Friday, December 30, 2011

Kitchen Rheology for Kids, or Watching Chocolate Melt

Chocolate is a complex, non-Newtonian, emulsion of fine, semi-solid particles suspended in a polymorphic fat. Which basically just means, in addition to it being delicious, it's a lot of fun to watch it melt.

Depending on the chocolate, and the level of cocoa butter it contains...



...it might pool into a molten puddle as you heat it...


...or it might hold its shape...


...until it's touched.


And, sometimes it can be really surprising to see which chocolate candies will do which.




So far, we've found the slices of our chocolate orange melt into a pool, as do squares of bittersweet chocolate, Hershey Candy Cane Kisses, and even our baker's chocolate (which says on the package it will hold its shape while melting), while dark chocolate Hershey bars, our chocolate Christmas coins, pretty well all of our chocolate chips, and Hershey Milk Chocolate Kisses hold their shape after they are melted until they are touched.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

7 comments:

Ingi Mc said...

"Chocolate is a complex, non-Newtonian, emulsion of fine, semi-solid particles suspended in a polymorphic fat" - that has to be the best scientific description of chocolate ever!!! Love your experiments too!

Have you seen Heston Blumenthal's Kitchen Chemistry series on Discovery? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La3S7SlXnKQ

Ticia said...

Looks like there was a lot of Christmas candy to be had for everyone!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Ticia - You have no idea.

Ingi - I haven't seen the Blumenthal series, but it sounds fascinating!

Phyllis said...

I have never seen so much fun melting chocolate. I think we need to get together and get you guys a chocolate fountain. :)

Raising a Happy Child said...

I learned a lot about chocolate in the last few days reading your blog :)

Christy said...

I agree with all of the other comments! I laughed about the chocolate fountain comment!

Debbie said...

I am at this point laughing over all the fun you are having with chocolate.