourness and great flavor. Mirabelle plums are sweeter, smaller, round and yellow--they are less common and only grown in the Northeast of France.  Great for tarts!!  Quetsche plums can be prepared using the same methods described for apricots above.

RAV990_mirabelle        RAV989_Plum_Quetsche_IQF

 

                 MIRABELLE                                                                              QUETSCHE

 7) Be Creative

Instead of a typical smooth coulis, introduce some texture by stirring in some diced IQF fruits. Use IQF morello cherries for a twist on the classic Black Forest Cake: make a miniature version in a verrine by layering chocolate cake, cherry coulis, whipped cream and whole cherries. Always add the morello cherries while still frozen for best results.  Create refreshing cold fruit soups and add texture and flavor to salads and dressings.

8) Or Stay Traditional

The modern technology used in the IQF freezing process marries very well with traditional, old-school applications. These fruits are the perfect choice for classics like tart tatin, gateau basque, clafouti, and open-face tarts.  Red currants are often used as a cake filling, or glazed when frozen and used as a decoration.  Red currant jam can be marvelous but requires a significant amount of sugar.  Summer fruit mix is often tossed in neutral glaze while still frozen and used to decorate tarts and cakes.

Everyone loves homemade jams, and IQF fruits are the most convenient starting point.  Use one part IQF fruit to one part fruit puree, add 40-50% sugar, mix, and allow to sit overnight.  Bring to a boil, preferably in a copper pot.  Remove from heat, and chill to 4ºC/ 38ºF.  Refrigerate for 24 hours, and repeat the cooking and cooling process again.  This process allows the greatest marriage of fruit flavors, and the best pectin development for a rich texture.

 class buffet at Paris Gourmet

9) Take Advantage of the Selection Any Time of Year

You no longer have to wait for cherry season or use sub-par apricots in the winter with the consistent high-quality that the IQF process offers. The true integrity of the fruit, picked and immediately flash-frozen when it’s at its absolute best, is a wonderful opportunity for chefs to have access to these wonderful, natural ingredients year-round.

Topics: Ravifruit, Techniques, fruits

Caviar Spherification

Posted by Jillian Mead on Nov 15, 2013 7:00:00 AM

Caviar spherification, developed and popularized by chef Ferran Adria, is the process in which liquid ingredients are shaped into spheres resembling caviar.

 

spheres

 

A great technique to add a little flair to plated dishes and cocktails, you only need a few ingredients to create your own customized “caviar”: Whatever flavorful liquid you’d like to spherify (mango puree, olive oil, green tea...the possibilities really are endless), plus calcium chloride, sodium alginate, and water. Whir the sodium alginate into your base liquid at high speed with an immersion blender, and mix the calcium chloride with the water until dissolved. Then dispense the flavored liquid into the calcium chloride bath, leave it in for one minute, and transfer the newly formed caviar pearls into a cold water bath. Strain them out of the water and they’re all done.

Watch our demonstration video and check out these tips for more information on how to make caviar spheres.  Click on "Read More" below...

 

 

 

Get This Cuisine-Tech Recipe 

BASIC CAVIAR SPHERIFICATION TIPS

1) Make sure the base liquid is not too acidic, as basic spherification won’t occur if the pH is less than 3.6. To reduce acidity, simply add some sodium citrate, but not too much otherwise the end result will taste too salty.

2) Using the tools like those in the CuisineTech Essential Tool Kit allows for the quick creation of large quantities of caviar drops, with great precision and little effort. You can also use a regular plastic syringe for small caviar, or a spoon for larger spheres. When using a syringe, be sure to use constant, even pressure so your spheres turn out uniform.

3) Drop the liquid into the calcium chloride bath from the correct distance. If you drop them from too high up, the higher impact into the water will cause them to flatten out. And if you drop them too low, they won’t gather enough speed to form nice spheres.

4) Don’t leave the pearls in the calcium chloride bath too long, or they’ll become firm and lack the characteristic pop and liquid burst that makes them so much fun to eat.

5) Pressed for time? Prepared caviar spheres are available in flavors like truffle, pink grapefruit, soy sauce, passion fruit, and black currant.

Topics: Cuisine-Tech, Techniques

Apple Pectin Time

Posted by Jillian Mead on Nov 13, 2013 3:00:00 PM

A familiar ingredient to the many home cooks who use it to set their jams and jellies, pectin is a natural polysaccharide found in numerous terrestrial plants, and in particularly high concentration within the cell walls of apples.

