Treasures of Melting Ice




Introduction: Treasures of Melting Ice

Learning to push yourself and trying new techniques and recipes are exhilarating parts of cooking. This recipe took a lot of experimenting, but it was so satisfying to finally nail it. I highly encourage you all to try this recipe. Delicious and a challenge!

Final components of the dish:

  • Homemade ice sphere
  • Vanilla panna cotta
  • Strawberries
  • Isomalt disc
  • Mango spheres

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Step 1: Ice Sphere


  • Water balloon
  • Water
  • Lighter or blow torch


  1. Fill a water balloon with water (make sure it is big enough to fit your panna cotta glass)
  2. Tie the water balloon to keep it from leaking
  3. Place in the freezer for 6 hours (before taking it out, tap the outside to make sure it's frozen)
  4. Pop the balloon
  5. Use a lighter or blow torch to melt a hole in the side of the ice sculpture
  6. Pour all the water out
  7. Melt a hole in the wall of the sphere (based on how big your panna cotta glass is and what design you want)
  8. Keep in freezer until ready to present

Step 2: Mango Spheres (part 1)


  • 1 chopped mango (or 3/4 cup mango pulp; both work but there's a slight color difference) - for the above picture I used chopped mango; for the final recipe presented, I used mango pulp
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon calcium lactate gluconate


  1. Combine ingredients in a blender
  2. Blend well
  3. Pass mixture through sieve for smoother texture
  4. Pour mixture into molds
  5. Put in freezer until frozen solid (time: about 4 hours)

Step 3: Mango Spheres (part 2)

Once the spheres are done freezing, prepare the sodium alginate bath and water bath


  • 4 cups of water (2 for sodium alginate bath; 2 for water bath)
  • 2 grams of sodium alginate


  1. Add two grams of sodium alginate to 2 cups of water in a bowl
  2. Mix or blend to ensure the sodium alginate gets properly incorporated
  3. Set aside in fridge for 15 minutes
  4. Drop frozen mango spheres into sodium alginate bath; swirl them around in the liquid and let them sit for 3 minutes
  5. Then transfer the mango spheres into the water bath with a spoon; swirl around in water and let them sit for 3 minutes

Step 4: Vanilla Panna Cotta


  • 5/4 cups milk (2% fat)
  • 5/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 1/4 cup milk (2% fat); separate for the gelatin


  1. Add the powdered gelatin to 1/4 cup milk and keep it separate for later
  2. Add 5/4 cups milk, sugar, and vanilla bean to a pot
  3. Bring mixture to light simmer
  4. Take off the stove and add the milk gelatin mixture to the warm mixture
  5. Also add the heavy cream to the mixture
  6. Allow the mixture to sit for 20 minutes to infuse before placing in the molds/glasses
  7. Place the molds/glasses in the fridge
  8. Keep checking the panna cotta until the right consistency is achieved (solid but still springy)

Step 5: Isomalt Disc


  • Isomalt


  1. Put circular mold/cookie cutter on a silicone baking mat (mold should be bigger than panna cotta mold/glass)
  2. Pour Isomalt into mold so it just barely covers the bottom
  3. Heat in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (for about 5 minutes; until melted)
  4. Take isomalt out of oven and allow to cool before removing molds

If you do not have a silicone mat (I did not), you can still heat the isomalt in oven on a baking tray or in a saute pan. However, be careful when trying to make a disc shape by hand! The melted isomalt is extremely hot, so please do not burn yourself when doing this.

Step 6: Plating

  1. Chop strawberries into quarters and place on the panna cotta
  2. Place the isomalt disc on top of glass
  3. Place mango spheres on top of disc
  4. Add mint leaves to garnish
  5. Place whole dessert into ice sculpture
  6. Serve and enjoy!

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    2 Discussions


    Answer 1 year ago

    Yep! It was my interpretation of the recipe. I wanted to change up some of the flavor profile to match what I like. Also, I wanted to figure out a simpler way to do the recipe so that anyone could make it without all the fancy equipment he had.