One of my sons is taking the cooking rather seriously, so Santa brought him a small 'chef kit' for Christmas when we were in Spain. The kits are from HomeChef and they are great as they are both entertaining (it is like a chemistry experiment, really) and cheap. The spherification is a technic that comes from the Spanish chef Ferran Adria. The yogurt spherification is probably the easiest one as it does not require any additional calcium.
- 100 g full fat yogurt
- optional: icing sugar (to sweeten the yogurt to your taste- if you use a favoured yogurt you will not need any)
- 1 l of water
-7 g of sodium alginate (HomeChef does not seem to sell in the UK, but Amazon sells alginate for around £7)
Mix the water and alginate with a blender and wait for at least 20 minutes (even better if you wait overnight). Drop small spoonfuls of yogurt into the alginate mixture. You may need to discard the first ones as they make come in weird kidney-like shapes, but once you do two or three it is easy to get the hang of it. Wait for a couple of minutes and you will see that a thick membrane has formed on the outside of the yogurt. Remove the yogurt balls carefully from the alginate solution and 'clean them' by dropping them in a bowl with clean cold water. Remove them from the water and put them on kitchen paper to get rid of the excess moisture. That is all.
We decorated them with pomegranate, honey and mint. We are not really into 'nouvelle cuisine' but the result is interesting as the balls 'explode' in your mouth and whole thing looks like 'edible chemistry' to the kids, so it is fun to make.
You can also do this with fruit or vegetable purees (though you need to add calcium to the puree first) but we have not tried this yet…