The versatile role of industrial gases in food applications was showcased in the UK last week, as three Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal demonstrated his molecular cooking skills to the Queen by making his signature dish dessert of ice-cream with liquid nitrogen.
At the official re-opening of the Royal Institution of Great Britain in late May, Blumenthal wowed onlookers with his utilisation of the liquid industrial gas for making the popular foodstuff.
A relatively new technique for making ice-cream, liquid nitrogen can be used in the cooling stage of production as it is stirred into the mixture while stirring with a spoon or spatula and immediately freezes the product – eliminating a careful, time-consuming and slightly laborious process using mechanical refrigeration.
Following a £22m, two-and-a half year upgrade, the science-focused Royal Institution in London will once again be open to the public from this summer. At an event to mark the re-opening, Blumenthal made his signature ice-cream with liquid nitrogen in front of the Queen and 400 other guests.
The ‘Fat Duck’ chef returned to the Institution of 4th June for a lecture, The Culinary Alchemist, on the links between science and cooking and is not the only leading figure in the world of food and beverages to be turning their attentions to this innovative approach.
According to a report in the Telegraph newspaper, leading food industry insider Morfudd Richards is treading a similar path. Having worked with some of the country’s top chefs and been instrumental in the establishment of some of London’s top restaurants, Richards has now turned her attention to the world of ice-cream and pioneering in this cool area.
Richards has recently refitted an ice-cream van to give children a new, organic taste sensation and told the Telegraph that her next foray into the ice-cream business, using liquid nitrogen, could be the most exciting yet.
“I'm liaising with Heston Blumenthal. We’re hoping to open kids’ minds to chemistry by actually making the ice cream in front of them with custard and liquid nitrogen,” Richards explained.