Monday, March 26, 2007

Chocolate Nothing

So, I tried making something that I'd heard that has been done at El Bulli. I'm not in any way claiming that this is an original idea, but I didn't find any recipes around for how to do it, so I just sorta figured it must be sorta like this...

* 1 tablespoon dutched cocoa
* 1.5 tablespoons sugar
* .25 cup boiling water
* .5 cup heavy cream
* 1.5 tsp lecithin

Boil the water, and dissolve the sugar and dutched cocoa. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Add cream. Using an immersion blender, mix in the lecithin. Whiz air into the mixture until bubbles form on the surface. If the bubbles aren't stable, add a touch more lecithin until they are.

Scoop off the resulting foam and put into ramekins. I put them into cupcake paper thingies that I'd set into the ramekins, but I'd recommend against this. Freeze.

Now, if you've done well, and you've *only* got foam when you scooped off the bubbles, what you'll have is a ramekin full of what El Bulli would call "Chocolate Air." A spoonful of this will taste quite chocolate-y, but when you put it in your mouth, it completely disappears. There's almost no sensation of having eaten anything, except for the substantial chocolate flavor.

I got that on about the top half of the ones I made, but the bottoms were a bit sloshy and dense. Probably could have used more lecithin, as the bubbles of the foam weren't totally stabilized. I'd also bet that a cream whipper would have made a much more uniform, silky foam. Ei-Nyung suggested using the Nespresso's steamer attachment, which would probably also really work well.

I'll be trying this again, for sure. Pictures next time, though really, it just looks like a very airy chocolate mousse.


Blogger ei-nyung said...

I'm surprised you didn't call this "Chocolate Nuhfink".

4:24 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

We've had really good luck using a bodum french press as a "whipper". Works better than our steamer attachment, and results in very smooth foam.

10:57 AM  

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