what recipies would you most want to be diplayed next with a scientific description of how they work?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

First recipie: Honey Comb Candies

dissolve in a large saucepan over medium-high heat:

1 1/4 cup ---------------------------- sugar (1 cup pure cane, 1/4 cup light brown)
in: 1/3 cup -------------------------- water

When mixture turns a light caramel color increase heat and add:

Finished product.
 2 tbs. ----------------------------------molasses
1 1/2 cup ----------------------------- butter
1 tsp.----------------------------------- vanilla
3/4 tsp.-------------------------------- ground, powdered ginger
3 tbs ----------------------------------- honey
Candy thermometer at work.

Stir together ingredients until they boil, then reduce heat to medium and let the mixture sit for 7-14 minutes, or until mixture is caramel-colored, and becomes slightly hard when a drop is submersed in ice-water .  You can also use a candy thermometer, and cook it until the soft-crack stage.  When mixture is ready, turn heat almost all the way down, and  stir in:

It's rising!
3 1/2 tsp. ---------------------------- baking soda.

let mixture sit until it doubles in volume, then pour onto greased cooking sheet.  Let the mixture spread out naturally, if you touch it it will pop, and will no longer have a light texture, or honey-comb look.  when it becomes hard, use a meat "pounder" to break it up into small pieces, so mass-consumption is easier.  

Science behind it:

Since sugar has crystals in it, and any kind of crystal can be dissolved in water over time (in our case it was only a matter of minutes, because of the heat we applied), then turn into one giant  crystal.  Well actually, even with our end result, there were still the same amount of crystals a before, you just need to make sure to regulate the temperature, and spread the heat out evenly, so the crystals don't clump up together, in unorganized ways.

Since baking powder is an oxidizer, and the relatively acidic (without any acids the oxidizer would do nothing) mixture was boiling (heat is also a big contributor to the success of our mixtures expansion) ,when we added some to our mixture, it released almost all the oxygen atoms from our h20, therefor our gelatinous blob expanded.  The baking soda also released some of the co2, but that is a whole other explanation.

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