A newsletter of sorts from the past couple of weeks in my kitchen.
*Making pasta (even without a machine) is super easy! I found this out when I had some egg yolks leftover after making macarons (which were a total fail, again). Trying to figure out a use for them, I decided to try my hand at making pasta. I followed the Ruhlman ratio of 3:2 (flour:egg), and found the whole process to be quite easy and extremely satisfying! In fact, I made pasta twice within a week or so. Once with just the egg yolks, the other time with a mix of yolks and whites.
You really don’t need a machine. It makes life a little easier, yes, but I’m pretty excited about the tagliatelle-ish pasta that I made. Homemade pasta has a different bite to it, and I found that using egg whites gives the dough a slightly springier touch and the dough seems to be easier to work with. When I did the yolks-only version, I had to add a little bit of olive oil to help coax the dough, and the pasta had a heavier, richer bite to it.
Roll up your sleeves, throw some flour on your counter, and roll out that dough! It doesn’t need to be perfect. The imperfections are what make it so deliciously cozy and homemade.
*I would like to get on my soapbox and urge all of you to get yourself a scale to use when baking. Why? Aside from enabling you to bake more precisely and try all of those recipes that only provide weight measurements without their volume counterparts, it makes it so much easier to rectify mistakes.
Take the other day when I was making checkerboard cookies. I must have been tired or distracted or something…because as I finished mixing in all of the dry ingredients, I noticed that the dough looked a little looser than usual. This dough was supposed to be a bit more on the stiff side, and yet…
I thought back to when I was measuring out the ingredients, looked at the recipe, and then suddenly couldn’t remember if I put in 225 grams of flour…or the 325 grams that the recipe actually called for.
And then, lightbulb moment! I added up the weight of all of the ingredients that should have gone into the dough, and then weighed my cookie dough. Sure enough, it was off by about 100 grams. So I quickly measured out the missing amount, mixed the dough just a bit more, and lo! My dough was saved.
Had this recipe only given volumetric measurements, I wouldn’t have had the faintest idea about how much flour I had spaced out on measuring.
Also, I wouldn’t have been able to make that pasta above.
Buy a scale, guys. I bought mine off of Amazon for around $20 and it’s been my best pal ever since.
*Did you know that if something is too acidic (like a tomato sauce), you can add baking soda to help neutralize it? I tried it the other day when I was making a tomato soup. It was just a touch too acidic, and I wasn’t sure how to counter it without messing up the rest of the flavor profile. What did I do? I googled, of course, and came across the baking soda tip on The Kitchn.
The tip says to sprinkle a bit of baking soda on top of whatever you’re trying to neutralize, let the chemical reaction happen (let it fizz!), and once the bubbles have died down, give it a good stir. I did exactly that, and I think it did tone down the acidity. Downside – I could taste just a bit of the baking soda, but it was negligible. Nothing that an extra pop of herbs or spices won’t cover up.
*Finally, have you guys seen this? I was doing my usual blog browse, and came across this on Brit + Co. It’s a flippin’ Pumpecapple Piecake. It’s the turducken of desserts. You’re looking at an apple pie baked inside a spice cake, a pecan pie baked inside a chocolate cake, and a pumpkin pie baked inside a pumpkin spice cake. These three layers are stacked on top of one another, held together by cream cheese frosting, and topped with chopped pecans and caramel.
It stands at almost a foot tall and weighs 23.5 pounds…and costs $175 from Three Brothers Bakery of Houston.
American gluttony at its finest, folks. And I kind of want to try a slice.