Monday, July 21, 2008
Well, 10 lbs of raspberries later and I am afraid that I do not have much show for it except a lot of lessons. I have had more flops than flips in the kitchen this weekend. The custard, the jam, the muffins, the almond-raspberry pudding never made it through my harsh criteria of blog-worthiness. Some of it was okay though, but none was excellent. I could blame it on the kids, the dog or my husband, but the truth is the dog can't be blamed because we don't have one, and the kids and husband are just perfect.
So here goes:
The custard was made with soy milk and agar agar. The end result was too thin and too blend. The raspberries which had simmered in the soy milk, honey and other flavorings were not enough to carry the taste through once the mixture solidified. Then, I mixed some of the homemade jam with fresh raspberries and poured it on top of the custard. That part was kind of nice, except the seeds got in the way and the abundance of flavor from the jam pointed an accusing finger at the custard. There was no chemistry between those two. The judges voted them out. Sorry, there is no room for mediocrity here. Thank you for playing. Harsh, I know.
The jam was pretty good, a little runny which was fine for my purposes-- but those seeds... I couldn't forgive. When you have to lean over for the floss every time you bite into your jam infested bread there's just no point. Note to myself: use a sieve next time before sealing those pretty jars.
The muffins were not bad if you like to have bricks for breakfast-- I don't. The flavor was very nice, not too sweet. The raspberries came through nicely showing off their beautiful perfume but the texture was just too dense. When my teenage son, who's growing like a weed, declined to have a second one, I knew I was in trouble. Usually he'll eat the whole pan and ask for more. No wonder he's sprouted a full 6 inches in just the last six months... No thanks to this morning's muffins, though. So here is the thing about gluten-free or wheat-free baking: it's a tricky, fickle beast. A mixture of flour that works for one batch of muffins might turn into a load of bricks the next, when you cleverly try it with different ingredients. It's all chemistry, which I can't remember if I flunked or aced in college. I am having brick-muffin induced amnesia, now. Anyway, I did some reading up in my chemistry of cooking books and I think I might know where I went wrong. Seeing how I can get pretty obsessive about these things, I'll have to try them again. I am going for fluffy this time, hold the mortar.
The almond-raspberry pudding, what can I say: I ran out of floss...