The Art & Soul of Baking by pastry genius Cindy Mushet is October's Cookbook Club selection over at Gourmet.com. In conjunction with the book, they also offer up a short video on how to make individual bittersweet chocolate souffles. The clip is chock full of baking tips and very, very precise instructions. Details after the jump...
In less than 10 minutes you will learn:
- when to whisk in the flour in a béchamel sauce; indeed, you will learn exactly how to make the entire béchamel sauce
- precisely what a soft peak looks like as compared with a stiff peak (hint: it has nothing to do with the peak)
- what it means to rain (rein?) in the sugar
- why you should completely coat the inside of the souffle dish with butter
- how to fold in (the perfectly peaked) egg whites
I'm a former pastry chef (long ago and far away) and still I learned a lot from this video. Check it out here (requires free registration -- if, once you've registered, you can't find the link, come back here)
If that's not enough for you, you can continue with another short clip with several great tips like how to soften brown sugar, test your baking powder and soda and keep your scones from burning on the bottom.
In general, the cooking videos on Gourmet.com are fantastic. Besides the entire first season of the unfortunately titled Diary of a Foodie, there are dozens of short, well-informed technique videos from their test kitchen. Also fun are the kitchen tours from cookbook authors like Deborah Madison and David Tanis. For those of you into extreme cooking, check out SF chef Chris Cosentino of Incanto as he de-bones and stuffs a whole pig's head. (Warning: My hand hovered over the click-away button the entire time.)
• Buy The Art & Soul of Baking (Amazon, $40)