cookingtaco: Adding blended up macadamia to my brownie mix. (Default)
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Background

I like barbecue chicken. I like chips. I like them more when they are covered in a sweet lemon sauce. Up until a few months ago, I was able to do this with relative ease. However, my only source of lemon sauce dried up. Ong's Sweet Lemon sauce stopped being sold in the various supermarkets. Since this point I have searched for a suitable replacement, with no luck. Thus it was decided that I should look into ways of developing my own ways of producing a sweet lemon sauce.

The ingredients were selected on what materials I had available to me at the time. Clearly lemon was an essential ingredient, however lime was also used in order to provide a more robust citrus profile. The citrus profile was also intensified with the addition of the zests of the lemons and lime. Initially, CSR's LowGiCane sugar was used to provide the sweetness, however it provided little difference to caster sugar which was used for additional sweetness. While the sugars increased the viscosity somewhat Corn flour was used to provide the remaining viscosity. A minimal amount of rice vinegar was used to provide some sharpness to the flavours. Olive oil was also minimally used to accelerate the infusion of the zest flavours into the liquid. Finally apple cider that was concentrated through evaporation was used to provide a more complex taste while also increasing the volume of the sauce. 

To mimic the other properties and shelf life of the now unavailable sauce, the sauce was filtered to remove any pulp, seeds and zest.

Aims

To develop a sweet lemon sauce that functions as a successful analogue to the unavailable Malaysian Lemon Sauce. In this way the following properties were sought after:

  • Sweetness: The analogue must be of similar sweetness to the unavailable sauce
  • Viscosity: The analogue must have similar viscosity to the the unavailable sauce
  • Flavour: The analogue must have a citrus based flavour profile that compliments chicken and other foods in a similar way to the unavailable sauce


Materials


The following ingredients were prepared:
  • Juice and zest of 3 lemons. Figure 1
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime.  Figure 1
  • Bottled lemon juice. Figure 2
  • 385ml of Mercury Apple Cider.  Figure 3
  • 3 Tablespoons of LowGiCane.  Figure 4
  • 2 Tablespoon of caster sugar.  Figure 4
  • 1 Teaspoon of rice vinegar.  Figure 5
  • 1 Teaspoon of olive oil.  Figure 5
  • 2 Tablespoons of corn flour Figure 6
Figure 1: A zested lime and some lemons with their respective zests.
Figure 1: A zested lime and some lemons with their respective zests.

Figure 2: A bottle of lemon juice.
Figure 2: A bottle of lemon juice.

Figure 3: A 385ml bottle of Mercury Cider and 100ml of reduced cider.
Figure 3: A 385ml bottle of Mercury Cider and 100ml of reduced cider.

Figure 4: A packet of LoGiCain and a packet of caster sugar.
Figure 4: A packet of LoGiCain and a packet of caster sugar.

Figure 5: A bottle of olive oil and a bottle of rice vinegar.
Figure 5: A bottle of olive oil and a bottle of rice vinegar.

Figure 6: A packet of corn flour.
Figure 6: A packet of corn flour.

Methodology

  1. Empty cider into a pot on a high heat. Stir until all dissolved gases are removed. Let it boil while performing the following steps.
  2. Zest and juice the lemons and lime. Figure 7
  3. Add extra bottled lemon juice so that the volume of the juices is 250ml. Figure 8
  4. Add the zest, sugars, rice vinegar, olive oil and corn flour. Stir well.
  5. Once the cider has boiled down to roughly 100 ml, remove from heat.
  6. Stir in the juice/ zest mixture.
  7. Return to heat to allow the starch to gelatinise and thicken the mixture. Stir well.
  8. Remove mixture once it starts boiling and continue stirring.
  9. Strain mixture.
  10. Let the mixture cool. 
Figure 7: Juiced lemons and a lime.
Figure 7: Juiced lemons and a lime.

Figure 8: 250ml of lemon and lime juice
Figure 8
: 250ml of lemon and lime juice


Results
  • It was difficult to ascertain whether the sweetness was similar to the Malaysian sauce, however, the taste was deemed successful.
  • A significant viscosity increase was observed, however it was lacking compared to the Malaysian sauce. Figure 9
  • The flavour profile complimented chicken and chips successfully. Improvements are possible. Figure 9

Figure 9: The completed sauce.
Figure 9
: The completed sauce.

Discussion

The viscosity can be increased by both using more corn starch and exposing the mixture to more heat, allowing it to gelatinise to a greater extent. To reduce costs and simplify the process, purchased lemon and lime juice could be potentially used. Various spices including paprika could also be used to amplify the flavours.

Conclusion

Overall, the experiment was successful. The flavour and the sweetness of the sauce was sufficient. However, the viscosity of the sauce was lacking.

Further Research

The optimal amount and type of sugar can be ascertained by further experimentation. The citrus flavour profile can potentially be increased by allowing the zest more time to infuse its flavours into the liquid. The viscosity can be increased by both adding more corn flour and allowing the sauce to gelatinise further. The difference (if anything) between corn starch and corn flour should also be examined.




 

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cookingtaco: Adding blended up macadamia to my brownie mix. (Default)
cookingtaco

October 2012

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