full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Stephanie Warren: The chemistry of cookies

Unscramble the Blue Letters

In a time-lapse vedio, it looks like a monster coming alive. For a moment, it sits there innocuously. Then, ripples move across its surface. It buegls outwards, bursting with weird boils. It triples in volume. Its color dreakns ouimslnoy, and its surface hrndaes into an alien topography of peaks and craters. Then, the ketichn timer dings. Your cookie is reday. What happened inside that oven? Don't let the apron deceive you! Bakers are mad scientists. When you slide the pan into the oven, you're setting off a series of chemical reactions that transform one substance, dguoh, into another, cookies. When the dough reaches 92 deegres Fahrenheit, the butter inside mltes, causing the dough to start sidarepng out. Butter is an emulsion, or mixture of two substances that don't want to stay together, in this case, water and fat, along with some dairy solids that help hold them together. As the butter melts, its trapped water is relesaed. And as the ciokoe gets hotter, the water expands into steam. It pushes against the dough from the inside, trying to escape through the cookie walls like Ridley Scott's chest-bursting alien. Your eggs may have been home to smnqriiug salmonella biactera. An estimated 142,000 aneacrmis are ieftcned this way each year. Though salmonella can live for weeks outside a living body and even survive freezing, 136 degrees is too hot for them. When your dough reaches that temperature, they die off. You'll live to test your fate with a bite of raw dough you sneak from your next batch. At 144 degrees, changes begin in the pertnois, which come mostly from the eggs in your dough. Eggs are composed of dozens of different kinds of proteins, each ssinvtiee to a different temperature. In an egg fresh from the hen, these proteins look like coiled up balls of snitrg. When they're exposed to heat energy, the protein strings unfold and get tangled up with their neighbors. This linked structure makes the runny egg nearly solid, giving ssabcnute to squishy dough. weatr boils away at 212 degrees, so like mud baking in the sun, your cookie gets dried out and it stiffens. crakcs spread across its surface. The steam that was bubbling inside evaporates, leaving behind airy pockets that make the cookie light and flkay. hipleng this along is your leavening agent, sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda. The sodium bicarbonate reacts with acids in the dough to create crabon dioxide gas, which makes airy pockets in your cookie. Now, it's nearly ready for a refreshing dunk in a cool glass of milk. One of science's tastiest reactions occurs at 310 degrees. This is the tpautrreeme for Maillard rtcnieaos. Maillard reactions result when proteins and suagrs break down and rgerranae themselves, forming ring-like structures, which rcleeft light in a way that gives foods like Thanksgiving turkey and hamburgers their distinctive, rich bworn color. As this reaction occurs, it produces a range of flavor and armoa compounds, which also react with each other, forming even more complex tastes and smells. Caramelization is the last reaction to take place inside your cookie. Caramelization is what happens when sugar molecules break down under high heat, forming the sweet, nutty, and slightly bitter flovar compounds that define, well, caramel. And, in fact, if your recipe calls for a 350 degree oven, it'll never happen, since caramelization starts at 356 degrees. If your ideal cookie is barely brwoend, like a nseaorntheertr on a beach vacation, you could have set your oven to 310 degrees. If you like your cookies to have a nice tan, carnk up the heat. Caramelization continues up to 390 degrees. And here's another trick: you don't need that kitchen timer; your nose is a sensitive scientific instrument. When you smell the ntuty, toasty aromas of the Maillard reaction and caeizoilaatrmn, your cookies are ready. Grab your gslas of milk, put your feet up, and reflect that scencie can be ptrety sewet.

