Maltodextrin is some pretty cool stuff. When you taste a malto-fat powder, it will quickly dissolve on your tongue leaving the flavour of the fat used to make it. On a menu, these types of powders are often referred to as ‘snow’.
What is it?
“Maltodextrin is a polysaccharide that is used as a food additive. It is produced from starch by partial hydrolysis and is usually found as a white hygroscopic spray-dried powder.” -Source
Where does it come from?
Maltodextrin is refined from tapioca starch. Tapioca is a starch found in the Cassava (or Yucca) root, a staple grown in South America and Africa. This starch will readily absorb fat whilst remaining in a powdered state. The second it comes in contact with water, it melts.
How do you use it?
If you’ve brewed beer, then you’ve likely come in contact with Maltodextrin before. In beer, it’s used as an additive to maintain a lower the specific gravity (alcohol content) of the brew, add frothiness and a nice mouthfeel to the finished product.
In the kitchen, Maltodextrin will manipulate the texture of any substance that is primarily fat based. You can use Vegetable/Nut Oils (Peanut Butter, Walnut Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil) , Chocolate (White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Nutella ) or Animal Fats (Duck fat, Clarified Butter, Bacon Fat).
Making flavoured powders with Maltodextrin is really easy. In a blender, combine 40% Maltodextrin to 60% of your choice of liquid fat and blend. It’s pretty tough to mess up. Be prepared for a mess though. The texture of maltodextrin is so light and uncompressed, it will probably get all over the place. Keep it in a dry container, away from liquids and you won’t run into trouble.
Where can you find it?
Maltodextrin Powder can be found at Powder for Texture. 400g will set you back $28.
(Note: This stuff is really uncompressed, 400g is lots.)
10g Powdered Sugar, sifted
1g Kosher Salt
In a food processor, combine the Maltodextrin, the sifted Sugar and the Kosher Salt. Turn on the machine and Add the Nutella in small batches.
For a fluffier powder, pass it through a tamis strainer.
This recipe can be used with any fat.