Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Need help with spherical mussels (reverse spherification) recipe


Recommended Posts

Hi,

I've tried to make the spherical mussels recipe from the Modernist Cuisine books and it didn't work as I expected, so I would appreciate any advice that may help here.

The recipe calls for calcium gluconate which I couldn't get hold of, so I replaced it with calcium lactate gluconate that I had at home. I used the same ration (2.5%)

When I tried to create the spheres in the sodium alginate bath I encountered two main problems;

1. instead of spheres the mixture just stayed as uneven shape on the surface. The bath was 1Kg. water with 5gr. sodium alginate and I let it rest in the fridge for 24 hours before using it so I think the problem is not here. However, the mussels jus mixture (100gr. mussels jus, 0.5gr. xanthin gum and and 2.5gr. calcium lactate gluconate) had a lot of air bubbles in it. Can that be the issue?

2. In the book the spheres seem to be completely transparent whereas my mussels jus mixture was pretty white and opaque. Is it because I replaced calcium gluconate with calcium lactate gluconate? Or maybe it's because the jus itself should be clarified before it is used?

Thanks in advance for your support,

Tom.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, TomRahav said:

1. instead of spheres the mixture just stayed as uneven shape on the surface. The bath was 1Kg. water with 5gr. sodium alginate and I let it rest in the fridge for 24 hours before using it so I think the problem is not here. However, the mussels jus mixture (100gr. mussels jus, 0.5gr. xanthin gum and and 2.5gr. calcium lactate gluconate) had a lot of air bubbles in it. Can that be the issue?

Yes, the bubbles could definitely be the issue there -- the goal is to get the jus and the bath to be as close in density as possible. Air bubbles are going to greatly reduce the density of the jus, causing it to float.

 

3 hours ago, TomRahav said:

2. In the book the spheres seem to be completely transparent whereas my mussels jus mixture was pretty white and opaque. Is it because I replaced calcium gluconate with calcium lactate gluconate? Or maybe it's because the jus itself should be clarified before it is used?

It's certainly possible. It's also possible that the team at MC made ten thousand of the things and picked the three clearest ones for the photo :) . The chemistry is beyond me, however, so my only suggestion would be to get yourself some calcium gluconate and try again. Where do you live? There are plenty of sources in the US. 

  • Like 1

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

Yes, the bubbles could definitely be the issue there -- the goal is to get the jus and the bath to be as close in density as possible. Air bubbles are going to greatly reduce the density of the jus, causing it to float.

 

It's certainly possible. It's also possible that the team at MC made ten thousand of the things and picked the three clearest ones for the photo :) . The chemistry is beyond me, however, so my only suggestion would be to get yourself some calcium gluconate and try again. Where do you live? There are plenty of sources in the US. 

I live in Hong Kong and unfortunately couldn't find it easily here. Even online I had a hard time. I will try again though. I will also try to vacuum sous vide the mixture to remove air from it. Thanks anyway for the reply.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/6/2017 at 5:01 PM, Doofa said:

@TomRahav Can you let us know how you get on with your quest. D

Hi Doofa,

I don't have final results yet, but partial once are encouraging and I am glad to share them with you!

After failing the first time I amended 2 things in my recipe and tried it again. First, I reduced the percentage of the calcium lactate gluconate from 2.5% to 2% because I found over the web that this is the common ratio (it contains different calcium content in comparison to the pure calcium gluconate). Second, I put the mixture in a semi-sphere silicon mold and froze it before placing it in the alginate bath. This worked wonders! The results where perfect spheres which I could handle easily and produced wonderful mouthfeel. 

Although I solved the texture/shape issue, I still had plenty of bubbles in the mixture and it was opaque white. I thought about trying to ice-filter it but then I thought again about the color and decided I actually like it this way, because it adds to the surprise effect of the dish where you can't see what's in it. As for the bubbles, I intend to use a magnetic stirrer the next time instead of a hand blender to try and introduce as little bubbles as possible during mixing. In either case, the bubbles weren't a problem when I froze the spheres so it's more of a visual preference. 

Cheers,

Tom.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tom. 

Well done. I'm now encouraged to have another go myself. I did manage it when the MC books hit the market, which I still cook from and enjoy. I shall continue to watch your post with interest and welcome to the boards of culinary information. Almost all you need is here. D

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Duvel said:

@TomRahav: Amazon.com carries several brands of calcium gluconate and ships to Hong Kong. I order there semi-frequently ...

Thanks Duvel, I will check this out.

