Reverse Spherification

Reverse Spherification - Urban Platter

Spherification is a modern molecular gastronomy technique that was first invented at El Bulli by Ferran Adria in 2003.

What is Reverse Spherification?

The Reverse Spherification technique is a molecular gastronomy technique which consists of submerging a liquid with calcium content in a bath of sodium alginate. If the juice or flavoured liquid does not naturally contain calcium, calcium lactate or calcium lactate gluconate is added. It is a modern cuisine technique that involves creating semi-solid spheres with thin membranes out of liquids. Both flavour and texture is enhanced with this culinary technique.

So what’s with the name?

Name derives from basic spherification process where the liquid is infused with sodium alginate and submerged in a bath of calcium lactate. Reverse spherification is the exact reverse of this process.

Sodium Alginate

Sodium Alginate is an extract found in brown algae and is used to add viscosity to the submerging liquid and to react with the Calcium solution to quickly form a gel membrane.

Did you know?

Works best for larger spheres rather than the smaller caviar shapes as the liquid needs to be dense enough to penetrate the sodium alginate bath.

Reverse Spherification - Urban Platter

Recipe

Ingredients

Alginate Bath

  • 500 g water
  • 4 g Sodium Alginate

Strawberry Puree

  • 300 g strawberries hulled
  • 10 g sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 5 g Calcium Gluconolactate
  • Strawberry Juice, For storage until use

Get the strawberry puree, the sodium alginate bath and a 1Tbsp measuring spoon to make large spheres.

2. Prepare another bowl with plain water that you are going to use later for rinsing the spheres to remove the excess of sodium alginate.

3. Use the measuring spoon; fill it with the strawberry puree and carefully pour it into the sodium alginate bath. Wipe the bottom with a paper towel, place the spoon over the bath slightly touching its surface and flip it to pour the liquid into the sodium alginate bath.

Reverse Spherification - Urban Platter
Reverse Spherification - Urban Platter

4. Stir the bath gently with the spoon without touching the spheres. If you let them sit in the bottom of the bath, they will flatten and if you let them float, the top won’t be covered with the sodium alginate solution and won’t gel. Make sure the spheres don’t touch each other or they will stick.

5. Wait for about 2 minutes. The longer you wait the thicker the gel that will form.

6. Carefully remove the sphere from the sodium alginate bath using a slotted spoon and rinse it in the bowl with clean water.

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