I have some agar agar powder to make a mixed berry gel using some berry coulee that I made. Lets say I want to make one cup of coulee to turn it to a gel, how much agar agar powder should I use. Keep in mind I don't want to turn it into a gelatin, just a gel so that it will still be liquid but very thick.

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    amazingfoodmadeeasy.com/info/modernist-ingredients/more/… ... but I can't remember if agar is one of the gelling agents that's affected by acid – Joe Apr 27 '17 at 17:07
  • That is an awesome page filled with exactly what I was looking for an more. I heard about Agar Agar on YouTube in a Heston Blumenthal episode. He shows exactly how he makes his fluid gels he uses in his restaurant. – haakon.io Apr 27 '17 at 18:37
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    Is there a reason not to use... pectin? – rackandboneman Apr 27 '17 at 19:30
  • @rackandboneman - The gel I'm trying to make is one I saw in a video where they used Agar Agar specifically, hence the question. I'm not making jelly but a fluid gel which has a different consistency. – haakon.io Apr 27 '17 at 21:27
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    @rackandboneman pectin requires fairly high temperatures in order to activate, which in my opinion ruins the flavor of most fruits. I'm assuming agar agar is being used to counter this. However my personal choice would be xanthan gum for sure. – Doug Apr 28 '17 at 18:14

this is the consistency

So I finally was able to test out making the berry gel using some berry coulis. I used one half cup coulis in a small saucepan and added 1/8 teaspoon Agar Agar powder brought it just up to the boil then put it in a plastic container and put that in an ice bath.

I checked in it a half hour later and it had jelled. I then blitzed it with my hand blender and magic. It's the exact consistency I wanted, thick and fluid but won't lose its shape on the plate. I took this picture ten minutes after I put the gel on.

** Update - Here is what I wanted to do with the berry gel ;-)

Strawberry Pavlova

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    Terrific! Agar fluid gels hold up nicely. For another trick, add that fluid gel to an isi whipper. Charge with NO2, and you will have a very stable foam. – moscafj Apr 30 '17 at 23:12
  • That sounds like a great idea! I'm going to try that. – haakon.io May 1 '17 at 15:49

Honestly all high quality restaurants have always used xanthan gum for creating gels. It requires no heat to activate, stable with acids and produces a crystal clear end product.

Best of all you simply have to stir in a teaspoon at a time till you have the consistency you desire.

  • Cool, I guess I will be buying and trying some Xanthan Gum then. I'll report back with my progress. I want to be able to do some cool plating that I've seen on Instagram and local restaurants. – haakon.io Apr 28 '17 at 18:21
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    Not sure what country you're from but my faveroite place for this kind of stuff and for ideas is msk-ingredients.com their catalogue on the home page is a good starting point. – Doug Apr 28 '17 at 18:29
  • I live in the US but this site is freaking awesome! Thanks for pointing me in that direction. I've already got some ideas from the few minutes I perused the site! – haakon.io Apr 28 '17 at 18:37
  • @haakon319 I'm not sure you want to use xanthan, especially "a teaspoon at a time". The problem is that even slightly too much xanthan results in a snotty, slimy texture. It is not used to gel, rather to create viscosity...and in very small amounts. There are a host of hydrocolloids that you might employ to make a gel. The question is, what is the end product you are looking for? What do you want to do with the gelled berry coulis? Letting use know your goal would result in a more precise answer. – moscafj Apr 29 '17 at 0:38
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    @haakon319 you can see from the recipe (chefsteps.com/activities/beet-fluid-gel) that the amount of xanthan is very small. If it were me, I would blend and strain the berries. Set with agar. Then blend to create a fluid gel. – moscafj Apr 29 '17 at 22:54

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