All pectin is not created equal, as the structure, amount, and chemical composition differs among various plants, within the same plant over time, and in the diverse parts of the plant itself. Hence there are several types of pectin available for culinary preparations as a gelling agent, thickener, and stabilizer.

CT1012_APPLE_PECTIN

 

See full post for video

 

First isolated and reported by Henri Braconnot in 1825, the culinary action of pectin as a gelling agent was known long beforehand. To get good quality, well-set jams made from low-pectin fruits such as blueberries or apricots, cooks would mix some pectin-rich fruits or their extracts into the recipe. With the onset of industrialization, makers of fruit preserves turned to apple juice producers to get dried apple pomace that was cooked down to extract pectin, and eventually during the 1920s and 1930s factories were built for the sole purpose of extracting pectin in regions that produced apple juice in both Europe and the USA.

Yellow Apple Pectin is a high methylester type of apple pectin that has been standardized with dextrose and is typically used as a gelifier for pate de fruit and glazes that results in a slowly set, spreadable gel texture. Combine Yellow Apple Pectin with sugar prior before it is added to the other ingredients, as sugar increases pectin’s ability to gel and affect texture and consistency. It also requires the presence of an acid, such as citric acid, to set properly.

 

 

 

 

To create classic French pate de fruit candies, simply bring the fruit puree of your choice to a boil, then whisk in a Yellow Apple Pectin/sugar mixture followed by any remaining sugar(s) necessary for your recipe. Heat the mixture to 225 degrees Fahrenheit, then remove from heat and add an acidic ingredient (powdered citric acid works well). Dispense the mixture into molds or pour into a sheet tray with sides to set, then roll the molded or cut pieces of set pate de fruit in crystallized or granulated sugar.

 

Topics: Cuisine-Tech, Ravifruit, Techniques

Nutriose: A Natural Way to Improve Fried Food

Posted by Jillian Mead on Oct 2, 2013 2:46:00 PM

Nutriose is a versatile, natural ingredient that helps breadings and batters fry up exceptionally well.  It’s useful in creating thinner, finer coatings that last for several hours without getting greasy, and couldn’t be easier to use.  Simply substitute Nutriose for 20-50% of regular flour in batter and breading recipes and fry away!  Plus, you can feel a little less guilty when you indulge in the finished product--Since Nutriose is comprised of 85% dietary fiber, it increases the fiber content in many food products.

wheat dextrin 

Nutriose is made out of wheat dextrin, which is considered a gluten-free starch according to the FDA’s definition.  Wheat starch is chemically processed to create wheat dextrin and it is used globally in the food, textile, and adhesive industries.  When you lick an envelope to seal it, you’re ingesting a little bit of wheat dextrin.  So it’s a fairly commonplace product and just about everyone has had some.

 

Besides its amazing ability to make fried foods even more delicious, it is widely used in the food industry as a thickener in packaged foods or as a fat replacement in “light” versions of foods. And all that fiber brings plenty of health benefits: according to published medical research, wheat dextrin can help reduce cholesterol levels, improve immune function and boost mineral absorption.  (These health benefits are likely nullified if you only ingest wheat dextrin in the form of fried batters, but at least they’ll be worth the indulgence if Nutriose is in the mix.)

Get This Cuisine\u002DTech Recipe

 

So next time you’re anticipating a crispy bite of tempura-induced heaven but you just get a limp shrimp instead, it could very well be a lack of Nutriose that’s to blame.

Tempura1 resized 600

Topics: Cuisine-Tech, Videos

Ultra Tex: Not Your Grandmother’s Tapioca

Posted by Jillian Mead on Sep 20, 2013 9:15:00 AM

Tapioca typically brings to mind an old-fashioned dessert of sweet pearlescent pudding studded with starchy spheroids. But you probably eat tapioca just about every day without realizing it. 

 

Extracted from the root of the cassava plant, tapioca is cultivated in tropical areas worldwide, with a high concentration in Southeast Asia and South America.  It can be precooked or pregelatinized to make instant or cold-water-swelling starches and modified in accordance with FDA regulations, and is not known to be an allergen, making it a favored choice as a texturizing or stabilizing agent in specific food markets (especially gluten-free).

cassava root

 

Because it possesses high viscosity and clarity, a very bland, clean flavor profile, a high freeze/thaw rate and good mouth melt-away characteristics, tapioca exhibits the properties that are most desirable for a modified food starch. Therefore, tapioca starch can be found in many industrial food products, including frozen french fries, canned soups, processed cheeses, bakery fillings, dairy products, sauces and gravies. 

