I have always been dazzled by molecular gastronomy. At the early stage when I was drafting up what to make for the Royal Selangor – Get Your Jelly On– 30-day Challenge, using Royal Selangor Pewter Jelly Mould, I thought of giving molecular cooking a go. Thus, I bought myself a starter kit that I have always been wanting to get my hands on.
For this 17th post, it is truly an experimental dish! I didn’t know what to call it so, I simply name it with the ingredients that I used. I wanted to call it Tagliatelle Carbonara at first, but my Tagliatelle doesn’t seem very visible at the bottom bit. The reason why I wanted to name it as Tagliatelle Carbonara is simply because the top bit, which is made with coconut milk could have been the equivalent of cream. Then, there is this ‘egg yolk’ in the middle and the bottom bit is filled with some strands of tagliatelle shaped jelly. It could have worked out as intended if I didn’t put the tagliatelle jelly in the mould to let it set with the coconut juice! 🙁
The ‘egg yolk’ is made with thick mango juice. This is simply using the Spherification process – Wikiepedia: a culinary process of shaping a liquid into spheres which visually and texturally resemble caviar. The technique was originally discovered by Unilever in the 1950s and brought to the modernist cuisine by the creative team at elBulli under the direction of executive chef Ferran Adrià.
There are two main methods for creating such spheres, which differ based on the calcium content in the product to be spherified. For substances containing no calcium, the liquid is mixed with sodium alginate, and dripped into a cold solution of calcium chloride or calcium carbonate. ‘Reverse’ spherification, for use with substances which contain calcium, requires dripping the substance into an alginate bath. Both methods give the same result: a sphere of liquid held by a thin gel membrane, texturally similar to caviar.
Well, at first, I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to post this, but I thought, hey, why not. It was a very exciting journey that you may find it funny but interesting too! The measurement for this recipe is truly an estimate as it is my first attempt.
Below are some of the shots that I captured during the process of making the perfect ‘egg yolk’ with mango juice. As you can see, the first few trials were total failures!
But a few seconds later, I managed to make an almost perfect shape of ‘yolk’! Practice makes perfect!