Thursday, September 20, 2012

The tartaric acid files

For any who have been following the thoughts of using tartaric acid to set cream based desserts, I am here to tell you that the results are quite mixed. Interesting, but it is a whole lot harder than I expected.
Tartaric acid is very bitter, so the quantity is crucual. I am zeroing in on it, but am not there yet. All of these experiments have been using 1 US pint of heavy cream (2 cups, 16 fl oz).
The basic ratio has been to use 4 oz sugar per recipe also. However, the chocolate experiment didn't have added sugar because the chocolate should have been sweet enough - it wasn't!

Experiment 1 - Pink peppercorns

This was in many ways the easiest recipe, but ot really brought home the bitterness of the tartaric acid. Here I used a (US) pint of cream, 4 oz sugar, 1/2t tartaric acid dissolved in a little sugar syrup (ginger flavored). This set up beautifully, but was dedinitely bitter.

Experiment 2 - Chocolate

This one was Ok, but I messed up by using too much espresso powder in an attempt to boost the chocolate. For 1 (US) pint of cream I used 4 oz sugar,  1 whole disc of Ibarra chocolate, 1/4 t tartaric acid and 1t espresso powder dissolved in hot water. Set up fine. But again was a bit bitter. The coffee was overwhelming. The texture was nice though.

Experiment 3 - Orange

This one did not set up properly. Shame because the flavor was superb. Here the 1 (US) pint of cream, 4 oz sugar, finely grated zest of 3 oranges in the base and then juice of 1 orange 2T Grand Marnier and 1/8t tartaric acid. Clearly not enough tartaric acid to get the set that I wanted.

Experiment 4 - Kaffir lime/ginger

Again, terrific flavor, Perhaps my favorite. 6 fresh jaffir lime leaves (from tree in garden), a 2 inch chunk of ginger minced finely + 1 (US) pint cream and 4 oz sugar. 1/4t tartaric acid in ginger syrup. Surprisingly didn't set up quite enough, But probably my favorite in terms of flavor.

My local Tom Thumb now has an official cream shortage!

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