One of the easiest modernist/molecular gastronomy techniques to learn is powdering fats. The key ingredient is tapioca maltodextrin, a special food starch that absorbs fat incredibly well.
Maltodextrin traps fats inside its granules. When consumed, it dissolves on the tongue, releasing the flavor of the original fat. Powdered fats can also be sprinkled on plates (instead of drizzled) or food for a different look and texture.
Some Fats that Powder Well:
Extra Virgin Olive Oils
Squash Seed Oils
Duck Fat (melted)
Choosing a Fat:
Stronger flavored fats work best. Maltodextrin doesn’t have much flavor of its own (it adds a slight sweetness) but it can somewhat dilute the flavor of the things you powder.
The easiest fats to use are those that are liquid (oils) or relatively soft (nutella) at room temperature.
How to Powder Fats (basic method):
(Demonstrated with Organic Austrian Pumpkin Seed Oil)
1. Measure out your fat and maltodextrin (see how to weigh molecular gastronomy ingredients for the basic method).
The standard proportion for powdering fats is 60% fat to 40% maltodextrin by weight. You may need to adjust this proportion for some fats.
2. Optional: Melt the fat if necessary (bacon fat, duck fat, white chocolate, etc).
3. Combine the fat and maltodextrin in a food processor (preferably a mini food processor or mini work bowl if appropriate for the amount you’re making) and blend until a powder forms.
Stop the processor occasionally to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
4. Break up any large clumps and serve, or pass through a mesh strainer for even finer powder.
Store any leftover powdered fat in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place.
If you don’t have a food processor, powdering fats can also be done with a sturdy whisk or spoon, but takes considerably more work.