Questions tagged [chemistry]

Questions about the chemical composition or properties of ingredients and dishes.

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Will adding alcohol or fruit to a posset prevent it from setting?

I want to make an orange posset and I understand that the acidity in the fresh orange juice will need to be increased by reducing the liquid by 50%. I also want to add some of the orange flesh to give ...
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7 votes
3 answers
448 views

Why would a fully-developed dough lose consistency (elasticity / extensibility)?

I've been experimenting with panettone and I've come across the issue time and time again of losing dough consistency while mixing the secondo impasto (i.e. the final panettone dough). What makes this ...
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1 answer
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Can flour be made from breadcrumbs? [duplicate]

Can flour be made from breadcrumbs, or is flour → bread an irreversible chemical reaction? I'm wondering if new bread can be made from ground stale bread (i.e., breadcrumbs).
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15 votes
1 answer
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Why does my deep fryer say not to use peanut oil?

I got a Tefal deep fryer for Christmas (yay!) which has an automatic filtering system so you can re-use oil multiple times. When reading through the manual it says 'Do not use groundnut (i.e. peanut) ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Maillard Reaction at Higher Pressures

The Maillard Reaction requires temperatures of 140 to 165 Degrees Celsius; hence "browning" cannot be achieved with water when cooking under normal conditions since the boiling point of ...
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4 votes
0 answers
54 views

What makes sencha karigane sweeter than sencha?

Why does the addition of stems and veins to the tea increase the sweetness of the brew? Is there a specific chemical in the stems and veins of tea leaves that's responsible for the change in flavor ...
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

How does deglazing work?

If you put a steak or a chicken into a hot pan which is not completely non-stick, it is likely to stick to it a bit and leave a residue when you flip it. That is our fond. Later we deglaze the pan by ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Can homemade vinegar be safely sealed in a bottle?

When I've read kombucha recipes a last recommended step was to bottle the liquid, allow some gas buildup to carbonate it, and then refrigerate it to stop the bacteria from continuing to produce gas. ...
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2 answers
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What happens on a microscopic or molecular level when meat "melts in your mouth"?

The phrase "melts in your mouth" has been applied to meat very commonly, but I was wondering about what actually happens on a molecular level to give that appearance or sensation. This was ...
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2 votes
1 answer
216 views

Disolving chocolate in vodka?

I wanted to make a chocolatey drink, but creme de cacao is way too sweet. So I decided to try making chocolate vodka. I added about 3/4 cup of 63% chips (Guittard extra dark) into a small magic bullet ...
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1 answer
108 views

What are the effects of various dairy ingredients in quiche?

What are the effects of various dairy ingredients in quiche? Leaving aside the fact that a dish using cheese is not, technically, "quiche", I've looked into 5 different websites and ...
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6 votes
1 answer
152 views

How do egg whites help to keep fats inside a cake?

Recently I tried to bake a cake (Caprese) from: ground almonds butter dark chocolate sugar eggs I melted chocolate and butter, mixed all of this with whipped sugar yolks, and then... totally screwed ...
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5 votes
1 answer
221 views

Is "mintiness" a well-defined thing?

I perceive a similarity in taste and odour between spearmint and peppermint, and I describe both as minty. The smell, taste and cooling sensation of peppermint are reproduced almost perfectly by pure ...
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2 votes
1 answer
80 views

Why adding soda without vinegar to the cake batter?

I have this well-rated chocolate cake recipe that I have not baked yet. It's ingredients (among others) are 175g self-raising flour 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda My understanding is that soda is needed ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Why does beating egg whites with cold water increase the volume of incorporated air

From Wikipedia, beating an egg white after adding a small amount of cold water considerably increases the amount of foam produced. Why? What is changed by adding cold water?
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12 votes
2 answers
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Can any liquid food be beaten into a mousse?

Hervé This discovered that one can make chocolate mousse with chocolate and water only. This recipe is shown in this MasterChef video, and also detailed here. Essentially, one melts chocolate with ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Can one create any flavor combination by breaking down the five modalities of taste into their chemical form and adjusting proportions accordingly?

