Ann Reardon

Molecular Gastronomy: Custard Ravioli Spherical Recipe

molecular-gastronomy-spherical-custard-dessert-recipeCustard Spherical Recipe

Alginate bath:
5g (0.18 ounces) Sodium alginate molecular gastronomy kits available here
25g (0.88 ounces) or 2 Tbsp sugar
1 litre (0.26 gallons) distilled water

Mix together the sugar and sodium alginate (this helps to stop it clumping). Put half the water in a blender and sprinkle the surface with a little of the sodium alginate mixture – blend 10 secs, repeat until all of the alginate is added. Add the remaining water and blend for 3 minutes. Pour into a container and refrigerate for a couple of hours. This allows the alginate to rehydrate and the air bubbles to dissipate.

Custard:
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup or 72g (2.54 ounces) sugar
1 cup or 250ml cream
vanilla
5g (0.18 ounces) calcium lactate
1 tablespoon or 15ml water
Presentation (optional): I served the sphericals with sponge, strawberries and rosemary.

Heat the cream to boiling, remove from heat and add vanilla. Heat about an inch of water in a saucepan and place a bowl over the top. The bowl should be large enough to seal in the steam, the base of the bowl should not be touching the water. Put the eggs and sugar into the bowl and whisk until thickened. Mix into the hot cream.

Mix the calcium lactate with a tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Microwave and stir until dissolved. Mix into the custard.

If the custard needs thickening sprinkle a pinch of xanthum gum over the custard and whisk in. Use only a tiny amount and leave to thicken – it will thicken more on cooling so do not add too much.

Allow to cool then place spoonfuls of custard into the alginate bath for 2 minutes.  The longer you leave it the thicker the gel membrane becomes.

molecular cooking alginate bath

Remove from the alginate bath and place in a bowl of water to rinse.  Before serving put sphericals in a bowl of hot water to heat the custard.molecular cooking custard ravioli sphericals ebulli

Serve with a circle of sponge cake, chopped strawberries and a sprinkle of rosemary.molecular-gastronomy-dessert-recipe

Because the alginate gel is heat stable you can try baking it inside cakes – I experimented with this but found that they tended to burst during cooking.
See also… best of the web spherical caviar and raviole recipes

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

I have been busy over the last year planning, writing and overseeing the photography and layout for my first ever cookbook! There are heaps of my favourite dessert recipes in there with a chapter on pastries, ice-cream, yummy cakes, artistic desserts and of course chocolate desserts. Each chapter has its own intro explaining the food science that you'll need to know for success every time. Booksellers where you can purchase your very own copy: http://bit.ly/ARcookbook


All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

9 Comments View Comments

  1. Instructions not clear

  2. Can I use cherry to flavor it instead of just custard?

  3. Where is the recipe for the ravioli?

    • Hi deborah, you will find it on the blog page above.

  4. Your instructions say sprinkle with rosemary but that’s not listed in the ingredients! Please fix 🙂

    • Thanks JJ. Ann hasn’t listed any of the optional presentation ingredients which include sponge circles, diced strawberries and rosemary. You can present the sphericals how ever you would like. We have now added a comment to that effect on the blog page.

  5. Hi Ann
    while on a recent trip to Australia;)
    i went to a frozen yoghurt place and they had lychee “popping pearls” they were amazing and i wondered if they were made similar to this recipe, but they were perfectly round. could you tell me how they are made if you know or make a video:)

  6. Hi Ann,

    Maybe a stupid question – but can I use a store bought custard or use custard powder to make the custard to make the spheres?
    Thanks !

    • Hi Nikki, yes you can just check the calcium content is high enough, if not add calcium salts.

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