"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."








Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Short Stab from Steve's Evil Kitchen

I haven't written much about my mad scientist cooking exploits lately. There just hasn't been much to write. It's too hot to cook. [Waiting to hear Ed McMahon ask "How Hot Is It?"]

I have made one amazing discovery, that turns out to be well-known among confectioners, but is the coolest thing since Mentos and Diet Pepsi were first combined in a gusher. It's very sciencey. [In all truthiness.]

I'm not a big fan of saturated fats, nutritionally (and please, don't send me a link to something promoting them), but they're indespensible in making candies, as they're the only natural ones that are solid at room temperature. One of the great joys of eating chocolate is that it melts in your mouth, because its melting point is just about body temperature. The other fat that works that way is coconut fat, which is hard to find and which I made myself starting with coconut cream and a centrifuge.

Your kitchen doesn't have a centrifuge??? Next you'll say you don't have a rotary evaporator.

Now the amazing science bit: coconut fat and chocolate form an eutectic. Using that word in itself makes taking that course in materials science in 1983 worthwhile.

[Chewing on the grammar of that last sentence.... (In Homer Simpson voice) mmmm, eutecticy.]

Combining the two different types of fat lowers the melting point to just above room temperature - if your kitchen isn't hot from cooking. There's some hysteresis involved (In Jim Gaffigan voice: "Hysteresis? How many sciencey words is he going to use?"), as after one melts the two fats, one has to freeze them to solidify them, yet they melt at a higher temperature.

The payoff is that chocolate made with the combined fats melts instantaneously in one's mouth, so fast that your mouth will cool like you're eating a mint.

Coolness indeed.
......................
Yeah, this post suggests some neurological derangement on my part. Nothing that chocolate can't fix, though.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

BRETT FAVRE! DAMN YOU!

SteveQ said...

Nice non sequitur, Anonymous.

Yeah, now Wisconsin hates him for unretiring and Minnesota hates him for reretiring. Time to bother the Lions fans.

Anonymous said...

While I disagree with you about the nutritional value of saturated fat, I have done a similar experiment with coconut oil and 85% dark chocolate. Melted them together and cooled, then cut into squares. Was an experimental ultra food. Only problem was that a crew would have to keep them cool the entire race, and the fact that I don't do ultras anymore.

AH

SteveQ said...

Hey Adam, good to hear from you! One of the problems I've always had with saturated fats is the decreased mobility in cell membranes they cause; if they form an eutectic in vivo, that's one problem down. Ten more surprises like that and we might agree some day.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

I'm not a big fan of saturated fats.

Of course you aren't! You're from Minnesota! Everyone knows Saturated Fats handed Minnesota Fats his @$$ in the world pool (or whirledpool?) Championship 50 or more years ago but was disqualified for allegedly getting all "eutectic" on the pool table. (We're hoping it was just fat that he got on the felt.)

Point is, MINNESOTA Fats is a fraud! AND YOU KNOW IT!1!!!11!

Emz said...

You are my hero. nuff said. ;)

JojaJogger said...

Mmmmmm eutectic chocolate!

Xenia said...

Your real name is Bill Nye, isn't it?

RBR said...

*swoons*

I love when you get all sciencey.

Then you start talking about chocolate....

Lordy, is it getting hot in here?

RBR said...

@Anonymous: I think ol' Brett took a page from the book of a certain ultra runner we all know that has a penchant for pseudo-retiring.

Helen said...

Cool chocolate! Doesn't get any better than that...

So, when are we running again???

joyRuN said...

SBJ, stop making me have to google all these daggone words!

Sounds like this chocolate wouldn't make the trip to South Jersey.

Jean said...

Steve's Evil Kitchen needs a show on the Food Network. I would like to see Rachael Ray try and top that! :)

Steve, that sounds incredible! How interesting. What an amazing creation!

SteveQ said...

joy: your comment (last post) was right - my brain's not getting enough perfusion! I had to think what SBJ meant... got it.

ShutUpandRun said...

Hi, it's me with the high HDL. Mmmm chocolate melting in my mouth. I want to try that coconut chocolate melting experiment.