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the_nomad

Cooking a molecular gastronomy tasting menu

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1) Chocolate chantilly just seems to work for me. Make sure to cool it fast, and I'd recommend not adding anything else, just chocolate and water, the first time.

....

Do you cool before whipping the mix or while you are whipping? How do you cool it? I think my attempt failed because of inadequate cooling.

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Chill it before whisking. You can then whisk it set in a bowl of ice if you want to play it safe but so far I haven't found that necessary. It thickens really fast once it gets going.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I'd tend to say that a big bowl of ice water is pretty much a necessity - otherwise, thanks to the water's high specific heat capacity in the bowl, the chocolate/water mix will take forever to cool down, which can fool you into thinking it's not going to, and can also lead to some funky textures in the mixture.

BTW - report will be coming as soon as I have the pictures from the evening. A friend of mine was taking them on her super-slick camera, and she's going to upload them soon!


Kamikaze Cookery: Three geeks cook. With Science. And occasionally, explosions.

http://www.kamikazecookery.com

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And so, the time has come... for the writeup.

Before the meal

Saturday was something of a blur. I got up at 9am (early for me) to rush out to the Edinburgh Farmer's Market, where half the suppliers I'd expected to turn up hadn't. No dairy, no mushrooms, no apple juice, and chickens that had clearly been investing in Edinburgh property prices, since given their cost I'd have expected to get a small one-bedroom flat for them as packaging. I swooped around, grabbed the rest of the stuff I'd come for (incredible organic asparagus, a bit dark but with a taste to die for, fresh-caught scallops and salmon, the Best Tomatoes In the World, and a few other things), then set off with a few ideas of where I might get the rest of the necessary foodstuffs.

Hint - don't do that. Phone first. Also, have a map, because your vague memory that "oh, the butcher's is just over this hill" may be off by, ooh, say, two miles. On a very hot day. Carrying heavy shopping.

The walk along the river was very nice, but I rather wish it hadn't been contemporary with the point I was meant to be making a frozen foam.

Eventually, I got back and started on my frenzy of preparation. Cut cheese, drain, put starter culture into mozarella, fail to find starter culture which I'd clearly put somewhere "safe", panic, substitute lemon juice, adjust heat on sous-vide cooker, notice that the mozarella wasn't working, add more rennet, stick everything in the dishwasher, realise I needed half the things I'd just stuck in the dishwasher, notice that the cheese still wasn't working, go to Plan B and just drain the curds I had...

It wasn't until I hit the "prepare agar spheres of Creme de Cassis" section of my to-do list that things really ground to a halt. I'd decided to use agar spheres rather than more fragile and annoying sodium alginate spheres after some experimentation on Friday - however, and this is important, I hadn't checked that the agar spherification process actually works with Creme de Cassis.

Hint - don't do that either.

Cold oil? Check. Agar dissolved in C de C? Check. Mild high from vapour-state alcohol? Check. Agar forms into spheres when dropped into the cold oil? Not on your proverbial nelly.

I tried more agar. I tried less agar. I tried colder oil. I tried not to think how much the C de C cost per bottle.

It would appear that, like everything else I'd ordered that week, my shipment of FAIL had arrived right on schedule.

By now, guests were starting to arrive. Hoping to distract them, I put them to work setting out the table.

I may have mentioned before that I hate sodium alginate. Let me clarify that - I, to use a Ramseyism, really f---ing hate sodium alginate. It's incredibly annoying to work with, it sticks to everything in sight and refuses to dissolve without begging, pleading and swearing, and it has all sorts of mysterious pH requirements that I don't have the lab equipment to master. However, with D-day having actually passed, and no agar spheres forming, it was time to resort to desperate measures. I got the El Bulli Sferification kit out, and got to work...

The Courses

Kir Molecular

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The prep: Confused. I've made this using alginate spheres before, but I'd forgotten quite how much of a pain they were to get working. Basically, alginate hates you, and after a bit of working with it, you'll hate it right back.

After two or three adjustments of quantities, I ended up with about 1.5g of Sodium Citrate and about 2.7 - 2.8g of Sodium Alginate in 250ml of 50% Creme de Cassis, with 7.5g of Calcium Chloride dissolved in a 1l water bath. Dropping the C de C into the waterbath using a syringe, the spheres that were forming were very, very fragile, with a distinct tendancy to leak and combine into what looked like Creme de Cassis frogspawn.

It was as I poured the last few spheres into the last glass that I realised that leaving the slotted spoon in the solution to begin with and dropping the spheres straight on to it vastly reduced the number of spheres that broke. Live and learn.

