Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 5: Lychee Cubes

Well Day Five was a pretty big failure when it comes to Thing A Day.  I really wanted to post something, but I woke up and went to a friend's house to help prepare food for the Super Bowl.  She made queso dip, lil weenies, and football brownies.  I made a mexican chicken pizza and an Italian sausage pizza.  Everything was delicious and turned out great!

The Super Bowl was okay - I didn't drink and I don't find football very interesting, not to mention the commercials weren't all that great.  I did manage to fall asleep during the last quarter, so it is good to know it isn't just the alcohol that makes me sleepy during football :)

I rode to the party with my friends, so I didn't get home until 10:30, which gave me no time for Thing A Day.  Today, to make up for it, I made two things.

Day Five's designated recipe was for Lychee Cubes. 

These did NOT turn out, but I think the basic theory would work for liquid spheres with something solid in the middle.  I will explain how I made them, because I really think there were just a few simple errors and these would be pretty easy to fix.

One can Lychees (or any fruit packed in syrup)
One packet Sodium Alginate
1/2 teaspoon Calcium Lactate

Immersion blender
silicon baking tray (preferrably small circular holes!)


Step 1: Make the alginate bath
This is your standard alginate bath - 2 cups water and 1 packet Sodium Alginate.  Mix with an immersion blender and place in fridge for (at least) fifteen minutes. Note as you read the recipe farther, I would recommend freezing the other portion overnight.  Therefore, you can probably make this bath the next day.

Step 2: Prepare Lychee syrup
Add half teaspoon Calcium Lactate to 1/2 cup canned Lychee syrup.  Mix thoroughly - I had a tough time getting it mixed completely.  Keep stirring until it is!

Step 3: Cut Lychees
Cut the solid pieces of lychee into small bits

Step 4: Pour into silicon tray
Pour the prepared Lychee syrup into the silicon tray.  I could not find a circular tray anywhere, and I think this would work way better with a circular tray, rather than large squares.  Do not fill the tray completely or it will spill everywhere.

Add the solid bits of lychee evenly into each spot.

Then, place on a baking tray (the silicon tray will bend if you don't) and freeze.

I did NOT let mine freeze long enough.  Ideally, freeze them overnight.

Step 5: Alginate bath
Pop out the lychee squares and let soak in the alginate bath for 3 minutes, then put in a rinsing bath (water).

My problem here was I put too many cubes into one bath, and they all stuck together and made a big mess.  Use a big bowl and make sure the cubes are not touching. 

I think this has the potential to be really cool - essentially you can make spheres/cubes that are liquid with something solid in the middle.  That would look really awesome.  With a few tweaks (freeze completely and don't let them touch in the bath) I think it would be pretty easy.  When I did it, they all stuck together and turned into a big gross blob!

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