Introduction: Whipped Chocolate With Carbonated Strawberries

Picture of Whipped Chocolate With Carbonated Strawberries

Whipping chocolate is a very simple process. All whipping up a foam requires is a fat, water and sugar (or another material) to stabilize the mixture. You don't even need to add eggs! It creates a new texture while making it easier to infuse different flavors into the chocolate.

While carbonating fruit may be a little more tricky, it isn't rocket science (although there is a certain amount of science involved). All you need to do is compress enough carbon dioxide gas in the presence of the fruit in order to force the carbon dioxide into the fruit.

Here are directions to making an interesting new treat.

Step 1: Making a Foamy Emulsion

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The theory behind whipped chocolate is the same as that for whipping cream up into a foam. You must start with an emulsion of fat and water. Air is forced into the cream (or chocolate) by beating. Then, instead of the air leaving the cream, the fat droplets stop it from reaching the surface. Thus, little bubbles are created inside of the cream, supported by the fat. The cream swells up and voila, you have whipped cream: an airy substance able to support its own weight without collapsing.

So what we have to do is create a fat emulsion imitating cream and it should whip up into a foam. The way you make chocolate imitate cream is make sure the chocolate has the right amount of fat and water. About 70% cocoa solids works well, so use dark chocolate. Then we melt it all down in order to homogenize it, spreading all of the ingredients out equally within the liquid.

Step 2: Materials for Whipped Chocolate

Picture of Materials for Whipped Chocolate

When we tried this recipe, we started with the whipped chocolate recipe on the molecular gastronomy blog Khymos. We decided to try a few additions to the recipe. You can change this recipe around as long and the water/chocolate ratio stays the same. If you add more fat, you may need to increase the water as well. (When we say "water" here, we include whatever water-based liquid you may choose . . . coffee, fruit juice, chai, etc.)

Ingredients:

8 oz of 70% dark chocolate

6 oz of hot coffee

3 tablespoons of bacon fat - try this, we dare you!
(Save the bacon for garnish).

Ice

Equipment:

A hand held electric beater. A Kitchen Aid or similar mixer will not work, because it doesn't go fast enough to really whip the chocolate.

A bowl to whip the chocolate in.

A bowl for ice, big enough to accommodate the bowl of chocolate.

Step 3: How to Make the Whipped Chocolate

Picture of How to Make the Whipped Chocolate

Chop the chocolate into little pieces to make sure it melts easily. Then put the chocolate in a bowl and add the hot coffee. Let it sit for a few minutes to give the chocolate a chance to melt. Then stir the mixture until it becomes smooth and the chocolate is completely dissolved. Add the bacon fat to the mixture and stir until it is completely incorporated.

Fill a bowl with ice and put the bowl of chocolate on top of the bowl of ice. Then stir the chocolate until it gets thick enough so that if you lift your stirring implement and let of stream of chocolate fall down in the bowl, you can still see the shape of the stream. This should take about 10 minutes or so.

As soon as you have achieved this, set your hand beater to a high setting and beat the chocolate. Keep beating until it gets very thick and is able to somewhat support its own weight. When you first start whipping it, it will not change very much for the first few minutes. Then the texture will change a lot all of a sudden, so pay attention. You can store the whipped chocolate in the refrigerator while you carbonate the fruit.

Step 4: How Is It Possible to Carbonate Strawberries?

Picture of How Is It Possible to Carbonate Strawberries?

Now it is time to carbonate the strawberries. What we are going to do is place dry ice in a semi-sealed environment to force the gas to dissolve in the moisture of the fruit. When the dry ice sublimates, it will build up pressure. Both the enclosed environment and the increased pressure effectively serve to increase the carbon dioxide gas concentration. The increased gaseous carbon dioxide concentration drives more carbon dioxide to dissolve in the moisture on the surface of the fruit.

