Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Frozen Chocolate Wind - a molecular gastronomy dessert

Recently, I made honey pearls using kit from Molecule-R Flavors. That was a lot of fun. And I liked the way they turned out. So I flipped through the other recipes and found something called Frozen Chocolate Wind.

Okay, they had me at chocolate. The chocolate wind recipe is in the emulsification section. Basically, emulsification is a process that combines two ingredients that don't normally mix - like oil and vinegar to make salad dressing, or oil and egg yolks to make mayonnaise.

In this case, chocolate and water combine, and when the mixture is whipped with an egg beater, the bubbles stay stable for long enough so you can freeze the mixture. The result is a light, airy, frothy chunk of chilly chocolate.

The photo in the recipe showed a lumpy chunk of the chocolate, but I froze mine on a cookie sheet to make thinner slabs of bubbly chocolate that I could stack up. Maybe next time I'll try the bigger chunks.

It's a good idea to serve this chocolate on a chilled plate, since it begins melting pretty quickly on a room-temperature plate. This would also be interesting as a garnish on a cold dish, like ice cream, where it would stay chilled longer.

This was easy to make, but the beating process was pretty messy. I'd suggest using an over-sized bowl, or something deep and narrow, to contain the splatter.

Use a chocolate that you like as-is, since it's all you'll taste.

Frozen Chocolate Wind

2 grams (about a teaspoon) soy lecithin
85 grams dark chocolate
1 cup water

Combine the water and chocolate in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to make sure all the chocolate melts. Refrigerate the mixture for 10 minutes.

Dissolve the soy lecithin into the chocolate mixture and beat with a hand blender or eggbeater. The idea is to create foam.

I'm thinking about trying this in my stand mixer with the whip attachment next time, just to see if it works, and to see if it's any less messy.

Stop and gather the foam and put it into a bowl or another container that will fit in your freezer. Stash it in the freezer while you continue beating the remaining mixture to get as much foam as you can

I found that early on I was getting big, delicate bubbles, then they got smaller as the mixture cooled, until at the very end I had tiny bubbles more like what you'd see in whipped cream.

Put the foam into the freezer for at least an hour before you serve.