Wednesday, October 31, 2012
HearSay's Delicious Dish: 10/31/12
Segment A: Flavor Profiles
First up in our monthly cooking program, HearSay host Cathy Lewis talks with our favorite foodie, Patrick Evans-Hylton and gets the latest dish on local restaurants and eateries with our popular "Flavor Profiles" segment.
Patrick Evans-Hylton - Senior Editor for Food & Wine, "Hampton Roads Magazine" and executive editor for "Virginia Wine Lover Magazine," and author of six books, including two food history books and a cookbook, “Popcorn”
Segment B: Trick or Treat Sweets
Today is Halloween, the day you have no excuse not to enjoy candy and sweets! On this edition of HearSay's Delicious Dish, host Cathy Lewis and foodie Patrick Evans-Hylton will take a look at Halloween candy traditions old and new, plus we'll talk with Jen King, co-author of “The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook" to find out how you can make some sweet treats of your own for your little ghosts and ghouls!
Jen King - Author, “The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook"
Segment C: The Lab In The Kitchen
Great cooks seem to operate on intuition. Watch one at work and you might think he or she must have a sixth sense that switches on in the kitchen. But great cooks aren’t psychic. They simply understand the fundamental principles of cooking—the unspoken rules that guide their every move in the kitchen. What’s behind these principles? Science. In this part of the program, Cathy is joined by Jack Bishop, editorial director of America's Test Kitchen. He'll have more on the new book, "The Science of Good Cooking" and share some of its scientific secrets.
Jack Bishop - Editorial Director, "America's Test Kitchen"
Serves: 35 two-inch cookies
For the Cookie Base
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
FOR THE MARSHMALLOW:
1 ¼ cups cold water, divided into ¾ cup and ½ cup
4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
2¾ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup light corn syrup
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split open and seeds scraped out, pod reserved; or 1 teaspon pure vanilla extract
For Dipping the Cookies
13 cups chopped dark chocolate (about 5 pounds) or 13 cups chopped dark chocolate, and 2 cups mild vegetable oil
Make the Cookie Base:
1. Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-size bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the butter, a bit at a time, and mix until it comes together into a dough; it will be very sandy and crumbly. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, pat it into a flat rectangle, and wrap it tightly. Refrigerate it until firm, at least 4 hours, or overnight.
2. When you're ready to bake the dough, remove it from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 325.
3. Lightly dust a cutting board or other work surface with flour. Roll the dough out to about ¼ inch thickness, and cut it into rounds with a cookie cutter or floured drinking glass. Place the rounds on the prepared large baking sheet, spacing them at least 1 inch apart. Bake until the cookies are slightly puffy and dry looking, 7 to 10 minutes. Allow them to cool completely on the baking sheet.
Make the Marshmallow:
4. Place ¾ cup of the cold water in a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over it, and stir to combine. Set it aside to soften, at least 5 minutes.
5. Place the remaining ½ cup water, the sugar, the corn syrup, and the vanilla bean and seeds (if using) in a medium-size (4-quart) saucepan, and stir with the heatproof spatula to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, without stirring, over medium-high heat. Then insert the candy thermometer and cook, uncovered, until it reaches 240° (firm-to-hard ball stage), about 10 minutes.
6. Place the eggs white in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat at medium speed until they hold soft peaks, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn the speed down to low; proceed to the next step.
7. Once the syrup reaches 250 degrees (firm-to-hard ball stage), remove it from the heat and use a slotted spoon to fish out the vanilla bean (if you used one). Pour the hot syrup into a bowl containing the egg whites, pouring own the side of the bowl. Add the softened gelatin and turn the speed up to high, beating until the mixture is white, thick, and almost tripled in volume; about 6 minutes for a stand mixer or 10 to 12 minutes with a handheld mixer.
8. If using the vanilla extract, add it, and beat until just combined. Meanwhile, place the piping bag in a measuring cup and set it aside nearby.
9. Pour half of the warm marshmallow into the piping bag in the cup. Pour the rest into the prepared small baking sheet, spread it evenly with a rubber spatula, and set it aside. (When it has cooled, cut it up to store or enjoy later).
Assemble and Dip the Cookies:
10. Seal the piping bag and snip a hole about ½ inch off the tip. Pipe the marshmallow onto the baked cookies in nice big puffs. Allow the marshmallow to firm up, 2 to 3 hours.
