Ultra-Sperse is used in many of the same ways as xanthan gum. Ultra-Sperse is a cold water swelling starch that thickens liquids into a rich and creamy sauces without lumps. Since Ultra-Sperse has a neutral flavor itself, when used in higher concentrations it has a better mouthfeel than xanthan gum.
There are several different types of Ultra-Sperse including Ultra-Sperse A, M, and 3; all three kinds are used for similar culinary thickening applications with only minor differences. Of these, Ultra-Sperse M and Ultra-Sperse 3 are the two most commonly used in molecular gastronomy.
You can buy Ultra-Sperse M and Ultra-Sperse 3 in several places. However, 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).
Ultra-Sperse, a product of Ingredion Inc., is an all-natural, cold water swelling starch used in the culinary world for thickening liquids without forming lumps. Several different types of Ultra-Sperse are available, including Ultra-Sperse A, M, and 3; of these, M and 3 are the two most commonly used in molecular gastronomy.
Ultra-Sperse can easily be added to a liquid by whisking it in, or using an immersion blender to blend it in. It mixes into both hot and cold liquids without creating lumps, and Ultra-Sperse hydrates equally well in both.
When it is used as a thickening agent, the amount of Ultra-Sperse you will want to use depends on how thick you want your liquid to become. Generally a 0.2% to 5% ratio is used for most sauces. The more Ultra-Sperse you add, the thicker the liquid will become starting with a barely noticable thickening at 0.2% and leading up to a thick and glossy sauce at 5%.
For foaming, the Ultra-Sperse ratio usually ranges from 0.2% to 3% for a light froth and 3% to 5% for a light foam. Note: See How to Measure Modernist Ingredients for more information on ratios.
Thickening with Ultra-Sperse is easy. Simply blend Ultra-Sperse into the liquid you want to thicken and you are all set!
Ultra-Sperse 3 works best for most types of thickening though Ultra-Sperse M is ideal for many preparations that will be frozen.
For most types of thickening you will want to use a ratio of 0.2% to 5% Ultra-Sperse, depending on how thick you want it to be. To actually thicken the liquid, simply blend the Ultra-Sperse into the liquid and it will quickly thicken.
Making silky and smooth homemade gravy is easy using Ultra-Sperse. First take 300 grams of good, fresh stock, either chicken or beef works well. Next blend in 15 grams (5%) of Ultra-Sperse 3 into it. Heat the gravy to the desired serving temperature and serve.
To create foams with Ultra-Sperse 3, first thicken the liquid by blending or whisking in Ultra-Sperse. Next pour the thickened liquid into a whipping siphon then seal and charge the siphon. The foam can then be dispensed either hot or cold. Ultra-Sperse works equally well with both hot and cold preparations and typically it is used in ratios of 0.2% to 5%.
With an immersion blender combine 300 grams pineapple juice, 100 grams coconut milk, and 12 grams Ultra-Sperse. Pour the mixture into a whipping siphon then seal and charge it. Dispense the foam onto desserts or as a topper for piña coladas.