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Hi. Remember me? I’m priding myself on the fact that I now consider going missing for two weeks a real “blog hiatus.” Remember when we left for six months without giving you any notice? Yeah.
The biggest reason SiS is MIA is this: I have a new job! If you’re keeping track, this makes FOUR jobs for me. I swear, I’m only doing it to see how many I can juggle. For the first time in my life I’m going to be able to say that I’m busy. Though I think that at some point I might have to start dropping commitments when I take on new ones.
My new job is at the Legislative Assembly Office of Alberta. I’m working for Hansard, which is the office that transcribes and edits everything that is said during House sessions and committee meetings. So far, a week and a bit into the training, I’ve learned that this involves the judicious use of a lot of commas. Other punctuation too, but especially commas. I am simmering in a stew of commas. You should see the size of our style manual. Good thing I love love love good punctuation. Not that you can always tell around this blog.
What does this mean for you? This blog is going in one of two ways. Maybe you will enjoy a punctuationally pristine pavlova of perfect paragraphs. Or! I will, be venting; my unused-punctuation mark rebellion — in! all! entries, making an over-salted mess of: unecessary; incorrect; and irritating commas/ellipses-colons and semicolons… you get the idea.
Have I stretched the punctuation-as-cooking metaphor far enough? I do think it’s an accurate one. A good punctuation mark is like the perfect amount of salt. Too much, or in the wrong place, and it makes things unpleasant or even incomprehensible. Used well, both salt and commas just make everything make sense.
Okay. Since Carlo and I made some resolutions this year that didn’t have anything to do with “stop procrastinating” or “make sense on the blog,” I will not apologize for my hiatus or for the above lack of sensicality. I’m working 12-hour days, okay? Finally getting to the point of this post, I present:
Supper in Stereo’s Food-olutions-Memorize a new cocktail recipe that we love each month -Cook a new fruit or vegetable every month (first up… rutabaga) -Master pie pastry (I need to catch up with the rest of my expert family here) -Learn to fry things -Make soy milk -Make ricotta -Find some new things to do with lentils (hey, we like our bank balance going UP, not down) -Cook more with our favourite girls (aged 6, 3, and 2) -Try not to put bacon into EVERYTHING -Grow tomatilloes -TBA
I love a good resolution, but I hate to be tied down. The above is a start, but I hope this year will be FULL of great food discoveries and adventures. That’s if I can find time between jobs to get into the kitchen.
So… does anyone have any advice about what to do with rutabaga?
Now that the celebrations (and thus the expectations) are over, I can tell you that I love New Year’s. Sure, I understand that it’s a totally arbitrary celebration, that the difference between December 31 and January 1 is nonexistent, that all those ambitious resolutions we make are a little bit silly, and getting blotto just because one day turns into another one is stupid.
Minus the getting too drunk to think part (which is never a good idea), though, I don’t think the ritual is dumb at all. Okay, so it’s arbitrary and it fakes a pattern onto what is essentially randomness. But that’s our whole lives, isn’t it? I love how people make order out of chaos, I love that people make the effort to mark the passage of time, I love the ambition and hope of resolutions. Even if they’re unattainable, they’re sweet, don’t you think? I (or you, or that armchair explorer who decides this is the year he’ll run a marathon) love believing that I can fix the things that are wrong, that I can wipe the slate, start something new, be better faster stronger.
So Carlo and I had a good New Year celebration, just the two of us at home, and I made him talk about 2008 and all the good things that happened/we did during the year, and we made some plans for the next year too (a lot of them blog- and food-related–hold on to your hats!). And I decided that the ritual needed some tradition, so we ate 12 grapes at midnight. Arbitrary choice, yes, but I made it mostly because I had a recipe I wanted to use. It’s all random anyway, so who cares if it’s not our tradition? The act matters less than its symbolism. Plus I really wanted to make these grapes.
