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Anonymous Modernist 3281

[Modernist Cuisine] Tomato Spheres with Basil Oil (4•192)

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If you're answering this, please try to address a few of my comments here if you can!

Okay... so i spent the last few weeks acquiring a Beckman GS-6R centrifuge. It's a big machine, for a home, but it can only do about 3900g (for about 3L or up to about 4kg of liquid) as opposed to the 40,000g i seem to see so much in the book.

For my first centrifuged recipe, I chose to make tomato water. I'd already made this with agar agar, with good success, to make the quite impressive pasta marinara recipe, but it was a lot of work, really.

The centrifuge, after about 30 minutes at 3900g gave me a clear, reddish liquid from a couple cans of pureed tomatos, that I suppose I could have gotten more clear. As an experiment, I ran the same samples for an additional 2 hours at 3900g and did not really see much of a difference. Is there a conversion from 40,000 g to 3900g in terms of additional time to centrifuge for? would I ever get the completely clear liquid obtained at the higher g's?

Oh well, I figured, for an experiment, this slightly colored liquid would do.

I blended in sodium alginate (from modernist pantry), then I made the bath with water and calcium lactate, as the recipe instructed. I made the basil with canola oil and a dash of olive oil because I didn't have grapeseed oil and I wasn't going to make a special trip to the grocery just to grab that. I figured by "grapeseed oil" the recipe meant, "neutral oil," but if grapeseed oil has some kind of special properties that are important, let me know...

Everything was at room temperature. There is nothing in the recipe about temperatures of anything, so I figured that would work. It didn't. when I took my spoon and carefully placed a spoonful of the tomato water into the calcium lactate solution, it merely dispersed. I tried a dropper full. I tried another tablespoon full... i tried more carefully lowering it in, allowing the tiniest bit of the calcium lactate solution to just dribble onto the tomato water sodium alginate solution in the spoon. no good. it just wouldn't work for me.

I wondered, did i add too little? I followed the recipe to the milligram... So is there any guess as to what went wrong? Is there anything I can do to get this to work better?

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