New Sweet: Pancake Cup

Combining French Pancake and Cheese Cake

The cup-size handy sweet is offered by JS Pancake in Shibuya, Japan for 700 yen each.

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Rhubard Roll Cake with Raspberry Sauce

Ingredients

vegetable cooking spray
3 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons powdered sugar, divided
1 (10-ounce) package frozen raspberries in light syrup, thawed
3 cups diced fresh rhubarb (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons water
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
lemon zest strips (optional)

Method

  1. Coat a 15- x 10- x 1-inch jellyroll pan with cooking spray and line bottom of pan with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Beat egg yolks in a large bowl at high speed of an electric mixer until thick and lemon-colored (about 5 minutes). Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, beating constantly. Stir in lemon rind and next 3 ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Beat egg whites (at room temperature) until foamy; gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into yolk mixture.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually fold into egg mixture. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (Do not overbake.)
  5. Sift 2 tablespoons powdered sugar in a 15- x 10-inch rectangle on a towel. When cake is done, immediately loosen from sides of pan. Invert jellyroll pan onto sugared towel. Remove pan, and carefully peel wax paper away from cake.
  6. Starting at narrow end, roll up cake and towel together. Place, seam side down, in a wire rack and let cool completely.
  7. Strain raspberries, reserving 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons liquid and discard seeds. Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons reserved raspberry liquid, and rhubarb in a large skillet. Stir well and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, 20 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 1 cup, stirring frequently. Pour into a bowl. Cover and chill.
  8. Combine remaining 1/2 cup reserved raspberry liquid, water, and cornstarch in a saucepan. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let cool completely.
  9. Carefully unroll cake. Spread with rhubarb mixture. Starting at narrow end, reroll cake without towel. Place, seam side down, on a serving platter. Sift remaining 2 teaspoons powdered sugar over cake.
  10. Serve raspberry sauce with cake slices. Garnish with lemon zest, if desired.

Makes 1 roll cake.

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Gadget: Frozen Yogurt Maker

Kate Krader wrote

The kitchen counter has become a crowded place. Alongside coffee machines, mixers, and toasters are now juicers, dehydrators, soda makers, and the darling of the home cooking set, the all-purpose Instapot.

A new machine that wants to take its place in the gleaming, stainless-steel lineup: the Wim frozen yogurt maker. The unassuming, 15-pound gadget, similar in size to a Nespresso machine, plans to use convenient flash-freezing technology to become a major player in the frozen dessert category, which is estimated at $28 billion nationally and $60 billion worldwide. (Market research company Research & Markets projects that frozen desserts will be nearly a $30 billion industry in the U.S. by 2020.)

An AirBnB Epiphany

Wim was conceived by entrepreneur Bart Stein. A veteran of Google in the late 2000s, Stein’s first startup was Stamped, a social recommendations app. It was Marissa Mayer’s first acquisition at Yahoo in 2012 and boasted a list of investors ranging from Bain Capital to Justin Bieber, Ellen deGeneres, Ryan Seacrest, and Mario Batali.

Stein got the idea for Wim on vacation at an Airbnb in the Catskills woods in the winter of 2014 with friends who included Wim co-founder Anthony Cafaro. The group wanted to make dessert but found nothing that would help them get the job done in their rented kitchen. “There was an appliance for everything from coffee, to waffles, to soda; we realized there was no appliance for frozen dessert,” recounted Stein.

That is, strictly speaking, not true. There are hundreds of ice cream and frozen yogurt makers on the market, from the $1,200 Dream Ice Cream Machine to a Swirlio Frozen Fruit Dessert Maker that costs less than $30. But none of them is ubiquitous in the way that Sodastream has dominated the carbonated beverage category, perhaps because none projects a message of such simplicity. Most ice cream makers require you to make a custard base by boiling milk, sugar, and eggs, and freezing the mixture for hours. For noncooks such as Stein, the frozen dessert appliance market might as well not have existed. “I wasn’t aware there were ice cream makers, that’s how unuseful they are,” he said.

Building a Better Machine

Stein determined that he could bring an appliance to market that would create a fresh, high-quality product for people without a lot of cooking skills or the desire to put effort into making their dessert. He secured backing from notable Silicon Valley VC firms Shasta, Homebrew, and Khosla. (Stein wouldn’t reveal how much funding he got but claimed it’s a relatively modest amount compared with such products as the June Oven. “Some people use tens of millions of dollars to create an oven; we wanted to be more scrappy.”)

