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Spheres, Ravioli and Spaghetti, oh my! By: Daniela Lucchitti & Cecilia Wong

an interesting and informative look at the process of 'spherification', an innovative process in molecular gastronomy
by

dani luch

on 8 December 2010

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Transcript of Spheres, Ravioli and Spaghetti, oh my! By: Daniela Lucchitti & Cecilia Wong

"..explode in the mouth with
a pleasingly juicy pop." SPHERIFICATION - Gourmet Magazine what is spherification? Spherification, a process involving making liquid filled beads, is a hydrocolloid
(a substance that forms a gel in contact with water) because it consists of the controlled gelification of a liquid that forms spheres when submerged in a solution.

Spheres can be made in different sizes, aptly named caviar, eggs, gnocchi, ravioli… The Two Types of Spherification

1. Basic Spherification
2. Reverse (Inverse) Spherification Basic Spherification • Submerging a liquid with sodium alginate in a bath of calcium chloride which produces a cooking/gelling action.

• The calcium chloride ions cause the long-chain alginate polymers to become cross-linked, forming a gel. Because the calcium chloride/liquid mixture enters the alginate in the shape of a droplet, the gel forms a bead. The Essentials:

1. Calcium Chloride
2. Sodium Alginate What is Sodium Alginate?

The sodium salt of alginic acid and is a flavourless gum.
Extracted from the cell walls of brown algae.
Used by the foods industry as an emulsifier, to increase viscosity and is used in the production of gel-like foods.
It is a cold gelling agent that needs no heat to gel, but does need calcium present to cause gelling.
What is Calcium Chloride?

•A salt and the compound of calcium and chlorine.
•Commonly used as an electrolyte and has an extremely salty taste.
•Used as a preservative to maintain firmness in canned vegetables or in higher concentrations in pickles to give a salty taste while not increasing the food’s sodium content.
•Calcium chloride is used in sports drinks and other beverages, high fructose corn syrup production, and dairy foods processing to restore the balance between calcium and protein. The How To for Basic Spherification •Add about 0.3% alginate by weight to the pureed liquid and blend. Ideally let it sit until all bubbles come out. •Make a solution of about 0.7% calcium chloride by weight of water - you won't need much, a small bowl is good. •Have another bowl with clear (non-tap!!!!!) water this will be used to stop the process of specification and “wash-off” the calcium chloride solution •To make the caviar, fill a syringe or a small squeeze bottle with the alginate puree. Next, start dripping little drops (caviar sizes…get it?) into the calcium chloride solution do not stream in the drops as this produces a gross mess. •Allow the caviar to sit in the solution for a few minutes this will take some experimenting, depending on how big the caviar are, to ensure they have not gelatinized all the way through. •Then scoop the caviar out of the solution and rinse them in the clean bowl of water. • Pop in your mouth and experience a sense of wonder…or un-wonder, in which case you may need to up the alginate and calcium chlorate percentages just a tad. • To make ravioli, fill a spoon with the alginate puree and kind of lower/tip it in to the sodium chlorate solution (it will need to sit longer to ensure it gets enough of a skin to hold in the larger portion of liquid on the inside). •To make spaghetti, put the syringe under water and squeeze. Reverse Spherification Creating spheres with food that already contains calcium (i.e olives or dairy products).
By combining a calcium food puree with calcium gluconate and dropping it into a sodium alginate bath, you can make spherical beads.

Calcium lactate gluconate is added in proportion to the product’s natural calcium content. Inverse spherification allows the item to hold its jellification, which you would be unable to control in basic spherification (due to the calcium content present in the food). The Essentials:

1. Calcium Lactate Gluconate
2. Sodium Alginate CALCIUM LACTATE GLUCONATE

•Also known as GLOCAL, a soluble salt of calcium, lactic acid and gluconic acid
•Often used in effervescent calcium tablets.
•Currently a premium salt in the rapidly growing functional and fortified food industry due to its excellent solubility and neutral taste.
SODIUM CITRATE

