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 an account.

Tuber magnatum

Edible helium balloon

Recommended Posts

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?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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? :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, cakewalk said:

If you eat it will you talk like a munchkin?

Only if you inhale! (you can skip to 58")

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By flippant
      I've had the CSO for a number of years now, but have yet to actually bake bread in it.
       
      Reading through the Modernist Bread thread on this forum I see many of you are using the CSO to great effect, which is heartening.
       
      To that end, I would like to know about your experience baking bread in it – what sort of extra equipment you use (pans, cast iron? etc), what breads work the best, any corrections you find yourself making, or anything you feel might be useful to someone else using the CSO.
       
      Thank you!
       
       
    • By CCB
      I used my homemade toffee in a cookie recipe hoping that the toffee will add a crunch to the cookie... it didn't turn out well as the toffee melted and didn't keep its hardened crunch form. How can I prevent my toffee from melting in my cookie recipe?
    • By Rho
       
      The space race trickled into kitchens in the 60s and 70s, including one curious tool that's faded away in the years since: the thermal pin, a heat pipe skewer that can halve cooking times for roasts:

       
      Heat pipes are thermal superconductors, transferring heat 500-1000 times more effectively than solid copper (some people in the sous vide thread have discussed copper pins). They're hollow tubes with the air evacuated and a small amount of working fluid, often water. The usable temperature range is limited by the triple point and the critical point, with additional constraints near the edges. Water is effective from 20C-280C /70F-530F, which comfortably spans most cooking temperatures.
       
      Modernist Bread has an excellent section on how bread bakes, including a diagram of the internal heat pipes that develop, summarized here. (click for a good photo!)
       
      Sous-vide solves the overcooking side of the gradient problem, but it's still limited by total heat diffusion time-- doubling the size of a cut quadruples the time needed for the center to reach temperature. Heat pipe pins should make larger cuts practical, or normal cuts cook faster. Here's a graph from "The heat pipe and its potential for enhancing the cooking and cooling of meat joints", showing average temperatures over time for 1kg joints of meat convection baked at 190C/375F for 110 minutes (foil removed for the last 30 minutes):

       
      Thermal pins were sold commercially from 1956 to about 1990. They're listed occasionally for about $20 on ebay. They even made potato baking racks with heat pipes-- though now you can easily par-cook a potato in the microwave and finish it in the oven.
       
      I don't know why production of thermal pins stopped, or what fundamental problems limited their usage. It seems like pans and commercial griddles would be improved by adding heat pipes to spread heat throughout and avoid hot or cold spots. Perhaps roasts fell out of favor as the culture of entertaining shifted away from monolithic centerpieces to smaller, more precisely cooked portions.
    • By philie
      Hey there, i hope to find some help in the wise hands of yours. after some research i am still having some problems concerning glazing:
       
      For a party i would like to make some cubes and rounded savoury cakes and foams out of silicone forms that have a ready bottom and a colour glazing. 
      Somehow i just do not manage to find a steady glazing ( one that does not run ) and is for texture reasons preferably hard or crisp that does not include sugar or syrup.
       
      can you help me or lead my way in a certain direction?
       
      thanks very much!
    • By danielle_j
      Hello and Happy Holidays!  I own an ice cream company and am looking for some information about equipment to use for scaling large batches of caramel.  Right now, we cook sugar over electric heat in an approx. 6 qt. stainless steel pot.  Once the caramel is at the correct color and temp (more on that below), we add our dairy to the hot mixture.  Obviously, this is not a viable option for producing large batches.
       
      I'm familiar with confectionary equipment from Savage, but don't have the budget for an automated piece.  Does anyone have experience with using just one of their copper or stainless steel kettles over a regular sized burner on electric heat? We've tried to use a single larger flat bottom pot sitting in the middle of all 4 burners on the stove to make a large batch of caramel, but it doesn't heat evenly.  I'm wondering if the rounded bottom of the kettle helps the entire pot cook evenly -- would we be able to set the kettle right on the burner; or, have to use it in a double boiler setting?
       
      Additionally, any recommendations for thermometers that work well with caramel would be welcomed.  We've used digital probes and candy thermometers, but on numerous occasions, the color and smell of the caramel that we associate with "doneness" is a dramatically different temperature for each batch.
       
      I came across a similar post on this topic from 2016, but aside from a recommendation for a large piece of equipment from Savage, there wasn't any other feedback.  Hoping to get some good input that will bridge the gap between extremely small batches and mass production.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×