Can one create any flavor combination by breaking down the five modalities of taste into their chemical form and adjusting proportions accordingly? Namely, if you broke down sweetness, sourness, ...
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Cheese soufflé with bread cubes instead of egg whites

In this video: Cheese Soufflé that NEVER Falls! - Chef Jean-Pierre, Chef Jean Pierre proposes an interesting method for making cheese soufflé; instead of folding in beaten egg whites to his custard, ...
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4 votes
1 answer
232 views

Pudding vs. laundry starch - Add water gradually or all at once?

I recently watched a YouTube video "How to use old fashioned starch" by Constance MacKenzie about how laundry was starched in ye olde time. The only relevant information for my question is ...
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1 vote
2 answers
186 views

Good book on the chemistry of cooking?

What is a good book on the chemistry of cooking? I am looking for a book that discusses fermentation chemical reactions and reactions that occur when food is heated.
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2 votes
1 answer
183 views

Do yeast pancakes contain alcohol?

I fed my 2 year old pancakes that required yeast: yeast, mashed banana, warm water, whole wheat and buckwheat flour, and salt. I left the batch in the fridge overnight, and in the morning added a ...
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1 vote
2 answers
223 views

Food grade lye on counter tops

Long ago, I bought some food grade lye to make pretzels. Then I became afraid to use it cause I didn't think about the potential damage it could cause to my sink and some baking materials. ...
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-4 votes
1 answer
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What causes pollution when cooking? [closed]

I'm having trouble finding the right search terms so perhaps I am just missing some obvious resources. Sorry if that's the case. It is sometimes brought up that cooking causes pollution. I learned of ...
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4 votes
1 answer
133 views

Is Manganese Violet suitable as a food coloring?

Can I use Manganese Violet as a food coloring? It's safe to use in cosmetics, and I've got some left over, so I was wondering. Is it toxic, edible or actually palatable? Does it have a certain taste? ...
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13 votes
8 answers
6k views

Is there a way to dilute oil?

I like to drink protein shakes, but I find that it's very hard to dissolve the protein powder into water or milk. You get clumps, and unless you want to get your blender dirty or spend ten minutes ...
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3 votes
2 answers
241 views

How to get crystallized honey out of a bowl

I was attempting to make a teriyaki sauce with soy sauce generous amounts of honey and orange juice boiling it all down on medium heat with some starch to thicken it. I ended up overdoing both the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Does storing an apple with potatoes prevent the potatoes from sprouting?

I don't know if this is an old wives tale because a Google search didn't bring me conclusive proof: in fact the top two results have exactly opposite answers on this question. Apparently both apples ...
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3 votes
1 answer
551 views

Can I use washing soda to cook noodles?

I found a recipe for homemade ramen noodles that calls for 'baked baking soda'. Based on some research, baking sodium bicarbonate will convert it to sodium carbonate. Na2CO3 is more basic than NaHCO3 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to extract mouth numbing effect from Sichuan peppercorn into a syrup?

I tried following the recipe here to try to create a Sichuan peppercorn simple syrup. The recipe is basically to add slightly crushed peppercorn to sugar and water, allow to simmer, take off the heat, ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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How can I substitute dutch chocolate cocoa for flour and maintain proper recipe PH in this cookie recipe?

I have an old family recipe for Chocolate chip cookies 2 ¼ cups flour 1 cup white sugar ½ cup brown sugar 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 2 eggs 1 cup shortening 1 tsp vanilla Chocolate Chips as desired....
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2 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is it safe to use a grill to cook when chemically treated wood was burned in it?

my son burned chemically treated wood in my grill for a bonfire. Can I still cook in it, is it safe? or do I need to buy another grill?
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2 votes
1 answer
990 views

Why do potatoes cook more slowly in a stew?

I recently made a stew, not for the first time either, and I've tossed in a few potatoes, cut into cubes. It took about an hour and a half until they were soft. The stew was simmering the whole time. ...
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4 votes
2 answers
561 views

Separating gelatin from Jell-O powder

So I've been doing a bit more cooking while confined to my home and I wanted to make a recipe that calls for gelatin. I don't have any and I don't expect to be doing another grocery run for a few ...
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0 votes
2 answers
370 views

Is eating soap or bleach dangerous?

i was cooking some dessert today which contains milk as a primary ingredient. While cooking I started to notice that powder ingredients weren't dissolving in the milk. After a while under heat they ...
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7 votes
3 answers
2k views

Do milk and butter not work in place of cream for whipping, and why?

