6.19.13 … “Curiosity kills the cake” …

Health Maven’s, NYTimes.com: I just found this one fun … secret lives!

Pastry making has also made me a more mindful cook. It’s a meditative process, and I love the detached state of mind it requires, which is completely different from what I experience in my normal cooking life. When I test my recipes I’m more emotional; my heart beats faster. I can feel spent after a day in the kitchen developing and testing five different recipes for farro pilaf or summer bean salads.

But when it comes to pastry, I don’t think too much as I weigh ingredients and follow the method. (Forget about cups and measuring spoons if you want to succeed in pastry; get a scale and set it to metric, which enables you to get the most exacting measurements.) I’m working with what are essentially chemical formulas that experienced pastry chefs have worked out through much trial and error. If I fiddle, as I do with the cumin, salt, garlic or vinegar I’m going to use to season those summer bean salads, I might upset the chemical balance of the ingredients, and the success of my pastry will be in jeopardy.

And I can’t taste as I go along. I can’t even open the oven door to see how things are going. (Or rather, I shouldn’t. As Jacquy says, “Curiosity kills the cake.”)

This doesn’t mean that there’s no art involved, that I can’t substitute cherries or strawberries for the raspberries in my tart, or almond flour for the hazelnut flour. But I will be precise in my substitutions.

via A Health Maven’s Sweet Secret – NYTimes.com.

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