In my Sweet Kitchen

Reagan Daley's book, In the Sweet Kitchen, is an amazing assortment of information, simple recipes, flavor charts and delicious goodness in one large, hardbacked package. Following the exuberant praise for the book and killer brownie recipe from Rob at Hungry in Hogtown, I knew I had to see what all the hype was about (Rob's blog, co-written with his wife Rachel, is highly entertaining and filled with creative, innovative food science, molecular gastronomy, funny references to classic tunes and hilarious stories, so go check them out!). Futhermore, also following Rob and Rachel's excellent suggestion to test out cookbooks at the library before handing over the big bucks to buy them (except that now I have found more books that I simply must have...which may not be a good thing), I picked it up at the Eugene Public Library, and quickly came to the conclusion that this book was going to have to be added to my collection. Being a scientist, however, comes with a set of rules, aptly called "The Scientific Method," that any conclusion must be based upon. As any scientist knows, there are some basic rules that must be adhered to when using the Scientific Method.

Rule #1: State the Question
Is this a book that MUST to be added to my collection?

Rule #2: Research the topic, investigate what others have learned and gather information through observations. Observation: Rob and Rachel, two trusted culinary geniuses as far as my small world is concerned, go gaga over this book. Furthermore, I have drooled repeatedly over their brownie recipe, and know that Rachel, a brownie queen picky of her brownies (see link above), highly recommends them. Plus, I don't have enough cookbooks compared to all my foodie friends (according to previous research) and it's a big, gorgeous, lovely-looking volume with some amazingly beautiful vanilla beans grouped together on the front. It's also filled with lots of charts and bunches and bunches of simple-looking recipes and helpful, straight-forward information.

Rule #3: State your hypothesis (make a prediction). This should be a simple, testable, 'if...then' statement.
"If I make a recipe from this book that turns out so amazing that I can't imagine not ever making it again, then I will have to purchase the book for myself." Or, alternatively, steal it from the library. Which of course, I cannot do as a good, upstanding citizen, so therefore, it must be purchased with my meager expendable funds.

Rule #4: Test the hypothesis.

Make The Ultimate Chewy and Soft Chocolate Chunk Cookies, from In the Sweet Kitchen

Rule #6: Draw your conclusions and report the results.
This recipe is a definate keeper, thus, since both the brownie recipe and the cookie recipe are keepers, then the book simply must be purchased and added to my collection.

Rule #7: Repeat to see if the conclusions are valid.
No problem here! It's the 'rules,' after all...must go make more cookies...

9 comments from you:

Nerissa said...

My sister's chocolate chip cookies have always been my favourite but there is an ingredient or two I can't get up here (golden crisco and a very specific type of chip)so I will try your recipe and see what happens. Chocolate chip cookies are one of the few desserts Ben actually likes.

Nerissa said...

Well... yours is chunk, actually, but you know what I mean ;)

vlb5757 said...

Man, those look really good and I love how you decide how to buy a cookbook. I do almost the same thing; there has to be more than 5-10 recipes that I will actually try and then I buy the book. I think my method is quickier...more expensive to come to think of it! The cookies look really good and we must have been on the same wave length because I baked cookies this weekend but not nearly as fancy as yours!

cookiecrumb said...

Sometimes I decide to buy a cookbook because it's one of those old, 50s, spiral-bound, community endeavors (of course we're talking used books). Hideous recipes, generally, but lurking among the tomato aspic and miracle whip and "tuna dream surprise," you often find a gobsmackingly authentic, regional, heritage recipe.
I love how you chose your book.

McAuliflower said...

I fell in love with this cookbook one long day at Powell's in Portland. The flavor pairing charts are genius!

I was a silly bird and put it back on the shelf and left book-less! (It's cool that the Library has it, never thought of that option.) Thanks for the reminder... I need to add this to my must-buy list!

rob said...

Michelle, I'm so happy you like the book. In the Sweet Kitchen is, for me at least, the definitive dessert book.

As for the library, well, what can I say? The library is our salvation. Between the food and the many toys I like to buy to prepare said food, I think we'd be flat broke if I heaped cookbooks on top of that. We've currently got The Les Halles Cookbook by Tony Bourdain, Lumiere by Rob Feenie, and two Pierre Hermé cookbooks checked out of the library.

Rachel and I are flattered by your praise, and humbled by the fact that you made the effort to follow one of our recommendations (two, I suppose, if you include the library AND the book).

Thank you, and we hope you enjoy even more recipes from the book.

Clare Eats said...

hahahaah best use of scientific method LOL

rachel said...

Michelle, I laughed out loud too! Love your post, love the blog, and I love that book too. Every single thing I've made from The Sweet Kitchen has been scrumptious, and very popular with family and friends. As the librarian who got Rob using the public library (I work in a corporate library, but nonetheless), I'm so proud of you converting! And so scientifically too... You've made my day!

Paz said...

I like rule #8! ;-)