 

Although tapioca has been utilized for centuries in traditional cuisines, and prominently in industrialized food manufacturing, its qualities are also a boon to the modern creative chef.  Ultra-Tex 3 and Ultra-Tex 8 are great examples of tapioca-derived products that can be used in all sorts of fun gastronomic endeavors. 

 

Ultra-Tex 3 provides an exceptionally smooth, glossy texture for a wide range of instant food applications, while also imparting a rich creamy mouthfeel.  It’s excellent for producing ideal textural stability, even in cold temperatures or under refrigerated storage, and compared to conventional pregelitinized tapioca starches Ultra-Tex 3 boasts improved tolerance in heated and acidic conditions.  As soon as it comes into contact with hot or cold water, Ultra-Tex 3 develops viscosity and texture.  To aid its dispersion in the liquid, it’s a good idea to blend Ultra-Tex 3 with other dry ingredients (particularly sugar) or disperse it in oil before adding it to water or water-based ingredients such as fruit puree. 

 

cassava plant

 

Ultra-Tex 8 is ideal for use in sauces, pastry fillings, instant puddings, Bavarian creams, and cheese sauces, as it imparts a smooth, glossy texture and superior rich, creamy quality to these preparations.  Perfect for frozen or baked goods and useful in myriad neutral formulations where a smooth, short texture and clean flavor profile are desired, Ultra-Tex 8 as your go-to starch for such creations.

Topics: Cuisine-Tech, Ultra Tex

Sucrose Ester: This Fat Wears Many Hats

Posted by Jillian Mead on Sep 18, 2013 2:38:00 PM

Will Foie Gras Cotton Candy Be The Next Big Hit At The State Fair?

 

Esters are ubiquitous, and the sucrose ester is no exception.  While technically classified as an emulsifier, sucrose esters are also used in food production to aid in aeration, texturization, starch interaction, protein protection, and fat or sugar crystallization.  Sucrose esters can also boost the action of other emulsifiers, keep starches fresh for longer periods of time, or prevent proteins from browning.  Is it any wonder the sucrose ester is found in virtually every category of edible products? 

 

Most naturally occurring fats and oils, like olive oil or the animal fats in butter, are esters.  The main ingredient in the sucrose ester is--you guessed it--sucrose (otherwise known as granulated sugar, or plain old table sugar). Sucrose is “esterified” by combining it with the edible fatty acids from palm oil. 

 

The sucrose ester’s wide range of applications in bakery items, cereals, confections, dairy products and sauces is a boon to food manufacturers and chefs worldwide.  It makes the production process more efficient by decreasing mixing time, keeping viscosity low, and reducing stickiness.  The sucrose ester’s effect on sugar and fat crystallization prevents fat bloom in chocolate and accelerates the crystallization process in candy-making. 

 

 

Alternatively, the sucrose ester is increasingly used in low-fat food preparations as well.  Take reduced-fat biscuits, for example.  Simply cutting the fat in the recipe would result in a hard, dry, thoroughly unappetizing approximation of a biscuit.  But the addition of sucrose esters to the biscuit dough keeps the sugar from forming too-large agglomerates.  The sucrose esters help the fat globules that are present stay much smaller, thus keeping the sugar molecules in the biscuit finely divided and resulting in dough characteristics more similar to a full-fat dough and an enhanced mouthfeel in the finished product. 

 

Sucrose ester is a white or ivory powder with a microcrystalline structure that is water soluble.  While it is a cold process emulsifier, it will act more quickly when heat is applied.  When utilizing sucrose esters to emulsify oils with watery mediums, first dissolve the sucrose ester in the watery ingredients before blending with the fatty medium for the best result. 

 

For a creative and fun way to use sucrose esters, check out our Cuisine Tech video highlighting this versatile ingredient as an essential component in the creation of savory foie gras cotton candy.

 

And then there's this guy, who combined his life's two intense passions, Michael Jackson and cotton candy, to create a street performance spectacular.

 

Topics: Cuisine-Tech, Videos