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.


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


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!

  61 Responses to “Spherical Yogurt with Strawberry Coulis”

  1. These look so pretty. I’ve never tried anything like this and the closest I have come to molecular gastronomy is watching the contestants on Masterchef have a go with it. I’m really impressed.

  2. Very interesting process, I will be excited in making something like that as well. Molecular gastronomy is one of my next project, hopefully I can find the ingredients here

  3. Haha that is quite cool!

  4. Even this is edible,
    i won’t dare to chew on the alginate “pudding” since we used to used alginate as dental impression
    *some kind of job trauma…heh!ehe
    btw you’re on molecular gastronomy now Juliana,
    Rock on my friend!!!

  5. Juliana:
    What a wonderful post! My eyes are shining of happiness…You did a great job and I’d love to try your dish. You rock!

  6. How wonderful that you can combine your work skills with your love for cooking. For a first experiment, these look pretty amazing. I’ve heard of molecular gastronomy but I haven’t been brave enough to bring it into my kitchen xx

  7. How fantastic that you can use your scientific background to create a beautiful dessert like this! Hope to see a lot more test tubes and beakers in future posts 🙂

  8. I read all the comments so I wouldn’t have to ask but it’s not there. Where do you source ingredients for all this stuff? It looks so clever!

  9. Hi Maureen,
    I got all the “reagents” from Amazon…but you can check the sites for molecular gastronomy, they all have stores. I hope you try, it is really fun 🙂

  10. What fun. I am looking forward to your next creation.

  11. Looks like a lot of fun! This is something I want to try as well 🙂

  12. Great job here! This is one beautiful dessert. Refined and exquisite.



  13. That is so beautiful and delicious my friend, a favourite of mine from you 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  14. That does indeed looks fun! And delicious too, no doubt…not sure where to get food grade sodium alginate although I am working in a chemical company lol!

  15. It must have been such a fun procedure for you Juliana! It looks so cool and I would die to try it and feel this different texture in my mouth!

  16. Juliana, molecular cuisine has always sounded very attractive to me. Unfortunately I have never had a chance to visit one of the famous chefs’ restaurants and was afraid to try making the recipes on my own (if you are interested to continue the experiments, you might want to buy Heston Blumenthal’s book. It’s fantastic though I have never tried a single dish…).
    Anyway, your spherical yogurt sounds like a lots of fun and you don’t make the instructions sound as difficult as I would expect!

  17. Very cool, Juliana. Molecular cuisine sounds fascinating and no question we use chemistry in the kitchen every day. Probably molecular cuisine too, if indeed we knew it. 🙂
    Such a clever idea. The spherical yogurt would work with so many things. Loved this post!

  18. You are one kitchen genius. Literally! 🙂 Presentation is off the hook on this one. Yoghurt convert right here!

  19. Your skills and background are so much alive in this dessert. That a lovely combo of ingredients and also a beautiful contrast of colors.

  20. Molecular recipes are so much fun. I did some spheres too a while back but they did not hold a pretty round shape like yours. Looks so fun to eat.

  21. This is new to me, I love the combination of this dessert with strawberry coulis, looks so pretty…

  22. Very interesting. Sounds like fun using your special skills.

  23. These are so cool! Glad you put your training to use in the kitchen.

  24. Wow this looks incredible! love your delicious experiment…well done!

  25. Hi, Juliana! I’m so glad I stopped by! Your blog is really unique, as I can clearly tell from this recipe – I mean, wow! I don’t know where to begin. It sounds totally technical but you managed to make it look so pretty and delicate. What a great background you have to – really interesting!

  26. This is so interesting and totally new to me. The end result is very pretty.

  27. What a neat dish! It’s so creative and different, plus it’s very pretty, too!

  28. Oh at first I read it as “special” yogurt but spherical yogurt is even more intriguing! I haven’t ventured much into molecular gastronomy but I admire your efforts! 😀

  29. Very cool “experiment!” And so pretty!

  30. Wow, Heston Blumenthal would be proud! I have always been afraid of trying molecular gastronomy because “things might explode” or something, but this recipe sounds “do-able.”

