• 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.

jbehmoaras

Methylcellulose in pastry: Recipes & Tips

50 posts in this topic

I want to learn more about methylcellulose!

More about what it is, where to buy it, what its suited for, when to use it, how to use it, recipes using it, and last but not least, experiences using the stuff.

Hopefully we can all learn more about methylcellulose by discussing it in this thread.


Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can get Methylcellulose from Will Goldfarb's place Room4Desert in NYC, or mail order through his company WillPowder


Edited by johnder (log)

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually find the stuff on willpowder to be quite expensive


Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I can tell you:

Methyl Cellulose is derived from cellulose that has been treated with an alkali

Methyl Cellulose does not dissolve readily in hot water

When there is a high concentration of CarboxyMethylCellulose (CMC) molecules, the gel will become thermoreversible. By reducing pH levels, and increasing the ionic strength (higher concentration of CMC) will both decrease the viscosity of the gel.

It is said because of the viscosity drop during heating, CMC could help yield in baking because it increases gas bubble formation.

Methyl Cellulose is used for all kinds of artificial things out side of food. It is the main ingredient in K-Y jelly, oddly enough. You can find it in toothpaste and shampoos, and really anything else that needs some viscosity to it that is non-toxic.

Hydroxypropyl Cellulose is a cousin to Methyl Cellulose that does not form a gel. It is used as a stabilizer and an emulsifier predominately.

An interesting characteristic of both HPMC and CMC is that they can be used to substitute gluten in gluten free bread. This is one thing I am going to have to experiment with in the future.


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen in some places that it also has some applications in ice cream making, has anyone tried making ice cream with methylcellulose?


Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sure you can, but I am not sure I would like the texture. Though I have never tried any cellulose ice cream so my opinion is negligible.


Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking maybe in small amounts so that there wouldnt be too noticeable of an effect on texture but would be productive in preventing the growth of crystals... Although I dont know if such a small amount would be useless anyways


Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ice Cream: Combination Chemistry

Ice cream that is stabilized with LBG and carrageenan contains significantly smaller ice crystals than ice cream made under identical conditions without stabilizers. Microcrystalline cellulose also facilitates ice-crystal growth -- one theory credits MCC with providing nucleation sites, resulting in smaller, more uniform crystals in larger numbers. Combining cellulose gums with natural gums can control ice-crystal growth, without imparting excessive viscosity. During storage, stabilizers may slow down ice-crystal growth during heat shock by limiting water migration. This is attributed to their water-holding capacity and formation of a three-dimensional network between stabilizers and other components, especially sugars and proteins.

It's too much to quote, but the article delves into cellulose in ice cream quite a few times.

If you've consumed commercial ice cream, the odds are pretty high you've consumed cellulose ice cream. It's fairly common in the industry.

I obtained a sample of CMC from a friend who's a baking supplier. So far, all I've done with it is mix it with water. The gel it created was very similar to pectin. Having worked quite a bit with soluble gum fibers like xanthan and guar, I was amazed by it's clarity/vibrancy. For what it's worth, it makes an especially pretty gel.

If I need a stabilizer for my ice cream, I reach for xanthan/guar, as they're cheaper and much more easily obtainable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ice Cream:  Combination Chemistry
Ice cream that is stabilized with LBG and carrageenan contains significantly smaller ice crystals than ice cream made under identical conditions without stabilizers. Microcrystalline cellulose also facilitates ice-crystal growth -- one theory credits MCC with providing nucleation sites, resulting in smaller, more uniform crystals in larger numbers. Combining cellulose gums with natural gums can control ice-crystal growth, without imparting excessive viscosity. During storage, stabilizers may slow down ice-crystal growth during heat shock by limiting water migration. This is attributed to their water-holding capacity and formation of a three-dimensional network between stabilizers and other components, especially sugars and proteins.

It's too much to quote, but the article delves into cellulose in ice cream quite a few times.

