This is what to do with experiments in molecular gastronomy. Hide it in mousse. Super easy (apart from the fruit caviar part), light and with a delicious surprise of bursting ‘grapes’ in the middle. I like the added texture from the tempered white chocolate and the salted caramel sand (which also contrasted the sweetness of the grape).
Grape mousse with grape caviar on salted caramel sand
It is recommended to use cheesecloth to strain the grape juice, rather than a sieve, otherwise the resulting juice will be quite cloudy.
- 200 g purple grapes
- 50 g caster sugar
- ½ tablespoon lemon juice
- Purple food colouring (or mix together blue and red)
- Lightly blend the grapes.
- Heat the grapes, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan until boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Strain into a bowl (using fine sieve and cheesecloth). To ensure the juice is as clear as possible, allow it to drip through the cheesecloth by gravity (do not force it through).
- Make up to 250 ml with water and add a little food colouring to obtain a grape-like colour.
- Set aside 150 ml for making grape caviar and use the remainder (100 ml) to make the mousse.
Grape caviar (reverse spherification):
- 150 ml grape juice
- ⅛ teaspoon Calcium Lactate Gluconate Powder (2 g per 100 ml)
- Prepare a sodium alginate bath (instructions here), cover and allow to settle in fridge for 1 – 24 hours.
- When the sodium alginate bath is clear, remove from fridge and place on counter.
- Set up a bowl of fresh water next to the sodium alginate bath.
- Add the calcium lactate gluconate to the grape juice and mix thoroughly before using to fill a 25 ml syringe.
- Place the barrel of the syringe into the sodium alginate bath and slowly and carefully dispense a droplet under the liquid while raising the syringe towards the surface.
- Let the little spheres fall to the bottom of the bowl and gently tease with a spoon so all the surfaces get exposed to the water bath.
- Alternatively (for larger spheres), fill a 5 ml rounded bottom measuring spoon (a teaspoon) and carefully pour out right over the surface.
- Larger spheres will form as they penetrate the water bath due to surface tension. Allow the spheres to fall to the bottom (or ‘help’ them sink with some gentle agitation).
- Leave the spheres in the sodium alginate for a couple of minutes to form a solid gel membrane and ‘set’, then carefully remove with a slotted spoon and rinse in the water bath.
- Scoop spheres out of the water bath to a clean container.
- 100 ml grape juice
- 50 ml thickened cream (35% fat)
- 1 gelatine leaf, soaked on cold water for 5 minutes
- grape caviar (from above)
- Heat the grape juice on a low to medium heat.
- Gently squeeze the water from the gelatine and add to the grape juice, then stir to dissolve.
- Pour into a dish, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the fridge and use an electric beater to whisk for 2 minutes.
- Add cream and continue to whisk for 2 minutes until thickened.
- Carefully fold through grape caviar.
- Spoon into small ramekins, or other serving glass.
- Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or more to set.
- Unmold and serve on salted caramel sand with white chocolate shards for decoration.