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Jan 24, 2013 02:28 PM

spherification & reverse spherification

Surprised there isn't a thread already out there on this.

I've invited some guests over to my place this Saturday for what I've told them is going to be a "diner dinner"- classic diner comfort dishes that'll stand up against the nastiness that is the Canadian winter. What I haven't told them is that it's going to be modernist dinner, using modernist/molecular tricks of the trade.

One of the things I want to do is take the classic steamed veg carrot-cauliflower-broccoli combo and spin it by making them into liquid raviolis, served on spoons, which leads me to my question: I'm not sure which technique to use.

With 8 guests and 3 raviolis each (one in each flavour), I need to be able to make this stuff earlier on in the day. Would frozen reverse-spherification be in order (puree steamed veg, pass through sieve, dilute with stock, add calcium lactate, freeze in the silicone mold and then dip in calcium alginate bath when ready to serve) or is there another, simple (ha, ha) done-in-advance technique to use?

You can assume I have the chemistry set needed to go ahead on this.

Thoughts and experiences appreciated!

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  1. Gigantic response suggests that molecular technique hasn't quite reached the average home (well, duh).

    One of the other surprising things is that while there's lots of information online, resources for beginners are few and far between.

    I'm not Ferran Adria- I'm just a dude who likes to eat and play around in the kitchen.

    Trying to find proportions and percentages- any help appreciated.

    1. Welp, for future reference, I threw a dinner over the weekend where I made tomato caviar, using agar agar and a cold-oil spherification technique, which former of which being readily available at any decent-sized Asian supermarket.

      Ridiculously easy and came out perfectly the first time. It's a simple way of making a helluvan impression on guests.

      For anyone who wants to do this more than once, I strongly recommend getting the multi-dropper from the Modernist Kitchen. I used a syringe and it took a long, long time to make enough caviar for 12 people.

      2 Replies
      1. re: biggreenmatt

        I'm surprised you haven't gotten more of a response on this. It seemed like there were a few CHs who were interested in MG. We had the kit, played around w/ it but I don't like the muted flavors in the caviar vs having liquid. It's interesting for the sake of interesting but not flavor. I'll bet you saved a lot of money using agar agar compared to the kit.

        1. re: biggreenmatt

          I have that multi dropper, and it took awhile to master it but it's definitely better than dropping one at a time. I didn't see this post before now, but I don't know enough to be helpful! Just playing around a little.