Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Adapting to your environment, kitchen-wise

In my last post, I stated that Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins were next.
Well, it seems they'll have to get back in line, after failing miserably on their last try. Honestly--and although I may sound like someone who always messes up what they cook and is trying to find excuses--I've made these before back home in Paris and they were perfect. My friends can vouch for it : they were some serious muffins. But the applesauce I used in Paris was obviously different, as was the oven. I won't get into the oven issue anymore, because I have given up once and for all.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins : Why so little??

Take my blondie recipe, for example. Yes, those blondies, the ones I wrote about a while ago but couldn't photograph because they were just that good. I made them again, eager to prove to myself that my (few) baking skills hadn't disappeared when I stepped on the plane to New York.

"Ha," I thought, "You won't get the best of me this time, oven. Your age and wisdom won't even start to affect my brownies."

Well, it did. Or something different in the ingredients did. The butter, maybe?

My cousin Katy pointed out an interesting NYTimes article about the differences in butter from one country to another. That might explain why I can never achieve a perfect buttercream in France, or why my perfect blondie recipe isn't so perfect around here.

Here's the link: Butter Holds the Secret to Cookies that Sing

Anyway, I'm really missing all my great baking moments--like when I bake something and then eat it all up, so I have to pretend that I didn't really bake anything in the first place to get away with it.

What's really ironic is that I'm not trying to bake any French desserts, only super-simple American ones. They should be even more perfect right here where they were created, right?

Oh, I miss you, tiny kitchen on the other side of the Atlantic!

(Good thing I have cookies from Grey Dog on Carmine Street in the West Village to make up for it.)
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