Questions tagged [chemistry]

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

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3
votes
2answers
9k views

Differences between gel and gelatine

Are they physically different? If so, what is the difference, between a gel and gelatine, or it's proccesses gelation and gelling (gelatinization. gelatinisation)?
6
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1answer
1k views

How to calculate the pH of a lye solution?

I'm trying to figure out if I can substitute the catholyte from a salt water electrolysis system for a lye solution in pretzel making. In order to figure this out, I need to know the pH of my lye ...
9
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2answers
10k views

What is the film on top of tea?

The quiet surface of a cup of tea always seems to be covered by a thin, immovable film, even when convection currents are still moving things around inside the liquid at some speed. The surface ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Triple cooked chips: Removing moisture by cooling

Triple cooked chips (French fries) are made by: Boiling the chips, then cooling them in the fridge/freezer to remove moisture Deep frying at a low(ish) temperature, then cooling again as above Deep ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Does mayo “break”/decompose if you stop whisking then whisk the other way?

Is is true or an urban legend that if you whisk the opposite way while making mayonnaise (after you've whisked in one direction for a while), the mixture will be "undone" into its components?
10
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4answers
27k views

what makes red tomato sauce turn orange in colour?

I have noticed that tomato sauce (having started with deep red tomatoes) can turn orange. The colour change isn't from mixing in an ingredient of different colour such as cream. It seems to occur in ...
2
votes
1answer
264 views

Can bananas really be ripened through oven baking?

I am following a diet for IBS called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). Only bananas that are ripe, i.e. well spotted, can be consumed. Green and non-spotty can not be due to a difference in ...
6
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2answers
2k views

How to sweeten bread without sugar

I know that sugar molecules are large and too many of them can prevent a proper gluten network from forming when making bread. What other things can be used to sweeten bread instead of sugar? I'm ...
2
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2answers
4k views

Why should I add salt to my curries?

I've been advised by a friend of mine that I have to add salt to my curries if I want the spices to come out and not leave me with a bland curry. Now after being a doubter, as I never add salt to my ...
33
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7answers
13k views

Can one bake a cake with a cooked egg instead of a raw one?

This recent question about a person who wanted to bake a cake but only had a cooked egg left suggested me an even stupider one: is it possible to bake a cake with a cooked egg instead of a raw one? ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Does sputtering butter mean that water is present?

When I place a pat of butter in a hot pan, the butter melts and begins to sputter and steam. Then steam bubbles pop which sends tiny grease drops flying out of the pan. This happens consistently ...
-2
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1answer
279 views

Can one use cooked egg to make fried eggs (sunny side up)? [duplicate]

As a kid, I never really liked cooked eggs, but fried ones. Naturally, I've always wondered if cooked eggs could be reused to make fried eggs with sunny side up instead of using new raw ones. I ...
3
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3answers
3k views

Create hot “sauce” from capsaicin extract

There are a lot of hot sauces like "Blairs Mega Death" with more than 500.000 scoville heat units. However, they do have some odd taste, which I don't really like. So I'm thinking of creating a sauce ...
14
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3answers
60k views

What is the purpose of oil or butter in bread?

Specifically in wheat and potato breads, what is the purpose of adding oil or butter to the dough? I have always assumed it was just for flavor, but I suspect there is some background chemical ...
4
votes
3answers
251 views

Why does my LN2 evaporate so quickly?

Just made my first attempt at cooking using liquid nitrogen. Decided to start easy, and make a 0.5L batch of ice cream, along with some powdered peanut-butter and banana for toppings. Overall I'd ...
6
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6answers
19k views

What can I do to prevent the gaseous side effect of sunchokes?

I'd love to eat sunchokes (aka Jerusalem artichokes or topinambour) more frequently, but the side effects (gas, abdominal discomfort) are a bummer. In a home kitchen, how can I prepare the sunchokes ...
8
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2answers
3k views

How do I calculate the final acidity of homemade vinegar?

