Cracking the Chinese Code – Part 1

I’ve always wondered how Chinese and Korean restaurants manage to get the meat so very tender – no matter how hard I try, my results never even come close. I’ve had two attempts fairly recently to make Bulgogi, and while they were very tasty, the meat was still a little on the tough side. So, I’ve decided that 2016 is going to be the year that I crack this mystery. And it looks like I’m not the only one who’s wondered this!



New Years Planning

Only two days to go until New Year’s Eve!  I’m planning to host a molecular cocktail party and some of my best friends will be there so it needs to be epic.

Today is basically my last chance to buy anything that’s missing and I guess in order to figure that out I’ll need to make a definitive list of what I’m planning to make.  I had a molecular gastronomy dinner party back in January last year.  It was something of a qualified success since some of the recipes should have been started the day before, and I’d like to avoid that this time around.

The ‘must make’ items are:


I’d also really like to try:

I’m going to need to buy some ingredients since I don’t think I have quite everything; I also need a spherical mould for the frozen spherification but I think the silicone cake pop moulds they sell in Decobake should do the trick, and I can also pick up some more isomalt for the sugar blowing if I take a trip out there.

This is everything I’ll need:

Frozen Chocolate Wind

  • 2 grams soy lecithin
  • 85 grams dark chocolate
  • 1 cup water

Aperol Gel Cocktails

Aperol Cocktail Base Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 oz) Aperol liquor
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) Laphroaig Scotch Whisky
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) honey syrup made by bringing to boil ½ water, ½ honey
  • 1 rosemary sprig

Cocktail Gel Ingredients

  • 4/3 cups (315 cm3/ 10.7 oz) cocktail base
  • 2/3 cups (158 cm3 / 5.3 oz) water
  • 8 Platinum gelatin sheets

Other ingredients

  • 10 square ultra-thin edible films, cut in half (or round edible film)
  • 1 slice dehydrated orange cut into small bits
  • 20 small lemon balm leaves


  • iSi Whip
  • Standard loaf pan (9″ x 5″ x 3″ / 2lb pan)
  • Spray bottle

Carbonated Mojito Spheres Ingredients

  • 12 mint leaves
  • 170 g (6 oz) white rum
  • 170 g (6 oz) lime juice
  • 128 g (4 ½ oz) water
  • 6 tbsp white sugar
  • lime zest
  • small mint leaves to decorate
  • 4.7 g Calcium Lactate Gluconate
  • 0.8 g Xanthan

Alginate Bath

  • 1000 g (35 oz) of filtered or low calcium water
  • 5 g sodium alginate

Carrot Orange Mango Juice Spheres

Carrot Orange Mango Juice

  • 300 ml (10 oz) carrot juice (about 1 1/2 pounds of carrots)
  • 150 ml (5 oz) orange juice (about three oranges)
  • 50 ml (1.7 oz) mango juice (about half mango)
  • sugar to taste


  • 250g (8.8 oz) carrot orange mango juice
  • 5g calcium lactate gluconate (2%)
  • Extra juice to store the spheres if you are not planning to consume them within a few hours.

Spherification Bath

  • 1000 g (35 oz) distilled water
  • 5 g sodium alginate (0.5%)


  • Silicone hemisphere mold
  • Blender

Pisco Sour Marshmallows

Ingredients for Marshmallow

(for 8” x 8” cake pan, ~ 16 pieces)

  • 8 g powdered gelatin
  • 48 ml (1.6 oz) Pisco
  • 18 ml (0.6 oz) lime juice
  • 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 40 ml (1.35 oz) cold water
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) sugar
  • 50 g (1.76 oz) light corn syrup
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • pinch of salt

Ingredients for Pisco Sour Dust

  • 250 g (8.8 oz) granulated sugar
  • 85 g (3 oz) water
  • 100 ml (3.4 oz) Pisco
  • ½ kg (1 lb) corn starch
  • ¼ tsp. powdered citric acid


