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Molecular Gastronomy Ingredients


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Does anyone know any online resources on how to use the MG products? Example include:

Guar Gum

Gum Arabic

Isomalt

Konjac

Soy Lecithin

and more...

There are recipes everywhere for these products but no real basic user guide. Any ideas?

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Does anyone know any online resources on how to use the MG products? Example include:

Guar Gum

Gum Arabic

Isomalt

Konjac

Soy Lecithin

and more...

There are recipes everywhere for these products but no real basic user guide. Any ideas?

Have you checked out the French Culinary Institute blog click or the Khymos blog recipes? Both have considerable info and recipes.

Edited to add link to khymos recipes and information.

Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Modernist Cuisine has a complete discussion of just about all hydrocolloids, with guidelines of concentration, hydration and gelling, not to mention pluses, drawbacks, potential problem areas, etc. It is very thorough.

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I understand what you're asking for - I have a decent selection of modernist ingredients and while I can measure stuff with a precision scale, I don't always understand why. I spent a lot of spare time trying to compile my own notes on ingredients and realised that there's plenty of recipes available (khymos is remarkable for what it is), but not a lot of underlying information, and the information that is readily available online seems to be slightly different versions of the blurbs on the manufacturer's website.

I know that not everyone wants to be told that the answer is in 'Modernist Cuisine', but it's easily the most comprehensive guide. However when I'm looking for information on something I generally cross-reference 'modernist cuisine', the fat duck cookbook, 'cooking for geeks', khymos, wikipedia, and then the various websites of companies that sell the stuff, such as willpowder, kalys and www.creamsupplies.co.uk

For a particular ingredient, any one of those resources may be better than another. Without pulling out the books and comparing them side-by-side, for example, I have a hunch that 'gellan' is discussed more thoroughly in the Fat Duck cookbook than it is in 'modernist cuisine'. The reason why sodium citrate is used in cheese sauces is discussed in the most detail by Herve This in 'molecular gastronomy', although I still haven't found a good explanation of why sodium citrate is preferred over citric, ascorbic, malic or tartaric acids. There are many resources that say that xanthan gum and guar gum can be combined to emulate gluten, but beyond khymos suggesting a 2:1 ratio for xanthan to guar gum, I haven't seen any more detail than that on how or why it works. But in general, 'modernist cuisine' is peerless as a source of information.

I know that recommending a $600 book that's been out of stock for months isn't a great answer, so I'll add that I've been really impressed with the book 'cooking for geeks'. It's less than $20 on Amazon, so it's hardly a big loss if you don't find it useful. It doesn't have the pages of text and tables that you'll find in 'modernist cuisine', but you can't argue with the price and the whole thing fits in your pocket. Maybe it will help you...

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I'd second the recommendation for The Handbook of Hydrocolloids. It's probably the most accessible of the textbooks out there, and though it's still pretty dry and heavy going compared to Modernist Cuisine, it does provide a great grounding on the why, when and how for each ingredient.

Not exactly cheap, though, and a lot of the example recipes are already available via Khymos.

restaurant, private catering, consultancy
feast for the senses / blog

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I would echo what Chrisz has said since I have also been on this quest, and would add the Ideas in Food book though it is supplementary not a comprehensive resource.

I will add another suggestion which is to get started. Pick some Recipes from one of the Sources and make them. It is tough to understand the theoretical definition of the differences between Say Agar-Agar and Gellan until you touch, feel, and taste them At least for me. It wasn't until after I started getting my hands dirty that it all came together.

Mike

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  • 3 months later...

I'm a regular follower of Dave Arnold's on the cooking issues radio show. He delves into a lot of topics on the show that he doesn't cover in the blog. You can search the archives of the show at Heritage Radio Network. They tag all the episodes with keywords.

All the previous posters' suggestions are spot on, but I'd like to add my own neat trick:

I follow a ton of blogs and sites that do a little molecular gastronomy/modernist cuisine here and there. I save them all to my google reader as rss feeds. I then go into google reader and use the search function to search every post each of those blogs has ever published. That's how you get stuff like Ideas in Food's cauliflower custard when you search "sodium hexametaphosphate", and not a bunch of technical mumbo jumbo from google.

It's really useful, and it's how I've been putting together this list of molecular gastronomy ingredients and uses - mostly because I felt the same way bigchef felt.

I blog about science and cooking: www.sciencefare.org

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