How Phase Changes Cause Deliciousness

Bill Yosses (White House Pastry Chef)
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Public Lecture 03 (2012)
Learning Lesson: Phase Transitions: When energy is added during cooking, food can change in other ways that getting hotter; these changes are precisely the reasons why we cook food.
The first week introduced molecules and the second week showed how these molecules can transform or rearrange when the temperature is changed. This week Bill Yosses shows how these molecular transformations can transform the overall properties of the food.


Overview of this Week's Science

The transformations that occur during sous vide cooking can be represented on a one-dimensional phase diagram, such as these charts from Dave Arnold:
What's special about the phase transitions that occur during cooking?

Equation of the Week

Calculate the energy needed to cause a phase transition is proportional to the mass of the food; the constant of proportionality is different for different materials.

Beyond the Lecture

Chocolate chantilly

How can you transform chocolate from a solid bar into a scoopable foam? As demonstrated by Bill Yosses, chocolate chantilly is a whipped mixture of molten chocolate and warm water. Air is incorporated as the chocolate mixture solidies, leaving behind a mousse-like foam.

To read more, check out the Fooducation blog post.