Home > Molecular gastronomy, Spherification > Molecular Gastronomy – Spherical mango yolk

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.

Sodium Alginate and sodium citrate - click to buy

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.

Blending the sodium citrate - click to buy sodium citrate

I added the sodium alginate and blended again.

Blending the sodium alginate and sodium citrate

Once the two ingredients where blended I transferred the solution to a saucepan until boiling stirring constantly.

Mixing the solution to a boil

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.

Cutting up mangoes

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).

mango puree

Next, I combined the mango pure with the sodium alginate and sodium citrate solution.

Mixing mango puree with solution

After I combine these ingredients I keep them in a hermetically sealed container and stick it in my refrigerator.

Mango puree and mix

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.

Calcic a calcium chloride product - get it here

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).

Mixing the water with the Calcic

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.

Mango mixture and Calcic bath

Mango mixture on hemisphereical spoon

Dunking the mango mixture in the Calcic

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.

poking my mango sphere into the Calcic

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.

Cleaning the mango sphere in cold water

mango sphere

The mango spheres have a tough enough texture on the outside yet a liquid explosive interior.

Knife test with mango ravioli

Liquid burst inside

Mango spheres

Spherical mangoes communicating

Mango sphere with lavender

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.

Happy spherification

your friend,

Chef Tali Clavijo

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  1. January 9, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    niice job 🙂

  2. Wilhelm
    January 11, 2010 at 3:22 am

    Very Nice made me very interested in the things that you have made

  3. May 9, 2010 at 3:08 am

    Wow! I love your creativity! What’s your background? Did you study food chemistry? You just very inventive! I wonder if you could make a whole egg like this..what could you make the yolk out of..coconut maybe?

  4. January 8, 2011 at 4:17 am

    You could make a whole egg like this! It would be raw and would require what is known as reverse spherification. I’ve not ventured into spherical egg yolks…but I will very soon. I will keep you posted.

  5. Marin Austin
    February 8, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Hi Tali:

    I will give you a call around 6:30pm.

    Thanks!

    Marin

  6. SaraQ
    November 16, 2011 at 1:48 am

    What is the purpose of the sodium citrate? Is it essential? Can you use citric acid if you have some?

  7. Myriam
    April 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Is there any recipe to make caviar or spheres with “hard or jelly” outside and liquid inside that WILL NOT become full jelly over time and a way to store them (perhaps some preserving agent) ? Please let me know 🙂

  1. August 4, 2011 at 9:10 pm

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