If you've consumed commercial ice cream, the odds are pretty high you've consumed cellulose ice cream. It's fairly common in the industry.

I obtained a sample of CMC from a friend who's a baking supplier. So far, all I've done with it is mix it with water. The gel it created was very similar to pectin. Having worked quite a bit with soluble gum fibers like xanthan and guar, I was amazed by it's clarity/vibrancy. For what it's worth, it makes an especially pretty gel.

If I need a stabilizer for my ice cream, I reach for xanthan/guar, as they're cheaper and much more easily obtainable.

I have tasted different stabilizers in ice creams, made from the same formulation with 3 freeze/thaw cycles comparing to no cycles. The CMC definitely reduces the ice crystals formed as it is still very smooth texture.

-NhumiSD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ice Cream:  Combination Chemistry
Ice cream that is stabilized with LBG and carrageenan contains significantly smaller ice crystals than ice cream made under identical conditions without stabilizers. Microcrystalline cellulose also facilitates ice-crystal growth -- one theory credits MCC with providing nucleation sites, resulting in smaller, more uniform crystals in larger numbers. Combining cellulose gums with natural gums can control ice-crystal growth, without imparting excessive viscosity. During storage, stabilizers may slow down ice-crystal growth during heat shock by limiting water migration. This is attributed to their water-holding capacity and formation of a three-dimensional network between stabilizers and other components, especially sugars and proteins.

It's too much to quote, but the article delves into cellulose in ice cream quite a few times.

If you've consumed commercial ice cream, the odds are pretty high you've consumed cellulose ice cream. It's fairly common in the industry.

I obtained a sample of CMC from a friend who's a baking supplier. So far, all I've done with it is mix it with water. The gel it created was very similar to pectin. Having worked quite a bit with soluble gum fibers like xanthan and guar, I was amazed by it's clarity/vibrancy. For what it's worth, it makes an especially pretty gel.

If I need a stabilizer for my ice cream, I reach for xanthan/guar, as they're cheaper and much more easily obtainable.

I have tasted different stabilizers in ice creams, made from the same formulation with 3 freeze/thaw cycles comparing to no cycles. The CMC definitely reduces the ice crystals formed as it is still very smooth texture.

-NhumiSD

I don't sell my ice cream commercially, so it's not subject to freeze/thaw cycles, but if I did, that's valuable information to know. Thanks.

I guess my real reticency to using CMC in ice cream is that I'll probably like the results and then end up having to track down/pay big bucks for more. I also feel like I might stumble on a more ideal application for it. As everything I make is low carb/sugar free, I'm always looking for ways to put novel ingredients to use in my quest to mirror a dessert's high carb counterpart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scott, thanks for the link to that website, its really a great resource for those looking to learn more about stabilizers and emulsifyers.


Jeremy Behmoaras

Cornell School for Hotel Administration Class '09

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I actually find the stuff on willpowder to be quite expensive

please enquire about our bulk pricing

wg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What percentage do you use CMC at in the ice cream base? Do you still use other stabilizers in conjunction with it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So is it only used in ice creams? If you made a "pretty gel" with it, could you use it as a gel? Flavor it and use it as a garnish? What other uses has anyone come up with? Photos, perhaps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That fact that methylcellulose sets when heated and can liquify when chilled makes it pretty cool for doing weird gels, mousses and the like. Wylie Dufresne used it a little while back, along with some xantham and gum acacia, to make a reverse ice cream - warm and solid when on the plate, it then melts as it cools in the mouth.


restaurant, private catering, consultancy
feast for the senses / blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

methocel makes great eggless, hot meringues...just add the methocel and whip while you are heating

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What I can tell you:

Methyl Cellulose is used for all kinds of artificial things out side of food.  It is the main ingredient in K-Y jelly, oddly enough.  You can find it in toothpaste and shampoos, and really anything else that needs some viscosity to it that is non-toxic.

