Science and cooking via Baked Alaska | Fizzics Education

Science and cooking via Baked Alaska

Science and cooking via Baked Alaska

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You Will Need:

Ice-cream

3 eggs Whites*

150g Caster sugar

Base, you can use a sponge cake or a brownie.

Bowl

An electric whisk, or beater

*Be aware that the final product does contain raw egg.

Baked Alaska ingredients
1 Baked Alaska mixer

Separate egg whites from the yolk and pour the egg whites into a clean metal bowl.

Beat on low-medium with an electric mixer or whisk until firm peaks form. This usually takes about 5 minutes.

2 Baked Alaska sugar

Turn beater up to medium-high while gradually adding the caster sugar for 5-7 minutes.

3 Baked Alaska meringue

Beat for a further 2 minutes, until the meringue looks glossy.

4 Baked Alaska assemble

Line a tray with baking paper and place on it a nice thick slice of cake. Scoop some ice -cream on to your cake.

5 Baked Alaska prebake

Use a spoon to dollop the meringue all over your cake and ice-cream. Make sure it’s completely covered!

6 Baked Alaska postbake

Bake at 230-250 °C for 2-3 minutes.

7 Baked Alaska plate

Remove from the oven, slice and serve!

Why Does This Happen?

The ice-cream didn’t melt! How is this possible?

Heat tends to move from hotter thing to cooler things.

Air is a great thermal insulator, meaning that it does not let heat pass through it easily. The meringue, that we have covered the ice-cream with, is made up of countless tiny air pockets and bubbles. These air pockets and bubbles block the heat of the oven from reaching the ice-cream, keeping it cold.

We use the same principle to help keep our houses nice and warm in the winter. Plastic foam, or fiberglass insulation, is often placed between the walls or in the ceiling to trap layers of air, preventing heat loss. So when the heater is running, or the fire is going, you stay nice and toasty.

Variable testing.

Turn this recipe into a variable testing science project! Here are some ideas:

  • Is it the meringue that stops the ice-cream from melting? Try putting some ice-cream into the oven without the meringue. Do so in an oven-proof container next to the Baked Alaska and compare.
  • Whipping time- Would the length of time you spend whipping the egg whites effect the insulating ability of the meringue? Try it!
  • Amount of sugar- Try cooking the Baked Alaska with more or less sugar. Does this affect the structure of the foam and therefore how well it insulates heat?
  • Heat source- Oven, grill, blow torch or microwave? Which method works, and which does not? Which produces the best product and why?

Learn more!

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