Pineapple, Coconut and Mango
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!
For the Pineapple, Coconut and Mango:
For the coconut layer:
100ml coconut milk
1 tsp Gellan
For the pineapple ‘tagliatelle’:
100ml pineapple juice
2 tsp Gellan
For the mango ‘yolk’:
5 tsp Calcic
130ml cold water
2 tsp Algin
100ml thick mango juice
For the coconut juice layer:
200ml coconut juice
1 tsp Gellan
1. To make the coconut layer, add Gellan to the coconut milk, whisk until dissolves. Over medium heat, bring it to the boil. Remove from the heat and pour into the mould until 1/3 full. Chill to set.
2. To make the pineapple tagliatelle, mix Gellan to the pineapple juice, whisk until dissolves. Over medium heat, bring it to the boil. Remove from the heat and pour into a big baking dish evenly. Set aside to chill. Once set, cut into 1cm strips.
3. To make the mango ‘yolk’, add Calcic to the water, whisk until dissolves. Then, in a separate bowl, add Algin to the mango juice, whisk until dissolves. Prepare a big bowl of water by the side. Use a tablespoon, scoop a spoonful of the mango mixture and carefully and drop into the Calcic solution to form a round shape. Leave for a few seconds and use a slotted spoon to carefully transfer into the bowl of water set by the side. Leave for 1 minute or so, then use the slotted spoon to carefully take it out, drain on a kitchen paper then and set aside on a plate. Repeat this for the rest.
4. To make the coconut juice layer, add Gellan to the coconut juice, whisk until dissolves. Over medium heat, bring it to the boil. Remove from the heat. Slowly add a mango ‘yolk’, place in the middle, then slowly pour the coconut juice mixture into the mould where the coconut milk layer has already set. Fill it halfway, then add a nest of pineapple tagliatelle. Fill more coconut juice mixture until the mould is full. Chill to set.