The verdict: Yep, people liked 'em. Oddly, the spheres being extremely fragile seemed to help the taste - last time I made this, the taste of the spheres was very muted, whereas here it was much clearer. The "lava lamp" effect of the spheres gradually accreting bubbles was as cool as always, and overall, as a first course, this was a fairly significant success, after all the swearing.

Deconstructed Breakfast

My camerawoman didn't get an image of this one, sorry!

The prep: This is a modified version of the poached duck eggs recipe in the Essence cookbook - I'd dumped the Chorizo sauce, which really hadn't worked for me the last time I tried it, gone to chicken's rather than duck's eggs, and substituted fried shittake mushrooms for the tomato compote of the original.

The recipe's fairly simple - you bake three slices of parma ham until they're crispy (and utterly gorgeous - highly recommended), poach the eggs, one per person, and prepare a white onion soup, which is a pretty simple process. The chicken stock, despite all the faffing about the night before, turned out to be absolutely fantastic, and incredibly strongly flavoured with the chicken.

The poaching of the eggs, ah, didn't quite approach professional standards - my usual mass of cloudy white ensued. But it seemed to work fine in the dish.

I plated the dish in small glass bowls, with the egg in the center, the ham slice resting on the side, a half-ladle of soup poured over, and shittake mushrooms scattered around for colour.

The verdict: People loved it. Several of my guests don't normally eat seperated eggs at all, but still really enjoyed the overall presentation. The baked ham came in for particular praise - unsurprisingly, because it's sensational. Overall, the first real course, and it had gone perfectly.

I was also rather pleased with my plating, which did look marvellous, if I say so myself.

Later comments suggested that the dish needed something else - various people suggested some kind of toast, or a tattie (potato) scone. I'll experiment for future servings.

Still, by now I was relaxing a lot. The first dish had gone down a storm, after the various disasters, and we were sailing into something I was very confident about...

Pea And Coconut Veloute with Coconut Foam

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The Prep: I love this dish. It's the signature on the front of the Essence cookbook, it looks stunning, it tastes amazing, and it's really, really simple.

Now, smart-eyed readers may have noticed that this was meant to be served before the Breakfast. A brilliant substitution by a cook working on instinct? Erm, not so much. More, a cock-up by a cook who forgot about an entire course until he saw the peas sitting in his fridge.

Still, the prep itself went like clockwork. Fry some onions and garlic in butter, add stock and coconut milk, leave to cook for 10 minutes or so whilst I actually got to chat to my guests (whilst getting them to shell peas for me, natch), add the peas, get another small saucepan of stock, coconut milk and lecethin going, and ask a guest to whip me up a foam whilst I blended and drained the soup.

Simple.

The Verdict: They loved it. And I love it. It was a whole big love thing.

The colour came out much more pastel than intended (my photographer notes that "it looked much better at the table"), probably due to a slight pea shortfall and the fact we were using fresh and quite young peas, but the taste was incredible - a warm, sweet, meaty taste contrasted beautifully by the foam on top. Stonking.

Now, though, we were into the courses that I'd come up with myself. Yikes...

Scallops with Apple Foam and Asparagus

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The Prep: I'd served this dish before and screwed it up, so I was nervous, but had some ideas. First up, I roped my photographer in to prepare the apple foam - last time I tried this, I was attempting to prep the foam myself at the same time as cooking the scallops and asparagus, and it wasn't long before I heard the familiar foghorn of the FAILboat. Secondly, I'd looked up the internal temperatures for scallops, and was checking them carefully and repeatedly with a digital thermometer - as always, a bloody good idea.

So, in essence, this one was simple. Heat 500ml of top-quality apple juice, dissolve 2g of lecithin in it to stabilise the foam, stir until the leci-thing actually dissolved properly, then hand over to my photographer to whip me up a bowl of foam. Then, get a pan hot and water boiling, before cutting and dropping the asparagus in the water and as quickly as possible sticking the scallops on the pan. Flip them after a minute or so, and keep checking texture (should be slightly bouncy) and internal temperature (let it go over 60 at your peril) until they're done. Heat plates in oven whilst you're doing that, because cold plates and hot scallops don't mix well at parties.

Plate, spoon over foam, slap on some vinaigrette, and serve.

