It's Not Rocket Science - It's Food

by Tefal Team on 08 March 2018
  • British Science Week is taking place from Friday March 9th until Sunday March 18th. Scientifically, that’s not a week, but we guess the organisers are clever folk, so maybe we’re wrong?

    The week is basically a chance to celebrate all things science-y and that includes food. There’s some pretty amazing science that goes on in cooking when you take a moment to think about it. How does heating eggs, flour, sugar and butter make such amazing-tasting cake? What about when you leave bread dough to prove and come back an hour later to find it’s doubled in size? It’s not magic, it’s science.

  • And who can fail to be amazed by the trick where you fill a papier mache volcano (for us, it was always an empty drinks bottle – we weren’t that fancy), with a mixture of vinegar and dishwasher detergent, then add a drop of baking soda and create an actual eruption? Science.

    So, this British Science Week/Ten Day-Period, combine your inner Einstein with your inner Nigella to cook up some edible science:

  • Playdough that's allowed to be eaten

    There’s just something about the unique smell of playdough that immediately transports you back to your childhood. Did anybody else have the set with the ice cream truck?! Best thing ever.

  • It smells so good that we can’t really blame kids for trying to shove it in their mouths at every given opportunity. But we should stop them, as it’s not necessarily the safest thing to eat. However…

    Danya Banya just so happens to have a recipe for edible playdough that is perfectly safe to eat. It’s fun to bake with little ones and they’ll love being able to mould it – and shove it in their mouths – afterwards. This recipe is for peanut butter-flavoured dough, but you could switch this out for chocolate spread if you prefer (and inexplicably want your kids to be extra giddy).

  • Edible slime!

    Slime is pretty fascinating stuff too, no matter how old you are. The classic version (yep, there’s a classic recipe for slime) is made from PVA glue and acrylic paint – it’s lots of fun, but obviously non-edible.

  • If you can bear (pun most definitely deliberate) to melt down some gummy bears and mix them with icing sugar, cornstarch and coconut oil like In the Kids Kitchen, then you can make stretchy gooey slime that can be eaten afterwards too. Could you have imagined a better rainy day as a small child?! Perhaps only if there was Get Your Own Back marathon on.

  • Sedimentary rock cookie bars

    Sedimentary rocks are rocks with layers. Shrek never thought of that when he was trying to think of things that had layers did he? He stuck with onions. While they do most certainly have layers, eating one is more likely to make you cry than learn about sedimentary rocks.

    Cookie bars are a different story though. Rainy Day Mum has a pretty clever recipe for layered cookie bars that can be used to explain sedimentary rock to your kids.

  • Get creative with your layers; smooth shortbread, crunchy chocolate cornflakes, soft marshmallows, gummy worms (will look like fossils, blowing little minds), and lumps of Malteser ‘rocks’ would all work excellently. Much tastier than a whole raw onion.

  • Pop some corn

    You don’t need any weird ingredients to be fascinated by the science of popcorn, just some popcorn kernels. Gather the kids around the microwave (who needs a TV when you have a microwave…?) and let them see science in action.

  • Pour your popcorn into a bowl, add toppings of your choice and settle down to watch a sci-fi classic. If you’re arguing over whether to put on Star Wars on Star Trek, we’ll settle the debate for you: go for ET.

  • Sugar glass

    Glass is made from sand and is even sharper than Kettle Chips (the sharpest food known to man) so of course cannot be eaten – unless it’s made from boiled sugar.

    Go Science Girls explains how to make edible glass using ingredients you’ve probably got in your baking cupboard already. Adding a few drops of different food colourings is a simple trick to create a gorgeous stained glass effect too.

  • Sugar glass is very sweet and sticky, so it’s probably best not to make it right before you need your kids to be quiet, and make sure they know it’s important to brush their teeth for an extra long time before bed. More science.

  • Crystallising is sweet

    Crystals are so much prettier than bog-standard rocks. They form when the liquid (magma) that originally solidified to make a rock cools, often leaving the centre of the rock a beautiful colour.

    You can use sugar – much safer than magma, and they won’t stock that in your local supermarket – to teach your kids about the process of crystallisation, using this guidance from Happiness is Homemade.

  • Little ones will love making (and eating, obviously) their own lollipops.

    Remember, cooking and baking are all about science, so get your lab coat on (better protection than an apron) and get experimenting. You never know, you might just discover the next gravity.

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