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The Kitchen Chemistry Sessions

The Kitchen Chemistry Sessions
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  • Post #31 - September 1st, 2010, 6:12 am
    Post #31 - September 1st, 2010, 6:12 am Post #31 - September 1st, 2010, 6:12 am
    Session 1: Water & Egg-white foam – Vauquelin

    Microwaves and water and polarity was discussed with various demos
    Activities included separating fresh egg whites and whipping with various acids or in a copper bowl. There is a discussion in McGee about the chemistry and science aspect of this. Vauquelins were made (various flavors)
    Click on pic to launch slideshow [20pics+1vid]
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    From Fall 2010 [23pics+1vid]
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    I'll just note here that fresh eggs are broken and whites separated and whipped to compare the effect of various acids or copper in whipping to a stable foam.

    This year with the recent egg recall, I bought pasteurized liquid egg whites for the vauquelin. This was an abject failure (given the time in the class) in whipping. The pasteurization does denature the proteins somewhat (see pic below – the liquid egg white are already slightly opaque) that affects whipping {this is a known issue*}
    I teach now 1:30pm - 4:30pm and again 6:30pm - 9:30pm, so for the second class that meets I managed to make a quick run to get fresh eggs that did work for the vauquelin.

    * http://www.cooksillustrated.com/tastete ... ocid=10079
    http://www.ochef.com/1329.htm



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    Vauquelin Base Recipe [see pics for flavors used/created]
    35g fresh/liquid egg white
    45g sugar
    2g dry egg white
    35g liquid
    whip egg white first before adding sugar + dry white, in portions; add liquid – whip till 'stiff peaks'
    Microwave at full power (1100W) for 30 seconds.
    Note: This does not work well with a 900W microwave
  • Post #32 - September 1st, 2010, 6:51 am
    Post #32 - September 1st, 2010, 6:51 am Post #32 - September 1st, 2010, 6:51 am
    Session 2: Lipids - Fats/Oils,phospholipds and emulsifiers)

    A natural follow up after the session on water, as oil doesn't mix with water (even a 3 yr old knows that). This was an opportunity to discuss triglycerides, alcohols, (carboxylic) acids and esters [briefly]. Saturated and unsaturated, cis and trans (and mechanism of hydrogenation – which explains why one gets trans fats) etc. Made butter, centrifuged milk,
    Phospholipids and lecithin was discussed and used in making "airs" and then various chocolate chantillies

    Fall2009 [click for slideshow; 25pics]
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    Fall2010 [27pics]
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    "Airs" that were made (see pics)
    pineapple, watermelon, ginger beer, pomegranate, soy [+H2O; equal parts],
    Honey [+H2O]; ginger beer, Raspberry syrup[+H2O], cranberry, lemonade, soy [+H2O; equal parts]

    Wasabi peas with soy and ginger air
    Image

    Chocolate Chantilly flavors made
    Coffee, Coco-cola, Texas Pete hot sauce (+ H2O), sparkling mint, lemonade, raspberry (extract in H2O), ginger beer, watermelon, pomegranate, cranberry

    I was quite amused that one group picked up the hot sauce to combine with the chocolate. It wasn't good because of the vinegar that was up front. The lemonade, coffee, ginger beer and watermelon were particularly good.

    Chocolate Chantilly Base Recipe:
    100g chocolate [good chocolate with only ingredients chocolate (or cocoa and cocoa butter/fat, sugar, lecithin]
    95g water (or flavored liquid)

    Melt chopped chocolate in hot liquid. Chill by putting bowl on ice and whisk vigorously to disperse water in the cocoa fat
    Remove from ice when it starts to thicken. Whipp till soft peaks. Cautuion: this can thicken/harden rapidly
    This is a 'fail-proof' dish
    If it fails – heat, melt (add more chocolate or liquid if needed); repeat whisking on ice etc.


    Some other related and useful links
    Low-fat chocolate breakthrough could replace fat with water

    Oleic acid content is responsible for the reduction in blood pressure induced by olive oil - PNAS September 16, 2008 vol. 105 no. 37 13811-13816

    ----
    To be continued.
    I will post on the other Sessions from 2009 shortly.
  • Post #33 - September 1st, 2010, 7:31 am
    Post #33 - September 1st, 2010, 7:31 am Post #33 - September 1st, 2010, 7:31 am
    Way to go Das, you're leading us into brand-new territory! One of these semesters I hope to be at Pitt, so's I can walk across the street and sit in on your class.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #34 - October 1st, 2010, 10:33 pm
    Post #34 - October 1st, 2010, 10:33 pm Post #34 - October 1st, 2010, 10:33 pm
    Session 3: Carbohydrates