The Verdict: Best described as "rapturous". Given that my guests included someone who wasn't very keen on asparagus, someone who didn't much like seafood, and a couple of people who really, really did like seafood and were very picky about it, the unanimous and extremely enthused praise was great. And indeed, it did taste stunning. The contrast of the apple foam, which I had enough of to use quite a generous dollop, and the perfectly-cooked (if I say so myself) scallop was just awesome. The scallops themslelves were fantastic, and the contrast with the asparagus - well.

Win.

Blood Orange Foam

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The Prep: Not Complicated. Mix 500ml of Tropicana orange juice with 1g of Xanthan Gum, possibly my favourite hydrocolloid ever for its ease of use and reliability (it takes seconds to mix into a liquid), then stick the results in an iSi creamer, shake, and serve.

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I was trying to show people as much as I could of the preparation, since most of my guests were very interested in molecular gastronomy techniques, so I squirted the foam out at the table - always looks impressive.

The Verdict: It wasn't quite as stiff as I'd have liked, probably because I hadn't chilled it or left it to mix for a bit. However, the acid taste and creamy texture were as wonderful as always.

My guests really liked it - however, they did note that you only wanted a single bowl of the stuff before the taste became overwhelming. Various people suggested serving it as a side to the Deconstructed Breakfast, which sounds like an excellent idea - orange juice with your cooked breakfast.

Mutton Risotto

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The Prep: 24 hours in a sous-vide cooker, basically.

The mutton I'd aquired the day before, trimmed the fat off it, and vacuum-sealed before putting it in my adapted slow-cooker with PID controller at 70 degrees centigrade. I'd tried this before, but not with a piece of meat that large.

Just before starting the risotto, I hauled the meat out of the SV and showed it to my guests - who, I must say, aquired a certain amount of The Fear at that point...

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But I was confident, in spite of the greenish-looking bits on the mutton. I left the meat to rest for 15 minutes, fried up some onions, garlic and mushrooms (actually, this started during the prep of the previous course), added the rice, added a bunch of stock, sliced open the mutton, picked it up with tongs to blowtorch the outside -

And the meat literally fell apart.

A quick taste taste had me staggering around the kitchen in ecstasy. Just. Incredible. Rich, meaty, ludicrously tender, moistened just enough with fat.

I blasted the meat as best I could, sliced it as best I could (even with a super-sharp folded steel knife, the meat fell apart before I could really cut it), and added it and, importantly, the juices from the Sous-Vide bag to the risotto, waited for the Time to be Right, and plated it with a generous grating of parmesan from my Enormous Block of Cheese (cf West Wing) over the top.

The Verdict: People were more than a bit dubious about this one, a state that lasted a good three seconds after it arrived on the table.

The verdict was... esctatic. (Don't worry, people who are getting sick of me saying how well this all went - a couple of things go pear-shaped in a bit). People raved. They wouldn't shut up. The meat was absolutely sensational - far better than I'd expected - and the risotto rice itself, with the meaty mushrooms and the strong, clear mutton taste, balanced by some very, very nice parmesan, was just superb.

At this point I was pretty much walking on air. And not because of Floyd-like wine imbibing whilst cooking - because I wanted to concentrate, and because I was just so damn busy, I'd barely drunk a drop.

We pause for a shot of cheese:

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Low-Temperature Chicken Thigh Dinner

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The Prep: The chicken thigh here had rolled and been sitting at 62 degrees Centigrade in the sous-vide machine for about 4 hours by the time it was served, which was frankly a bit long. I'd crisped the skin before putting it in, but didn't crisp it again coming out, which was an Error.

The potatoes were simply boiled, then sauted for a few minutes with rosemary - I was intending to then roast them, but the taste of rosemary was strong enough and the lovely slightly charred patches looked good enough that I just plated them on the spot.

I reduced the liquid from the SV bag with some wine, steamed some broccoli florets, and we were ready to go.

The Verdict: Hear that "thunk" sound? That's the sound of my audience dividing.

On the one hand, the thigh had a tremendously concentrated chicken flavour. On the other, it had a rather slimy, overly-wet texture, and the skin, whilst tasting nice, had a texture best described in Scots vernacular as "minging".

The potatoes kicked ass, but let's face it, no-one's looking at them.

This was the first course that not everyone finished - a bunch of piles of chicken skin were left by the side of the plate.

I know what I did wrong here. The meal that had inspired me to make this one was a chicken *breast* cooked Sous-Vide at the same temperature - and whilst that was fantastic, all my experimentation with chicken tends to strongly imply that thigh needs a higher-temperature cook. I've had some excellent 75 degree thigh, as it happens. Whoops.

