6

I recently ate a dish that was topped with a foamy bechamel sauce. It had the same creamy taste a traditional bechamel has but was much fluffier and less set, a bit like a mousse. I would like to reproduce this but I am not sure whether a foamer would be enough or I'd need some stabiliser on top. Has anyone got experience with foaming bechamel and/or does someone have a recipe for this sort of thing?

  • Beware of cream whippers. If you added fresh grated nutmeg or fresh cracked pepper to the bechamel, you'll need to strain it first. Commercially ground nutmeg is typically fine enough pass through the whipper, but most grind sizes of pepper may clog the whipper. See cooking.stackexchange.com/q/34996/67 – Joe Sep 26 '14 at 18:57
5

I ended up getting the recipe from the chef himself! It turns out that gelatin makes little sense at the temperatures involved unless you up the quantity in which case the texture gets altered for the worse (I experimented only twice so I can't really be sure that it wouldn't work at all).

The recipe itself calls for a bechamel with a very light roux simmered for a very long time (~3 hours) and stirred occasionally so that the milk doesn't burn. At the end of the process it becomes thick enough to foam in exactly the right texture. Strangely the guy doesn't use any seasoning aside from salt and pepper but I'd think this is so that the particular dish is in balance.

  • Did you manage to test the 3-hour bechamel recipe? Did it work? – Juliano Mar 27 '15 at 16:54
  • 2
    @Juliano sorry for the reaaaaly late reply - I need to visit this site more often. It worked, yes but to be entirely honest, the time you put into it has to do with how light a roux you are starting with. I tried with a semi-light roux (2:1 of butter-flour ratio) and reduced the time significantly and still achieved a nice foam. – Giorgos Dec 1 '15 at 11:07
2

It probably depends on how sturdy you want the foam to be. There are a number of hydrocolloids that you could use. I would start with gelatin. If you are using powdered, start with 1%. Bloom and dissolve into bechamel, bring to a boil. Pour contents into whipper (such as ISI brand), charge with N2O. Dispense as you see fit. If that produces a foam that is too soft, up the percentage of gelatin.

  • +1 for the gelatin. I use Beef Gelatin Powder that doesn't require blooming and it works well for, as you said, "moussy" bechamel and when you want some lightness to a sauced topping (think Moussaka.) Or you could just use traditional gelatin and bloom it first. The powdered stuff is easier for experimenting with quantities, IMO. – dashard Sep 26 '14 at 19:39
  • Thanks for the answer (+1), I will give gelatin a go. That was the only thought I had for a stabilizer so I'll experiment with that and if I get a decent result I'll edit in the quantity that worked and accept the answer. The dish was not moussaka btw but another similar fuse of greek/turkish/italian dishes called (in Greece) pasticcio which I thought couldn't go too far(it is something like ragu bolognese topped with bechamel). I was really wrong mostly because of the incredibly light but creamy bechamel. – Giorgos Sep 27 '14 at 9:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.