Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once, and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.
They were submitted by: Follow me Home - Thank you, Michele!
Baking and cooking is a science, and the longer you watch these tutorials on YouTube, the more you understand what you're doing. OR you realize that you still have no clue, but you know that your techniques work anyway!?
Another thing that watching cooking videos does, is teaching you some French. Sauté your veggies, make a roux for your Sauce Béchamel, drizzle your cheesecake with swirls of raspberry coulis, melting your chocolate gently by using a Bain-Marie, the list goes on.
So I'm pretty confident if I say that Buzzfeed is a platform for comprehensive general education.
The reason I'm using this introduction is I want to talk to you about beurre noisette and the Maillard effect, and I went to great lengths to reproduce these terms!
I made 2-day cookies.
You know, Tasty's three versions of a common dish?
|Photo Credit: Tasty|
So I made beurre noisette aka browned butter. This is done by cooking melted butter until it begins to bubble and foam. Water will evaporate, and the milk solids that were being separated from the butterfat, will collect in the bottom of the pan and develop a nutty color and flavor.
In order to stop the cooking process, avoid burning your butter and to compensate for the water loss, some recipes suggest to transfer the butter to a heat-proof dish and add cold water, or - and this will speed up the process of cooling things down - ice cubes.
Ice is boring, I said to myself. If I'm going to make elaborate 2-day cookies, I might as well take it up a notch and make my own coffee cubes. Yes, I did freeze freshly brewed espresso and used a couple of these cubes!
I like to use coffee in many baked goods, certainly in everything that contains chocolate. It enhances its flavor. Earlier this week I had another project, btw. I managed to materialize an idea I had, and I made caramel macchiato cupcakes. They turned out so delicious.
Back to my beurre noisette! Without noticing, the Maillard reaction has happened, you guys! The carbonyl group of the sugar reacted with the nucleophilic amino group of the amino acid - aka caramelization happened ;-)
Following the recipe - and because I didn't have enough store-bought chocolate chips left - I chopped my own chocolate chips from dark Swiss chocolate. This lengthy and messy process alone explains why they're called 2-day cookies.
Kidding aside, of the two days, 36 hours are spent doing nothing but waiting for the formed dough balls to rest in the fridge to let the butter set and therefore the dough balls to keep more of their shape as opposed to over-spread during baking. The resting time also lets the dough develop a deeper flavor and give the flour a chance to relax.
Weather permitting, you might use the free time for a walk and soak up the sun, giving you a chance to up your vitamin D!
Off topic, but since we're on our walk: I'm wondering how do singles meet in times of a pandemic crisis?
In the olden days you would chat with a guy at a mutual friend's party or in a bar, right? Or you would know him from work, like you've been crossing paths on your way to the meeting room. Or you would keep bumping into him at the gym. The possibilities were endless.
You aren't able to do any of those things right now, no thanks to the strict stay-at-home statutes in place, and you probably won't be for a while, and even if you see someone while you're grocery shopping, you may be wearing masks, so how's he supposed to fall in love with your bright smile???
So yes, matching platforms have been around, and people are chatting and texting their hearts out, but when will it be safe to meet in person after a while? Will the testing now not only include AIDS but also COVID-19? Plus you have to stay local since long distance relationships are no fun with the restrictions we'll be facing upon boarding a plane.
So I guess girls will rely upon chocolate to make them happy for another while. You know, endorphins in the brain, triggered by tryptophan, an amino acid that is linked to the production of serotonin...? Science!
Back to baking. Did you know how many minerals flour contains?
- Magnesium (it's good for you because it regulates muscle and nerve function as well as blood sugar levels and blood pressure),
- Potassium (reduces water retention, protects against stroke and prevents osteoporosis and kidney stones),
- Selenium (important for reproduction, thyroid gland function, DNA production and protecting your body from damage caused by free radicals and from infection.
- Phosphorus, sulphur, zinc, to name a few more. I told you, baking is science!
You may still be waiting for the verdict on my 2-day cookie. It's still resting at the time this post goes live.
What I can show you so far is that it does in fact make a difference if you bake your cookies right away, or let the dough balls rest in the fridge for a few hours. Left: baked right after an hour of chilling - right: these were resting for about seven hours.
I will come back later tonight and let you know. In the meantime, tell me, do you like chocolate chip cookies? How long is your baking process?
Let me know below, and please don't leave before checking out my blogger friends' posts:
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UPDATE: After the cookie dough balls were resting for over 36 hours, I baked them up as we got home from work tonight. Can you believe I can't tell the difference between the ones that were only in the fridge for seven hours?! Yeah, well, they are tasty either way, and I will definitely do the browned butter hack again.