11. Temper the 13 cups chocolate, or use the 13 cups chocolate and 2 cups oil to make Cheater's Chocolate Coating (instructions below).
12. Dip each marshmallow-topped cookie by fork-dipping (instructions below), and place them on the remaining lined large baking sheet. Let the chocolate set up, about 15 minutes.
Store cookies in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to 1 week.
1. Fill a large (6 quart) saucepan with water to a depth of about 1 inch. Bring it to a boil, uncovered, over high heat.
2. Meanwhile, if using a block of chocolate, chop it with a serrated knife.
3. Once the water has come to a boil, turn off the heat and set a medium-size heatproof bowl on top. Add about two-thirds of the chopped chocolate and allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula (you want to make sure the chocolate on the bottom of the bowl does not get too hot, but if you stir the whole time, the heat will disperse too much and the chocolate won't melt all the way).
4. Once all the pieces have melted completely, insert the tempering thermometer and check the temperature; for dark chocolate you want it to be around 108 degrees; milk 106 degrees; white, 104 degrees. If you go a little bit over these temperatures, that's fine; too much under, though, and you won't melt all the "bad" crystals in the cocoa butter. No thermometer? No problem. Dab a bit of chocolate on your lip instead. At the melted stage, the chocolate should feel distinctly warm - no just lukewarm.
5. Once your chocolate has reached the desired temperature, CAREFULLY, lift the bowl off the pot, and place it on top of a folded dish towel. You'll want to wipe the moisture off the bottom and side of the bowl; this will lessen the risk of accidentally getting some in the chocolate, which is not okay. (Water will cause the chocolate to seize, or get lumpy and unworkable, and you'll have to make it into - quelle horreur! - chocolate sauce instead.)
6. Now add some of the reserved chocolate about ¼ cup at a time, stirring constantly until the addition has been incorporated completely and there are no more lumps. You'll want to stir like your life depends on it here, both to agitate the chocolate (the more it is agitated, the nice-n-shinier it'll be) and to reduce its temperature. You want to get it down to about 90 degrees for dark; 88 degrees for milk; 86 degrees for white. (More cocoa solids require working at higher heat.) If you're doing the lip test, you'll want it to feel distinctly cool. Agitating not only encourages the right crystals to form, it also helps cool the chocolate more rapidly. This will take you about 15 minutes.
7. Once the chocolate is close to the desired temperature (a degree or two above is fine), test it: Dip a teaspoon in the chocolate, then stick the dipped spoon on a piece of wax paper and allow it to set up for a few minutes. (If your kitchen is warm, you can put it in the fridge for a bit - 2 minutes for dark, more like 5 minutes for milk and white.) If the test sets up completely - a little glossy, not tacky to the touch, not streaky or blotchy - then huzzah and kudos to you! You just tempered chocolate.
Cheaters Chocolate Coating:
3 cups chopped milk chocolate or dark chocolate
½ cup neutral-flavored vegetable oil, such as sunflower or safflower
1. Melt the Chocolate: Place it in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl and heat it in the microwave on High for 20 seconds. Stir the chocolate with a whisk or heatproof spatula, then continue heating it on High in 20-second increments, stirring after each increment, until the chocolate is completed melted.
Alternatively, fill a small (2 quart) saucepan about one-third full with hot water, and place it over medium-low heat. When the water simmers, place the chocolate in a slightly larger metal bowl and set it over the simmering water (make sure the bowl is large enough for you to easily grasp it for removal). Allow the chocolate to melt, stirring it occasionally, until it's completely liquid and there are no lumps left, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove it from heat.
2. Slowly stir the oil into the melted chocolate until it is completely incorporated.
3. Keep the coating warm by setting the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until you're almost ready to use it; then remove it from the heat and allow it to cool until it has the consistency of warm fudge sauce, 15 to 20 minutes.
Store the chocolate coating in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month. Reheat it as many times as you need to.
*** Fork Dipping:
1. Use a fork to submerge the Chocomallow, then fish it out, gently tap to get rid of excess chocolate, and place it on a parchment or wax paper-lined baking sheet.
From the Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook - www.liddabitsweets.com