Alan Turing and Rainbow Apple Muffins
Updated: Sep 28, 2021
Ages 9 + Total time: 90 minutes WWII
Alan Turing Day is not (yet) a recognized holiday, but after learnig about him you might want to join us and make this recipe every year on June 23rd.
In his short life of 42 years Turing pushed history forward in several ways. In his academic work he published an article in 1936 that lay down the principals for working computers. He is considered one of the most significant pioneers of computer science.
During WWII Turing headed the code-breaking team for the British forces. He managed to crack the Nazi Enigma code, handing the Allies a huge advantage over the Axis Powers. Historians estimate that hie efforts shortened the war by 2.5-4 years, saving millions of lives.
His life ended in a tragic way. In 1952 Turing was prosecuted for having a homosexual relationship. He was convicted and was forced to take harmful medicine that impaired his cognitive sharpness and pushed him into depression. He died by suicide in 1954, with only few people in the world knowing of his huge contribution to western history. Gesturing to his favourite fairy tale, he took his life by eating a poisoned apple.
Rainbow Apple Muffins
6 Tbsp butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp apple juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla to taste
Food coloring – 6 colors
1. Heat oven to 350F and grease a muffin pan
2. Mix the butter and sugar.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients (except food coloring) in the order listed; Stir after each
4. Divide the batter between 6 bowls, about 1/3 cup of batter in each bowl.
5. Add food-coloring gel to each bowl to get 6 different colors of batter
6. Add batter to a greesed muffin pan
7. Bake at 350F for 42 minutes.
Alternatively: Sustitude food dye for toppings of 6 different colors
Learning about Turing calls for some code-games!
While you wait, students can encrypt and decrypt messages using Mores code, Atbash, or another formula of letter swap.
In Baking History classes, the students get strips of paper with a coded message. Every strip includes one war-related message and one line about the ingredients for the recipe. With each successful decryption, the students get the ingredient they just 'caught', until they have obtained everything needed for their cupcakes.