Dish of the day: Molecular cooking
For years now chefs have been making bubbles and balls, hot jellies, everlasting foams and all sorts of magical things using various powders and gels. This style of cooking is relatively new to me, and, not wanting to be ignorant to the obvious evolution of techniques, I wanted to at least have a go and see if there was anything in it that I could use to help my cooking.
Standing in my kitchen at home, weighing 4 different powders in minuscule amounts on scales that are normally associated with other things, I can’t help but think this isn’t for me.
Pastry frustrates the hell out of me as it is, let alone adding calcium to this and alginate to that then injecting one into the other and straining before they ‘cook’ too much. I got into cooking because chefs were like pirates, we work too much, party too hard, cook with flames and use wooden spoons so old they’ve been worn down to a mere chop stick. Nowadays many top kitchens only cook on induction, everything’s brand new and shiny and there are often more chefs than guests. That’s all great, but the powdery stuff can do one. I’ve never needed it before and I don’t plan on needing it now. When a recipe calls for syringes I get nervous. Take a beautiful skate wing and roast in foaming butter, or a whole belly of pork with perfect cracking from one side to the other. People love that. I’ve never heard anyone say ‘check out how round this lemon caviar is’ or ‘wow this foam is so airy, it’s like, totally staying there forever’. Maybe people do say that, just not the people I hang around with
Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing chefs out there using it to their advantage, doing things that literally blow your mind, that I’ll never be able to do. Maybe I’m being naive, but It’s just not my cup of tea, and, as I stand over my sink running hot water over a hot jelly trying to dissolve it, my doubts are confirmed.cooking, Dish of the Day, molecular cooking
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter