There are two variations of this dessert, one with a hollow chocolate eggshell that will start bubbling with caramel bubbles. And the other, Chocolate eggshell stuffed with whipped cream and a minty strawberry lemonade sorbet and Dry Ice Avocado Ice cream, Honeycomb and gentle strawberry bubbling foam. Both of which are equally delicious and will awe your guest!
This dessert was inspired by Adriano Zumbo's Bubble Bath dessert. And you will not find his ratio or recipe ANYWHERE BUT HERE. It took me awhile to figure the ratio between egg whites:cornsyrup:flavoured syrup. The science behind it will be down below, but first!
The main foreign ingredient that you need to look for for this is the dry ice. Dry ice can be found in most supermarkets or your ice cream places like Dairy queen and Baskin Robbins. The dry ice will make ice cream making a breeze as you will not need fancy gadgets in your home and make fun foam and bubbles with sugar syrup and egg white combinations.. Crush it into tiny little pieces so they will sublimate quickly and prevent any choking hazards. Dry ice is solid Carbon Dioxide, so instead of melting away like ice, it sublimates. Sublimation is changing from solid state to gaseous. So the smoky vapor you see seeping is carbon dioxide.
In this recipe you will learn not only sublimation but also:
Freezing point of sugar to make a delicate sorbet
Maceration of Strawberries & Rhubarb
Crystallization for Cocoa Honeycomb
Step 3: Tempering Chocolate for Noobs
Tempering chocolate may sound intimidating at first, but I promise you The Seeding method is an easy and reliable way of tempering chocolate at home without a marble slab or big alien language.
For this, you will need some Chocolate. The kind of chocolate that if you look back at the ingredients section, it should labelled Cocoa Butter only (No additional oils either because oil doesn't temper). Do not use chocolate chips either because they have wax in them. In English, tempering allows the cocoa butter to change it's original crystal formation that are weak and unstable (aka crumbly and melt into goo in your hands) into strong, well structured organized row of crystals ( 'oh snap!). This constant movement together with the high and low temperatures, allows the crystals to relax & loosen up, so new crystals can fit into the structure. I recommend you reading Devil's Food Kitchen for a precise read on crystal formation in different heat settings.
Step 4: Ingredients for the Chocolate Egg
The things you'll need:
400g (2 cups) of pure chocolate (White)
A small metal/heatproof bowl
A small sauce pot
Plastic or Silicone egg shaped molds
A chocolate thermometer (optional*)
Chopped 200g of chocolate into very small pieces. You will need 1 cup (150g) for melting, and 1/3 cup(50g) for seeding. Each cup is approximately 150g, a little more or less is okay. Reserve the remaining unused chocolate just in case you damaged the chocolate by burning or seizing.
Lightly grease your molds with a neutral tasting oil and wipe off any excess residue that might pool or bubble. As a tip, i made small aluminium foil rings so the molds stay put and not wobble.
Step 5: Melting & Seeding
Pour 1 inch of water into your sauce pot and let it boil. Remove from the stove once it's boiling. Place 1 cup of your melting chocolate into your metal bowl. Place the bowl over the steamy pot of water and let it melt gently. White chocolate has a high ratio of sugar and milk, so doing it slowly over warm steam ensure it will not burn. Burn chocolate with start to clump and get lumpy at the bottom of the hot bowl and refuse to melt even at high temperatures. This is because the milk solid decides to sink and cook while the water content and fat starts to separate from one another. Which all results into a clumpy mess.
As the chocolate gently melts, use a thermometer and ensure it remains between 100-110 Fahrenheit (for white chocolate). Remove the bowl from the sauce pot if the temperature is rising too fast and high. Then once it's about 80% melted, remove the bowl away from the steam. Wipe the bottom just in case any water might drip on your working space. Pour your seeding chocolate and continue to stir constantly and melt. You will notice it will start having a hard time melting all of your seeds. If it gets too cold and too thick to work with, just place over the steam for a mere 5 seconds just to warm the bowl just a little.
Next pour your chocolate all over your molds. Rotate, so it coats evenly and then pour it back into the bowl. Because it's still too thin, we have to repeat this process just one more time. The thickness of the shells should be about 1.5 mm. It should harden in less than 2 minutes.
