Xanthan (pronounced “zan-than”) is obtained from the fermentation of corn-starch. It is a gum with great thickening power and is a suspensoid; i.e. maintains elements in suspension in a liquid, without sinking. It can thicken and stabilise most liquids (soups, sauces, foams, alcohols, emulsions, creams, vinaigrettes etc.) and is sable over a range pH values, salt contents, and temperatures (thickened solutions can be frozen & defrosted) being soluble in hot or cold liquids without losing viscosity, even when gas foamed.
Very small amounts of the product are required meaning there is no masking of taste in a recipe preparation.
Although highly soluble, gums can congeal if not sufficiently agitated when combined with liquids, so for best dispersal combine with other dry ingredients before incorporating into liquids with a stick or bar blender.
Xanthan can be utilised as:
For all these applications, the food gum is mixed well into a liquid, ideally with an electric blender, until the desired viscosity has been reached. A xanthan thickened liquid will have the same viscosity if hot or cold.
Raisin Emulsion with Vanilla & Truffle
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod.
Poach the raisins in the water and vinegar with the vanilla pod shell & seeds until the raisins soften.
Add the honey heating gently, stirring to combine.
Remove the vanilla pod and puree the raisins, syrup, truffle oil and xanthan to form a smooth emulsion.
Stain and reheat as required - excellent with veal, pork or scallops.