Does Salt Stop Water Freezing? Part Two

Hello blog readers,

sophofbread here. I’m back with the second part of my salt freezing experiment. This time with boiling water… To read part one click here

So the water temperature and the stirring was the only thing that changed this time. The pots were the same, there was the same amount of salt/water, the freezer was on the same temperature and they were in the freezer for the same amount of time. In Part 1 I used cold water from the tap; this time I used water from the kettle (left to cool slightly, not much, for approximately 2mins) Here is a picture of the different salt pots after adding the water and stirring 5 full turns.

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Here are some pictures from after the pots had been in the freezer for 2 1/2 hrs

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Here are the results:

  • At first all the different ice blocks looked the same in their pots as they did last time. The salty water ones had a bit of water on the top of the blocks and the plain water block was fully frozen.
  • The cooking salt one was almost a liquid when I poured it out of the pot
  • The coarse sea salt had the shell intact but the middle was all water
  • The ground sea salt was slightly melted
  • The plain water was very smooth and completely frozen

In this experiment I tried to keep as many of the variables the same as I could but some things might have changed. If you tried this experiment and got a different result leave a comment. 🙂

There’s one more thing I wanted to mention; a few weeks ago we had a water play session (basically a big box of water on the dining room table to play with) and we were mixing salt and water then. artybaker had a plastic bag with food colouring and salt in, then she put it in the freezer and a few weeks later it still HASN’T frozen! : 0 So we are stumped! Was it just because she put more salt to water than I did or is there something in the food colouring that stops the water from freezing? If that was true than why did mumlovesearlgrey’s iceblocks which were simply water and food colouring freeze?  To test this, yesterday I put a small pot of half water and half salt in the freezer and this morning the salt was at the bottom (note: it was cold water) half the water was still water and half was a very soft slushy ice, the ice was floating. I then had a closer look at artybaker’s bag of water and noticed that the salt had clumped together like ice does when you walk on it. 

Very interesting!  Thanks for reading this very confusing post.


Three Chocolate Terrine with Redcurrant Sauce… mmm

Hi everyone, this is artybaker 🙂

Yes I know what you’re thinking; what is a terrine?. Well, according to the Oxford English Dictionary it is…  Ahem n. 1 a meat, fish or vegetable mixture cooked or otherwise prepared in advance to cool or set in it’s container. 2 an oblong, typically earthenware, container for such a dish.

Oh, well that isn’t what this is at all. I should probably rename it – I only called it that because that’s what it was called in the recipe book I adapted this recipe from. Umm… OK I can’t think of a different name right now but if you have one please comment below. 🙂 I guess this is sort of similar to the 1st definition in that dictionary; it is prepared ahead to be set in it’s container but it’s not meat, fish or vegetable. It’s a rich chocolate dessert made of layers of white, milk and dark chocolate ganache set in the fridge. It’s the most simple homemade dessert EVER, trust me. Yet it’s still super delicious and impressive and I serve it with redcurrant sauce which is also SO SIMPLE! The only downside is that it takes a long time to set in the frigde – that’s the terrine not the sauce. This is the finished result…


The lighting is a bit orangey because by the time I had finished it was dark outside so I had no natural light. Here’s how you make it…

First line a loaf tin with cling film. It’s a good idea to secure it to the tin with tape on each side. I decided to do this after the first layer was in because it weighs the cling film down, which makes it easier to know whether you’re pulling it enough/too much.


Measure out 150ml of double cream and put it in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. As soon as it starts to froth and/or bubble take it off the heat.


Weigh out 125g of white chocolate and break it into small cubes.


Pour the chocolate into the hot cream and stir until it has all melted. Leave it at room temperature to cool slightly for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Pour all of the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth down if necessary; it may become flat naturally.


Set in the fridge for at least 45 minutes. You should be able to touch it gently without it sticking to your finger at the end of the cooling time.

And now to make the second layer. Repeat the process of the first layer but use milk chocolate instead of white.






Set in the fridge as before then start preparing the third layer. Use dark chocolate this time (anywhere from 40% cocoa solids up).







This will need 4 hours to set in the fridge. Don’t be tempted to take it out before 4 hours – it won’t be firm enough.

Towards the end of the setting time make the redcurrant sauce. Wash around 150g of redcurrants and save one or two bunches for decoration. Take the remaining currants off their stalks and put in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water (always use a measuring spoon for best results).


Simmer over a medium heat, then reduce it to a low heat after about three minutes. Leave it on the heat for 2 – 3 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the redcurrants have lost their shape slightly.


Take off the heat and add 5 tablespoons of water, then whizz up with a smoothie maker to make it smooth. You can sieve out the seeds at this point if you wish, but I didn’t bother. Pour into your serving jug and store in the fridge until needed.

