Thursday, September 27, 2012

Culinary Powders - The science of making naughty food healthy and cheap

I'm going to get a little science geeky on you today!

I knew I was in for a treat when I saw the teaser for a Datz Event tat stated: "Ever wonder how we turn malt vinegar into powder, or bacon grease into dust?". The Culinary Powders class, hosted by Datz Chef Jason Dame was all it was promised to be. We were taught the science behind how he makes culinary powders. I was first introduced to culinary powders by Chef Jason a few months ago. He turned Malt Vinegar into a powder so your fish and chips wouldn't get soggy. I was instantly intrigued.

At our class, we learned the basics behind the transformation of liquids and solids into powder with Tapioca Maltodextrin. Upon arrival, we were given popcorn with the above mentioned malt vinegar powder and a glass of champagne. Popcorn & Champagne -I was a happy girl!
Popcorn with Malt Vinegar Powder

Champagne
Malt Vinegar Powder
Chef Dame taught us the science behind Tapioca Maltodextrin, what turns food into powder. One may ask why you would want to do this. We will use Nutella as an example. One serving of Nutella, which is 2 tablespoons, has 200 calories, 11 grams of fat, 22 carbs, 29 grams of sugar and 11 grams of saturated fat. Ouch. With the method of turning those 2 tablespoons of Nutella into powder, you now have 3/4 cup of powder which you can sprinkle on your toast - your 11 grans of fat has turned into .39 grams of fat for a 12oz portion.
Nutella Powder
I failed math and I tend to get really bored with it - so that is the end of today's math lesson. Basically, Tapioca Maltodextrin has a very low bulk density. It dissolves when in contact with any aqueous medium. It is used to increase the volume of foods. You can take seasonal items and extend their life by turning them into powders, or taking something expensive like a white truffle and turning it into truffle powder. Maltodextrin has a forever shelf life.

Take a bag of dried fruits from Whole Foods - they can set you back $6 a bag. Combine 60/40 ratio of the dried Strawberries to the Maltodextrin powder and you have amazing strawberry flavor at a very low price. We were given some samples to take home and Gabe used it to make strawberry milk (suggestion from Chef Jason). It was amazing. You can replace powders in baking with the powders you make. Essentially, you can take the strawberry powder, use a 80/20 ration (20 powder/80 flower) and make healthy strawberry cupcakes. We also combined the strawberry's and other dried fruits turned into powder with our Champagne!
Strawberry Powder
Powder Bellini
Chef Jason made us an amazing dessert using fat free frozen Greek yogurt, strawberry powder and Nutella powder. It did not taste guilt free - but it was.
Frozen Greek Yogurt with Nutella and Strawberry Powder
I already purchased Tapioca Maltodextrin and the first powder I plan on making is Bacon powder (shocker). I want to make chocolate bacon cupcakes. With the bacon - you take 2 tablespoons of solidified bacon fat to a cup of Maltodextrin powder. You now have a cup of powder, which is enough bacon powder to last you a really really long time. You get the flavors of the bacon without the fat!

Click here to purchase your own Tapoica Maltodextrin. It's much cheaper than you would think - 1lb for $9.99.

6 comments:

  1. Wow! Science! Looks like a cool class, I love the events at Datz.

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    1. I'm going to have to make you some nutella powder when I get my culinary geek on!

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  2. That is awesome! I've always thought about going to an event at Datz but haven't really ever made it out there...

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    1. It was a lot of fun and very informative. I did the battle of the wines there not too long ago and it was good times. I will take another class there for sure!

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    2. That's awesome! I live probably 5 minutes South on Macdill from Datz but I never go there. Service just seemed so slow, but I'd love the classes it sounds like. I know Michael from Cheese Please talked about one a bit ago and it sounded awesome!

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  3. Wow, who knew? Very cool to be able to make powders from your favorite foods!!!!

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