Jul 012013
 

Red and Blue Bubbles (1) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Before you ask…yes, this is another molecular gastronomy recipe. The technique  I used is called “reverse spherification”, and was based on Surprise Bubbles.

The fascinating thing is that  this technique is so simple that these colored bubbles were mainly made by my niece and nephew, 14 and 11 years old…

They had so much fun making and then eating these popping bubbles filled with grape juice…more specifically white grape juice. Initially we started with the non-color ones (original color of the white grape juice). Since it was kind of hard to see and manipulate the translucent bubbles, we decided to color them by adding a few drops of food coloring into the alginate solution. Erica chose red and Nick blue…and off we went, each one with their bowls of colored alginate bath and water…I played with the non-color ones.

They first removed the frozen half sphere from the freezer and dropped in the alginate bath for 3 minutes. Then they scooped the bubbles from the alginate bath and placed them into a bowl of water to remove the excess  alginate. After “collecting” lots of bubbles we just ate by “popping” one at the time in our mouth…a very fun experience, especially because these bubbles were like 0.3oz size and you sure feel the bubble exploding in your mouth and the refreshing juice.

Ingredients:

½ cup white grape juice or any juice of your preference
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon calcium lactate

400 ml of filtered water
2 g sodium alginate

Red and Blue Bubbles (2) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Red and Blue Bubbles (3) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Red and Blue Bubbles (4) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Method:

Prepare the alginate bath by mixing the sodium alginate in water, until the sodium alginate is totally dissolved. You can use an immersion blender. Once the sodium alginate is dissolved, let the solution rest in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours or until all the air bubbles disappear.

A few hours (or 24 hours) before the spherification, mix the grape juice with sugar and calcium until the calcium is dissolved. Carefully spoon in a silicon mold and freeze.

Drop the frozen juice in the alginate bath and let it sit for 3 minutes.

Scoop the bubbles using a slotted spoon and rinse them in a bowl of water.

Remove from the water and they are ready to be served.

Red and Blue Bubbles (5) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Red and Blue Bubbles (6) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

If you enjoy this Molecular Gastronomy recipe you might want to check on Spherical Yogurt or Honey Caviar.

Happy 4th of July ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that “spherification” is simply a gelling reaction between calcium and alginate which is a gum like substance removed from brown seaweed. So by adding calcium, we just replace what the manufacturers removed from the seaweed, therefore the gelling texture.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes [dot] Me and have a great week!

Jun 102013
 

Honey Caviar (1) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Playing with “molecular gastronomy” again…this time I used agar-agar, which is a vegetarian version of gelatin.

Apparently this can be done using gelatin if you have difficulty  finding agar-agar. I have the feeling that if gelatin is used the texture might be more chewy…something that I will try to make in the future since I love chewy texture.

I must admit that I was reluctant to use agar-agar, because the image of bacteria growing in petri dishes always come to my mind when talking about agar-agar; all this due to years and years of working in microbiology lab…I literally had to block these images from my mind when I started to make this honey caviars.

This recipe is much easier than the Spherical Yogurt; most of the ingredients are commonly found in the kitchen, with the exception of the agar-agar which can be substituted with gelatin.

These little honey caviar or pearls can be used with anything that you want to serve with honey, like cheese, yogurt, cake and the list goes on and on. Besides, they look very “cute”.

Before I go on to the recipe, I just received over the weekend the new issue of Desserts Magazine, and the current issue is available free to non-members, so if you would like to browse the magazine please check the link here

One more thing before I share the recipe, this method is called “Gelification” and is based on a recipe featured in Cookistry.

Ingredients:

1g of agar-agar
3 tablespoons of water
6 tablespoons of honey
¾ to 1 cup of canola oil or any other unflavorful cooking oil
Water and ice

Honey Caviar (2) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Honey Caviar (3) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Honey Caviar (4) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Method:

Place the vegetable oil in the refrigerator.

