Re: Help with what I believe is a hardening issue

From: Ryuji Suzuki ^lt;>
Date: 11/12/04-01:43:38 AM Z
Message-id: <>

From: Judy Seigel <>
Subject: Re: Help with what I believe is a hardening issue
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 20:54:14 -0500 (EST)

> I agree with Kate, odds are that's the problem. The books say do not let
> it get above 140 degrees F or "the gelatin will break down" -- though why
> that never happened before, who can say (maybe because it wasn't so
> serious before?). Certainly every recipe for gelatin chiffon pie, or a
> bombe, warns against getting the gelatin too hot. Test it once with a
> photo thermometer to get the feel of it. But the microwave may be too hard
> to measure & control in any event -- Once the gelatin is soaked and the
> remaining water added, I heat it in a pot on the stove, stirring and
> testing (by the finger method) frequently. I'd even guess that without the
> stirring in the microwavve parts of the solution get even hotter (MW
> doesn't heat evenly).

Gelatin doesn't go bad just by heating to 140F (=60C) once. It would
be worse if you repeat heat-cool cycle. Some modern sauces use gelatin
in combination with or in lieu of other traditional stuff like roux,
starch, etc. Those sauces should not be reheated too many times or the
texture will be off.

Another trouble of gelatin and heat is that, gelatin solution bubbles
so badly well below 100C, and when it bubbles, it's very difficult to
remove them. (Gelatin is a good emulsifying agent, and is often used
in mass produced hollandaise sauce, for example...) Also, if you add
dry gelatin flakes into hot water, the gelatin tends to aggregate and
it's very difficult to mix without leaving gritty texture. I think
these are bigger reasons why too much heating is warned when gelatin
is used in recipes.

> And for sure, manufacturers like to put that "one year" limitation
> on stuff because it gets them off the hook if anything goes wrong -- and
> makes you buy more product. For instance the Lacquer-Mat can says best
> before one year... I used it over at least a 5-year period & never noticed
> a difference... (tho I do notice a difference in milk and cottage cheese,
> which definitely go bad after a year).

I don't know if coffee beans come with expiration dates, but they go
bad sooner than what most people think. A lot of things go bad soon
but sometimes people just don't notice.

Ryuji Suzuki
"You have to realize that junk is not the problem in and of itself.
Junk is the symptom, not the problem."
(Bob Dylan 1971; source: No Direction Home by Robert Shelton)
Received on Fri Nov 12 02:36:40 2004

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