Tuesday, January 1, 2008
If you have seen the little fruit spheres a la "El Bulli" and wanted to make them but did not have access to sodium alginate or calcium chloride. Here is a little trick I just found to amke them with agar agar and cold neutral flavored oil. Choose your fruit or juice that you want to make spheres from and weigh the liquid amount out. Next calculate a 2.5% agar quantity by weight. Heat the juice to 60 degrees and add agar. Blitz with an immersion blender to make sure that it is well dispersed. Next fill a large bore syringe or a small squeeze bottle with warm liquid. It is important to work quickly as the agar will set the juice fairly quickly at this concentration. When placing the cold (preferably from the freezer) oil in a receptacle for squirting the juice into, keep in mind you want surface area and not depth. So a shallow wide pan would be best. Gently squeeze the juice into the oil creating small drips (hence the spherical shape). Allow to set for a minute or two and remove with a small slotted spoon or pour the oil through a fine mesh strainer. Immerse the beads into cool water to wash off the oil residue and voila, spheres.
Have fun. Some ideas I am working on are: spherical fruit salsas, and I am going to try and make a noodle in the same fashion.