Go Green: Creating Basil Cream with Xanthan Gum

Sometimes I find that just adding Basil to a dish is boring.
We can do better than that, so I decided to make some Basil Cream.
I didn’t want to heat the Basil as I needed it to keep its full flavour.
That’s why I used Xanthan (E415) to do the job.
First of all, take a lot of Basil. You can’t use too much. The more you take the more aroma you will get.
Then add some Olive Oil (I use 3 tablespoons for 100g of Basil) and some water (rule of thumb: 2/3 of the weight of the Basil, in this example: 66ml).

Now use a hand blender to blend thoroughly.
This will take some time. Basil will stick to the blades and you’ll need to remove them manually.
Whatever you do, don’t put your fingers between the blades! Always use a small spoon. If for some reason these blades start turning there won’t be enough left of your fingers to sew back on!

Once its’ well blended, strain the liquid through a sieve.
Use a spoon to press the liquid through the sieve. You want to get as much out as possible.
Once a dry, dark green crust remains in the sieve you can stop straining.

Now add 1% Xanthan Gum.
As the remaining liquid weighed 174g, I added 1,74g of Xanthan.
You need to be very precise here. Adding too much will make the cream too thick.

Use the hand blender to blend the liquid with the Xanthan Gum. Remember to clean the blender first as you don’t want any of the Basil Crumbs in your cream.


You can stop blending once the cream has reached a nice viscosity.
Now pour into a squeeze bottle.

This cream goes very well with tomatoes.
You can use it to create something like “Caprese Moleculare”.
I do this by placing Mozzarella di Bufala at the bottom, followed by Mozzarella Cream and diced tomatoes.
On top comes the Basil Cream. This adds a great aroma and perfect colour.

Seriously Overrated: The Juicer

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I think one of the most overrated tools in the kitchen is the juicer.
If you own one, how often do you really use it? And what do you do with it?
Mine (which you see on the photo) is now over one year old and I’ve used it maybe two or three times.
All I use it for is juicing tomatoes. I haven’t used it for anything else yet.
When I bought it I thought “Wow, a juicer! I’m going to do so many cool things with it.”
After using it for the first time, when I had to clean it, which was a hassle and really time consuming, I though “Wow, what a freaking lot of work, just for a few juiced tomatoes.”.
In the end, I didn’t even find any recipes where I needed so much fresh juice that it was worthwhile using it.
In 99% of the cases, I find it easier just cutting stuff up and straining it through a cloth. This takes a bit of time and is quite a lot of work but in the end still less time consuming than having to clean a juicer.
For juicing tomatoes though, it’s brilliant.
A lot of my recipes from the Molecular Cuisine contain tomato-water.
Even though tomatoes are red, tomato-water is actually yellow, at least of you manage to get out all the meat, skin, etc. This really works best with a juicer.
The yellow tomato-water has a very intensive tomato-flavor.
You can easily turn it into a foam with Lecithin, make tomato gummi-bears using Agar Agar, create tomato spheres, etc.
That’s another story though. But anyway, that’s the only use I’ve found for my Juicer so far.
If you have any other uses, please leave a comment.