Ok, so I am sure there are some very scientific reasons for this, and I am sure I will probably sound a little bit dense when I say this, but I do find it amazing so here goes:
I went to visit a friend of mine at the weekend, and this friend happens to be an all round brilliant hostess. She cooked a roast dinner for us on Sunday, which was delicious – but feeling bad leaving her in the kitchen on her own for that long I decided to see if I could help out. I was given the task of stirring the gravy – (a very important job I’ll have you know – who likes lumpy gravy?!). For a long time I was just stirring away, until gradually I began to notice the gravy getting thicker. Now I know that this is because of the effect of heat on the flour, but I just suddenly realised how amazing that was. How brilliant that heat can change the properties of something!
But it doesn’t only happen with gravy! Oh no! Heat makes cakes rise, and turn from a thick liquid type substance into beautifully fluffy sponge, it turns a bunch of fatty but delicious ingredients into caramel, and so much more!
I am all for science teaching us the reasons how this happens, but what science can’t tell me is why! It can tell me something about how molecules move around, or join or whatever it is they do, but it doesn’t tell us who told heat to do that to things, it doesn’t tell us why heat decided to move those molecules – just that it did. Why did heat end up with the ability to do this? What made flour have these properties? I know it’s a very little thing, but I find it a little bit mind blowing! It speaks to me so clearly of a designer. Someone who thought all that out and knew that heat would be useful for cooking and baking and making really nice things. How did he think in such minute detail? Isn’t it incredible?!