I am making vinegar by mixing vinegar (containing the mother) and wine, and then allowing fermentation to occur. I am wondering how to calculate the final % acidity. Assume: I know the initial ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

What turned my garlic purple?

I commonly use a technique when caramelizing onions, in which I add the sliced onions to a pan with salt, oil, and water. The water softens the onions and helps cook them evenly such that by the time ...
14
votes
3answers
20k views

Does chlorine evaporate from water when cooking?

Most municipal water supplies in the U.S. include noticeable levels of chlorine or chloramine added to kill microbes, and often adds an objectionable chemical smell. Does chlorine evaporate when ...
17
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3answers
66k views

Coconut Water from White vs Brown Coconuts

The warning label on each coconut describes how to treat the water within each. The water on the brown coconut is to be discarded; the water on the white coconut is safe for consumption. In what ...
1
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1answer
194 views

preparing lupini beans?

Lupini beans are an ancient and delicious snack food widely consumed around the Mediterranean and elsewhere. But they naturally contain high levels of toxic alkaloids, so they require special ...
12
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2answers
4k views

Coffee foam vs. Tea foam

One sign of really good fresh well-roasted coffee beans is foam. When you pour hot water into the French press, it foams, often forming a head up to 2" high. And when you use an espresso machine, ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

How do I measure the ripeness of my tomatoes?

In my quest for a perfect shakeshouka (eggs in poultry) I figured out I need less acidity in the dish, and have read that acidity in tomatoes varies widely. I have read that very ripe tomatoes have ...
2
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2answers
59 views

Is there a comprehensive overview of food colors?

I found a small list of food additives compiled by the FDA, but it looks rather incomplete and somewhat unspecific. For example, some colors like gold (probably the real thing) or silver (E171 - ...
1
vote
0answers
129 views

Storing Transglutaminase once opened

I have a sealed packet of Transglutaminase/Activa powder. However its much more than I need for this recipe. I know it deactivates quickly after being exposed to air. Whats the best way to store it ...
12
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2answers
6k views

Why do people recommend cream of tartar when whipping egg whites to the exclusion of all other acids?

Virtually every single egg white recipe will say add some cream of tartar to egg whites to help them whip better because the cream of tartar will lower the pH and make it more stable. But if all it's ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Why do we dimple a focaccia?

When I was making a focaccia earlier today, I realised that I've never been told why we dimple them before baking. A quick Googling didn't reveal anything, so I'm asking here: why do we make dimples ...
0
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2answers
304 views

Does cooking vegetables increase their flavor?

Is there some scientific explanation for why one cooks vegetables? I mean apart from increasing the ability to digest. Are there flavor enhancements going on? Does the temperature have to rise about ...
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2answers
1k views

Baking soda for soaking chickpeas [duplicate]

This source claims that adding baking soda is crucial when soaking chickpeas. Is this true, and if so, what is the reason that this works?
1
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1answer
94 views

How can I find out if yeast or yeast producing are present in foods?

How can I know if a food or ingredient contains yeast or yeast-producing ingredient? My condition requires yeast-free foods and ingredients.
3
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4answers
7k views

Why does strata have to come to room temperature before baking?

I've made strata a few times before, usually for brunches where I have a number of guests coming over and don't want to spend all my time in the kitchen. I always follow instructions in the recipe; I ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the difference between a thickener and an emulsifier?

I ask this because I have used a minuscule amount of Xanthan Gum to slightly thicken a chilli sauce I have made. However upon looking at the ingredients of many popular chilli sauces they all tend to ...
2
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2answers
6k views

Aiding the Maillard reaction: Baking Powder or Baking Soda?

I will attempt to cook a Thai Green Chicken Curry. I'll be using cubed boneless chicken thigh which I would like to brown really well. I remember reading somewhere that Baking Powder or Baking Soda ...
0
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1answer
205 views

Flavour enhancers [closed]

I've read that vanilla is usually used to highlight/enhance the flavour of chocolate, lemon juice the flavour of strawberries, and MSGs the flavour of meat. What other flavour enhancers are out there? ...
6
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1answer
7k views

Difference between fermentation and leavening?

