Archive for the ‘Spherification’ Category

Molecular Gastronomy – Goji caviar tiny spheres

February 3, 2010 2 comments

So today I decided to make goji caviar. I really wanted to just make a sphere out of a regular dried up goji berry. So, what I needed for this recipe/experiment was 1.8 g sodium alginate, 1.3 calcium citrate, and 6.5 calcium chloride. The first step was to prepare the goji mixture. For this, all I did was simply blend 500 g of goji berries in my vita-mix. The end result was 250 g of goji pulp (after passing the mixture through a chinos).

Next, I blended the calcium citrate with 250 g of water and added the sodium alginate until blended well. i placed this mixture in a saucepan and heated it up until boil constantly stirring. I allowed the mixture to cool at room temperature and once cold I added the goji puree and mixed.

For the Calcium chloride bath I mixed 1000g of water with 6.5 g of calcium chloride. I placed the mixture aside and kept it ready for the goji mixture.

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