Vauquelin by David W.

25 03 2008

I don’t know if anyone has heard of the blog site blog.khymos.org, but it’s a great blog site dealing mostly with molecular gastronomy (post modern cuisine). The most recent post on the site has to do with a new concept introduced by Herve This called vauquelin. This concept is basically just microwaved egg whites. It’s almost like a meringue, but not quite; It has a much more spongy texture. The khymos website has excellent pictures. Anyway, on to the idea behind the name. So we all know that egg whites, when whipped, can increase in volume up to 8 times. Well what if i wanted to increase the volume of an egg white 40 times? 50 times? Why not?

Herve This proposed a theory that since the proteins in egg whites are what support the the foaming, and the foaming is only possible because of water, what would happen if we whipped egg whites with water? For that matter, why not add a little acid or sugar to further stabilize the proteins? This not only proposed this idea, but experimented with it as well. The volume of foam obtained from an egg white after adding water and sugar is absolutely mind blowing. If you go to the khymos website, you can see it. They mixed 1 egg white with 1.5 dL (1/2 cup) blueberry syrup (juice works too) and it produced an astounding 2 Liters of foam. One egg white weighs what, 2 ounces? 2 ounces turned into 2 liters is pretty cool in my book.

Now, this isn’t quite a vauquelin yet. After whipping the mixture, you need to microwave it for a short amount of time. I haven’t tried it yet, but depending on the power level of your microwave, it could take anywhere from 5 seconds to 20 seconds. I think I’m going to experiment tonight with the times and update this post tomorrow to let you guys know what time in the microwave I found was adequate. I really recommend checking out this khymos website. It can open your eyes to all sorts of new ideas and techniques.

Also I just realized there is a link to the khymos blog under the Blogroll section of this web page. Check it out.

Scooped after microwavingCut after MicrowavePre-Microwave

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