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Tuber magnatum

Edible helium balloon

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Having experienced the "Edible Balloon" dessert at Alinea, I have been on a quest to try this at home.  Only recently was I able to find purportedly a recipe:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/raypajar1/these-edible-helium-balloons-are-dessert-from-the-future?utm_term=.ut6r3PnMk#.acGNVWmd6 the video of which is found below.

 

I tried this and probably no surprise, it failed.  The bubble collapsed / popped with only a little distension.   I wasn't sure if the problem was that a "secret" ingredient (e.g. some kind of surfactant to stabilise the bubble or using a different kind of sugar) was missing.  Or maybe I didn't allow the mix to come to correct temperature etc.  Elsewhere I thought I had read that the original recipe was in effect some kind of taffy.  Has anyone else had success, or do any candy makers /modernist chefs, have suggestions they are willing to share?

 

 

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Are you dedicated to a sweet balloon? Modernist Bread has a recipe in it for "balloon bread" which involves using hot air guns to inflate a high-gluten bread dough.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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18 minutes ago, Chris Hennes said:

Are you dedicated to a sweet balloon? Modernist Bread has a recipe in it for "balloon bread" which involves using hot air guns to inflate a high-gluten bread dough.

But will it float? :) 

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2 minutes ago, Tuber magnatum said:

But will it float? :) 

I was thinking that after inflating it you could displace the air with helium, but I don't know how much the balloon itself weighs so I don't know if that will do the job or not. 


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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After eating at Alinea we watched the chefs making these balloons. It seemed to take multiple tries before they made one that didn't pop or fail. It looked pretty difficult.


Edited by rob1234 (log)

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5 hours ago, Chris Hennes said:

I was thinking that after inflating it you could displace the air with helium, but I don't know how much the balloon itself weighs so I don't know if that will do the job or not. 

 

One cubic meter helium can lift about 1kg or put another way, one cubic foot of helium lifts  28.2 gms, around an ounce.  I rather suspect a balloon of bread would weigh way too much and presumably it would be porous. Wouldn't it be cool if you could float a pomme soufflee, but that too is way too heavy?  So I am stuck looking for a taffy balloon recipe!


Edited by Tuber magnatum (log)

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Plain old blown sugar should work.  You can stretch that extremely thinly, but it requires a lot more sugarwork skill than I have...

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There was a challenge on MasterChef Australia that included one of these, by Christy Tania. You may not be able to see the video but you should be able to see the recipe here: https://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/recipes/ice-cream-float

They use xanthan gum, methyl cellulose and isomalt to create the balloon. It looked tricky to do, but not impossible!

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14 hours ago, keychris said:

There was a challenge on MasterChef Australia that included one of these, by Christy Tania. You may not be able to see the video but you should be able to see the recipe here: https://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/recipes/ice-cream-float

They use xanthan gum, methyl cellulose and isomalt to create the balloon. It looked tricky to do, but not impossible!

 

Thank you so much!  You were correct, I couldn't view the video on their site outside of Australia, however I did find it on YouTube.  Again thanks, I will try this recipe next.

 

 

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I've tried to figure this out a few times, each time leading to failure, when I saw the buzzfeed recipe thought I have nearly all of that stuff right now, except need a tank of helium, the last birthday party wiped it out. I was also thinking that it probably wouldn't work as shown with out some help, but would be a good start, possibly replacing the sugar with a different one, and using a better thickener than corn starch. Things I have tried that failed a locust bean gum, xanthan gum, isomalt concoction, it kind of gooped  and started a small bubble but never expanded nicely although it looked liked it had merit, an agar agar, xanthan gum, isomalt mixture that made a mess in the pan and had no real merit and a gelatin and syrup recipe that had no hope. My notepad from that project is missing and probably has weird stick figures with long legs drawn in it by now so I don't have the ratios of the failed attempts. In the masterchef au recipe, which of the many methylcellulose do you think they are using? They didn't show a bag of it laying around which I was hoping to see in the background. I was kind of leaning towards https://www.modernistpantry.com/methylcellulose-lv.html or https://www.modernistpantry.com/hydroxypropyl-methylcellulose-f50.html as a good start.

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1 hour ago, rdale said:

...  In the masterchef au recipe, which of the many methylcellulose do you think they are using? They didn't show a bag of it laying around which I was hoping to see in the background. I was kind of leaning towards https://www.modernistpantry.com/methylcellulose-lv.html or https://www.modernistpantry.com/hydroxypropyl-methylcellulose-f50.html as a good start.

 

I wondered the same thing.  My plan is to try with what ever methylcellulose I have lying around (I think f50 off the top of my head).  Need to source a small canister of helium first.  Will post results when I get around to it.

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On 1/3/2018 at 4:07 PM, Tuber magnatum said:

 

I wondered the same thing.  My plan is to try with what ever methylcellulose I have lying around (I think f50 off the top of my head).  Need to source a small canister of helium first.  Will post results when I get around to it.

I need to buy another tank of helium, little girl is turning 8 in couple of weeks and we have fun blowing the balloons together, so threw in a bag of f50 into my last amazon order, if I get cracking on it before you do, I'll post the results. I'm curious to try the buzzfeed method too, might even try to cobble together a video of the process/results for giggles. If it comes together she is going to get a pretty cool cupcake display. I have a hunch it is F-50 as it is pretty common globally and if not will splurge on LV and HV, because both of those should cover it and if I wind up having to combine will have the range to give start giving it a go.


Edited by rdale (log)

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A tank of helium was purchased gave the buzzfeed recipe a try, and failed, the best I could get was it starting to form a nice balloon and popping. The mixture had to get to about room temperature before it acted like it might work. I tried a variety of sizes in hoses to no avail, even though there was a moment or two that it looked like I would get there. I may try their recipe with a different choice in sugar, but methylcellulose is on it's way and I should be able to give the Master Chef Australia recipe a go. I bothered to take pictures of the progress but being it was a fail, am not going to bother putting them up.

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I think what I need here is a physicist or chemist who can calculate exactly what is needed for the right experiment.

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