Building our April Fool’s Day project, the MarshMallowMatic, was a fun project but not without its fair share of trial and error. When heating flammable materials with an oxy-fuel torch, the biggest challenge is simply not setting them on fire.
In the video above — one of our first trials, before we had figured out how far away to position the flame — we wondered what would happen if we tried to “evenly” roast a marshmallow… with predictable results. Let’s just consider this an outtake.
Introducing the MarshMallowMatic: the world’s first dedicated CNC marshmallow toasting machine— capable of custom marking and toasting of marshmallows under robotic control.
The MarshMallowMatic is built from a special, modified version of our Ostrich Eggbot kit, fitted with a compact oxy-fuel torch:
The oxy-fuel torch can produce a 1″ (2.5 cm) long flame, with temperature in excess of 5000 °F (2760 °C). “And wow, can it toast marshmallows!”
Photo by Camper English, Popular Science
Barbot 2013 was covered in Popular Science this week, and Drink Making Unit 2.1 made an appearance in the accompanying photo gallery.
Now that Halloween is over, what should you do with all of your leftover Halloween candy? From the archives— make them into fridge magnets!
Our friend John made Sconic Sections for a dinner party, with a slight variation: he baked the scone dough in ice cream cones. That led to a little bit of extra difficulty in slicing them, but the cone also provided an outline for the ellipses, hyperbolas and parabolas.
Amazon today decided to remind me about some of our past projects through book recommendations. We contributed a bunch of projects to The Hungry Scientist Handbook and were interviewed for Cooking for Geeks. Well targeted, Amazon— perhaps too well…
While we are better known for other types of art robots (like the Eggbot and now the WaterColorBot), we have also been involved with cocktail robotics for the past few years.
After a half-dozen cocktail robotics event over the past couple of years, we’ve had a chance to refit our famous bar-bot, Drink Making Unit 2.0, with a few well-earned upgrades. Read on for the gory details!
Here’s how to make a variant on our plum chutney, tailored for the creamy sweetness of peaches.
We’ve reduced the overall quantity of fruit and sugar to get a higher spice concentration. The cayenne and ginger are increased to make it even spicier. Pepper flakes are added both for flavor, and for pretty flecks of color against the pale peach pieces. We also added cloves for a little more depth of flavor.
The peaches are not peeled, both to get more peach flavor and for the color the skins add. Wash well or peel (blanching makes peeling easier) if the provenance of your peaches is unknown and you’re concerned about pesticides.
- 6 cups cut up pieces of peaches, pits removed, skins (optionally) left on
- 2 lemons, cut into small pieces, seeds removed
- juice from 3 more lemons
- 2-3 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated (a microplane works great)
- 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 10-12 whole cloves
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 cups sugar
Put everything except the sugar into a sauce pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fruit starts to soften, about 10-15 minutes.
Add sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until it thickens to a consistency you like (20 minutes to an hour). Remove cinnamon stick after cooking.
You can also follow your favorite canning procedure for longer term storage. Makes about 3 pints.
Our Sconic Sections post was highlighted in an article in the science section of today’s New York Times. The article covered several science and engineering topics in addition to geometric food (including George Hart’s Möbius bagel).
Previously: Edible Googly Eyes in the New York TImes.
The conic sections are the four classic geometric curves that can occur at the intersection between a cone and a plane: the circle, ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola.
The scone is a classic single-serving quick bread that is often served with breakfast or tea.
And, at the intersection of the two, we present something entirely new, delightfully educational, and remarkably tasty: Sconic Sections.
In what follows, we’ll show you how to bake cone-shaped scones, to slice them into plane geometric curves, and to highlight those curves by selective application of toppings. We’ll also discuss some of the methods that didn’t work so well, as we refined our methods for making these.
Onwards, towards parabolic preserves and hyperbolic Nutella!