Of course, because I am who I am, these were no ordinary grapes. This is a recipe from Michel Richard’s “Happy in the Kitchen,” a whimsical book with lovely ideas. Richard says that when you offer these grapes to people, they invariably say “‘No thanks, I’m full already,’ no doubt thinking that you are presenting a dense chocolate bonbon. Then, when they bite in and get a juicy, tart squirt of flavour, they always reach for another.” Sounds perfect, right? This description is right on. The finished product looks like craggy little truffles, and the combination of the sweet juicy pop of grape and the smooth richness of dark chocolate is fantastic. It was a great first food for the new year, but don’t let the New Year stop you. Like any good resolution, these grapes shouldn’t be tied to a particular moment. They’re so easy to make and so charming, I think you should have them anytime at all! I know I’ll be eating more of them very, very soon.
Adapted from Michel Richard
1 pound cold firm seedless grapes, stemmed
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (I used 70%), melted and slightly cooled (Richard advises checking the temperature of the melted chocolate by touching it to your lip. If it feels the same temperature, it’s a good temperature to be used)
1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1. Rinse and dry the grapes well, then place them in a large bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Add the chocolate to the grapes a spoonful at a time, tossing the grapes to coat them evenly (I used my spatula both for tossing the grapes and for adding the chocolate).
3. The chocolate will begin to set and harden a bit. When this happens, use a small fine-mesh strainer to sprinkle cocoa powder over the chocolate-coated grapes. Gently toss/stir the grapes so that they’re evenly covered in cocoa powder (be sure to do this step after the chocolate has sufficiently cooled, or else the cocoa will just be absorbed into the chocolate instead of coating it).
4. When the grapes are all coated and separated, remove them to your waiting baking sheet and place them in the fridge to cool until the chocolate is set. When you want to eat the grapes, leave them out to sit for about 10 minutes or so before you eat them, or else the chocolate is too cold and doesn’t taste as good.
5. A final note–the bowl you used for your grapes will be coated with cooled chocolate. Don’t waste it! I scraped it out and saved it to melt for hot chocolate.
Hi! How are you? I hope you’re already out at a New Year’s party, or that you’re settling in for a cozy evening in. Carlo and I, we’re staying in. About four hours ago, when we came home from a shopping trip, our door broke, and we were stuck OUTSIDE for an hour and a half (or longer, I’m not sure. My brain froze.), in -22 C (-32 C with the wind chill!) while we waited for a locksmith. We were so happy to get into the apartment, we decided we weren’t leaving it again tonight. So here we are. If you’d told me five years ago that I’d be content, even happy, washing dishes and rearranging my apartment on New Year’s Eve, I’d… well, I’d have done something… laughed, cried, I don’t know. But right now we’re happy, cozy, and warm. And we’ve got a bottle of bubbly chilling in the fridge for later, so don’t feel sorry for us.
If you’ve got some champagne/cava/prosecco/other sparkler laying around that you’re not sure what to do with (besides drinking it the way it is, which is of course nice too), my latest article in Vue Weekly has a couple ideas. Nothing ground-breaking, just some nice, simple cocktails.
Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had a wonderful year.
Here we are at the end of another month, which means another Daring Bakers challenge.
This month’s challenge is brought to us by the adventurous Hilda from Saffron and Blueberry and Marion from Il en Faut Peu pour Etre Heureux. They have chosen a French Yule Log by Flore from Florilege Gourmand.
Now, before I start showing you pictures or talking about what I did, let me tell you first that I have utterly failed this challenge. Really. Think of a way I could mess things up, and I did it. The planning: first fail. You see, I didn’t actually read the recipe until December 26, at which point I and everyone I know had been stuffed so full of sweets and rich food that I wondered whether I could really eat or find anyone else to consume SIX layers of richness ( mousse, praline, ganache, dacquoise, creme brulee, icing). This is not the fault of the recipe, which is decadent, and produces a gorgeous final product, as you’ll see on all the non-failure Daring Bakers’ blogs. If I’d started thinking about this earlier, I’d have had a wonderful dessert to wow the family at Christmas dinner. After Christmas, however, no one wanted to even hear me talk about six layers of chocolate. So… I cheated. I made only the dacquoise, mango mousse, and a chocolate sauce to pour over the top. I layered the mousse and the dacquoise in little cups, and that’s all. So I guess I made 3/6 elements, which technically isn’t failure. That’s fifty percent!
