Balsamic Vinegar Pearls Recipe
The balsamic vinegar pearls are a simple and fantastic way to add a touch of molecular gastronomy to your dishes. The balsamic vinegar is transformed into small jelly balls using agar agar and the cold oil spherification method.
The cold oil spherification method consists of cooling droplets of a hot agar solution below 35 ˚C (95 ˚F) by releasing them in cold oil using a syringe or pipette. Agar agar needs to be heated to boil for jelling and sets at a temperature of about 35-45 ˚C (95-113 ˚F). The droplets need to cool down and set before they reach the bottom of the cold oil container to keep a nice spherical shape.
Balsamic Vinegar Pearls Ingredients
100 g (7 oz) Balsamic Vinegar
1.5 g (1.5%) Agar Agar
1 cup of oil, cold from being in the freezer for at least 30 min
1- Start by placing the oil in a tall glass in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. It is better if you use a tall glass so there is more time for the balsamic vinegar droplets to get cold and gel before reaching the bottom.
2- Once the oil has been in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, put the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan, dissolve the agar agar and bring it to the boil, stirring constantly with a beater. Take off the heat and skim to eliminate any impurities.
3- Wait a few minutes until the temperature drops to 50-55 ˚C (~120-130 ˚F). If the liquid is too hot, the droplets may not cool down enough and therefore not gel completely before reaching the bottom of the glass resulting in deformed spheres.
4- Fill a syringe with the hot balsamic agar solution and expel it drop by drop into the cold oil. The syringe needs to be high enough for the drops to sink when they get in contact with the oil but not too high or the drops may break into smaller drops creating “baby” spheres. Do not use a Caviar Maker or it will be very difficult to clean with the agar solidifies inside.
5- Wait a few minutes and then carefully remove them from the oil bath using a slotted spoon and rinse them in water. You can keep them in a container in the fridge for later use.
- Serve on salads
- Serve on tomato halves