DR STU’S QUICK KITCHEN EX­PER­I­MENTS

Focus-Science and Technology - - Diy Science -

SWEET DE­CEP­TION

Pour five cups of tea. Add one tea­spoon of sugar to VJG ƂTUV EWR VYQ tea­spoons to the sec­ond cup and three tea­spoons to the third. Add just one tea­spoon of sugar along with a pinch of salt to the fourth cup. Leave the fifth cup unsweet­ened.

Mix up the or­der and ask some­one to take a sip of each and ar­range them in or­der of sweet­ness, ask­ing them to guess how many tea­spoons of sugar are in each. Most of the time, peo­ple say that the cup with sugar and a pinch of salt tastes as sweet as if it had three or four sug­ars! This is be­cause salt in­creases the sen­si­tiv­ity of the sweet taste re­cep­tors in our taste buds – and also ex­plains why food man­u­fac­tur­ers add a lit­tle salt to sweets, cakes and bis­cuits.

MON­STER MALLOWS

Place a marsh­mal­low on a mi­crowav­able plate and heat on full power for one minute. Watch as the marsh­mal­low mu­tates into mon­strous pro­por­tions! Leave it to cool down, then in­ves­ti­gate your cre­ation. Feel free to en­joy your – now gooey and frag­ile – sweet treat! Modern marsh­mal­lows are made from sugar syrup, mixed with gela­tine and whipped into a set aer­ated sweet. When heated, the gela­tine net­work soft­ens. At the same time, the air pressure in­side each of the marsh­mal­low’s tiny bub­bles in­creases. Gas mol­e­cules move faster at higher tem­per­a­tures, so ex­ert more force on the walls of the cham­ber they are within. The soft­ened marsh­mal­low bub­bles there­fore quickly ex­pand.

MAKE SOME SEITAN

Tip a cup of high pro­tein 'strong' flour (bread flour is ideal) ideal) into a mix­ing bowl. Add half to three- quar­ters of a cup of water and knead un­til a doughy ball forms. Hold under a run­ning cold tap. Milky white liq­uid will seep out of the dough as the starch is washed away. Keep squash­ing the ball to force the starchy liq­uid out. When the water runs clear, you have washed away most of the starch and will be hold­ing a ball of gluten. Squeeze out any ex­cess water and put it in a bowl or on a clean sur­face. You will dis­cover just how sticky and elas­tic gluten re­ally is! If you’re feel­ing hun­gry, then why not add some flavour­ings and bake or fry it? Gluten pre­pared in such a way is known as ‘seitan’ and makes an ex­cel­lent al­ter­na­tive to tofu.

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