    Here we talked about carbohydrates and worked with alginates - other carbohydrates, xanthan, maltodextrin etc. were handled in the next class.
    Fall2009 [click for slideshow; 30pics]
    Image

    Fall2010 [27pics]
    Image

    The fluorescent tonic water caviar always excites (till it is tasted) :)
    Still, using it in reverse sperification gives a thin fluorescent 'membrane'
    Last edited by sazerac on October 1st, 2010, 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #35 - October 1st, 2010, 10:48 pm
    Post #35 - October 1st, 2010, 10:48 pm Post #35 - October 1st, 2010, 10:48 pm
    Session 4: Carbohydrates (contd.) + Proteins

    Topics - finishing up with properties of some carbohydrates, thixotropy and shear thinning and how that is useful in say, salad dressings. No knead bread (demo), starch retrogradation or why bread stales faster in fridge. Proteins - color of meat (myoglobin). Structure of meat, collagen, denaturation (thermal and otherwise); sous vide. End with transglutaminase (aka meat glue).

    Fall2009 [click for slideshow; 18pics]
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    Fall2010 [28pics]
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    I am quite confident that the students will not forget that even though denatured (cooked) egg proteins are still reactive, having seen this:
    Image
  • Post #36 - October 1st, 2010, 10:59 pm
    Post #36 - October 1st, 2010, 10:59 pm Post #36 - October 1st, 2010, 10:59 pm
    Session 5: Aroma Volatiles and Taste perception

    I will update this later with useful links and resources


    Taste and taste perception; smell, texture.
    Blind and noseclipped taste testings - how much aroma factors in flavor (and why everything tastes bland when you have a cold and nose is blocked)
    We try tastings based on the TRGWT on khymos
    foodpairing
    end with mention of the glycoprotein miraculin in miracle berries.

    Fall2009 [click for slideshow; 13pics]
    Image

    Fall2010 [38pics]
    Image
    [acknowledgement: Buchi corp for kind loan of the rotary evaporator]
  • Post #37 - October 1st, 2010, 11:27 pm
    Post #37 - October 1st, 2010, 11:27 pm Post #37 - October 1st, 2010, 11:27 pm
    The Final Session - Students and their incredible creativity


    For the final I gave student groups (3 or 4 members) the challenge of creating their own 'dish' based on what they had seen in 5 sessions. The only guidelines were that the 'dish' contain at least one each of an aqueous liquid, lipid/fat, and carbohydrate (protein was optional) - all ingredients within $25 (I was given the lists and I shopped+few things from my pantry) and I was blown away by their creations!

    Fall2009 Mini-1
    Deconstructed BLT
    Image

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    This slideshow (9pics) has details of components
    This slideshow is of the prep

    This got me pumped up and for the second time around - I got a panel including chemistry faculty, faculty from the Eberly Center for Teaching who was so helping in guiding me and making me think about how to engage and assess students, art dept. faculty and the vice provost for education who gave me the $750 with which I got equipment and ran the course initially.

    The students had to present their dishes which were rated for taste and appearance (they rated their peers/other groups as well). Also as I was doing this as their Chemistry professor, my and the panels rating of taste and appearance did not count/weigh in any more than their own.
    The panel had to rate the dishes for the 'science content' - both before and after the students gave their explanation of the science behind the dish. In all cases the ratings went up. This suggests that 1) there is a significant amount if science and chemistry behind the cooking that even experts (in chemistry) may not readily discern and 2) the students were able to effectively communicate this science.

    The dishes and one example of the rating is shown. Others are in the slideshow link below.
    Image

    [This was after thanksgiving so cranberry was on their mind. Also interestingly two groups liked the pineapple-blue cheese pairing and featured it in their dish. The final was in one of the dorm kitchen and working in a new space was not so easy]

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    SLIDESHOW (17pics)

    Slideshow of prep (80 pics)
  • Post #38 - October 1st, 2010, 11:42 pm
    Post #38 - October 1st, 2010, 11:42 pm Post #38 - October 1st, 2010, 11:42 pm
    The Final Session 2010 - Live on Youtube
    Sunday, Oct. 3. 12pm - 1pm
    http://www.waffleshop.org


    This year I am teaching two sections back to back 1:30pm - 4:20pm and another set of students from 6:30pm to 9:20pm.
    There is a total mix of students - first years to seniors, science majors and non-science majors, students with cooking experience and some who didn't know what whipping an egg white meant (at the beginning of the course).

    The waffleshop, which is an installation to involve the public in art will host our finals.

    The students have given me their lists (mostly) and on Sunday we will try and successfully execute their visions. The student presentations will be streamed live on youtube (and be available in edited form later I hope). A number of people have kindly agreed to serve as panelists.