Step 6: Unmolding
Quickly blast in the freezer for added security before attempting to unmold. To unmold, just lightly pull on the sides and you will see the chocolate pull away easily. Invert gently and it should plop right out.
Step 7: Attaching Sides & Carving a Hole
To attach the two halves together, warm a sauce pan on low/warm. Gently but firmly hold the egg half and in a dabbing gliding motion, melt the seam just a little. Then quickly glue it on the other half. Wipe off any chocolate that have seep out to give a clean finish. Cool completely.
To carve a hole, heat a large metal piping tip (i used my Russian tip) over the stove. Be careful not to overheat it or you will burn your fingertips! Carefully and firmly push the hot tip into your eggshells. It will melt out a circular hole. To clean up the carved hole edge, glide unto your warm pan. Cool and store until needed.
Step 8: Macerated Rhubarb & Strawberries
To Macerate in food terminology, is too soften food in liquid. In common dessert making, maceration is done by either sprinkling sugar, salt or both onto fruit and vegetables. When food gets in contact with sugar or salt, they pull water towards it. And because cut fruit and vegetables have their cells exposed, their water molecules (aka juice) seeps out. This is a great technique if we wish to have the fruit with less water, stronger flavor and softer texture. The juice will be equally be flavorful and sweet and a great for making flavored syrups. We be using the syrup to make a sorbet and bubbles later on!
1 ripen Rhubarb stem, diced
10 strawberries, hullered and diced
1/2 cup of white granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 of a lemon
Diced your rhubarb into small cubes. Place in a bowl and pour in your sugar, stir and set aside. Next, diced your strawberries and place them in a different bowl. Pour in your salt, sugar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir and set aside.
The reason why we use salt and lemon juice for the strawberries only is because we want to draw out all the juices. Strawberries have a high ratio of water content in them. Too much water will make the sorbet into a stiff ice and impossible to spoon through. We want a soft delicate sorbet not ice cubes!
Step 9: Stir, Wait and Strain
Give your bowls of diced fruit a stir every so often, so all the fruit gets evenly coated. After an hour or two, you will notice that they will start to pool in their own juices, and the sugar and salt granules have dissolves completely.
Strain your strawberries and rhubarb one after the other. Place the diced fruit back in their respective bowls. The juice however has been collected in the same large bowl.
Step 10: Making the Strawberry Lemonade Mint Sorbet
1/4 cup of collected juice
1 teaspoon of corn starch
4 sprigs of mint, chiffonade and diced
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
Divide your collected juice in halve. I manage to yield 1/2 cup of juice total, so each one has 1/4 cup. Reserve the other half for later. Meanwhile, use the other half and pour it into a sauce pot together with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Mix it completely until no white lumps can be traced before placing on the stove.
On medium heat, cook the juice until it thickens slightly. Remove from stove and pour into your diced strawberries.
Place your finely chopped mint and lemon zest into your strawberry mixture and mix.
They look like salsa don't you think? ;)
Step 12: Mold Your Sorbets
An inexpensive way to mold your sorbets without having to buy expensive molds, is to use those plastic surprise balls from the vending machine. I choose the smallest one there is, so it will be able to fit inside the egg nicely.
Spoon a small amount till it's filled then freeze completely.
Because syrups are so highly concentrated with sugar and the water content is little to none, it will not stay frozen for very long. It will take a very low temperature like -3 degrees to freeze sugar water. So your sorbet will start to melt about 2 minutes sitting on the counter.
Step 13: Avocado Ice Cream Base (eggless)
1, 1/2 cups of whole milk
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 cup of white granulated sugar
3 tablespoon of corn syrup
1/4 cup of cornstarch
1-2 Ripe soft avocados, for later
Pour you whole milk, heavy whipping cream, corn syrup, sugar and corn starch into a medium size sauce pot. Whisk all the ingredients together before placing on top the stove. When there is no traces of corn starch left, place your pot unto a stove and cook it on medium heat, whisking every so often.
Once the mixture starts to get hot, whisk constantly so the starch will not settle at the bottom and burn. Whisk until the mixture thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon leaving a trace.
