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 Post subject: the science of the cake
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:48 am 
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Following my post on the lemon drizzle cake thread I felt inspired to post about Andy Connelly. My hubby discovered him when looking for answers to the flat beer he had brewed. He is brilliant at explaining exactly what is going on in many foody processes. Once you know the science bit, the years of disasters all seem so obvious., and you can use science to explain away any future disasters too. "Oh dear, my chemical leavening agent must have reacted with some moisture in the tub and already performed its first functional reaction before I used it in the cake mix" should shut them up when they are laughing at your pancake sponge! Certainly useful when I made some jaw breaking cinder toffee last year. :lol:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog ... y-connelly


The only things I would add to his thoughts is treat every recipe like a chemistry experiment, weigh and measure accurately, someone has worked it all out for you, why mess it up by sloppy measuring. Also the baking Goddess Delia's big thing: cake tin size, a flat cake often simply means you are spreading the mix too thin, soggy in the middle, not spreading it far enough.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:07 pm 
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I will read this when I am less tired. How on earth did I miss it? I'm not even sure how I came across it as it was there one minute and gone the next.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:00 am 
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I wish I hadn't seen the picture of the cake before going to bed .... hungry now!

Thanks for that. I've been trying to find a book like this to appeal to my DC. They are interested in why things behave like that in the kitchen and love Stefan Gates and all his programmes. I was looking for a book on this kind of food-science, aimed at kids, but can't seem to find one. This blog will be brilliant for some kitchen chemistry 8) :D

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:19 am 
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I can recommend "Crisp Packet Fireworks" by Chris Smith and Dave Ansell - you can get it on Amazon for about £8 - lots of experiments to do with things found around the house. We had this a couple of years ago. My younger son just enjoyed the "magic" of the experiments and my oldest was able to read the "science" behind them. A bit of fun on those wet, wintry days!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 4:10 pm 
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Thank you Kenyancowgirl! Will take a look at it right now. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 5:36 pm 
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I can't reiterate strongly enough the need for measuring accurately when baking cakes or making bread. I am a bit of a slap-happy, throw it in the pan cook but when it comes to bread and cakes the scales do come out - it all made sense when I realised that one teaspoon of baking powder wasn't going to raise 250g of flour as well as it would raise 100g!

Happy baking, just about to go and give my bread a bit of a pulverising!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:03 pm 
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
I can recommend "Crisp Packet Fireworks" by Chris Smith and Dave Ansell - you can get it on Amazon for about £8 - lots of experiments to do with things found around the house. We had this a couple of years ago. My younger son just enjoyed the "magic" of the experiments and my oldest was able to read the "science" behind them. A bit of fun on those wet, wintry days!

That looks fab, Kenyancowgirl. DD did the mentos in coke experiment (explosion) at school this week - love things like that :)

JD


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:02 pm 
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The book looks great...ds1 loves all that stuff. I have witnessed far too many bottles of diet coke and mentos exploding over my lawn :lol:

Cooking wise cinder toffee is great fun....or honeycomb for yumminess. Make sure you use fresh bicarbonate though, and it does get v v hot, but is amazing to watch turn into bubbly gooey froth.

Also a firm favourite with us are the quick condensed milk and lemon juice puddings such as this:
http://www.carnation.co.uk/Recipes/6/Key-Lime-Pie
Which is a great one for kids, as the thickening reaction is really quick...fingers out though. :roll:

If you are feeling very brave...maybe save this one for summer in the garden, the cornflour experiment is hilarious.
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2008/may/02/physics7

All much more fun than 11+ practice papers. :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:02 pm 
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southbucks3 wrote:
All much more fun than 11+ practice papers. :wink:


But just as educational :wink: :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:10 pm
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
I can recommend "Crisp Packet Fireworks" by Chris Smith and Dave Ansell - you can get it on Amazon for about £8 - lots of experiments to do with things found around the house. We had this a couple of years ago. My younger son just enjoyed the "magic" of the experiments and my oldest was able to read the "science" behind them. A bit of fun on those wet, wintry days!


That looks excellent! I have a stocking filler for my dd now! :D


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