Sabayon woes! Please help!
Posted: 06 March 2010 02:56 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi everyone, this is my first post, so please be nice to me if I’ve made some horribly hilarious error.

I tried making Zach’s La Bomba first (don’t) and actually everything went perfectly until I tried to heat up my Sabayon over the simmering water. The book said not to immerse the bottom of the sabayon bowl in the water, so I didn’t; but as long as I kept it there, whisking away, I could never achieve the desired temperature of 170f; I only got to 150. I poked around on the internet and found that most people make sabayon with a bain-marie, and Rose makes something like it while doing the genoise, but she uses the stand mixer and balloon whisk to aerate it, and it turns white and fluffy. I do not own a stand mixer because I am poor. (Yeah, I know, not that poor.)

So, to make a long story long, (because its funny) my sabayon did not double in volume or turn white from the aeration, depriving me of 1.5 cups of mousse volume. (I’m certain this was the reason.) At 2 AM, after baking for 4 hours, we had the bright idea of sticking a mechanical blender into the filled mold to add more volume. We failed, but we did succeed in integrating the nonstick spray into the mixture, making the cake impossible to unmold except by scraping it out with a spatula. I also had to hack away at my sheet cake round to fit it into the mold. The end result looks like a glazed cow plop, despite the fact that its extremely delicious.

So I guess I have two questions. First, how can I get my Sabayon hot enough for that egg protein to start denaturing so it takes in air, and secondly, how can I get more volume from that Sabayon? Am I allowed to take it off the heat and just go crazy with the whisk? Will it cause a problem if its temperature falls? I’m trying to be careful because I’m going to attempt this again, but each attempt takes like 6 hours and costs me 50 bucks.

Thanks in advance for your kindness

-R

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Posted: 06 March 2010 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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SL, I haven’t made this yet, though it’s on my to-bake list.  If it makes you feel any better, I had the same problem with my tiramisu egg mixture, which is supposed to be whisked over a double boiler until tripled in volume and 165-170F.  My problem turned out to be that I was whisking so fast trying to triple the volume, that the whisking was cooling the mixture faster than the double boiler could heat it. 

I’m not so sure about the exact perfect solution.  Next time (and there will be a next time, Rose’s tiramisu is divine), I’m going to arrange the double boiler so that the water is very close to, but not touching the bowl.  I’m also going to make sure my bowl is metal, without any insulating characterstics on the bottom (I used a stainless steel bowl that had rubber pads on the bottom, and the eggs got much hotter in places where there wasn’t any rubber).  Hopefully that will improve heat transfer.

In order to get triple volume, I suspect there is a temperature that is ideal for whipping, and I’m guessing it’s either pretty low- below 100F, or else around 140F, when the eggs first show a little thickening.  So I’ll probably try something like this:  whisk slowly until 100F, then really go at it for a minute or so to get some volume.  Then whisk more slowly until 140F.  If it still seems to need more volume, I’ll probably try another minute of very fast whipping, then go back to whisking more slowly until 165F.  All that said, I’d rather the mixture reach 165 even if it means giving up a little volume.  And Rose says it should only take 3-5 minutes to reach temp, so that implies slower whisking.

Also, I’m going to measure volume by pouring water into the bowl and mark where the proper final volume is, I think sometimes when I estimate I expect too much (increase in volume).  The way bowls are shaped makes it more difficult to estimate volume increases. 

Zach Townsend sometimes checks in, perhaps he will comment when he sees this.

It’s apples to oranges to compare the sabayon to the genoise, the sabayon cooks the eggs while the genoise does not (until it reaches the oven).

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Posted: 06 March 2010 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I haven’t made the La Bomba either, but I’ve made many Sabayons.

Did you use a metal bowl? As Julie suggested that’s key. Also, I usually use really hot water, but keep it below a simmer, and yes, I let the top bowl touch the water. I’m not as methodical as Julie about the temperature, though I watch it very closely. I whisk really fast and well (I usually use a whisk attachment on my hand mixer or immersion blender), otherwise it ends up scrambled eggs. I stop when I’m happy with the consistency.

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Posted: 07 March 2010 01:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Slow.Loris - 06 March 2010 06:56 AM

I only got to 150.

Why didn’t you just turn the heat up?  The simmering is a means to an end, not an end in itself.  wink

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Posted: 11 September 2010 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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So I tried making this cake again. I bought a stand mixer, so inflating the cream is no longer an issue.

This time I used a pot that more closely fit my glass bowl, and I didn’t worry a great deal about preventing the water from boiling, and I really cooked the hell out of that sabayon, getting it to 167 F in 5 minutes. I did manage to about double the volume, but I just never got near 3 cups. I whisked very vigorously. I really just don’t know what to do. Since my first post I’ve baked about a dozen of these cakes with varying degrees of success and improved considerably. I measure all my ingredients including yolks now with an error margin of maybe one gram, so I know that isn’t the problem either.

But I just can’t inflate the sabayon.

I’ll try it a third time in a few days to use my last piece of stale (but tasty) sheet cake.
Next time I’ll try to find the ‘sweet spot’ around 100F and linger there for a bit to try and add volume?

Still, 3 cups? THREE CUPS?

Please, if anyone has made this cake and managed to fill the entire mold with fluffy, pouffy mousse, please help!
Thanks in advance!

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Posted: 11 September 2010 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Hi Loris, I made this actually using a whisk attachment on an immersion blender because my hand mixer broke smile You can search for my post and pictures on the forum.

I don’t remember running into any volume problems, but I also don’t remember checking for 3 cups specifically to answer your question. It did pretty much fill up the mold by the time I got the cake base on. I remember it taking a long time and then I think I finally just cranked up the heat as Charles said smile

Also, if you search the main blog, you can see where I asked Zach about what tea to use and he was very fast to respond. I would try asking there too.

Btw, are you using the silicone La Bomba mold or another? The Bomba mold is quite small.

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Posted: 18 September 2010 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Dear Slow Loris
I don’t have any technical advice but just want to stand on the sidelines and cheer you on. I love your determination, attention to detail, and perseverence. You will figure this out. I have faith in your conscientiousness!
BIG APPLAUSE for you.
Shokat

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