Step 5: Materials for Carbonated Strawberries

Picture of Materials for Carbonated Strawberries

We used:

1/2 lb. of strawberries, washed, cored, and sliced (or pears worked even better)
approximately 4 lbs. of dry ice
a pressure cooker
a dish small enough to fit in the pressure cooker

Arrange the prepared fruit in a thin layer face up on a flat dish. Note the importance on placing them face up so they will absorb more carbon dioxide. The dish should be small enough to fit into your pressure cooker. (As a note, you should probably use a plate you don't care much about considering it could be damaged by the extreme cold of the dry ice). Wearing protective gloves and goggles to avoid cold burns, crack up the dry ice and place several pieces in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Add the bottom insert, then a couple of layers of paper towel. Place the plate in the pressure cooker on top of the paper towels. You don't actually want your fruit to freeze, so you are trying to keep it well above the dry ice.

Step 6: The Process of Carbonating the Strawberries

Picture of The Process of Carbonating the Strawberries

Add a little water to the pressure cooker with dry ice and strawberries, and seal it up. As the dry ice sublimates (goes from solid to gas), pressure should build up in the pressure cooker, and you will hear it venting. If it vents too quickly, you may want to place it on some styrofoam so it heats up slower. If you loose pressure but it's still very cold, you may want to place it where it's warmer so the ice sublimates faster. If you lose pressure and it's getting warmer, you may need to add more dry ice. We weren't able to keep the pressure up constantly, we just did our best. Whatever you do, don't open a pressure cooker that's still under pressure. This is the tricky part. You will need to tweak and watch the pressure cooker for about 30 minutes (or more, if you can't get the darned thing to lose pressure so you can open it). Make sure your vent doesn't freeze shut during this process. Don't worry, if your fruit freezes, it's still tasty. If the strawberries have frozen, allow them to partially thaw. Serve them immediately so that the carbonation inside of them doesn't have a chance to escape.

Step 7: Use Less Acidic Fruit for the Best Results

Picture of Use Less Acidic Fruit for the Best Results

We found that only the tips of our strawberries were carbonated. We think this was because our fruit was rather sour (acidic) except for at the tips. If you try strawberries, be sure they're ripe and sweet. The carbon dioxide gas forms carbonic acid in water, increasing the acidity of the liquid in the fruit. Since this is an equilibrium reaction, if the fruit is already acidic, less carbon dioxide will dissolve and it won't become as carbonated as it might. The reaction is forced to the left. This may be why less acidic pears worked very well. Grapes and watermelons should work well, too, but to accompany our whipped chocolate we wanted strawberries.

Step 8: In Conclusion

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Adding these two together makes a great pair. We served it with whipped cream and bacon bits. Unless we told people in advance, they didn't really notice the bacon flavor in the chocolate. It blended in very nicely and added to the richness of the dish, which was considerable. Do please take a risk and try it with bacon bits. This is a VERY rich dessert and needs the balancing tart carbonated fruit or salty bursts of bacon to avoid overwhelming the palate. Portions should be very small. We suggest the whipped chocolate could be spread on waffles, used to fill truffles, or even used as a frosting or to top hot mocha (without the bacon bits, of course!).

Tweak this recipe as you wish.

Enjoy!

Comments

jman0527 (author)2012-11-13

Dear god america, we have now carbonated fruit. whats next carbonated steak. OK i will be honest i want to try it.

susanchen2011 (author)2012-08-06

The taste is very good.

Caulerpa (author)2010-05-04

Could you use crisco instead of bacon fat?

Dr. D (author)Caulerpa2010-05-04

Well, I suppose you could, but there wouldn't be much point in that.  The bacon fat was added for flavor.  If you don't want it, you could omit it altogether and just decrease the water (juice, tea, etc.) a bit to keep the fat/water proportions in line.  Or you could add another flavorful fat in place of the bacon fat.  How about toasted hazelnut oil?

Formatt (author)2009-12-01

I tried this not long ago and I was blown away.
What a winner of a thing!
I'm going to make it for my friends (even the one trying "vegan" for a time with the bacon fat as a secret ingredient) and blow their socks off as well!
I'm also considering making a truffle kind of deal with it for that enhanced hard chocolate outside and airy inside textural freak out.
Thanks for the killer recipe.
Yum.

sires6 (author)Formatt2010-01-25

Ok, Formatt, I will be nice.  I am a vegetarian and the thought that one of my friends would "sneak" bacon fat into a food I would eat is just cruel.  I am allergic, and while your friend might not be, it's just mean to undermine their attempts to do something that they feel is for their good.  It's like slipping drugs into an addict's mug, "just for fun".

