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Adventures with sodium alginate


Jonathan M. Guberman
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Instead of yogurt to increase Ca content, could you use a thick paste of nonfat dried milk?

Casein Calcinate is available commerically. Its a foaming agent usually, and is essentially flavorless (tastes like calcium mostly). Its a booger to get into solution tho. Start with a paste and add liquid slowly is easiest IME (not for this kinda of fun use tho).

I hope you make terrific choc caviar. Im having a hard time liking the thought of chocolate jello. Perhaps your rave reviews will open my mind a bit.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Kouign...your comment about not wanting a chocolate jello just registered with me. My thought was based off of a chocolate egg cream soda - if that reference means anything to you, versus a thick chocolate caviar. So, I'm expecting a chocolate pop in the mouth - actually 10 per bite. BTW, my backup plan is to reverse the order and do a chocolate mousse with mango caviar, but what fun would that be :raz:

Edited by gfron1 (log)
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Hi - I'm trying to find the right proportions to do a pea foam using the whipping canister. The ingred. are peas, chicken broth, onion which are cooked and then put through a sieve. Then heavy cream, salt and pepper are added. I can't get the consistency right. Any help starting with a 16 oz bag of peas? I'm trying to do a great amuse bouche with this for Valentine's day. Oh, and you top it with mini croutons.

THANKS IF YOU CAN HELP.

Verbeana

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Hi - I'm trying to find the right proportions to do a pea foam using the whipping canister. The ingred. are peas, chicken broth, onion which are cooked and then put through a sieve.  Then heavy cream, salt and pepper are added.  I can't get the consistency right. Any help starting with a 16 oz bag of peas?  I'm trying to do a great amuse bouche with this for Valentine's day.  Oh, and you top it with mini croutons.

THANKS IF YOU CAN HELP.

Jeanne, I believe there are some topics dealing with foams. Dunno if this topic holds it. Maybe check there (for instance, foam Sauce, Step in preparing foam sauce).

My answer would be: what is the texture u have and what is the texture u want?

If I were to make a solid (whipped cream like) cold pea texture, I'd go for pea-flavored whipping cream. If I need warm whipped cream like pea structure, then the latter won't work as the whipping cream isn't stable. I'd try an pea-flavored anglaise or even use some powders from the Texturas range. If I would want a very light (like soap foam) foam, I'd make a very thin water-based pea soup (no fat) and use lecithine to make it foam. Just use a simple whip to make the foam (no ISI).

Tom

Een dag niet gekookt is een dag niet geleefd.

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Hi - I'm trying to find the right proportions to do a pea foam using the whipping canister. The ingred. are peas, chicken broth, onion which are cooked and then put through a sieve.  Then heavy cream, salt and pepper are added.  I can't get the consistency right. Any help starting with a 16 oz bag of peas?  I'm trying to do a great amuse bouche with this for Valentine's day.  Oh, and you top it with mini croutons.

THANKS IF YOU CAN HELP.

Jeanne, I believe there are some topics dealing with foams. Dunno if this topic holds it. Maybe check there (for instance, foam Sauce, Step in preparing foam sauce).

My answer would be: what is the texture u have and what is the texture u want?

If I were to make a solid (whipped cream like) cold pea texture, I'd go for pea-flavored whipping cream. If I need warm whipped cream like pea structure, then the latter won't work as the whipping cream isn't stable. I'd try an pea-flavored anglaise or even use some powders from the Texturas range. If I would want a very light (like soap foam) foam, I'd make a very thin water-based pea soup (no fat) and use lecithine to make it foam. Just use a simple whip to make the foam (no ISI).

Thanks Charlie O and Tomtom 11 for your help. My computer crashed or I would have thanked you sooner. One question - what does it mean to "blitz" in a recipe. The UK link re pea foam used that word many times.

Verbeana

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Thanks Charlie O and Tomtom 11 for your help.  My computer crashed or I would have thanked you sooner.  One question - what does it mean to "blitz" in a recipe.  The UK link re pea foam used that word many times.

Blend/mix in a blender, liquidise, etc. (correct English?)

Makes that sense in the context of the recipe?

Tom

Een dag niet gekookt is een dag niet geleefd.

