Archive for the ‘TGRWT’ Category

TGRWT #14: Malt and soy sauce

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

This month’s round of the food blogging event They go really well together (TGRWT) will be hosted by Rob over at The Curious Blogquat. We’ve now come to TGRWT #14 and the foods to pair this time are malt and soy sauce (soya sauce). Regarding the malt you are free to choose whatever form you like – you can use malt extract, powdered malt, grains or even beer if you like. As usual you can cook from an existing recipe or come up with your own. The deadline for submissions is February 1st and you can find more information on how to participate in the announcement post.

And do not forget to check out the roundup of the delicious cocoa and caraway recipes from TGRWT #13.

BTW: Tomorrow I’m heading of for the flavor pairing seminar “The Flemish Primitives” in Bruges, Belgium. I’m really excited about that and I promise I’ll return with an extensive report! From the homepage I see that Sang-Hoon Degeimbre has chosen Leffe (a Belgian beer) and who knows – maybe he’ll combine it with soy sauce 😉

TGRWT #13: Chocolate cookies with caraway

Monday, December 29th, 2008

I thought I’d do a twist on some chocolate cookies my Mom always makes for Christmas for TGRWT #13. I tried two versions with added caraway (and a litte bitter orange peel) – one where I omitted all the spices except cocoa and one where they were added together with all the spices in the original recipes.

Chocolate cookies with caraway (more…)

TGRWT #13: Caraway and chocolate

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

According to Google trends searches for chocolate peak every December (plus that special day in February), and I assume that consumption of chocolate follows the same pattern. For this month’s They go really well together event (TGRWT #13) Erik Fooladi over at Fooducation has chosen to pair chocolate with caraway. So if you plan to cook or bake with chocolate (or cocoa) in December – why not add some caraway and see how it turns out? It’s time to spice up your Christmas desserts! Surprise your guests and let us all know how it worked out.

If you can’t figure out what to make, try the chocolate sauerkraut cake I blogged about last year. It was quite successful and I figured out that one possible reason for the success was the fact that sauerkraut contains caraway which goes well with chocolate (and cognac).

More information about how to participate can be found in Erik’s announcement post of TGRWT #13.

TGRWT #12: Chanterelle pie with apricots

Monday, December 1st, 2008

In the end I was able to find fresh chanterelles and therefore ready for TGRWT #12 with a last minute preparation and blogpost (the round-up of TGRWT #12 has already been posted). The chanterelles were imported from Poland and quite expensive and I was eager to smell them and see if I could recognize the smell reminiscent of apricots (as a commenter pointed out to my announcement: even wikipedia states this fact). But to be honest I was quite disappointed – there were no traces of apricot aroma in my batch. But there was an earthy note. I tasted the chanterelles throughout the preparation, but at no point were they close to what I had tasted earlier and hoped for. But once I’d added some butter and pepper they where much better! Regarding the apricots I didn’t even try to find fresh ones and got the canned variety from the start. They were quite OK and I rinsed them with water a couple of times to wash away the syrup they came in. I imagined I would like to make a pie so I googled for chanterelle pies and quiches and found some inspiration there. And

Chanterelle pie with apricots

TGRWT #12: Chanterelle and apricot

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Tri-2-cook has announced the foods to pair in the twelfth round of “They go really well together” (or TGRWT for short): apricot and chanterelle. More information on how to participate can be found in the announcement post. If the ingredients are out of season where you live, remember that you can use ingredients that are dried, canned or preserved. The heating and/or air exposure can of course alter the flavor composition, but it’s still worth giving it a try.

Regarding the chemistry behind this flavor pairing I’ve found the following. Based on quantitative measurements Greger and Schieberle identified 18 compounds with odor activity values (OAVs) greater than 1 in apricot (Prunus armeniaca). I have not been able to locate any studies of chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) with OAV values, but there are a couple of articles which list volatile compounds. Comparing these lists with the OAV data for apricots there is not much overlap. The only compounds which had an OAV > 1 in apricots and were also found in chanterelle are 1-octen-3-one (OAV in apricot = 55) and hexanal (OAV in apricot = 15) shown in the figure below.

It’s interesting to note that OAV studies often come with certain surprises regarding flavor compounds. As Greger and Schieberle point out in their abstract:

certain lactones, often associated with an apricot aroma note, such as gamma-undecalactone, gamma-nonalactone, and delta-decalactone, showed very low OAVs (<5) (...) Omission experiments indicated that previously unknown constituents of apricots, such as (E,Z)-2,6-nonadienal or (Z)-1,5-octadien-3-one, are key contributors to the apricot aroma.