Please think of that next time you want to do something for your friends.

voemaster (author)2009-12-02

THAT LOOKS AWESOME!!!!! nice instructables good job

momomommy (author)2008-10-29

I have to say to those worrying about bacon blasphemy...a true bacon lover would love it no matter what it came in. I'm a serious lover of both bacon and chocolate and together...oh my god. Is there anything better on this planet? Actually there is...bacon chocolate, AND carbonated strawberries!! This is so going to be the dessert for my next dinner party!

x z i t (author)momomommy2009-03-14

a true bacon lover would be a fat american

namraps (author)x z i t2009-05-21

Could that be a blanket statement? My Grandfather passed in his sleep in 2007 at the ripe age of 93. No family member could recall Papa weighing more than 150/160 pounds. (He was 5'9") Papa ate bacon and eggs, and sometime fried potatoes, every day of his life. We were setting around talking about his diet lifestyle. He never smoked (except for a good cigar once in awhile) and was only a social drinker. We did the math and came up with some pretty amazing figures: 5580 pounds of bacon and 67,988 eggs. O.K. I realize this is an isolated case, but how long would Papa lived if he given up the bacon and eggs? Bacon Rules!

hammertong (author)namraps2009-11-08

 Thank you. Stories like this just prove bacon's supremacy as the ultimate food. I try to eat healthy: no sugar, proper nutrition, no preservatives... I can not go without bacon though. Eggs are also just about the best source of protein available. Good stuff.

momomommy (author)x z i t2009-05-21

LOL, if you say so...I'm 5'1" and 110lbs...not exactly what I'd call fat...more bacon for me!!

PizzaPlanet (author)x z i t2009-03-15

lol exactly. only turkey bacon for this skinny young man.

belsey (author)2009-01-05

I really want to try this... but where do I find dry ice?

x z i t (author)belsey2009-03-14

ralphs and vons too

pyrotechnical (author)belsey2009-03-09

albretsons has it, just ask someone and they'll take you to that back where you get it. I think smiths has it too, but i'm not sure.

Dr. D (author)belsey2009-01-06

Try http://www.dryicedirectory.com/ for some listings.
Around here, Ralphs grocery has a little freezer of it near the front. There's also a butcher shop with frozen exotic meats that sells it. Sometimes Wal Mart does, too. Just be aware if you haven't worked with it before that it's so cold it burns and you need to wear insulated gloves. Have fun!

Postscript624 (author)2008-11-13

Hey, this sounds nice! Just a question on your ingredients though. Does it have to be bacon fat? It's not that I'm against using it because of its origin, but I think it might be easier not having to fry up all that bacon and scraping up the fat. Do you think, like, Crisco or something might also work?

Dr. D (author)Postscript6242008-11-13

Sure, you could use any fat. But don't add extra fat thinking you have to. Only add the fat if it's enhancing the flavor. There's enough fat already in the chocolate to make it work if you only add hot coffee (or juice, or water, or . . . ). You just might have to cut down on the coffee a bit to keep the fat in line with the water. Feel free to experiment. The worst that could happen is you'll have to eat some not-whipped chocolate. How bad can that be? We tried whipping buttered white chocolate and failed miserably, but it made absolutely wonderful hot chocolate when mixed with hot milk! (I guess the cocoa solids help to support the whole matrix.)

jessyratfink (author)2008-11-12

I can't believe everyone is so afraid of the bacon + chocolate! I'd definitely try it - chocolate is great with salty and savory - that's why you see so many people dipping french fries in chocolate shakes. ;) Know what else goes great with chocolate? Chilies and roasted garlic! Yum!