I’ve seen claims that, while you can replace heavy cream with the proper proportions of milk and butter in recipes that don’t require whipping, the mixture will not form stiff peaks when whipped, even ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Nixtamalization: Am I doing it right?

It's been a few years since I nixtamalizated the last time with the help of my Chilean friend. Now I'm on my own and due to several contradicting information on the internet a little lost. Maybe ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is it a bad idea to pour water on a pan without letting it cool off? [duplicate]

Obviously I have enough common sense to not add pour water into boiling oil, but after the cooking is done I try to add water to the pan so it's easier to wash. Usually I let it sit there cooling off ...
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is Erythritol acid or alkaline and what is it's pH compared to brown sugar?

Is Erythritol acid or alkaline and what is it's pH compared to brown sugar? In many baking recipes, baking soda is added together with acidic ingredients, such as brown sugar. Also, this way, the ...
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1 vote
2 answers
279 views

What kind of mixture(colloid) is a roux?

One of my coworkers had a curious question the other day: what kind of mixture or colloid is a roux? For example, whipped cream is a foam, mayonnaise is an emulsion, and gelatin is a gel. I know ...
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0 votes
1 answer
414 views

Why boil sugar for lemonade? [duplicate]

I've started making home lemonade recently and all the recipes boil about one cup of sugar in one cup of water. I never questioned that until my father saw the process and asked why don't I just add ...
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3 votes
1 answer
577 views

What are food additives that help popsicle/shaved ice melt slower?

What are food additives that help popsicle/shaved ice melt slower? Simple popsicle ingredients: water, sugar, flavoring I used agar agar and gelatin before, but don’t want to: The texture is not ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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GIving that alcoholic taste to yeast-leavened cakes (panettones)

For the last 3 new year evenings I've tried to make panettones (both chocolate and fruit ones) and my recipe is getting better, with the last one being the first reasonably successful one. However I ...
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0 votes
3 answers
4k views

how to calculate a standard drink from the alcohol percentage?

Part science, part arithmetic question. For alcohol with proof x what volume constitutes a single drink? Defining a standard drink as 14 grams of alcohol: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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5 votes
1 answer
110 views

How are powdered emulsifiers (such as monoglycerides) prepared for use in cooking and baking?

Recently I picked up a few different types of emulsifiers in bulk powder form when I saw them in passing at a catering wholesaler. Having never used powdered emulsifiers before in cooking or baking, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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How does pH and temperature affect emulsification of vegetable oils?

This question discussed about how the molecular properties of the fat in vegetable oil affect emulsification in the making of Mayonnaise. The answer in there suggested that lemon has minimal role (if ...
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1 vote
2 answers
152 views

What influence does the properties of fat in vegetable oil affect emulsification of oil?

I am trying to make vegan mayonnaise. In my first attempt I used soy milk and corn oil as the major ingredients. I tried adding lemon juice instead of vinegar as the emulsifying agent and used the ...
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6 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to remove hardened dough from hair?

Besides cutting the hair or applying conditioner or oils, what else can be done to remove hardened dough from hair? Would vinegar dissolve hardened flour? Update: The lump is an odd consistency: ...
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2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Properties of potassium carbonate as leavening agent

We have a gingerbread recipe calling for potassium carbonate (vulgo baking potash). One year I replaced the baking potash with baking soda 1:1. It worked fine. Later I researched what the supposed ...
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1 vote
1 answer
56 views

Matzoon and lactose chemistry

Could you make matzoon from lactose free milk? Or, are sour bacteria eating it away to unproblematic amount in terms of lactose intolerance? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matzoon
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0 votes
0 answers
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What's a good syrup for home-made chocolate?

I make my own chocolate from cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and syrup. The ingredients I was using a while ago were fine, I had success tempering and got the right kind of snap and texture. Now, using ...
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