His first major hire in 2015 was a chef. Jena Derman was a six-plus-year veteran of Milk Bar, the New York bakery that had put cereal milk soft serve on the culinary map. Together, Stein, Cafaro, and Derman decided the focus should be frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, to bring a healthier product to a category dominated by sugar. It was also the era when frozen yogurt storefronts had colonized major cities, a testament to the popularity of the product.

The Design

To build the machine, Stein enlisted engineers from OXO, the kitchen appliance company, Woodward, the aerospace company, and Apple. Stein made a rule at the beginning: just one button. “We didn’t want this to be an appliance that’s smarter than you are, that requires Wi-Fi or Bluetooth,” Stein said. We wanted to make it simple. Just press one button when the yogurt is done, and the machine stops. I want people to have a fresh bowl of frozen yogurt to eat, not a crazy display of lights and buttons.”

Another priority was to make the process exceedingly clean. “When we looked at appliances in the market, we found machines you have to take apart and a long cleaning process. We designed Wim not to be messy. The frozen yogurt doesn’t touch the appliance; it’s definitely a Nespresso approach,” said Stein.

To do this, the Wim team designed the single-service containers in aluminum bowls, made in Illinois at the same factory that produces Altoid containers. Each has a recyclable paddle to combine the milk and freeze-dried organic yogurt mix.

It took a team of 10 people almost two years to create the machine. It’s not easy to make a compact appliance with an elaborate cooling system. “In the kitchen, only large machines like refrigerators get cold quickly. The brief was to develop technology that could get cold at the press of button with zero refrigerant. It was a challenge from an engineering perspective; patents are pending,” Stein said. (When asked about any similarities between Wim and the high-tech juicer Juicero, which similarly creates a snack from a prepackaged mix, Stein pointed to this technology.)

The Result

Meanwhile, in a facility in New Jersey, Derman perfected the yogurt mix with freeze-dried cultured dairy and flavors that evoke the pantry, such as cinnamon toast, raspberry, and brownie batter. She designed the desserts to be not too sweet or high calorie. Each bowl produces a 4 to 4½ ounce serving, with an average of 150 calories and about 10 grams of added sugar. The mix works with any milk on the market, from full-fat cow’s milk to almond milk and coconut milk. There are currently nine mixes; more are in the works (yogurt and pretzel is a natural combination) and they’ll change seasonally.

So what does it taste like? The dessert is luxuriously creamy and airy, with a tangy bite. Depending on the milk you use and the flavor you pick, the taste is almost savory (cookies and cream with regular milk) or richly tropical (passion fruit with coconut milk). Because so little sugar is added, they can function as meal replacements, at least for the set that eats cereal for dinner. And since you are using your own fresh milk, the flavor is rich with, well, milk.

The process takes about 10 minutes, from pressing the button to a bowl of frozen yogurt. It doesn’t provide instant gratification, but it is a snack you can make while you’re doing something else. “There are limitations on how fast you can safely freeze,” said Stein. “If you can make it in 4 minutes, but it doesn’t taste amazing, I’ll take 10 minutes every time.”

Another potential drawback of the machine is that it makes just one serving: It’s not ideal for a dinner party or for a crowd of hungry kids. Stein defends the decision to launch with just one machine that makes a modest amount of frozen yogurt. “The current focus is toward a single-serve machine,” explained Stein. “A lot of America is in smaller household: singles, couples, single-child households.” He said that in the future, they are planning for machines with large yields. Their first run of Wim machines is 1,000, and they are hoping to be in tens of thousands of homes by the end of 2018. “When you see Sodastream go public with a valuation of $1 billion, and then you look at the possibilities in the frozen dessert category, you get optimistic,” he said.

Wim machines go on sale recently at wimyogurt.com. The US$299 cost includes a variety five-pack of bowls. Additional bowl flavors are sold in packs of five, 10, and 20, and the flavors are customizable. Starting in the fall, Wim will be available on Amazon.com.

Source: Bloomberg

It’s Never Too Soon to Safeguard Your Bones

Maura Hohman wrote . . . . . .