  • Lime peel twists
  • Lemon Thyme leaves with flowers
  • Lime wedges

Espresso Pasta and Chocolate Sponge Cake

Espresso Pasta

  • 500 ml espresso
  • 30 g muscovado sugar
  • 40 ml  coffee liqueur
  • 5 g gellan gum

Chocolate Sponge Cake

  • 180 g dark couverture chocolate
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 130 g powdered sugar
  • 50 g wheat flour
  • 0.5 g salt
  • Non-stick spray

Espresso Foam

  • 325 ml espresso
  • 75 g muscovado sugar
  • 2 gelatin sheets
  • 125 ml heavy cream


  • iSi Whip Siphon 0.5 L (1 pint)
  • 2 N2O charges
  • 5 paper cups

Holly Shots

  • 1(3-ounce) box cherry gelatin dessert
  • 1(3-ounce) box lime gelatin dessert
  • 3 packets unflavored gelatin
  • 1(14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla vodka
  • 36 dollops whipped cream (for garnish
  • 36 mint leaves (for garnish)
  • 72 small red candies (or 36 if using just one for garnish)

Hot Baileys Ice Cream

Ingredients for Hot Ice Cream (2 servings)

  • 80 g (2.8 oz) cold espresso coffee
  • 50 g (1.8 oz) milk
  • 70 g (2.5 oz) Baileys
  • 10 g (0.35 oz) sugar
  • 7 g (0.25 oz) methyl cellulose SGA7C (3.2%)

Ingredients for Oat Crunch

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts


These are the lead times for each recipe:

  • Frozen Chocolate Wind – no prep, start at least an hour before we want to eat it, eat immediately
  • Aperol Gels – 12 hours to dehydrate the paper, allow gels to set overnight, will keep until ready
  • Mojito Spheres – prepare baths the previous day, begin carbonating at least 2 hours before we want to eat them
  • Carrot Spheres – freeze spheres overnight, prepare bath the previous day, will keep until ready
  • Blown Sugar – no prep, will keep
  • Marshmallows – 24 hours drying time to prepare sour dust, then prepare marshmallows and let set overnight.  Will keep for up to a week.
  • Espresso pasta – 2-4 hours resting for cake mix; note this requires the whipper so can’t be done at the same time as carbonating the mojitos.  Then 1-2 hours for the foam, also in the whipper.  The recipe suggests doing the cake first then the foam.
  • Holly shots – set for 2-3 hours or overnight, will keep.


Based on this, it looks like I need to start the sour dust prep today and as soon as possible, then do a lot of the gelatine related things tomorrow.  Finally on Thursday I should make the cakes in the morning and the espresso foam in the afternoon before people arrive.  That will leave the following for during the party:

  • Making the chocolate wind and freezing it
  • Making the espresso pasta, serving and eating the cake
  • Making the mojito spheres and setting them to carbonate
  • Making and eating the carrot spheres
  • Making the blown glass spheres and messing around with them for a bit
  • Drinking and eating all the things

Sounds like a plan.  I’d better get shopping.

Hello and Welcome!

Welcome to the Crafty Rogue, dedicated to all kinds of Art and Crafts, as well as the MMORPG World of Warcraft.

I’m a complete craft addict. I’m better at some than others, whether due to time invested, available materials, or aptitude, but the power to create something useful and beautiful out of some pretty basic items has always fascinated me.  I particularly love sewing, knitting, spinning, cooking, baking, sketching, painting and sculpting, although I’m always willing to try my hand at anything at least once.

I’m also a keen WoW player. I like to try all classes and roles; I believe the key to being a better team player is understanding what everyone else us going through so I have a variety of different classes at max level. At the end of the day though, my rogue is my oldest and most familiar character. She’s not the easiest to play; compared to my arcane mage there’s a lot more going on. And yet getting in the rogue frame if mind is like slipping back into my own skin. I can get in a flow state in a way that just doesn’t happen with the others.

I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures in these different worlds, although I’m sure I’ll have more fun living them!