Molecular Gastronomy – Spherical mango yolk
By Chef Tali Clavijo
Hey there, I’m happy to let you know that this post is the first of three back to back basic spherification posts. These recipes and experiments are designed to help you learn and deconstruct the concept of spherification for yourself while having fun in your kitchen.
So, yesterday I decided to open up my sodium alginate and thus open the gateway for spherification and more advanced molecular gastronomy. Sodium alginate is derived from different types of brown algae which grow in cold water regions all over the planet! It gels in the presence of Calcium and is soluble in cold and warm liquids.
What I set out to test for this experiment was to see if using the sodium alginate would in fact gel in presence of calcium ion. I also wanted to test to see if that gel would be strong enough to hold firm when combined with the mango puree.
For this experiment/recipe I needed a spherical mango base that consisted of sodium alginate (1.8g), sodium citrate (1.3g), water (250g), and mango pure (250g).
What I did first was to mix the sodium citrate in water in my vita-mix blender.
I added the sodium alginate and blended again.
Once the two ingredients where blended I transferred the solution to a saucepan until boiling stirring constantly.
After I reached a boil I allowed the mixture to cool down. Once the mixture cools down enough you could add the mango puree.
But first, let’s do the mango puree.
How I pureed my mangoes was quite easy. All I did was peel three mangoes and cut them into chunks.
After I cut up the mangoes I transferred them to the vita-mix for blending. I put the magoes in the blender until a puree formed (about level 6 for 2min).
Next, I combined the mango pure with the sodium alginate and sodium citrate solution.
After I combine these ingredients I keep them in a hermetically sealed container and stick it in my refrigerator.
Once I had the mango base ready I had to prepare the calcium bath. In this experiment I used the texturas line ‘Calcic’ molecular powder. This powder is composed of granulated calcium chloride, and has a high water solubility.
I prepared this bath by combining Calcic (6.5g) with water (1000g) and mixing it with my immersion blender.
mixing with my immersion blender until completely dissolved. I also made sure to place the mixture in a container that allowed for a height of about 5 cm (2.5in).
Once the water was mixed I prepared for the spherification process. For this procedure all I had to do was take my mango mixture and drop it in the Calci bath. How I did this was to simply use a hemispherical spoon.
Once the mango mixture is the Calcic bath you could gently use your finger to guide the mango sphere into the Calcic bath. Leave the spherical mango for 2 min in the bath.
Leave the spherical mango ravioli for 2 min in the bath. Take out the mango sphere and clean them in cold water by dunking the sphere in a pool of clean cold water. Strain the water from the mango sphere and dry them on absorbent paper, trying not to break them.
The mango spheres have a tough enough texture on the outside yet a liquid explosive interior.
The results were clear, the sodium alginate did in fact gel in the presence of calcium ions. The reaction happened instantly and it held throughout the experiment. The inside of the mango sphere was liquid and the outside was gelled tough but delicate texture. The taste was amazing and the process was exhilarating.
As you can see in the pictures above the mango spheres held their texture when exposed to the outside world. This leaves an endless amount of possibilities for further experimentation and recipes.
until next time.
Chef Tali Clavijo