it is also the leading ingredients in many liquid tear preparations

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
methocel makes great eggless, hot meringues...just add the methocel and whip while you are heating

Sean can you give any more examples on how you use this, you would just add a flavouring like carrot juice and methocell and whip while you heat? Can you give more details

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
methocel makes great eggless, hot meringues...just add the methocel and whip while you are heating

Sean can you give any more examples on how you use this, you would just add a flavouring like carrot juice and methocell and whip while you heat? Can you give more details

use a methocel with a higher gelling temperature at .8 percent or so depending on the liquid.....follow the dispersion/hydration instructions and hold until ready to serve...

when you are ready to serve heat the liquid on the stove and whip with a hand blender with a whisk attachment while you are heating the liquid....as it heats it will stabalize the bubbles and form a very dense foam similar to a meringue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it possible to make something like an italian meringue and then dry it out in the oven to make nice little crunchy bits to garnish? So far I've just experimented with it in the production of ice creams and as an aid in creating foams.

BTW, I'm surprised people are finding CMC to be more expensive than other gums...my research shows that it was created as a cheaper, consistent and more available substitute for natural gums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how could you hold the warm (methycell) mousse? like for service(4hrs) will it need to continulally re areated or will it basically hold air at room temp? (i wanna do an amuse tomato water mousse, parm chip, baby basil) i dont care if its hot or room temp... i guess id rather prefer room temp. i got a isi thermo, but i find the foam it creates is rather dense and usually requires cream to make a nice texture. my only attempts @ methyl mousse has been w/ cold product, ima try the hot. if no one answers me, i guess ill figger it out on my own. (ha!) ive also got a organic chem student friens who i can bug... and a girlfreind in foodscience/production.... but these blogs seem sometimes a little more oriented to cooks..... whatevs...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) aka Tylose is commonly used in cake decorating to make gumpaste. <i guess you can't call it gumpaste if it is not made with gum, but the name stands.> It replaces gum karaya or gum tragacanth which make the paste gray. (Also, most gum tragacanth is from Iran and political upheaval means the supply is erratic.) Country Kitchen and most cake-decorating supply places will have it.


Edited by reenicake (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you cant find it you can hit up dow chemicals for free foodgrade samples, just give them a good line on why you need a sample.... l'epicierie has some for the cheapest ive seen. (its E461) dow chem has like 6 or so all with different properties...... so whos got some good recipies for this stuff??? ive been adding a little to my sabayon @ work for added staying power... for big parties when you got like 60 peeps the gum helps the warm sauce keep its areation....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know Sam Mason & egullet's very own Xdrixn use Methylcellulose & Xantham to whip beers, but does anyone know if you have to hydrate the MC first and does acidity affect the stability of the foam?


“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen methocel being used to make "clouds" - basically it looked like whipped egg whites.

As for CMC, does it share some properties of methocel?

I've bought some to use in ice creams and I played a little with it. It seems that the gel breaks when it heats and it doesn't incorporate air like methocel solutions :sad:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By bhsimon
      Anyone tried this?
       
      I'm trying to think of something novel to do for my friends at an upcoming birthday weekend. We are renting a house in the Hunter Valley (Australian wine region) and food is a major component of our weekend. Last time I did fizzy fruit—the grapes and oranges were awesome and everyone enjoyed the unique experience. I want to do something quirky like that again.
       
      The whipping siphon is easy to transport so I'm interested in using it. The siphoned soufflé in Modernist Cuisine, volume 4 page 297, has a chocolate variation that does not require propylene glycol alginate or maltodextrin (I don't have those things in my pantry, yet). That looks like it might be a good one to try. Anyone done that and have some advice for me before I dive in?
    • By bhsimon
      Besides the health concerns, deep frying steak is the best way to get an even colour and crust on steak. In my most recent experiment, I tried the technique of deep frying prior to, and after, cooking the steak sous vide. In the past, I had only fried the meat after it had been cooked.
       
