During the foam workshop, chef Rui Mota prepared recipes with different techniques: how you can quickly infuse a liquid using Smartwhip, speed up cooking ceviche using N2O pressure and using liquid nitrogen for freezing foams instantly.
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Foam workshop introduction
Foam-making is an art that requires some know-how, but with the right ingredients and willingness to experiment you can create a variety of new textured foams.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to the creation of new foams. Whether you want something textured or smooth, thick and luxurious or light as air – all is possible with just a little experimenting.
The key success factors for these creations depend on what kind of flavorings or add-ins have been used, density and application.
Foam is an emulsion of gas in water. Air is composed of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and some other elements that are soluble in water, although not stable.
A foam, in addition to increasing a new texture, incorporates air in a continuous phase, so it takes up more volume when served than it would in its normal state, so the portion served will be in a smaller quantity, in turn, cheaper in terms of management.
The cream dispenser has enormous versatility, in addition to making foams, it also makes impregnations, macerations, gasifications, and food preservation, among other applications.
Types of foams
First, you must define the flavor of the foam, which can be sweet or salty.
With a cream dispenser, it is possible to use numerous ingredients from virtually all product families, some offer better results than others (oils, waters, algae, cocoa, meats, caviar, cereals, preserves, crustaceans, charcuterie, spices, fermented foods, flowers, foie-gras, nuts, fruits, vegetables, flour, herbs, eggs, infusions, coffee, cabbage, liqueurs and distillates, jams, bread, fish, cheese, milk, mushrooms, vegetables, vinegar, juices, etc.).
Regarding temperature, foam can be hot or cold. As for density, it can be solid, thick, fluid, or liquid, it varies according to the foam base (gelatin, fat, egg white, starch, among others), the amount of nitrous oxide, and the rest time.
It is important to define the final application of the foam, whether in a cocktail, an aperitif, a dish, as a sauce, garnish, or dessert.
Food Additives, Surfactants, and Proteins
Just as in emulsions there are emulsifiers, in foams there are surfactants and stabilizers which, under correct application, delay the rupture of the air droplets and increase the stability of its structure and matrix. Some of these agents are better known, such as clear eggs, but there are also more specific ones, they are usually divided into 6 categories: fats, proteins, gelling agents, starches, surfactants, and solids.
The formation of these structures involves a process of incorporation of air, and therefore cream dispensers with the use of a stabilizing agent (or emulsifying agent) so that the foams become stable. In the case of liquid foams, the liquid phase is composed of a mixing liquid with stabilizers (or emulsifiers).
One of the classes of foam-forming agents is surfactants, substances that have in their structure a hydrophilic, polar zone, which binds to water, and a hydrophobic zone, nonpolar, which faces the air, offering stabilization. Emulsifying agents can be proteins (egg, milk), carbohydrates (sucrose esters), or lipids (mono or diglycerides, phospholipids).
Organized by functionality, as a gelling agent, there are agar, alginate, starch, carrageenan, cellulose, gelatin, methylcellulose, and pectin.
With the role of emulsifier, there is the alginate, acacia, methylcellulose, lecithin, and albumin; with thickening paper, there is the starch, carboxymethyl cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, locust bean gum, guar gum, xanthan gum, hydroxymethyl cellulose, and methylcellulose.
Concentrations below 1% significantly alter the rheological and organoleptic properties of the food products where it was applied, changing mainly the physical properties when in solution, resulting in high viscosity or the creation of a cohesive intermolecular network.
The gelatin helps to retain air bubbles, as does the starch which thickens and increases the stability. On the other hand, thickeners that do not gel are not sufficient to retain foam effectively, but they already play an important role because the thicker the liquid, the longer the air bubbles will last.
Smartwhip full set and cream dispenser
- Make sure the siphon is clean and odor-free, including the accessories
- Prepare the mixture with the aid of a blender or a blender
- Pass the preparation through a fine sieve to retain any fibers and seeds
- Fill the siphon without exceeding the maximum limit established in it
- After filling the siphon, place the cap and screw it on completely
- Charge the siphon with a charge of nitrous oxide
- Shake the siphon vigorously for correct air distribution
- Store in the fridge for at least 30 minutes 9. With the siphon facing down, press the trigger to extract the foam.