Copper mixing bowls and timing the mix

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by kokopuffs, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    My recipe called for whipped cream beaten to the 'soft peak' stage. Two hours before it was to be folded into the beginnings of a Bavarian Cream (creme anglaise), the heavy whipping cream was poured into the copper bowl along with some freshly ground nutmeg to infuse for a couple of hours. Two hours later, whipping the cream produced soft peaks in less than a minute and there was some thickening quality given to the cream that I never noticed before. Before, the cream was beaten the moment it was added to the copper bowl but not this time. Allowing the cream to set in the copper bowl for a couple of hours to react with the copper, there was some sort of chemistry that occurred that 'thickens' it.

    Somewhere around this forum there was a thread where a poster mentioned that the use of a copper mixing bowl was "...narcissistic...". I don't believe so given the chemistry that I observed today.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  2. michaelga

    michaelga

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    Copper does indeed make a difference - there is a lot of different speculation behind the science (as it is a very complex reaction) and the exact answer is still waiting to be discovered.

    If you don't have a copper bowl - a pinch of creme of tarter will help speed things up.
     
  3. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    I'll stay with copper.  She keeps me warm at night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/bounce.gif/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rollsmile.gif/img/vbsmilies/smilies/drinkbeer.gif
     
  4. michaelga

    michaelga

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  5. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    NO!  You want the walls to lie more towards the horizontal to allow a better stroke.   AVOID VERTICAL WALL FOR MANUAL WHIPPING.
     
  6. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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  7. michaelga

    michaelga

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    I hear ya... but it's designed and built to attach to any 6qt KitchenAide Mixer[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  8. michaelga

    michaelga

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    Very nice!   I'm after the lazy-man's route though... 

    Copper Bowl for egg white, with Ring[​IMG]


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    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]1.880[/font]
     
     
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  9. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    It's all manual with me, the son of a US Navy mechanic where things were done by hand.  There's a feel....  There's a real feel from someone who learned the tough way way back in '41.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  10. michaelga

    michaelga

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    Ya I call it tendonitis from years of manually wisking everything :)
     
  11. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Alright, Arthur has moved in.  Now I get it.
     
  12. colin

    colin

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    The interaction of copper with egg whites is well understood: McGee's _On Food and Cooking_ has a good discussion.  But this is the first I've heard about an interaction between copper and cream.
     
  13. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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  14. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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      I used heavy cream and if allowed to set at room temperature, can whip into butter VERY quickly and so it's best to under whip heavy cream, especially if it's warm.  That tidbit I just learned from The Baker's Companion by King Arthur Flour.  Perhaps THAT is what I experienced, quick thickening due to the warmer temperature and not due to any interaction with the copper bowl.  I'd hate to spread some pseudo science or falsehoods.  That's what this informational forum is all about, so that we can all learn.

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/cool.gif
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
  15. siduri

    siduri

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    Yeah, copper and egg whites i've heard of, but why bother.  Copper is way expensive.  Copper and cream, i think not.  But mainly, if yuou really want to assure your whipped cream whipping  before turning to butter,  it should be cold and some say to refrigerate or freeze the bowl and beaters too.  Copper is a good conductor, so it would transmit the cold to the cream quickly i guess. But presumably cream is kept in the fridge anyway.   

    Egg whites, as far as i know, whip better at room temp. 

    Personally, being the kind of person who usually just gets the idea to make a cake right how, i just use them both out of the fridge and do fine.  I can beat by hand, but now i have a great case of carpal tunnel, from all this "i can do it by hand" mentality!   Can you afford a mixer?  i say, use it!  I think it's good to do it once or twice to see that it can be done, and so if you're asked to make a cake at someone;'s ill-equipped house, you can do it, but beyond that, what's the point?
     
  16. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    I believe this answers kokopuff's experience. When you cool the bowl and beaters, the cream can be beaten much faster. This doesn't count only for copper bowls, but also for any other bowl, metal ones or glass. Don't ask me for a scientific explanation, to me it's just a known fact.
     
  17. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    That's correct.  CHILL ALL when it comes to cream.   ....and add a couple of drops of ****** extract (no more than two per pint) to the cream when whipping.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  18. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Whatever effect kokopuffs observed it's almost certainly not the chemical interaction of copper and cream as copper itself doesn't significantly effect cream chemistry.  Egg whites -- different story; conalbumin and copper do react. 

    Copper is an excellent thermal conductor and will chill quicker than most bowls of similar weight in size under when chilled.  However, when going from a cold environment (refrigerator for instance) to a warm environment (kitchen) it will warm up more quickly for the same reason -- it's an excellent thermal conductor. 

    Cream whips best when it's cold.  In terms of bowls, if you really want to maximize volume and silkiness, your best bet is any well chilled bowl over ice, or failing that a heavy, well-chilled glass or ceramic bowl.  Glass and ceramic are good precisely because they're poor thermal conductors.  However as long as the cream is cold, the bowl isn't hot, you use the right sort of whisk (thin wire, balloon whisk is best) or beater, and don't beat too fast, too slow, or too long -- it's not going to make a huge difference.  Your chocolate mousse will still love you.

    Whipped egg whites and whipped cream are foams, with air trapped in bubbles.  Egg whites whip better when warm, because the bubbles are protein, and protein coagulates better when warm.  Cream whips best when its cold because the bubbles are fat, and fat is more durable when cold. 

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
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  19. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Correct.  No interaction with the copper.  It all has to do with the temperature when it comes to cream and copper mixing bowls.