Mango Sphere Raviolis

9:06 pm on 2 September 2008

Serves 4


For the Mango Sphere Raviolis Base:

  • 250 g of Mashed Mango
  • 250 g of water
  • 1,8 g of ALGIN
  • 1,3 g of CITRAS

For the Calcium Chloride mix:

  • 6.5 g of CALCIC
  • 1000 g of water


Blend the Citras and the water with the help of the hand blender. Add the Algin and blend again with the hand blender. Continue blending and bring to the boil.

Let it cool down and when it is at room temperature, add the Mashed Mango and mix altogether.

Store it in a hermetic container in a fresh and dry place.

For the Calcium Chloride mix:  

Mix the water with the Calcic with the help of a hand blender.



Spherification is a cooking technique introducted at elBulli in 003.  It consists of the controlled gelification of a liquid which, submerged in a bath, forms spheres.  There are two kinds: Basic Spherification (which consists of submerging a liquid with Algin in a bath of Calcic) and Reverse Spherification (submerging a liquid with Gluco in a bath of Algin).

These techniques can obtain spheres of different sizes: caviar, eggs, gnocchi, ravioli.  In both techniques, the spheres produced can be manipulated, since they are slightly flexible.  Solid elements can be introduced into the spheres, which will remain in suspension in the liquid, which obtains two or more flavours in a single preparation.

Basic Spherification is best for obtaining ravioli and other spherical preparations with an extremely subtle membrane, magical on the palate.  It can also obtain spherical caviar.  The preparation needs to be done immediately, since once the sphere has been submerged in the bath of Calcic, gelification does not stop and in the end it turns into a compact ball.

Algin:  A natural product extracted from brown algae (of Laminaria, Fucus, and Macrocytis genera, among others) that grown in cold water regions of Ireland, Scotland, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and  South Africa.   Depending on the part of the algae that has been refined, the texture and Calcic reactivity of each alginate varies.  

Characteristics: Presented in a refined powder.  Gels in the presence of Calcic.  Dilutes while cold with strong agitation.  It need not be heated to produce spherification.

Citras:  A product made from sodium citrate, obtained mainly from citrus; it is usually used in the food industry to prevent darkening of cut fruits and vegetables.  It has the property of reducing the acidity of foods, and using it makes it possible to achieve spherical preparations with strongly acidic ingredients.  Dissolves easily and acts instantaneously. 

Characteristics: Presented in a refined powder.  Highly water soluble.

Calic:  This product is a calcium salt traditionally used in the food industry, for example in cheese making.  Calic is essential in the reaction with Algin that produces spherification.  It is the ideal reactant for its high water solubility, considerable calcium content, and consequently great capacity for producing spherification.

Characteristics: Presented in granules.  Highly water soluble. Great moisture absorption capacity.


Stephen Morris recommends:

LATE HARVEST MOSCATEL (muscat) from GRAN FUEDO. It's clean, floral, and sweet (but not sickly).

Something sparkling would be great. A CAVA (Spain's version of 'champagne') would work - a little play between the bubbles and the spheres - ideally a DULCE version (over 50g r/s for the wine chemists). But I don't know of any imported into NZ.

The Italian classic ASTI SPUMANTE (muscat grape again) from RICADONNA ($20-25) would also work.

But maybe, with twenty courses of culinary chemistry - a glass of water might be best.

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