Bone health is literally something you build on throughout your life, not just as a child. And the efforts you put in now will keep bones strong and help prevent the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis later on, as you age.

Most of the 10 million Americans living with osteoporosis are women, but men are at risk, too, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. It weakens bones, leaving them at greater risk of fracture. Here are 4 steps to better bone health for women and men.

First, make sure your diet has calcium, an essential mineral, and vitamin D. These nutrients work in tandem on bone building. Low-fat dairy, such as plain yogurt and milk, is a great calcium source. Also, look for milk that’s been fortified with vitamin D. You can get some D from fatty fish, like tuna and salmon, spending limited time in the sun, and supplements.

Second, eat healthy in general. Magnesium, potassium and vitamins C and K are also important. They’re in many fruits, peppers and leafy green veggies. Get enough protein, but not too much, which could lower your calcium level. Skip soda and limit alcohol, salt and caffeine.

Third, get the types of exercise that support bone health, primarily strength-training and weight-bearing cardio activities — those that are done standing, like walking. Add workouts that help with balance, like yoga and tai chi, to improve posture and prevent falls, the key culprit in broken bones.

Finally, don’t smoke. Smoking decreases all-important bone density.

Source: HealthDay

Fewer Gallbladder Surgeries with Mediterranean Diets

Shereen Lehman wrote . . . . . .

Eating foods high in fiber, such as those found in a Mediterranean diet, was tied to a lower risk of gallbladder surgery in a recent French study.

Compared to people who didn’t follow a Mediterranean diet pattern, those who adhered to it most closely had a significantly lower likelihood of needing a cholecystectomy, which is the medical term for an operation to remove the gallbladder, say the authors.

“We found that higher intakes of legumes, fruit, vegetable oil, and (whole grain) bread were associated with decreased cholecystectomy risk, and a higher intake of ham was associated with higher risk of cholecystectomy,” wrote the authors in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

About 700,000 cholecystectomies are performed every year in the United States, according to the American College of Surgeons. Most are the result of blockage due to gallstones.

“Gallstones are very common, but most of them are asymptomatic, meaning people have no symptoms. If you don’t have any symptoms from your gallstones, there’s no reason to have your gallbladder removed,” said Dr. James Lewis, a gastroenterologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia who was not part of the study.

The vast majority of people with gallstones never have problems from them, Lewis said in a phone interview.

“When they do cause problems, then having your gallbladder removed is completely appropriate,” he said.

The new study, led by Dr. Amelie Barre at the University of Paris Sud in Orsay, used information on nearly 64,000 women who were born between 1925 and 1950 and covered by a national insurance plan. Every two years, they answered questions about their health status, medical history, and lifestyle.

Over the course of 18 years, 2,778 of the women had their gallbladder removed.

Women who ate the most legumes, fruits, vegetable oil, and whole grain bread were anywhere from 13 to 27 percent less likely to have gallbladder surgery than were women who ate the least of those foods.

A western dietary pattern – including high consumption of processed meat, canned fish, eggs, rice, pasta, appetizers, pizza, potatoes, cakes, and alcohol – was not linked with either a higher or lower risk for the surgery. There was, however, an association of ham intake with cholecystectomy risk.

But when researchers assigned a Mediterranean diet score to all participants, they found that women with the highest scores were 11 percent less likely to have the surgery compared to women with the lowest scores.

This type of observational study can’t prove that a Mediterranean diet was the reason for women’s lower risk of gallbladder surgery, or that ham intake caused a higher risk. Furthermore, dietary intakes were self-reported at just one point in time. The reports may not have been accurate, and women’s diets may have changed over time.

Still, Lewis said, the Mediterranean-style diet has consistently been shown to be associated with living longer.

“If people really want to think about what they should be eating in order to increase their longevity, it’s very easy for me to recommend to them that they should try and follow a Mediterranean-style diet,” he said.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently advised Americans to follow a diet that is very similar to a Mediterranean-style diet, Lewis noted. (bit.ly/2vHSL8h)

“This is just one of many reasons that we should be following that style diet. If you look at the published literature on dietary patterns, what you’ll see is that Mediterranean-style diet has been associated with a reduced overall mortality but also reduced cardiovascular mortality (and) reduced risks of cancer,” he said.

Source: Reuters


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