Remove from heat, and place saran wrap touching the surface so it will not form a skin. Cool completely in the refrigerator until needed.
Step 14: Hot Cocoa Honeycomb
1, 1/3 cup of white granulated sugar
1/2 cup of corn syrup
Pinch of cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon of distilled white vinegar
5 tablespoon of water
1, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
8 by 8 brownie pan lined with greased foil
Pour your sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar, vinegar and water into a large pot. Place on the stove on medium heat and stir until 3/4 of the sugar dissolves. Once its starts to boil, stop stirring! Let it boil untouched for several minutes (about 15-20 minutes) until it reaches a maximum of 300F or also known as the hard crack stage.
Once it reaches 300F, remove from the stove and immediately pour your cocoa powder and baking soda. Whisk quickly but carefully. The mixture will double in size so be careful.
Whisk quickly and carefully. Once it doubled in size and well combined, pour into your prepared pan. Let it cool completely before attempting to break them apart.
Tip!: To make clean up easier, place your dirty crystallized whisk and pot under very hot tap water and let it sit. The candy will dissolve into the hot water on their own. Store broken pieces of honeycomb in a ziplock bag or airtight container to prevent moisture from seeping in.
Science trivia!: Baking soda reacts to acid in this case the vinegar. As baking soda gets hot, it will release Carbon Dioxide gases, this explains why the mixture doubles in volume. But because the sugar is already in the hard crack stage, when it cools, it hardens and crystallized quickly, the air bubbles cannot escaped hence fossilized little holes inside the candy.
Step 16: Syrup Bubbles Mixture
1/4 of collected strawberry rhubarb juice
1 egg, white only
2 tablespoon of corn syrup
Pink food coloring* optional
First, boil your collected strawberry rhubarb juice into a small sauce pot. On medium heat boil the juice until it slightly thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool.
Then crack 1 egg, we need the white only. Using a double boiler, gently heat the egg white, mixing gently till it's warm. We do this do kill off any bacteria that might reside. Be careful not to over whisk the egg whites nor cook the egg whites. Remove from heat and let it cool. Pour 3 teaspoon of the strawberry syrup into the egg whites, corn syrup and food coloring. Whisk until the mixture is frothy and foamy. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
Step 17: Whipped Cream
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon of white granulated sugar
In a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, whisk heavy whipping cream. Gradually pour your sugar and continue mixing until the mixture is stiff and fluffy. Whisking helps incorporate air into the cream, the reason why it doesn't deflate when it is at stiff peaks is because the fat molecules was whipped too. Set aside.
Did you know!: You can freeze any leftover whipped cream. However, you can'y thaw it out letting it get runny and hoping to re-whip again, sadly this because the structure of the fat molecules has been displaced. Tho, you can always pop in your coffee or hot cocoa :)
Step 18: Assembling the Sorbet in the Egg
Piped a little bit of whipped cream at the bottom of the egg. Release one of the strawberry sorbet from the plastic molds and inset in in the egg. Press gently so it sits snuggly at the bottom. Piped more whipped cream, to cover. smoothen the top and let the egg set in the freezer until ready to use.
If you wish to create large bubbles instead of a soft foam, skip piping the top layer of whipped cream. You will need a deeper crevasse so that the bubbles have a larger surface area to bubble up, and it have more space so the bubbles can be filled with gas and vapor for more awe.
Step 19: Prepping Your Dry Ice & Avocado Ice Cream Slurry
You will need:
1-2 pounds of Dry Ice
Safety goggles (bits WILL fly off when your are hammering your ice)
Hammer or wooden spoon
Do take precautions when you are handling dry ice. have some thick gloves and safety glasses ready. I used my husband's waterproof snow gloves hehe. You do not want to use bare hands or glass ware.Tho it is safe to put dry ice in a metal bowl, their loud screeching is loud enough to make me jump. So use plastic bowls or tupperwares if it makes you feel a wee bit safer.
Using a hammer or the back of a wooden spoon, crushed the dry ice into tiny little granules. Because they are so tiny, they will sublimate faster, so work quick!
Blend your custard and avocados together. For a more potent, savory grassy avocado taste, use two instead of one. One is good for those who are still getting a hang of it. The mixture will be very thick and might have a hard time blending. DO NOT add any liquids, just keep turning it off and spoon the bottom to loosen it up until the mixture is even.
