Molecular Apple Pie w/ Goldshlager Orb

27 07 2011


Experiment: Give the always-delicious Apple Pie a molecular twist.

Why? To show how a simple molecular application can transform a dish completely. Same great flavors with a new, edgy, impressive look.

Instead of a traditional crust, we’ll be using lacy asiago crisps to give the dish its crunch and savory flavors. Who doesn’t love apples and cheese together?!  Layered between the asiago crisps are caramelized apple rings stacked, and topped by the gold-flecked, delicate Goldshlager Orb. This unique and captivating orb is the molecular addition to this dish, and while it holds its shape well, once your fork digs in, the orb skin will pop and the cinnamon flavors left from the Goldshlager will drizzle down over your modern apple pie.  🙂

Ingredients (for serving size of 2):

Wedge of aged asiago cheese

2 apples

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 cups Goldshlager (can be replaced with cinnamon apple cider or chai tea)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

5 grams Sodium Alginate

5 grams Calcium Lactate

optional: edible gold glitter (usually used for cupcakes)



Sodium Alginate Bath- With a hand blender mix 2 cup filtered water with 5 grams Sodium Alginate, until powder is incorporated. (About 5 minutes) Pour into a deep, flat bottomed pan. Set aside for 20 minutes in the fridge. You want to use filtered water because most tap water contains added calcium, which will change the consistency of the Sodium Alginate bath, making it more viscous and harder for the orbs to stay condensed into spheres.

Asiago Crisp- finely grate the asiago and form into sparse round piles on a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until cheese is completely melted and before it browns. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes.

Sauteed Apples: slice apples into rings and with a melon-baller, remove middle core section. Over medium heat in a large pan, mix together butter, brown sugar, vanilla bean paste, 1/2 cup Goldshlager, and cinnamon. Add in apple rings, and cook for 20-25  minutes or until semi-soft, flipping frequently.

Goldshlager Orb: Mix 1 and 1/2 cup Goldshlager with 5 grams Calcium Lactate in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Instantly remove from burner (unless you want to cook all the alcohol out of the Goldshlager). With a deep spoon (1/2 tsp or 1 tsp size usually works best) take a spoonful of the Goldshlager mixture and slowly submerge into the Sodium Alginate bath until surface of mixture is completely covered than slowly tip the forming orb out of the spoon. Make at least 4 more, so that you’ll have a choice of which orb to plate should 1 or 2 form less than perfect. Plus, you don’t want to waste  that Goldshlager, do you?!? 😉  Let the orbs set for about 10 minutes.

Plating- Layer the asiago crisps and apple rings until a full apple is stacked on each plate. With a bored spoon, carefully transfer a Goldshlager Orb onto each modern apple pie. Drizzle extra sauce from caramelizing the apple around the outside of plate. Optional garnish: Add a little edible gold cupcake glitter to the top of the dish and serve up this impressive dessert!


Conclusion 1: Use a deep, flat bottomed pan when making the orbs so that they don’t slide down next to each other and stick before they finish forming their outer skin.

Conclusion 2: If you have or can find vanilla bean paste use that instead of vanilla extract, it’s much more flavorful and adds flecks of real vanilla into your sauce.

Conclusion 3: While cheddar cheese is most commonly paired with apples, use asiago for the crisps instead of cheddar. Cheddar melts differently and once cooled is more chewy and less crispy.


Brownie with a White Chocolate Raspberry Orb

20 06 2011

While the White Chocolate Raspberry Orb turned out delicious, it was not my intended flavor for today’s experiment. Originally I planned on a warm, moist brownie topped with a Bailey’s Orb…. sounds fab right? However, this experiment turned into one of those mal-tasting mishaps I warned may happen. I dissolved Calcium Lactate into a glass of Bailey’s and within seconds the liquid coagulated into a rather unpleasant substance.  Not so appetizing!

Conclusion: Sodium Alginate and Cream-based Liqueurs don’t mix…. yet. What a girl can’t have, they want even more.  I’m sure with a little more experimenting I’ll have my Bailey Orbs yet!

In the meantime on to plan B.

Enter raspberry preserves and white chocolate syrup.


This recipe isn’t for the brownie, but for the delicate white chocolate raspberry orb that sits atop the brownie, ready to be popped and spill its delicious liquid center down over the edges of this chocolaty dessert. Ready your forks…



1 packet Sodium Alginate

1/2 cup cream

1 Tbsp raspberry preserves

2 Tbsp white chocolate syrup

1/2 tsp Calcium Lactate


Add 1 packet of Sodium Alginate to 2 cups of water and mix with hand held blender. Set aside for 15 minutes.*NOTE: Use a flat bottomed dish so that the orbs won’t touch at the bottom.*

In a separate bowl combine 1/2 cup cream with 1 Tbsp raspberry preserves and 2 Tbsp white chocolate syrup. Stir in 1/2 tsp of Calcium Lactate until dissolved.

