Capsule for sauce.

Joined Feb 25, 2017
Apologise if this is in the wrong place, I'm sure someone will let me know if it is.

I want to create a gel-like pod to act as a breakable sauce container for a dish I'm creating.
I briefly looked into gelatine: however my understanding is that it melts at a fairly low temperature,which is unsuitable as I want to contain a hot sauce.

Does anyone know if there's anything I can add to the gelatine to make it more heat-resistant, or are there any alternatives to gelatine?

Thanks in advance


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
I would say soup dumplings but I know that's not what you want.  ;)
Joined Oct 9, 2008
Can you explain in more detail? A "pod" sounds look you want to fill it and have it break, but then what's this about melting? Sorry--it's hard to make suggestions without a clearer sense of the goal.
Joined Feb 25, 2017
Imagine a ramekin made of jelly, with a jelly lid. The idea is that it holds a white sauce to go on top of a pasta dish, when the diner cuts into it it breaks and the sauce flows out onto the pasta.

When I looked up the properties of gelatine it said the melting point was about 40 degrees which I don't believe would withstand being filled with sauce straight from a pan (not having tested this myself)
Joined Oct 9, 2008
You want an elastic high-heat gel. Bear in mind that the gel will remain in the dish as squodgy stuff.

Find a local library with a copy of Modernist Cuisine and take a look at the long section on gels and fluid gels. I could give some notions, but it's going to depend on what texture, opacity, and flavor you're looking for.
Joined Mar 21, 2008
Maybe a toasted bread cup, it will crumble and add some crunch to the pasta while being pretty neutral in flavor. It will hold the sauce for the time it takes to get it to the table. Butter the interior to make it more resistant to getting soggy.

Baked pancetta cup, adds some flavor and little crispy ham bits...

Blanch and peel tomatoes, cut the top off and scoop out the insides leaving a thin shell, will add a bit of tomato flavor


Joined Feb 16, 2017
A bioengineer out of Harvard developed an edible container that can hold everything from yogurt to coffee. His name is David Edwards. He calls his invention wikicells. The objective was creation of sustainable packaging to eliminate stress on the environment from both production of food packaging and disposal of packaging after consumption. The announcement was made several years ago. Don't know if the product is on the market. But every major business outlet from Bloomberg to Business Insider carried a story on it. He apparently had venture capitalists backing him back then, so they were serious about getting it to market.
Joined Apr 5, 2007
I did something similar about a year ago, a riff on "seamless ravioli" where I had a coating of mung bean starch and xanthan around a really gelatinous demi glace (fortified with a hit of methocell).  Very carefully poached from frozen, the starch would hold together and be semi-transparent with a liquid centre.

It was very picky going and I wouldn't do it on the regular.

I did have a thought; would you be willing to try something like artificial sausage casing?  That might be the easiest route.  You would likely be limited to round shapes but it might get you the result you are looking for with relative ease.
Joined Oct 9, 2008
As I think about this off and on, I think the big question is what the capsule should taste like. At base, you're talking about a mode of reverse spherification, unless you want the pod/capsule to be its own thing, inwhich case it's a kind of modernist ravioli.

Spherification: you get enough free calcium ions into the sauce to be active (add calcium chloride, etc.), form into whatever shapes and freeze, then drop them one by one into a gelling solution. A transparent gel will form on the outside.

Ravioli: make an elastic gel from carrageenan or the like, about as thick as melted chocolate. Form the sauce, possibly by freezing, or you could put ordinary gelatine in it. Take the sauce balls and dip them in the gel, like dipping chocolates. The exterior gel won't melt until very close to boiling temperature, but if you use gelatine in the inside, it'll melt around 90F. So you put your balls into 160F water for about 15 minutes, and they'll be pasta-like on the outside and liquid inside.

I'd go with the ravioli, which is less fiddly, but you have to decide on an attractive and tasty exterior. I'd suggest a vegetable gel with an electric color, like squash, beet, colored pepper, etc.

Does any of this sound like what you want?
Joined Mar 31, 2017
I agree with ChrisLhrer that spherification is probably what you are looking for. I've used it in both hot and cold applications in the past.

My method is to make the puree I want as the filling and blend in a 2% by weight of calcium lactate gluconate.  I'll then use a chamber sealer to remove any air that was buzzed in and freeze into whatever size hemisphere mold you want the final product to be.  I will also reserve 1/4 of the batch of puree for later sphere storage.

 While it's freezing, make a bath of 1% by weight of sodium alginate and water.(the amount of alginate bath you make will depend on the container you plan to make the spheres in and the size of the spheres)  Make this by blending 1/3 of the water with all the sodium alginate until smooth, then stream in the rest of the water.  Remove any air bubbles with a chamber sealer or let sit in the walk in overnight to get rid of excess air.(This is essential or the walls of the spheres will have weak spots.)

To actually form the spheres you will need to warm the alginate bath to 100°F in a wide bottomed pan (a shallow hotel pan works well or 1/3 or 1/2 pan)  Drop your frozen puree into the bath, but don't let them touch or they will stick together.  The rule here is that the longer they are in the bath the thicker the walls will be for the spheres.  I like to let them sit for a minute or so when I first put them into the bath and then give them a light stir before letting them sit a few more minutes.  (For a hot preperation I would recommend 5 minutes in the bath.)  Remove the spheres from the bath with a slotted spoon and gently double rinse them with cold water.  Store them in 8 oz. cup delis with the reserved puree (this prevents the spheres from losing flavor over time and they will keep for up to a week under refrigeration)

For pick up, take one deli at a time and store in a 165°F combi oven or a steamer basket with a simmering pot below it.

Good luck!

Latest posts

Top Bottom