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Carrageenan Iota

Recipe ideas

Carrageenan Iota is a gelling and thickening agent extracted from seaweed. It is soluble in cold water and can create a soft gel that can be broken and reformed. When used in milk-based products, the gels made with Carrageenan are firmer and more flexible due to the higher presence of calcium.

To use Carrageenan Iota, dissolve the powder in a cold liquid and heat it to 80°C. Allow it to rest and cool to set. If the resulting gel is broken by stirring or shaking, it will reform when left undisturbed again. This characteristic provides a melt-in-the-mouth texture to Carrageenan gels.

The name Carrageenan is derived from the Irish coastal village of Carrageen, where the native seaweed known as Irish moss was traditionally gathered and boiled in milk to make a gelatinous pudding. Refined Carrageenan Iota powder can lightly set a milk pudding with as little as 0.5% addition. The resulting soft gel can be sweet, savoury, or flavoured according to preference. The setting of these gels can be altered by acids, salts, and sugars, and some recipes may require higher concentrations.

Some example recipes…

Basic Carrageenan Milk Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 100g whole milk (flavour infused as desired)
  • 0.5g Carrageenan Iota

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the Carrageenan Iota with the milk using a stick blender to ensure the powder is fully incorporated.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and gently heat until it reaches 80°C (176°F), stirring continuously to prevent burning or sticking.
  3. Once heated, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool naturally before refrigerating to cool further and set to a soft gel consistency.
  4. Experiment with different flavours and infusions in the milk for added variety and taste.

Lobster Custard

Ingredients:

  • 175g strained lobster bisque
  • 175g single cream
  • 2g Carrageenan Iota

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the strained lobster bisque and single cream, add the Carrageenan Iota to the liquid mixture using a stick blender to ensure the powder is fully dissolved.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and gently heat until it reaches 80°C (176°F), stirring continuously to prevent burning or sticking.
  3. Once heated, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool naturally before refrigerating to cool further and set to a soft gel consistency.
  4. The resulting lobster custard can be served as an element of a seafood dish, broken into a fluid gel or heated again to melt & used as a dip coating.

Celery Custard

Ingredients:

  • 525ml celery juice
  • 55g skimmed milk powder
  • 1.7g Carrageenan Iota
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the celery juice, skimmed milk powder, and Carrageenan Iota. Use a stick blender to combine the ingredients, ensuring the powder is fully dissolved in the celery juice.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and gently heat until it reaches 80°C (176°F); season with salt and white pepper to taste & stir continuously when heating to prevent burning or sticking.
  3. Once heated, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool naturally before refrigerating to cool further and set to a soft gel consistency.
  4. Note: You can boost the celery flavour by infusing the liquids with lovage before blending or adding a complementary or contrasting herb or spice.

Black Garlic Miso Broth

Warm, comforting and savoury with flavour bites in every spoonful this is a super quick and healthy pick me up whatever the weather. Our simple recipe omits the classic bonito flakes or dashi for a vegetarian-friendly bowl, but feel free to customise with whatever ingredients take your fancy, be that extra vegetables, chicken or seafood.  

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp black garlic miso
  • 375ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp kombu kelp flakes
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 50g mixed greens (celery, cabbage, bok choy, spinach or whatever is to hand)
  • ½ red chilli
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1.5 cm piece of ginger
  • 50g silken tofu
  • Sliced spring onion and a dash of soy sauce to serve

Method:

  1. Roughly chop the mixed greens, peel and cut the ginger into fine strips, peel and finely slice the garlic and chop the chilli.
  2. Pour the stock into a pan and bring to the boil, whisk in the black garlic miso, kombu kelp flakes and keep warm.
  3. Stir-fry the chilli, garlic, ginger and mixed greens in the sesame oil and add to the broth.
  4. Simmer gently for 3 to 4 minutes until the greens are wilted.
  5. Add the tofu and gently warm through.
  6. Add a dash of soy sauce to taste and the sliced spring onion to serve.

Serves four starter portions or two as a main dish.

Enjoy!

Simple and refreshing with an Irish Black Butter twist!

Simple and refreshing with a salted caramel twist, a perfect cool down to sip in hot weather.

Ingredients:

For two highball glasses:

  • 1 Double shot espresso
  • 2 Tbsp Irish Black Butter
  • 100ml Milk or dairy-free alternative
  • 150g Ice cubes
  • 1 Scoop dairy-free or dairy chocolate ice cream

Method:

  1. Pour the hot espresso over the Irish Black Butter and stir to mix.
  2. Add all ingredients to a blender and whizz together until frothy.
  3. Pour into glasses and top with a little grated dark chocolate or a sprinkle of cocoa powder to serve.
Pectin Powder for Jam Setting

Pectin Powder for Jam Setting

The amount of pectin required for setting a jam is dependent on the quantities of natural pectin already available in the fruit used, the acidity levels (pH) & the amount of sugar. For example, in a standard recipe of equal quantities fruit to sugar, plums will need approx.0.2% pectin to ensure setting whereas a strawberry jam may require pectin at 0.7%+. A gel network is formed when there is the correct ratio of pectin (0.5-1%), fruit solids, sugar (60-65%) and water at a pH of between 2.5-3.5. The pH is typically adjusted and controlled by the addition of citric acid at around 0.5%.

Specific temperatures are required to complete the jam-making process and a jam at 103°C will have the necessary 65% sugar concentration for a correct set. The citric acid is added near the end of cooking (to avoid breaking down the pectin) and the jam can be checked for setting either by measuring the total soluble solid percentage with a refractometer or cooling a small quantity of the jam and checking the consistency.

As the natural composition of fruit varies according to the season, growing region and selected variety, the following recipes are approximate guidelines. In all recipes, combine 80% of the sugar with the fruit and bring to the boil. Mix the remaining sugar with the pectin and acid & heat to 103°C for 4 minutes, test check for setting and pack into clean jars. If required, the pH can be adjusted before packing with the addition of small amounts of extra citric acid, ideally hydrated in a 50% water solution for ease of incorporation. Ideal pH for the finished jam is 3.0-3.1.

Example Recipes

Blackberry Jam

  • 2.5kg Blackberries
  • 2.5kg White Sugar
  • 20gm Pectin Powder LM
  • 14gm Citric Acid

Strawberry Jam

  • 2.5kg Strawberries
  • 2.5kg White Sugar
  • 33gm Pectin Powder LM
  • 25gm Citric Acid
  • 50ml Lemon Juice
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