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In general, if you want to make something fluffy like whipped cream, what ingredients/techniques should you use? Basically, I want, when you put it in your mouth, to almost be like eating flavored air. Like eating the foam on a hot chocolate or beer.

I would like to make dipping sauces with this fluffy like texture.

Thanks!

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There is no single, universal technique for making random food "fluffy". And you may have to live with significant changes in the recipe and in the final results if you try it.

Classically, you have three types of foams. One is fat-based, the other is protein-based, the third depends on sudden gas production/dissolving.

The fat-based foam is only possible in liquids which are an emulsion of fat in water, and only functions within a certain range of fat/water, a favorable temperature range, and a proper size of the fat globules. This is what whipped cream is. Besides cream, you can whip that way a few other things such as ganache or mayonnaise (although mayonnaise is a bit more complicated, since it also has protein). It is almost impossible to make at home an emulsion which will behave that way, you may succeed with lecithine and very good equipment (a lab-style homogenizer will be preferable over blenders and other kitchen staples), and you will be very limited in the ingredients you use.

The protein-based foam happens when proteins link. This is also possible with only a few ingredients in the kitchen, most notably egg whites, aquafaba, and, under the right conditions, milk (that's what cappuchino wands do). It is even more finicky than fat-based foam.

The third one is the (more-or-less sudden) release of gas. This is e.g. how beer foam happens. They are always very short-lived for liquids, although in principle a sponge cake and similar baked goods are a batter that has been set into this bubbled-up state by baking.

None of the three types above are applicable to a random liquid or sauce. They all require that you start with a known ingredient that creates foams, and whip it under the proper conditions, with the least amount of additions.

A fourth, more modern way, is to try forcing a gas into the liquid from outside. This is how soda stream works, or whipped cream siphons. This can in principle work with a wide variety of liquids, but you have to do quite some food engineering before the resulting texture is acceptable. Most liquids won't hold the foam as-is, if they whip at all, so you have to add a binding agent.

So, if you want to really make a random sauce into a foam, the way to do it will be to purchase a siphon (don't forget to invest into enough charging cartridges, you will need a lot for your experimentation) and a variety of gums and other binding agents. Then you will have to experiment to determine the proper binding agent (and the proper amount of it) for your sauce. Since you probably don't want to run many hundreds of experiments per sauce, it is advisable that you also get the proper literature on the functioning of binders, and gain some hands-on experience by first following existing, optimized recipes for foams. After that, you can start designing your own recipes, and will probably get away with a dozen or two of experimental runs per sauce, depending on your level of experience and how exact your expectations of the outcome are.

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  • Isn’t milk foam as much a fat-based as protein-based foam? I honestly don’t know, though anecdotally full-fat milk foams (a lot?) easier than low-fat milk. – Konrad Rudolph Aug 3 at 15:48
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    @KonradRudolph you will be hard pressed to find a food that has only protein but no fat, or the other way round. I have always heard that milk foam is a protein foam with the fat being only accidental, and I also have read that people tend to prefer low-fat milk for better foams - I'm not a cappuchino drinker myself, so I can't comment. See here a more or less random article which is on the side "it is a protein foam, fat hinders it" - it is in line with what I have heard elsewhere. scanews.coffee/2014/09/15/… – rumtscho Aug 3 at 16:01
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    From my barista days, skim definitely foams better than 2%, and whole is quite hard to make a lot of foam with. But, whole's foam is a bit tastier - probably because of the fat. – Joe M Aug 3 at 19:34
  • As Joe said, I always found skim to to foam better than 2% or whole, and until now had wondered why. I'm realizing now that it's likely because the lack of fat allows the protein to better do its thing. Perhaps whole or 2% is like accidentally getting some of the yolk into what was to be an egg white foam? – NSGod Aug 3 at 20:44
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    My baking textbook touches on the interaction of fats with proteins by saying something to the effect of 'fats surround and lubricate proteins, reducing the ability for proteins to form chains.' It specifically refers to fats shortening gluten protein strands and also warns against any trace of fats when making a meringue. Based on the above milk foaming anecdotes it seems this interaction of fats and protein applies in general. – Adam Mazzarella Aug 4 at 21:52
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You can explore "culinary foams" or "espumas". There are plenty of resources on this site and the internet. These can be made from many flavor bases, with the addition of ingredients that range from those found in your kitchen (egg whites) to ingredients you might have to purchase (a variety of hydrocholloids). There are many types of foams, some dense like whipped cream...some even denser, and ranging to very light, large-bubbled foams that dissipate quickly. The technique and ingredients to create and maintain these foams differ. Some of these foams can be made with a hand wisk, others in a mixer or with a stick blender, and some, by using a whipping siphon. It all depends on what you are trying to achieve.

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If you're looking for a sugar-based dip, a way to make it fluffy is to first, boil the sugar to just under the soft ball stage. When combined with waterlogged gelatin(2-1 water,gelatin),and whipped, it make a marshmallow-y fluff, then you can fold in your flavorings. if you want say, hot colocate, i world recommend putting powder milk and cocoa in. a good ratio of sugar solution to gelatin is 1.5 cups to 1 packet worth of gelatin-water mixture. hope this helps :)

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You can add ingredients using modified soy protein and xanthum gum to whip certain liquids.

A Youtube Channel named the King of Random made a video about this topic, where they used Versawhip modified soy protein and xanthum gum in order to thicken liquids to allow them foam up in a sustained fashion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6wzX1DrhQY

This worked better for some liquids than others; in particular, they noted in the beginning of the video that this works worse with liquids with a high fat content (though the reason why whipped cream is whippable is because of its high fat content).

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