Latest News

Eggless Macarons without Legumes

My absolute favorite things to bake are French macarons. I make them for family gatherings, potlucks, or just to give to my public library. A huge issue, however, is that often times I just make them at home for my family, but my mom is allergic to eggs, so she can never eat them. For a while I’ve wanted to find an alternative to egg whites for the meringue. I found out about chickpea water (Aquafaba) and other legumes, and started to plan getting those and making meringue using Aquafaba. But then I ran into another issue. My mom told me how she’s allergic to not only chickpeas, but ALL legumes. Now I am completely lost on how to make macarons for her.

I thought about whipping up heavy whipping cream into hard peaks (assuming it could function the same as meringue). You’re whipping air into something and I thought that’s the most important part of macarons. Does anyone know if this works or does anyone think I should try using heavy whipping cream?

Finally, is there anything other than legumes that I could use in place of egg whites in meringue? A reply would be greatly appreciated. …read more

Best way to cook fresh caught fish while camping.

I am camping over the weekend in Idaho. Plan on catching primarily trout. Will keep the fish fresh and alive until dinner time. A camp fire will be maintained through out the day to ensure hot embers to cook on.

Ingredients and utensils I will have:
• box of kosher salt
• an abundant amount of tin foil
• tongs
• a half sheet pan
• clean towels
• lemons
• fresh herbs from garden; thyme and sage.
• butter
• garlic

I plan on cooking the fish wrapped in foil after cleaned, salted and stuffed with condiments stated above.

What else should I bring?
Other techniques on camp fire cooking?
Will be out there for two days, so a salt cure?

My time spent is fishing and cooking so plenty of time to play around and get technically with my preparation. …read more

What is the function of salt in chocolate?

Iv’e recently seen, for the first time, chocolate coins filled with caramel and “Atlantic salt”. I did a bit of searching and found some more of these types of sweets:

To the food simpleton that I am, adding salt to chocolate and caramel seems counter-intuitive. I realize that these are small amounts of salt (At least compared to the sugar). What is the idea behind this practice?

Also, what is “Atlantic salt”? Salt from the Atlantic ocean? Does it really make a difference which salt is used? …read more

Fresh, pasteurized, UN-opened milk in a plastic carton left in a hot car…safe or not?

Dear food & cooking wizards:
I managed to leave an unopened, fresh, new, half-gallon of 2% milk in my car on the hottest day of our summer (so far, anyways) in the balmy state of Arizona (sarcasm there).
It was inside a plastic carton, inside a car, that was inside a closed garage that was at least – minimum – 125 degrees, perhaps more. The ambient outside daytime temp that day was 119 degrees.
The boo-boo was found out after five hours. So the nicely chilled 1/2 gal. of milk was quite warm for about 4 hours. When found in the car, it was the temperature of a comfortably warmed glass of bed-time milk.
Is drinking from this unopened, very heated milk stomach and intestine suicide? …read more

Vanilla fudge won’t set

My clotted cream vanilla fudge just won’t set. I am using a sugar thermometer. I’m melting my ingredients then bringing the mix to a temp of 115C and cooking at that temp for 20mins before increasing the heat. I’ve tried taking it to 121C and even last night to a temp of 130C! Then I’m beating with a hand held electric whisk until thick and matte. The fudge tastes delicious but it’s still soft and squidgy.

Ingredients are:
275g caster sugar
100g golden syrup
227g tub clotted cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste with seeds

What (else) can I do to make it set? …read more

Does cottage cheese melt like other cheeses?

I have a lot of cottage cheese, and was thinking of using some to make a cheese sauce (possibley mixed with a blend of shredded cheeses as well).

For some reason all the recipes I find for cottage cheese sauce call for putting the cheese in the blender. This is making me confused, if I skip the blender, shouldn’t the cottage cheese just melt, like other cheeses would? …read more

Safety of producing home malted flour

I have been reading about home malting here and here for the purpose of making my own malted flour. However, I doubt my grain has been inspected for Fusarium and, if using rye, I’m not sure if I ought to worry about Ergot either.

I understand this is (practically) an internet forum and I should not be asking for safety advice. However, can anyone say ‘Yes, you definitely need special quality grains, special malting equipment’ or something else in order to safely practice home malting? Also, since I’m baking, not brewing, would the heat destroy any potential toxins? …read more

Coriander/cilantro: did it smell/taste stronger in the past?

I am a big fan of fresh coriander and its lovely fragrant flavour. But nowadays (in the UK at least) coriander seems incredibly bland. I remember back in the 1990s using it all the time, and just rubbing a leaf between your fingers would release a fantastic aroma. I love the smell so much that I used to gently shake the plants in a supermarket to fill the air with their delicious scent.

I have a “modern” supermarket-bought coriander plant right here, and it might as well be flatleaf parsley*, it is so bland and pointless. I can rub, smoosh or chew a leaf, and the resulting aroma/flavour is almost undetectable.

*It is not flatleaf parsley.

So – does anyone know if mass-produced coriander plants are now a different variety from what was used a decade or two ago? It seems impossible to find decent coriander.

Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just me?! …read more

(How) can I keep cheddar in a car in summer for 2 weeks

Is there a way I could prepare and store some cheddar cheese such that it would stay edible while being stored in a car in summer for about 12 days.

I am going on a road trip, and I am trying to figure out what sort of food I could bring with me.

I have read that aged cheeses can stay at room temperature*, but I am not sure what sort of preparatory steps I should take, especially since it will be staying at above room temperature slightly…

Can this be achieved?

*A good portion of the time will have AC on, or be at night, so I imagine in the end it would be somewhere near room temperature. Also I am trying to minimise effort. Last year I took a big plug in cooler, and I just want to see if I can down size and simplify by packing strategic food. …read more

What kind of cheese did I buy in Bulgaria…and how am I supposed to eat it?

Today I was doing some shopping at the Tsentralni Hali in Sofia and bought some cheese, cause it looked so damn gooood.

Well, it is good indeed…but it has the consistency of a brick and you don’t cut it, you chop it! And you don’t eat it, you chew it!

So, maybe I’m missing something. I took a photo of the top of the jar:

What the heck did I buy? Can someone tell me how am I supposed to eat it? …read more