Methocel is a type of methylcellulose. Methylcellulose is made from cellulose pulp, which is taken from plants' cell walls. There are about 20 kinds of methylcellulose and while similar, they all have different properties. Methocel F50 is commonly used to stabilize foams, especially whipped foams.
You can buy Methocel F50 several places. We highly recommend ModernistPantry.com, they have great service and are really good to work with (because of this, we do have an affiliate relationship with them). You can also find Methocel F50 at WillPowder and get larger quantities and bundles at ForTheGourmet.com .
Different kinds of methylcellulose have different dispersion and hydration requirements. Methocel F50 is one of the more forgiving ones.
Methocel F50 can be dispersed in hot or cold liquid. Typically the best way to disperse the Methocel F50 is to put the liquid in a blender then turn it on until a vortex is formed. The Methocel F50 is then sprinkled into the vortex and is blended to combine.
To hydrate Methocel F50, as well as most types of methylcellulose, the Methocel F50-liquid mixture needs to be refrigerated. The hydration process can take several hours.
The process of making a Methocel F50 foam is very easy. The Methocel F50 is combined with a flavored liquid and then whipped in a standing mixer with a whisk attachment until it forms soft or firm peaks. Xanthan gum can also be used to further stabilize the foam.
Once whipped, the Methocel F50 foam can be served as is or dehydrated to create meringues.A ratio of 1.0% to 2.0%, by weight, of Methocel F50 to the flavored liquid is commonly used along with a ratio of 0.1% to 0.3% xanthan gum. The higher the amount of Methocel F50 and xanthan gum the denser the foam will be.