Cooking and chemistry, tips from Raphaël Haumont

Successful cheese fondue, lighter frying, whipped cream with a food processor… Raphaël Haumont answers your questions and gives you his molecular chemist tips for making all your recipes a success!

The writing of Allo Docteurs

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Raphael answers your questions - Chronicle of Raphaël Haumont from 03/25
Cooking and chemistry, tips from Raphaël Haumont —
Health Magazine

Make cheese fondue without making cheese balls

To make cheese, you have to coagulate the milk proteins, make them cling to each other, using rennet for example or acidity. This forms a block, which must be drained.

To make a fondue, it is necessary, in a way, to redo the operation in reverse, to redisperse the clusters of proteins to return to the liquid state. It is necessary to make an emulsion, the fat of the cheese must be well dispersed in the water (the wine).

Chemistry teaches that it is therefore necessary to play on electric charges and heat:

– Heating slowly is one of the keys. By overheating, you cause the proteins to coagulate “even more”. The burner looks nice on the table, but it often overheats a bit too much.

– Having enough water in the emulsion, wine or broth is essential. It’s a fat/water balance like mayonnaise.
There will be enough fat (the cheese) but with evaporation you may run out of water.

– Gently pour the cheese into the mulled wine, the cheese must be finely chopped. Avoid thermal shocks and too much cold cheese in a wine that is too hot.

– Shake vigorously and regularly then make an emulsion. Do not hesitate to use a blender or a heating robot.

The chemist’s trick is to put a pinch of bicarbonate or citrate, which will play on the electrical charges of proteins, and it will become very easy. This is “melting salt for cheese”.

Make lighter frying and make “nun farts” with a siphon

These “nun farts” are also called “nun sighs” or “wind donut”. It is a sweet choux pastry, puffed in frying. More generally, it is possible to make siphon donuts.

The siphon makes it possible to incorporate many gas bubbles into the dough, which will considerably aerate the preparation.
Sometimes it is even unnecessary to add yeast, it works very well:

– The paste must be quite liquid before being introduced into a siphon. It is not easy to put choux pastry in a siphon.

– The paste must be without lumps, so that it does not clog the siphon.

– Fill to 2/3 maximum, incorporate the gas cartridge.

– Above all, do not pour the siphon directly over the oil. Sometimes the siphon works jerkily and you could create a jet of hot oil. It is therefore necessary to pour the preparation into a salad bowl and then make the donuts.

Make whipped cream in a food processor

The cream should be very cold, but so should the utensils. The bowl of the robot must be put in the freezer for a few minutes if you want. It is also necessary to use a cream rich in fat (at least 30%).

If you get lumps, you are already making butter. In order not to throw it away, you can make homemade butter, you filter, rinse to remove the whey, salt then shape.

For the whipped cream, you have to work at a slow speed, the ingredients and the utensils must be very cold and above all you have to stop in time.

For an unmistakable version of whipped cream. Pour some cream into the siphon, a little vanilla sugar if you want, close and put a gas cartridge. You can keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days without any problem.

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