Next failure was my dacquoise. It has almond meal mixed with beaten egg whites and a touch of flour. This combination makes a thin, chewy biscuit. But, um… my thin chewy biscuit tastes a little bit like cumin. Oh dear. My almond flour, of which I had just exactly enough (this made me happy, as I didn’t want to trudge through the snow to the supermarket), was stored in a not-airtight container in a mess of a drawer that has a bit of everything in it, including, unfortunately, a very fragrant bag of cumin. So, housekeeping failure=cumin dacquoise.
Next, my mango mousse. I was drawn to this alternative offering in the recipe because I thought it would be a good alternative to chocolate. Problem is, I didn’t have nice mango, so I substituted some canned mango in syrup that was nearly completely flavourless. This wasn’t exactly my fault, as I just couldn’t find anything else that would do. So my mango mousse turned out super sweet with very little mango flavour (or colour… I used some food colouring, but that didn’t really help either). I added a bit of lime juice to the mousse to up the tang, which made it turn out… well, honestly, it was disgusting. Carlo took one bite and said “I can’t eat this.” And fortunately for him, I agreed.
My chocolate sauce, on the other hand, was fine. I used the chocolate icing recipe provided and just didn’t include the gelatin. It was, as you can expect, rich and unctuous, the way chocolate sauce should be.
That’s my not-a-yule-log epic. Failure in planning, preparation, storage, and commitment. Final product: inedible. I highly recommend you check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll if you want to see what the challenge was supposed to be. Me, I’m going to hide my head in shame and plan to do better next time. Please check the above links if you’d like the recipe.
I’ve been baking out of control the last few days–clearly I am on holiday, as my kitchen fills up with floury, sugary concoctions. But Christmas dinner is more than just bread and cookies, as much as I’d like to pretend otherwise. I took a break from the flour yesterday to throw together this charming salad.
This salad looks like any other– pretty because of its colourful ingredients, but nothing out of the ordinary. The leaves are bright green, the mandarins glow orange, the red onion offers some purple, the goat cheese matte white, and the whole thing glistens thanks to the dressing. A salad is always welcome on my dinner plate, but especially at a holiday meal, where things tend to get a bit heavy. This one is secretly special, though, thanks to its fantastic dressing, scented with Earl Grey tea to give a hint of bergamot and herbs. Honestly, it looks like any other salad, but it’s not. In fact, after I photographed it, I wolfed it down in the space of a minute and had to go back for another, bigger, bowl immediately. It’s that good. As far as the ingredients go, I used boxed mixed greens, some thinly-sliced red onion , nodded to the citrus notes of the bergamot with supremed fresh mandarins (which offered a welcome mellow sweetness), and finished the whole thing off with some salty goat’s milk feta (I think that blue cheese would also be fantastic with the bergamot dressing).
It’s a great holiday meal salad, something pretty but familiar, with just enough added “special” to make it right at home among all those carefully-laboured-over dishes you’re serving.
Adapted from an ATCO “Blue Flame Kitchen” holiday cookbook. This recipe makes about 1 cup of dressing, which should last 4-5 days in the fridge.
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
2 Earl Grey tea bags
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried Herbes de Provence, crushed
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few grinds of pepper
2/3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1. Bring vinegar to a boil over low heat. Remove the vinegar from the heat as soon as it begins to boil and pour it over the tea bags in a small bowl. Cover bowl and allow tea to steep for 30 minutes. Remove the tea bags, squeezing them a little to get the last drops of vinegar out of them. Discard tea bags. (Just a thought: at this point, the vinegar could be bottled in a pretty glass bottle and given as a gift. It’s pretty fancy!)
