I know this is nothing new, but is sure is fun to play around with! When you come home from a long day at work, who doesn't want to play chemistry in your kitchen! I dabbled in a little molecular gastronomy stuff at the restaurant and it is always a cool thing to pull out at a dinner party or something. The Spherification process is actually pretty easy, just stay true to the measurements. This recipe is straight out of the El Bulli cookbook, there are only 2 ingredients that you will have to hunt for, Sodium Alginate and Calcium Chloride, both food grade additives. Sodium Alginate is a natural product extracted from brown algae that grow in cold water regions of Ireland, Scotland, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc. Calcium Chloride is a calcium salt traditionally used in the food industry, for example in cheese making.
For the pea juice:
300 g extra fine frozen peas
375 g water
1. Put the frozen peas in the blender.
2. Bring the water to the boil and add the peas.
3. Shred the peas with the water to obtain a juice.
4. Strain in a chinois.
5. Chill in a ice bath
For the spherical pea ravioli base:
500 g pea juice (preparation above)
2.4 g Sodium Alginate
1. Mix sodium alginate with 1/3 of the pea juice in a blender to obtain an even mixture with no lumps.
2. Add the rest of the pea juice and mix well.
3. Strain and chill in ice bath or refrigerator.
For the Calcium Chloride bath:
6.5 g Calcium Chloride
1000 g water
1. Dissolve Calcic in the water with a blender.
2. Put the mix in a container to obtain a height of about 5 cm.
For the spherical pea ravioli:
1. Fill a hemispherical spoon with the spherical pea ravioli base and pour the contents of the spoon into the Calcium Chloride bath.
2. Leave the pea juice ravioli to cook in the bath for 2 min.
3. When the 2 min are up take out the ravioli with a slotted spoon and submerge them in cold water to clean them.
4. Strain the spherical pea ravioli, trying not to break them.
There you go, it will take a little practice in getting the "pour" into the bath but once you get it down you can amaze your friends with your mad skills. This recipe works for most low acid vegetables and fruits.