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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 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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La Gloria Bakery – Detroit Mexican Town

La Gloria Bakery

After our dinner at Los Galanes, we walked across the street to La Gloria Bakery. It’s the perfect way to end any dinner in Mexican Town.
La Gloria Bakery

It’s a quaint little shop with freshly made Mexican and Italian pastries that are displayed in wood and glass cabinetry. It has a HUGE selection (as you will see from the gazillion photos I took), and the prices are unbelievable. If you walk in with $2, you can usually walk out with at least 3 desserts!

Do you remember my disdain with this place? You will find none of that here!
La Gloria Bakery

I don’t really know the names of everything below, I’ll let the photos speak for them selves
La Gloria Bakery

My hubby loves the coconutty strawberry cake thingies below. And guess what? It’s on fifty cents a piece, and its huge! Yeh, I said 50 cents. You can’t even buy a stick of gum for 0.50 dollars, let alone a yummy coconuty thingie. Actually you could buy a stick of gum. But only one stick.

La Gloria Bakery

More yumminess…
La Gloria Bakery
La Gloria Bakery
La Gloria Bakery

I have no idea what there are, but the cracked outside is so intriguing.
La Gloria Bakery

La Gloria Bakery

La Gloria Bakery
La Gloria Bakery

La Gloria Bakery

And they have pink hearts.
La Gloria Bakery
La Gloria Bakery
La Gloria Bakery
La Gloria Bakery

I had a churro, fitting for Mexican Town in Detroit I know. It was the end of the day, so it wasn’t as fresh, (I know I have to complain about something), so I wasn’t 100% sold on it like other things I tried.

La Gloria Bakery

My hubbys strawberry coconutty thingie was outta this world. Try it.

La Gloria Bakery

La Gloria Bakery

Actually, take 1 dollar (forget McDonald’s dollar menu), yes, only ONE dollar, buy two of them, and give one to someone you love. Or eat both. I won’t tell.
La Gloria Bakery on Urbanspoon

Dale & Thomas Popcorn – Purple Spoon Ice Cream

Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon 

Last Royal Oak visit, we decided to get some Popcorn at Dale & Thomas. Purple spoon has opened in the same space and I guess its a knock off of pinkberry. I’ve never had the latter so I can’t compare the two.Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon 

I really loved the signs, design and feel for the place. There was a huge image of a corn field that was lit and it set a light and happy tone for the location.Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon 

Many popcorn flavors like you see below, from BBQ to cheddar-chipotle. We tend to be sweet salty luvin kinda ppl so we went for…Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon 

…The chocolate Chunk Caramel. We ate it for 2 days, and it was divine. The cookies n creme would be interesting to try next time.Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon 

Very cute decor, very bad acting on my part.Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon 

I loved how they presented the popcorn, in the farmers wood buckets.Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon 

In the back the popcorn was popping away, the smell wafting beautifully thru the room.Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon 

They had a turning urn thing that you add the flavor to and it keeps rotating to cover all the popcorn.Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon 

They made the chocolate caramel by drizzling it all over a pan of popcorn, and letting set.Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon 

It was crunchy, fresh, sweet, salty and perfect. I loved that there were big chunks of chocolate here and there. It was a really good treat.Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon 

As for the Purple Spoon part of it, the decor is a bit more modern and minimalistic. It’s theme doesn’t mesh 100% with the farmers theme of the popcorn part, but it’s not too bad. Also, if you buy the popcorn first, they will give you a coupon (1$ off) of the icecream.Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon 

Positives is the low calorie. Negatives are that flavors are limited, but they cycle them. I had the original tart. It was good. Not great, but good.Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon 

You can add toppings for 75 cents each. I’m not a toppings fan in general, but if I were going to try something it would be the fruit or candy. I would skip the cereal.Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon Dale & Thomas Popcorn - Purple Spoon

The frozen yogurt was good, but I don’t see myself ever craving it. I’m a bit of an ice cream snob i guess.

As for the popcorn, I loved it, and my glass ball says there is more salty sweet popcorniness in my future.

always uncut.
Dale and Thomas Popcorn on Urbanspoon
Purple Spoon Contemporary Frozen Yogurt on Urbanspoon

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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Astoria – Royal Oak

Whenever we’re in Royal Oak, Michigan, we love to walk up and down the streets and just take everything in. Its a nice walk, especially in the summer. We always pass by Astoria, a sweet/dessert shop. The stuff in there always looks amazing, (we’ve had it on many occasions) and everyone raves about it, so we gave it a try AGAIN.

 Astoria Royal Oak 

Astoria Royal Oak

 Astoria Royal Oak

 Astoria Royal Oak

 Astoria Royal Oak

 Astoria Royal Oak

That strawberry shortcake looked good, but, i’m a chocolate mousse kinda gal 🙂

 Astoria Royal Oak

 Astoria Royal Oak

 Astoria Royal Oak

 Astoria Royal Oak

Like I said, I’m a chocolate mousse kinda gal. I was really excited to have this, but I was dissappointed 🙁

 Astoria Royal Oak

 Astoria Royal Oak

I LOVE chocolate mousse, especially when done right. Unfortunately, It was too rich, not airy and light, and half the cup I had was filled with whipped cream that was gloopy and as stiff as Anthony Bourdains’ drinks. So, I scooped it all out. Even then the mousse on the bottom was dissapointing. Not as chocolate-y as I had hoped for, but the real kicker was the texture. It was not at all pleasant.

Now, don’t think I’m hating on the place. I was just unhappy because when you walk in, you really want to get one of everything! The stuff looks amazing. But each time the flavor lets me down, and each time I try something else and hope it won’t because I really want to love the place. I do. But even something as simple as peanuts covered in chocolate I make better at home. We had to throw them out. And, in a place where you are paying 3-7 $ a dessert, you don’t want to throw anything out. Sorry Astoria, but you remind me of Mariah Carey. Beautiful on the outside, all fucked up on the inside.
Astoria Pastry Shop on Urbanspoon

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