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MOLECULAR GASTRONOMY: SUMMER PEACHES and COBBLER

Hello readers! Thomas Drahos, Pastry Chef, here again to talk about... you guessed it. Food.

Today I would like to start by asking a question. What are your favorite childhood memories? Do any of them tie to food? If so please comment below and let me know. The reason for this question is to collect information from readers and consumers to help me recreate childhood memories as you eat food. One of my favorite childhood memories is fresh peach cobbler with ice cream melting down the sides of the warm peach's. So you could only imagine how excited I was to see fresh organic yellow peaches coming through the door of the restaurant. Local California grown peaches at my finger tips and  *wham* like a smack in the face the memories of my childhood stood tall in my brain.

On this particular night I was filling in for a chef and was not working in the pastry section. The prep list was glaring me in the eyes but all I could think about was the delicious peach cobbler I ate as a child. I was immediately inspired. The ideas for the beautiful peach's popped in and out of my head like a bad song that was stuck . As the inspiration pulled at my leg I knew that I had to first tackle the prep list before I could start working on my new dessert. Butchery - check. Sauces - check. Grind pork scraps to make the italian sasuge for the week. Check! Time to revisit my childhood!

First I pealed and large diced the peaches into seamless cubes that looked different than any peaches you'd ever seen. Remember, if you've been reading my previous blogs, molecular gastronomy is all about perception. I poached the peaches in brown sugar, water, butter and a touch of cinnamon which is essentially the ingredient of peach cobbler. Oh yeah, that's the stuff!

Now the cobbler dough which is comprised of flour, baking powder and maybe some butter and heavy cream. Egg washed and baked to perfection at 400 degrees in a convection oven until golden brown. Now for the science part I will bring out the methylcellulose  f 50. Methylcellulose is derived from beets and sugar cane and is extracted from the plant cellulose. This product is like gelatin or agar. The difference is methylcellulose sets when it is heated rather than when its cold like agar and gelatin. So I took this and blended it together on high speed for four or five minutes with the buttermilk to create what looked liked paste or something similar to that. Added some sugar and vanilla to make it suitable for dessert. I then took this mixture and put it into the kitchen aid stand mixer fitted with a wisk attachment and away we went. Five minutes went by and now we have what looks like a meringue. Next I put this mix into my dehydrator to cook at 130 degrees for 20 hours. The next day I came in and had crispy buttermilk foam.  To my surprise the foam was still nice and fluffy as if it came straight out of the mixing bowl Nice!! Let's not leave out the peach sorbet to top it all off. Yummmm!!!

Remember to post your childhood memories tied to food. Thanks for stoping by and I look forward to reading about your favorite foods as a child.