Roasted vegetable season is upon us. Fortunately, I’ve just figured out the perfect way to oil a sheet pan — and, of course, it involves a bench scraper.
Tagged With baking
Far too many home cooks have a mental block about homemade bread. This is a huge bummer: bread is among the most satisfying and rewarding things you can learn to make, but complex recipes and unnecessary gate-keeping scare off all but the most stubborn of newbie bakers.
Stella Parks — aka “the BraveTart” — knows more about cake than most people know about anything. She has the CIA training and the restaurant experience, but it’s her attention to detail and infectious enthusiasm for American desserts that makes her recipes not only technically great, but downright joyous.
And while cooking and eating sweets is a veritable dream job, one cannot live on cake alone, which is why we were thrilled to talk to Stella about her favourite savoury dishes, the horror of chocolate-covered strawberries, and the reason she has to taste test the entire cookie.
Baking is less about feeding oneself and more about having a hobby, and I tend to gravitate toward dead-simple recipes I can throw together on a whim. Though I have absolutely nothing against perfectly executed pastry, it takes a certain amount of patience to make such, which is why I bake my bounty of summer fruits into cobblers rather than pies.
Rhubarb rarely gets a starring role in desserts, with most recipes relying on strawberries to temper its raw, unpleasant sourness. This classic pairing, while tasty, makes very little sense to me. Rhubarb shines when gently cooked, but a hot oven destroys everything that's special about a ripe strawberry - so why do we insist on cooking them together?
My love for boxed mix brownies is strong and true, but I have never felt much affection for cake that came from a near-instant mix. They always seemed too sweet, too one-note, and had a distinct chemical leavening agent flavour that was impossible to ignore.
But things are different now, for I have found an ingredient that not only improves the flavour, but the texture as well, and that ingredient is whipped cream.
As I have mentioned before, I am not an enthusiastic baker. As such, I appreciate a pie dough that forgives and forgets my foibles, especially if it can be thrown together in a food processor.
This cornmeal crust from Dolester Miles is all of those things, and it’s quite delicious.
I am not an architect. I do not know how to understand blueprints or make things stable or even really understand what a “model” does. I am a competent cook, but a bad baker. The two layer cakes I have attempted to make in my life both began to slump like the tower in Pisa within hours of their completion. I am, however, immensely stubborn, and very spirited.
I kept seeing gingerbread houses everywhere, and as someone who loves a good snap cookie and a bunch of gummy candies, I sought out some experts to give you (me) the tips that don’t quite make it into the recipes you read online (and there are hundreds of them).
At this very moment, seasonal bakers around the world are bookmarking cookie recipes, tracking down special ingredients, and panicking when they realise they forgot to leave the butter out to soften. Welcome to cookie swap season.
Some people refuse to mess with tradition, and tweaking the classics can be a real gamble — especially when it comes to pie. But if you’re sick of the same old pumpkin and pecan, slip in a little miso paste and watch as hardline traditionalists and radical pie anarchists alike fight over the last slice.
As a person who keeps at least 1kg of butter on hand at all times, I’m constantly cycling blocks of the stuff between my freezer, fridge and butter dish. Recently, though, I found myself in an unthinkable predicament: I was out of butter. I dug around in the back of my freezer, and behind a half-empty bag of frozen dumplings and some chicken stock, I found one last box.