Questions on the applications of modern science to culinary techniques in the home or restaurant.

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2
votes
1answer
48 views

Acmella oleracea (Szechuan buttons) - active chemical for mouth sensation?

I am looking to begin growing Acmella oleracea (Szechuan buttons). I would like to use them directly, and also make extracts specifically to maximize the taste/oral stimulation effect. Apparently ...
1
vote
2answers
178 views

What food dissolves in acid but not in water?

I've recently been learning about molecular gastronomy, and I was wondering - what edible substances do not dissolve in water, but do in other liquids (e.g. acid)? In particular, I'm looking for ...
2
votes
3answers
887 views

Deconstructed food; simple, complex or both?

This question was asked on English Language & Usage and deconstructed food is a term I'd never heard before. One answer is that it is simply the constituent parts of a dish laid out separately on ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Creating a home “anti-griddle”?

I watched a restaurant documentary last night (Spinning Plates; pretty good!) which featured a modernist chef demonstrating their kitchen's anti-griddle: essentially a large metal plate chilled down ...
8
votes
2answers
195 views

Reformulate a marshmallow recipe to remove lactose and HFCS

I'm trying to modify the marshmallow recipe in this post to make it vegan: http://moleculargastronomy.wordpress.com/2010/10/09/molecular-gastronomy-carrageenan-kappa-and-iota/ The first hurdle is ...
5
votes
2answers
178 views

What ginger compound is responsible for the 'kick'?

Mint's minty kick mostly comes from menthol and pepper from capsaicin. What is the equivalent dominant compound in ginger that gives it the characteristic kick? All i can tell is it's water soluble ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

Sourcing for Carrageenan [closed]

Many softgels for pills are apparently made from carrageenan. Is it possible to process these softgels back into "pure" carrageenan? Or, rather, is it possible to use these softgels in food that ...
7
votes
1answer
358 views

How do I create spherical coffee?

As a Barista, I have been playing around with different coffee flavours and creations. Now I have been thinking of also adding textural elements in the coffee. I was hoping somebody could give me a ...
6
votes
1answer
911 views

How quickly does soy lecithin lose its effect?

I bought a box of soy lecithin at a store yesterday, only to discover that it is past its "use by"-date. The date was a month ago. Now I am wondering whether to take the hassle of returning it to the ...
4
votes
2answers
231 views

Food-safe rotary evaporator grease

For those of you who have rotary evaporators or other chemistry glassware in the kitchen, what do you use to grease the ground glass taper/ ball joints so that the lubricant does not either absorb or ...
4
votes
3answers
177 views

What is the proper word/term/expression to describe a dish that appears to be something different

I want to experiment with dishes that fool the senses. Dishes that look like one thing but taste completely different from what was visually expected (e.g. Heston's parsnip cereal) I want to google ...
3
votes
3answers
362 views

Use of robotics in gourmet kitchens

I don't know if this question is relevant here, or if it should wait for the upcoming Robotics Proposal, but I'll ask it anyway. Chefs such as Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adrià are known for ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What are some vegan thickeners for beverages?

I need a vegan thickener that dissolves well and doesn't have any flavor. I tried tapioca flour the other day and it didn't dissolve very well and left a powdery mouthfeel. Cornstach is not bad. ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Is cooking with hydrogen peroxide an accepted practice?

I had some pork (shoulder) I had to use today, suspecting it might be unsafe tomorrow. So I thought I'd soak it in some hydrogen peroxide, about 2-3% concentration to at least get rid of any surface ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I get good spherification results with alcohol?

I've been trying to make chocolatini (vodka, godiva liqueur, baileys) spheres, but I've had some issues with separation of the alcohols. Also, I've been deciding whether the alginate solution should ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How to preserve the green colour of mint when doing spherification?

I was recently making some mint spheres using reverse spherification, as a bit of background here was my process: I blended around 15g of mint leaves with 250ml of boiling water and left to steep for ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there any trick to make a palindrome-cocktail?

I'm trying to make a palindrome cocktail: made by building the components, like for example the classic B52; and also having the same ingredients going from top to bottom as it has going from bottom ...
3
votes
1answer
188 views

How do I control the shape of my spheres?

I've been experimenting with reverse sphereification this week. The results... well, the results remind me that even the professionals have to practice. How do I control the tension of the alginate ...
2
votes
1answer
482 views

Why was there not enough foam in my garlic foam with soy lecithin?

This was my first attempt at making a foam using soy lecithin. I used 3 garlic cloves, 2/3 cup water, 2/3 cup milk. Then i used an immersion blender. I got a bit of foam on top but there wasnt a lot ...
3
votes
2answers
752 views

Training on molecular gastronomy and sous vide

I am looking for suggestions on opportunities for learning techniques directly from a skilled professional, preferably in a classroom setting. I have been dabbling in molecular gastronomy/precision ...
10
votes
1answer
652 views

Can I reuse an alginate bath for reverse spherification?

Can I REUSE an alginate bath for reverse spherification? If I use a solution of alginate today, can I use the same solution next week? How should it be optimally stored? How long will it keep. How ...
7
votes
5answers
706 views

What is Molecular Gastronomy?

There is a lot of material on TV, magazines and on the web recently about molecular gastronomy. Techniques like sous-vide and spherification seem to be popular. But what makes a cooking style ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Unsure why foam sauce doesn't hold

I experimented for with xanthan gum for the first time tonight. I made a sauce which was about half roasted peppers, half savory stuff (lamb stock, beef broth, balsamic vinegar and a bit of chili ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Surface tension in food

Based on a related question, some of us are curious about surface tension in liquids commonly used in food and drink. There's a table on Wikipedia containing a tantalizing amount of information, ...
6
votes
1answer
756 views

Creating differing temperature fluid gels that stay separate

At the Fat Duck they serve a mug of hot and iced tea. The drink is served in a single cup yet the two different temperature drinks stay separate side by side with no barrier between them. I believe ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How to fake salmon roe using jello

A couple of days ago I made a first attempt at dessert sushi. Everything went reasonably well except for the salmon roe which I'd planned to make from orange jello. I made my own mould from plasticine ...
5
votes
2answers
962 views

Why did my reverse spherification method fail to produce proper spheres?

