Friday, July 30, 2010


Emulsion- a mixture of two or more liquids, one of which is a fat or oil, the other of which is water based, so that tiny globules of one are suspended in the other. this may involve the use of stabilizers, such as egg or mustard. Emulsions may be temporary, permanent, or semi permanent. TPC 8th edition

i have wanted to post about a few emulsions in the kitchen that i make at home and work for some time but felt i couldnt until i talked about what they are and why they are important. emulsions are everywhere. vinaigrette, Caesar salad dressing, hollandaise, mayonnaise, butter, and sauces. the method is simple- bring together two things that normally wouldnt come together (eg- oil and water) with the help from some ingredients that will help along the process like mustard seeds, mustard powders, or egg yolks.

bringing together an emulsion can happen by hand with a whisk, in a blender, food processor, immersion blender, or even in a stand mixer. for a vinaigrette for example you would measure your acid, and any flavorings and then slowly add your oil while whisking. if you have ever seen a dressing on a store shelf that is separated it isnt emulsified (though it may have been at one point). by doing this you can suspend the fat throughout the mixture. without the aid of eggs or mustard though it wont last long. butter is another emulsion, as it contains 14-18% water out of the box. this is why if it melts on the counter it is useless in a cookie dough. or why you cant simply add melted butter to a biscuit or crumble dough (you end up with cookies in the last instance).

i will talk more about all the things that emulsions make and how you can give them all a shot in the coming months. thanks for reading.

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