Mango & Blackcurrant Espuma
Who would have thought that the old-fashioned Cream Whipper would have become fashionable again? Squirty cream had been at the forefront of Gastronomy during the 60’s and 70’s. They then fell into decline until some clever person has decided to dust them off and bring them back in to the professional kitchen. Today I cannot think of one restaurant in Britain and abroad that would not use several of these little wonders for either soups, amuse bouche, desserts, garnishing starters and mains. They are just as popular behind the bar; making some weird and wonderful cocktail creations.
A fact is that if you aerate inside the contents the flavour will intensify; the other beauty is that the gas expands the contents and you get more volume than you bargained for. The liquid comes out in a foam form, and ‘espuma’ is the Spanish word for foam. The chefs in the El Bulli camp have been using the cream whipper for lots of exciting experiments and therefore chefs in the profession like to call the foams espuma.
Make sure that you choose the cream whipper to suit your needs. I have also used this cream whipper for other recipes such as the Aerated Hot Chocolate drink . I urge you to have fun and give it a go. Please follow the guide lines outlined in this recipe, as this will prevent you from making the same costly mistakes that I did when I first started out playing with the cream whipper. Most importantly have loads of fun. I have used the mango and blackcurrant espuma to put the funk into breakfast by creating a funky bircher meusli recipe.
- 250ml Fruit puree of your choice
- 1 leaf of gelatine
This recipe is easy to make but be wary of the potential pitfalls. Follow these guide lines for success. Ensure that you use 100% fruit puree, smooth with no seeds. The seeds will block the cream whipper and you might need to throw it away. Do not use vanilla seeds as these will also block the cream whipper . Taste the fruits, if you need to add sugar use icing sugar. Most importantly pass the puree through a fine sieve.
Soak and dissolve the gelatine in cold water. Add the dissolved gelatine to the puree, gently heat to incorporate, do not boil the puree. Pass the puree through a fine sieve and pour into the clean cream whipper.
Let the puree cool completely, place the lid on tightly and charge with 2 x gas charges. Shake vigorously and let the fruit espuma rest for about 1 hour in a fridge.
Once you are ready to use the espuma, shake the cream whipper vigorously and press the trigger to squirt the fruit foam out of the cream whipper.
Food Fanatics Tips
Using a cream whipper:
Never overfill a cream whipper. If you are using a 1 litre whipper only fill with 750ml of liquid. For a 500ml whipper only fill with 375ml of liquid as the gas needs space to work its magic.
- The liquid or puree must be thick to hold its shape. For the foam to hold its shape for a period of time there must be some form of thickening or gelling agent present in the liquid.
- For hot foam the best thickeners are fat or starch; this could be found in butter, cream or milk. It’s also important to make sure that the liquid is not too hot the perfect temperature is no higher than 65°C and no lower than 50°C. Place the cream whipper in a bain-marie filled with hot water; keep for no longer than 2 hours.
- Cold foams also require fat to stabilise the shape but if you make dairy free foam you can use gelatine alongside a thick liquid, to stabilise the foam. All depends on what it is that you are making but I normally use 1 leaf of gelatine to 250ml of thick liquid. If your choice is dairy you can add fat by adding yoghurt, crème fraîche or cream.
- There are two different gasses available to charge the cream whipper . Standard gas bulbs that will give you the foaming characteristics are Nitrous oxide (N2o) .
- Carbon Dioxide (Co2) is also available and will give the liquid a fizzy texture commonly found in fizzy drinks. Select your gas carefully to give you the desired end result. If you would like to experiment with making fizzy soda drinks I recommend that you should investigate the Soda Syphons bottles.