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I made my first trial run last night for an event this weekend. I've been mulling over the many comments on this thread, and especially the concerns about chocolate. So, here is how it went.

I bought my 96 dropper at the site listed above, and got my 35 cc syringe at the local feed store for $1.95US. Heeding the warnings about dairy, I opted to try chocolate soy milk just for practice. It has calcium but not as much. I followed the basic recipe for mango and it worked perfectly.

sodium1.jpg

I don't have a stick mixer yet so I put it in my blender and that seemed to work fine.

sodium2.jpg

I started playing and getting the hang of the process - very easy actually.

sodium3.jpg

After I became bored with dropping singles, I tasted some. The texture was perfect for a 45 second soak - liquid on inside. The taste was too tame for my purposes, so I added some extract. They tasted better, but I'm going to work on different liquids now that I've played a bit. You'll also notice based on comments in this thread, that I dropped the SA mixture into a submerged strainer which I then was able to lift out, and drop into a rinse - I was worried about fragility and this caused minimal harm to the caviar - actually none burst, nor were they tough.

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Then I pulled out the 96 dropper. Very easy to use.

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And here's the closeup.

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Tonight I'm making my back up dessert just in case, and I'll try a new liquid mix. I'm going to try rice milk based dark hot chocolate. I'm also thinking about dusting the top with cocoa. I've also decided to go to a black sesame crisp for the base. More later. Thanks again for the help and comments.

I do want to add one warning based on my biggest mistake. I didn't fully understand proportions for this process so, not wanting to run out for my event, I bought 4 big bags of CaCh from Chef Rubber, which if I use half of one I would suprprised.

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Thanks Charlie O and Tomtom 11 for your help.  My computer crashed or I would have thanked you sooner.  One question - what does it mean to "blitz" in a recipe.  The UK link re pea foam used that word many times.

Blend/mix in a blender, liquidise, etc. (correct English?)

Makes that sense in the context of the recipe?

Again, many thanks. Yes, makes perfect sense. I now have two or three recipes to try - some with and some without heavy cream. I don't see how it can solidify in the whipping canister without the cream. One recipe calls for a cup of oil. We'll be eating lots of peas 'til I get it right!

Verbeana

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gallery_8379_4210_143352.jpg

Here's my take on the typical Spanish breakfast of "tostada y cafe."  I used espresso and the Texturas products.  Thanks for the tips from djsexyb!

Beto, looks appetizing, could u share how it's done? Tks.

主泡一杯邀西方. 馥郁幽香而湧.三焦回转沁心房

"Inhale the aroma before tasting and drinking, savour the goodness from the heart "

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here is what I ended up with. Chocolate caviar on a sesame tuile with a dolop of PH's chocolate pastry cream. It got rave reviews. The key ended up being creating an intense chocolate liquid that wasn't thick. I used rice milk as the base.

caviar1.jpg

caviar2.jpg

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I have just aquired some alginate and calcium chloride yet am waiting on a new gram scale. I would like to start experimenting, but am not sure of measurements using volume measures like a teaspoon. I want to start with a pozu caviar for tuna tartare. Anyone have any guidelines for using volume measures of alginate in the ponzu and calcium chloride in the bath?

"I'm drawn to places that fear their customers" -Kenji

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I have just aquired some alginate and calcium chloride yet am waiting on a new gram scale.  I would like to start experimenting, but am not sure of measurements using volume measures like a teaspoon.  I want to start with a pozu caviar for tuna tartare.  Anyone have any guidelines for using volume measures of alginate in the ponzu and calcium chloride in the bath?

You need to wait for your gram scale. There is no way to accurately measure 1.5 g of sodium alginate (average for 500 g of a liquid base ingredient) by volume. You may also need sodium citrate because of the acidity of ponzu.

Edited by Louisa Chu (log)
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I think I must be missing something...

I just got the “Spherification Kit” from Allforchefs.com (yes, I paid too much, but I figured it would be easier to just get the kit than to try to order the chemicals separately, etc.), and tried out a few recipes / ideas this past weekend...

With the ‘tea ravioli’ I had a hard time getting the shape right, but finally figured it out, and could even suspend the cube of lemon ice in them.