    The Kitchen Chemistry Sessions Final 2010
    Panelists
    Amy L. Burkert, Ph. D., Teaching Professor, Dept. of Biological Sciences and Vice Provost for Education, Carnegie Mellon University
    Dr. Marsha Lovett, Associate Director, Faculty Development, for the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Associate Research Professor, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University
    Marlene Parrish, Food Writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Scripps Howard News Service.
    Linda A. Peteanu, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University
    Jon Rubin, Assistant Professor of Art, Carnegie Mellon University
    Creator of the Waffle Shop and co-creator Conflict Kitchen
    Kevin Sousa, Chef and Owner, Salt of the Earth restaurant, Pittsburgh
    Robert Wolke, Author, "What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained" and other bestsellers and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh
    David Yaron, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Carnegie Mellon University
    Last edited by sazerac on October 28th, 2010, 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #39 - October 20th, 2010, 9:23 pm
    Post #39 - October 20th, 2010, 9:23 pm Post #39 - October 20th, 2010, 9:23 pm
    2010 Final Dishes

    click for slideshow
    Image
    35 pictures - including analysis and explanations of the dishes that the students created.

    The full set of pictures of the final is here [208 pics! - at 2secs/pic that's less than 7 mins, but hopefully well spent]: 2010 Finals Prep

    For those who are just not that into clicking links and simply want to see what dishes the students created (though really the point of the class and this exercise was to teach and communicate the science):

    The Final dishes [pics courtesy S. Novais Santos]
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    Image Image
    Last edited by sazerac on October 28th, 2010, 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #40 - October 20th, 2010, 9:37 pm
    Post #40 - October 20th, 2010, 9:37 pm Post #40 - October 20th, 2010, 9:37 pm
    As promised,
    Kitchen Chemistry Resources

    Balance
    My Weigh DuraScale 50
    50 gram capacity x 0.01 gram resolution
    $58.90 + 7.86 s/h
    http://www.oldwillknottscales.com/my-we ... le-50.aspx

    My Weigh KD-8000
    8000 g capacity; 1g resolution
    Old Will's Price: $52.90
    http://www.oldwillknottscales.com/my-weigh-kd8000.aspx

    Old Dutch 10-Inch Beating Bowl, Copper
    http://www.amazon.com/Old-Dutch-10-Inch ... 776&sr=8-1
    Amazon.com
    $34.95

    Nitrous oxide whippers
    http://www.creamright.com

    Mosa Full Pint Cream Dispenser (various colors)
    $29.00
    Box of 24 Nitrous oxide chargers (cartridges)
    $8.95
    Shipping $9

    chef master torch and butane
    http://www.chef-master.com/torch.php
    (look online for
    Torch less than $20
    Butane fuel bottles

    Frother or whipper (to make "airs")
    Bene Casa 57380 milk frother - $2.99 + shipping
    http://www.goodmans.net/get_item_bc-573 ... rother.htm
    or at IKEA $1.99
    (and I remember seeing the 'same' AeroLatte on skymall for $29.99 :shock: :roll: :D )

    Goodmans.net has a lot of kitchen equipment as well.

    Thinkgeek.com
    Cool Shooters Ice Shot Glasses - $7.99
    http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/kitchen/986a/
    Miracle berry tablets $14.99
    http://www.thinkgeek.com/caffeine/wacky-edibles/ab3f/

    Sous Vide Controller (this will control the temp of any heating element)
    Precision Temperature controller, Incubator, Sous-vide***
    Item# WS-1500B $189.90 (+ 16 s/h)
    This is the precision model – less expensive models ($139.50) are also available
    http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_ ... x&cPath=13
    With this you can really make your rice cooker somersault [see left of pic]
    Image

    Food grade ingredients/reagents:
    Lecithin - GNC store
    Calcium chloride – home brew supply store (South Hills Brew Works)
    Willpowder.com
    lepicerie.com

    Also ultra-tex and maltodextrin (N-Zorbit) can be obtained as free samples from
    NationalStarch

    Xanthan Gum is available at Giant Eagle (check your local grocery store - in the gluten free section) and Egg white powder is available at grocery and natural food stores

