Kändi Kitchen!

My plan was faster than I.
Or I was simply slower than I planed.1
Anyway. Soon all this will be forgotten, because NOW, the Kändi-Lab-Kitchen is ‘operational’. Yes!

What a big sign on the mail box. Why does the postman have a hard time finding my place?What a big sign on the mail box. Why does the postman have a hard time finding my place?

  1. Why do things you want to make/built/invent -on average- always take longer than you’d think? Hmm… Limited brain capacity? Or chronic optimism? []

first lessons – slow cooking

Here is one of the first lessons in my learning-by-doing intensive course of entrepreneurship:
Reality is somehow more complex than what my brain had envisioned it to be.
This includes that reality is more complex than an Excel sheet, which is not a big surprise, I know. But it also means that I need about twice as long for transforming the room I rented into a usable -and preferentially: nice!- kitchen space.

Still busy rebuilding the room into a candy kitchen/lab space... 'Kändi lab'.Still busy rebuilding the room into a candy kitchen/lab space

DIY candy lab

On paper ‘Kändi’ is already existing. Now I am busy to build a real candy production and candy-exploration space. Imposed by my budget and my craving for maximum diversity in everyday tasks, it’s going to be a lot do-it-yourself. DIY Kändi Lab.
Yes it’s slow.
But fun!

Currently busy painting, sawing, cutting, hammering...all to finally get my own 'Kändi lab'.Currently busy painting, sawing, cutting, hammering…all to finally get my own ‘Kändi lab’.

And there was Kändi

I was busy for a while. But now there’s news. I began setting up my own candy lab and production space: Kändi!

Ginger bug with some of the foam produced by the wild yeasts.Starting a new journey called ‘Kändi‘.

Naturally Fermented Sodas!

Living in Amsterdam sometimes means that summer can be a rare visitor. But it’s the perfect place to learn how to get into a summer time feeling despite rainy spring weather. One way to do so is by having an ice cold glass of homemade soda!
It’s actually pretty easy and fun. And it is yet another manifestation for one of biggest things I’ve learned about food so far, which is: Fermentation is magic!

Ginger bug with some of the foam produced by the wild yeasts.Ginger bug with some of the foam produced by the wild yeasts.

Unloading Rum & Cocoa

Last Friday was the celebrated unloading of the ‘Tres Hombres’, a retro-style cargo sailing ship. Quite some people came to help unload rum, cocoa, and chocolate bars that were brought from the Caribbean, all using ‘CO2 neutral’ means of transport. And in Amsterdam this mostly means: Bakfiets!1

Unloading rum and cocoa from the sailing ship 'Tres Hombres' in Amsterdam NoordUnloading rum and cocoa from the sailing ship ‘Tres Hombres’ in Amsterdam Noord

  1. For the non Dutch-knowers, ‘bakfiets’ are the omnipresent cargo bikes, usually used to carry kids+all kind of luggage. But can be used for pretty much anything. Including heavy cocoa bags of 70kg each. []

Cooking know how – Podcasts!

I started to share some cooking resources that I really like, most of all because they brought me new knowledge and new perspectives on food and cooking. After listing some online cooking courses and forums I’d like to mention another type of resource that I use extensively: food podcasts!

Food podcasts - a great source of knowledge, fun, and inspirationHow sounds basil to you? Food podcasts can be a great source of inspiration and knowledge…

Cooking know how – Online courses

Want to create some amazing food? Do something you have never done before? It might be my inner scientist acting, but whenever I embarque on such a mission I usually jump to the ‘theory’ first. That is: learn more about it! And luckily, there’s plenty of great ways to get the knowledge you need! But it can be quite hard to find it in the middle of all the low-quality, false, or nonsense ‘knowledge’ out there…

Online there's plenty of cooking know how - such as ChefStepsOnline there’s plenty of cooking know how – such as on ChefSteps (here a snapshot from their website) which is a great resource for unconventional recipes and techniques.

Chocoa 2015

Last week the Chocoa festival, trade fair, and conference took place in the center of Amsterdam. Chocoa is a annual event and the ‘festival’ part resembles the Origin chocolate event although with more attention towards families, kids etc.1. This time I did not attend the festival, but I joined the trade fair instead.

Chocoa trade fair Amsterdam 2015 - cocoa bean testing and sampling.Cocoa bean sampling at the Chocoa trade fair 2015 in Amsterdam. One of the most important tests for the quality of cocoa beans it the so called ‘cutting test’. Typically, a few hundred beans are cut in halves for this test. Visual inspection then reveals the percentage of beans with mold as well as poorly fermented beans (well-fermented beans often show violet colors while a grayish appearance is a sign for non-ideal fermentation).

  1. The Origin chocolate event is really mostly centered around premium bean-to-bar products. []

Changes ahead!

After more than six weeks my first post for this year! What a burden…
Feels like I am far too late for a classical ‘what comes 2015?’ post. Well, who cares.

I am in busy times right now and don’t find any time to spend on blogging. Much worse, I don’t find time to experiment in my kitchen. By now I should maybe rather speak of my kitchen lab because that’s what it became over the last 2 years. Speaking of which: I did spend a lot of time in my kitchen lab in December so that I could distribute many candy bars and caramels to friends and family.

Self-made - home-made chocolate caramel candy barsCandy bar prototypes I made shortly before Christmas. Organic, plant-based, dark caramel with peanuts in dark chocolate. With and without fleur de sel on top. It feels great to do ‘experiments’ where the results are perfectly edible.