Introduction: Molecular Root Beer Float

Picture of Molecular Root Beer Float

Lately I have been experimenting with new molecular recipes and this is one of the recipes I created. One of my best friends loves when I make caviar for molecular recipes and he kept urging me to make caviar with soda. I decided to tried it and it worked really well. This makes a beautiful small appetizer for formal parties and other events. The two food additives you will need for this recipe are agar agar and soy lecithin. I use agar flakes which can be purchased at whole foods and the soy lecithin that I use was purchased from for about $8.00. You will aslso need an oil for this recipe. I prefer to use olive oil because it freezes fast but any kind will work. All of the oil will wash off so the quality of the oil doesn't matter. Enjoy!

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

Soy Lecithin
Agar Agar
Vanilla Ice cream
Vanilla extract
Olive Oil (any kind of oil will work but olive oil freezes faster) \

Immersion Blender
Spoon or melon baller

Step 2: Root Beer Caviar

Picture of Root Beer Caviar

Fill a jar at least halfway with olive oil and place in freezer for about half an hour. In a small pan boil 1 cup of rootbeer and then add 1/2-1 tbs of agar agar. Whisk together for 1-2 minutes or until the agar agar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and wait a few minutes for the rootbeer to cool. Remove the olive oil from the freezer and fill a syringe with root beer. Hold the syringe over the jar parallel to the table. Slowly squirt the root beer out of the syringe. They should look like little spheres once they are submerged in the olive oil. Once all of the root beer is gone, use a collander to strain the root beer caviar. Rinse with water until all of the olive oil is has been washed off. Place in a bowl and set aside.

Step 3: Root Beer Foam

Picture of Root Beer Foam

There are three components to root beer floats: Ice cream, root beer, and foam. I am not sure why it happens but when the rootbeer mixes with the ice cream it always makes a foam that stays on the top of the root beer float. Because of this I thought it was very important to make some kind of a root beer foam to go on the ice cream. In a large bowl i whisked together 3 tbs of sugar, 1/2 cup of milk, 2 tbs of root beer, 1 tbs of vanilla extract and 11/2  tsp of soy lecithin. Then I used an immersion blender to turn the mixture into foam. It took about 5 minutes before it was really foamy.

Step 4: Presentation

Picture of Presentation

Use a melon baller or spoon to scoop a tiny scoop of ice cream and then place it in the small bowl or spoon you have chosen to present the root beer float in. Poor a little spoonful of the root beer foam over the ice cream and then add the root beer caviar. Enjoy!


bettbee (author)2012-05-20

GREAT instructable!! I will be making various forms of caviar for sure.

Do you think you can reuse the oil? I'd hate to waste that much, especially as I try to only use organic and good quality oil in my kitchen.

Also: to make it truly vegetarian, you can use soy ice cream (I recommend the following: ) and I'm certain soymilk would work well for the foam - Trader Joe's Unsweetened Soymilk (refrigerated) is the most milk-like of the soymilks.

I implore everyone to try to avoid Silk products as their company not only engaged in deceptive marketing practices when they switched from organic to conventional soybeans, but are owned by Dean Foods, who owns Hersheys milks, who refuses to eschew the use of chocolate that has been harvested by child slaves.
( )

rrkrose (author)bettbee2012-05-20

Why wouldn't the ice cream be truly vegetarian? I am not vegan so I do eat dairy and egg products but if there is something in ice cream that isn't actually vegetarian please let me know. I am pretty sure that you could reuse the olive after this if you strained the pearls over a bowl. There might be little tiny pearls that would go through the strainer so your olive oil might end up having a few dots of whatever you turn into caviar in it.

bettbee (author)rrkrose2012-05-20

Hi there rrkrose,

I don't regard dairy and eggs as being 100% vegetarian, as they are animal products and cause animal suffering in their production.

I'll try keeping the oil. I can always strain it through a very fine strainer, or even a coffee filter if necessary.

One other question - did you measure the actual quantity of oil you used? I'm wondering why so much.

im3733 (author)bettbee2012-06-27

The actual amount of oil used is...however much you use...
Really, all you need is enough to make sure that your caviar can form into little balls and collect on the bottom. If you can use less, GREAT! If you use more, GREAT! It really doesn't matter or affect anything other than the time it takes for the oil to get cold, and I'm not sure that it will even make a huge impact there.

BTW, just curious, but since chickens lay eggs (some 2+/day) regardless of whether they are fertile, and regardless of what becomes of them, how is eating an infertile egg causing suffering to the chicken? All an infertile egg will do if you don't eat it is rot, which could actually do more harm than good. Same for dairy products, cows begin producing milk when they give birth, but, if they are milked regularly, they can keep producing milk for a long time, even after the calf is weened.

