Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Radical Transparencies: It’s all in the wrist

Have you ever wondered why your baked goods aren’t over the top homemade grandma’s favorite treats? Possibly because, you aren’t giving the wrist action as needed. Yes, you read right, wrist action. So many bakers default to mixers, but, every recipe doesn’t do well with a stand up electric mixer. Sometimes you just need a wooden spoon and a big bowl. Most of my recipes I mix by hand – yes, its time consuming, yes I am old fashioned, and yes, there might just be a better way. But, the top seller – infamous black bottom cupcakes? Yes, I mix that batter with a wooden spoon.

As there are several factors in an amazing baked dish, it all boils down to a few things:

1.       Consistency. Whatever you did to make it amazing … do it the same way every time. OBVI! Not so much. A lot of people get lazy on the measuring or change the order of how they mix things. Or they say, room temperature? I forgot to take the milk out earlier, cold milk is fine. Well, maybe not. However you did it that one time it worked, do it again and again and again and again. Write everything down. If you “poured a little at a time” do that every time. If you used a specific bowl, use a specific bowl.

2.       A great recipe. This seems logical enough, but, the recipe really is everything. Every carrot cake recipe is not the same. I make it one way, the baker over there makes it another way and the grocery store makes it a different way. Are they all good? Possibly. But, there is something that makes their recipe great to them and their customers. Find your niche, your flavor pattern, your pallet and stick to it. When you find the great recipe that you need, it’ll be THE recipe and it will be passed down from generation to generation.

3.       All they can say is no, duh. Think about what you like and go for it. You would be surprised at home many restaurants share their recipes and how many chefs will give you pointers. Inquire about that EPIC chocolate cake at J. Alexander’s, or, the simple lemon cupcake that Williams-Sonoma taught in that one cooking class. Oh, you think Freshness Bakery has the best cakepops? Ask them what their secret is.

Good luck folks! Have fun!

~ TCD ~

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