    Best wishes LTHforum!
  • Post #41 - October 21st, 2010, 8:02 am
    Post #41 - October 21st, 2010, 8:02 am Post #41 - October 21st, 2010, 8:02 am
    Damn. Why couldn't I have had you as a professor when I was in college, eons ago?
  • Post #42 - October 28th, 2010, 1:14 pm
    Post #42 - October 28th, 2010, 1:14 pm Post #42 - October 28th, 2010, 1:14 pm
    Thanks, nr706 - I do appreciate the kind sentiment. However, I do think you've managed fine. In fact it was specifically your post (and Cathy2s mention) that put the seed of the idea to do a centrifugation of milk/cream in a class.
    Link to your post on milk and buttermilk; Cathy2's response follows immediately after.
    Note your post was in 2005, at which point not only was the class not even a twinkle in me eye, I didn't even have this job...
    In the class on lipids/fats that follow the class on water, I note that milk is an emulsion and have the students make butter by shaking cream (+ added salt; for taste) in a container that is passed around (this is probably done in high schools); I also talk about centrifugation as a lab technique and tool and talk about milkfat content ("There are no 2% cows, just as the brown cows aren't really responsible for chocolate milk") and then demonstrate this by putting milk in a centrifuge (left of pic, next to microwave) :)
    Image

    Just by way of saying that really, it is I who have learnt from you.
    Perhaps this picture of the cart I wheeled into the fats/lipids lecture should be in a "find the related LTH threads" game thread... :wink: :D
    Image
  • Post #43 - October 28th, 2010, 1:22 pm
    Post #43 - October 28th, 2010, 1:22 pm Post #43 - October 28th, 2010, 1:22 pm
    Very impressive stuff. Ideas could be taken to teach high school and even elementary kids. Ah, but that's not on the standardized test. Never mind!
    i used to milk cows
  • Post #44 - October 28th, 2010, 1:37 pm
    Post #44 - October 28th, 2010, 1:37 pm Post #44 - October 28th, 2010, 1:37 pm
    teatpuller wrote:Very impressive stuff. Ideas could be taken to teach high school and even elementary kids. Ah, but that's not on the standardized test. Never mind!


    Yes - I have done 3-hr workshops for high schoolers last year and this year on "Molecular Cooking". In a few weeks I'll do one for 4th graders [1.5hrs; mainly covering the water doesn't mix with oil and related concepts]. I'd like to think that if things like this are learnt as part of 'fun' (and so far my 4yr old hasn't indicated vehemently otherwise), then even standardized tests may someday be bested...
  • Post #45 - March 24th, 2011, 8:24 pm
    Post #45 - March 24th, 2011, 8:24 pm Post #45 - March 24th, 2011, 8:24 pm
    It was nice to have Kitchen Chemistry recognized on the university web frontpage
    http://www.cmu.edu wrote:Kitchen Chemistry
    Tried any 'fruit juice caviars' yet?
    Award-winning chefs around the world are using chemistry to whip up deliciously strange dishes.
    At Carnegie Mellon University, students are creating their own culinary masterpieces — to learn chemistry.
    Read more »

    before an impending exhibition... (more on this in a bit)

    *for a day at least, after which it will likely be archived
  • Post #46 - March 24th, 2011, 9:17 pm
    Post #46 - March 24th, 2011, 9:17 pm Post #46 - March 24th, 2011, 9:17 pm
    Where's the "Like" button on this site?
  • Post #47 - March 25th, 2011, 6:06 am
    Post #47 - March 25th, 2011, 6:06 am Post #47 - March 25th, 2011, 6:06 am
    Too bad we can't arrange a little distance-learning here. What we need is some kind of grant to allow the esteemed professor to hold a week-long workshop--open to the public, of course--in various places. Starting in, oh, say, Chicago? :lol:

    Congratulations, Das! Recognition well-earned and well-deserved.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #48 - March 25th, 2011, 10:17 am
    Post #48 - March 25th, 2011, 10:17 am Post #48 - March 25th, 2011, 10:17 am
    sazerac wrote:It was nice to have Kitchen Chemistry recognized on the university web frontpage

    Nice!
  • Post #49 - March 25th, 2011, 3:03 pm
    Post #49 - March 25th, 2011, 3:03 pm Post #49 - March 25th, 2011, 3:03 pm
    I appreciate the LTHlove - your encouragement sustains me.
    (nr706: The Kitchen Chemistry Sessions on Facebook)

    Likely a last sequence of posts on this thread. This isn't appropriate for the events board since that is mostly Chicago, but perhaps as a cap to this thread.

    Taste of Chemistry (Friday - 04/01/2011 - 6-9pm)
    Image
    http://gagifest11.blogspot.com/2011/02/ ... istry.html
    Last edited by sazerac on April 19th, 2011, 5:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #50 - April 19th, 2011, 5:11 am
    Post #50 - April 19th, 2011, 5:11 am Post #50 - April 19th, 2011, 5:11 am
    I'll edit in with pics and a bit more detail

    In the meantime, a slideshow of some pics from the "Taste of Chemistry" is here:
    [click on pic to activate slideshow - 68pics, 1 video - approx 2.5mins]
    Image

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