Cooking Science: Beautiful Baking

How does a bunch of not-so-delicious ingredients, mixed together and combined with a little heat turn into a seriously delicious food called CAKE?! Science my friends…science!

Cakes and cookies are a combination of raising agents, gluten, flavours, setters, and binders that when mixed into a glorious mush and given a little heat turns into mouth-watering yumminess. Watch this video to learn more.

Design a Crazy Cake!

NOW imagine you are a world-famous baker. You have baked every type of cake in the world. But now you are bored. You want to create something new! Something no one has ever tasted before! So you set out to create your masterpiece.

Allez! Get to work! You can use any ingredient in the world, or maybe any ingredient in the universe.

Here are some things to think about while you are planning your creation sensation:

· What size is your cake? Does it have lots of different layers?

· What shape is your cake? Is it round or is it a pyramid? What else could it be?

· How is it decorated?

Once you’ve got some ideas, sketch out your cake. Every genius designs their creations first. And we’ll tell you a secret….creative geniuses make lots of mistakes and have to try many times before they have something they are happy with. So don’t worry if you draw some wonky cakes because that’s part of the process!

Now Write Your Recipe

First, you start with the ingredients. What’s going to be in your cake? What will it taste like? You need to list what ingredients you want and how much you need. Don’t forget what you learned above. You need starch, moisture, flavour, a fatty emulsion and something to make carbon dioxide bubbles. Here is an example:

1 Ostrich Egg
1 cup of Kopi Luwak ‘beans’
3/4 cups of salmander milk
4 cups of cricket flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 galaxy of sugar stars
250g yak butter

A baking method is just like a science experiment, this is where you describe what to do with the ingredients listed above. Do you first melt the Kopi Luwak chocolate beans? Do you whisk the ostrich egg with the sugar stars?

Cooking Instructions
And finally, don’t forget to say how hot and how long to bake your cake. Perhaps your cake needs 30 seconds in the belly of a red dwarf? Or perhaps it is set slowly under a blue moonrise?

Good luck! And remember, be safe! Don’t go actually eating any off-world ingredients. Best check with your parents first.

Are you ready for a real chef’s challenge?

Try this! Molecular gastronomy for kids.