I received a free kit to sample (and another for the giveaway) and play around with and no other monetary compensation. The winner for this FABULOUS Cuisine R-Evolution Molecular Gastronomy kit from Molecule-R has been chosen! Thank you so much for entering!
What can I say? I guarantee that you’ve never had a good time like this before! Two of these make 1 shot. A whole heap of them? A very good time indeed! I absolutely had to use my favourite spirit – Tequila, to conjure up some more Molecular Gastronomy magic and these Black Pepper infused Spicy Margarita Spheres were the brilliant result of that. They burst in your mouth and flood it with all the wonderful flavours of a Tequila shot – sweet, sour and a hint of salt – and then that slight heat & spice of black pepper hits you, and I promise you’ll be looking for the dance floor!
This is the THIRD recipe that I’m bringing you guys, that makes use of this awesome molecular gastronomy kit from Molecule-R. I have already posted these two super fun recipes that used this kit. They were all so much fun to make and eat/drink! But not to worry, there’ll be more to come in the future! This stuff is just too much fun! 🙂
I have always been a cheap drunk which made me stay away from the strong stuff for quite a while! 🙂 I remember I was 22 when I first tried tequila shots (in NZ, where the legal drinking age is 18, so that’s quite a few legal tequila shots that I’ve turned down!) But then I tried it – with salt, lime and all that – and the rest is history, as they say! 🙂
I’m still a cheap drunk, that hasn’t changed, and I still love a good cocktail and a shot or two (or three or four) from time to time. So it’s no surprise that I had to make another cocktail using this kit! The Lychee cocktail with raspberry caviar that I shared with you guys last week used a technique called basic spherification. This time however, I used the opposite of that – reverse spherification, to create spheres that are packed with these wonderfully flavoured and spiced tequila shots that readily burst in your mouth! For this reason, it’s important that you serve these in mini serving dishes like these spoons that I’ve used here, so that you can down them straight off of them (like how you would slurp down an oyster off its shell for instance).
I won’t go into details about reverse spherification today, since I did that with my previous post. So if you want to learn more about it, you can check it out right here.
One thing I will add to it though is that because of the alcohol content in this recipe, these will not freeze (so frozen spherification won’t work here). I tried it, hoping that maybe the alcohol would be diluted enough to freeze, but it didn’t work. So you’ll have to go with the scoop and drop method (scoop tequila solution and drop in sodium alginate bath). And these do require a longer time in the sodium alginate bath to become spheres as well. But make sure to test that first batch to see exactly how long it takes.
Black Pepper infused Spicy Margarita Spheres
Black pepper Lemon Syrup
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup distilled water
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ¾ tsp ground black pepper
To make the Tequila solution
- 1 cup lemon black pepper syrup
- ½ tsp Xanthan gum 2 g
- 1 sachet Calcium Lactate 5g
- 1 cup Silver Tequila Gold will work too
Sodium Alginate Bath
- 2 cups 450 mL distilled water
- 1 sachet Sodium alginate 2g
- ¼ cup white sugar
- Good quality salt flakes
- Extra ground pepper optional but recommended
- Freeze dried raspberry powder optional
- Combine all the ingredients for the black pepper lemon syrup in a saucepan.
- Bring it to a boil and simmer until it has a thin syrup consistency and a yield of about 1 cup.
- Let it cool down to room temperature.
- Strain the mix (to remove the black pepper), and set aside for the next step.
Making the Tequila Solution
- Combine 1 cup of the spiced lemon syrup with the tequila.
- Add the Xanthan gum and using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), blend the mix for a few minutes until it thickens and the Xanthan gum has dissolved and dispersed.
- Add the Calcium lactate and blend further for a few minutes.
- Cover and leave it to rest overnight in the fridge.
Sodium Alginate Bath
- Combine the distilled water, sugar and Sodium Alginate and blend for a few minutes until the sodium alginate has completed dispersed in the solution and the solution has thickened.
- Cover and let it rest overnight in the fridge.
To make the spheres
- Set up your work space, with the tequila solution in one container, Sodium alginate solution in another, distilled water (to wash the spheres) in another container and the serving dishes.
- Using your 1 tbsp measuring spoon, take about ½ tbsp of the tequila solution. Lower and drop it into the alginate solution in one smooth motion (See Notes). Swirl the bath gently if the sphere does not sink to the bottom of the bath. Leave it for 4- 5 minutes, and then take it out using the slotted spoon. (You can make more than 1 sphere at a time, just make sure they are not too close together, or they will stick to each other).
- Transfer to the distilled water to rinse off the alginate, and then transfer it to your serving spoon/dish using the slotted spoon. Test the first sphere, to make sure the membrane is sturdy enough. If not, leave it in the sodium alginate bath a little longer.
- Sprinkle some salt, pepper and raspberry powder (optional) on top and serve.
- For an even more exciting serving suggestion, pour chilled Vodka (even flavoured Vodka) into shot glasses and add one of these spheres into it. And serve with a slice of lime and salt on the rim.
Tips & Tricks
If you go too fast however, the sphere might just float at the top. If that happens, gently swirl the bath so that it sinks to the bottom.
I infused a generous 3/4 tsp of ground black pepper in the lemon-sugar syrup. Our threshold for spices is pretty high, so we needed a good solid punch to feel the effects of it. But you can adjust the black pepper to your preference/taste buds. I suggest maybe 1/4 tsp of black pepper if you don’t usually like it spicy.
I ended up “taste-testing” the first and then the second and then the third batch as well! I couldn’t tell you how many shots I had that day, even if I tried. The spheres burst in your mouth as soon as they go in and flood it with the booze and the sweetness and the tartness and the salt… waking up all your taste buds, and then just as you down it, you get that fantastic heat and spicy kick from the black pepper in the back of your throat! It’s truly an experience! I honestly cannot think of a more fun way to get tipsy. There may or may not have been some loud music and dancing that night.
It makes me sad that my usual drinking buddies aren’t here with me right now to enjoy these fantastic shots and these super fun creations, but of course I’m not sad enough to not try them again. These will be making regular appearances in these parts, and if you’d like some, just come on over! 🙂 It’s Happy Hour, pretty much every hour here in the Flavor Bender kitchen!
Either that or you can enter in this giveaway to win a free Cuisine R-Evolution kit! You can enter through the rafflecopter widget below. Remember you need to leave a comment when you do so, because without a comment your entries cannot be verified. A winner has been chosen – Thank you everyone for entering!
If you LOVE Margaritas (like me!) then you will LOVE this Hibiscus Strawberry Margarita Ice Cream Soda Float!
It’s an Adult’s Soda Float – with a good dose of Tequila!
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