With a deep spoon (measuring spoons should work fine) slowing ladle a spoonful of mixture into Sodium Alginate bath. Submerge the spoon slowly for a couple seconds before you tip the white chocolate mixture into the bath.   Let sit for 3-4 minutes.

With a bored spoon remove the orbs and drop in to a flat-bottomed dish full of water for 10-20 seconds. This is called the rinsing bath.  Remove and plate!

Smoked Mozzarella with Cabernet Threads

2 02 2011


1/3 cup Cabernet Sauvignon

2 packs (4 grams) Sodium Alginate

1/2 pack (1 gram) Calcium Lactate



  1. In a medium saucepan combine 1 ¼ cup water and 4 grams of Sodium Alginate. Use the hand blender and mix thoroughly.
  2. Bring to a boil, and then set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Measure out 1/3 cup of the sodium alginate syrup and stir 1/3 cup Cabernet. Mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl combine 2 cups water and 1 gram of Calcium Lactate. Mix well. (Referred to as calcium bath)
  5. With a pipette, suck up the Cabernet mix and squeeze into calcium bath. (During this experiment my mix became much more viscous than the previous time, resulting in more oblong drips than ovals. So, new objective: Cabernet threads! With quick squeezes make threads the length of the pipette instead of beads. They maintain their form and give a different look to the dish.
  6. Once the threads sink to the bottom, stir and scoop out with a strainer.
  7. Serve a small bundle of threads on top of a thick slice of smoke mozzarella and garnish with basil.


Conclusion: Wine is excellent in any shape or form!


Guava Vodka Caviar

2 02 2011

Guava Juice and Ciroc Vodka Caviar


1/3 cup Guava juice & Ciroc Red Berry Vodka (proportion how you please)

2 packs (4 grams) Sodium Alginate

1/2 pack (1 gram) Calcium Lactate

3 drops red food coloring


  1. In a medium saucepan combine 1 ¼ cup water and 4 grams of Sodium Alginate. Use the hand blender and mix thoroughly.
  2. Bring to a boil, and then set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Measure out 1/3 cup of the sodium alginate syrup and stir in the guava juice/vodka mix. Mix well. (I added a few drops of red food coloring for added color, but feel free to leave out.)
  4. In a separate bowl combine 2 cups water and 1 gram of Calcium Lactate. Mix well. (Referred to as calcium bath)
  5. With a pipette, suck up the Guava Vodka mix and squeeze drops into calcium bath.
  6. Once the droplets have sank to the bottom, stir with the bored spoon (the one with holes) and scoop out beads. (The caviar beads I made were too small and clogged the spoon initially, so I collected with a strainer.)

This was such a quick and simple process and the result looks amazing! I find myself wanting to add caviar to everything now! Excuse for a dinner party? I think so!

Conclusion 1: These ingredient measurements make a ridiculously large amount of caviar beads. Either decrease amounts, or use the remaining sodium alginate syrup to do another flavor.

Conclusion 2: Although the caviar looks extremely impressive, it lacks flavor. From now on I’ll focus on only using strong flavors for caviar garnish… like jalapeno or ginger.

Images below:  Guava Vodka Caviar on the Strawberry Sheets

MoleculaR me!

2 02 2011

With the arrival of the long awaited molecular gastronomy starter kit, I couldn’t wait to begin experimenting… however I soon realized I was missing a key tool. The handheld blender; inexpensive yet necessary.

The kit did provide the remaining tools specific to molecular cooking:

  • Food grade syringe
  • Silicone tubes
  • Pipettes
  • Slotted spoon or “bored” spoon
  • Set of measuring spoons
  • And a DVD of 50 stupefying recipe/cooking videos.

So with the handheld blender on my shopping list, I settled in to watch a few of the recipe videos. Two hours later… a few had turned into all 50. I knew molecular gastronomy was fascinating, but these videos literally blew my mind.

The molecular egg? How ridiculously clever!

Chocolate spaghetti encircling a fresh strawberry? Valentine’s Day better watch out!

Rum sheets? Oh. My. Yum.

(See a few videos for yourself

Rum Sheets… Rum Sheets!! 🙂   Like a pirate awaiting a booty raid, I scoured my expansive alcohol cabinet, raiding it of its best goods, and all the while forming intoxicating ideas; Baileys beads, Goldschlager orbs, Ciroc caviar, rum raviolis, Rumplemintz spaghetti, margarita mousse, Cognac spheres, Godiva liqueur clouds , and Frambois foam, oh my!

Surely you see a theme to be. 🙂

Like a child before Christmas I eagerly anticipated the next evening as visions of raspberry raviolis danced in my head.

Oh, to actually begin.


Molecule-R Starter Kit ($60)

  • 10 sachets / net 20g – Agar-agar
  • 10 sachets / net 50g – Calcium salts
  • 10 sachets / net 20g – Sodium alginate
  • 10 sachets / net 20g – Soy Lecithin
  • 10 sachets / net 10g – Xanthan Gum