Weighing Principles

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That post on Champagne is still on a hold. Today’s post, I guess is going to be around some principles I go by while cooking.  Such as the elimination of weighing  ingredients, something I did during the Nestle Professionals Challenge. I find it quite a nuisance to be posting this, it’s horrendous, but I’m not giving out philosophy, I’m just stating out the principles I work around. I’m sure some might connect and others will sit in judgement. But then again, it’s what nobody does.

Yeah, we name it eggs stupefied. - Team Stupefy.

Yeah, we named it eggs stupefied. – Team Stupefy.

Do as any Oldie would do!

I’m not one to weigh my ingredients, especially if it’s a recipe of my own. I don’t dislike numbers, just usually disagree with them. As I pointed out in the previous post, the coconut fondant recipe is just an altered version of the fantastic Raymond Blanc’s recipe for the chocolate fondant, the first episode of the “Kitchen Secrets” series. You’ll fall for him with everything he does, including hosting chocolate tasting sessions with people working outside the kitchen. Who wouldn’t be happy working for him?

Keep it simple. 

(Tougher than you think)

The same goes for Michel Roux Sr, Alain Ducasse and every other oldie. They’re really wise with the years of experience under their torques, and their literary works are fascinating. They are concrete proof that simple techniques can put to shame anything that’s got a lot of tech involved. Modern techniques are just revised ancient methods of cooking, and they aren’t bad. However one’s basics in cooking food should be good enough before jumping over to high tech equipment that costs more than a wallet could hold. It’s quite a struggle to keep things simple, and moreover common for me to set up non-existent challenges.

Eliminate the unnecessary!

So back to not weighing ingredients, some things according to me just need to go by the feel and instinct within me. I do this especially while at home, it’s quite bothersome to get the weighing scale out. Knowing the measurements of common tools I use such as mugs and spoons also come in handy for eliminating the weighing scale, and I’d know this thanks to a father who made me measure everything from dry ingredients to liquids. However, this doesn’t apply for all recipes, some testy “Who would have thought about these?but are fabulous” products such as macarons require some attention. I only got them somewhat right the first time around, Beginners luck, never had a good batch ever since. I will perfect them for certain, but not any time soon.

Be a tad bit analytical.

Ever try a recipe and feel like they’ve probably left out something? Resulting in a bowl of the unknown that resembles nothing close to what’s pictured. It’s quite common and I’m quite grateful that I could use Google to search for then unknown topics to enlighten myself on the various phases left out in the common recipe. I usually try connecting pieces of information I’ve gathered together, it just makes better sense to do so. Knowing only itsy bits is like finding a ripe mango on the ground, you’ve got the fruit but you’ve not looked around for the tree. To have the fruit is quite satisfactory, but isn’t it a bit annoying of just having a fruit alone, like running into a dead end. I’d rather have the tree that gives ripe fruit. May just be another compulsion, but I’m quite fond of it. It’s one of the reasons I love to learn about cuisines on a whole than just pick up on a few dishes.

Some principles are important!

I wouldn’t recommend leaving out the weighing scale, it’d be foolish to do so. It’s an exquisite equipment I’d always require, but one I would turn to only when necessary. I recently came across a fellow who chased everyone for  a measuring teaspoon, to find out it was to weigh a few drops of vanilla essence. Forgiveness was assured since he was quite new to the bakery, but I always come across that blundering bimbo here and there who goes nuts immaturely. Patience isn’t my best virtue, Tolerance is more like it.

Maintain that mental portfolio! 

While I watched Top Chef Just Desserts a few years ago, the first season in the series, I noticed how some mentioned having recipes which are quite basic in memory, and that’s just another principle I follow. There are some recipes which have been an impact and I just can’t seem to forget them. No requirements to write them down as I remember the process and I absolutely love recalling flavours and tastes and vital steps which are absolutely fun during the entire process of cooking the dish. I think it’s quite handy, this doesn’t mean you’ve got to sit and memorize a recipe. Just pay more attention to detail the next time you happen to cook something.

It's never too early to bake!

It’s never too early to bake!

Improvise

Improvisation has always been exciting for me. I love to look out for other inconvenient else more convenient ways of going about recipes. They don’t always work out, though comparitively weighing it out, I’ve had better outcomes that were not disasters per say. Moments include using a pressure cooker to make a creme caramel as my ancient oven stopped working, more than 10 years old. Some were forced upon me, such as having a father who is completely bonkers over being healthy and persisted on me using whole wheat flour to bake a cake. It was quite dense, but I cut through it by cooking down over ripe strawberries. A witty friend, ‘the coffee nut’ suggested chocolate inside a poached egg which came out beautifully. We laughed at how simple the idea was as we watched others scratch their heads as to how we got the chocolate in the egg. As I mentioned earlier, keep it simple.

The Loop holes. O.O

There are many other principles I go by. But then I also tend to ignore a few. What?! There are loop holes here and there. When it comes to cooking, there’s a lot more involved other than just following the recipe. Everyone has a different set of principles to live by, one such principle I enforce upon others is to not judge. Nothing good comes out of pointing out the bad, and I’ve observed that with a little encouragement, people can work wonders. It takes a really wise person to say nothing. I understand quite well as to how difficult it can be for others, and it’s always nice to help people, motivate them to get things done. I’d rather have us all victorious. Why? It’s absolutely brilliant to see everyone hit their full potential. I love that I can never stop learning new things. It’s simply fascinating.

With that I end this post and get back to my research project. *groan*

P.S. – I should be feeling ecstatic about getting everything to do with my research project approved, but the T-rex and a number of others went through a brutal process. Bought a snickers and coke for him and his roomies, though feel a bit helpless. Happy that I haven’t lost all feeling in me though.  Hopefully everything works out. Quite a large post script I must say.

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