Cooking with chemistry: jellifying

Today’s bake is another one of those ‘things I thought you couldn’t make yourself’: jaffa cakes. These biscuit-sized cakes have caused much heartache on Bake Off as you have to get not only the base (the dreaded Genoise sponge, which doesn’t use raising agents but instead relies on suspended air in the batter) but also the…

Cooking with chemistry: upraising

I’ve always wondered which raising agents makes the best chocolate chip cookies. So here’s me, with some flour, sugar, eggs, butter and lots of different raising agents. I adapted this recipe for classic chocolate chip cookies, doubling the amounts given in the recipe and then splitting the overall amount into six different batches. NaHCO3 Sodium hydrogen carbonate (baking soda, bicarbonate…

Cooking with chemistry: basic stuff

Let’s start off #RealTimeChem cook-off weekend with some basic stuff (excuse this so not funny pun): making pretzels – the lye pastry that is ubiquitous in Germany. I don’t know who first came up with the idea to dunk shaped dough into a boiling alkaline solution before baking it, but kudos to them. Here’s a quick run-down…

Cooking with chemistry: α-crocin

Saffron is expensive, but given that the yellow strings are plucked from individual flowers, each of which only three of these strings, it kind of makes sense. What gives saffron its subtle taste and brilliant colour is α-crocin, a carotenoid that makes up around 10% of the spice’s mass. It is often replaced with tartrazine…