I’m back with some awesome molecular gastronomy adventures. Today I want to take you into the world of the Carrageenan. What are carrageenans? They are composed of a linear polysaccharide made up of galactose units with sulfur side groups. The origin of carrageenans are red seaweeds. There are several types of carrageenans such as, kappa, iota, and lambda. I’m going to focus on Kappa and Iota carrageenan for this post and share an awesome molecular gastronomy recipe.
A short introduction to Carrageenans:
Natural Carrageenans occur in a mixture of kappa, iota, and lambda types. Note that manufactures desperately try to separate the various types as best as they could, nevertheless; total separation is impossible. Carrageenans also vary from mixture to mixture, therefore; they are standardized for a particular application. Note: when specifying for a carrageenan make sure to tell the manufacture whether you will be using it for water based system or milk based system. Carrageenans are most often used in milk based applications due to the fact that are effective at very low concentrations. For example, gels can form at .3% in milk.
The Kappa and iota carrageenan can be mixed to obtain intermediate textures. Kappa carrageenan shows a great combination with the thickener locust bean gum. By combining these two together you get a stronger, less brittle, more cohesive, and less prone to break. I’ve found that the strongest and best ration is 6 parts kappa carrageenan to 4 parts LBG. Kappa-LBG mixes are often used to substitute for gelatin and make for a great vegan friendly dish.
You use Kappa carrageenan by dispersing it in water or milkl under shear and heat until completely dissolved (usually above 60C). Kappa-LBG mixes need to be brought almost to boil to become fully functional, but will set and re-melt at lower temperatures. Solutions up to 3% can be made using cold water dispersion. Solutions up to 8% can be made if the carregeenan is dissolved directly into very hot water under high shear.
Typical usage is .75% to 1% in water, and .35% to .5% in milk.
Kappa Carrageenan is used mostly to gel mixtures – it is the most like agar in behavior. The gel type is thermo-reversible with a texture that is firm, strong, and brittle. Gel temperature increases with ion concentration, with values ranging from 40C – 70C. The setting factor is very fast with a PH tolerance down to pH 3.6 if boiled, lower is not over heated. Moreover, the kappa carrageenan is not freezer stable and has an ion sensitivity when potassium salts are not present. Kappa also forms gels at very low concentrations with milk and the flavor release is good.
Iota Carrageenan is used mostly to gel mixtures – it is more rubbery in texture. The gel type is thermo-reversible with an elastic and cohesive texture. The gel temperature increases with ion concentration, with values ranging from 40C – 70C, and has a fast setting time. Iota is freezer stable and has an ion sensitivity in the presence of calcium or potassium. Once you shear Iota a gel will form and be loaded with a flavorful release. Moreover, iota forms gels at very low concentrations with milk.
27.5 g Cornsyrup
275g Fine Sugar
2.5g Lactose (milk sugar)
28g Hi Fructose Corn Syrup
1g Genutine x-9303 Carrageenan
Combine in mixer with mixing attachment and mix until you get fluff. Next pour into marshmallow molds (or ice molds) and allow to set. Once set, powder in confectioners sugar and serve.
Enjoy your explorations with the Carrageenan and look for more molecular gastronomy recipe posts coming soon.
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.
By Chef Tali Clavijo
Today I started a quest to make a liquid I really love into a gelatin that is frozen cold. How could I do this? Is it even possible to have a frozen gelatin? Can I do this without using any animal products, and make it vegan friendly? I really enjoy one liquid more than anything in the world…Coconut milk!
I just love raw coconut milk. I love making it and love tasting it in various forms and textures. So, after I made some of my world famous coconut milk (e-mail me for the recipe at firstname.lastname@example.org) I started to get ready for the coconut gelatin ice experiment.
For this recipe all I used was 500 g coconut milk, 250 g water, 36 g powdered coconut (dehydrated and graded), 200 g of sugar, 9 g sodium alginate, 2.4 g of calcium gluconolactate, and other 50 g of water.
