Posts Tagged ‘banana’

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!


Pork-banana-clove
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.


BFBWWTFDIDWTLOB Biskit
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.

Banana marshmallows with parsley (v 1.5)

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

parsley-fresh-dried.jpg

For TGRWT #2 I made banana marshmallows with parsley. The texture came out nice, but the initially fresh parsley flavour had become grassy/hay-like over night. The litterature I referred to last time suggested that the off-flavour is produced by oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids or polyenes. There are several strategies to avoid this. The first would be not to mince the parsley as finely as I did last time to avoid exposure to the air’s oxygen. If the oxidation is enzymatic, blanching would be helpful. And it would also be worthwhile to see if addition of lemon juice (vitamin C and citric acid, are both antioxidants) would have any effect (however, on second thought this would be strange since parsley already has a lot of vitamin C!). Mirko Junge commented last time that freeze dried parsley would possibly retain more of the freshness and he most generously provided me with several samples of freeze dried parsley. I decided to proceed with the following six types of parsley for my marshmallows:

  1. fresh parsley leaves, chopped to pieces of about 2-3 mm (picture above, left)
  2. parsley leaves, blanched for 30 sec, chopped to pieces of about 2-3 mm
  3. parsley leaves, sprinkled with lemon jucie, chopped to pieces of about 2-3 mm
  4. parsley leaves, blached for 30 sec, sprinkled with lemon juice, chopped to pieces of about 2-3 mm
  5. freeze dried parsley from Goutess (picture above, right)
  6. plain, dried parsley from my local store (picture above, front)

I used the same recipe as last time, but split the whipped sugar-gelatin-banana mixture into six different bowls before mixing with the parsley. I used approximately 0.6-0.8 g of fresh parsley for each of the entries 1-4. I tried to estimate the amount of dried parsley to use by eye, comparing with the amount of fresh leaves. The amount of dried parsley used was less than 0.1 g, so my balance was not of much help. The picture below might give you an idea.

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Six different types of parsley were prepared immediately prior to mixing with the marshmallow base to minimize oxidation.

marshmallow-six-bowls.jpg
If the term ‘parallel cooking’ has not been invented yet, this might be good time to introduce it.

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I let the marhsmallows set between two sheets of greased parchment paper.

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Blind tasting of banana parsley marshmallows.

My wife helped me do a blind tasting to avoid any bias. The six marshmallow samples were each associated with a three digit code and presented on a plate to the taster. We both did two rounds each (A1/A2 and B1/B2) and the results are summarised in the table below. The scoring only describes the parsley flavour unless otherwise noted.

Parsley used A1 A2 B1 B2 Sum
Fresh parsley 5 5 5 5 20
Blanched parsley 4/* 1 2/* 2 9
Parlsey with lemon juice 0 1 5 5 11
Blanched parsley with lemon juice 1 0/* 2/- 0/- 3
Freeze dried parsley 4 2 2 2 10
Dried parsley 0/- 0/- 0 2 2

Legend:
5 fresh parsley, strong
4 fresh parsley, weak
2 grassy/hay-like parsley, weak
1 grassy/hay-like parsley, strong
0 neither fresh nor grassy, weak overall
– disagreeable
* banana dominates

I was quite surprised once I had decoded the score sheets. Fresh parsley cut into relatively large pieces gave a parsley flavour without any hints of grassy or hay-like off flavours! Blanching or treatment with lemon juice were both detrimental to the parsley flavour, and even more so when combined. The variation observed for could be a result of an uneven distribution of the parsley in the marshmallow (increased parsley flavour if you happen to chew a leaf). The freeze dried parsley didn’t do very well compared with fresh parsley, but outperformed the dried parsley from my local store which didn’t have much flavour at all. Both samples of dried parsley however were dominated by a grassy/hay-like flavour. I should add that the grassy/hay-like flavour in itself is not especially disagreeable, but it does not go very well together with the banana.

The result is interesting and perhaps a little counter intuitive. Generally one would say that a larger surface area (= finely chopped) would enhance the flavour release. This experiment however shows that this is not universally true, especially if the flavours can be oxidized. So next time you make banana parsley marshmallows remember that less chopping gives better parsley flavour.

Banana marshmallows with parsley (TGRWT #2)

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

banana-parsley-marshmallow-4.jpg

A while back I saw Evelin’s post on how to make marshmallows for Valentine’s day, and I knew immediately that I would like to give it a try. With TGRWT #2 coming up (that’s the second round of the food blogging event “they go really well together”), I thought I’d make marshmallows with a banana parsley twist. I figured that the banana flavour should fit very well with the soft and airy, yet elastic texture of marshmallows. And I was very curious to find out how the parsley would fit in!

Marshmallows were originally made using egg whites and the sap of the root of the marshmallow plant which were cooked with sugar and whipped into a foam. Today the marshmallow sap and egg white have been replaced by gelatin which is a protein produced from collagen in the connective tissue of animals. Proteins are good at stabilising foams (see previous post on how to make a Vauqelin). Addition of sugar increases the viscosity which stabilizes the foam even more. In marshmallows this is taken to an extreme. A large amount of gelatin is added to a concentrated solution of sugar (and corn syrup). This mixture is whipped for about 10 minutes to incorporate air and to break up larger air bubbles into smaller ones.

