Advice

Tuesday Tip: substitutions in Chemistry experiments may result in (explosions)

Baking is essentially science. While it’s possible to make the occasional substitution or omission to accommodate dietary or pantry constraints the (muffins) may be a little different than originally conceived. Oven temperature, humidity, salted or unsalted butter, white or brown sugar, GF or conventional flour, egg size and freshness are among factors that will determine the quality of the final product.

A month ago Gus tried to bake Chocolate Almond Scones at school. He later reported his effort was a disaster, the batter so wet that he’d had to add 4-6 more ounces of GF flour, the finished scones dense, almost rock like. When talking through the process his substitutions were revealed as follows:

1.  Bob’s Red Mills GF Flour Mix instead of ours (or Trader Joe’s)

2.  Extra fine Margarita Sugar (from a boxed mix) instead of conventional granulated sugar

3.  “Homemade” baking powder (baking soda plus vinegar) instead of conventional baking powder

4.  Half & Half instead of heavy cream

5.  Vanilla instead of almond extract

6.  Not certain almond flour even made it into the mix

7.  Mini chocolate chips from prepackaged brownie mix from the dorm next door instead of  larger chips or chunks

One, perhaps even two of the substitutions might have resulted in eatable scones, with the exception of the use of Half & Half. He’d have needed less of the thinner cream plus added a tablespoon or two of butter to approximate heavy cream.

Points for trying, and we learn more from our mistakes than successes. Carry on!

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3 thoughts on “Tuesday Tip: substitutions in Chemistry experiments may result in (explosions)

  1. Yes, carry on! Cooking…and GF cooking in particular is definitely a learning process sometimes filled with mistakes along the way! 🙂

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