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Chocolate Seize

Wit-Bit

Who doesn’t love chocolate! But becoming a chocolatier is a difficult task. For one you can never “seize” chocolate.

Today we will experimentally find out how and why chocolate can “seize” under certain circumstances. For this experiment you will need a pot full of water, a pan, a spatula, heat source, a spoon and of course cooking chocolate. Grab your things and follow along.

As this experiment requires heating, try it only under adult supervision.

Fill the pot with water half-way full and place it on a stove on medium low heat. Put a pan over the heated pot of water and your double boiler set up is ready. Now put some cooking chocolate (chocolate chips work best) and let it melt. Occasionally stir it with the spatula. Once it is completely molten, take a spoonful of water from the pot and add it into the chocolate. When you add the water and stir it a bit you will realise that the chocolate clumps and the texture becomes grainy and lumpy instead of the smooth molten sily nature. This is called “Seizing”.

So what is the science behind it? The chocolate contains fats and fats don't mix with water. Fats are said to be hydrophobic: water fearing. Water is polar, which means electrons are not equally distributed between atoms and it has a positive and a negative charged atom. Whereas, Fat is non-polar i.e their electrons are equally distributed among the atoms. Like dissolves like. Fats and water being different types of molecules they don't mix. Therefore when the water is added it forms a clump. The texture of melted chocolate becomes that of a grainy one.

Check us out on TikTok and Instagram for more content, and check out our other blog posts posted on stemchef.com for more fun food-based experiments!

- Anika Vashisht