Hydrocolloid recipe collection v.2.1

An updated version of “Texture – A hydrocolloid recipe collection” is now available for download (version 2.1). The version includes corrections of typos, minor additions to the property tables plus an important update in the gelatin section and a recipe for agar filtration. Read on for details!

I’m grateful for feedback from several readers pointing out that the size of gelatin sheets is made to compensate for different bloom strengths. In other words, one gelatin sheet will gel a given amount of water, regardless of the size of the gelatin sheet. To the best of my knowledge, this convention seems to have been adopted by most gelatin producers.

All gelatin based recipes have been updated to reflect this and most of them now give the amount of gelatin both in grams (for a platinum type, 240 bloom gelatin) and in number of sheets. I’ve also included a formula for conversion between different bloom strengths. This formula differs from what has been published earlier (no square root), but by testing the formula for given gelatin sheet bloom strengths and weights I got better results by simply multiplying the mass by the ratio of the bloom strengths. If you know more about these formulas, please leave a comment or email me.

Checking the gelatin recipes I discovered that the recipe “Strawberry spheres” originally called for “Sosa vegetable gelatin” which is not gelatin but a mixture of carrageenan and locust bean gum which are dispersed with maltodextrin. Since the exact amount of carrageenan and locust bean gum are not known I’ve deleted the recipe (but I’m sure you could achieve the same coating effect with plain gelatin, perhaps a 3-4% solution to render it viscous so it will cling the the spheres).

Thanks to feedback from a reader there is also recipe now for agar filtration (based on a Spanish forum post). This works just like gelatin filtration, but is much faster. Apparently you get more or less the same results with regard to clarity, flavor and color.

If printing the collection, make sure the hydrocolloid properties table is rotated so it prints correctly. This table is presented in landscape format. The right most column of the first page is gelatin – if you don’t see it, try printing these pages again. The pages are optimized for printing on A4. If printing on Letter sized paper, make sure you check the “resize” or “fit to paper” option in your pdf reader.

Thank you for comments, corrections, recipes and other feedback! As always, I can be reached at webmaster a t khymos d o t org.


  1. Question about the agar filtration, do you still let the ice block melt under refridgeration or can it defrost at room temp? Is that where the reduction in time comes from?

  2. Bobby, agar allows defrost at room temp, once iced simply put in a strainer outside refrigerator and wait few hours.

    Note that is valid only for foods that not contain fats. The cold in the fridge maintain solid fats while defrost, at room temp these fats melt.

  3. […] describes this new version, excerpted from his blog […]

  4. Hydrocolloid recipe collection v.2.1 <- i like it..thx for article ..This article very helpfulll..i put this article to my bookmarks.

  5. just a note – the Sam Mason recipe for soft chocolate gel should specify kappa carrageenan. if iota carrageenan is used, the base will not gel and the resulting product will be more like a pudding in texture,

  6. I can’t thank you enough for compiling this book. For those of us just starting to try and get a handle on all of the possibilities, your gathering of data and recipes is unbelievably helpful.

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