5 hour energy hypermelon

This may be the most dangerous food I’ve ever created. I came up with the idea near the end of a very long day of work, when delirium had set in and all of my ideas were at their most absurd. But, in the morning, the idea still lingered with me, so, despite my sense of impending moral conflict, I present Hypermelon.

Hypermelon is melon that has been vacuum infused with an energy drink. Strong vacuum pressure causes the cellular structure of the melon to change, and when atmospheric pressure is returned, the melon sucks up a proportionally large amount of any surrounding liquid. In these experiments, I infused watermelon with 5 Hour Energy and Sugar-Free Redbull. It’s pretty easy to extend the recipe to Rockstar Energy Drinks or other high-caffeine beverages. The watermelon helps to mask the semimedicinal flavor of the energy drink, making consumption of those beverages even more dangerous.

redbull energy hypermelon

Here’s a short video showing the vacuum infusion process. As you can see, the watermelon sucks up quite a bit of liquid. In fact, it only takes 200g of watermelon to absorb an entire 5 Hour Energy.

Watermelon being vacuum compressed in a pool of Redbull

I encourage you to exercise caution when making hypermelon. This shit is no joke.

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waffle ice cream in chicken skin cup

Ah, chicken & waffles.  Having grown up in Los Angeles, I’ve made a few late-night pilgrimages to the famed Roscoe’s House of Chicken’n Waffles, and every now and then, I get a craving for crispy fried chicken alongside a lightly toasted waffle.  But other times, my desires are a little more unsavory (pun intended). So, in a recent [epic] Jet City Gastrophysics jam session, we came up with the above: waffle-flavored ice cream served in a crispy chicken skin cup, with maple syrup. 

The first step is to make a neutral ice cream base infused it with waffle flavor. Jethro took on the challenge and nailed it.  He used a standard ice cream recipe (6 egg yolks, heavy cream, sugar, ice cream machine, etc) except for three variations:

  1. He toasted up 6 Eggo waffles and soaked them in the milk after it had been brought to a simmer.  After 30 minutes he pressed the milk/waffle goop through a sieve.
  2. He replaced half the required amount of sugar with maple syrup.
  3. For good measure he threw in a chunk of butter to give it that waffle flavor.

chicken skinnedNext, we needed to make a chicken skin cup.  So, I skinned a chicken (it was already dead).  We thought that an intact chicken skin was fun to play with, so we gave it some time in the spotlight, as you can see on the left.  With a little Activia, we could have done a Silence of the Lambs dish (it puts the Hoisin on the skin, or else it gets the hose again!) but we decided that we’re probably on enough FBI watch lists already. 

I removed as much of the fat as I could from the inside of the skin, making sure not to accidentally create any holes.  Using a 4” biscuit cutter as a guide, I removed a circle of skin to eventually form our cup. 

With the waffle cone maker preheated, I crisped the skin until it was golden brown, but still slightly pliable.  I immediately placed the disk on top of an inverted stainless steel condiment cup, then pressed another cup down against the skin to form it into a bowl shape.  We waited for the skin to cool down, and lo and behold, it held its form.

One scoop of ice cream and some really excellent maple syrup later, we had an incredibly satisfying dessert that tastes exactly like chicken and waffles.  Unfortunately, it was a little unwieldy to eat in that form factor – the cup was too big to take in one bite, but not quite brittle enough to shatter at the tap of a spoon.  So, we (including Eric, via Skype) brainstormed an alternate presentation. 

 

chicken skin and waffle ice cream with coffee

We decided that the dish would be easier to eat as a single bite served on a waffled chicken skin wafer.  Eric actually suggested making a coronet from the chicken skin and serving the dish as a miniature ice cream cone, but we were feeling impatient.  So, I fried another piece of skin and broke it into shards.  We also garnished the dish with espresso powder, as it seemed a fitting compliment to the breakfasty flavor of the waffle ice cream. 

Ultimately, we determined that the best presentation of this dish would be to cast the ice cream into a miniature waffle mold, served on a waffled chicken skin wafer, topped with maple syrup and perhaps even a miniature dollop of espresso whipped cream.  We’ll save that for round 2.

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cookie

For some reason I can’t remember, Jessie Oleson (of the fantastic blog Cakespy.com) and I decided to get together and absolutely destroy a few sweets using some of my favorite kitchen tools: the sous vide machine, the centrifuge, the rotor-stator homogenizer, the blowtorch, the vacuum chamber, and the blender.  I took photos of our mayhem and Jessie illustrated them and crafted a story in her signature style.  The result is… disturbing.  Without further ado, here is the Photo Story of the Misfit Pastries.

In a land not so far away, in the dark endcap displays of the grocery store, exists the land of misfit pastries.

These are the sad, stale, and typically on-sale sweets that have not been purchased, the unloved in a generally lovable section of the food pyramid.

Like shooting stars, their futures initially looked bright. But as someone (don’t ask me who, probably a lighting salesman) once said, "the brighter the light, the bigger the shadow". And here, we are going to delve into some of the bad things that can happen to fallen pastries.

Take here the hapless cookies, so festive and fresh a few days ago, which are now inspiring the ire of a rather dapper Watermelon. What will happen next in this scene? We cannot be sure, but one thing is certain: that Mr. Watermelonsworth is displeased, and his monocle and mustache should tell you that he means business.

mr watermelonsworth

…or see how cupcakes have fallen into an unfortunate series of events. sometimes we do senseless things when we are bored or just hungry. were these purposeful lures or simply a cupcake playdates gone bad? Nobody can be sure, but one thing’s certain, these poor Hostess cupcakes are never gonna be the same, and their friends are looking hungry.

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