The first challenge was to find a suitable recipe. There are recipes that call for sugar only whereas others call for sugar and corn syrup (this recipe also gives a hint on how to substitute fruit purree for water). Corn syrup is added to prevent crystallization. Also some recipes use egg whites which are said to give a lighter texture. I decided to go for a simple recipe and used only sugar. I would also need to substitute mashed bananas for some of the water. Addition of parsley shouldn’t need any special adjustments of the recipe. I ended up with a recipe which is more or less a mixture of all these.

If you’re unsure about the process of how to make marshmallows, Cooking for Engineers has a detailed step-by-step description with pictures. The pictures at the end of this post should also give you an idea of what the texture is like. If you’re still lost, check out this video (the first in a series of six) on how to make mango marshmallows.

Banana marshmallows with parsley
65 g water
200 g sugar
10 g gelatin, bloomed in plenty of water
65 g banana, mashed
parsley (see comment below on why it shouldn’t be finely chopped)

Bring water and sugar to boil while stirring. Remove from heat when temperature reaches 110-115 °C (230-240 F). Add bloomed gelatin sheets and mashed bananas. Whip for 10 minutes (much longer than you think!). Add parsley to taste. Grease a pan, sprinkle with powdered sugar and spread mixture in pan. When set, invert pan on a surface dusted with plenty of powdered sugar and starch. Cut up in desired pieces and coat every cut surface with powdered sugar and starch.

What about the taste? I tasted the mixture before it set and was surprised by how well the banana and parsley blended together. To be honest, it tasted really nice! The next day however, after I had cut the marshmallows into squares, they tasted quite different. The parsley aroma had changed significantly and was more reminiscent of hay, so I was quite disappointed. The banana flavour was still intact, but I felt it was somewhat weaker than in the fresh mixture. Nevertheless, some guests I served it to reached out for both a second and a third piece of my banana marshmallows with parsley, so they couldn’t have been that bad after all. Perhaps it had to do with the texture which was really, really nice!

It turns out that the hay like off flavour of parsley is well known and described in the litterature! See for instance “Hay-like off-flavour of dry parsley” or “Evaluation of the effect of drying on aroma of parsley by free choice profiling”. The molecule responsible for the hay-like off flavour is 3-methyl-2,4-nonanedione. And apparently vacuum-microwave drying of parsley gives less hay flavour.

It is suggested that the hay like off flavour is formed by oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids or polyenes. As a consequence, I would suggest not to chop the parsley (or at least leave large pieces intact) to limit the exposure to oxygen. After parsley has been added, the mixture should be mixed carefully to keep the leaves intact. I used finely chopped parsley when I made the marshmallows in order to increase the release of volatile compounds from the parsley, and I think this is the main reason why I got the hay like off flavour.

banana-parsley-marshmallow-1.jpg
Whip until you get a thick, creamy texture.

banana-parsley-marshmallow-2.jpg

banana-parsley-marshmallow-3.jpg
Spread in a pan greased with butter/fat and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

banana-parsley-marshmallow-5.jpg

TGRWT #2: Banana and parsley

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

It’s time for the second round of the They go really well together food blogging event (hereafter referred to as TGRWT #2). Ingredients to pair this time are banana and parsley, which should be an easy match compared to last round with coffee, chocolate and garlic. Deadline is June 1st, so there’s still a couple of weekends left for you to do some experimental cooking. The event and round-up is hosted by Tara over at Should you eat that, so check out her post with instructions on how to participate!

tgrwt-2.jpg

I’ve tried to track down the origin of this pairing. First place I saw it mentioned was by Heston Blumenthal at eGullet, and in an interview with The Independent Heston explains how he discovered it:

He gives an example of this creative process in action. “I was cooking rabbit stew for the kids last summer in France, lifted the lid and threw in chopped parsley and got a smell of banana.” Which prompted him to pair banana with parsley, and banana with tarragon. “It worked really well.”

I have found odour activity values (OAV) for parsley, but not for banana. A search at The good scents company reavels that (Z)-3-hexen-1-yl formate and linalool are present in both banana and parsley. When comparing the OAV data of parsley with a search for banana only at The good scents company oct-1-en-3-one and (Z)-hex-3-enyl acetate were also found. Please post a comment if you have more data on the volatile compounds of this pairing and their OAV values.

Flavor pairing – try this at home!

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

If two different foods share one or more volatile molecules, chances are they can taste pretty nice when eaten together. A further discussion of the science behind can be found here. I justed wanted to share a picture of the simplest possible way this can be done. White chocolate/black caviar (top left – this is one of Heston Blumenthals signature combinations!), strawberries and coriander leafs, pineapple and blue cheese, and banana and parsley. Definitely very strange, but when eaten together, the tastes more or less blend together. Convince yourself and try this at home!

examples of flavor pairing

Any readers with fantasy to create exciting dishes based on such flavor pairings? Suggestions and links are welcome!