Tag Archives: experiment

Pinhole Pictures

With help from Shamiq, I’ve made a bodycap-pinhole lens. It’s a body cap with some holes drilled into it (courtesy of Shamiq) and aluminum foil over the holes. Here are some pictures I took in the last couple weeks…

Starter Bakery’s Kougin Aman

Side of the house

Bouchon paper bag + my mug of tea

More to come! Ideally taken outdoors so I don’t have to do crazy long exposures.

I baked too much.

And here’s the evidence…DSC_0828





Total list of things prepared:
Turkey + swiss filled croissants
Cheese & mushroom quiche with a ritz crust
Fried mini donuts (misshapen donut holes?)
Awesome brownies
Smitten kitchen brownies
Other brownies
Brownie mosaic cheesecake
Spiced TKOs
Passionfruit meringue pie
Chocolate blueberry mochi cake
Chocolate chip yogurt coffee cake
Blood orange marmalade yogurt coffee cake
Slutty brownies

I was left with a batch of croissant dough and a lot of cookie dough in my fridge. My eyes are bigger than my friends’ stomachs.



Soft-boiled Eggs in Cake, Part 2

Frozen eggs

After being defeated last weekend by the Chocolate Egg Cupcakes, Shamiq and I tried again. This time, we started with two sets of frozen eggs — softboiled for four minutes, and raw.

Corn batter

Plus some Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix…

Warming up a frozen egg

For the softboiled then frozen eggs, I dunked them in hot water for a little bit to warm up the outside. My thinking was that an icy egg may release too much water and interfere with the corn muffin’s baking. The texture of a frozen egg white is pretty weird. It’s almost spongy.

I put the eggs in the corn muffin batter, then baked…


Lo and behold! A runny yolk. Victory was delicious.


Another shot of the runny yolk, because… why not?

Documenting the science:

Eggs used:
Egg 1: Soft boiled for 4 minutes, then refrigerated
Egg 2: Soft boiled for 4 minutes, then frozen*
Egg 3: Frozen raw
Egg 4: Refrigerated raw egg straight into the batter

Results: (After being peeled, and baked into corn muffin batter)
Egg 1: Yolk was more set than I’d like, but not quite hardboiled. It was at that… pudding like stage. 17 minutes.
Egg 2: Runny yolk! Hurray. Muffins baked for about 17 minutes to reach this state.
Egg 3: After about 20 minutes, the yolk was starting to set, but there was still some raw batter under the crackly surface of the top of the muffin. I scooped it out and the remaining muffin was pretty good. But raw batter is meh.
Egg 4: Yolk gets pretty set, and the egg white disappears into the corn muffin, for the most part.

Shamiq’s Notes on Peeling Frozen Eggs:
1. dip egg in tap water
2. crack shell by whacking with edge of a spoon
3. whack one particular part with rounded part of spoon until shell is removed, then “push” upwards.

* There was a second round with an egg that had been in the freezer for a few days, the muffin baked and the yolk came out still-frozen. I think freezing for a few hours is probably the sweet spot. Clearly more science is needed.

Disappearing Marshmallows

My hands

After my round of eggs-in-cupcakes, I had some chocolate cake batter left. I thought I’d make them into smore-cupcakes.


From the left, graham crackers + mini marshmallows, just mini marshmallows, half a large marshmallow & a whole large marshmallow.


Topped off the batter, you can still see the shapes of the fillings.


Finished cupcakes! I was excited to bite into them… I figured I’d get a mouthful of gooey marshmallow & warm chocolate cupcake…


Nope! The marshmallows melted into the cake. I guess this makes sense when I think about it…


But darn, the cupcakes looked misleadingly gooey.

Upside, the melted marshmallows made the chocolate cupcakes incredibly gooey and moist.

Egg Cupcake Science

While reading 7×7’s The Big Eat 2013, I stumbled upon this particularly interesting listing — Rebel Within, from Craftsman & Wolves. I love putting edible things inside other edible things, and the idea of an egg, yolk still running inside a savory biscuit or muffin is just… awesome.

Try as I might, I haven’t been able to find a recipe online, so it’s science time…

Shamiq and I tried boiling eggs for 2, 3 and 4 minutes, and then putting them in chocolate cupcake batter (just out of laziness, I wanted to figure out the eggs before tackling a savory biscuit/muffin). This is what we found.


2 minute boiled eggs are too raw. Also, torching egg shells can cause exploding egg shells.


3 minutes seemed about right, if you’re willing to lose some of the white.

We baked two cupcakes with 4 minute eggs (easy to peel) and six with three minute eggs (harder to peel, but much less done).

And the results?


Slicing open a three minute egg cupcake…


Dangit, the yolk was cooked through. But not overcooked.


The yolks in the four minute eggs were definitely overcooked.


Oh well. And, in case it’s at all questionable, hard boiled eggs don’t go well with chocolate.


Cheesecake Brownie Science

I tried to make cheesecake brownies following the idea of black bottom cupcakes. I went for Smitten Kitchen’s “Favorite Brownies” and doubled the cheesecake section of her Black Bottom Cupcakes.

Results: Cheesecake takes longer to cook than brownies. By the time the center of the cheesecake was set, the edges were cracking and the bottom of the brownies had overcooked to a crust.

Next up: Try this in a cupcake pan, where the heat is more distributed.

Banana Bread Science

(left to right, banana breads 1, 2& 3. recipes below)

Before the Thanksgiving break, I took home all the bananas the snack staff at work had on hand since they were going to throw them away in anticipation of the holiday. What better to do with over a dozen bananas than some banana bread science?

Recipe 1: Courtesy of my roommate, http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/banana_bread/ – 3 bananas

Recipe 2: Cook’s Illustrated’s “Ultimate Banana Bread” (membership required) – 6 bananas

Recipe 3: Cooks Illustrated’s “The Best Banana Bread” (membership also required) – 3 bananas and yogurt

I took half of each loaf to work and had people take small samples of each and cast anonymous votes. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of banana bread 1. Banana bread 1, however, also has the most sugar, so that very likely affects peoples preferences.

Other notes, banana bread 6 had more banana flavor than 3, but probably needed more sugar. 3 was the clear loser.

I’ll try this again with even amounts of sugar.

Science is a good reason to stuff yourself with banana bread.

Attempting Rolls

Shamiq and I wanted to try to make our own rolls.

Turns out it’s pretty hard to make them look pretty. Instead they look more like modern art.

But it was a tasty endeavor.