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Molecular Gastronomy Fun — One-Bite Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

It was time to play with my molecular gastronomy kit again.

I am definitely using it way less frequently than I thought, this experiment was only the second time I used the kit after the making of arugula spaghetti.

One of the deterrent was the fact that I made a huge mess in the kitchen every time I played with it — no exception this time.

I wanted to try spherification, or basically, encapsulation; and decided to go for an encapsulated tomato soup over grilled cheese sandwich — mini sandwiches that were meant to be taken in one bite.

I watched the accompanying video and followed the instruction.

The video showed a square vase being used to mix the 2g of sodium alginate with water.

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I made the mistake of using a much larger bowl, which I thought would make the spherification process easier with more space to work in.

However, the larger bowl made the depth of liquid shorter, and when I placed the hand-held blender in the water, water squirted everywhere!

Mess!

Needless to say, I probably lost some of the sodium alginate because they were floating on the surface.

Luckily, mixing the 1/2 teaspoon of calcium lactate with the tomato soup was uneventful.

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Final step, spooning the tomato soup mixture into the sodium alginate bath.

That proved to be a skillful job.

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The first several that I made looked really ugly.

How I released the small spoonful of soup made a huge difference.

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The minute the soup touched the sodium alginate bath, a film formed around it, so if I released the soup with a tail, my ball of soup had a tail.

With the making of each ball, I got better; but in general, the soup balls were very fragile; any movement broke the outer film and the soup would leak.

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Lastly, I had to transferred the tomato soup balls from the sodium alginate bath to cold water for a rinse.

On the side, I sliced up small slices of baguette, and placed a small rectangle of cheddar cheese on top, broiled them quickly until the cheese was melty.

Then, a leaf of parsley and a scoop of tomato soup ball onto each piece of bread.

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The final creation looked like uni on top of a slice of bread.

The cheddar I got had too much character (sharper than I hope), and the low sodium tomato soup from TJ was a little lack of character.

I also forgot that from a presentation point of view, it was orange on orange.

Next time, I will improve it with a white cheese, and probably Campbell tomato soup that was more creamy and less tart.

The journey continues!

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