Garlic Confit Salmon with Strawberry/Balsamic/Coriander foam

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The Prep: Doesn't it look awesome? That's the result of getting one of my guests in to help with the plating - she's tremendously gifted at the presentation of food, which is why this one looked so damn cool.

(She's a bloody good cook, too.)

Anyway - this one was, frankly, quite the pain in the ass. To start with, I'd asked one of my guests to spend an hour or so accompanying me in the kitchen earlier on, heating oil to 110 centigrade with five cloves of fresh garlic in it, to infuse the oil. Then, I'd reserved that oil, and about the time I started the risotto I'd slid the salmon steak into it and set it heating very gently on the hob. Then, for the next hour and a half, I was constantly moving it on and off the heat, attempting to keep the oil more or less in the 40-45 centigrade range.

Like I say, PITA.

Still, the result was worth it - tremendously tender salmon. So tender, in fact, that it wouldn't cut across the grain, and flaked instead, giving me a rather messy prep - for future reference, cut it before you cook it.

The foam, meanwhile, was a direct steal from Khymos. I'd tried his experimental strawberry foam before, and absolutely bloody adored it. The prep's over on that page - the only item of note was that I didn't bother whipping it, since after merely blending it for a bit it had a fantastic thick, airy texture. Oh, and the taste. Dear god, the taste. We were still sneaking spoonfuls of the stuff three courses later. Just incredible.

Last but not least, the roe was just "salmon caviar" from Waitrose - a pain to get, but a boon for simplicity of serving, along with the fresh rocket.

The Verdict: Opinions were mostly positive, but a bit divided. A couple of people felt that the salmon was too tender, possibly again due to a slightly extended cooking time. The foam, everyone agreed, was incredible, but seemed to slightly overpower the salmon - however, a bit of experimentation from everyone revealed that the roe, which very few people liked on its own, tasted marvellous when eaten with the salmon and the foam together, giving a salty, fishy punch to the bite.

It was a huge kick, it must be said, to see my friends experimenting with and discussing a dish I'd prepared in the same way that we've all discussed food at incredibly top restaurants. Made it all worth it. And at the same time, several people afterward said that one of their favourite things about the entire meal was the way it made them think about and discuss their food.

So, so happy.

The Home-Made Cheese Course

Oh, dear.

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The Prep I'd read "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" a while ago, and become incredibly excited at the thought of making my own cheese. So, with this meal coming up, obviously the only thing to do was to include some home-made cheese.

Which I had no idea how to make.

Which I'd never made before.

Which I would be making for the first time with about an hour to go before serving.

Whoops.

I'm not going to bother going into detail on how I made the cheese, because, frankly, you shouldn't copy my example. Just note this: if you lose your mozarella starter, lemon juice does NOT make an adequate substitute. And it's rarely confidence-inspiring to discuss with your guests whether or not your cheesemaking was entirely hygenic. Nor to have them arrive and see the cheese hanging over the bath.

At the same time, I'd also decided to serve some "essence of cheddar", made by heating, whipping and straining a mixture of cheddar and water (the same technique used to make parmesan air). Unfortunately, the last time I tried that, I drank very small sips of the stuff, hot. Cold, it, erm, solidified.

The verdict: Well, worries about food poisoning aren't going to help any cheese course. But, frankly, the long-term curd cheese was a total, tasteless disaster. It tasted of very little more than yoghurt. The lemon-infused-was-meant-to-be-mozarella-if-it-had-worked cheese was better, but mostly because of the lemon juice.

Thankfully, I'd also bought two very nice artisan cheeses and some superb pumpkin bread, so the course was rescued.

I served the essence of cheddar in shot glasses at the end. One of my guests took a sip, spluttered, and promptly spat it out with a truly horrified expression. It turns out that I'd managed to exactly capture the aroma of the cauliflour cheese his mother used to cook as a child - which he hated and, sleeping next to the kitchen, could never, ever avoid. I'd just managed to give him a flashback to one of the bits of childhood he'd managed to forget.

Well, evoking memories of childhood, win. Next time, let's try to evoke some good memories...

Still, at least I'd managed to get my Top Gear reference in. "My cheese course: ambitious, but rubbish."

Pina Colada Molecua

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The Prep: Otherwise known as "Pina Colada Espuma", from the iSi manual.

Unfortunately, there was a small hitch. See, around Tuesday I'd run across the recipe for deconstructed pina colada, a la El Bulli. That sounded truly fantastic, and I promptly added all the ingredients onto my shopping list.

Around Thursday when I was starting to panic I decided that I needed to make things simpler, and reverted back to the Espuma idea, removing the ingredients for the deconstructed version from my list.

