Plum Caviar with Basic Spherification
Learn how to make plum juice caviar with the Basic Spherification technique. The little spheres will burst in the mouth releasing a delicious plum juice. Combine them with fresh basil, candied apricot, fresh peach, cooked salmon or sharp cheddar.
The plum caviar is made using the Basic Spherification technique. This is the preferred spherification method for producing “caviar” (small spheres) since the viscosity of the bath is thin allowing the small droplets to cohere into a spherical shape in the bath and the spheres don’t stick together as in reverse spherification. (for optimal results read "7 Tips for Making Spherification Caviar").
You can make the caviar with a syringe or using the caviar maker. The Caviar Maker has 96 pipettes connected to a syringe releasing 96 drops into the calcium bath in the same amount of time you would be releasing just one drop using a syringe or squeeze bottle. Now you can release 96 drops every 1 second and have 960 caviar spheres in 10 seconds and remove them all at the same time after 1 minute and 10 seconds ready to delight several diners.
Watch the video below for step by step instructions on how to make juice caviar with the Basic Spherification technique.
Ingredients for Caviar
- 500 g (18 oz) plum juice
- 2.5 g sodium alginate (0.5%)
- Optional: Red food coloring
Calcium Chloride Bath
- 1000 g (35 oz) water
- 5 g calcium chloride (0.5%)
Preparing the Plum Juice
Dispersing and Hydrating Sodium Alginate
1- Mix the sodium alginate with the juice using a blender until the sodium alginate is completely dissolved. If this is your first time doing this, be aware that this may take longer than expected.
2- As an optional step you can add some red food coloring to obtain a nicer result. Since the caviar spheres are small, sometimes they look too pale and a little food coloring can significantly improve the presentation.
Removing Air Bubbles
3- Strain the mix and store it in the fridge covered in plastic wrap for a few hours to eliminate the air bubbles.
Preparing the Calcium Bath for Basic Spherification
1- Prepare the calcium bath in a bowl by dissolving the calcium chloride in the water.
Creating the Spheres in the Calcium bath
You are now ready to start creating the caviar! You can use a syringe or a caviar maker.
1- Fill a syringe with the plum-alginate mixture and expel it drop by drop into the calcium bath. The syringe needs to be high enough (about 3 inches from the bath surface) for the drops to sink and to prevent the formation of a tail. Don’t go too high or the drops may break into smaller drops creating “baby” drops.
With Caviar Maker
Making spherification caviar is fun but it can be a draining process to make enough for a few cocktails or dishes one drop at a time using just a syringe or squeeze bottle. With the Caviar Maker you can now multiply the production by 96 times with no extra effort!
1-Add the plum-alginate mixture to the caviar maker tray. A minimum of 75 ml must be in the tray in order to avoid breaking vacuum when it is aspirated.
2- Replace the top section of the caviar maker over the tray containing the caviar mix. The tips of the 96 wells will now be immersed in the caviar mixture.
3- Back off the syringe plunger to 5cc. Creates air space to provide extra push at the end of the dispensing cycle.
4- Attach the tubing to the syringe.
5- Aspirate the syringe plunger to the 20 ml mark on the barrel of the syringe in a slow and steady motion.
6- Carefully lift the caviar maker from the tray and place it about 3 inches over the calcium bath. Slowly depress the syringe plunger from 20ml to 0 ml.
Collecting the Juice Caviar
1- After a minute, remove the caviar spheres from the calcium bath, rinse them in a clean water bath and serve immediately. The jellification process continues even after removing the caviar from the calcium bath and will eventually convert into a solid gel sphere with no liquid inside.
-Serve in a faux caviar tin.
-Use it to top a green tea panna cotta.
-Add it to cocktails.
-Plum juice pairs well with fresh basil, candied apricot, fresh peach, cooked salmon, sharp cheddar.