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A Cocktail-A-Day #6: Unboxing of the Molecule-R Mixology Kit

I have been fascinated with molecular gastronomy as far as I can remember. However, I have a hard time defining or describing what it really is. From my brief research into the topic, I can summarize that “molecular gastronomy” is a branch of food science that investigates the science behind the physical and chemical processes of cooking. Most foodies would associate it with the celebrity chef Ferran Adria, the owner of the now-defunct El Bulli restaurant. The term was originally coined in 1992 by an Oxford physicist Nicholas Kurti and the French chemist Herve This and is now associated with a style of cooking that you see at super high-end restaurants such as Alinea of Chicago.

yuzu-sphereBut really, it’s just some cool shit. Yuzu-Cilantro Spheres? Yes! Carbonated Mojito Spheres? Double Yes!! Cocktail INSIDE an Ice Sphere? Triple yes!!! How can you not want to experiment and play with all these awesome recipes and techniques?

carbonated-mojito-spheres-l

cocktail-sphere

Oh, also I am a Chemical Engineer so I get excited by molecules and science shit. Who knew all those chemistry courses in university would actually come in handy?

Molecular-R Molecular Mixology Kit

So I finally took the plunge and bought the kit from Amazon.ca for CAD$58.95. The kit comes with the following:

    • 5 sets of food-additives:
      • Agar-agar – 10 sachets of 20g each
      • Calcium Lactate – 10 sachets of 20g each
      • Sodium Alginate – 10 sachets of 20g each
      • Soy Lecithin – 10 sachets of 20g each
      • Xanthan Gum – 10 sachets of 10g each
    • 1 set of tools:
      • 5 pipettes
      • 1 slotted spoon
      •  1 set of measuring spoons
    • A Quick Start Guide
    • DVD with 50 recipes

 

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The Quick Start guide is pretty well laid out and has plenty of illustrations on how to get started. Molecule-R recommends that you experiment with recipes in the booklet first to master some basic techniques before moving onto the the more advanced DVD recipes.

Of note, you will need a immersion blender to mix the alginate-water solution as apparently an egg-beater may not be powerful enough. You may also want to invest in a fine sieve and silicone ice moulds (for some of the more advanced techniques like Mojito Spheres).

I am pretty pumped to play with my kit. Haven’t had time to play with any recipes yet, but that’s what I will be doing over the next few days. Meanwhile, here’s a more in-depth review from GeekMom over at Wired Magazine that covers making some of the recipes as well.

Time to play with some recipes!

 

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4 responses to “A Cocktail-A-Day #6: Unboxing of the Molecule-R Mixology Kit

  1. dishnthekitchen June 10, 2013 at 13:30

    That looks like some extreme fun! Enjoy 🙂

    • Kiran Somanchi June 10, 2013 at 21:11

      It was a lot of fun. I played with one recipe. It didn’t turn out right – could not make the caviar spheres perfectly. I think the solution was too thick.

      Hoping to get better with time.

      • dishnthekitchen June 10, 2013 at 22:36

        Is that a concoction of agar agar and balsamic vinegar?

      • Kiran Somanchi June 10, 2013 at 23:23

        The two basic chemicals are sodium alginate and calcium lactate. The alginate essentially thickens with water. You then use either a pippette or syringe and squeeze drops of the alginate into the calcium lactate which causes the “caviar” or spherification to take place.

        I don’t understand the chemistry, so it’s something I am hoping to learn pretty soon!

        Stay tuned!

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