You've guessed what happened next, of course. I forgot to put the Espuma ingredients back on, aside, oddly, from the rum.

So, you've got rum. You've got coconut milk, you've got an iSi whipper, and you've also got a blood alcohol level that's definitely too high for you to be allowed to operate heavy machinery. What do you do? You stick some lime juice, some wine which one of your guests has decreed "pineappley", and a couple of other things that you subsequently forget into your foam mix, whiz it up, and stick it in the foamer, then serve with slivers of dark chocolate.

The Verdict: Which proceeds to make, somehow, something that tastes almost exactly like a Pina Colada Espuma.

Served in cocktail glasses, it was rather nice, but everyone agreed it needed another taste to offset it.

Chocolate Chantilly, Frozen Orange Foam, and Coffee Ravioli

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The Prep: It was about 1:30 am at this point, and prep was getting distinctly sketchy. I abandoned the idea of the coffee ravioli because I couldn't face my old enemy, sodium alginate, at this hour, and decided to simply whip up some chocolate chantilly.

I've never had a problem with the stuff, and again, didn't here. Mix 200g of patissiere's chocolate with 200g of water, heat and stir until they mix, then stick the saucepan in another larger pan filled with ice water and whip until the chocolate mix starts forming dunes of pure chocolate. I'd slightly overheated the mix, thus meaning I had to change the ice a couple of times, but the chocolate chantilly emerged triumphant.

Meanwhile, I'd had orange juice foam made with lecithin freezing for the past 8 hours or so. On emerging, it turned out to have collapsed a bit, but I served it anyway.

The verdict:Everyone agreed on three things - the components were lovely, the chantilly needed different chocolate (as the stuff I had went distinctly grainy), and this wasn't a complete dish.

The suggestion was made to try the Pina Colada with the chocolate chantilly - and indeed, it was bloody gorgeous. The foam was a fascinating texture on its own, but needed to be eaten quickly. Basically, I had good ideas at the end of the meal, but the actual dish assembly needed some work.

Anyone recommend any good molecular deserts?

So that's all, folks

Thanks for reading this epic account!

If you're thinking of doing something similar, I'll post some tips in a couple of days - there are definitely a fair number of things I've learned.

But the most important question - was it worth it?

Damn straight. I've felt so chilled out and happy for the last couple of days it's just unreal. This was something I've wanted to do for ages, and having it happen, and come out so well - best feeling in the world.

OK, that's it! If you want to know more about anything I cooked, let me know! Sorry for the lack of prep pictures - it was all a bit frantic, and I didn't get that much of a chance to get the camera out...


Edited by the_nomad (log)

Kamikaze Cookery: Three geeks cook. With Science. And occasionally, explosions.

http://www.kamikazecookery.com

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Well done! How long did it take you to get through the whole meal?

Sorry to hear the agar spheres didn't work out. I know agar has an antagonistic relationship with acid, and I'm not sure how it deals with alcohol. I don't know if you already saw it, but there's a great video of the process here using creme de violette, though it uses gelatin rather than agar.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Well done! How long did it take you to get through the whole meal?

Sorry to hear the agar spheres didn't work out. I know agar has an antagonistic relationship with acid, and I'm not sure how it deals with alcohol. I don't know if you already saw it, but there's a great video of the process here using creme de violette, though it uses gelatin rather than agar.

Time - we started at 18:00, and finished eating around 1:45! So, about 8 hours.

(Not actually massively longer than the Fat Duck tasting menu, actually, which was about 5.5 hours when I went there.)

Agar - I suspect the alcohol may have been screwing the process up, or it might be that the C de C is actually close to saturation and won't dissolve the agar. Interesting stuff. Did you say you'd managed to get Ribena to spherify OK?


Kamikaze Cookery: Three geeks cook. With Science. And occasionally, explosions.

http://www.kamikazecookery.com

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Agar - I suspect the alcohol may have been screwing the process up, or it might be that the C de C is actually close to saturation and won't dissolve the agar. Interesting stuff. Did you say you'd managed to get Ribena to spherify OK?

Yeah, I've done it with Ribena. I dissolved the agar in water first, then added the Ribena to that mixture, and let it cool down a little bit before dripping it into the cold oil. (Not too far, though; you don't want it setting up in your syringe or squeeze bottle!) I found the flavour to be a little weak, so I'd probably use a higher ratio of Ribena to water next time. I'm planning to try it with creme de cassis, but figured it was cheaper to get the technique nailed down using Ribena first!

What's the proof of the cassis you were using?


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I suppose the alcohol could be the culprit. Maybe using a mix cassis, water and Ribena, to get the alcohol content down but keep the flavour punchy. Though I guess that idea is coming a little late now!


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Thanks for the report! It was both fun and informative.

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What great fun nomad! Thanks so much for sharing. Now I'll have to pop back and check out all the links to your Fat Duck dinner and the blogs :)

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I LOVED this thread - not only does this remind me of something I might be crazy enough to do (but haven't yet - well, not on this scale by a long shot) but I loved your writing style.. cracked me up....

How do the agar spheres in cold oil work? Do you drip the solution onto the oil, or do you inject it into the oil? Once the spheres cool, how do you remove them from the oil without them breaking or without having them just totally covered with oil? Or do they wind up being solid like a gummy bear??

Thanks and keep it up!!!

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Wow! What a high, just to read this. It must be incredible to have done it.

How do you keep the spheres from leaving an oilslick atop the champagne?

What kind of oil do you drip the spheres into?

I've never even been tempted by this process before. Now I want to make vinaigrette spheres, using them to carry the oil onto the salad. Someone else, please do this. I know I never will get to it.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Yes, thank you. I have really enjoyed this as I am planning on doing the same thing soon but in a commercial setting- a little nerve racking but completely worth it.

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I'm cooking a twelve-course "tasting menu" for friends on Saturday (with cooking starting today and continuing tomorrow as well), and I was considering writing the process up on here, as I'll be using a variety of techniques that might be of interest to e-gulleters (sous-vide, spherification, various hydrocolloid tricks). In addition, I'm far from the most competent cook in the world, and I thought people might get some amusement from my flailing as I try to cook what is, let's face it, quite an ambitious dinner.

Crazy Europeans :raz: WOW! I commend your ambition. I would never even consider doing something like that. I look forward to the pictures!


At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ‐ Salvador Dali

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Thanks for the compliments, everyone! I'll definitely write future projects like this up on here too.

Re agar: essentially, you chill oil in the freezer for a few hours, mix the agar and the liquid you want to spherify at high temperature (so that the agar will dissolve), then drip the agar liquid into the cold oil using a syringe or whatever else you want. The drops hit the oil, and the agar solidifies, forming a sphere. Neat, huh?


Kamikaze Cookery: Three geeks cook. With Science. And occasionally, explosions.

http://www.kamikazecookery.com

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How do the agar spheres in cold oil work?  Do you drip the solution onto the oil, or do you inject it into the oil?  Once the spheres cool, how do you remove them from the oil without them breaking or without having them just totally covered with oil?  Or do they wind up being solid like a gummy bear??

You drip the solution onto the surface of the oil, and they should set up solid by the time they hit the bottom of the container. (Use a tall container.) Then you can just strain them out. So no, you don't get the same "bursting" effect as you do with sodium alginate/calcium chloride.

How do you keep the spheres from leaving an oilslick atop the champagne?

What kind of oil do you drip the spheres into?

I've never even been tempted by this process before. Now I want to make vinaigrette spheres, using them to carry the oil onto the salad. Someone else, please do this. I know I never will get to it.

I usually rinse the spheres in a couple of changes of cold water to get off as much of the oil as possible. I generally use canola oil, and chill it in the freezer for a couple of hours before I make the spheres, to get it as cold as possible without actually freezing it.

Your vinaigrette idea is interesting! It would certainly save you the step of rinsing the spheres. :biggrin:


Edited by mkayahara (log)

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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You use soap to clean grease off a pan so why not use the same technique for food.

Soap is an emulsifier that works for pans so an edible emulsifier should work for food - you could try to dissolve some lethicin (or another - maybe not egg yolk LOL) in the water and then use that to wash your oil coated spheres?

Not tried it, just a thought before I hit the sack.


Edited by ermintrude (log)

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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Time - we started at 18:00, and finished eating around 1:45! So, about 8 hours.

Sounds like fun and the pictures are great but you must have some really good friends. I don't think many of my friends would spend 8 hours at the table if I was serving them gold nuggets and salads made of hundred dollar bills. :blink:


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Sounds like fun and the pictures are great but you must have some really good friends. I don't think many of my friends would spend 8 hours at the table if I was serving them gold nuggets and salads made of hundred dollar bills. :blink:

After posting my menu and diaries I have a considerable waiting list for the next one...


Kamikaze Cookery: Three geeks cook. With Science. And occasionally, explosions.

http://www.kamikazecookery.com

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