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

I would say no. The function of the egg in the cake is to go in raw, mix with the other stuff, and once the raw egg has penetrated and coated the other ingredients thoroughly, bind it all together ...
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80 votes
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Why drain soaked rice?

Apart from water, rice is mainly made from starch. Starch is initially packed in a crystalline structure that is not soluble. However if you soak it for long enough or expose it to heat, the starch ...
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49 votes
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Why do shrimp / lobster / crab turn pink or red when cooking?

Crustaceans like shrimp, lobsters, crabs and crayfish have a pigment called astaxanthin in their shells. Astaxanthin belongs to the terpines class of chemicals of which the carotenoid ¹ class is a ...
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  • 5,771
34 votes

Is there a way to dilute oil?

It doesn't actually dissolve. It disperses (easily seen as some will eventually settle out). The distinction is important, as dissolving could be solved by time or heat. A few things may help when ...
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30 votes
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Does sputtering butter mean that water is present?

Yes, your butter contains water - which is perfectly normal. While oil is 100% fat, butter is only around 80%1 fat plus some protein and ca. 15% water. Regarding your question where the water comes ...
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27 votes
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Why does rapeseed oil turn sticky but coconut oil doesn't?

It is a chemical quality of the oil called "iodine number". There is nothing you can do about it, it is as inherent in the oil as its smoke point. Oils with a low iodine number create hard polymers, ...
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  • 124k
26 votes

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

Welcome to the world of urban legends and old wives' tales. Handmade mayonnaise can be a fickle thing to create if you don't work within the laws of physics and chemistry and don't achieve the ...
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25 votes
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Why does my deep fryer say not to use peanut oil?

On the T-fal USA website, they address this in their FAQ section. (A quick check on the UK Tefal site shows the same question.) Regardless of which model of fryer you have, it seems that all of their ...
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  • 8,016
22 votes

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

It is possible, but only if you do not want it to act as glue. are the chemical processes of boiling an egg and cooking it inside the dough fundamentally different? As mentioned in earlier answers ...
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  • 1,325
22 votes
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Can any liquid food be beaten into a mousse?

Chocolate is a solid at room temperature, strawberry puree is not, so I strongly doubt that the strawberry would result in a foam. The reason chocolate would form a solid foam is that it is largely ...
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20 votes

Why drain soaked rice?

Arsenic reduction To add to what @ShiftyThomas said Now, some ways of cooking rice reduce arsenic levels more than others. We carried out some tests with Prof Meharg and found the best technique ...
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  • 301
19 votes
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Does chlorine evaporate from water when cooking?

Water treatment often uses chlorine or chloramine to kill germs or algae. If you are smelling it it's more likely to be Chloramine than Chlorine. Chlorine will dissipate from water over time naturally,...
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  • 66.5k
17 votes

Is there a way to dilute oil?

To answer your question as stated: no, there is no way to dilute oil, at least not in a sense that would be helpful for your situation. In cooking, there are basically only three edible liquids: water,...
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  • 124k
16 votes
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Cheese soufflé with bread cubes instead of egg whites

There is nothing to explain here - the claim is simply wrong. You can certainly put bread in custard and subject it to heat. It is traditionally done in French toast, for example. I could even buy ...
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  • 124k
16 votes

Can any liquid food be beaten into a mousse?

The beating of a liquid to a foam is not unique to a chocolate-and-water mixture. Neither is it something that works with any random liquid. What you need is an emulsion or a colloid which contains ...
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  • 124k
15 votes
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Difference between fermentation and leavening?

Leavening is rising by any means, so baking soda and baking powder (chemical leaveners) both apply here, as does yeast (fermentation). Chemical leaveners like baking soda and powder work by mixing an ...
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15 votes
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How does sunlight degrade cooking oil?

The main enemy of oil is oxidation, which is the reaction of the constituent molecules with oxygen. How fast oxidation occurs will depend on the type of oil you consider. For example, unsaturated fat ...
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14 votes
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Cooked meat diaper: toxic?

According to the USDA: If packaging is accidentally cooked in a conventional oven, is the food safe to eat? Plastic packaging materials should not be used at all in conventional ovens. ...
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  • 341
14 votes
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How does deglazing work?

It seems like there are 3 sub-questions to this question: Physical level Adding liquid in the pan creates steam, a moist, hot gas which is able to move between the solids of the fond and lift the fond ...
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  • 318
13 votes

Is there a way to dilute oil?

I invented a method to facilitate dissolving of protein powder shakes for an Innocentive contest. It worked pretty well but I did not win so there must be a better method out there. The idea is that ...
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  • 5,530
12 votes
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What is the film on top of tea?

The scum on the top of the tea is due to hard water (ie calcium carbonate) deposits combining with the tea and reacting with oxygen, this article has some more details if you are looking for them. I ...
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  • 66.5k
12 votes
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Why does my banana bread have a moist top?

You've partially answered your own question: When wrapped in foil, the water contained naturally in the ingredients will re-moisturise the banana bread. a. To reduce: don't wrap it leave it in the ...
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  • 5,771
12 votes
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Can I use washing soda to cook noodles?

No, you cannot use normal washing soda for cooking because you cannot count on the purity of the product. Even if the chemical formula is identical, the standards for manufacturing chemicals intended ...
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  • 1,887
11 votes
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what makes red tomato sauce turn orange in colour?

Update: It's been a few years but there now is a definite answer to this question. @PegDat is correct. The Tomatoes Oxidize when they are exposed to air and turn orange. This was proved using ...
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  • 9,466
11 votes
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How to calculate the pH of a lye solution?

The exact number will depend on what exactly your lye is composed of. Lye usually refers to either sodium hydroxide (NaOH) or potassium hydroxide (KOH). For the purposes of the calculations I'm going ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Does cumin contain curcumin? If not, where does the name come from?

From the opening of the Wikipedia article on curcumin you presumably saw: Curcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by some plants. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric (Curcuma longa), ...
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  • 57.3k
10 votes

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

Those look like air pockets - you're using an unusual whisk, perhaps it can't get enough "bite" on the stainless steel bowl to pop them, whereas the plastic bowl's texture offers enough resistance. I'...
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10 votes
Accepted

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

This seems to be a myth based on the idea that wine can be 'bruised' by popping the cork or handling the bottle roughly. 'Dr Vinny', Wine Spectator Magazine's advice expert, has this to say on the ...
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10 votes

Does chlorine evaporate from water when cooking?

If your are dealing with chloramine, a trick I've used in homebrewing is to add powdered ascorbic acid (vitamin c) while heating the water up to around 170 for 15 minutes or so. This will pull the ...
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10 votes

How does the meat in Weisswurst get so white?

The real question should be "what makes sausages pink" - but more later. All meat turns greyish-white or brown when cooked. This is due to the myoglobin, which makes raw meat look pink or red, being ...
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