Sunday, May 18, 2014

Learning the Science in Cookie Making and Testing it Out in D.C.

New city, new kitchen, new people, new job (internship). But making yummy food for myself and to share and make other people happy hasn't changed.

I am now in D.C., and I made a little plane flight video about it, too. You get to see rain rushing across the plane window, and a girl knitting on the plane.

I am quite excited to be in DC, to have the ability to move around the area easily without a car, and having a wide selection of places to shop and visit. Compare with the little college city (town?) I was at where my lovely roommate takes me grocery shopping. The metros here in DC that run till early morning are a big change from the buses in front of my house back in college town that ran only till 6PM. But still, the U.S. is  a land of cars, as I carried my baking goods (since it's almost three months here, I should bake) from Shoppers supermarket, and walked through a very big parking lot; people loaded their groceries on to their cars and drove off, while I dodged cars and walked 30 minutes home. I think my legs are going to be quite strong after 3 months in DC, from grocery shopping and the crazy amount of walking I am doing in the weekends visiting museums. When you think about it, when I spend a whole day out there visiting museums and monuments of DC, I hardly ever sit down, it's non stop walking and standing, maybe the 20 minutes I spend sitting down nibbling my sandwich but that's about it.

I have to say, baking itself isn't expensive, but beginning to bake requires a small investment. You need to buy measuring spoons, cookie sheets, baking paper, muffins pans, cupcake liners, electric mixer...imagine having to buy all that at once, it's an amount of money that is quite a bit for an unpaid intern. Anyways, I was determined to bake so I picked up some of the basics, I don't think I will be buying a mixer or muffin pan, so I will probably be sticking with cookies and maybe some brownie, bars, or sheet cake with a small pan with some depth. So when my new roommate asked me if I could make muffins, I said "Yes, but you won't be able to taste them while I'm here, because I don't have a muffin pan." Now that I have three roommates, I would expect my baked goods to be gone faster, but they are very kind people and they don't take my cookies when I'm not around, they want to ask me before they take any. I've told them to help themselves to my baked goods, but maybe I need to put up a sign to remind them.

This week I kept my cookie overnight for two nights before baking, two reasons why: 1. In my trip to the supermarket I made just for baking goods, I forgot to pick up baking powder 2. I read this piece on Yahoo, The Science of the Best Chocolate Cookies. It is a very long and very detailed of how every ingredient of the cookie works. Ever wondered the difference of baking soda and baking powder in the cookie? The ratio of egg whites to yolk? This is your piece to read. Cookies will taste better after resting for a night, my rested two because I went out one night. The article also suggests making the dough slightly warm, so that some parts of the chocolate can melt and create this lovely swirl ribbon of chocolate but still keep the pockets of chocolate goodness. I decided to give it a try, and used the microwave to assist me. It can be seen I am not very skilled in the art of the microwave, and I melted pretty much all my chocolate. Hence I have a batch with swirls, and the second batch it's all just chocolate, no more chocolate chunks. But overall I am quite pleased with how they came out, I think the overnight trick really does it!

Same dough, different results.

I had mentioned this blog in my resume while applying for my internship. In the beginning I did not talk about it at all, but later I decided to add it in my resume. Sure it's a young blog that isn't expertly kept, but it more or less demonstrates my writing skills, a bit of video making, and some picture taking, and on top that food making abilities. What do I have to loose for putting this on my resume? It wouldn't take anything away would it? And interestingly in my interview for the internship I have now, they did ask me about my blog, so it did make a difference. They also asked if I would bring baked goods to the office which of course I said yes, because baking is not to be enjoyed alone, it must be shared! My mom would message me asking if I ate the entire batch of cupcakes, no mom, of course not, baking is sharing and caring. I think I might make a little something later to bring to the office. I think my supervisor is on a two week vacation, but I have all my lovely colleagues and roommates I can share with, let's see if I make something. I'm thinking banana bread since my colleague mentioned about it last week saying how much she felt like having some banana bread (and she did get herself some the next day), and I've never made banana bread before, so why not try that? I had made banana chocolate chip muffins before and those were quite successful.

And now a little office fashion. I present to you four days of business casual wear. There's only four days because I started Tuesday.

1 comment:

  1. HI! I am procrastinating working on my literature review and reading your blog instead :) I did not know you lived in DC. When we went in May it was also to scout out what it would be like to live in DC. We might be moving to DC for my husbands job. We fell in love with DC. That is nice you can share your baked goods with the office; I work from home so I send them into work with my husband. Your cookies look great! Banana bread is one of my favorites :)