I made a pea ravioli, and, after a lot of fiddling with the timing, finally got them to the point where they weren’t so fragile that the broke before they could be eaten, but not so tough that the ‘skin’ was a problem.

I tried to make a ‘caviar’ out of soy-sauce based dipping sauce (pH measured at around 4.5, which ought to have been fine), and after some adjustments, they came out OK...

The problem is that I wasn’t at all impressed with the ravioli (either kind). The pea was quite nice, I suppose, but not all that different from an intense pea soup – even in terms of the experience, it just wasn’t that unique or interesting (I thought). The tea ravioli was just kind of dull.

I have hopes for a ‘caviar’ based on pear juice and pear puree, to complement a walnut souffle I’ve been trying to add a pear note to without much luck for a while, but other than that, I’m sort of feeling at a loss, especially with respect to the ravioli.

So what am I missing? Was I just expecting too much from this preparation? What is fun with the ravioli that I’m not getting? With the caviar, I’m excited by the possibility of adding a ‘sauce’ to a dish while keeping it ‘dry’ – but I’m now a bit confused about what I should be trying to do with the ravioli – what can be done with this preparation that can’t be done any other way?

Ideas? Thoughts?

Oh, I was going to take pictures, but really, everything looked more or just as you’d imagine from the previous photos posted here.

jk

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I understand what you're saying and asked myself the same questions after my chocolate caviar. But, I think there are two things to consider. First, there is the surprise or novelty of the experience which is lost on anyone who reads this thread and has to go through the prep process. Second, for me the accompanying items make all the difference. When I tried my chocolate caviar in test runs, I thought they were good, but nothing special. Then when I put them on the tuille, the texture combination was very interesting. Finally, for me, I would never make them for myself, its more about sharing with someone else (see point 1).

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I understand what you're saying and asked myself the same questions after my chocolate caviar.  But, I think there are two things to consider.  First, there is the surprise or novelty of the experience which is lost on anyone who reads this thread and has to go through the prep process.  Second, for me the accompanying items make all the difference.  When I tried my chocolate caviar in test runs, I thought they were good, but nothing special.  Then when I put them on the tuille, the texture combination was very interesting.  Finally, for me, I would never make them for myself, its more about sharing with someone else (see point 1).

For me it's an interesting novelty, but must always be accompanied with something else to make it really interesting. I think lot's of chefs wonder what to do with it. Next to the tasting things, they also need to take into account the fact that the sferifications cannot be made upfront a long time (except for inverted), so this makes this technique less suitable for big parties or restaurants on tight budgets.

THe caviar is nice for decomposing food into elements (salads, soups etc). And other ideas would be to put the caviar not on top of things but INSIDE thing (cheese-cakes, warm consomme, etc.)

For now, the two bags with powders sit patiently on my shelf. I expect them to last the rest of my life (which I hope to be very long from now).

Tom

Een dag niet gekookt is een dag niet geleefd.

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Thanks for the feedback!

I think you are right that the combination of these with other items w/ different textures will be part of the key to making these interesting, and that the "surprise" is lost when you are making them... I'll keep playing around with this and post again if I come up with anything worth sharing -- the chocolate caviar, btw, looks *very* cool, and I'm pleased to hear that the texture combo w/ the tuiles was a success.

With Tom, I am also beginning to suspect that, with about half a kilo of each chemical, I've got enough to last a life-time, even if I give some to all my cooking friends!

Thanks again,

jk

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  • 1 month later...

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Hi everyone,

I started playing around with Algin from the Texturas line. I found the process quite easy, so ı wanted to show some images of my first work.

I have a bunch of questions in my mind, so if any body as an idea I hope this forum is not dead.

Once you are done for the day with your calcic bath, how long can you keep it to play around with some more?

Is there a way to conserve the caviar? For how long? (ex: ı made the caviar a lot of caviar for the restaurant early in the morning. Can it last at least until the last customer leave around 2am?)

Once I made the mix (ex:fresh fruit juice with algin) how long can ı keep it in the fridge?

Same questions for the raviolo.

Thanks all for this wonderful post ı found already a lot of help here.

Mathieu

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