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Compressed Watermelon Salad

WatermelonSaladOverhead

It’s the middle of summer and what’s better than a watermelon salad? I occasionally enjoy a slice of watermelon with chunks of salty halloumi. I wanted to put a modernist twist on it.

WatermelonSaladSide

I took cubed watermelon and put them in an iSi canister. I added a few tablespoons of brine from black olives. Charge the iSi with two canisters. Let it sit for around 20 min. Slowly discharge the canister and remove the watermelon. They will be a deeper red and compressed. Also they will be nice and salty and taste like a combo of olives and watermelon.

WatermelonSaladClose

I added cubes of halloumi cheese, but I used a torch to give them a little char. It made them warm and the taste slightly smokey. Which was a nice contrast to the cold chunks of melon.

I served a fresh herb salad on the side lightly dressed in lemon, olive oil and sumac.

Tapioca Maltodextrin – What it Is & How to Use It

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Olive Oil Powder

Molecular Gastronomy is a term that has gotten alot of attention over the years. A more fitting term is modern cuisine, but whatever you call it you have definitely heard of emulsification, spherification, foam and powders! For those of you that think it is about using “unnatural additives” you have another thing coming to you. All of the additives used in modern cuisine are plant derived, and furthermore you are already consuming them in your everyday food products, you just don’t realize it. I’ll explain more below.

For now, lets talk about powders. One of the easiest things to make is powders using Tapioca Maltodextrin, but before delving deep lets talk about what is Tapioca Maltodextrin, where it comes from and how it works!

Maltodextrin is quite simply a food starch. Most starches like flour take in and can thicken water and sauces. Maltodextrin does the opposite. It absorbs and thickens fats. It actually hates water and will turn into goo on contact. On a more molecular level, Maltodextrin is a dextrose (plant sugar) polysaccharide. Polysaccharides are long carbohydrates made of monosaccharides (repeating units). They are able to encapsulate the oil and hold it within the powder until it comes in contact with water and then it releases the fat/oil. The polysaccharides form a 3D network that entrap the oil droplets and don’t let them move, hence stabilizing the emulsification.

Molecular Banana Nutella

Maltodextrin can be derived from different plant starch sources, the most common being from corn in the US, wheat in Europe and the other from tapioca. Tapioca is processed from dried cassava roots (native plant of South America) and is used for cooking in different cuisines. That tapioca maltodextrin is the one you need for creating powders. The corn maltodextrin is more commonly found in soda, beer, and even salad dressing. It is used in beer to improve the smooth mouth feel and it is used in salad dressing to prevent separation of the oil and water.

The Tapioca Maltodextrin has no taste to a slightly sweet taste. It is sold as a white powder, or in flakes or spheres. Usually you need to parts Maltodextrin to one part oil to create a good powder. Also never store it uncovered, always in a sealed container. Some ideas for some powders you can easily create are: nutella, peanut butter, olive oil, caramel, truffle oil and whatever else you can think of. Made some lately? Share your link below so I can check it out.

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Molecular Gastronomy – Olive Oil Powder – Maltodextrin

Olive Oil Powder

Trying to deconstruct a vinaigrette? Or maybe just add a little whimsy to a dish? This olive oil powder is perfect for that. Its super easy to make. You just need some tapioca maltodextrin and some olive oil. I explain the properties of the maltodextrin in my peanut butter powder post & more recently in a full description on the science behind Maltodextrin.

What you need is:

  1. 4 g tapioca maltodextrin
  2. 10 g olive oil

Olive Oil Powder

Olive Oil Powder

Add the maltodextrin and olive oil to a food processor.

Olive Oil Powder

Olive Oil Powder

Just let it whhhiirrrl and you got yourself olive oil powder. Easy peazy right?
Olive Oil Powder

Olive Oil Powder

You can plate it up anyway depending what your trying to do.
Olive Oil Powder

Olive Oil Powder

Have you tried to make any powders? If so what kind?

Molecular Gastronomy – Banana Jelly Jello – Agar Agar

Molecular Banana Nutella

My last Molecular Gastronomy post I made nutella powder using tapioca maltodextrin as part one of this dessert. I wanted to create a sort of deconstructed banana nutella crepe.

So to start you just need the nutella powder, a medium banana, teaspoon sugar (or more if you want it more sweet), 1/3 cup milk (or more if you like it creamy) and 1g agar agar.

Molecular Banana Nutella

Puree the banana.

Molecular Banana Nutella

Put it on the stove. Add the agar agar, milk, sugar and bring to a simmer.

Molecular Banana Nutella

Make sure to keep whisking since the agar can tend to clump.

Molecular Banana Nutella

Pour it into a mold or bowl or plate or whatever. I wanted to make cylinders so I poured it into a paper cup that I cut after to remove the block. Then I used a small cookie cutter to cut out a cylinder.

Molecular Banana Nutella

Best way to present these are in a spoon, so you just end up putting everything

Molecular Banana Nutella

Molecular Banana Nutella

Molecular Banana Nutella

Molecular Banana Nutella

Molecular Banana Nutella

Molecular Banana Nutella

Molecular Banana Nutella

Molecular Banana Nutella

Molecular Banana Nutella

I had my hubby taste it without knowing what it is. He was a little worried at first, but after it was in his mouth he let out an “mmmmm..” which is always a good thing. He said it tastes like a banana split! Have people try it without telling them what it is and watch their reactions. Its so much fun!

P.S. My NIKON CAMERA GIVEAWAY is still going on here.

Molecular Gastronomy – Nutella Powder – Maltodextrin

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Molecular Banana Nutella

Tapioca Maltodextrin is SUPER easy to work with. You just have to understand a couple of main concepts to be successful at creating a powder and not turning it into goo.

I talk briefly about it in the beginning of this post and in full depth in my What is Maltodextrin & How to Use It post. Basically, you have to use it with something fat based that has no water in it. Examples: Peanut butter, Tahini, and Nutella!

I played around with the peanut butter before in this post. This time it was my beloved Nutella’s turn. I mean, who doesn’t love nutella?

Molecular Banana Nutella

The amount of maltodextrin you use should be 40% of how much nutella you use.

In my case I did 10g nutella, 4 g maltodextrin (I only wanted a small amount). Sometimes I find you can get away with adding less.

Molecular Banana Nutella

The rest is simple. Just put them in a processor and blend away.

Molecular Banana Nutella

Till you get the consistency you want. Some say to pass it thru a seive. I haven’t found this necessary.

Molecular Banana Nutella

Its also best to store the powder so it doesn’t dry it. I put mine in test tubes.

Molecular Banana Nutella

Classic flavor combo : nutella and bananas. More to come in another post.

Molecular Banana Nutella

One tube broke. There is beauty in destruction at times.

Molecular Banana Nutella

Molecular Banana Nutella

Sprinkle this on anything, or just carry it around and enjoy it like a pixie stick.

Molecular Banana Nutella

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Molecular Gastronomy – Lecithin – Lemon Foam Air

It’s so easy to make foams. Its very simple, and requires only 2 things, an Immersion blender and Lecithin. It’s my first video so forgive me 🙂 I had to harass you with my voice since its easier to show the process via video than pictures.

Molecular Lemon Foam

Molecular Lemon Foam

Molecular Lemon Foam

Molecular Lemon Foam

Most chefs use an iSi canister to create foams, but now you can easily make it at home. Top any drink off, or add to any dish. If you happen to have liquid nitrogen on hand, dip some in, and you’ll have a crusty outer shell with a foamy soft interior. Now you try it, soy sauce, lime juice, chicken stock, lol, the sky is the limit!

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