Hometown: Stamford, CT, US
Food Stamps: 13740
Posts: 109 / Comments: 73
Member since: 09/20/07
Last login: 04/08/13
I am a food junkie that lives close to NYC in CT.
Food, Food and more Food! Street food, home cooking and 4 stars restaurants.
Chinese, Italian, Japanese and Indian.
What I'm Watching
Top Chef, Bizarre Foods, and No Reservations with Tony Bourdain.
I hope to learn more about wine but I like vodka, favorite is Hangar 1.
Favorite Website Online
Most coveted item
To eat at Per Se when Thomas Keller is in the kitchen.
- Weekend of experiments
I am starting off my brand new blog by facing two of my culinary fears, cooking with dairy, and baking. Being raised in a Chinese household dairy was not a natural ingredient that was used in the cooking process. In it's solid cheese form it was less scary, but in it's fresh form it became a thing of fear for me. Will it curdle and separate? Will it turn out bad?
I wasn't ever totally against it, in fact I tried once in College to recreate some of my favorite creamy Indian dishes by including some yogurt. To my horror it separated and ruined an entire dish by clumping up and souring. That legitimized my suspicion, fresh dairy is a thing that should not be cooked with by a Chinese person.
This weekend I gave it a go again, with baby steps. Cupcakes, and potato and leek soup. Cupcakes, the simple little things that eight year olds help their mothers make to bring to bake sales, what could be easier than that? Absolutely delicious and en vogue right now, unpretentious and requiring no culinary acrobatics such as a souffle or a croissant.
The recipe was one I used as my test trial was from Bon Appetit, lemon and raspberry cupcakes. When I settled down to the nitty gritty, prepping my station and preparing to mix all the ingredients is when I found out why I did not enjoy baking. Every time I watched food shows, or read food magazines, it instilled the importance of proper measurements, especially in pastries. An electric scale was and indispensable equipment for the baker. Baking to me seemed like a restrictive dogma, unyielding in it's principals. I love cooking, a sprinkle of this, a dash of that, and taste. It involves feeling and intuition, experimentation.
I begrudgingly settled down and measured each ingredient out and following the recipe step by step. Just sugar and lemon juice for icing? I grew skeptical, isn't that lemonade without ice? It didn't sound appetizing at all but I threw myself at the mercy of the recipe. Cupcakes were pure butter, sugar and flour, a little bit too much sugar in my opinion. Again I relented and added the prerequisite amount and would take no responsibilities for my failure. Also I once tried to make fettucini alfredo and grew squeamish at the amount of butter it called. Needless to say it didn't taste as good as what the restaurants made.
The cupcakes turned out hard, almost crystal like with the amount of sugar that was baked into it. Not a good start. The icing tasted pretty much what you expect sugar and lemon juice to taste like. Although I wouldn't call it a success, I still had fun and it was a good learning experience. I foresee much more baking in my future.
On a side note the potato and leeks soup was a resounding success. Adding cream at the end of the process wasn't too bad. Maybe next weekend I'll try making some flan, which actually involves me boiling some milk or ragu.
- Posted Mar 28, 2008 by HKFanatic | Add a comment | Share It
- Filed under: baking cupcakes dairy milk