2. For dressing, combine vinegar, mustard, Herbes de Provence, sugar, salt, and some generous grinds of pepper in a small bowl. Whisk them all together.
3. Add oil in a slow drizzle, whisking constantly to emulsify.
4. To serve, toss with mixed greens and your choice of salad ingredients (see above for some ideas).
I’m sure you’ve noticed that Christmas is coming– and fast. I’m also sure that you’re more organized than I am. You probably purchased all your Christmas gifts months ao, and you’ve got them stored in a box in the closet, wrapped and tagged and provided with thoughtfully written Christmas cards, full of love and good cheer. Me… well, I’ve been waiting. Now, less than two weeks from the day, I’m ready to start preparing. Thank goodness for internet shopping (to those of you who will be receiving gifts, please don’t take this as a sign that we don’t care. We very thoughtfully clicked on the “add to cart” button).
Now, though, the best part of preparation is upon us–the recipe reading, and the food choices, and the cooking, and the baking. I hope you’re having a wonderful time thinking about Christmas eating, whether you’re planning to make what you always make or whether you’re branching out and trying new treats.
If you’re thinking of trying something new, the Supper in Stereo test kitchen has something wonderful to offer. I think this is a perfect dessert. First, it’s perfectly pretty and Christmassy, with the rich, cream-white of the meringue complemented by the regal magenta of the cranberry curd. Second, it’s a medley of textures. The meringue is crisp on the outiside, velvety smooth and slightly chewy in its middle; the cranberry curd accents the slight chewiness of perfectly baked meringue with smooth, chilly, perfection. And that’s before your tongue even starts registering flavour: you’ll taste sweetness with a hint of vanilla before the astringent, rich curd hits your tongue to offset the sugar rush. These disappear quickly, so light that you register only delicious without noticing that you’re already full from dinner.
I made a variety of meringue shapes for this– it worked well in a meringue pie crust, which I created by spreading a smooth layer of meringue into a greased and lightly floured pie tin. I was worried about the runniness of the curd for serving, so I actually popped the meringue pie, complete with curd, into the oven at 350 F for 10 minutes, to set the curd a little more. That worked great, and though the pie collapsed into shards a little when I cut into it, it held its shape well, and made for easy serving.
I also made mini-pavs with a top that popped off easily after cooking, so that I could hide a velvety surprise of curd in the meringue’s bellies. This was my favourite serving technique, pretty and individually sized, so you could even set out a bunch of these on a platter. They’d still need napkins, though, as they’re two or three bite treats. To make a top that comes off easily, I made a smooth round of meringue and than dollopped an extra pyramid of meringue on top. When I baked them, the meringues split slightly at the edges of the top dollop, which then pulled of really easily, leaving a curd-holding crater in the middle. Put some curd in, put the top back on, and you’re ready to go!
You could also just make smooth circles of meringue, making the edges slightly higher than the middle so they can hold a tablespoon or so of curd, like pretty costume jewellery. It’s up to you.
I was pleased to find this recipe in Nigella Lawson’s “How to be a Domestic Goddess,” as when I had the original idea for cranberry curd, I thought I’d have to make my own recipe. I followed Nigella’s recipe exactly, and it turned out perfectly. I’m providing volume conversions, but can’t guarantee them as I followed the weight measures provided in the cookbook. The only other change I made was to scale the recipe for the size of the bag of cranberries I bought, which was 350 grams, unlike the 500 called for in the book.
350 grams cranberries, fresh or frozen (this is the size of a package of cranberries in my supermarket–probably about 3 cups)
140 mL water (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
70 grams unsalted butter (5 tablespoons)
350 grams granulated sugar (1 1/3 cups)
4 large eggs
a food mill or, if you’re me, a fine-mesh strainer
1. Combine the cranberries and water in a saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat until the cranberries split open.
