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Mozzarella Balloons Recipe

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The mozzarella balloons will definitely surprise your diners. When they first see them, they have no idea of what a white balloon is doing on their plate. After a few minutes of staring at them, they will finally decide to puncture one of the mozzarella balloons with a fork or knife and they’ll get surprised one more time by a puff of roasted garlic air.

I believe the creator of the mozzarella balloon is Thomas Keller from the French Laundry. The best thing is that they are very easy to make as long as you have an ISI Whip or other N2O cream whipper.


Mozzarella balloon 720

Ingredients for Mozzarella Balloons

- 200 g Fresh Mozzarella (4 servings)

- 10 roasted garlic cloves

- balsamic vinegar reduction

- 12 peeled pearl tomatoes

- thinly sliced basil

- olive oil

- salt and pepper

- olive oil powder


If the garlic cloves are not already roasted, wrapped them in aluminum foil with a few drops of olive oil and place them in the oven for 25 min at 200 ˚C (400 ˚F). Smash them and place them in the ISI Whip featured with the straight nozzle and charge it.

If the pearl tomatoes are not peeled yet, remove the stem and carefully make a couple of cuts to the skin originating from the end where you removed the stem. Place them in boiling water for 10 to 15 seconds and transfer them to a recipient with ice cold water. Wait for a couple of minutes and then you should be able to peel the skin very easily.

Boil 3 or 4 cups of water and set it aside in a container in which you can immerse the mozzarella pieces for each balloon without touching each other.  Cut the mozzarella in pieces of 50 g (usually about half a mozzarella ball). Place them in the hot water to get them really soft and pliable. It may take about 5 to 10 minutes.

You are now ready to make the mozzarella balloons. Remove one piece of hot mozzarella from the hot water; it should be hot and pliable, like bubble gum. Knead it for 30 seconds to cool it down a little and then put it over the ISI Whip straight nozzle. Make sure the cheese is in one solid piece and does not have fold lines that are not completely fused together.  Hold it tightly around the tip of the nose with your thumb and index fingers around it. Slowly start inflating it until desired size. Tight the bottom by squeezing the mozzarella with your two fingers as you slide the balloon out of the nozzle. Make sure the balloons don’t touch each other or they will stick.

Look carefully while inflating and stop if one section of the balloon is getting too translucent. If it breaks, don’t worry; just compact the mozzarella and place it in hot water again.

Place three peeled pearl tomatoes on each plate. Season with olive oil, fresh pepper, salt and top with finely sliced basil. Set one mozzarella balloon next to the tomatoes, add salt and drizzle with balsamic vinegar reduction.

Finally, add a spoon of olive oil powder. The olive oil powder is a perfect complement to this dish. Don't skip this step!

  • Victor Ng

    Thanks for the recipe – I tried this and was able to successfully make only one balloon :( .
    I found that sometimes the balloon would start inflating and then suddenly burst at one point.
    Other times, there would be some vents where all the air would escape.
    For the one successful one I made, I had to quickly knead the cheese and place it over the N2O nozzle soon after while it was still kind of wet. Perhaps my kneading technique was not correct? and I was introducing too many cracks or gaps? Anyways, it was fun, but I found that if you don’t do it right, the gas runs out quickly.

    • Quantum Chef

      Hi Victor,

      Glad you had some fun! What probably happened is that the cheese was not hot enough before you started kneading so it got too cold and less elastic by the time you placed it on the ISI nozzle. The cheese should almost burn your fingers when you remove it from the hot water.

      The other tip I have is to make sure you place the nozzle in the center of the piece of cheese and the balloon starts forming in the center. I usually inject a little bit of gas and check that this is happening or I adjust the cheese over the nozzle as needed. If the cheese gets too cold while you are doing this, just place it again in the hot water and start working with another hot piece.

      Hope this helps!

      • Drew

        Yeah a lot of times when u see someone making mozz cheese they double up on food prep gloves so they can handle hotter molten cheese. Maybe wearing gloves will help.

        • Anonymous

          Great idea! Thanks for the tip!

  • mel

    can theses be prepared in advance ? will they stay this way

    • Anonymous

      No, they have to be prepared right before serving. They will hold the air for quite some time but the balloon surface is so thin that it dries in about 30 minutes and it feels like paper.

      • MJBarry

        How about spraying on a light coat of olive oil to delay drying?

        • QuantumChef

          I think it will help but you probably still need to serve them soon because the air is not going to stay inside indefinitely.

      • Cara

        Even if the the cheese dries out will it hold its shape or deflate?

        • QuantumChef

          It will eventually deflate but it may last an hour if done correctly.

  • Corey Phillips

    I would like to do this with blue cheese as a garnish for martinis with the addition of a plum puree drizzle rather than the balsamic reduction. Would adding Xanthan Gum to the blue cheese give me the consistency that I’m looking for in order to make this work or do you have any other suggestions that might help?

    • Anonymous

      The cheese needs to be very elastic so I am afraid this is not going to work with blue cheese, even after adding Xanthan Gum. I am not aware of a way of doing this with blue cheese. sorry!

