I have had a fascination with aerating foods and setting foams for some time now. For a couple years I have thought about aerating chocolate, cheese, and other gels like agar and gelatin. There always seemed to be other priorities in my career for some time now. But, I have finally reached a point where I can continue some good experimentation. I started off with purchasing a couple high impact plastic vacuum seal containers with a 2 1/2 quart capacity. I chose the Vacmaster because it’s made with solid, thick, heavy plastic to stand up to the chamber vacuum sealer.
Many chefs talk about tempering the chocolate and/or adding oil to it to increase the fluidity, or even adding stabilizing hydrocolliods. We found you don’t need to do any of this.
With this container, we melted 1 1/2 pounds of Valhrona white chocolate and put it in a 1 quart ISI canister and charged it, while warm, with 2 N2O charges, shaking very well in between charges. We then dispensed the chocolate into the container, put the lid on, moved the dial to “vacuum”, and placed it in the vacuum chamber. We closed the lid and put about 60% vacuum on the canister and the chocolate ballooned up by about 300%. I then stopped the vacuum and opened the lid and found the chocolate was still holding the air bubbles, and not collapsing, I placed it in the refrigerator and let the chocolate set for 4 hours. When I removed it, I released the vacuum and took the lid off. I then placed the container in warm water to release the chocolate from the sides and took it out.
This was my 5th attempt. The first 4 times, it wasn’t working and I could not figure out why. I learned that you cannot vacuum too much because this will actually suck all the N2O out. You need to just pull a slight vacuum to allow the chocolate to rise, and then stop. Otherwise the chocolate will collapse before it sets.
The texture is amazing. It completely collapses on the palate and melts away to nothing almost instantly. It fools your mind into thinking you’re suppose to have something in your mouth, but then it’s gone. It looks like white bread or angel food cake from a small distance. We are working on a new dessert that will use this chocolate as a garnish for a white chocolate-peppermint cheesecake. More to come.