Some compounds that are present at higher concentrations are less important because they have a high odor threshold, whereas other compounds which are present in minute quantities play important roles because we can detect them at very low concentrations. Once again this shows how important it is to use OAV values when looking for flavor pairings!

TGRWT #11 round-up

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

It’s time for the TGRWT #11 round-up. I apologize for the small break since TGRWT #10, but now we’re definitely back. Many exciting recipes this time – and great photos too! Not all were a great success judging by the comments though. But several give their concoctions a thumbs up and a “will definitely cook again” verdict.

As we have seen earlier, the challenge of these pairings is getting the balance right. Several have felt the numbening effect of cloves. This is due to eugenol, the main component of clove oil, which acts as a local anasthetic (and surprisingly celery also has sufficient levels of eugenol to cause numbening in some individuals!).

If you missed the deadline and are still working on a blog post – please let me know and I’ll update this post. And if you’re ready for a new challenge be sure to check out what we’re up to in TGRWT #12 which has already been announced!

by Tri-2-cook
Verdict: I liked the banana and clove as a flavor pairing and thought it worked really well with the pork (…) I was happy with the result and I’ll definitely do it again.

Banana and cloves Pisang Goreng
by Mededelingen van Land en Tuinbouw
Verdict: Yummy! A bite of the soft bananas with a little lump of clove brings out a very rich taste. The aftermath, when the flavour comes back through the nose, is wonderful.

Banana Mousse and Clove Caviar
by A Chef’s Journal

Banana Clove Truffles
by Hungry soul kitchen
Verdict: These were overly sweet (…) white chocolate, banana, and clove go well together, just don’t let one overpower. Banana and clove itself is excellent and I will experiment with these two a lot more.

Banana-Soufflee with cloves
by Lamiacucina
Verdict: When tasting I would have guessed cinnamon as a spice. Cloves go very well with banana.

Banana and clove milkshake
by Fooducation
Verdict: (…) banana milk shake is on the brink to being insipid. The cloves made a difference, adding another note to the drink. Conclusion: I find the banana-clove combination to be successful.

by aka R’acquel
Verdict: “Interesting” – and nothing more, but definitely – “interesting”.

Viper’s Bile Green Curry Paste
by aka R’acquel
Verdict: (…) experienced a mild high after this meal – fairly resonant to the sensation of drinking kava.

Banana cake with cloves
by Grydeskeen
Verdict: When eating the clove-injected banacake the first impressions was like a spice cake, where the texture was like a bananacake. You could feel the banana in the mouth, but only hints of the taste was there. The taste then evolved into more regular cloves taste, and the aftertaste was a slightly bitter cloves taste, which lasted for hours.

Ginger-Glass bowl of banana mousse with cloves biscuits and lemongrass jelly
by Alessio Fangano
Verdict: The biscuits results fragrant (…) cloves appear as a back taste that spikes when biting over a shard releasing a sensation of freshness. (…) The foam exhales an equilibrated scent of rose water and banana (…) the recipe works quite well though the cloves biscuits need some further development.

Arretjes Banoffee Pie with cloves and pecan nuts
by Kokrobin (recipe)
Verdict: You’d think there was too much going on, but it wasn’t that bad. I think it really worked. Well, for my mouth, not my hips.

Banana Clove Canolli
from Blogquat
Verdict: The banana was subtle, yet lingering and deep. The clove, on the other hand, was at first over powered by the white chocolate, but then remained the lasting taste in my mouth.

Banana Martini with Clove “Olives”
by Blogquat
Verdict: (…) the vodka made my head numb and the clove made my tongue numb. This could be a dangerous drink!

Banana breads with cloves
by The bite size
Verdict: Cloves and banana is a match! Actually, I think bananas go very well with all these “autumn/winter” spices such as cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, pepper, anis, vanilla etc.

Banana chutney
by Kookjegek
Verdict: I liked the sweetness of the banana & red onion together with the distinct flavor of the clove. Although I used a tablespoon, which in my opinion is a lot, it worked for me as a combination.

Pork tenderloin with banana and cloves
by Khymos
Verdict: I enjoy the combination of sweet and salty tastes in the banana sauce. I goes very well together with the pork.