2. Push the cranberries through a fine-mesh strainer with the back of a wooden spoon, or if you’re lucky and have a food mill, pass them through that. Return the seedless puree to the saucepan.
3. Add the sugar and the butter, melting them into the puree at low heat.
4. Next, add the eggs, which you have beaten in a separate bowl. Make sure the sugared puree isn’t too hot, so you don’t cook the eggs on contact (it’s a good idea to remove the cranberries from the heat to cool slightly while you beat the eggs).
5. Cook slowly over low heat, stirring constantly. Do not allow the mixture to heat up too quickly, and never allow it to boil, or your eggs will curdle. Your curd is ready when it coats the back of a spoon. Cool slightly before transferring to jars to keep in the fridge. This recipe makes about 3 cups of curd.
Meringue for Pie Crust or Mini-Pavlovas
This is another Nigella Lawson recipe, for which I changed temperature and time settings slightly. My meringues didn’t come out perfectly white, so if you’re after that, go ahead and lower the temperature and lengthen the time in the oven (eg. 1 hour at 225 F, followed by several hours drying time). Other than those time considerations, this recipe is fantastic. The vinegar really makes a difference for texture, as does the cornstarch. I used the weight measurements, so I can vouch for those, but like above, I’m also providing volume conversions. This recipe made one pie crust and 18 good-sized (about 3 inches wide) meringues.
8 large egg whites
pinch of salt
500 grams granulated sugar (3 cups)
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1 scant teaspoon vanilla extract (optional– omit if you want snow-white meringues)
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar (white vinegar also works)
1.Preheat the oven to between 250-275 F. My oven runs a bit cold, so I went with 275. Remember you can go cooler and extend the cooking time if you wish. Prepare a pie pan by greasing and lightly flouring it if you are making a meringue pie crust. Line baking sheets with parchment paper for the mini-pavs.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand-held mixer) whisk the egg whites until they hold peaks, but aren’t stiff.
3. Add the sugar by spoonfuls while you continue to beat. When the sugar is added, continue beating until the meringue is stiff, glossy. A good test is that a bit of meringue pressed between your fingers no longer feels grainy from the sugar.
4. Dust with cornstarch, and sprinkle the vanilla and vinegar over the meringue. Gently fold to combine.
5. For pie crust, gently spread a thin layer of meringue into the pan, building it up along the edges, taking care not to overlap the edges of the pan (remember it will puff slightly). For the meringues, use a spoon to smooth out 3-inch circles on the parchment paper. If you’d like a cap that pulls off easily, dollop a bit of meringue on top of your smooth circles. The meringue should crack at the seams between the round bottom and pyramid top.
6. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, then turn off heat, stick a wooden spoon in the oven door to hold it slightly ajar, and allow meringues to “dry” in the oven for several hours or even overnight.
TO ASSEMBLE CRANBERRY CURD PAVLOVAS
-to make a cranberry-meringue tart, spread curd about a centimetre deep in prepared meringue pie shell. Bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes to set the curd a bit more
-for capped meringues, gently pull or cut off the top of your meringues, dollop a few tablespoons of curd inside the belly of the meringue, and replace the cap
- for smoother buttons of meringue, spread a layer of curd over the top of the meringue, and top with a swirl of whipped cream, if desired
Yes, it’s true. Things have been pom-centric around here lately. But I promised in my last post that I’d tell you the method I used for juicing a pomegranate. Here it is. I borrowed the basic idea from All The Marmalade, who has a great explanation and grenadine method.
Open a pomegranate and release the arils, in whatever is your favourite way (here’s ours). Once the arils are released, you need to crush them up with some sugar to macerate (think of what happens when you toss frozen berries with a bit of sugar– all that juice? Same idea.). My first attempt at this was a disaster: red hands, shredded saran wrap, and a stained potato masher was all that I got.
