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Festival of Creative Learning 2019 #FCL19

What a week it was this year! Raising eyebrows by running around campus with hand blenders and random kitchen stuff. I think I made almost 10 kg of ice cream in total! But thankfully I had help with my endeavours! Namely the brilliant participants of my workshop " Cooking with Science: 50 shades of textures ". This was all for Edinburgh University's Festival of Creative Learning , in February 2019 . The ice cream wasn't just for eating. The point was to understand a little more about its chemistry and what it takes to get a nice smooth texture. From fat concentration, to churning time and even thickening agents! A new touch to this event was a fairly uncommon kitchen tool called a whipping siphon. Think of it as a reusable whipped cream canister that can make much more than whipped cream. It's perfect for examining the effect of pressure on food. We made a variety of foams, which admittedly sometimes tasted better than they looked! It would
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Preparations for new Food Science events

Food science! More science, more cooking. After a successful attempt at the Festival of Creative Learning 2018, this time I'm planning four more events! This month I'm taking part in The Midlothian Science Festival and the Scottish Festival of Physics . I'll be doing separate events for each. I have planned a show "Finger Lickin’ Science" (where I do all the cooking), as well as a workshop "Gourmet cooking and science" (where participants do all the hard work). Here are the relevant links to the events: Gourmet Cooking and Science (Midlothian Science Festival 2018)  (event  Facebook link ) Finger Lickin' Science Show (Midlothian Science Festival 2018)  (event  Facebook link ) Cooking with Science: A Culinary Arts Workshop (Festival of Physics 2018) (event  Facebook link ) Emulsions, gels and foams In these events we'll be looking at culinary creations such as gels, emulsion and foams. We'll do some cooking, and then discuss th

CwS #FCL18 - Short video of highlights

A big thank you to all the Cooking with Science event participants for their great work and enthusiasm! Everyone seemed to enjoying the event! We got a little messy with the cooking, tried out new ingredients and wacky recipes. In the end, had a creative day and learned something new in the process! Here's a short video with some highlights. More detailed blog posts will follow!

Fluid gels: Jellous you haven't tried?

We take some lemon juice (liquid), turn it into a gel (solid), then blend it until it turns back into a liquid (almost). We just made a fluid gel! Why bother doing that? Must be a waste of time, right? Well, bazinga! Guess what, fluid gels are incredible! You get a surprisingly different mouthfeel that can turn dishes into a whole new culinary experience. The flavour is released slower than from the original liquid, similar to the pleasant lingering taste of fatty foods. Food scientists would probably call fluid gels “ a suspension of gelled particles dispersed in a non-gelled continuous medium ” [1]. They have unusual properties. They look like a thickened liquid, but retain their shape like a solid. Great for decorating plates or for coating food like a sauce. Fluid gels are versatile. Fruit juices are commonly used, but other liquids work as well. How about some chicken cooked sous-vide style (more on that another time!), and served with some lemon fluid gel on the

Emulsions: A saucy discussion

Ever had Hollandaise sauce with eggs? A vinaigrette dressing with salad? Ever eaten mayonnaise or just milk? You've eaten so many emulsions and you don't even know it! You've consumed tasty dispersed media ! In terms of cooking, an emulsion is often what you get when you manage to mix two liquids that normally don't mix. A common example is fat and water. So how do you mix them? You need some "glue" to get them to mix. That's what an emulsifier does! Mayonnaise is an emulsion of oil and water, with emulsifiers from egg yolk. Tiny droplets of oil are dispersed in the water. Emulsifiers sit in between them and keep them separated. They stabilise the emulsion. Isn't it interesting how you mix oil and water and you get something thicker, more viscus? So what about Xanthan Gum ? In the culinary world it is used to thicken sauces or to stabilise emulsions. That's why you find it in so many condiments and sauces! I was pleasantly surprised to

Spherification - From bubble tea to fancy coctails #FCL18

If you haven't already tried bubble tea, then do so (for science!). You can find it in several places around the city. The highlight of the drink is little popping-bubble sweeties with a gel-like surface, kind of like "caviar balls". You get a burst of sweet fruity flavours when you bite into them! How could we make these popping-bubbles? The process is called spherification ! You'll have the chance to make some yourself in our workshop! Spherification is not just for bubble tea. There's so much more! Impress your friends by adding a twist to classic cocktails! How about a crème brûlée with some coffee-caviar to balance the sweetness!

Cooking with science: From molecular gastronomy to gourmet cooking #FLC18

Ever wondered how bubble tea is made? Or what's the difference between good old sugar and the perfect caramel you find on a crème brûlée? Come along to our workshop to find out! Dive into the culinary arts and explore how science can improve cooking. This is very different from using cooking to demonstrate scientific principles! Learn how science can be applied in the kitchen to achieve desired flavours and textures. Discover techniques used by chefs to create innovative dishes. Try out specialist techniques used in haute cuisine, and learn how to use them in home cooking. Try something truly creative in #FCL18. Gain a new appreciation for food science, and possibly a new hobby!