Open Cloze

In a time-lapse _____, it looks like a monster coming alive. For a moment, it sits there innocuously. Then, ripples move across its surface. It ______ outwards, bursting with weird boils. It triples in volume. Its color _______ _________, and its surface _______ into an alien topography of peaks and craters. Then, the _______ timer dings. Your cookie is _____. What happened inside that oven? Don't let the apron deceive you! Bakers are mad scientists. When you slide the pan into the oven, you're setting off a series of chemical reactions that transform one substance, _____, into another, cookies. When the dough reaches 92 _______ Fahrenheit, the butter inside _____, causing the dough to start _________ out. Butter is an emulsion, or mixture of two substances that don't want to stay together, in this case, water and fat, along with some dairy solids that help hold them together. As the butter melts, its trapped water is ________. And as the ______ gets hotter, the water expands into steam. It pushes against the dough from the inside, trying to escape through the cookie walls like Ridley Scott's chest-bursting alien. Your eggs may have been home to _________ salmonella ________. An estimated 142,000 _________ are ________ this way each year. Though salmonella can live for weeks outside a living body and even survive freezing, 136 degrees is too hot for them. When your dough reaches that temperature, they die off. You'll live to test your fate with a bite of raw dough you sneak from your next batch. At 144 degrees, changes begin in the ________, which come mostly from the eggs in your dough. Eggs are composed of dozens of different kinds of proteins, each _________ to a different temperature. In an egg fresh from the hen, these proteins look like coiled up balls of ______. When they're exposed to heat energy, the protein strings unfold and get tangled up with their neighbors. This linked structure makes the runny egg nearly solid, giving _________ to squishy dough. _____ boils away at 212 degrees, so like mud baking in the sun, your cookie gets dried out and it stiffens. ______ spread across its surface. The steam that was bubbling inside evaporates, leaving behind airy pockets that make the cookie light and _____. _______ this along is your leavening agent, sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda. The sodium bicarbonate reacts with acids in the dough to create ______ dioxide gas, which makes airy pockets in your cookie. Now, it's nearly ready for a refreshing dunk in a cool glass of milk. One of science's tastiest reactions occurs at 310 degrees. This is the ___________ for Maillard _________. Maillard reactions result when proteins and ______ break down and _________ themselves, forming ring-like structures, which _______ light in a way that gives foods like Thanksgiving turkey and hamburgers their distinctive, rich _____ color. As this reaction occurs, it produces a range of flavor and _____ compounds, which also react with each other, forming even more complex tastes and smells. Caramelization is the last reaction to take place inside your cookie. Caramelization is what happens when sugar molecules break down under high heat, forming the sweet, nutty, and slightly bitter ______ compounds that define, well, caramel. And, in fact, if your recipe calls for a 350 degree oven, it'll never happen, since caramelization starts at 356 degrees. If your ideal cookie is barely _______, like a ______________ on a beach vacation, you could have set your oven to 310 degrees. If you like your cookies to have a nice tan, _____ up the heat. Caramelization continues up to 390 degrees. And here's another trick: you don't need that kitchen timer; your nose is a sensitive scientific instrument. When you smell the _____, toasty aromas of the Maillard reaction and ______________, your cookies are ready. Grab your _____ of milk, put your feet up, and reflect that _______ can be ______ _____.

Solution

  1. bacteria
  2. cookie
  3. americans
  4. infected
  5. science
  6. rearrange
  7. helping
  8. kitchen
  9. reflect
  10. water
  11. northeasterner
  12. degrees
  13. ominously
  14. flavor
  15. string
  16. released
  17. darkens
  18. pretty
  19. squirming
  20. brown
  21. sensitive
  22. substance
  23. carbon
  24. browned
  25. sugars
  26. crank
  27. temperature
  28. hardens
  29. video
  30. ready
  31. nutty
  32. glass
  33. spreading
  34. caramelization
  35. dough
  36. cracks
  37. flaky
  38. sweet
  39. bulges
  40. proteins
  41. reactions
  42. aroma
  43. melts

Original Text

In a time-lapse video, it looks like a monster coming alive. For a moment, it sits there innocuously. Then, ripples move across its surface. It bulges outwards, bursting with weird boils. It triples in volume. Its color darkens ominously, and its surface hardens into an alien topography of peaks and craters. Then, the kitchen timer dings. Your cookie is ready. What happened inside that oven? Don't let the apron deceive you! Bakers are mad scientists. When you slide the pan into the oven, you're setting off a series of chemical reactions that transform one substance, dough, into another, cookies. When the dough reaches 92 degrees Fahrenheit, the butter inside melts, causing the dough to start spreading out. Butter is an emulsion, or mixture of two substances that don't want to stay together, in this case, water and fat, along with some dairy solids that help hold them together. As the butter melts, its trapped water is released. And as the cookie gets hotter, the water expands into steam. It pushes against the dough from the inside, trying to escape through the cookie walls like Ridley Scott's chest-bursting alien. Your eggs may have been home to squirming salmonella bacteria. An estimated 142,000 Americans are infected this way each year. Though salmonella can live for weeks outside a living body and even survive freezing, 136 degrees is too hot for them. When your dough reaches that temperature, they die off. You'll live to test your fate with a bite of raw dough you sneak from your next batch. At 144 degrees, changes begin in the proteins, which come mostly from the eggs in your dough. Eggs are composed of dozens of different kinds of proteins, each sensitive to a different temperature. In an egg fresh from the hen, these proteins look like coiled up balls of string. When they're exposed to heat energy, the protein strings unfold and get tangled up with their neighbors. This linked structure makes the runny egg nearly solid, giving substance to squishy dough. Water boils away at 212 degrees, so like mud baking in the sun, your cookie gets dried out and it stiffens. Cracks spread across its surface. The steam that was bubbling inside evaporates, leaving behind airy pockets that make the cookie light and flaky. Helping this along is your leavening agent, sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda. The sodium bicarbonate reacts with acids in the dough to create carbon dioxide gas, which makes airy pockets in your cookie. Now, it's nearly ready for a refreshing dunk in a cool glass of milk. One of science's tastiest reactions occurs at 310 degrees. This is the temperature for Maillard reactions. Maillard reactions result when proteins and sugars break down and rearrange themselves, forming ring-like structures, which reflect light in a way that gives foods like Thanksgiving turkey and hamburgers their distinctive, rich brown color. As this reaction occurs, it produces a range of flavor and aroma compounds, which also react with each other, forming even more complex tastes and smells. Caramelization is the last reaction to take place inside your cookie. Caramelization is what happens when sugar molecules break down under high heat, forming the sweet, nutty, and slightly bitter flavor compounds that define, well, caramel. And, in fact, if your recipe calls for a 350 degree oven, it'll never happen, since caramelization starts at 356 degrees. If your ideal cookie is barely browned, like a Northeasterner on a beach vacation, you could have set your oven to 310 degrees. If you like your cookies to have a nice tan, crank up the heat. Caramelization continues up to 390 degrees. And here's another trick: you don't need that kitchen timer; your nose is a sensitive scientific instrument. When you smell the nutty, toasty aromas of the Maillard reaction and caramelization, your cookies are ready. Grab your glass of milk, put your feet up, and reflect that science can be pretty sweet.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
dough reaches 2
airy pockets 2
maillard reactions 2

