You read that right, carbonating fruit. With creative use of a cream whipper/foamer (those canisters they dispense whipped cream from at your coffee shop) you can temporarily carbonate the juice within cut fruit. The results are fizzy, fun and a great way to wow you guests at parties.
Though you can’t actually tell from the photo (this is more of a mouth feel/flavor trick than a presentation one), the above fruit salad was made with blueberries, Australian finger limes, fresh mint (we used delicata mint, but you could use spearmint), carbonated strawberries and carbonated cantaloupe.
We can’t claim credit for coming up with this idea, (I first had carbonated fruit at Moto Restaurant in Chicago several years ago) or the method (I think I first read about how to do it at home in the book Cooking for Geeks?) but it’s pretty cool, so we thought we’d share our experience with it.
Soda Siphon CO2 Charger/Cartridge (might need two if using a really big (1 liter) whipper)
Fruit (see below for tips & a list of what we’ve tried)
1. Cut all your fruit into pieces small enough to fit through the mouth of the foamer. Even small fruit generally needs to be cut so the inner juices are exposed to the gas.
2. Screw on the whipper lid & attach a decorator tip (any tip will do, you’re only using it to release the gas according to the manufacturer’s instructions).
3. Charge the whipper with a soda siphon cartridge.
Do not use the nitrous oxide (N2O) chargers designed for your foamer. They will not have much effect at all on the fruit.
4. Move the whipper to your refrigerator and wait at least one hour (CO2 dissolves better in cold liquids).
5. Remove the whipper from your refrigerator. When you are ready to eat the fruit (have any guests and utensils ready), turn the whipper so that the decorating tip is pointing up in the air, away from everyone, and depress the trigger until all the gas has escaped.
6. Immediately unscrew the top and pour the fruit out onto a bowl or serving platter.
7. Consume within five minutes for the best fizz. Some fruit may stay at least slightly fizzy for up to ten minutes.
Fruit Selection Tips:
● Very juicy/watery fruit (melons, grapes, etc) seems to work better than fruit with a lot of inner structure to get in the way of the gas.
● If loading multiple fruit varieties into the whipper at once, be aware that cut fruits that weep dark juice could stain other fruits during the carbonating process.
Fruit We’ve Carbonated & How Well It Worked:
Red Seedless Grapes – Each cut into three slices
Result: The best to date.
Grapes work extremely well. They’re fizzy and the flavor is delicious. Slicing them thinly gives them a beautiful glass-like appearance on the plate.
Melon (Honeydew & Cantalope) – Scooped using a melon baller/parisienne scoop
Result: Ok to great, depending on how juicy & sweet the melon was (more juice is better).
Added a nice acidic, almost lime-like note to honeydew. Really juicy melons will actually come out of the whipper covered in a light foam.
Strawberries – 1-2mm thick slices
Result: Not bad, but lost fizz quickly.