While I understand you idea, I think you may benefit from clarifying it, eating fertilized eggs, or dairy products from cows whose calves have not been weened, cause the animals to suffer.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, or start a flame war, I'm just attempting to make a point, and provide a point of clarification.

rrkrose (author)im37332012-06-27

She doesn't mean that they suffer when they lay the eggs or get milked, she just means that the places were these animals are raised, such as factory farms, are places were the animals are treated cruelly.

You know, besides Bettbee's suggestion about the soy ice cream (Which I don't really want to get into but I will point out that vegan and vegetarian are different things), there's the fact that there are certain commercial ice cream brands that use gelatin in their ice cream to improve the texture or as a stabilizer. I do believe the Breyer's you have pictured are one of the ones that don't, but it's always worth a check.

Thanks for the heads up with the ice cream but I am pretty sure breyer's is kosher so it can't have gelatin in it. I do think that vegan and vegetarian are 2 different things but the definition of a vegetarian is someone who doesn't eat meat and SOMETIMES other animal products so technically she could be right but I don't agree.

Pwag (author)rrkrose2013-07-05

You want to check that. Kosher just means no swine. Gelatin is still on the table.

I see more and more places using that seaweed extract in place of gelatin though.

spark master (author)Pwag2013-07-16

no it does not mean that at all. no pig(sigh) is part of Kosher, but that is not nearly all. If the gelatin is from cows cartilages/cone, it may or may not be kosher, it would be considered a meat and only servable with meats or parve items allowing the right time elapsing if dairy was previously consumed. If vegetarian sourced gelatin (seaweed I believe) it might be Kosher and Parve,(neither meat, nor dairy), and can be served with/as part of either dairy or meat.


Pwag (author)spark master2013-07-16

There is no vegan gelatin (as a food ingredient) , only carageenan. It's a whole different product.

If the food label says "Gelatin" it's an animal product.

The gelatin thing is weird:

Depending on how you fall it's either an animal product for the sake of kosher or it is not because of the processing.

spark master (author)Pwag2013-07-17

Ok I just spoke with my rabbi, kosher, parve, marshmallows are made with fish gelatin. Ok for Jews, not Vegans. If you removed the sciatic nerve first then the whole cow from the tip of the horns to the tip of the tail and all the bits betwixt are ok to eat and are meat.

The concept of bird being bird NOT meat is in Torah, The idea that bird is meat is a Rabbinical concept from when the Jews went into captivity. They claim it is from Oral tradition, my friend feels (as I ) this is reaching at best, and obnoxious and constrictive at worst.

I wonder if the kosher ones smell funny?


rrkrose (author)spark master2013-08-04

I've had the kosher ones before and they just taste like normal marshmallows. :)

Pwag (author)spark master2013-07-17

You may have made my damn summer SparkMaster. I've been judiciously avoiding gelatin and marshmallows, but if what you say is true, and I have no doubt that it is, Kosher, parve marshmallows are BACK ON MY CAMPING LIST!

The bird not being meat sounds like the Catholics and Cappybaras being fish...

Thanks for expanding my 'smores options!

spark master (author)Pwag2013-07-18

Pleased to be of service, but it is FISH gelatin. Rabbi and I spoke and he said for many(he is orthodox), including himself, you probably do not need to remove the nerve to make the gelatin, the issue is more 1) is any of it from non kosher beasties(pigs, or bottom feeders or predators), 2) if it is from cows and certified, can I have it after milk/dairy?

The use of fish derived gelatin is Parve and Kosher. So shell out them bucks cus they cost more!

enjoy the s'mores


ps the Cappybaras is a rodent not kosher, and from perspective of a Catlick is meat. The concept of "meat" as far as I know is based on Torrah.

rrkrose (author)Pwag2013-08-04

Under kosher rules, fish is not considered a meat.

rrkrose (author)Pwag2013-08-04

Actually kosher doesn't just mean no swine. I'm Jewish and while I don't keep kosher, I know a lot about it. You can't have dairy and milk together so if this had gelatin from any animal except fish then it wouldn't be kosher (fish isn't considered a meat).

rrkrose (author)bettbee2012-05-21

I have chickens and they don't suffer when they lay eggs. Would you consider that to be vegetarian? Just curious.

I am actually not sure why so much oil is used but that is how I learned to make these. I usually use 3/4 a cup of olive.

Pwag (author)rrkrose2013-07-05

Vegans don't have anything to do with animal products. So Honey, milk and the like are a no-go for them.

You're fine. This is a good instructable and I might try it out. Can you make the caviar in any flavor?

rrkrose (author)Pwag2013-08-04

You can make the caviar out of almost anything (I think). I have tried it with several liquids and sometimes it turns out really messy but it has always worked.

spark master (author)bettbee2013-07-16

also soy based "frozen" treats are disgusting, simple gross. Please do eat them if you feel you must, even tell people the health benefits, but NEVER EVER say they taste good, they do not taste good, and NEVER EVER approach the tastiness of real dairy products.