Step 20: I Scream for AVOCADO ICE CREAM!!!!!!
Next, pour your blended Avocado shake into a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Be careful, you'll be tempted to scoop a mouthful for yourself, it's that good! On low to medium speed, start churning your mixture. Gradually add your crush dry ice granules into your mixture. You will use approximately a cup of crushed dry ice, more or less. More if you would like a very stiff ice cream, lesser for a soft serve consistency. Once stiff, scoop into a loaf pan, tupperware or old 4oz yogurt container. It's ready to eat or freeze for later consumption.
Dry ice has a surface temperature of -110 degree Fahreneheit. It freezes whatever that might have come in contact with. With this great feature, the ice cream slurry freezes very quickly and the churning motion of your stand/hand mixer or wooden spoon helps even out the cold temperature throughout, slowly freezing the soft mixture into ice cream without adding any moisture.
Step 21: Final Assembly
If you manage to get this stage, give yourself a good pat on the back, it's a long post!
To assemble. sprinkle some of your crushed cocoa honeycomb on the plate. Then place your frozen egg in the center. Scoop your macerated rhubarb and strawberry and place a mint leaf garnish.
Then scoop your avocado ice cream into a ball or quenelle and place over your fruit.
Scoop a small amount of crushed dry ice granules in the cavity of your egg. Then spoon your foamy strawberry foam with a small amount of the syrup so it will bubble daintily.
For those of you who want all the drama and already have your egg without the whip cream. Place 3 small dry ice CHUNKS in the egg. Pour your foam AND syrup into the cavity. It will start to bubble up intensely with vapor and super large bubbles.
Step 22: Hollow Egg, Big Bubble Variation for the Drama Fanatic
This was Adriano Zumbo's work I saw from Netflix's Zumbo's Just Desserts on Episode 10 where they did a bubble bath dessert. He mentioned the two main ingredients, corn syrup and egg white powder. But DID NOT reveal his secret to flavoring the bubbles nor the ratio of the recipe. Well of course he is a chef after all who won't reveal his secrets but that doesn't mean no one will try to crack it. And that no one is...ME. And I WILL SHARE IT WITH YOU! (Don't you love me now hehe..)
1 egg, white only OR 2 teaspoon of egg white powder (plus 2 tablespoon of water to dilute your powder)
6 tablespoon of corn syrup
4 tablespoon water
2-3 tablespoon of flavored syrup or caramel sauce (if your caramel sauce is very thick, add a few tablespoon of water to water it down. If it';s too thick, the gas can't escape)
Whisk corn syrup and egg white until frothy. Then add 6 tablespoons of water to dilute it and whisk some more to get it more frothy.
Then spoon 2 -3 tablespoon of flavored syrup and whisk some more. It won't be super bubbly but if there's some sign of minuscule bubbles that can be seen, it's good enough ;)
Set aside, until ready to pour.
Step 23: Assemble, Ready, Set & GO!
Assemble your hollow egg shell amongst your honeycomb. Place a small chunk of dry ice into the hollow egg. Then slowly mesmerize your somebody by slowly drizzling your caramel egg white mixture into the hole. And watch it bubble away!!!
The Science behind it?
The egg white is a protein that has the ability to stretch itself, thanks to amino acid. It acts like a giant net so it can form surface tension like you see on normal soapy detergent bubbles. However, it alone cannot be touch with dry ice or it will just freeze. That's where corn syrups come in handy. Because corn syrup freezes at a very low temperature, it slows down the freezing of the egg whites. This two ingredients are essential to make the bubble.
But this two alone can't act as they are super thick and viscous. The gas cannot escape if the liquid it is in is too thick, because the gas have a hard time floating to the surface to create a membrane for the bubble. That's why we need to dilute it with water. Water acts as an agent to sublimate the dry ice and the carbon dioxide vapor can rise forming the pretty bubbles. And the flavored syrups acts a flavoring of course :)
There's you go guys! Love you all enough to create bubbles that bubble up on their own...and you can eat them....awesome.
Second Prize in the
Science of Cooking