Mix the agar-agar with the water and place in low heat. Slowly add the honey, stirring constantly until the agar-agar is totally dissolved. It might take a while and needs boiling. You will know when there are no more particles in the liquid.

Let the agar-agar/honey mixture cool until start to thicken a little. If you leave it too long a big gel will form.

In the meantime, remove the oil from the refrigerator and place in an ice bath, so the oil is kept icy cold.

Using a dropper drawn the agar-agar/honey mixture and drip in the cold oil. As soon as the droplets of honey fall into the oil you will see little pearls forming and slowly falling to the bottom of the oil bowl. Let the caviars sit for a while in the oil so they turn firm.

Gently with a slotted spoon or small strainer scoop the caviars out of the oil and rinse in cold water to remove the oil. Drain well and the honey caviars are ready for you to add to anything you wish.

I served the honey caviars with plain yogurt…so good!

Honey Caviar (5) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Honey Caviar (6) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

If you enjoy this “molecular recipe”, you might want to check on the Spherical Yogurt.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that gelatin is made from collagen from animal bones and skin while agar-agar is made from seaweed? Agar-agar is very popular in Asian cuisine and are sold as powder or translucent strands.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes [dot] Me and have a great week!

Apr 292013
 

Spherical Yogurt (1) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

This is one of the most fun thing I have ever done in my kitchen…as you might know (or not), I am a Pharm.D/biochemist by training, therefore I feel very comfortable in the lab, so when I heard about molecular gastronomy I was like “I need to try this…how come I have never thought of using my lab skills in the kitchen?” Anyway, to make the long story short, I did some reading through the internet and got myself some edible “reagents” and today I am so excited because I am sharing with you my very first “experiment”. I am expecting more “reagents” therefore I will have more posts to share in the future.

If you are interested, you can read all about molecular gastronomy by searching the internet, which by the way, I still do not understand why it is called this way, since every method done in the cooking process requires change of molecules.

This recipe is very simple, it is adapted from here with lots of changes…in spite of the recipe calling for plain yogurt, specifically not to use non-fat or low fat yogurt, claiming that fat-free or low fat yogurt contain less calcium, which is critical for this recipe. I went ahead and still used fat free yogurt. I personally don’t think that the calcium content of whole yogurt and non-fat yogurt would be that different being that calcium is water soluble and not fat soluble. Moreover, the difference in these yogurts should be the content of fat and not calcium.

Well, it was very interesting…when eating these spherical yogurt you feel the pop and a thin gelatinous membrane, almost like the salmon roes in sushi or the little balls filled with juices at frozen yogurt store.

Oh! One more thing…this method is called Reverse Spherification.

Ingredients:

Alginate Bath

200 ml of filtered water
1 g sodium alginate

1 cup non-fat yogurt

Spherical Yogurt (2) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Spherical Yogurt (3) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Method:

Prepare the alginate bath by mixing the sodium alginate in water, until the sodium alginate is totally dissolved. You can use an immersion blender. Once the sodium alginate is dissolved, let the solution rest in the refrigerator for approximately 24 hours or until all the air bubbles disappear.

When ready to start the process of spherification, place the sodium alginate solution in a bowl and in another bowl place clean and filtered water.

Scoop the yogurt using a half sphere measuring spoon and carefully pour it into the alginate bath. Make sure that the yogurt spheres do not touch otherwise they will stick together (which I experienced)

Leave the yogurt spheres in the alginate bath for about 2 minutes and carefully remove them using a slotted spoon.

Place the yogurt spheres in the clean water bath. Remove the yogurt spheres and serve with fruit salad, or berry coulis.

I served my yogurt spheres with strawberry coulis (follow recipe here).

Spherical Yogurt (4) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Spherical Yogurt (5) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

Spherical Yogurt (6) ~ Simple Recipes Dot Me

I hope you enjoyed this fun recipe.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that spherification is the process of shaping liquid in spheres by a thin gelatinous membrane? The main “reaction” is the forming of the gelatinous membrane by combining alginate and calcium.

Thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes [dot] Me and have a great week!