      The meat was veal chops. As can often be the case, the meat was mishandled somewhere along the way. The obvious signs of this were indentations in the surface. This kind of thing makes it tricky to pan fry and get even colour.
       


       
      This soft meat is also tricky to vacuum seal as it can often be further compressed and misshapen in the process.
       
      I was delighted to observe that a short 45 seconds in hot oil fixed both of these issues! I didn't expect that. Nice. The meat plumped up and that indentation was gone. It also held its shape nicely when vacuum packed.
       

       
      Time and temperature matters. The difference can be just a few seconds or degrees. In the next picture, the time was the same but the oil was 20°C hotter for the steak on the left and the crust is noticeably darker. My next experiment will try 30 seconds at 200°C before and after.
       


      The goal is to keep the crust as thin as possible.
       

       
      I hadn't anticipated the secondary benefits of deep frying prior to sous vide. The plumping of the meat and slight firmness made them easy to package and present. I am curious whether anyone has observed this. I am also curious if it would it work in hot water, rather than oil.



    • By Porthos
      I have purchased an Anova circulator. My interest in sous vide is based upon needing to prepare chicken and pork dishes that remain more moist than other cooking methods I have used. This is based upon needing more moistness for my wife. After her bariactric surgery she became sensitive to meat that is not still very moist.
       
      I would like recommendations for some threads to read through to help get me started.
    • By Adamsm83
      So I did a quick search for a SV whole prime rib and everything I found just turned into, "why waste your time? Just roast it!" Which I would generally agree with, but the kitchen I work in only has one oven that can't be tied up long enough to do the prime rib, so I found a couple of recipes out there and I think my recipe will be as follows...
      Cut a 10# prime rib in half and salt and pepper the outside.
      Vaccum seal each 5# roast and SV at 137 degrees for 10hours.
      Remove from the bags. Pat dry, rub all over with roasted garlic puree, chopped rosemary, thyme & pepper.
      Roast in a 500 degree oven until dark brown.
       
      Now here is where things get tricky, I want to hold it under a banquette heat lamp during service and cut to order (like you used to see at every home town restaurant in the 90's) So my questions are, 1, is it safe? I realize that the SV and the oven should be safe, but then it sits out , although under a heat lamp, lets face it, they aren't great. Still if it sits from 5 to 9 and is gone by 9 then its okay to be in the danger zone since it will be gone in 4 hours anyways (assuming we sell out or throw out left overs. 2, what would my expected yield be after SV. I read you have a loss of approx. 20% when roasting, less if its bone-in, so SV w/ bones what are your opinions? And lastly, what are peoples opinions about the flavor profile of SV beef on the bone. 
       
      Other info to consider, i will be using a very fresh, very local beef that is grass fed up to 600# and finished on brewers grains. The meat has a very rich flavor, not overly irony, but still much more "meaty, beefy" flavor than the crap at the super markets. 
      Anyways, I would like to get this thing rolling next week, so any helpful tips, tricks or advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!
    • By Morkai
      I am planning on making Michael Ruhlman's macaroni and cheese this weekend for a party. In the recipe, you make a soubise sauce with flour, butter, milk, and carmelized onions. You hand blend these all together (with some spices), and then add the grated cheese to the hot liquid to melt. Then you can mix in with the cooked pasta and keep overnight in the fridge.
       
      Then I remembered I have sodium citrate in the pantry. 
       
      We like this recipe, but find that it's not as "cheesy" or "creamy" as we'd like it to be sometimes, especially after cooking. Would adding a dash of sodium citrate to the cheese/soubise mixture help keep it that classic cheesy texture? Even if it sat overnight in the fridge and was then baked? As I am making this along with smoking a couple pork butts for my girlfriend's co-workers, I really don't want to have a food disaster! 
       
      Thanks all,
       
      Mork
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.