Monday, August 30, 2010

liquid nitrogen wild berries ice cream

While I was doing my research in the chemistry group at TU-Berlin, I learned a lot of things. Not just about chemistry, research and laboratory, but also a lot about cooking :D. One of the dish that I learned is liquid nitrogen wild berries ice cream.

Liquid nitrogen is nitrogen in liquid form which only exist at a very low temperature. It's a colourless and odorless liquid that boils at -196°C at regular atmospheric pressure. This property of liquid nitrogen causes rapid freezing when it comes in contact with warmer object. Usually, liquid nitrogen is used to freeze chemical solution. And because of the low temperature, the solution will freeze into solid so fast that ice crystal has no time to form. Then, the liquid nitrogen will lose its coldness and finally turn into gas-form nitrogen. Gas nitrogen is the content of our atmospheric air, in fact 80% of the atmospheric air consists of nitrogen. So, for those of you who are worried about putting "chemicals" into food, liquid nitrogen/gas nitrogen is not toxic at all.

As the summer is ending, it's high time to eat something nice and cold, and of course ice cream must be on the menu. So one Sunday evening, my brother and I quietly slipped into my lab to make this yummy treat. Our plan is to do some molecular gastronomy, hey I'm counting using liquid nitrogen as molecular gastronomy. So Ferran Adria! take me as your apprentice please!!

wild berries ice cream

Liquid Nitrogen Wild berries ice cream

400 ml whipped cream
400 ml milk
1 cup sugar
1 package frozen berries
around 1 L liquid Nitrogen


defrost frozen berries in the microwave
mix whipped cream, milk and sugar in a heat-resistance bowl/metal bowl
Using a spatula stir in sugar until it all dissolved
mashed some of the thawed berries and mix into the cream and milk mixture

ice cream raw mixture

put in the rest of the berries into the mixture. Don't mash them. They'll give a nice texture and bite for the ice cream.


slowly pour in the liquid nitrogen (watch out! it'll be smoky since liquid nitrogen evaporates very rapidly)

more liquid nitrogen

And don't forget to stir constantly to spread the liquid nitrogen evenly into the mixture.


Once it's freezes, the ice cream is done and it's ready to be served.

wild berries ice cream

Friday, August 20, 2010

Lon Men Noodle House

Everytime I write a restaurant review, I try to write as fair as I can and without being bias about the service a restaurant provides. However some places have the most terrible costumer service and I just have to mention it. I really felt that I've been treated unfairly in Lon Men noodle house, and therefore, they win the price for the lousiest service ever. The Taiwanese Lao ban niang (lady owner) was so snobby and treated me as if I was the stupidest customer she ever have. I only asked her what was her most popular dish and whether they made their noodles themselves.

Regardless, I invited my cousin there to taste their tasty gua bao. Still, their service was so bad that my cousin swore that even though they have tasty food, she will never go there again. What actually happened, was that we ordered three different types of meat and since the waiter didn't take the order down, by the time the food came to our table it was chaotic. When I politely commented that my order was not on the table, the lady owner was mad at us and gave us a cold glare and practically throw our foods on the table. I guess, we should keep our mouth shut and let her have her way and she would be happy. But what's wrong with wanting to eat what you order?

Okay apart from the scary & bitchy lady owner, their foods are authentic and edible.

My favorite is their typical taiwanese sandwich (gua bao). This one is filled with deep fried duck with sweet and spicy sauce and my personal favorite, sweet and sour pickled veggies.

gua bao lon men

Other than deep fried duck, they also offer other fillings such as pork and beef.

gua bao lon men

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cakes from the chemistry group

While I was doing my research at the TU Berlin chemistry group, once every month, we always have a celebration adorned with cakes and tea. Oh boy, the cakes that I tasted there, were some of the best cakes I've had in my life. The quality of course is because of the freshness. They're all home, made without preservatives! But most important of all, there's so much love that they poured into the cake :P. Well, being a chemist of course help their abilities to mix and bake. Here are some of the highlights:

A moist and sweet nutella cake. One of the most chocolaty cake ever

nutella cake

The green cake made out of chopped spinach. Popeye will love this and because it's spinach (veggies and fiber) it's healthy and it's ok to eat more than 2 slices ;).

spinach cake

Our tablescape and the yellow cake in the middle is a typical German cheese cake

AK table


apple cream cake

Another look of the Schnitte-Apfel-Altbaerli ... I think this is a very German cake, I can't even find an english name for it, I'll just call it Apple Cream Cake. It's basically, a cake in the bottom with apple pudding topped with whipped cream. sounds really simple, but it 's one of the best cake I've ever ate. It's cakey, sweet and sour from the apple. But the best part is the fresh whipped cream.

Schnitte Altbaerli

A french tart au chocolat

tart au chocolat

look at the denseness of the chocolate cake ... It's not even a cake anymore, it's more like eating a chocolate bar with cake texture

tart au chocolat

After eating all these tasty cakes, no wonder I gained some weight =_="