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 to make the larger spheres, sometimes referred to as ravioli. I've had them in restaurants as big or slightly bigger than a grape. What's the technique to get them this large? Anything in particular I need to watch out for?

  • Could you drop a link to your process? – mfg Mar 29 '11 at 21:29
  • @mfg, The process of spherification or how I've tried to make the larger ones? – yossarian Mar 29 '11 at 22:17
  • Larger ones. Normally you just use a spoon. What happens when you pop them into the bath? – Aaronut Mar 30 '11 at 0:24
  • @aaronut, They don't come out as a nice sphere. They end up funny shapes. What kind of spoon should I use? What quantity of liquid? – yossarian Mar 30 '11 at 14:14

All you need to do is put the liquid on a spoon and slowly lower it into the bath while tipping so it falls off. It may take a few tries but it isn't difficult to master. Naturally, larger spheres are a bit more delicate so will require gentle handling to remove from bath, rinse, and plate.

  • Does it matter what kind of spoon? Are there curvatures, lips, or depth that make it easier / harder? – yossarian Mar 30 '11 at 16:25
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    I was waiting for you to answer this one. – Sobachatina Mar 30 '11 at 16:35

Michael's answer is good, but I have an even simpler one.

Make your liquid. Now freeze it--ideally in spherical molds, but whatever works well for you.

Bring your alginate solution up to just below the boil--96-98C is perfect. Remove from heat, drop your frozen proto-spheres in one by one.

Note that this was our process for approximately tablespoon-sized spheres, and we used a silicone mold for freezing that was hemispherical. Larger spheres may not melt fast enough to react.

  • Cool. If you use a non spherical mold, will you end up with a more sphere sized shape when the interior melts? Is there any change in this spherification process due to the temperatures involved (freezing and boiling) vs room temp? – yossarian Mar 30 '11 at 22:29
  • When you say "alginate solution", do you mean calcium solution (i.e. the bath)? I think we're talking about normal spherification here and not reverse. – Aaronut Mar 31 '11 at 0:28
  • @aaronut, Daniel must mean reverse. However, I don't think there's any real difference between the two in terms of process. It's just a question of which liquid is dropped into which liquid and whether the shell forms out or in. – yossarian Mar 31 '11 at 18:23
  • The difference is with the reverse the reaction stops as soon as the sphere is dunked into the rinsing bath. – user35673 May 20 '15 at 23:05

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