Active Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes
4 Baked Potatoes
Pre-heat an oven to 375°F.
Place the potatoes on a sheet pan and use a fork to puncture holes in the top of the potatoes. Bake for 1 hour.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before handling.
Whisk the egg yolk powder into the heavy cream and allow it to hydrate until needed.
Use a knife to slice a small portion of the top of the potato off. Place the potato in a kitchen towel or hot pad so it is easier to handle and does not burn you. Scrape the insides of the potato out into the bowl of a stand mixer. Be sure to leave about ½ inch of potato around the entire inside of the potato. If this is not done the potato will collapse when slicing and the cheese may leak out during cooking.
Refrigerate the potato vessels until needed.
Mix the potatoes in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for about 1 minute, add the salt and mix for another 30 seconds. Add the cold butter and mix until incorporated. Cold butter better emulsifies into the potatoes. Add the sour cream and egg yolk powder mixture. Mix until fully combined, about 30 seconds.
Place the mashed potatoes into a piping bag and hold it at 140°F until needed.
In a heavy bottomed sauté pan place the neutral flavored oil and the sliced vidalia onions.
Heat the onions over low heat until the onions begin to sweat. Sweat the onions for 30 minutes until the moisture has been removed and the onions start to brown. Cook the onions until they are sticky and caramelized. Depending on your patience this could take anywhere from one to two hours.
In a heavy bottomed pot add the milk, sodium caseinate, sodium citrate, sodium hexametaphosphate, and salt. Whisk until incorporated.
Shred the cheddar cheese by hand. Store bought shredded cheddar cheese contains an anticaking agent that prevents a perfectly melty cheese. While it does work, hand shredded block cheddar is the best.
Add the cheddar cheese in and heat over low heat. Whisk until melted. Heat the mixture to between 160-170°F.
Pour the mixture into a blender and blend on high until the cheese is smooth and thickened slightly.
Pour the cheese into the cavity of the baked potato. Fill these about ¾ of the way full. Allow these to cool for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Once the cheese is firm the potatoes can be piped on to the top of the potatoes to conceal the cheese.
The potatoes can be stored until needed at this point or baked immediately until the top has become golden and the internal temperature has reached 160F about 15-20 minutes.
Garnish the top of each potato with caramelized onions, sliced scallions and sour cream. Slice the potato in half for the best presentation as the cheese will ooze out onto the plate.