  31. Sounds like a fun thing to do. I like this post.

  32. I love that you’re open to trying new things like spherification! Isn’t it just wild how such a small difference in presentation can completely change a dish? This is a perfect example. Well done! 🙂

  33. That’s so cool! You’re a mad scientist!

  34. This is totally cool! You are the next Ferran Adria! 😉

  35. wow! Interesting desert! Love it Juliana! Great job! 😀

  36. This is so cool! I’m of course aware of molecular gastronomy, but have always thought it wasn’t for me. I can do this! Really excellent post – thanks so much.

  37. Oh my gosh….looks like chemistry experiment….haha. They look like mozzarella cheese 😀 Must be so fun to make them. We have a dish back home called hippopotamus taking a bath. Sounds weird and cute huh 😀 Your dish looks quite like it….hehe. Have more fun and I would love to see more of your kitchen experiments.

  38. Hi Juliana,

    I can see so much fun and excitement making this very scientific dessert. Who says science is for nerds? Science can be fun, pretty and delicious too!


  39. Okay – this is just too cool! How much fun! I have to give this a try for sure. I’m so impressed. 🙂

  40. This is such a pretty dessert! Love the shape and color. Lovely post.

  41. Just stunning, Juliana!!!

    PS…my oldest was a pharmaceutical science major and my youngest is a biochem major! Maybe they can help me with this recipe 😉

  42. Wow, Juliana! This awesome dessert looks like a science project that I would not be able to tackle.Love the shape, and color with the strawberry coulis. It must taste absolutely divine!

  43. Juliana this is so super cool! I was a horrible biology and lab student so I’m afraid to give this a try, but it sure looks fun. Can’t wait to see your journey with molecular gastronomy. Love love the yogurt!

  44. Move over ‘Top Chef’ and make room for Juliana!!! I love your unique and very creative dessert..and best of all how fun was this to eat!?!

  45. how fun love this and look forward to more of your creations

  46. I did not know about your educational/work background! This is such an interesting project and I love the little half spheres of yogurt in their coulis ‘bath’ 🙂 This would be fun project!

  47. Omg! I would totally go giddy with excitement if we both were in the same kitchen, making this experiment together. What a fun gastronomical treat 🙂

  48. Hi Juliana,
    This is really interesting! Have seen something like this once at one of the Masterchef’s show on TV, though I’m not sure exactly what it is all about! I never did like Chemistry while in school, but I would certainly go gaga if this is done in my kitchen! Great job! I love yoghurt and made my own every couple of weeks or so, and this is something that I would love to try one day, if I can get the ingredient!
    Thank you for sharing and have a great weekend!

  49. Such an interesting way of eating yogurt! have a nice weekend!

  50. I remember doing this at Uni! It’s so much fun, love the idea.

  51. I love the new look on your blog & this dessert is looking pretty cool!! Waw, too! 🙂

    Tasty looking & delicious at the same time! 🙂 Yummm! Have a great & fun weekend! xxxx

  52. This is very interesting recipe! Kitchen is my lab but never done a scientific experiments like that. Have a good weekend!

  53. This is an incredibly cool recipe Juliana!
    Don’t know if I’ll be brave enough to prepare it , but it looks so stunning and delicate, congrats.
    The presentation is beautiful and classy too 🙂

  54. Wow Juliana that is incredible – so impressive! I saw them do this on Masterchef a few weeks ago an the judges said it was really difficult but great if you could pull it off – can’t believe someone has done it – well done!

  55. this looks wonderful delicious presentation

  56. Dear Julianna,

    This looks beautiful and it could be one way to entice kids to eat more yoghurt 🙂

  57. i’m a science geek too, juliana, and i’m terribly impressed by this! isn’t it fun when our kitchens become our laboratories? 🙂

  58. This is very cool! It certainly looks pretty, too! 🙂

  59. This is a very cool idea. How much sodium does it add to the spheres of yogurt? We avoid the sodium because my husband has menieres, but I do like to try new things.

  60. Hi Juliana, this is really interesting. First time I see this, very impressive.
    You’re very creative, this dessert look beautiful.

    Best regards.