Science Fari Final Report for Oven Baked Ice Cream

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  • Published : November 23, 2012
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Science Fair 2012
By Anna Neuber

Question
If I put ice cream to bake in an oven, will the egg white and sugar mixture insulate it well enough so it won’t melt? Hypothesis
If I put the ice cream into the egg white mixture and heat it up in the oven at 260°, it will not melt because of the insulation. Variables
Independent Variables
The independent variables are those that are changed throughout the experiment. In my experiment I am going to change the amount of egg white mixture on the ice cream (in my first experiment I put very little and the experiment didn’t work out). I will also be changing the type of ice cream. This will not affect the experiment but it will change the taste. Dependent Variable

The dependent variable is the one that is measured during the experiment. I will be measuring/observing the texture and outcome of the ice cream after it has been baked in the oven. Controlled Variables

The controlled variables are the ones that you try to keep constant throughout your experiment so that they don’t affect your experiment. I will be keeping the temperature of the oven the same and the type of cookie that I place the ice cream on. Background Research

Ice cream usually melts when exposed to heat. This is an observable physical change. But could there be a way to keep it in tact without letting it melt? In fact, there is a way! Americans eat this as a treat and call it “Baked Alaska”. In effect it is ice cream covered in an egg white mixture put into an oven. Why doesn’t it melt? The egg whites mixture acts as an insulator and keeps the ice cream cool. The air bubbles slow down the penetration of heat from the outside. Once baked, the dessert is hot on the outside and freezing on the inside. If I put the bowl of ice cream into the egg white mixture and then on the cookie and put it into the oven at 260 degrees Celsius, will it melt or will it stay intact because of the insulation?

Oven baked ice cream isn’t an experiment like mixing metals with acids. It’s actually a dessert. The name it was given is “Baked Alaska”. The name “Baked Alaska” comes from Delmonico's Restaurant in New York City in 1876, and was created in honor of the newly acquired territory of Alaska. It is basically hard ice cream on a bed of sponge cake. The process is simple; this 'cake' is kept in the freezer until serving time, when it is placed in a very hot oven, just long enough to brown the meringue. Baked Alaska and similar desserts use the insulating properties of the trapped air in the cellular structure of the foams (the meringue and sponge cake) which keeps the heat from reaching the ice cream. Early versions of this dessert consisted of ice cream covered in a very hot pastry crust. (Ehler, 1990-2012)

Since ice cream doesn't really leave a trace like pots or weapons, there is not much history about ice cream. It is said that people living in places in prehistoric times where snow and ice were abundant made themselves a sort of “sorbet” by adding fruits to give the ice a flavor. Also, some left over ice houses, where ice was produced, have been found. Ice houses are known to have existed as early as 2,000 B.C. in Mesopotamia. They were built by rich Mesopotamians. Also, some Egyptian Pharaohs ordered ice from the colder regions to be shipped into Egypt. A lot later on, the Arabs began using syrup and sugar instead of honey. In the 10th century B.C., ice cream was sold in all major Arab cities. The Chinese also picked up the use of ice cream, and it began to be a popular treat in the hot months of the year. (Zinger, 2012)

Ancient people first began cooking on open fires. The cooking fires were put on the ground and later simple brick constructions were used to hold the wood. Simple ovens were used by the ancient Greeks for making bread and other baked goods. By the middle ages, taller brick and cement fireplaces, often with chimneys, were being built. The food to be cooked was...
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