Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Playing with my food

I will be posting some pictures and videos of what I have been doing soon, but here is a bit of what I have been experimenting with in the house.

Exploring molecular gastronomy online - there are some interesting videos at youtube by Molecule-R.  A lot of it is not very hard to do at all and after having watched numerous videos I am convinced I can do most of it.  I thought I would start with what I had in my kitchen - agar agar.

Agar agar - I have used it to make sheets of the following:  apple cider vinegar, lemonade, and peach juice.  The liquid with agar agar was brought to boiling and then poured on a cookie sheet.   The liquid gelled rather quickly, only a few minutes and I could lift the sheets off of the cookie sheet.

The sheets of the liquids are cool and have an interesting texture when you eat them.  I have not tried using them in any dish yet.  This is mainly because I am experimenting with what it takes to create the sheets.  I have had one that was a bit too firm, though this made it very easy to handle.  Another one was not firm enough and I had trouble getting it off of the cookie sheet.   I will film the process sometime later this week.

I also used it to help set some peach jam, I was short on pectin.  This seems to have worked well and therefore I decided to try it on some blackberries and see if I could make a functional small batch of jam.   The stuff set but it is too firm to be a jam.  

Exploring what supplies I can get at Lifestyles Market - they have a large and interesting selection of ingredients you need to experiment with your food.  They have agar agar, maltodextrin, xantham gum, soy lecithin, citric acid, Irish moss, and more.  The only thing they do not have is sodium alginate/calcium lactate.

I did not buy much at Lifestyles but I did buy some maltodextrin yesterday and want to try experimenting with it.   The stuff can make a liquid into a powder that melts when it comes in contact with moisture.  The most common thing people seem to make is olive oil powder which I will try later today.

I also purchased some Himalayan rock salt.  It is a bit pricey as a salt, but as a cool item it is cheap.  I bought half a dozen salt rocks, and rock is the right word as they are 1 cm by 2-3 cm in size.   My youngest son thought they were ice cubes.   I need to find a good way to take pictures of them.

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