Then I had an inspiration– my potato ricer! It has holes larger than the seeds, so none could escape, and I could control the pressure so as not to crush the seeds with the juice and make it bitter*.
I scooped the seeds into the ricer, squeezed them gently over a bowl, then dumped the whole, crushed arils in with the released juice. A stay overnight in the fridge, and everything was ready to go.
One thing– if you’re making grenadine from this, you will still need to add more sugar to the reduced juice, but not as much as if you were starting with bottled pomegranate juice– the sugar maceration ensures that.
Technique and recipe:
To Juice a Pomegranate
I haven’t tried it yet, but I have a feeling this potato ricer technique would still work well without the sugar if you’re just going for the juice and don’t want any sweetness. Just skip the sugar/overnight maceration step. It’s a good alternative if you don’t have a juicer and don’t want any of the bitterness of the seeds in your juice.
1. Open a pomegranate and release the arils any way you find convenient.
2. Toss the arils with half their volume of granulated sugar (eg. 1 cup pomegranate=1/2 cup sugar)
3. Place the pomegranate/sugar mixture in a potato ricer and squeeze gently over a bowl to crush the arils and release some juice.
4. Toss the crushed arils in the juice, cover the bowl with cling wrap, and leave bowl in fridge to macerate overnight.
5. The next day, remove the bowl from the fridge and strain the mixture into a new bowl, crushing the arils gently to be sure you’re getting the most possible juice. Go ahead and use a potato ricer again if you want.
To make grenadine from your fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice
1. Measure the volume of juice that you’ve obtained.
2. Place the juice in a small saucepan and bring to a bare simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer until reduced by half.
3. Taste the syrup (cool it on a spoon first) for sweetness and check consistency. Add sugar if desired (I added approximately another 1/4 of the original volume). Bring back to a boil.
4. When the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and cool. Add a dash of vodka for preservation purposes and store in the fridge or freezer.
*On a side note, I got a great comment today on our grenadine post. Chelsey said that she’s made grenadine from fresh pomegranate before, and she juiced it by whirling the arils quickly through a food processor, another technique I’ve seen online (which has the benefit of being nice and simple. I must try this.) She said she liked how she got some seed flavour in the juice that way, but she noticed a bit of a similar “musty” flavour in her finished grenadine. So my conclusion is this: the reason the fresh pom grenadine I made tasted so much better to me is that it had NO seed in it. I assume that industrially-produced pomegranate juice is crushed to smithereens, and a huge amount of the seed goes into the juice, thus imparting that flavour that we both noticed! Something to think about.
I promised a grenadine recipe to my food writing class almost a month ago. Here it is, finally. When I first made the promise, I’d never made grenadine before, so I was far from an expert. When I set out to get the formula, I immediately turned a simple recipe into a complex test of techniques and flavours. That’s the history of the Great Grenadine Experiment. The result was five different grenadines, all of which are sitting in my freezer (GGE tip#1- the syrup has a high sugar content, and that along with a dash of vodka for preservation means that it won’t freeze solid in the freezer. It’ll last forever stored this way).
When I started reading about grenadine, I found that most of the syrups you buy in the store are unlikely to contain any pomegranate at all. They’re all corn syrup, artificial flavouring and red dye. A traditional grenadine is made from pomegranate (grenade is pomegranate in French–isn’t that a beautiful word? Then again, so is pomegranate) juice that is combined with sugar to make a thick syrup. I also found a few sources that mentioned cherry juice and orangeflower water as other possible ingredients. I thought I’d play with the cherry flavour, but I didn’t try any grenadine with orangeflower water. Next time. Or if someone gives it a shot (just a dash per 1 cup should do… it’s strong stuff), please let me know what you think!
