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.
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!
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.
Final step, spooning the tomato soup mixture into the sodium alginate bath.
That proved to be a skillful job.
The first several that I made looked really ugly.
How I released the small spoonful of soup made a huge difference.
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.
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.
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!