Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cake science and other geekery

Well, I am back into the baking game.  Secretly, I believe that my desire to bake is driven by a similar source to the thing that makes me want to construct Lego projects or go back to the chemistry lab.  There is something about following directions to their desired result that makes me feel good about myself. 

Theoretically, this should be simple.  I mean, we are taught to follow directions at a young age.  Is it just me, or did anyone else have slightly sadistic teachers who deliberately put obtuse directions on assignments with the hope of catching the kids who completed the work without reading carefully?  Not that I ever fell prey to such connivance, mind you. 

In reality, all recipes are not created equal.  The less detail, the more room there is for interpretation.  In some cases, namely with cooking, this is OK.  When it comes to baking, you should really try to follow the rules.  Stray but a little and it will fail.  To the ruin of all. 

Can you tell I have been reading Tolkien?

So, on my Monday off of work, I decided to make good use of my oven and made a Sweet Potato Pound Cake.  I am sure you are all aware of the health benefits of the sweet potato, but if you are not, you should really educate yourself. 

In order to make this cake, one obviously needs sweet potatoes.  They must be cooked, mashed and cooled prior to mixing into the cake batter or they will mess up the butterfat, dontchaknow.  So I did it.  I did it ALL.  Baked sweet potatoes for an hour.  Let them cool for an hour.  Got my hands and fingers messy removing their skins (and this is a big deal for me). 

The end result?  Delicious.  My coworkers all had positive reviews.  Except for the guy who won't even try it because he "doesn't care for sweet potatoes."  So he doesn't really count, right?

Tonight I shall endeavor to cook.  This will not be done with the aid of a recipe as it is really more of an attempt to rid myself of excess half-full boxes of pasta and make more room in my cupboard. 

In other news, Lena has improved.  No more puffiness, so no more Benedryl.  The sky is looking deceptively sunny, so we may venture on a walk, unless the temperature proves too low.  So tonight, cooking, walking and probably more Tolkien.  If you must know, I have re-read "The Hobbit," and am not working my way through "The Silmarillion" for the first time.  Eek.  Or is it, "geek?"

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