Important Words

  1. acids
  2. agent
  3. airy
  4. alien
  5. alive
  6. americans
  7. apron
  8. aroma
  9. aromas
  10. bacteria
  11. bakers
  12. baking
  13. balls
  14. barely
  15. batch
  16. beach
  17. bicarbonate
  18. bite
  19. bitter
  20. body
  21. boils
  22. break
  23. brown
  24. browned
  25. bubbling
  26. bulges
  27. bursting
  28. butter
  29. calls
  30. caramel
  31. caramelization
  32. carbon
  33. case
  34. causing
  35. chemical
  36. coiled
  37. color
  38. coming
  39. complex
  40. composed
  41. compounds
  42. continues
  43. cookie
  44. cookies
  45. cool
  46. cracks
  47. crank
  48. craters
  49. create
  50. dairy
  51. darkens
  52. deceive
  53. define
  54. degree
  55. degrees
  56. die
  57. dings
  58. dioxide
  59. distinctive
  60. dough
  61. dozens
  62. dried
  63. dunk
  64. egg
  65. eggs
  66. emulsion
  67. energy
  68. escape
  69. estimated
  70. evaporates
  71. expands
  72. exposed
  73. fact
  74. fahrenheit
  75. fat
  76. fate
  77. feet
  78. flaky
  79. flavor
  80. foods
  81. forming
  82. freezing
  83. fresh
  84. gas
  85. giving
  86. glass
  87. grab
  88. hamburgers
  89. happen
  90. happened
  91. hardens
  92. heat
  93. helping
  94. hen
  95. high
  96. hold
  97. home
  98. hot
  99. hotter
  100. ideal
  101. infected
  102. innocuously
  103. instrument
  104. kinds
  105. kitchen
  106. leavening
  107. leaving
  108. light
  109. linked
  110. live
  111. living
  112. mad
  113. maillard
  114. melts
  115. milk
  116. mixture
  117. molecules
  118. moment
  119. monster
  120. move
  121. mud
  122. neighbors
  123. nice
  124. northeasterner
  125. nose
  126. nutty
  127. occurs
  128. ominously
  129. outwards
  130. oven
  131. pan
  132. peaks
  133. place
  134. pockets
  135. pretty
  136. produces
  137. protein
  138. proteins
  139. pushes
  140. put
  141. range
  142. raw
  143. reaches
  144. react
  145. reaction
  146. reactions
  147. reacts
  148. ready
  149. rearrange
  150. recipe
  151. reflect
  152. refreshing
  153. released
  154. result
  155. rich
  156. ridley
  157. ripples
  158. runny
  159. salmonella
  160. science
  161. scientific
  162. scientists
  163. sensitive
  164. series
  165. set
  166. setting
  167. sits
  168. slide
  169. slightly
  170. smell
  171. smells
  172. sneak
  173. soda
  174. sodium
  175. solid
  176. solids
  177. spread
  178. spreading
  179. squirming
  180. squishy
  181. start
  182. starts
  183. stay
  184. steam
  185. stiffens
  186. string
  187. strings
  188. structure
  189. structures
  190. substance
  191. substances
  192. sugar
  193. sugars
  194. sun
  195. surface
  196. survive
  197. sweet
  198. tan
  199. tangled
  200. tastes
  201. tastiest
  202. temperature
  203. test
  204. thanksgiving
  205. timer
  206. toasty
  207. topography
  208. transform
  209. trapped
  210. triples
  211. turkey
  212. unfold
  213. vacation
  214. video
  215. volume
  216. walls
  217. water
  218. weeks
  219. weird
  220. year