Questions tagged [chemistry]

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

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3
votes
2answers
165 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, ...
12
votes
2answers
9k views

What determines the 'saltiness' of salt?

I've bought two brands of salt that are completely different in terms of 'salt' concentration(not sure if this is the correct terminology). I realized this because I needed three or four times more ...
7
votes
8answers
22k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
720 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
212 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

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....
2
votes
3answers
129 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?
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Adding cold water during cooking of beans and cooking time

After soaking dry beans, I place beans on heat, so they boil for couple of hours, and they cook pretty well. But if I add just one cup of cold water (at room temperature) during boiling, temperature ...
11
votes
3answers
17k views

How does hydration of a sourdough affect baking features?

Looking at different recipes for sourdough starters, there's everything from a mix as dry as cookie dough to as wet as gruel. In this (danish) recipe from the acclaimed chef Claus Meyer of a pretty ...
2
votes
1answer
88 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. ...
5
votes
2answers
14k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
115 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
8k views

Dissolving Egg Shell

I know that an egg shell is made up of approximately 92% Calcium Carbonate. The remaining percentage of the mass is a protein matrix. I know that vinegar (5% acetic acid) dissolves the Calcium ...
13
votes
5answers
35k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
146 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
77 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, ...
11
votes
2answers
17k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
105 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
322 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
109 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
203 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
89 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
843 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: ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

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 ...
0
votes
3answers
718 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/...
1
vote
2answers
115 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
173 views

Physics/chemistry behind the observation

This is purely observation based. Any time I have cooking something on the stove, if I change intensity in any direction - reducing or increasing the heat, it seems like water vapor threads shoot out ...
2
votes
2answers
176 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
46 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
8
votes
4answers
16k views

What are the grey-black specks that appear when whipping cream in stainless steel bowl?

When we whip cream by hand in a stainless steel bowl, with a metal whisk, small grey specks, ~0.5-1mm in size, appear in the cream. The specks are squishy and can easily be smeared out. See attached ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

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 ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does rapeseed oil turn sticky but coconut oil doesn't?

Whenever I season my cast iron pan with canola/rapeseed oil it turns sticky after a few weeks. It also gets sticky on the bottle and glues the cap on sometimes. When I season it with coconut oil, it ...
25
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3answers
8k views

How deeply will the flavors in a brine penetrate chicken?

I'm not asking about salt or "juiciness". I think there is enough evidence here and elsewhere to answer that question with "pretty deep, or all the way to the bone". My question concerns spices and ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

What specific sugars are found in apple cider, apple juice, and apple cider vinegar?

My wife has a chronic, not-very-well-understood GI condition that includes hyper-sensitivity to certain foods. We're looking to more information about the chemical composition of various foods for ...
2
votes
2answers
364 views

How to bake baking soda to produce sodium carbonate?

I'd like to make sodium carbonate for ramen noodles. The instructions on the web however vary greatly. One source says to bake baking soda at 350 degrees for 2-5 hours. Others say 250 degrees for an ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Would refrigeration lengthen shelf life for this water sweetener?

Ingredients: vegetable glycerin, purified water, citric acid, malic acid, natural flavor, stevia leaf extract, sodium citrate. Container is about 2-3 ounces. It says on the container: "Does not ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

cooldown chemistry of seasoning cast iron with flaxseed

So I have started seasoning cookware with thin layers of flaxseed oil as per the advice from @sheryl_canter with simply outstanding results. Thank you Sheryl! I have a mountain of pans to process so I'...
1
vote
2answers
259 views

Why does the crust of a freshly baked loaf of bread become less crunchy/hard over time?

Something I noticed - I bought fresh bread today from a Polish bakery/deli. It was still warm when I bought it, so it probably just came out of the oven. When I got home and tried it, it was amazing. ...
7
votes
2answers
308 views

Why do some creams/fats whip better than others?

Wikipedia makes whipped cream look very simple: gas bubbles are trapped in the fat and create a colloid. However, we all know that you can easily come across "whipping cream" that just won't whip even ...
2
votes
0answers
718 views

Emulsifying homemade coconut milk? [duplicate]

I've been experimenting with fresh coconuts lately (they are amazing), but one thing I haven't figured out yet is how to make a nice creamy coconut milk. Mainly to make hot chocolate and eat with ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Are there any cold paddles that are BPA free?

There have been previous discussions on the cold paddles to use to rapidly cool soups, etc. One of the more common ones in the San Jamar line. However, on their website, it says that there is some ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How acidic does a mixture have to be for milk to curdle?

I am planning on making sausages with both cream and vinegar as ingredients. I suspect the mixture of all the ingredients with the vinegar won't be acidic enough to cause the cream to curdle, but this ...
28
votes
7answers
43k views

How long is garlic butter safe, and why is it not a botulism risk like garlic in oil?

I've been making garlic butter for years, storing it for months at a time. When I read that garlic-in-oil can grow dangerous amounts of botulinum toxins after similar lengths of time, I wondered how ...
4
votes
2answers
236 views

What part of oatmeal cookies are making them soft / chewy?

I'd like to recreate the texture of an oatmeal cookie in very different flavor profiles, ie savory / umami. I'm tinkering with only the rolled oats for now, but I wonder if the chewiness could be ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

How do I salvage this bread dough?

I was planning to make a brioche dough, but somehow managed to measure out and add cornstarch instead of bread flour. I've taken as much of the cornstarch out as I can, but there's about 3/4 cup still ...
5
votes
4answers
933 views

Why did my green tea muffins turn black?

I made green tea muffins following the recipe here. I like my muffins moist and fluffy, so I added banana as suggested by the recipe and replaced half of the baking powder with baking soda. I also ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Why use citric acid and sodium hexametaphosphate in cheese sauce?

I was watching a YouTube video from ChefSteps on how to make cheese sauce. They used sodium citrate and sodium hexametaphosphate. What are the reasons for including these in the recipe? What are the ...
-2
votes
1answer
990 views

Can milk chocolate plus cocoa powder substitute for dark chocolate?

I just got a smoking deal on milk chocolate and bought a bunch. However, I tend to like a darker chocolate flavor in my baking. I would like try to use the milk chocolate plus some cocoa powder (and ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Are hard anodized aluminum pans oven-safe?

I have a full metal "hard anodized aluminum" pan which I'd like to use in the oven. I heard non-stick pans in the oven are unsafe. This pan comes with: no "oven-safe" label, a metal handle on the pan,...