(no picture)
Banana Clove Yoghurt Shake
by M
Verdict: Not bad but I could not detect the taste of clove.

40-second banana cake
by Mex Mix
Verdict: Just out of the microwave the cake appeared almost salty and with a lot of cheese aroma. It wasn’t the taste I was looking for. Colder however, the sweetness came out and it was just what I had in mind. (…) The purée tasted quite good, with the aroma of the cloves really coming forward and marrying itself with the banana.

Dehydrated banana with clove
by Cooking Sideways
Verdict: I was surprised how much flavour got into the bananas, considering I had only stuck the cloves in moments before drying. (…) A really good snack to eat on its own, probably not a strong enough all round taste for most culinary uses though.

Banana and cloves bavarian cream pie
by Koken met Frank
Verdict: At first glance the cloves tasted too strong. But the freshness of the lemon and the softness of the cinnamon flattened this penetrating taste and became in harmony with the cloves. Only the first bite of the pie was of strange taste, the latter bits were amazing, the cloves struggled to be the strongest tasting component, but the cream and milk kind of covered your tasting buds a bit such that the combination of all the flavors got to its best extend.

TGRWT #11: Ginger-Glass bowl of banana mousse with cloves biscuits and lemongrass jelly

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

I received the following contribution for TGRWT #11 from Alessio Fangano, and since he doesn’t have a blog I post his contribution here in extenso. Enjoy!

Photo: Alessio Fangano

Ginger-Glass bowl of banana mousse with cloves biscuits and lemongrass jelly
All the ingredients are meant for 4 servings.

Cloves Biscuits
1 egg yolk
25g flour
3 tea spoons of groundnut oil
4g whole cloves
Fleur de sel
Groundnut oil to fry

Ground cloves, flour and oil in a mixer. The cloves do not need to be completely pulverized; the little shards will provide sparks of taste when bitten.

In a bowl fold in the flour mixture and the egg yolk (add little bit of water if needed). Knead a bit the dough before rolling it in a thin foil (2-3 mm).

Cut in rectangular strips approximately 7×1 cm, sprinkle on top 3-4 grains of fleur de sel on each strip and let dry for 3h before frying in hot oil.

Ginger Crisp cup
150g egg white
75g fresh ginger peeled
150g water

Peel the ginger, cut it in small pieces and ground very finely in a mixer adding water. Strain the liquid pressing the pulp trough a fine sieve. Add the liquid to the egg white with a teaspoon of the grinded pulp. Mix the whole properly.

Pour some of the mixture on a small no-stick skillet to a thickness of around 2mm. Put on the fire on low heat to let the water evaporate. It does not have to boil.

When the border will be dried out and some part of the interior will start to (ca 30 min), lift the film out of the skillet and place over the back of a bowl you will use as mold. Place a second cup over it to keep the film in shape and put into the oven at 120C for another 30min. After 10-15min take away the upper cup leaving the back of the crisp cup exposed. If at the end of the 30 min the crisp is too clear looking, just unmold it and put it in the oven for another 5-10min keeping an eye on it.

Proceeds this way for the rest of the mixture.

These crisps may be kept for a couple of days in a dry place.

Lemongrass Jelly
40g fresh lemongrass
1 teaspoons lemon zest
170g water
0.17g agar (1%)
Green food color

Put water and the lemongrass thinly chopped in a pot. With the lid on, heat it over low fire to around 70C. Let infuse for 2h away from heat. Filter the liquid with a sieve pressing the liquid out of the lemongrass. Add few drops of the colorant to the infusion to obtain a fresh mint green.

Heat few spoons of the liquid with the lemon zest and add the agar powder. Boil for 2-3 minutes. Away from heat mix in the rest of the liquid and pour in a mould. The resulting jelly will need to be cut in cubes, so use a flat shallow container. Refrigerate until set before cutting.

Chilies Consommé
25g water
2 small green Indian chilies
0.05g agar (0.1%)

Grind the chilies and the water in a blender. Heat up the liquid, add the agar powder and boil for 3 minutes. Put the liquid in a mold (glass for instance) and freeze overnight. Place the resulting iced-gel over a sieve and let the liquid drip on a bowl.

