I did have a grand plan for this week, but unfortunately, I've been ill all week and I didn't feel up to the task of messing with lots of chemicals. That'll be next week. Instead, I decided to revisit the homemade aero experiment from last time.
It's actually fairly easy, if you have the right equipment. And the right equipment is an iSi whipper (I have a Profi model, but if you're looking to buy one, I'd go for the Thermo version, as it offers the most flexibility). This is a device that was originally designed for making whipped cream very quickly, but has been adapted by the magicians at El Bulli and The Fat Duck for a variety of uses. To whit, homemade aero.
Firstly, get a lot of chocolate. Last week, I tried using Cadbury's Dairy Milk. That didn't work, but I think it was more down to me than the chocolate (I'll be trying it again soon). This time, I used 400g of 70% cocoa chocolate, melted using the traditional double boiler method (pan of water on the stove, glass bowl sitting in the lid of the pan - the chocolate melts inside the bowl. Or you could melt it in the microwave if you'd like).
While the chocolate is melting, get a hairdryer. Yes.
The idea is to warm up the steel of the whipper so the chocolate doesn't seize up when you pour it inside. Plus, it makes a fun conversational piece afterwards. You could possibly put it in a pot of warmed water and get the same effect, but it's not as much fun.
Eventually, the chocolate will all melt. Hurrah! Pour it into the whipper (you'll probably need a tea towel, because - surprise! It's now really hot), and assemble the top. Now, the recipe that I followed last week and in North Carolina only required one charge of NO2 gas to be shot into the chocolate, but this time I wasn't taking any chances and used two. One good shake later, and this was the result:
You'll know instantly if it has worked or not; if the mixture of chocolate expands as it goes into the mold, hurrah! Otherwise, something has gone wrong. Anyway, providing it has gone fine, place in the fridge to set.
some time later...
Success! I intend to try milk chocolate again, obviously, and also white chocolate, but that's the basic idea behind making aero chocolate at home.
Next time: I use syringes. Oh yes.