Once the terrine has set take it out of the tin by lifting the cling film.


Place the serving plate or board lightly on top of the terrine, up-side down. Now hold them both and flip over, then carefully peel off the cling film and serve with the sauce. Here’s some more pictures…


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Three Chocolate Terrine with Redcurrant Sauce Recipe


For the Terrine: 450ml double cream, 125g (4 1/2 oz) white chocolate, 125g (4 1/2 oz) milk chocolate, 125g (4 1/2 oz) dark chocolate.                                                                                                                                                           

For the Sauce: Around 150g (5 1/2 oz) redcurrants (you could use a different berry such as raspberries but you may need a different amount of water and time on the heat), 7 tablespoons water

Method: For the Terrine: 1 – Line a loaf tin with cling film, taping down the ends in order to keep it from falling into the mixture that will be inside the tin. 2 – Put 150ml of the cream in a saucepan and simmer over a medium-low heat. As soon as it starts to froth and/or bubble, take off the heat and add the white chocolate, in small pieces. Stir and leave to cool slightly at room temperature for about 5 minutes. 3– Pour into the prepared tin, smooth down (if necessary; it may become flat naturally) and set in the fridge for at least 45 minutes. By the end of the cooling time you should be able to lightly touch the surface and not get any sticking to your finger. 4 – Repeat steps 2-3 but use milk chocolate as apposed to white. At step 3, carefully pour the second layer on top of the first. – Repeat steps 2-3 but use the dark chocolate this time. Instead of setting for 45 minutes, set for 4 hours at least. Don’t be tempted to take it out of the fridge before this time is up, it won’t be firm enough. – When the terrine has set, lift it out of the tin by the cling film and place the serving plate or board up-side down on the top. Hold them both and flip over, then peel off the cling film carefully.

For the Sauce: 1 – Wash the redcurrants and save a few stalks for decoration. Take the rest off their stalks and place in a  saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water. – Simmer over a medium heat, then reduce to a low heat after about three minutes. Leave it on the heat for 2 – 3 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and the redcurrants have lost their shape slightly. – Take off the heat, add the remaining 5 tablespoons of water and whizz up with a smoothie maker. Sieve out the seeds if you wish. Pour into your serving jug and store in the fridge until needed.

Serve with the spare redcurrants you reserved earlier!

By the time I’m doing my next baking post it will be Christmas time, so stay tuned for some Christmas-y treats! Can’t wait! Thanks for reading :).

Does Salt Stop Water Freezing? Part 1

Hey blog readers!

This is one of those on the spot, no idea how this will turn out kind of experiment! I was in the kitchen and suddenly this experiment popped into my head. The idea is this: If salt can melt ice on roads then can it stop water freezing?

Step 1.

Take 4 pots and put cooking salt in one, ground sea salt in another, coarse sea salt in the third and nothing in the last one.


Step 2.

Pour 80 ml of water (cold) in every pot.


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Note the salt didn’t dissolve; that’s part 2.

Step 3.

Place the four pots in the freezer for 2 1/2 hours.


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These are the results I got; if you got different results than I did leave a comment down below. There are plenty of variables that could change (the main being the water to salt ratio).

  • All the different salty waters (including the one with no salt) had frozen.
  • The plain ice block was completely solid.
  • The salty ice blocks all had small amounts of water on top as if the ice blocks had melted slightly.
  • The 4 different pots all froze as different colours.
  • The plain water ice block stuck to the tea towel but all the salty ones didn’t.
  • The plain water ice block was a lot slippery than the salty ones.


Thanks for reading and stay tuned for part two where we will be using boiling water instead of cold water!

Bird House (:>)

Hi there! This is artybaker and today I’ve got a post for you about a bird house I made.  To make my resolution for one post a week easier to stick to, I’ve told myself to do one post every Monday. So let’s get on with it! (Oh and if you’re wondering what that thing is beside the title, it’s meant to be a bird on it’s side).

The idea to make a bird house came to me a few months ago when I was reading a book about nature that mumlovesearlgrey had recommended to me. I can’t believe it’s actually taken me this long to get it finished, time flies when you’re putting off stuff! Dad has been helping me make it but we didn’t really do our research before starting and we missed out a few probably quite important steps… But we did sort of squeeze them in at the end.

