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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dear Kiwi...



I must share with you a very interesting fact about the kiwi which brought great frustration into my last couple of days. You know what they say, you do learn from your mistakes! In this case, my frustration brought me to do a little research which answered a lot of questions.

I wanted to try my hand at making a kiwi puree for a "macaron" filling. Of course, I simply assumed that I could simple cook the fruit with sugar and water and obtain a nice puree. Well was I ever wrong! The kiwi, and most of its subtropical counterparts, contain an enzyme that prevents gelatin from setting. To cook the fruit and be able to puree a kiwi, would turn the fruit to an unattractive yellowish color after reaching 60 degrees Celsius (140F).

So... what did I do ? Well, i first tried and tried again. First, after using almost an entire pack of agar agar, i obtained a very gelatinous but liquid light green substance. Secondly, i decided to simply pulse the kiwi down to a puree and then heat it up with water and sugar, but the agar agar did not succeed in holding everything together.

Another problem is that the kiwi's enzyme, is a protein-splitting enzyme. So good luck trying to find something else to obtain the results you want. I was almost ready to give up when i found an ingenious recipe that solved all my problems.

A recipe called for mixing an egg to 2 kiwis. How do you mix an egg to 2 kiwis? Well after building enough anger towards to kiwi fruit, i pulverized it a hand mixer until it became nothing but green liquid. After whisking continuously over the heat and adding cornstarch and sugar, then brought to a boil, it thickened up into the creamiest and most delicious kiwi custard. Some of the color was sacrificed while cooking, but it was nothing that a couple drops of yellow and green coloring couldn't fix.

In the end, it filled the macarons wonderfully. Here's a pic of my first large order of macarons! Of course, the colors being "Las Vegas" colors, as my Cordon Bleu teacher always said. Got to love the contrast between colors though!


So there you have it! Next time you want to utilize the wonderful kiwi (sarcasm?), you'll have this extra knowledge to help you out. Hopefully without stressing out too much...

Eat well, sleep well and till tomorrow!

Astérix

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