Baking

The delicious result of the Hepburn brownie recipe from Outsider Tart’s Baked in America.

Since I’ve been back home, my boyfriend and I have been doing a fair amount of baking. In the first two weeks, he made a batch of chocolate chip cookies each weekend. Then the weekend before last, we stopped at my favourite bakery, Outsider Tart, for some delicious baked treats (and amazing coffee). The guys that run the shop recently released a bakery book, Baked in America, which has all sorts of delicious recipes for some of the items they sell in their shop, including, but not limited to, brownies and bars, cookies, muffins and whoopie pies.

I let my boyfriend choose the first recipe as they all looked delicious to me, and I accidentally ate most of the chocolate chip cookies when he made them. He chose the recipe for the Hepburns. There was no picture for this recipe, only an introduction and the recipe itself, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. It turns out that these so-called Hepburns are the best tasting brownies I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. Seriously. We managed to bake them just to the point where the knife came out clean when the brownies were tested, which left us with a perfectly gooey brownie.

Baked in America has turned out to be a great purchase. In addition to the Hepburns, I’ve made some delicious ginger muffins (though I’m not convinced they turned out quite right) and chocolate snickerdoodles. What makes this bakery book great, however, isn’t just the amazing recipes, but the fact that it is accessible to any would-be baker, not just American bakers, nor British bakers. In America, we tend to measure things by volume: one cup, two cups, etc. Whereas in most the rest of the world, things are measured by weight (grams, kilograms, etc.). This bakery book includes measurements in both traditional American measurements as well as weight (including both imperial and metric measurements).

I’ve been trying the weight-method of baking since I’ve gotten this book. This is mostly because British butter is not sold in easy-to-use sticks as it is in America, so I’m often left to measure that by weight anyway. Even though I’m most familiar with the American way of baking, I’m actually finding baking by weight enjoyable. The best part is that I can tare the scale after the addition of each ingredient, and am actually getting fewer things dirty as a result.

With all the baked goods that have been made in the past week, it’s no surprise that I’ve managed to gain another three pounds in 10 days. The weight gain seems to have slowed down a bit, but I think that’s a result of a combination of getting out more and getting closer to my target weight. I’ve only got another 4.5 kilograms to get back to 50 kilograms, but I’d be happy just to reach 105 pounds again–that tends to be the lower range of my normal weight, and probably the weight I was when I was reasonably healthy here in London.