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Fun with honey caviar

Ed Morita receives another shipment of honey from the Adopt-A-Beehive program, which means more recipe experimentation fun


Posted October 3, 2012 by Ed Morita

The fall semester recently started, which means that the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s apiary program is harvesting honey from the College of Agriculture’s beehives.

This is the second year of Chef Alan Wong’s Adopt-A-Beehive program, and I didn’t hesitate to opt in when it came time to make another donation.

I received my first honey delivery of the growing season this week, which instantly got my creative juices going. The question arose again, what can I do with this honey. I wanted to make something that would highlight the flavor of the honey, and the best way to do that would be by not messing with it too much.

I decided to play around a bit with molecular gastronomy and make honey caviar. This is done through a process called spherification, which involves dropping liquid mixed with sodium alginate into a calcium bath. The resulting chemical reaction creates an edible gel membrane that encapsulates a liquid center similar to caviar.

Honey Caviar (1 of 6)

Honey Caviar

I tend not to trust recipes from cookbooks and the Internet, preferring instead to adjust one of my proven recipes. However, this being my first attempt at molecular gastronomy, I had no recipes to draw upon.

I found a simple recipe online, and as expected, ran in to several problems not listed on the site. The first being that my first batch instantly gelled. The resulting mixture was so thick that air bubbles emerged when mixing it.

I eventually realized that the culprit was the tap water that I mixed with the sodium alginate. The old pipes in my house no doubt had some calcium deposits that contaminated the water. I made another batch with bottled water, and that solved the problem.

Comments


  1. konaish
    Posted October 4, 2012 at 5:03 am

    I’m fascinated by Molecular Gastronomy. Where do you get Calcium Alginate & Calcium Chloride (we use calcium chloride at work for coagulation testing).  If you need a lab partner, let me know!

About Ed Morita

Ed Morita spent more than a decade working as a pastry chef at some of the country's premiere resorts and restaurants, including the Halekulani Hotel, The Greenbrier Resort & Spa in West Virginia, Bay Harbor Yacht Club in Michigan and Longhi’s Restaurant in Honolulu. After a near-career-ending injury forced him out of the kitchen, he embarked on a new career as a food writer, photographer and blogger for Metromix Honolulu and Nonstop Honolulu (nonstophonolulu.com), where he now writes the Baker's Hours blog. He's also entered the realm of politics, serving as the photography captain for the Abercrombie for Governor campaign in 2010, then becoming Gov. Abercrombie's official photographer until 2012 when he became the Social Media Director for the Mazie Hirono for U.S. Senate campaign. He's excited and honored to be the official blogger for the 2012 Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. You can follow Ed's adventures online at bakershours.com.

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