•Used as a food additive for flavour or as a preservative.
•Also used as an acidity regulator.
•Sensitive to pH, therefore might be used as a buffer to stabilise the pH at ca. 4-5
• Puree the dairy product (or food containing the calcium) and strain. Take this puree and mix it with calcium gluconate.
• In a bowl, make a solution of sodium alginate – this will be used to cook (gel) the calcium chloride puree.
• Prepare another bowl with non-tap water; again this will be used as a “rinse” to stop the gelling process.
• To make the caviar, fill a syringe or squeeze bottle with the calcium gluconate puree. Next, squeeze tiny drops into the sodium alginate solution and allow them to sit for the required amount of time (stop-watch at the ready, this will take some experimenting!)
• Strain the caviar and submerge it into the water bath to stop the cooking (gelling) process Nom-nom time! Try out your caviar to make sure it has the proper liquid texture in the centre.
• To make ravioli, use a spoon or tine ladle filled with the calcium gluconate puree and dip into the sodium alginate solution – you may need to “poach” the ravioli as they will want to rise and the tops will not cook properly.
• To make spaghetti, concoct the same calcium gluconate puree and squeeze the syringe, tip submerged, into the sodium alginate solution.
The How to for Reverse Spherification: Tool Box Metal Spoons
Syringe
Strainer
Bowls
Digital Scale
Small perforated spoons
Metric measuring cup Where To Get The Goods..... Le Sanctuaire
Texturas elBulli
www.texturaselbulli.com.
Dean and DeLuca 2003 2004
2005
How It Came To Be Spherification is of Japanese origin and has been used at El Bulli since 2003.
It all started when Ferran Adria and el Bulli team came across a Mexican sauce that contained little balls in suspension which added acidity and spice when eaten, however the spheres were solid and did not have a liquid filling.
The first dishes created by the el Bulli team were ravioli, the first dish being the liquid pea ravioli. They came up with the name ravioli because they thought the sensation in the mouth was exactly like ravioli filled with liquid. Next came mango, raspberry and filled ravioli with Gernika pepper broth and pepper seed filling.

The team at el Bulli tried different ingredients for their first caviar dish and the winner was the Cantaloupe melon caviar. According to Adria, this was one of the most exciting times at el Bulli and Cantaloupe melon caviar was the signature dish of 2003.

“Spherical” noodles: This was also the year of the first spherical noodles. The first noodles were created using a syringe filled with a mixture of lychee-juice and sodium alginate, then tracing zigzagged laces over the calcium solution, thus producing lychee noodles. As the year went on, the El Bulli team evolved with their original concept of spherification While el Bulli was serving the first spheres, el Bulli Taller, the scientific department of the restaurant, was researching how to modify the spherification technique to be able to work with products that already contained calcium in them.

El Bulli team realized that they could invert the components and insert a product that already contained calcium into an alginate bath. This discovery, now called Reversed Spherification, allowed el Bulli to create spheres with new ingredients like olives and dairy products for the first time ever!!! Give it a Shot !!!! Why not try making Vanilla Coke Ravioli ??? Coca-Cola "Ravioli" ("caviar" can be made using a syringe):

-5 grams Sodium Alginate
-500 grams Coca-Cola
-10 grams Calcium Chloride (maybe more)
-1500 grams cold water

1- Heat Coca-cola to a boil, turn heat down to low, and mix in sodium alginate. Whisk well, turn heat off, and strain. Let liquid reach room temperature.

2- Whisk together calcium chloride and water until well combined. Place in fridge.


3- Once at room temperature, scoop Coca-Cola into a tablespoon measure in the shape of a half-sphere. Set the bottom of the tablespoon measure against the surface of the calcium chloride mixture and fully submerge measure in liquid for about 7 seconds. Then pour the mixture in with a gentle turn of the wrist pulling the measure out of the water as you pour Leave in solution for 30 seconds.

4- Gently remove ravioli from bath with slotted spoon. Place in another dish filled with cold water to rinse it off. Serve. Made By Daniela Lucchitti & Cecilia Wong • Puree the dairy product (or food containing the calcium) and strain. Take this puree and mix it with calcium gluconate.
• In a bowl, make a solution of sodium alginate – this will be used to cook (gel) the calcium chloride puree.
• Prepare another bowl with non-tap water; again this will be used as a “rinse” to stop the gelling process.
• To make the caviar, fill a syringe or squeeze bottle with the calcium gluconate puree. Next, squeeze tiny drops into the sodium alginate solution and allow them to sit for the required amount of time (stop-watch at the ready, this will take some experimenting!)
• Strain the caviar and submerge it into the water bath to stop the cooking (gelling) process Nom-nom time! Try out your caviar to make sure it has the proper liquid texture in the centre.
• To make ravioli, use a spoon or tine ladle filled with the calcium gluconate puree and dip into the sodium alginate solution – you may need to “poach” the ravioli as they will want to rise and the tops will not cook properly.
• To make spaghetti, concoct the same calcium gluconate puree and squeeze the syringe, tip submerged, into the sodium alginate solution. Le Fin !!!
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