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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: Peanut Butter powder & jelly noodles

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Before I go into my latest molecular gastronomy shinanigans I want to take a moment to explain some of the properties of Tapioca Maltodextrin and Agar Agar, the 2 main components I worked with for this recipe.

Tapioca Maltodextrin:

  1. makes powders
  2. hates water (becomes gooey with any trace)
  3. only works with fatty products, low water content
  4. must never be left uncovered
  5. must be 40% of final prouct. Meaning if you use 200g for eg of peanut butter, you must use 40% of 200g, which is 80g maltodextrin
  6. works by absorbing fat and holding it in the powder, to be released on water contact ie. your tongue
  7. Read a full description on MALTODEXTRIN

Agar Agar:

  1. red algae extract
  2. forms gels
  3. sugar is a promoter
  4. sets 35-45 degrees celcius
  5. melts 80- 90 degrees celcius
  6. dries out if left uncovered. can rehydrate if left in water
  7. must make up at least 0.2% of final product, depending on how firm you want it to be

You can find out alot more (where i got most of this info) via this great primer of hydrocolloids on Khymos.org.

So, on to my fooling around :)

I wanted to have a play on the traditional peanut butter and jelly, by making it taste exactly like that but look completely different. I figured a noodle inspired dish was the way to go, so strawberry noodles with peanut butter ‘parmesan’ powder on top. It also plays with the noodles being red like they had marinara in them or something. Maybe i’m stretching.

Here we go!

Started off with 6 tablespoons strawberry spread, and 200 ml water.Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Let the strawberry jelly melt in the simmering water, then strain.Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Measure out around 1.5 g Agar and bring the mixture back up to a boil.Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

I used a squeezy bottle to inject the strawberry jelly liquid into a tube. Make sure to do all this while the liquid is warm/hot so it doesnt start setting on you.Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Place the tube in some icewater and let it cool for a few minutes till it all sets.Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Grab a food processor, add 20 g peanut butter, and 8 g tapioca maltodextrin, and let it rip, scraping off any peanut butter on the sides.Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

You should be left with a powder. If its still not as powdery as you like you can add a little more maltodextrin.

I used a syringe to push out the noodles from the tube.Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Loosely plated them with the peanut butter sprinkled on top.Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Decided to try out some bread with it.Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

So, i just added some to the plate. Now in this first preperation, my noodles didn’t come out as chewy as i wanted so it was easy to mop them up with the bread spheres. Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

This is what a mini bread with the jelly and peanut butter powder looked like. It tasted absolutely like a PBJ sandwich!Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Next, I added a bit more agar, so it was maybe like 2g total, and the strawberry jelled harder and was more noodle like. I think next time I would add a bit less so its a bit softer to maybe loop around in the middle of a bowl to make it really look like noodles.Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Decided against the random display and wanted a cleaner look. So, I lined them up.Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Sprinkled some peanut butter crack on top!Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Peanut butter parmesan & Jelly noodles

Was very happy with the final product. This is a really straightforward recipe for a beginner. I think the agar amount still needs a little tweaking, but the powder was spot on! Please rate this so I get an idea if people like it :)

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Shrimp curry molecular gastronomy

I recently ordered some chemicals from l’epicerie. I wanted to play around and decided to do a deconstructed pineapple shrimp curry. Now this dish is still in its early phases (hence why it is under “experimental”), but i wanted to share and maybe get some thoughts on improvement. Some parts were a success and some were duds.

Anyways, I started off by making ginger pineapple sheets.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I took some fresh ginger, and grated it. Measured out  60grams.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Added it to around a cup of water and let it steep in hot water.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

After, i strained it.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Then, I mixed:

  • 100g ginger liquid
  • 100g pineapple liquid
  • 0.6g agar agar

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I brought the mixture to a boil, while stirring.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Pour the agar ginger-pineapple liquid into a pan or whatever, in the thickness you want the film to be.

After, I measured out

  • 500g water (purified/bottled)
  • 2g sodium alginate
  • 2.5g calcium chloride
  • 250 g curry mix (curry powder and paste with some coconut milk)

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

i added the sodium alginate to the curry mix and found it just clumped up! which i hadn’t read anywhere.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

So i tested it on some water alone first, and found that even when it clumps up, if you keep on whisking (whisk or immersion blender), it will blend through. Below is what it looks like when it clumps up. Also, sodium alginate is a natural gelling agent, and the liquid became viscous. I think i should also use less sodium alg next time.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

So, this is what the curry mix looked after some extensive whisking

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Next, i added the calcium chloride to the water, and it dissolved with some whisking much easier than the sodium alginate. I also put some more purified water in another bowl, to rinse off the spheres when created. I didn’t want to go fishing for my spheres so i just put a big strainer in the bowl so that i can lift them out directly after, and dip them in the water for washing.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I put my curry mix in a squirt bottle. I didn’t have a syringe on hand. This worked good, just wish i had one with bigger nozzle width for bigger spheres.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Started squirting the curry mix into the calcium chloride bath.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Then washed them with the pure water bath, and patted the bottom of the sieve with a towel to dry the spheres off.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I loved how the specks of the red curry paste showed in the yellow curry powder.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Since i was playing around, i made a big sphere with a spoon. I grabbed it.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

put it in my palm…

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

pushed and prodded…

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

pushed harder…

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

and kaboom! it gushed out

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Back to the plate, this is the translucent agar agar after i pulled it out from the fridge.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I already had my white rice ready.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I wanted to create a “horizon” with the shrimp jumping like dolphins. Hilarious i know, but you can be the judge if i succeeded or not:) I took a bit of curry powder, put it on a kitchen napkin and wet it a bit and streaked it across the plate.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I cut out strips of the agar mix.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

And started plating with the rice and agar.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

My little dolphin shrimp were next.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Then came the curry caviar.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Oh, i had also put some agar liquid to set in these mini bowls i have.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

I flipped it over to create the “sun” in my “horizon” plating.lol. (btw there are many layers of dysfunctional in me)

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

It needed some acid so i used a pomegranate molasses which is thick, sweet and sour at the same time. I love it in salads usually. And you only need a little because its quite strong.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

A close up of the perfect bite: Shrimp, curry caviar, rice, and ginger-pineapple agar gel.

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

This is what the final dish looked like:

Molecular gastronomy shrimp curry

  • Taste: I still felt like it was missing something. Not sure what. It obviously needed some greens, but i didn’t have any on hand. Also, the caviar needed to have a stronger taste.I really liked the flavor of the ginger-pineapple flim: sweet with sharp aftertaste.
  • Texture: I wasn’t in love with the liquid of the curry caviar. It was too thick.  I may have used to much sodium alginate. Iwould make the agar film thinner next time. Also, the rice needed to be different, maybe crispy rice chips?
  • Plating:  It did kinda look like dolphins jumping in the ocean with the sun setting, lol, right? or am i stretching?
  • Fail: In the beginning I tried to make coconut powder with maltodextrin, but there was too much water in the coconut butter, so it clumped up on me, so I scratched that.
  • Success: It would have to be the taste of the ginger pineapple film. That was on point.

Let me know what you think, positives, critiques etc… Also, please rate this post/concept with the star system below.Thanks a bundle!

++MIRA++

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