And another food fallacy is that carob tastes like chocolate, the only thing carob and chocolate share is color, so does rotted oak leaves and they kinda taste like carob, but not chocolate.

spark master (author)bettbee2013-07-16

who said this was vegetarian at all let alone vegan?

Pwag (author)2013-07-16

I know kosher and halal have specific butchering rituals. And some weird oven blessings, with all the fuss it's a wonder they survived in the desert for 40 years! ;)

I've been trying to source fish gelatin as a body building supplement, and have had poor luck. I'll keep this in mind about the kosher gelatin, thanks for that lead.

But for OP's purposes, kosher gelatin is still an animal product and not vegan-vegetarian friendly.

spark master (author)Pwag2013-07-17

spark master in reply to PwagJul 17, 2013. 8:43 AMReply

I will double check, but I believe fish is parve. Meat is from acceptable mammals. Due to lack of "meat" in ancient times, Jews used chicken as "meat" ritualistically, but strict interpretation is it is NOT meat, but bird. You must kill and clean it ritualistically, but in theory you could make a Chicken Cutlet Parmesan. A veal cutlet done same way is not kosher, ever.

This is pickieyune stuff I know, and rabbinical types could spend centuries debating it.

And in times of need, (you can't get enough food or the only meat you can get is pork, or your meds are made from pork), youcan consume it. However, when the clouds break and the sun shines again and you can get that overpriced kosher beef, Yahweh says "pay the man".

Other religions are just as picky. If I make a "plain tomato sauce" and fergit my mind drop in 1 meat ball, realize it is lent, remove meat I can not in good conscious serve it to observant Catholics on Friday. I know this is insane, but this is the way religion works. I will need to ask my rabbi about the kosher marshmallows. I have cooked Kosher style, vegetarian even vegan dishes to guests, however, I don't go crazy. I do NOT like cooking for people with real allergies, as I can never be sure, and the cost is prohibitive. A more pressing issue is I cook by feel so I could use something w/o realizing it. We have a family friend who sitting 5 feet away from me if I cracked a walnut the dust would send her in to anaphylaxis shock. A kid I know was playing with a friend who ate a PBJ for lunch. While wrestling he breathed on him (not malicious at all, they were rolling on floor), weather it was a drop of spittle or a breathe of PBJ, the kid went into shock. EPPY PEN to the rescue.

mmmmmm roast loin of pork, wuts fer dinna mmmmmm

Kyle Frazer (author)2013-07-01

Haven't had these for years; I did one with full-fat Coke a few months ago but I could feel the sugar rotting my teeth. Nice though!

schumi23 (author)2012-09-12

This looks delecious, I cn see myself making it soon, probably :)

rrkrose (author)schumi232012-09-12


sunshiine (author)2012-07-06

This instructable is totally awesome! Very pretty as well. Thnaks for sharing your hard work.

rrkrose (author)sunshiine2012-07-06

Thank you!

Pontay (author)2012-06-01

Why soy lecithin?
Does it aid in the foaming or keeping the foam from deflating?

rrkrose (author)Pontay2012-06-01

Yes it helps with making the foam.

Bergamot (author)2012-05-20

Wow, this is amazing! I think I've got to try this! Great idea

rrkrose (author)Bergamot2012-05-20

Thank you!

Chirpoff (author)2012-05-20

I clicked on this 'ible when I saw it in my IB email, thinking, "Huh, this is cool. I want to learn more." After clicking it (which I rarely do when I see the 'ibles in my email), I saw that you had made it! :D This is great concept! Thanks for making another awesome 'ible!!!

rrkrose (author)Chirpoff2012-05-20

Lol! Thank you!

reptedjess (author)2012-05-20

I'll just make regular rootbeer floats. It's easier and probably taste more like the real thing. Since it is

leea9 (author)2012-05-20

I am 50 years older than you and have always been a vegetarian. I had not heard of this before now and find it interesting. When I read caviar I was thinking fish eggs which are not vegetarian but I learned something. Sounds like fun but a lot of work.

thematthatter (author)2012-05-15

This looks fun to try. Would root beer extract work better?

rrkrose (author)thematthatter2012-05-15

I was thinking that it would but the store I went to didn't have an root beer extract so I decided to try it with actual root beer. What part were you planning on using the root beer extract with? I think the foam would be better with root beer extract while the caviar would be better with actual root beer.

BMinsker (author)rrkrose2012-05-20

You'll probably have a better chance of finding root beer extract at a homebrewing supply store rather than a regular grocery or natural foods store.

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a 17 year old vegetarian and I love animals. I enjoy cooking, photography, singing, reading, playing the cello, the piano and fencing. I ... More »
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