Transformation Tapioca Nutella Snow
I made something really yummy yesterday night after being inspired by a video I saw of Chef Will Goldfarb demoing tapioca maltodextrin for gourmet magazine
Chef Goldfarb has a cool site where you could order all sorts of ‘molecular gastronomy’ powders. Check it out at http://www.willpowder.net. After watching that video where Chef Goldfarb transforms nutella in to a fine powder I couldn’t help but to try it myself.
The main molecular powder that I used for this one transformation is tapioca maltodextrin. This fine powder is a modified food starch. Instead of thickening water-based liquids, it thickens and dries up oils, turning them into powders. Truly transformational. It is just an incredibly light (and messy) powder, and you simply stir it into any fatty substance, like olive oil or peanut butter, until it is dry and then push it through a fine sieve…and Voilà, you have a fine powdered version of the most delicious foods.
What i set out to prove in this ‘molecular gastronomy’ experiment is to see if the tapioca would in fact soak up all the oil from the nutella and transform it into a fine powder.
What I had to do for this molecular experiment was to make some home made nutella. How you make this is rather simple yet time consuming. The first step was to make some praline paste. This paste is the backbone of any nutella recipe out there. All I needed for this one was equal parts hazelnuts to blanched almonds (4 oz of each), some sugar (250 g or 9oz), and water (3 tbsp).
What I did with the nuts was simply to warm them up in a non-stick pan on very low. This is simply to open the aromas of the nuts and to soften them up a little.
Once I got the nuts on very low heat roasting I combined the sugar and water in a 5.5 qt saucer pot. I turned the heat to medium and I did not stir. Note: It is important not to stir but let the sugar dissolve completely.
Once the sugar is almost completely dissolved I added the nuts.
Once the nuts were in the dissolved sugar solution I made sure to stir until a fine golden caramel formed. Note: it is very important that you do not overshot this one. If the caramel gets to dark you will have burned it too much.
As soon as the sugar is completely dissolved and is a golden caramel you should immediately transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a marble slab.
After transferring the praline caramel to the parchment paper you will want to spread it enough to allow it to cool and hardened for about an hour.
Once the praline caramel is cooled and hard you will want to transfer it to a food processor with an S-blade attachment. What I did was simply break off a couple of pieces and place them into the food processor until it forms a paste.
You should end up with a praline paste that looks something like this
Once I had my praline paste I placed it to a side and started melting the 60% bittersweet chocolate. For the nutella you will need 75g of chocolate.
I also needed 100g of unsalted butter ready
The next step is to make the nutella. This recipe called for 200g of my praline paste, 75g of melted chocolate, and 100g of unsalted butter. How I did this was first combine the praline paste and butter in a mixer with a paddle attachment on medium.
Next, add the melted chocolate
I mixed this until it was completely smooth. The final result is a home made nutella.
The next step was to transform the nutella into a powder, or ‘nutella snow’
For this, i needed to get measure out 75g of nutella and 25g of tapioca maltodextrin. Once I got my measurements down I combined the tapioca maltodextrin with nutella and whisked until I noticed a transformation.
After I achieved the nutella snow I had proven that tapioca maltodextrin does in fact transform oils into powders. This was a great conclusion because it clearly shows how ‘molecular gastronomy’ is alive an active in creating wonderful tasting foods. Before serving I recommend you run the powder through a finely meshed sieve.
The end result/serving suggestions.
The taste is unbelievably good. I could not resist eating this and enjoying the texture of the fine powder. It is very pleasing the moment it hits your tongue because of the radical transformation that takes place when the fine powder interacts with your saliva. Truly amazing and gourmet. Enjoy 🙂
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