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Foams--not why, but how?

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There's a post on the general topics board asking why foams are used.

At the risk of becoming one of the "too many hacks" ;) using foam, I'd like to give it a try. So, my question is how.

I took a shot at it the other day, trying to make a coconut foam to serve on raw tuna bathed in EVOO flavored with red curry paste (something I ate and loved at Farallon some years ago). I started with fresh coconut water and tried to foam it up with a handblender. No dice.

What's the secret?

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  1. Use a whipped cream canister... the type you fill with cream and then insert nitrous oxide cylinders... Try it with the essence first... then add small amounts of unflavored gelatin if it doesn't foam well.

    Image: http://www.bestwhip.com/images/1L_003...

    2 Replies
    1. re: JMF

      Oh... and you may have to reduce the coconut milk/juice first to intensify the flavor...

      1. re: JMF
        b
        babette feasts

        Yes, you either need enough fat (i.e. equivalent to whipping cream) or some gelatin to produce a stable foam with one of those. I've done lemon mousse with just a lemon syrup with gelatin added, also dessert sabayon by cooking my yolks, sugar, wine without whipping, adding a little cream (can't remember if I added the cream for stability or flavor reasons) and using the ISI.

        You should be able to use an immersion blender to get a light, not very stable foam - 'air' in el bulli terms. Or the steam wand on a home espresso machine might be worth a try, too. If it works for milk, will it work for carrot juice?