In 2016, I had the luck to attend a Hervé THIS conference of molecular gastronomy. It was in Dijon (Burgundy) in France. At that time I did not knew that I would cross him again. Indeed, today, we are two neighbours living on the same floor of a research laboratory, I mean, Hervé is interested in food chemistry (and physics), and I am interested in the determination of degradation products in plastics.
When I saw this contest, I saw the opportunity to disrupt Hervé, because I thought he was part of the jury, and when I went to see him to discuss, I made him discover the “Instructables” world, which is already an integral part of his mentality, sharing knowledge to give the opportunity to learn to all who want it. Finally, since it has nothing to do with the organization of the contest, I told myself that I was going to participate, for fun, and especially, because I have been involved in molecular gastronomy for many years.
My goal was to relay the “good word” of Hervé THIS.
Even then (and still more today), he explained:
“There is the molecular gastronomy, on the one hand, which will develop to infinity, in the silence of scientific laboratories. On the other hand, there are its applications: "molecular cuisine" (outdated) and "note by note cooking", which will be the next big culinary trend, sustainable!”.
So, the future of molecular gastronomy is therefore note by note cooking.
I asked him for advice, and I can tell you that he convinced me to make a recipe of note to note cooking, and that's what I wanted to do without help or other advice from him. I appreciate being able to do things by myself.
The concept of note by note cooking is very simple, starting from pure compounds, the cook, must design the food: shape, color, “flavors”, “smells” (ante and retronasal), the trigeminal action, the consistencies, etc.
I could have easily created a recipe using pure compounds found only in chemistry labs, but I chose to constrain myself to look for pure compounds of everyday life. In this case the constraint only increased the difficulty.
I will present a recipe that I entitled "CURCUMA GOLD MANGO SHORTBREAD". The basic idea was to create a simple recipe, accessible to all, easy to reproduce at home, and with ALL the codes to create a note by note cooking.
Despite its simplicity, some decisive steps are necessary for the smooth running of the recipe: roasting process and dehydration process.
Step 1: Understand the Ingredients
Amylopectin. Amylopectin is found mostly in starch. Starch is widely distributed in various plants as a storage carbohydrate. Starch is a mixture of two glucans: amylose and amylopectin. Normal starch granules contain, 20-30% amylose and 70-80% amylopectin. To my knowledge, potato starch is the best-off, which is why it is selected.
Sucrose. Sucrose is distributed in nature, especially in green plants, leaves and stalks. The two most important sources for sucrose production are sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) and sugar beet (Beta vulgaris ssp vulgaris var altissima). Sugar cane is a premium product in France, that's why it has been selected, it can contain between 12 and 26% of sucrose.
Curcuma longa root powder. Two advantages to use this powder: this powder serves both to give colour, thanks to the presence of curcumin, and to improve the trigeminal action, thanks to the presence of the tumeric acid. Its characteristic odour is mainly related to three volatile compounds: turmerone, ar-turmerone and zingiberene.
Aromatic mango extract. It took me a long periode of time to find the aromatic mango extract, I had to trick and buy it in a store specializing in cosmetics, the extract used is food compatible and organic! It is composed of mango extract (31%) and alcohol (69%). Polyphenols, mangiferin, gallotannins and tannins give a characteristic taste to mango. Furaneol and mesifurane give it an organoleptic characteristic.
Triglycerides. All oils are composed of a multitude of triglycerides. From the point of view of the note by note cooking, it is a tolerated "pure substances", because it would be very complicated to extract a single type of triglyceride. I selected a neutral oil that will not hide the taste of food: sunflower oil. The sunflower is the most cultivated oilseed plant in Europe. Regarding its triglyceride composition, it is one of many oils with low palmitic acid and rich in oleic and linoleic acids.
Water. The "pure substance" by excellent!
Step 2: Roasting
Add 150 grams of potato starch in a saucepan, heat over high heat, stirring constantly until browning.
Like coffee, roasting is a matter of taste, there is no good or bad roasting!
Step 3: Reveal the Roasted Taste
Pour the roasted starch into a salad bowl, add 80 grams of sunflower oil. Mix.
As explained before, a neutral oil is chosen to avoid masking the taste of food. The advantage lies in the fact that it reveals the taste of roasting.
Step 4: Flavour, Colour and Consistencies
Add 10 grams of curcuma longa root powder, and 75 grams of sugar cane. Mix.
Pour a little water, and add 1 teaspoon of aromatic mango extract. Knead to form a compact dough.
This step will allow to give a taste (curcuma longa root powder) and consistency to the dough.
Step 5: Shape
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin.
Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes that you want: circle, rectangle, etc. Place these shapes on greaseproof paper.
Preheat the oven to 90 ° C (convection oven), dehydrate the dough for 120 minutes (2 hours).
Step 6: Conclusion & for More Information
Does all the requirement for note by note cooking are meet? Yes.
- Shape: you decided for your shortbread, circle, rectangle, etc;
- Colour: gold colour given by the curcuma longa root powder;
- “flavours”: given by the curcuma longa root powder and the aromatic extract of mango;
- “smells”: given by the curcuma longa root powder and the aromatic extract of mango;
- Trigeminal action: given by the pungency of the curcuma longa root powder;
- Consistencies: given by amylopectin, sucrose, triglycerides and water.
From the creation stage of the dough, curcuma and mango smells emanated from my kitchen, I was not disappointed by taste and smell, because, I find all the flavors of mango and curcuma.
In all the attempts to find the right amounts of each pure substance, I realized that the recipe created was entirely vegan and gluten free.
For more information
- A very pleasant article (that opens the doors of the hervé's laboratory) => https://goo.gl/69BHkK
- A wonderful conference where science and practice intertwine => https://goo.gl/3xnGMf
- Note-by-Note Cooking: The Future of Food => https://goo.gl/GcSprZ
I am French, I did my best to translate into a correct english. If there are any errors, feel free to contact me by message to ask me for changes. I will be grateful.
Runner Up in the
Science of Cooking