Kitchen Chemistry :: Week 2 :: Chocolate

We will be working with chocolate this week!!!

Read the following from the textbook: pp. 694-712, 430-433, 647-52, 674-675, and 533-34.

Answer the following questions

Kitchen Chemistry Homework #2 

Chocolate specific: 

1. Do you enjoy chocolate? Is there a biochemical reason for it? 

2. What are some of the chemicals that contribute to the chocolate taste? 

3. Can we become addicted to chocolate? 

4. What is common to both marijuana and chocolate? 

5. Even though it is unhealthy, can we justify from a health perspective eating chocolate in moderation? 

6. What is the ingredient in chocolate that makes our hearts pound? 

7. Should you feed your cat or dog chocolate? Why or why not? 

Ingredient specific questions: 

1. What is the chemistry behind baking powder? At what temperature does this process become spontaneous (remember Gibb’s free energy equations from thermodynamics?) 

2. What does double acting baking powder really mean? 

3. Why add eggs to the recipe? 

4. What is the difference between brown sugar and white sugar? 

5. Where does vanilla come from and how is the extract made? 

6. What modifications did you make to the recipe? 

Psychology: Week 1

I forgot that Alyx Jacobs was coming from KCAI this morning and then with Boxing starting this afternoon we ended up missing our first class.

Your first assignment is to go to the Yale course website and watch the first week’s lecture from Paul Bloom

A good portion of the video is not relevant to us because it is about particulars of the actual class happening at the time of the recording but the rest of it is a good start for us. The textbooks should start arriving next week. We have two readings from this week to catch up on. 

  • Chapter 1 from Peter Gray Psychology 
  • “How to Think Straight about Psychology.” from Keith Stanovich in The Norton Psychology Reader pp. 27-37

The Yale class is designed to do two lectures and readings per week. We will start out at a slower pace, one lecture and reading per week. Once we get a groove going — and if you feel it will work — we can pick up the pace to two per week. 

By the way, the powerpoint slides for the first lecture are under the Resources tab on the right side of the screen. You can open them in a new window and follow along with the lecture … but, they do not include all of the slides from this lecture (possibly because of copyright issues). You can find images of some of what he is talking about in those sections with some simple Googling. For instance, there is no slide for Phineas Gage but that is easy enough to look up on Google. Same is true for Oskar Schindler, Paul Rusesabagina, Osama Bin Laden, Ted Bundy. But probably not for his son Zachary dressed in a Spiderman costume. 

We will discuss the video when we meet next Tuesday.

Chemistry Day 1

The Chemistry course is going to be based on the MIT class: Kitchen Chemistry

Welcome to the seminar entitled Kitchen Chemistry. This is a Pass/Fail, 6-unit seminar (2 hours of class and 4 hours of reading and homework per week). This seminar is designed to look at cooking from a scientific basis. Each week we will do an edible experiment and look at the science behind how it all works. Not only will chemical principles be examined, but also biochemical, biological, microbiological, and maybe even a little physics. Students are required to attend at least 80% of the classes.
This seminar is designed to be an experimental and hands-on approach to applied chemistry (as seen in cooking). Cooking may be the oldest and most widespread application of chemistry and recipes may be the oldest practical result of chemical research. We shall do some cooking experiments to illustrate some chemical principles, including extraction, denaturation, and phase changes.

From Kitchen Chemistry Syllabus

I need to order the textbooks for everyone. In the meantime, you can visit the course website and watch the intro videos.

BOMBERB method


  1. Bang – capture the audience
    1. Joke
    2. Quotation
    3. Provocative Statement
    4. Prop
    5. Personal story
    6. “Happened That Day” story
  2. Opening
    1. Who are you?
    2. What are you going to tell us?
    3. Why is it important?
      1. Wiii-FM (What’s In It – For Me)
  3. Message (tricks to structuring the content of your speech)
    1. Problem → Solution
    2. Cause → Effect
    3. Numbered Outline
      1. 10 Surprises About Peanut Butter
      2. 3 Things You Will Regret One Day
      3. 8 Secrets of Staying Healthy
    4. Past → Present → Future
    5. Acronym
      1. B.O.M.B.E.R.B method
    6. Alliteration
      1. The 5 C’s of Education
  4. Bridge
    1. Connect your message to the audience
      1. Have them imagine or reflect on something
      2. Ask them to consider a question
      3. Have them remember something
  5. Examples
    1. Make abstract ideas concrete by anchoring them
      1. Use an analogy or metaphor
      2. Use a prop or image
      3. Tell a story
  6. Recap
    1. Numbered Recap
      1. The three things to remember
      2. If you only take away a couple of things from this speech it should be this
    2. Small group discussion
  7. Big Bang – Powerful memorable ending
    1. Circular Ending (bring it back around to your opening bang)
    2. Call to Action (Now Go Out and Vote!)

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