Category: Gourmet Cuisine

Mushroom risotto two ways with Tom Aikens

Our entire risotto project with Lara was inspired by J. Kenji López-Alt’s blog on pressure cooker made risotto. The actual project idea came from Dr Matthew Foreman who sent me a copy of a paper on the gelatinisation of starch in rice. We decided to investigate the effect of toasting rice, cooking temperature, and time on the consistency of risotto. Lara has already reported on some aspects of the work in earlier posts and we are currently writing up the results for a scientific paper. So that we can celebrate a successful project we decided to cook a mushroom risotto also testing the conclusions of Lara’s work in practice. 

Exploring the polymorphic structures in Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate and Cocoa Butter

Michelle Tan || 7th October 2014

Abstract The analysis was carried out using X-Ray diffraction1–3 (XPertPro Panalytical) of polymorphic forms of Milk chocolate, Dark Chocolate and pure Cocoa Butter samples. Sugar was removed from the samples as sucrose signals interfere with those of cocoa butter. The XRD patterns obtained for the Milk Chocolate and Dark chocolate were compared to that of the pure cocoa butter. Strong peaks were observed at 4.16Å (Form I), 4.24Å (Form II), 4.24Å (Form III), 4.38Å (Form IV) and 4.56Å (Form V), which can be used to infer the various crystal structures of the polymorphs of cocoa butter.

Chocolate mousse with Tom Aikens

As a part of the MSci project on Cooking a Steak, we would like to communicate the physics and those physical processes that take place during cooking to the general public. Karim Bahsoon and Jason Chang are the two fourth year undergraduate students working on this project.

The dessert course of the menu will be a chocolate mousse by Tom Aikens. Tom is a Visiting Researcher at the Physics Department and he has been advising us on the menu. In addition to his help Tom actually cooked all the courses for us so that we know how the original versions taste.