What is syphon whipping?
You are doubtless all aware that you can buy pressurised containers which dispense whipped cream. The whipping syphon is basically a superior version of the same, except that it can be used time and time again and can do so mush more. It comprises a container in which you place your ingredients, a lever to pump them out, a nozzle from which the treated ingredients are dispense and a charger holder to help you fill the syphon with gas. Decorative nozzles are either included or can be bought separately. The gas used is nitrous oxide (N2O) for foaming and infusing although CO2 is useful for carbonating and both come in 8g containers.
Foaming is used to add flavour and texture to food and can also be an aid to presentation. Foams are sub-divided into eight types as follows:
- Airs (mostly air, with little liquid, coarse and dry)
- Bubbles (larger bubbles and wetter than airs)
- Dense foams (the opposite of airs, with small bubbles and a thick, fine wet texture)
- Espumas (dense texture and usually served warm or hot. Espuma is the Spanish word for foam.)
- Froths (wet and coarse)
- Light foams (not as thick as a dense foams, but wetter than airs)
- Meringues (light foams which are baked or dehydrated)
- Set foams (solidified through cooking or dehydrating)
You can also use additives to assist in the shaping and stabilising of a foam - these include soy lecithin, gelatine and agar-agar. Foams can be made with fruit, vegetables, dairy products and oil and can be used to make sauces, dips, soups and drinks.
Carbonating works in the same way as a soda syphon because you use CO2 instead of N2O. It does not really replace a purpose made soda syphon as the gas cartridges are very small, but you can carbonate liquids, foams and even fruit!
It is important that you adhere to the manufacturer's instructions when using a whipping syphon, as they could be a hazard if used incorrectly.