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Every so often, I make Irish Cream. The problem I have with it is that the cocoa and some of the cream split a bit in the bottle. It's still drinkable, and shaking the bottle fixes it, but I'd rather this not happen. The usual stabiliser for Irish Cream is eggs, but that shortens the shelf-life far too much for my tastes. I figured I could use Xanthan Gum as a stabiliser to stop it from splitting. The problem is, no matter what, I can't stop it clumping together in anything I add it to. I even bought a tea strainer to use as a sieve, but the fine powder on the top of whatever I add it to still managed to clump together, as though I'd added dead skin. I tried mixing it with sugar before adding, but it still clumped up.

How do I stop it from clumping? Reading about it online, it doesn't seem like that uncommon of an ingredient, so obviously, other people aren't having as much bother with it as I am.

  • Xanthan gum is easier to use is first dispersed in another powder. In a small bowl place some sugar and the Xanthan and swish it around until well intermixed. Then remember to mix the Xanthan and the liquids for a long time. – papin Aug 23 '15 at 12:11
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    You have to stir that stuff fast, while adding it slowly. I use a food proc. or a blender. – Wayfaring Stranger Aug 23 '15 at 15:20
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I use an immersion blender angle @ about 45 degrees to create a vortex. I gently and slowly sprinkle the xanthan gum into the vortex then use the blender to make sure all of it is incorporated. I have not had any problems with clumping unless I add too much at a time.

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To thicken a liquid with xanthan gum, first disperse it in another powder, use small amounts, and once in the liquid, mix well. Whenever I use it in sweet dishes I disperse it in sugar (at a 10 to 1 ratio), and for savory dishes, in starch or salt. Xanthan is slow to mix, so I always do it with a food processor or blender. Small amounts means one part in 50 to one part in 1,000 by weight.

To thicken (add mouth feel) and emulsify the Irish Cream, 1/8 of a teaspoon for two cups of liquid should be more than enough.

As an experiment, I tried making an emulsion with just water, xanthan gum, and a tiny bit of sugar all hand whipped. It was not sufficient to just swirl the sugar and the xanthan together. Instead I had to mix the powders well by placing the sugar and the xanthan into a small bowl and then alternate pouring the mixture between two bowls. The well mixed powders where sprinkled over water while being whipped with a fork. What I noticed was that after some amount of the xanthan-sugar mixture had been dissolved in the water, it stopped emulsifying well. Small whitish clouds the size of the bubbles would form. They where not clumps, but regions with higher concentration of the xanthan powder. I got tired of hand whipping the emulsion but did not succeed in making the clouds disappear. Before the clouds formed the emulsion was thicker than needed for Irish Cream or a salad dressing.

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