So sugar and juice– that’s all right, easy to handle. Next step–technique. I found two basic techniques online, one “cold” and one “cooked.” So I tried them both. And I also discovered that some people juice their own pomegranate while others used prebottled juices. So I tried that too. All those techniques equalled the following combinations: pom/cherry juice cooked, pom/cherry juice cold, pom juice cooked, pom juice cold, and finally, fresh pom juice (which I cooked, as I didn’t have enough juice to try the cold… I know, serious scientific method failure).
GREAT GRENADINE EXPERIMENT
Hypothesis: I can make grenadine at home.
Method: The following two recipes, which can easily be doubled or tripled.
1 cup pomegranate juice (or pomegranate-cherry blend)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vodka (optional)
Bring the juice to a simmer over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Simmer it until it is reduced by half, then mix in the sugar, continuing to cook until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, cool, add vodka, then refrigerate or freeze.
1 cup pomegranate juice (or pom-cherry blend)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vodka (optional)
Combine juice and sugar in a lidded jar, and shake until sugar is dissolved. Let the jar sit for a while, then shake again. Allow to sit once more, then shake again to finish. Honestly, all this shaking may not be necessary. I just really wanted to make sure the syrup was all un-sugar-crystallized. When the sugar is fully dissolved, add a dash of vodka, then refrigerate or freeze.
Pomegranate/ Cherry juice cooked: This is a dark syrup with a definite cherry flavour. Though the cherry juice was organic with no preservatives, Carlo felt that this had a “preserved” flavour that he didn’t find appealing. I liked the cherry flavour all right, but I felt that the cooked syrup tasted, for lack of a better word, a little musty.
Pomegranate/Cherry juice cold-method: This syrup was thinner and brighter flavoured, but tasted too much of cherries for me. The shaking left a bit of froth at the top of the juice, and the sugar concentration is obviously lower, as the syrup turns to slush in the freezer. I found I needed more of it to add enough flavour to the drink, but I much preferred its flavour to the cooked syrup.
Sub-Conclusion: Pomegranate/Cherry might be okay, but the proportions need to be adjusted so that it’s somewhere more like 3/4 pomegranate and 1/4 cherry juice.
Bottled Pomegranate Juice Cooked: This tastes dark and just slightly tangy. In my taste-testing, however, I found it very unpleasant. Like the cooked pom/cherry, it was musty tasting. It was actually my least favourite.
Bottled Pomegranate Juice Cold-Method: Like the cherry/pom combo, this was bright-tasting, but the lack of cherry made it a little heavier. I’m starting to think that maybe my pomegranate juice was at fault. (GGE hint #2- try a different bottled juice than President’s Choice brand)
FRESH pomegranate, juiced and Cooked: The most beautiful colour of the five, this syrup is candy-pink, thick and smooth, but it has the brighter, sunnier taste of the cold-method syrups. I’m sorry, dear readers, because this is obviously also the most labour-intensive syrup. But it really is the best. And I’ll tell you how I juiced the pomegranate in a separate post. It’s not really THAT hard to do.
FINAL CONCLUSION: Fresh pomegranate juice is the best! What do you think? Have you made grenadine before? What technique did you use?
Just for colour reference, here’s that picture from the top of the post again. It’s just grenadine in soda water. From left to right, the syrups are: cooked pom/cherry, cold pom/cherry, cooked fresh pom, cooked pom, and cold pom.
In which I meet someone who knows a lot, learn interesting things, and then do the Scotch connoisseur’s equivalent of a face-plant. Not literally. Though given the Scotch drinking part, that might also have been a possibility.
A couple weeks ago I posted about tasting a $660 bottle of Scotch with Peter Gordon, the chairman of the company that makes Glenfiddich (William Grant & Sons). That interview was one of the highlights of my November. The article I wrote about the experience of tasting Scotch with an expert just came out and I’m pretty proud of it. If you want to know what I learned about Scotch, or how I totally embarrassed myself at the end of what was mostly a great interview, you can check it out here.