This is a root beer float.
Are you excited?
You should be excited. This is a fine white powder that dissolves into a fast-melting creaminess in your mouth, tasting like root beer.
WAIT. I AM NOT A WITCH.
There are three keys. Let's Memento this and reveal how we got to be here.
Third: Tapioca maltodextrin is one of the food industry substances adopted by 21st century cuisine to manipulate texture. Technically it isn't a hydrocolloid, but tends to be spoken of in the same breath as them. Tapioca maltodextrin is a polysaccharide produced through partial hydrolysis of tapioca starch, resulting in a flavorless, nonsweet, starchy powder. It's used as a bulking agent in the food industry.
In the kitchen, you can use it to turn fats into dry powder. The powder will melt back into the fat once it's in your mouth. Or anyone else's mouth.
It's easy but takes some practice. Take a fat -- it's easiest if it's liquid -- and keep adding tapmalt to it until you have a clumpy powder (and then break the clumps up by passing them through a sieve). You'll wind up with something that looks like cookie dough or something at first -- just keep going. Tapmalt is a fine and very light powder -- you will use much more of it, by volume, than the fat you're using.
You need a high-fat substance to mix the tapmalt with -- it will turn gummy and terrible if you expose it to water. But it doesn't need to be pure fat like, say, coconut oil -- you can make powdered peanut butter just fine. I'd like to find out if powdered avocado is an option but haven't tried it yet. I have an idea for a powdered salad dressing but I'm not sure if it will gum up once exposed to the wet surfaces of things like cucumbers and tomatoes -- and it's certainly not the season to find out.
After a couple tests just to see how it mixed, the first thing I really made with tapmalt was popcorn butter.
This was involved, and silly, and self-evidently not worth the effort except as a way to play with various processes:
I popped popcorn;
simmered the popcorn in pasteurized cream;
cooled and strained the cream, which took a LOT of work since that popcorn happily soaked up all the cream;
refrigerated the popcorn-flavored cream;
churned the popcorn-flavored cream into butter;
melted the popcorn-infused butter;
mixed the popcorn-infused butter with tapmalt;
popped more popcorn and topped it with powdered popcorn-flavored butter.
It's worth pointing out, both the cream and the butter did have immediately recognizable popcorn flavor. Not "microwave popcorn butter" popcorn flavor, not "buttered popcorn Jelly Belly" flavor, but popcorn flavor.
Second: Remember fat-washing? Expose a fatty substance like butter or nuts to alcohol for a while, put the alcohol in the freezer, remove the fat that solidifies as it gets cold, and what you have left is an alcohol that carries the flavor notes of the fat -- because anything that is fat-soluble is alcohol-soluble.
But that's only half the story, right? Because you also end up with a fat that carries the flavors of the alcohol you soaked it in. If you mix a fat with a high-proof alcohol -- I don't know if this would work with wine or liqueur, but it works at base liquor proofs of 80+ -- the resulting "infused fat" very distinctly carries the flavors of the alcohol. You Freaky Friday everything up.
We will cover Root in more specific depth later. It's a base-strength root-beer-inspired spirit that has less sugar and more alcohol than a liqueur -- so it certainly isn't root beer schnapps -- but is noticeably sweeter than, say, bourbon or vodka.
Mix butter and Root.
Freeze butter and Root. Strain solid Root-infused butter particles out of butter-infused Root:
Mix Root-infused butter with tapmalt.
Boom. Powdered root beer float.
Applications: give your friends a spoonful to impress them with your magic powers; mix with powdered sugar to dust absinthe truffles; perhaps mix with a little citric acid and a little baking soda to make some sort of root beer fizzy.