Welcome to week 35 of Kitchen Classroom, where America’s Test Kitchen Kids is sharing a weekly kid-tested and kid-approved recipe, hands-on experiment, or activity paired with a Learning Moment that brings learning to life in the kitchen.
This week, kids can make a New York Chocolate Egg Cream in Cooking for You. This frothy beverage contains neither eggs nor cream, but DOES contain a whole lot of deliciousness. Chocolate syrup (Fox’s U-Bet brand is traditional) combines with milk and seltzer to make a refreshing, chocolaty drink that kids can easily prepare themselves. In this week’s Learning Moment, they’ll find out why it’s important to use cold seltzer, and then learn about the history of soda fountains in Take it Further.
Don’t forget to share what your family makes by tagging @testkitchenkids or using #ATKkids on Instagram, or by sending photos to email@example.com. Visit the America’s Test Kitchen Kids website for more culinary content designed especially for kids.
Here’s what’s cooking for the week of August 30th through September 5th, 2021.
Cooking For You: New York Chocolate Egg Cream
Kids can make this fizzy soda fountain classic in just a few minutes. Milk, chocolate syrup, and seltzer are mixed together forcefully to give this beverage a frothy, foamy top, but kids will need to slurp it down quickly because those bubbles won’t last long. Fox’s U-Bet Chocolate Syrup is traditionally used in New York egg creams, but you can substitute other brands of chocolate syrup.
[GET THE RECIPE]
What You’ll Need
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
⅓ cup cold whole milk
⅔ cup cold plain seltzer plus ⅔ cup room-temperature plain seltzer
1 pretzel rod (optional)
Physical Science (Chemical Reactions):
Ask kids: What does it feel like to drink cold carbonated beverages, such as soda or seltzer water? What makes them different from other drinks? Share with kids that cold, carbonated beverages are full of bubbles that create a pleasant tingly feeling in your mouth as you drink them.
Tell kids that they will do an experiment to see if the temperature of their seltzer water affects the bubbliness of their egg cream. They will make one chocolate egg cream with cold seltzer (as written in the recipe) and a second chocolate egg cream with room-temperature seltzer water and compare them in a taste test.
- Perform step 1 of the recipe twice, in 2 separate tall glasses.
- Make a prediction: Do you think the temperature of the seltzer will make a difference in the egg creams’ bubbliness? If you think there will be a difference, what do you think it will be?
- Follow step 2 of the recipe with cold seltzer in 1 glass. Immediately repeat step 2 with room-temperature seltzer and the second glass.
- Observe your results: What do you notice about the egg creams? Does one have more bubbles than the other? Take a few sips of each. Can you feel more bubbles in your mouth in one of the egg creams? Why do you think that is? Wait 2 minutes, then take a few more sips. What do you notice now?
Kids may have noticed that the egg cream with room temperature seltzer was bubbly and fizzy when they poured in the seltzer, but that the bubbles disappeared much faster than in the egg cream made with cold seltzer water. Explain to kids that it’s all because of carbon dioxide gas. To make a carbonated beverage like seltzer water, carbon dioxide gas is added to water while it’s under pressure. Once a can or bottle of seltzer is opened (and no longer under pressure), that gas will escape into the air as bubbles. Warmer mixtures let gas escape more quickly, meaning your fizzy drink will soon become flat if it’s too warm. The result? Room-temperature seltzer might be super fizzy and bubbly when you first open it, but cold seltzer water will hold on to its bubbles for longer, meaning kids can enjoy a frothy top on their egg cream before it deflates.
Take It Further
Social Studies (Culture):
Egg creams are an iconic drink in New York City. In the early 1920s, you’d find them available at soda fountains and candy shops all over the city, especially in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side of Manhattan. They’re not as popular as they once were, but you can still find shops that make egg creams, such as the Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, located in Brooklyn, New York. To learn a little bit about the history of soda fountains in the city, watch this video, starting at the 10:40 mark. Then, make sure to read the “Food for Thought” at the bottom of the recipe page to learn more about the origins of this deceptively egg-less beverage.