Banana Mousse
150g Ripe Banana
4 teaspoons rose water
1-2 teaspoon(s) chilies consommé
0.7g (0.5%) methylcellulose
1-2 pinch(s) curcuma (optional)

Disperse the methylcellulose in some warm water. Let it hydrate overnight. Purée the banana in a blender. Transfer in a bowl and flavor with the rose water and chilies consommé. If you wish, you can add a bit of curcuma to make the whole looking more yellowish-golden. Mix in the methylcellulose and foam with an immersion blender.

Keep in mind that the banana will darken over time so prepare the mousse shortly before serving.

Pour the banana mousse in the ginger crisp bowl. Put over a white serving plate with the cloves biscuits and jelly cubes. Spread over the banana mousse drops of cloves oil made blending cloves with groundnuts oil.

Taste Sensations
The biscuits results fragrant, the salt underlining their consistency. In them cloves appear as a back taste that spikes when biting over a shard releasing a sensation of freshness.

The foam exhales an equilibrated scent of rose water and banana. The sweet banana taste is followed by the rose aroma and the hit of the chili spiciness. The sweetness and sticky consistency of the banana complements quite well the balsamic nature of cloves in the biscuits.

The crisp’s ginger taste fuses very well with the banana foam leaving a whole mouth sensation of light spiciness.

The lemongrass jelly helps cleaning the mouth, leaving a fresh sensation that adds up to the left over spiciness from the crisp.

In the complex, the recipe works quite well though the cloves biscuits need some further development.

TGRWT #11: Pork tenderloin with banana and cloves

Monday, October 27th, 2008

I’m a big fan of using bananas in savory dishes, so for TGRWT #11 I decided to make:

Pork tenderloin with banana & clove sauce
450 g pork tenderloin
2 bananas, sliced
10-15 cloves (less if you use ground cloves)
black pepper, ground
cooking oil of choice
1-2 T crí¨me fraí®che

Pack meat in plastic bags with a little oil, banana slices, cloves and pepper. Suck out air and seal. Sous vide* for 60 min or more at 60 °C. Leave meat to rest while making sauce: purée bananas with some cloves and crí¨me fraí®che using an immersion blender. Add ground pepper and salt to taste (use powdered meat stock if desired). Keep sauce warm in a water bath. Sear the tenderloin slices on both sides. Serve with rice and glaced carrots.

* Can one use “sous vide” as a verb, just as to google has become a verb?

Verdict: I enjoy the combination of sweet and salty tastes in the banana sauce. I goes very well together with the pork. The meat was perfect throughout with a pale pink color (quite difficult to reproduce this color correctly when processing the picture…). The sauce was quite thick and should be served in moderation since it’s quite sweet.

I actually prepared 4 different packs of meat for the sous vide. Meat with and without bananas and/or cloves. What I found out was that the meat didn’t really take up much of the banana flavor, so I could just as well have put the banans and the cloves for the sauce in a separate bag which would have allowed me to leave the meat in the water while I was making the sauce.

I used “freezing” bags which are thicker and sucked out the air with a vacuum cleaner 🙂

TGRWT #11: Banana and cloves

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

It’s a pleasure for me to announce a new round of “They go really well together” or TGRWT for short. For those not familiar with the concept of flavor pairing: the idea is that if two foods have one or more volatile compounds in common, chances are good that they might taste well together. In TGRWT #11 the foods to pair are banana and cloves. This is a pairing that (once again I should say) can be taken both in a sweet and a savory direction.

This is how you can participate in TGRWT #11:

  1. Prepare a dish that combines banana and cloves. You can either use an existing recipe or come up with your own.
  2. Take a picture of the dish and write an entry in your blog by November 1st with TGRWT #11 in the title. Readers will be particularily interested in how the flavour pairing worked out, so make an attempt at describing the taste and aroma and whether you liked it or not.
  3. A round-up will be posted here (with pictures). Please send an email to webmaster_at_khymos_dot_org with the following details: Your name, URL of blog, URL of the TGRWT #11 post and a picture for your entry in the round-up. If you don’t have a blog, email me your name, location, recipe and a brief description of how it worked out and I’ll be glad to include it in the final round-up.

Looking back at the first 10 rounds of TGRWT a quick count shows that more than 100 dishes have been prepared and documented in numerous food blogs. This is quite impressive considering that all of them are “new” dishes and that many have required a substantial amount of preparation and testing. You can find links to the round-ups of all the previous TGRWT events in the right sidebar on the main page of the Khymos blog. Admittedly, not all concoctions worked out very well, but there are many exciting recipes where even the cooks themselves were surprised by the flavor pairing.

