Have you ever wondered how to make some of those special powders, that you get in restaurants?
You can! You’d be surprised how simple it is. I’m going to show you how to make Nutella powder and while we are here, Peanut butter (nut butter) or even Olive oil powder to amp up the style like a true Masterchef.
This technique creates a powder that melts beautifully in the mouth.
What do I do with flavoured powders?
So the technique of turning Nutella or even Peanut butter into a powder is very easy. The powders are used to add to appearance as well as add a surprise flavour element you may not be expecting. It’s a fun addition to a dish and one that seems to impress and delight people too!
This is a magical way of transforming ingredients from liquid or solid into powder to add a new dimension to your dish. The powder melts in your mouth as soon as it has contact with your tongue. The sensation is pretty cool.
You can even use liquids with high fat content such as olive oil. Olive oil powder is also lots of fun. It can be used as a plate garnish on dishes such as tomato bruschetta, melting in the mouth each bite. Imagine using it with bacon fat, caramel, condensed milk, white chocolate or coconut oil.
Olive Oil Powder and below Peanut Butter Powder on a Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich
Whats the science behind making powders?
To transform high fat content ingredients into powder you need to use a specific type of Tapioca Maltodextrin called N-Zorbit M. This type of Tapioca Maltodextrin is derived from the roots of tapioca. It’s a starch composed of long chains of sugar serving as the plant’s food reserve. Once the starch is extracted from the original product, it is hydrolysed, or broken down and dried out to a powder. Maltodextrin is basically a sugar but its sweetening power is much weaker than syrups and sugar. So in essence it is a starch that can bind fats. The oil or fat isn’t removed it’s just trapped in the network.
Maltodextrin is used extensively in the food industry in a diverse number of ways. It can add fat based flavour in the form of powder to all kinds of foods. It can soften bakery products and bulk up the volume of processed food as a thickener and filler in items like instant pudding, gelatin’s, sauces, and salad dressings. It’s also a preservative that increases the shelf life of packaged foods, dry mixes and helps prevent crystals on the surface of frozen foods. Phew.
The best way to make flavoured powders
The ingredient you are using should be as liquefied as possible, this means if it is coconut oil, white chocolate or bacon fat it needs to be melted to room temperature. Pastes such as Nut Butter and Nutella are right to go just as they are.
The next step is to mix the powder with the fat you want to make into a powder. This can be done in two ways. Entirely by hand or using a food processor. To start put the fat or liquid into a bowl add the Maltodextrin (M Zorbit) and stir with a spoon until the powder and the fat is combined. If the mixture is still sticky and is even still a paste add more powder a little bit at a time while mixing in. The powder can be slightly clumpy and not entirely dry. If you are making it completely by hand it can be pushed through a fine sieve. This will make it light and airy.
Alternatively grab a food processor, add nutella or peanut butter or another fat, and add tapioca maltodextrin, and blitz together in short bursts, scraping off any bits on the sides. You should be left with a powder. If its still not as powdery as you like you can add a little more maltodextrin till it is fluffy.
The general ratio is 40% fat to 60% Tapioca Maltodextrin. This will only change a little with the more liquid ingredients. That means if you will need to add a little extra maltodextrin for ingredients like olive or coconut oil.
- 60 gm nutella (1/4 cup Aus) or peanut butter ( or other fat or nut butter)
- 80 gm Tapioca Maltodextrin Add a little extra at a time depending on the fat
The finished powder will not be extra dry. It is still a little moist but fluffy. The powder will melt on the tongue and have a lovely soft flavour.
You can get Tapioca Maltodextrin N-Zorbit M from specialist cooking and chefs stores. In Sydney try The Red Spoon Company.
To make white chocolate powder melt the white chocolate and cool before mixing in the maltodextrin.
You only need a small amount (1 to 2 Tablespoons) or nut butter, chocolate, fat or oil to make enough for 4-6 dishes.
Now, I have a little secret in case you can not get your hands on Tapioca Maltodextrin N-Zorbit M.
You can still experiment with making fun flavoured powders. Use plain Tapioca powder. It gives you a similar result. The powder does not have the sugar component attached so the result is not exact. But Tapioca alone is good enough for you to see how it works. Add just a pinch of icing sugar to the mixture. It will make you hungry to get your hands on the real stuff.