The Kitchen Chemistry Sessions at Carnegie Mellon University

Recently Prof. Subha Das contacted us about a new course that Carnegie Mellon University is introducing and we wanted to share with our followers. We are always happy and pleased to see people learning and exploring new and exciting techniques and recipes! In addition you can see some of there most recent dishes and recipes!

The Kitchen Chemistry Sessions, is a seven week mini-course at Carnegie Mellon University. Conceived and started in 2009 by Prof. Subha Das, the course uses the context of food and molecular cuisine to highlight chemistry and scientific concepts. The course comes in two ‘flavors’ – one for freshmen and non-science majors and the other for students with a greater exposure to science and organic chemistry. For non-science majors, the accessibility of cooking serves to introduce and organize chemical principles and experimental methods of scientific inquiry.
For science majors the food and cooking focus serves to reinforce, re-organize, and extend students’ knowledge of chemistry and biochemistry

The course comprises a series of demonstrations and laboratory experiments that culminate with students applying chemistry and biochemistry to adapt and develop novel recipes and food presentations as a final project. Besides their final dish itself, the students have to explain the science behind their dish. An expert panel and students themselves evaluate the final project (both dishes and explanation).
An account of the course appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Chemistry in the Kitchen

And slideshows of the final dishes from 2010 and 2012 are on flickr:

www.tinyurl.com/2010finaldishes  [36pics]

www.tinyurl.com/2012finaldishes  [19pics]

The Kitchen Chemistry Sessions on facebook


In Fall 2012 one of the student teams, “Everything is Better Carbonated” used the Mosa whippers very effectively in their creation: Pastaccino e Carbonatazione  (Pastry and carbonation) – which included a Rum and Coffee Chocolate Mousse on graham cracker, Raspberry Jam, Carbonated Vanilla Ice Cream and Whipped Cream and Fizzy (carbonated)  Blueberries. The procedure for carbonated ice cream and whipped cream is below (this worked out better than incorporating finely powdered dry ice into the cream base).  The carbonated  blueberries can be made in a whipper as well.

Carbonated Vanilla Ice Cream and Whipped Cream

Ingredients

300mL Heavy Whipping Cream 170g Sugar (6oz)Splash of Vanilla Extract

Materials

CO2 Cartridges
Whipped Cream Dispenser
Metal Bowls
Liquid Nitrogen
Ice Cream Scooper
Whisk

Procedure

  1. Mix the heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl

  2. Pour contents into whipped cream dispenser

  3. Insert the CO2 canister onto the whipped cream dispenser

  4. Squeeze the contents out as whipped cream

  5. For ice cream, scoop the whipped cream using the ice cream scooper

  6. Put the scoop into the bowl of liquid nitrogen

  7. The ice cream will harden but remain soft inside while carbonated

 

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