I certainly hope this food blogging event can continue to inspire new creations in the kitchen and look forward to receiving your contributions. As usual – since different blogs have different groups of readers – I’m grateful if you help me spread the word of TGRWT #11.

TGRWT #10: Pizza with blue cheese and pineapple

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

This piece of art was recently sold at an auction for $ 35 million USD! No … just kidding. Read on to find out more!

For the 10th round of TGRWT I decided to modify one of my favorite pizza recipes. As it already has some blue cheese I decided that I would just add som pineapple to the sauce and see how that would work out. Knowing that pineapple works quite well on pizza (at least I have childhood memories from a pizza place called “Aloha” where they served a “Hawaiian delight” pizza with pineapple, ham and cheese) I was quite optimistic about this combination.


Normally I don’t use a recipe for the dough. I only remember to use 1 dL water per person. Everything else is added ad lib. But to give you a proper recipe I measured all the ingredients. Using 4 dL water gives approximately 1 kg dough in total. This gives 3 pizzas with a diameter of about 26 cm, serving 3-4 people. If you like you can roll the dough out thinner and make 4 pizzas and stretch the sauce and toppings correspondingly.


Pizza dough
4 dL water
5 g salt
5 g fresh yeast
580 g flour (plain white)
20 g olive oil

Add salt and yeast to luke warm water (~37 °C) and stir to dissolve yeast. Add flour in portions, reserving about 40 g. Mix/knead well for a couple of minutes. The dough is quite sticky. Add the olive oil. Mix/knead more. Add the remaining flour and fold the dough a couple of times. Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours.

Addition of 2% oil helps to give a lighter texture. But mix/knead the dough first so you form the gluten network before you add the oil. Otherwise the oil will cover the glutenin and gliadin proteins and inhibit the formation of gluten, rendering the dough less elastic.


Pizza sauce
45 g sardines (I used King Oscar “Mediterranean style”)
3 t capers
2 T tomatoe paste
1 clove garlic
4 pineapple rings

Mix everything in a small food processor. (You can also add some olives if you like.)

Blue cheese sauce
75 g blue cheese
75 g crí¨me fraí®che

Crumble the blue cheese, add the crí¨me fraí®che and mix until smooth.

1-2 onions, in rings
50 g pepperoni
100 g cheddar, grated

Assemble the pizza as follows. Roll out approximately 330 g dough and place it on a suitable pizza peel (if you forget this you won’t be able to transfer the pizza to the baking stone). Add pizza sauce, blue cheese sauce, onion rings, pepperoni and cheddar cheese. Transfer to a preheated pizza stone and bake at 250-300 °C until nicely browned. Depending on temperature this typically takes around 5-10 min.


The key to a good pizza is turning up the heat! I usually set my oven around 250 °C, but you can go even higher if you like. Secondly you want to use a pizza stone (also known as a baking stone) to get that nice oven spring and a crisp crust. The picture at the top of this blog post is just a close up of my pizza stone! The black speckles are the carbonized remains of cheese and pizza sauce. I’ve blogged about the science of pizza stones previously:

A baking stone is made from a porous ceramic material. It’s heat capacity is good (much higher than that of a metal plate/sheet) and as a result, when the cold dough is placed on the baking stone, it still has enough heat to make the pizza rise immediately. Secondly, the fact that the baking stone is porous lets it absorb moisture from the pizza. This is what gives the nice crisp crust as it transports moisture away from the pizza.


The original version of this pizza (without pineapple) is one of my absolute favorites and tinkering a little with the recipe doesn’t change this. But even so I felt that the pineapple diluted the pizza sauce and that the sweetness took away too much of the saltiness of the pizza sauce. Unfortunately, when making the pizza sauce, I discovered that my tube of tomato paste was empty so I used ketchup in stead. In retrospect I see that this wasn’t a good choice as ketchup is quite sweet. Therefore it’s not fair to say that all the extra sweetness came from the pineapple, but it nevertheless contributed with a lot of sweetness.

The overall flavor was very nice though, and my wife thought this pizza was better. Personally however I prefer the “original”. But perhaps next time I’ll try to add pineapple chunks in stead of churning it together with the sauce so as to concentrate the pineapple flavour more and allow it to come in small “flavor packs” now and then. I think that might work better.

Serve with red wine and a fresh salad!