After much experimentation with reverse spherification this weekend, I completely failed to get an acceptable product. Caviar didn't form properly. In particular, when dropped from an eye dropper, the ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Making culinary foams for cocktails

I would like to make a foam using a cordial, lime juice and egg whites. SHould I add lecithin and what would the portions be? Also what would the effect be if I used 1 charge each of NO2 & CO2? ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I make large spheres using spherification?

I've had great success making 'caviar' with sodium alginate and calcium chloride. I've used both an eye dropper and a Parmesan shaker (when I needed a whole lot of spheres). But I've never been able ...
6
votes
1answer
984 views

What type of methylcellulose would be appropriate for gel noodles?

I'd planning to attempt some flavoured methocel noodles; I know that type K is the softest (best for things like marshmallows) but I've never experimented with the firmer kinds and I'm not entirely ...
3
votes
1answer
479 views

Are the molecular gastronomy additives kosher?

Are the molecular gastronomy additives kosher?
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Use of algin and calcium chloride in spherification

I belong to a cooking club in which we have several home cooks who wish they had gone to culinary school. Anyway, I am cooking a dinner in which I am exploring modern cuisine utilizing new molecular ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

What ingredients will allow me to make a foam with a whipped cream charger?

So I have an iSi whipped cream charger. There are a series of recipes that sound really interesting, but I don't quite understand what ingredients you need in order to make a stable foam / mousse. ...
3
votes
1answer
466 views

Citrate buffer and pH range question

What is the range of pH that requires the addition of sodium citrate as a buffer? Does wine, specifically port wine, require buffer?
4
votes
5answers
2k views

What is a good resource for learning about Molecular Gastronomy?

Before frequenting this site I had never even heard of molecular gastronomy and now I am intrigued. Is there a good resource to learn about the process either web or in printed format that would be a ...
5
votes
1answer
433 views

What is the best way to hold a sphere and for how long?

I have been playing around with the spherification process. My questions are how long can I hold a sphere and what is the best way to do so??
9
votes
3answers
13k views

How do I make a foam?

I'm making Lobster Sous Vide with Pain Perdu and Tomato Marmalade tonight. I wanted to serve it with a lobster bisque(y) foam. I was planning on mixing lobster broth, cream, and some of the butter ...
6
votes
5answers
797 views

What things are good to spherize with algin?

Using sodium alginate, I know you can make "caviar" of many things. For those who are not familiar with the process, here is an online explanation Looking online, however, I keep seeing the same ...
4
votes
2answers
994 views

How can I make a foam without an immersion blender?

I want to try some experiments with molecular gastronomy foams, but all the recipes I've seen involve using an immersion blender to create the foam. Can I use a whisk to make the foam? What about my ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there any vegetarian applications for transglutaminase (“meat glue”)?

Transglutaminase is an enzyme that is popular among modernist chefs for two main purposes - to glue different meats together for special effects (like a modern turducken), and to create consistently ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I integrate molecular gastronomy into regular cooking?

I love the science-y, geeky side of cooking, and molecular gastronomy really appeals to me. I've been experimenting with it for a while. The issue I have is that it tends to become an end in and of ...
8
votes
2answers
394 views

Alkaline cooking

I have a (molecular) cooking recipe with instructions on introducing an agent to create an alkaline (base) environment while cooking (to influence the Maillard reaction). What 'normal'/common ...
20
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it possible to make a marshmallow that isn't sweet?

I've got in mind to make a savory play on s'mores, using morel mushroom paste where you would expect chocolate. The graham cracker replacement should be no problem. But I'm stuck on the marshmallow. ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I stabilize a lecithin-based foam?

I've made quite a few foams using the standard technique of adding powdered lecithin to my flavor base, and then agitating with an immersion blender in a wide, shallow container, with the blender near ...
7
votes
1answer
558 views

how to get powerful flavours when spherifying

Whenever I try to create something delicious using spherification I find that whatever has gone in comes out quite bland (I've tried using fruit juices (non-citric), liquers, soups). When I taste ...
7
votes
1answer
789 views

Naturally occuring mono- and diglycerides?

If you read ingredients on processed foods, you will see mono- and diglycerides listed frequently. Fats are triglycerides - there are three chains of fatty acids trailing off the glycerol head of the ...
9
votes
5answers
9k views

Is there a way to make compressed watermelon without a vacuum machine?

I've got in mind to make a dish with compressed watermelon, but I don't have access to a vacuum machine. I've tried once using weight, but it just cracks because the pressure is all from one side. ...
8
votes
9answers
2k views

What food additives or chemicals do you use in your cooking at home?

Beyond the obvious: baking powder/baking soda/gelatin/yeast: What food additives or chemical products do you use in your home cooking? Agar agar? Lecithin? Xanthan gum? What would a relatively ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What went wrong with my Chocolate Chantilly (Hervé This' recipe)

I just made Hervé This' Chocolate Chantilly and it didn't taste anywhere near as good as I had hoped. The consistency seemed almost right, though very slightly grainy, but the taste was, well, what ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Chocolate mousse without eggs

I've a friend who is allergic to egg protein, and my wife inadvertently raved about my chocolate mousse to her, causing some food borne awkwardness that I'd like to erase with an eggless mousse. ...