Dr. D (author)2008-10-31

Update: We tried the cooler method with lots of dry ice (about 7 lbs..) and bananas, apples, and grapes. We placed packing peanuts over the dry ice and paper plates of sliced fruit over that, then sealed it shut with packing tape. The packing peanuts held the fruit far enough away from the dry ice that it didn't freeze. The cooler cracked from the pressure- it was styrofoam - but we reinforced it with more tape and kept going. After three hours, all of the fruit had become carbonated. The apples tasted like crunchy sparkling cider. The bananas were wild-tasting: creamy and fizzy at the same time. The grapes were really good, too. I'm going to put some watermelon in there if my friend ever comes back with the cooler of fruit. He went off to give away samples. Thanks, Tiedyedsoul! It didn't take as long as I'd thought it would, so you can have your cooler-carbonated fruit the same day. Oh, another thing . . . the bananas and apples hardly turned brown at all! The carbon dioxide must've acidified the fruit and kept it from turning very brown. If you have leftover dry ice after Halloween, throw some sliced fruit in a cooler with it and try a new fizzy-tasting healthy snack! Just be sure to serve IMMEDIATELY or your fruit will go "flat"!

barkinseal (author)2008-10-29

What a cool and yummy idea! I can't wait to try it. I've seen the Vosges chocolate with bacon and wondered what it would be like. I think they'll go together as well as food and science.

crapflinger (author)2008-10-27

i'm by no means a "food prude"...but putting bacon in chocolate is blasphemy! i don't care if it does taste great....it's the principle of it all...now bacon soap...that makes sense

Dr. D (author)crapflinger2008-10-27

Okay, okay. I get that reaction a lot. But did you TRY it? I have made a number of converts. If you try it and don't like it, just whip the chocolate without the bacon fat and skip the bacon bits. (I have to admit, it's better for you that way.)

crapflinger (author)Dr. D2008-10-28

NEVER! BLASPHEMER! BURN HIM AT THE STEAK! (of course....check to see if he floats first...) there are certain things that should never be messed with! i understand that there are things that you can add to food that you'd never expect to work and they turn out great (once had sweet potatoes with onions....it was awesome!)...but putting bacon in chocolate is like....putting bacon in chocolate.... i'll have to check to be sure but i think it's against the geneva convention.

Dr. D (author)crapflinger2008-10-28

http://www.vosgeschocolate.com

Mini Mo's Bacon Bar Mini Mo's Bacon Bar Applewood smoked bacon + Alder wood smoked salt + deep milk chocolate
$2.50 Vosges Favorite

Burn me at STEAK with a drizzle of chocolate, please! Molecular gastronomy is not for the faint at heart. ;-)

crapflinger (author)Dr. D2008-10-28

....just want to make sure here....this is healthy friendly ribbing from me molecular gastronomy IS great and even the stuff that comes out as being god awful (it does happen...some of the stuff is crap and should never be repeated) pushes a boundary that usually leads to some new process that does work well

Dr. D (author)crapflinger2008-10-29

No problem! I agree.

tyedyedsoul (author)2008-10-28

WOW thank you so much. This looks so goods. Great instructable.I went on a camping trip not to long ago and used a piece of dry ice in my cooler. When we got where we were going (about a 2 day trip) the peaches from the cooler were fizzy when you bit into them. No one else would eat them, said it was to weird, I thought they were fantastic. Thanks to this I now know it's OK too carbonate my fruit. Good things are bound to be found. Thanks.

Dr. D (author)tyedyedsoul2008-10-28

That's cool! I never stopped to think you could carbonate your fruit by accident, but it makes sense. The "cooler method" is good for those without a pressure cooker, I guess. It will probably just take longer.

Dr. D (author)2008-10-28

Okay, anybody out there daring enough to try it with the bacon? If you try it and don't like it, slip the rest (minus bacon bits) to an unsuspecting chocolate lover (without any heart conditions, bacon allergies, or dietary restrictions, of course!). Watch their reaction. I don't think it will involve mentioning bacon.

Trebawa (author)2008-10-27

This looks delicious (except minus the bacon bits)! By the way, I totally agree with you; it is neither necessary nor kind to insult cookware. (check the left box on step 6's image).

canida (author)2008-10-27

Sweet! A nice combination of food hacks.

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