Saturday, January 02, 2010

Vegan Methyl Cellulose Marshmallows.

I took posession, late in the last year of a box of alchemical culinary tricks from France. Pipettes, calcium chloride, and the bould sodium alginate, for ravioli and caviar, a syringe, for roasting fowls, filling chocolates and eggs and, inevitably, the diabetes my sweet and sugar addiction is nicely nursing. (I wonder what insulin actually tastes like).

I also ordered some methyl cellulose, inspired by this post on the Playing with fire and water food blog. Great photos, engaging experimentation, beautiful food and challenging recipes, including this one for methyl cellulose marshmallows. Worth a number of visits. For non dairy animal free types, the methyll cellulose is plant derived, giving an entriely vegan marshmallow.

It's a straight forward, easy to make recipe, taken directly from the above site, and a good introduction, for me at least, to the chemistry of cooking.

Weights, including for water, are in grammes.

230g of water
90g of sugar
4.5g of methlycellulose
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
icing sugar

Boil up the water and sugar. Let it cool, and add the methylcellulose and vanilla. Blend them thoroughly with a stick blender.

Cover and chill for two hours.

Preheat your oven to 150 C.

Remove from the fridge. Add to your mixer, or blender, and beat on high until fluffy (it took about four minutes in the faithful Kenwood).

Spread the mix out in a mold or on a tray - it doesn't seem to rise too much, and holds it's shape quite well - and pop it in the oven for about 5 minutes, until set.

Voila, marshmethylmallows.

The texture I found to be lighter than classic marshmallow - not as gelatinous, gloopy, or chewable. On the plus side, the vanilla flavour came through more cleanly (no flour/starch to emblanden it?) and the texture had a delicious lightness, much more foamy than I was used to. It also behaves like marshmallow when toasted, browning and crisping up on the exterior.

Unfortunately, instead of using it, I left it out, and when I returned, it had leaked out a lot of clear liquid - presumably the emulsion coming apart - and was left with a toughish plasticised skin. One of the properties of methylcellulose is that it gels at higher temperatures, and becomes liquid as it cools. It will hold it's shape for circa 15 minutes, before liquifying. Solution, hold it in a low oven until ready to serve.

All in all, a success.


lusciousblopster said...

i want it i want it i want it. bring on the vegan marshmallow wonderfulness.

Keith said...

I'll bring up the constituent ingredients at some stage, and we can go nuts. I'll bring the syringe too.

For chocolate, like.