Archive for July, 2011

Ingredients In Cool Whip

July 28, 2011

ingredients in cool whip
Water
It’s the main ingredient. But like any whipped product, Cool Whip contains a high percentage of air. At 41 cents per ounce, you’re buying mostly water and air for just over twice what it would cost to whip real cream yourself.

Natural and Artificial Flavorings
Cool Whip doesn’t really taste like much, but Kraft’s recipe for blandness is a trade secret. That means the company doesn’t have to disclose the specific flavorings.

Corn Syrup and High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Sugar by other names. Corn syrup is mostly glucose. High-fructose corn syrup is corn syrup treated with amylase and other enzymes, which together help convert glucose into fructose. A diet high in fructose is known to make lab mice fatter than other diets, so keep your research animals away from Cool Whip.

Hydrogenated Coconut and Palm Kernel Oil
Cool Whip needs to feel like whipped cream in the mouth without actually being, you know, made with cream. One cheap, reliable way to replicate the texture is by using semi- solidified plant oils. The best method of solidifying plant oils: Bubble high- pressure hydrogen through them. Of course, if not done completely, the result is trans fat. These days, Kraft avoids that.

Polysorbate 60
Polysorbates are made by polymerizing ethylene oxide (a precursor to antifreeze) with a sugar alcohol derivative. The result can be a detergent, an emulsifier, or, in the case of polysorbate 60, a major ingredient in some sexual lubricants.

Sodium Caseinate
Also common in powdered non-dairy creamer, this protein derived from cow milk helps oil and water mix.

Sorbitan Monostearate
Chemists call this stuff synthetic wax, and it’s sometimes used as a hemorrhoid cream. It’s one of the magical substances that keep Cool Whip from turning to liquid over time in the fridge.

Xanthan and Guar Gums
These are natural thickeners, and together they provide more viscosity than either does alone. Guar also helps retard the formation of ice crystals, another key to preserving fluffiness.

lol real whipped cream is ALWAYS A BETTER SUBSTITUTE…
In general, whipped cream is a foam created by beating cream and is made up of gas surrounded by liquid with protein and butterfat serving to stabilize it.

The butterfat content percent of cream makes a difference when making whipped cream; the higher the percent, the better the cream will whip and be stable. Cream with a fat content of 30 to 36% works best and is found in “whipping cream” or “heavy cream”. “Light cream” (with only 20% butterfat) will whip, but it won’t trap as much air or hold it very well, making it a bad choice. In addition look for cream that is NOT ultra-pasteurized (although that may be difficult to find) because it whips better, fluffier and holds its shape longer.

To create whipped cream, whipping cream is usually sweetened with sugar during beating. Table sugar is typically used, but I much prefer to use powdered or superfine. Both dissolve faster, eliminating the problem of sometimes getting gritty whipped cream. Substitute regular sugar one for one with either sugar. Add up to 3 tablespoons of sugar for each cup of cream or to taste.

Whipped cream makes a perfect background to show off a multitude of different flavors. Flavorings can range from extracts, chocolate, coffee, liqueurs, orange or lemon zest or spices. You can also add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract, rum, brandy, or liqueur or more for each cup of cream or to taste.

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What makes a good pastry chef? By Francisco Migoya

July 16, 2011

What makes a good pastry chef?

What makes a good pastry chef? No one in particular asked me, but I feel compelled to ask and then answer my own question.
I will tell you what I think it is. And the answer addresses the technical aspect only. The management part and all the other stuff is not relevant to this answer. It comes down to eight techniques. No more, no less. They are pass or fail.
These are the eight techniques, in no particular order:

Lamination.

This includes puff pastry and a yeast risen laminated doughs. Can you execute a Napoleon and a croissant? Are the outer layers flaky and crisp and is the crumb structure regular in its irregularity? Is there any damage to the layers? Is it much lighter than it looks? is it buttery on the surface and does it make a beautiful mess when you break through the surface?

Pate a choux.

Not the aberrations and monstrosities that we have unfortunately become accustomed to. Amorphous blobs of soft choux coated in dull condensation-pocked glazes. Can you make an eclair that is evenly tubular and completely hollow? A puff that is round, hollow and even?

Pastry cream.

No scorch, no lumps, not overcooked, not undercooked. Proteins: yolks and starch coagulated on point). No pastry cream powders. Is it shiny, smooth and supple?

Brioche.

Understand that it is an emulsion first and an enriched dough mixed to full gluten development second. Mix it as such without over-heating it. Is it soft, tender, buttery, airy… pillow-like?

Ganache.

Speaking of emulsions. Can you formulate and balance a ganache recipe to fill confections and another for a slab to cut and dip? Do you know the difference between these types of ganache and what they are for?

Temper chocolate.

So it shines and snaps. Thin shells in confections (throughout the entire shell, including the base… Is it uniformly thin?) Thin sheets for chocolate decor. Can you manipulate it and keep it under working control for long periods of time? Not a speck on your coat. Not under your fingernails. Not on the wall or on your work table. Can you harness it?

Make a macaron.

Can you mix it to just the right consistency, pipe it all to exactly the same size, let it dry just long enough, let it bake just long enough?

Spoon a quenelle.

Ice cream, sorbet and whipped cream or creme fraiche. Small, medium and large. With any spoon.

If you can execute all of these eight items without mistake, with the true quality aspects they deserve, and with relative ease…. Then you are a good pastry chef. If you do seven of them, you are not quite there yet.
I wonder if we took all of the pastry chefs we admire and respect, or perhaps do not admire or respect but we hear about a lot and give them awards, how would
they fare? How many would pass?
I really, truly want to see any of these techniques be part of the challenges in cooking show competitions. Not who makes the sassiest cupcake. Frankly who gives a shit about cupcakes? Any home cook can make a decent cupcake.

Do these well, and you will succeed, perhaps not financially, but you will know deep down that you are not a hack, and that is one definition of success, which plays into your integrity , self respect and what you are made of There’s nothing worse than a hack who doesn’t know he (or she) is a hack. Perhaps the only worse thing is a hack who knows he’s a hack and does not care he is a hack. God bless P.R. firms, right?