Will there be a difference in the results, in your opinion, if I use calcium gluconate instead of calcium lactate gluconate?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By amyneill
      Hi all! I just wanted to pop in here and see if anyone had some advice on canning/jarring caramel sauce for ready-to-eat consumption. The ice cream shop I work at is putting together gift baskets for valentine's day and we wanted to toss in some caramel and fudge jars in to add some tasty treats. We have a recipe that works great in the shop in our squeeze bottles for topping the ice cream, however I don't have a ton of experience with the canning process to make it shelf stable and shippable. I've canned tomato sauce and salsa in the past, but my method wouldn't be efficient for canning hundreds of jars for consumption. What is your method for success? Does it all hinge on the sealing process, and if so what are your favorite (cost efficient) products? Do you know of a jar that is self sealing or more durable than others?
      Thanks for any suggestions! 
    • By Anonymous Modernist 760
      Thanks for putting up this forum 🙂
      I would like to bake using a combination of sous vide and a conventional oven. Would it be possible to put the dough in a vacuum bag cook it sous vide at 37C for the dough to raise optimal and then put it in a conventional oven?
      Thanks
    • By Chef Hermes Blog
      Warm Onion Bavarois
      * 300g Sweet Onion purée
      * 250g Whole milk
      * 150g Whipping cream
      * 150g Chicken stock (or fresh vegetable nage, not stock cubes)
      * 3.5g Gellan gum
      * Seasoning
      Lightly grease with vegetable oil the moulds you intend to use (darioles, ramekins etc) and set to one side.
      In a pan (but not on the heat), whisk together all the ingredients.
      Place on a medium heat and whisk continuously, the mix will start to thicken slightly. Carry on whisking for a further 3-4 minutes when it has started to bubble. Then quickly pour into the greased moulds & chill.
      To reheat for serving, just place the ramekin in a pan of water and simmer gently for 8-10 mins.
    • By swpeterson
      I have been buying country style bone-in ribs instead of bone-in pork chops. I season them with a rub very similar to Emeril's Rustic Rub spice rub and use a heaping tablespoon a rendered Nueskie's Applewood smoked bacon fat in the Food Saver vacumn bag. We have been using 2 ribs in the bag but have made the decision to switch to one to split. The meat is so rich and flavorful that we can easily split one and enjoy the meal even more.
      For a sauce, I cobbled together a sauce made with the juice of half a valencia orange, the pulp from 1 passion fruit, 1 cup pitted cherries (I used rainiers and bings in this one), 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup white wine, juice from 1 lime, 2 tsp honey, garlic cloves crushed (I used roasted garlic that I keep in the fridge and 'crushed' them in my 'special' coffee grinder(2)) and 1 medium sized shallot. I used the same bacon fat to soften the shallots, then added the rest of the ingredients and let it reduce by about a third and then let it rest and reheated it when the pork ribs were done.
      I kept them in the sous vide at 141 from 10:00 AM until I got home from work at 7:00. It took another half hour +/- to change clothes, pour a glass of wine, reheat the sauce, make a salad, and heat up the garlic bread that I keep prepped in the freezer. After the bread was heated for about 8 minutes, I switched the oven to broil and took the bread out of the oven.
      I have started to experiment with using the broiler element to put color on the proteins that I have cooked in the sous vide. I have placed the oven rack on the third rack from the top, leave the door ajar while I bring the broiler element up to heat. I use my 10" stainless steel saute pan with a stainless steel rack in the pan for the protein. I open the sous vide package and pour the liquid that has accumulated in the bag into the bottom of the pan. I put the ribs, fattest side up on the rack and place the pan in the oven. I leave the door ajar and let them stay in there for 8 mnutes.
      That timing has worked extremely well for both the ribs and the chicken that I have done. I don't flip them yet and that hasn't been necessary for those 2 proteins. (I was much less successful with this formula for the flank steak which I think needs to be closer the heat source for less time).
      At any rate, the broiler is working well for color and the meat and sauce are great. The sauce also works very well with chicken. Haven't tried it yet with the salmon.
      Just wanted to share as I really love this sous vide thing and wanted to share.
      Sorry no photos yet. I haven't figured that part out yet but my husband promises to teach me.
    • By PedroG
      Utilization of meat leftovers from sous-vide cooking
      Sometimes when you buy a nice cut of meat, your eyes are bigger than your and your beloved's stomach. So what to do with the leftovers?
      In Tyrolia (Austria) they make a "Gröstl", in Solothurn (Switzerland) they make a "Gnusch", in the Seftigenamt (a region in the Swiss canton Berne) they make a "Gmüder", and we (Pedro and SWAMBO) make a varying concoct using ideas from all of the three. We call it "Gröstl", but it is not necessarily a typical Tyrolean Gröstl, and it is different each time, and we usually do not top it with a fried egg as they do in Austria.
      Ingredients

      All your meat leftovers
      Onion (compulsory)
      Any hard vegetable (we prefer celery stalks, or zucchini)
      Any salad (iceberg lettuce or endive/chicory or any other salad leaves, may contain carrot julienne)
      Fried potatoes, or alternatively sweetcorn kernels
      Sherry or wine or bouillon or the gravy you preserved from your last LTLT.cooked meat for simmering (I usually prefer Sherry)
      Eventually some cream (or crème fraîche)
      Salt, pepper, parsley, caraway seeds (typical for Tyrolean Gröstl), paprika, condiment (in Switzerland we use "Aromat" by Knorr, which contains sodium chloride, sodium glutamate, lactose, starch, yeast extract, vegetable fats, onions, spices, E552)'
      vegetable oil (I prefer olive oil)




      Mise en place

      cut your meat in small cubes or slices
      cut the onion(s) not too fine (place the first cut below your tongue to avoid tearing during cutting)
      cut the vegetables about 3-4 mm thick
      cut the salads to pieces smaller than 4 cm, distribute on the cutting board and season deliberately
      cut the potatoes to 1 cm cubes
      place 3 heavy skillets with ample oil on the stove

      Cooking

      in skillet 1, stir-fry the onions, add the hard vegetables still stir-frying, add salad, add sufficient liquid (Sherry or wine or bouillon or gravy) for simmering under a cover until soft. If desired, reduce heat and add some cream at the end.
      in skillet 2, stir-fry the potatoes until soft (in case of sweetcorn kernels, add to skillet 1 after stir-frying and use skillet 2 for skillet 3)
      in skillet 3, as soon as the vegetables and the potatoes are soft, sear the meat in just smoking oil for 30-60 seconds, then add to skillet 1

      Serving
      You may mix the potatoes with the vegetables and meat to make a rather typical Gröstl, or serve the fried potatoes separately; we prefer the latter, as the potatoes stay more crunchy.
      Do not forget to serve a glass of good dry red wine!
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...