What is the technical difference between fermentation and leavening? Both cause bread to rise. Does fermentation only refer to the chemical process of one substance converting to another, which ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

How to increase the temperature of my double boiler?

I have a double boiler that I wish to use to prepare a batch of fudge. The recipe I am using calls for heating to 240°F (=116°C), but a double boiler is limited to the boiling point of the working ...
3
votes
1answer
693 views

Chemical process behind hardening ice cream

We made a simple ice cream by mixing whipping cream, sugar, and Nutella. After 5-6 hours (surely enough time for the ice cream to cool to the temperature of the freezer), it was soft (mechanically ...
4
votes
1answer
164 views

Why would parsnips make a beef stock not freeze?

I made a beef stock the way I always do, except that I added parnsips. Then I put the stock in the freezer and when I took it out, the stock was not frozen. It was freezing cold, but instead of having ...
7
votes
2answers
29k views

Why do uncooked frostings that contain milk not need to be refrigerated?

I have seen (and used) recipes for icing and glaze that use uncooked milk in them, yet they do not need to be refrigerated. (For example, one with powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and butter or ...
4
votes
1answer
240 views

When you try to “catch” yeast from the air: is it normal for the flour and water to split

I'm trying to "catch" wild yeast for the first time. 36 hours ago I mixed a cup of flour and a cup of water and left it out on a shelf with a paper towel over the top. It's been between 45 and 70 ...
3
votes
1answer
395 views

Preserving Nerds / Pop Rocks so they activate in the mouth and not in the food

I want to be able to use Nerds and/or Pop rocks in cooking. However, unless the food is ultra dry, the food itself activates / dissolves it; I want it activated in the mouth. a) Is there a way to do ...
5
votes
2answers
13k views

What is the maximum internal temperature of baked goods?

Obviously this will vary depending on the size/shape and ingredients used. But how hot does it get inside, say, a loaf of bread? A cake? How wide is the variation? What ingredients (or factors other ...
1
vote
1answer
760 views

Why are there holes in pasta dough when it is cold

I made some pasta dough this morning and put it in the fridge. When I ran the first batches thru the roller there were some holes in the pasta after it came out of the roller. But for later batches, ...
6
votes
0answers
129 views

Inulin reduction in Jerusalem Artichokes [duplicate]

Last year we first planted Jerusalem Artichokes (Topinambour) in our vegetable garden. The plants did very well and we had quite a huge harvest. We found however that eating the tubers causes ...
2
votes
0answers
25 views

Dry aging at home - is it really possible? [duplicate]

I am thinking to test the process of dry aging at home. I have some questions: What exactly are the processes a piece of meat experiences, in this case, beef, from the time it is slaughtered to the ...
9
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2answers
2k views

What factors affect collagen to gelatin conversion?

I have a bunch of oxtails I've been braising for hours in an adobo sauce and they remain awfully tough. What I'd love to see happen is for that abundant connective tissue to melt away and coat each ...
4
votes
1answer
797 views

Why don't other grain proteins behave like gluten?

There are many excellent explanations here (and elsewhere) of what gluten "does." What I haven't seen anywhere is an explanation of what makes gluten so special. Where do its marvelous elastic ...
8
votes
1answer
17k views

Cooked meat diaper: toxic?

I accidentally left the meat diaper underneath my roast in a slow cooker. After 8 hours, the diaper is mostly disintegrated. I am able to fish out fragments, but big chunks seem to be missing. (For ...
3
votes
1answer
160 views

How can I avoid getting swindled? How can I detect polyphosphates in fish fillets?

Fish fillets are treated with polyphosphates for several reasons, but mainly to increase their weight (and hence the profit). According to this FAO paper: The first and universal effect of all ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Does the speed of opening of a bottle of wine influence its flavour?

While having a (good) bootle of wine at a friends place I've been told the following: The bottle should be uncorked slowly and silently, not to spoil its bouquet. This statement came as something ...