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Plum Caviar with Basic Spherification

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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").

Plum Juice Caviar with Basic Spherification -top_0


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.

With syringe

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

Caviar Maker to make juice caviar easily


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.

Serving Suggestions

Plum Juice Caviar with Basic Spherification -zoom_0

-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.

  • Chris Araujo

    I tried this recipe with orange juice and it didn’t work. Do you think it may have been the acidity or another component?

    • QuantumChef

      Yes, acidity is the problem.

  • Huron I forgot password

    Why is the caviar 96 nozzle thing so expensive?

    • QuantumChef

      Because it is a patented device made by only one lab equipment manufacturer unfortunately.

  • Huron Blackheart

    Would using a mix (in order of quantity) Red Grape, Pomegranate, Tart Cherry. Mango, Ruse Hip, Purple Carrot and Blueberry juice work, or is there any problem like acidity?

  • Huron Blackheart

    Never mind, the juice dissapated into a sort of foam when it hit the bath. Didn’t work… :(

  • Huron Blackheart

    Oh, that’s why. Can someone else make it with like, 60 nozzles or something? Or does that still break the patent?

  • melissa

    can I do the same thing with puree instead of juice?

  • Pav Pit

    Guys I have good news. The production company in Florida start to make encapsulated products (Juices, Spices (ketchup, wasabi, mustard), dairy products, Olive Oil, Vinegar, red and black caviar, probiotics, coffee, Baileys, tiramisu and wine. All products are natural, tasty, no GMO and no preservatives with very affordable price.

  • Danny Tongue

    can tap water be used or do you have to use distilled water in this recipe? for example if i wanted to use a strawberry syrup and mix with water

  • Danny Tongue

    What would my best option be to make caviar peals that last a long time? would it be best to use the reverse specification process? or is there another way of producing the caviar? from reading up on the basic caviar, they will eventually turn into a solid which wont work for me.

  • Alexandros Vezirtzis

    Just a question, is it possible to use calcium lacate gluconate in the juice and sodium alginate bath?

    • QuantumChef

      You mean to replace the calcium chloride? Yes, just use 4X the amount.