Tag Archives: recipe

Irish Soda Bread Recipe by Luke Gass

This seemed to be an appropriate post considering our most recent experiment in the lab.  However, what distinguishes this recipe from the ingredients used to make bread in the lab is the use of baking soda as an alternative to yeast.  The key difference between using yeast and baking soda in cooking is the former requires more rising “rising time” than the latter.

Discussion Question: Why does baking soda allow the bread to rise faster than yeast or sourdough?  Also, how does using baking soda affect the taste?  Answer both of these by explaining them on the molecular level.  

Bread Recipe from Lab

My lab partner and I were really pleased by how well our bread we made in the gluten lab turned out, so I thought I’d share our recipe and some pictures. Such a shame we couldn’t taste it! As you can see, the crust was a gorgeous golden brown, firm but not crackly, about the texture of sandwich bread crust.  The inside was fluffy and somewhat dense, but with lots of little air pockets.

What might some reasons be why our bread didn’t have a crisp crust? Did anyone else have particular success with their bread? Any really bad results?

IMG_2903 IMG_2904


Our recipe was:

125 g All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp dry “Rapid Rise” yeast
~80 mLs of warm water (heated to ~105 degrees F)

We followed the rest of the instructions as written in the lab, including kneading for 5-8 minutes, 30 minutes to rise, and 30 minutes in a 350 degree F oven.

Berry Tiramisu Recipe by Luke Gass

This article describes how to put a twist on a traditional Italian dessert by replacing the usual ingredients of coffee and cocoa with an assortment of berries.  However, for fans of classic tiramisu, a link to a recipe for that is provided at the bottom of the page.

Discussion Question: What factors (techniques, ingredients, etc.) contribute to the delicate texture of tiramisu?  How do these factors affect the dish on a molecular level?

Raw Twix Bars!

Do you ever feel hungry for a snack, perhaps candy, but can’t stomach processed food or refined sugar? Look no further! Here is a recipe for raw Twix bars that are oozing gooey caramel with a crunchy ‘shortbread’ base surrounded by a coating of velvety smooth chocolate — and they’re 100% raw! So get your chef hat and enjoy these (healthier) treats!


Here’s the recipe and procedure:

1/2 cup of cashew nuts
1/2 cup of ground almonds
1/4 cup of brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or extract
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt

1/2 cup of pitted dates
1/4 cup of peanut butter
1-2 tablespoons of filtered water
Pinch of pink Himalayan salt

1/3 cup of raw virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons of raw cacao butter
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup of pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or extract


  1. Prepare a small brownie pan by lining it with a piece of parchment paper. If you find it sliding about too much, you can lightly grease the tin with coconut oil which will act as a slight adhesive and hold the paper in place. Please note that this recipe will make twelve small chocolate bars.
  2. First make the vanilla cookie base by placing the cashew nuts and ground almonds in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the three until a coarse, dry crumb is achieved, before scooping in the brown rice syrup, vanilla, and salt, and blitzing once more until well combined and a consistent texture.
  3. Press this vanilla mixture into the base of the brownie pan, ensuring that you have spread it evenly and left no gaps at the bottom (which has the potential to ruin the rectangular appearance of the final product). I like to use wet fingers, or the back of a metal dessert spoon. Once sufficiently flattened, slide into the freezer and allow to set whilst you set about readying the other components.
  4. Next make the gooey caramel by placing the pitted dates in a bowl and covering them with warm water. Allow these to soak for ten minutes, or completely soft, then drain, squish, and place in the bowl of a food processor. Add the peanut butter, water, and salt, and blend continuously for around 2 minutes or until a smooth, sticky consistency is reached. You may need to stop the processor and scrape the sides down every once in a while as this is a rather sticky mixture.
  5. Take the vanilla base out of the freezer and check if it’s solid – if so, scoop the date caramel on top and proceed to smear evenly atop the creamy white cookie base. Again, I find using wet fingers or a hot spoon the most efficient at this task. Keep in mind that this is fiddly work, but the end result is most certainly worth the tugging and sculpting! Once you’ve wrestled it into an even layer, return to the freezer for around two hours, or until almost completely solidified.
  6. Once you’ve reached this stage, use a hot, clean knife to cut individual finger-sized sticks of cookie caramel slice. You’ll need to wipe the blade clean between each slice to avoid any sticking and ruin the rectangular aesthetic. Return these sticks to the freezer on a fresh piece of parchment paper atop a wide plate to set whilst you get about making the chocolate.
  7. To make the chocolate, heat the coconut oil and cacao butter in a small saucepan over a low heat until just melted. Once liquefied, add the cacao powder, maple syrup, and vanilla, and whisk vigorously until smooth and glossy. Pour this molten chocolate into a wide dish, and prepare for dipping!
  8. There are many ways of coating a bar in chocolate, but my personal favourite is to simply get in there with mucky hands and do it myself, one by one. I cradle the bar in my fingertips, baptize it in the tepid chocolate liquid until an even layer forms, then place back on the parchment paper and repeat with the others. A quick flash in the freezer, another dip, freezer, dip, and one last time in the freezer will leave you with the most luxuriously crisp and shiny twix bars you’ve ever had. As they say, if you want it done right, do it yourself! You can store these bars in the freezer in an airtight container for up to a week before they start losing their lovely texture and shine (although they’ll still taste wonderful).

Find more raw and vegan treats at http://www.thecoconutgoddess.com/

Peanut Butter Dip Recipe by Andrew Rogan


2 (5.3 oz or 150.2g) containers Vanilla Greek Yogurt (or 1 slightly heaping cup)

1/3 cup (85g) creamy peanut butter

1 Tbsp (21.5g) honey, or to taste


Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend until smooth. Serve with fruit (recommended bananas, apples, raspberries or strawberries), pretzels, and/or crackers. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.


This peanut butter dip is perfect for a healthy snack and as a crowd pleaser. As a soluble solution, the peanut butter and greek yogurt mix together to form an evenly smooth dip, and the honey adds just the right amount of sweetness. Be careful to get the right ratio of peanut butter to yogurt—you don’t want a dip that is too stiff or too soupy.

Question: What additional ingredient(s) could improve this recipe, either for taste or presentation?