Additional transformations include siphon whipping, suspension, deep-freezing, and powderizing. These techniques all share the same additives. Xanthan gum and liquid nitrogen. We have displayed a great list of recipes that are related to these techniques. Discover everything you need to know about our additional transformations right here!
Siphon whipping differs from emulsification in that foams can be made without using an emulsifying agent. The product resulting from siphon whipping is usually called espuma, derived from the Spanish word for “foam”.
The culinary whipper has been used for a long time to make Chantilly cream, also known as whipped cream. To do this, the cream is first poured into the siphon. Then an oxide nitrous (N2O) cartridge is inserted into the device, which releases its gas inside the bottle. Pressurized gas bubbles then penetrate the fatty liquid. This is why the cream’s volume increases once the liquid has been ejected from the siphon. It is worth noting that the volume obtained is much greater than that achieved when using a whisk to make whipped cream.
Thickening is not a new or spectacular culinary technique, but some thickening agents borrowed from the food processing industry are increasingly used in creative cuisine to add a slight touch of extravagance to dishes and cocktails! Without a doubt, xanthan gum is an additive that is becoming increasingly popular.
Due to its ability to replicate a creamy texture, xanthan gum is often used as a fat replacement in preparations. This creaminess is created by the bonds that join between the gum molecules, which form a network that traps air in the liquid preparation.
This same property is also used in molecular mixology whereby xanthan gum is added to cocktails to create a suspension effect. You can thus “suspend” fruit, herbs, or flavor caviar in a liquid.
Another technique used in some recipes in this book is the transformation of liquids with high-fat content into a fine powder. The additive that makes this technique possible is called maltodextrin and is derived from tapioca sugar, which comes in the form of a very low-density powder.
The transformation into powder is a very straightforward process: simply add maltodextrin powder to a high-fat preparation and blend until you get the desired powdery texture. The solid ingredients must first be liquefied and it may be necessary to pass the powder through a sieve to remove any lumps.
So it’s easy to add an entirely new dimension to dishes with a powder made from olive oil, chocolate, peanut butter, or even bacon! By reducing the proportions of maltodextrin in the mixture, it is also possible to create flavored “lumps” that can be caramelized and crisped on the outside.
Liquid nitrogen has long been used in molecular gastronomy demonstrations and the instantaneous vapor cloud that results from the condensation of ambient air is very impressive.
However, besides its “wow” effect, there’s another reason for this technique’s enduring popularity. Due to its ability to quickly cool preparations, liquid nitrogen significantly outperforms the classic freezing process. Freezing at -4°F (-20°C) causes water to form into increasingly larger crystals and alters the product’s initial structure. Frozen products thus lose a lot of their water and soften. The radical change in temperature brought about by nitrogen ensures the formation of much smaller ice crystals that leave the product’s cell structure intact.