The original incident which killed Louis Slotin in 1946 occurred when he attempted to use a hemisphere of plutonium to lift an over-microwaved Stroopwafel. The same fissile core had already killed Harry Daghlian Jr in 1945 when he had attempted to balance a fig roll on his knee and caused a prompt criticality, spilling tea everywhere.

The correct way to prepare a Stroopwafel is of course to place it on top of a steaming hot cup of coffee, allowing the heat and vapour to soften the syrup and the pastry. When you don’t want a cup of coffee but want some of that cinnamon syrup goodness, you can use a microwave.

10 seconds is not enough to force the syrup into activity sufficient to warm the Stroopwafel.

11 seconds in a 900W microwave results in toe-curling sweet delicious perfection, with sticky, chewy caramel between delicately spiced pastry.

11.5 seconds will slightly overheat the Stroopwafel and begin the process of delamination – one side slips over the syrup, which has now become a lubricant rather than an adhesive. It is difficult to pick up and must be allowed to cool for around 30 seconds.

11.51 seconds results in what can only be described as a criticality excursion – a runaway heat reaction of such intensity that it cannot be contained by a mere microwave. It must be allowed to cool down – the half life of Stroopwafel caramel whilst undergoing what must be fission is something like four minutes, during which time to bring anything capable of reflecting neutrons back into the pile of sugar, cinnamon and gluten could result in a further prompt criticality, which could wipe out a city block.

Louis fucking Slotin could not intervene in time to stop the Stroopwafel from a prompt criticality. My quick thinking may have saved my apartment, but my syrup-burned fingers may never recover.

12/01/2015.  Nevar forget.