I started with a long flat plank of wood and sawed it into 5 different sized pieces; the front had a hole in for the birds to enter. Then I sanded the edges and we (me and dad) screwed them all together into the shape of a bird house. Next I painted it with wood-protector-paint-thing and dad put a waterproof cover on the top for extra water protection. We then read that bird houses should have a hinged lid for autumn cleaning and to check which birds you have inside (if any!). We hadn’t done this so we un-screwed the base and made it a trap door. But don’t worry! It is secure so the birds won’t just fall out!  We also read that it should have draining holes in the bottom, in case water gets inside. So dad drilled some holes in it (I was too busy baking!). Here are some pictures…



Dad scratched the inside to help the chicks climb out…


We put it up above the shed door but we haven’t had any bird visitors yet. I decided not to put anything inside to keep the birds warm because I thought if they see it they might think that it’s already occupied, but I don’t know if they will or not. Here are some tips if you are planning to make a bird house:

  • Paint your bird house with waterproof paint, but leave the wood surrounding the hole bare, so that the birds aren’t harmed if they decide to peck around the hole to make it bigger.
  • Do not paint the inside of the box.
  • Drill drainage holes in the base.
  • Hinge the lid or base so that you can clean out the box every September.
  • Scratch the inside of the box below the hole so that the baby birds can climb out.
  • Do not disturb the box too much if it does become occupied, you might scare the birds away.
  • Put up the box at least 1 and a half metres from the ground; to help keep cats away.

Thanks for reading! My next post will be about baking, something chocolate-y I wonder……?

Top Ten Science Videos on YouTube…


I haven’t done a post in AGES :0 duh duh DUHHHHH. Let’s fix that.

Oh and I’m sharing artybaker’s resolution for one post a week. Starting now.

So things to note before we start the list (basically it’s a list before a list). 1. I don’t own these videos, all credit goes to the makers! and 2. This is my opinion and I can’t possibly watch all the videos on YouTube, there are plenty of other great videos out there!

So without further a do let’s start the list…

10. The New Periodic Table Song (in order) AsapScience

It’s all in the name.

9. Slow Motion vs. Time-lapse photography Earth Unplugged

What if you could watch a video with both slow-motion (where time is slowed down) AND time-lapse photography (where time it sped up)  at the same time? Wouldn’t that be so cool! Well, click the link above and you can. 🙂 

8. What is electricity? (Are You Gonna Be My Girl?) Veritasium

A cover of ‘Are You Gonna Be My Girl’ by Jet where the lyrics are about electricity!

7.  What if the Earth were Hollow? minutephysics

What if there were a tunnel through the middle of the earth and you jumped in? Henry explores this subject with the help of Michael from Vsauce.

6.  Why did the chicken cross the road?Vsauce

This is a pretty in depth way of looking at the old joke. Classic Vsauce.

5. Mystery of Prince Rupert’s Drop at 130,000 fps  SmarterEveryDay

This is really awesome. Awesome Slow-Mo, some great people and clear explanations.

4. Epic Slow-Mo Drum Implosions Veritasium

Head Squeeze also did this; make sure you watch both videos.

3. What Color Is A Mirror? Vsauce

Love the Intro.

2.  How to make glass completely invisible – Live Experiments Head Squeeze

Everyone in our family is fascinated by this video and we are planning to do the experiment eventually the only reason this isn’t number 1 is…

1. What if the sun disappeared? Vsauce

… This video just beats it because I think every kid wonders what would happen if we didn’t have the sun (I know pteroturtle asks that particular question a lot!) and Michael explains it in his usual manner. Informative, Entertaining and Awesome.

All these channels are great but I would particularly advise you to check out Vsauce and Head Squeeze! If you don’t want to keep hopping from tab to tab here’s a playlist of all the videos in this post. Hope you enjoyed and see you next week!

Some myths about home education – follow up…

As promised I have now added some links that we have found useful in explaining the law about home education. Anyone interested in finding out more should also check the website of the County Council in which they live and there is usually a section explaining the local policy around home ed.

There are many other websites we love and we’ll get around to adding these to our links page as soon as we can. As a way of preserving my favourite ‘bookmarks’ I hope to do some posts in the near future listing the best websites we have found for different topics of interest to us.

But for now, have a lovely week…

Remembrance Day Meringues


Hi :). So because today is Remembrance day, and because the symbol of Remembrance day is a Poppy, I thought I’d bake something with Poppy seeds. We had some spare and I was wondering what I was going to do with them – and now I’ve found something! So I made some meringues in the shape of Poppies. To make them I just whipped some egg whites, added caster sugar then dyed it red. Well, I tried but it came out more dark pink, but I didn’t want to add too much food colouring. Then I piped the shape of a poppy and put some poppy seeds in the centre. Which I thought was pretty cool idea! Here’s some pictures…..

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And here is one of the baking trays with the stencil and the stencil I used to make the centre circular…P1060075

The pictures make them look really orange but they’re actually a lot more dark. I’m really happy with how they turned out. Thanks for reading!