After I made my 500 g of fresh raw coconut milk I put it in a saucepan along with the powdered coconut and 250 g of water to a heat of 70 ºC.
Once the mixture reached 70 ºC I added the sugar and the sodium alginate and stirred, then added the calcium gluconolactate.
After I added all of the ingredient, I took the mixture off of the heat and added the remaining 50 g of water.
After I took off the heat I stuck it in the fridge and allowed to rest for 3 hours.
After 3 hours I took out the mixture and placed in my vita-mix
I blended for about 2 min until the mixture was smooth
I transferred the mixture to a mold and placed it in the freezer for about 12 hours
After 12 hours, or overnight, I took out the mold and got ready to place the final coconut gelatin serving
The final result
By Chef Tali Clavijo
so today I felt like making something sweet and powdery. I’m just fascinated by fine powders and what better powder than tapioca maltodextrin? The ability for ‘malto’ to transform oils into powders is like a super power that only heroes are granted access too. Maybe someday I too will be able to turn fat into a fine powder…until then I will be making food that is amazing.
So, for this recipe I needed about 60 g of ‘Malto’ (tapioca maltodextrin), 145 g of walnut oil, 2.3 g of salt, and about 40 g of walnuts (I smoked mine in sugar, but you could use raw walnuts for this too).
I started by pan steaming my walnuts with some sugar for about 10 min on medium. Then I placed them aside.
Next, I measured out 60 g of ‘malto’ and added the walnut oil to the mix. I then added the salt to this mix and used a spatula to mix until the mass was even
Next, I combined the pan steamed walnuts (I did crush the walnuts to make them powdery) to the malto walnut oil and salt mixture.
I mixed until the mixture was even. Next, I spread the mixture to a thickness of 1 cm.
this process requires you to get two even leveled surfaces (about 1cm in height). Next, I covered the mixture with parchment paper and used my rolling pin to smooth out the surface of the walnut dust biscuit.
Once I rolled it enough I got a beautiful walnut dust biscuit.
Next, I cut with a circular pasta cutter
You could also just use a knife to cut shapes on the biscuit.
Final presentation :
Enjoy, and feel free to send me any questions, pictures, or other goodies to email@example.com
Chef Tali Clavijo
By Chef Tali Clavijo
So today I decided I wanted to experiment with converting liquid oils into solids. How was I going to preform this experiment? Well, I decided to use the monoglyceride flakes from the ‘Texturas” line called Glice. These flakes are obtained from glycerin and fatty acids. Similar to oil, it must be broken down with a fatty element and then allowed to emulsify.
The monoglyceride flakes look like this
For this recipe I simply measured about 100ml of hemp oil and 6g of Glice
After I measure out my ingredients I simply combined them in a saucepan
and warmed up the oil until the monoglyceride flakes completely dissolved into the oil. This happens at around 65ºC. Your new mixture should look like this
Next, I transferred my mixture to a different container and placed it in a bath with ice stirring constantly until the oil begins to take body.
Once the oil began to take form, I stuck it in the fridge for about 12hours, or until it acquires a texture that can be worked with the spatula.
The final hemp butter could be used as a spread and tastes amazing!
look at how it spreads…totally transformational!
Feel free to ask me any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chef Tali Clavijo
By Chef Tali Clavijo
So I decided to make crispy honey today. This was achieved by simply combining maltodextrin, sodium alginate, and some natural honey (60%). Note: for the recipe please e-mail me at email@example.com.
After I got the honey mixture together it looks something like this:
At this point the honey crisp mixture is just like sand so you will have to shape a layer with your hand. I placed my mix on the parchment paper and then I stuck it in the oven (275 F) for approximately 10 min.
After 10 min I took the honey crisp out of the oven and allowed it to cool for another 10 min. The difference in the mixture, another molecular gastronomy masterpiece.
Once you allow the honey crisp to cool down and harden. You could easily just start to rip pieces out of the parchment paper and start getting creative.
Honey crisp panna cotta house
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