Saturday, December 16, 2006


Better chemistry through living

Hervé This, France's most famous chemist managed to unboil an egg. He explains that when an egg is cooked, the protein molecules unroll themselves, link up and enclose the water molecules. In order to 'uncook' the egg, you need to detach the protein molecules from each other. By adding a product like sodium borohydride, the egg becomes liquid within three hours. For those who want to try it at home, vitamin C also does the trick... He has invented a Béarnaise sauce by replacing butter with melted chocolate, as well as 'chocolate chantilly' (a form of whipped chocolate prepared in the same way as crème chantilly). ... He recommended, for example, that pepper be added to a stock only eight minutes before it is taken off the heat.
Wow. This means that all those recipes that call for uncooked egg (say, meringues and such) can now be made safe from the various diseases often transmitted by uncooked eggs.

Now if he could figure out how to do something similar with pasteurized milk, we might actually be able to get true cheese, especially true soft cheese, in America. (Genuine Bries and the like are illegal to import into the US.)
Well that depends on what the egg picks up in the three hours of uncooking...? Where is that done, at room temps or can it work in the fridge. Takes some planning ahead, too :-P

Fascinating stuff; I just doubt I'd actually try eating any of it. Well maybe the chocolate chantilly!

Interesting about the pepper -- I always season very late in order to have some flavor instead of at the beginning.
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