I vividly remember getting my first whipping siphon in a restaurant. Just a bunch of young kids in the kitchen trying to figure out how to make the foams we saw all our favorite chefs making. Obviously, it became the go to whipped cream maker for about 6 months before we tried to make something a bit more inventive. The second attempt was a foamed mushroom nage that was delicious but would dissipate the second it left the kitchen. We couldn’t figure out how or why the foam didn’t work. Wasn’t this little contraption supposed to foam anything you put into it? How about the magical canisters that hiss when I add them to the whipping siphon, what do they do? These are the moments that culinary school doesn’t prepare you for, the moment when you become a teacher and you are your own student. So I had to ask myself…
“What else can I do with my whipping siphon?”
Once you’ve mastered whipped cream, the “gateway drug” of whipping siphoning you will want to learn more. This cool gadget can’t become a one trick pony. Naturally the next step with the siphon is foaming. The best way to do this is use Foam Magic. Foam Magic is the best foaming agent on the market due to its ease of use and versatility. When used with a whipping siphon it can create a dense creamy foam out of almost any liquid. The best ratio for this is 1-2% of the total weight of the recipe. One tip is if you are going to use any alcohol be sure to dilute it by half with water before making the foam. If you do not the alcohol with break the surface tension of the bubbles and not allow the liquid to foam. Another tip for liquids that you will attempt to dispense out of the nozzle of the siphon is to make sure they are smooth. There cannot be any clumps or chunks, these will easily clog the siphon. When these clogs happen we tend to get frustrated and squeeze harder on the lever. The harder you squeeze that lever the more pressure is applied to clog. Some times we can even have the bright idea of looking down the nozzle while squeezing, don’t do that. The best thing to do is give the siphon a few good shakes and aim it in a neutral direction and squeeze (trash can works best) repeat this step until the clog is dislodged.
Well let’s separate the two types of charges, that way we can separate the techniques they allow. First is the most common the N2O charge this gas provides an extremely fine bubble structure. The bubbles in an N2O charge is are so fine that they impart a creaminess to the liquid. If you have ever seen a Guinness beer come off a N20 draft line it will have that signature creamy head. Another example is nitro brew coffee, which also has that creaminess added by N2O. The reason this is such a good example is that you can make your own nitro cold brew in a whipping siphon! Other things that work really well is infusing oils in a short period of time. Check out our Szechuan Chili Oil recipe.
The second type of charge is CO2 or more simply known as carbonation charges. These add the larger bubbles that you find in soda. But you can do something cool with a whipping siphon, next time fill it with chunks of your favorite fruit and add 2 charges of CO2. Allow it to rest for a day in the refrigerator before releasing the pressure. Once you remove the top you will realize the fruit has become carbonated. These carbonated fruits can be used as a fun cocktail garnish. One thing we don’t suggest is adding CO2 to whipped cream. The CO2 bubbles produce carbonic acid that makes things have a slightly sour flavor (Think plain seltzer water). Now sour whipped cream may sound hip and cool but trust me its not, it just tastes like spoiled milk.
Give our Updated Niçoise Salad with Black Olive Foam recipe a try! Swap out the tired canned tuna for fresh sashimi grade tuna in this updated take on a classic. Top with a briny and complex black olive foam that lightly dances over the palate to bring it all together in a single bite!
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