Calcium chloride is widely used by molecular chefs in spherification. When dissolved in water, the free calcium ions react with sodium alginate to form a gel. Calcium chloride is a salt which is completely soluble in cold water. For the spherification 'bath', use calcium chloride between 0.5% and 1% by weight of liquid.
The salt is also used in pickling or 'canning', to keep pickles crisper during the fermentation process. In the USA it is branded as "pickle crisp" or "pickling crisp".
Chefs often buy calcium chloride to use along with table salt (sodium chloride) for brining meat - you can use lower concentrations of calcium chloride than you would with ordinary table salt, plus the calcium ions in calcium chloride also help to tenderise the meat during ageing. The reference book Modernist Cuisine At Home recommends a 0.3% concentration for brining meat.
Store the calcium chloride in a dry place, with the seal tightly closed - it has a remarkable ability to attract water!
Ingredients: Calcium Chloride E509
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