Do you see that picture right there?
That one with all the oozing caramel and the little sparkly flecks of salt. I want to swim in that picture, making my way through waves of salted caramel, climbing through rich dark chocolately layers of brownie.
I would happily eat my way out of that swimming pool.
I have a rule that every time I make a brand new recipe, I follow that recipe exactly as it is written. No weird changes, substitutions, adjustments… if I haven’t tasted the recipe yet, how can I already be judging its worth? It’s like people. Wanting to change a person’s shoes before you date them is superficial and mean. Not to mention weird. “Hey, I’d love to go to the movies, but could you wear some polished wingtips instead of those boat shoes? Okay, thanks!”
The rule also gives me a scapegoat. “WHY is this texture so weird, I followed the recipe EXACTLY. Clearly they did something wrong.”
However, I am terrible at following my own rule.
I’m allergic to scallops.
Just scallops though. No other shellfish, thank goodness, as I inhale lobster rolls like my next breath is hidden in the center of them. I don’t understand how one is allergic to just scallops, but I am. Multiple instances of scallop consumption as a child always led to several bed-ridden days of me clutching a large popcorn bowl for the most unappetizing role of its poor plastic life.
Scallops make me very sick. I seem to remember one point where I was so sick, the utterance of the phrase “hot dog” caused an almost instantaneous and very violent physical reaction in me. And I love hot dogs.
But scallops are very avoidable. A recognizable shape and often obvious star of a plate, I don’t generally have unexpected run-ins with my evil mollusk nemesis. I have never even heard of a scallop in a dessert.
I can’t imagine having celiac disease.
Not to crack. There’s no crack in this pie. “Crack” is being used in a hyperbolic sense in the title to allude to the degree of addictiveness this pie will impart on your mind and soul. (I always feel more eloquent than I actually am when I use words like ‘hyperbolic’)
But as far as I’m concerned, they could have called it “Nutella Pie” and it would have the same effect on me.
I’m addicted to nutella. (I can’t stop baking with it.)
and terrible romantic comedies. (No Strings Attached is a poor man’s Friends With Benefits. I knew this going in and I watched it last night anyway.)
and staring at cute shoes online with my mouse over the ‘Add to Cart’ button. (I just bought the LAST PAIR of these last week. omg so exciting.)
Holy crap guys, Pinterest!
One of my favourite things about baking is how it’s basically just delicious chemistry. I mean, the most important ingredient is love, of course, but at its base, it’s science that you eat.
Sweet, sweet, delicious science.
Not surprisingly I am a huge fan of Alton Brown and his “Bill Nye the Science Guy” approach to food. I love watching him explain not only how you go about whipping an egg white, but why you whip the egg white in that way and what happens to the proteins as you whip it.
Another love of mine for similar reasons is America’s Test Kitchen and all their corresponding publications. Just as every proper scientist should, they take classic recipes through their paces, just like experiments, testing them over and over again until the ultimate baked good is created. Cookie recipe not soft a chewy enough? ATK will make that recipe 100 times with minute changes in each iteration until everyone feels it’s the best cookie their kitchen could make.
So when I came across Baking Illustrated, a huge cookbook from ATK of their best baking recipes, I had to buy it.