  • Kvoisaf10

    This really looks great, but I have two questions:
    1. Do you use buffalo Mozerella or regular cow milk?
    2. Do you use the base muzzle of the whip or do you put one one of the red plastictubes?

    Kind regards

    • Anonymous

      1. Regular cow milk
      2. The red plastic ISI Whip straight nozzle

      Good luck!

  • ChefChris61

    Ive tried this althought it is a very cool presentation its not practical catering off sight.

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  • Zodelz

    What is being put in the baloon?

  • Technokidz

    Will the roasted garlic paste alone in the canister not clog the ISI when discharging? I just bought it and have not used it yet and don’t really want to gum it up on the first go around!

    • Anonymous

      no problem if you keep it upright

  • DaveLamers

    what is the texture of the cheese after you pop the balloon?

    • Anonymous

      A little harder than the original cheese but very similar taste if you only heat it once in the water and you serve it immediately.

  • pearlee

    Is it possible to do any of these techniques with ordinary things from your kitchen? Even a foam?

  • Spowderl1

    Is it possible to do any of these techniques with ordinary things from your kitchen? Even a foam? As Pearlee had asked.  Thank You

  • SFeater

    Great recipe! Would putting herbs in the iSi instead of roast garlic still scent the N20? 

    • QuantumChef

      Yes, but use strong herbs like rosemary or sage for better results.

  • SFeater

    Could I use a smoking gun to fill a balloon for a smoked mozzerella flavor?

    • QuantumChef

      It won’t have enough pressure to fill the balloon but you can probably fill the ISI Whip with smoke or even some wood chips.

  • gopal

    hi quantum chef,
    great recipe, i made with squeeze bottle, its so good, thnks for ur recipe

  • S.b. Kelley

    is it possible to add helium to the inside so the ball will actually float over the dish?

    • S.b. Kelley

      if so, can a 95 cc Helium Cylinder be used with the isi dispenser?

    • QuantumChef

      I think it is going to be too heavy to get lifted by the amount of helium in it but you should try it!!

      • S.b. Kelley

        i can only find a 95 cc Helium Cylinder … can it be used with the isi dispenser?

        • QuantumChef

          No, I think you’ll have to inflate it directly using a helium tank.

          • S.b. Kelley

            ok … thank you for your help!! i certainly don’t have a helium tank so they will stay grounded.

  • Will Davison

    Untried this mozzarella balloon today as a deconstructed caprese. After I kneaded the mozz it was hard to get it over the nozzle of the isi. Should it be on the thicker side of things or is there a certain technique to this process? Thanks

    • QuantumChef

      It may have gotten too cold. It really takes a little bit of practice to find the right elasticity to make it work.

  • Zac

    I have a vision in my head of a deconstructed pizza slice with mozarella baloons drizzled with a little bit of tomato sauce…

  • chef shawn

    I used bocconcini cheese and am in a competition that requires me to use buffalo mozza… will it work with the buffalo?

    • QuantumChef

      Not sure it will work. Buffalo mozzarella tends to be softer and less firm but you can try. It may work too!

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  • gk46

    Is it possible to make it with isi co2 charger?

    • QuantumChef

      Yes but taste maybe slightly off since CO2 affects the taste buds.

  • Cameron Nottingham

    So do you have the isi canister upright while inflating?

    • QuantumChef


  • Cameron Nottingham


  • Suraj Sunny Chopra

    I would like to try the edible helium balloon , can I know where to get the recipe?

  • Chef John

    How long with the cheese hold the air?

    • QuantumChef

      About 10 to 20 minutes if they are well done.

  • Lizzie Bee

    HI, do you find this works best with very fresh cheese, or much older mozzarella – as the cheese ages it loses water content so I am wondering which gives the best elasticity?

    • QuantumChef

      This is done with fresh mozzarella which doesn’t last more than a few days anyway. I found that some brands are more elastic than others.

  • Jana Jankova

    Has anyone tried tofu? Please let me know if it works as I’d like to try an Asian-fusion version with fresh cilantro, lemon grass, soy, garlic and ginger as air inside the balloon.
    Thanks in advance!

  • Jana Jankova

    Guys, has anyone tried this with tofu? I’d like to use cilantro, lemon grass, soy and ginger-garlic for the air inside and not really sure if tofu has the right pliability.
    Please advise, thanks!

  • Rdale Taylor

    Gave this a go, was pretty easy, one fail before getting the cheese properly melty. My boy filmed the method with narrative.

    • lorenzo “mcsabas” campelli

      i wanted to see how this was done

  • Sean Robinson

    Just curious if there is any way to “solidify” the balloons once inflated. So rather than “popping” the balloons, having them deflate, they would be more brittle and “shatter.” Liquid Nitrogen/Dry ice, perhaps?

  • Mark Moser

    After the balloons are made can they be refrigerated for 1/2 hr – 1 hr Will they deflate? How can they stay inflated?Want to surprise dinner guests!

    • QuantumChef

      It is better to make them right before serving. Even if they don’t deflate, the thin layer of cheese will start to dry and will not taste good.