I am not a chef, just a hack home cook. I would say start with the simple classics and don't try to be "healthy" at first. There is a reason they used stuff like butter and animal fats in baking for ages.
Read whys and hows of ingredients used in sweet cooking.
I agree knowing how to pwdrr caramel sauce is great but if your caramel sauce sucks it still won't be good
Originally Posted by bieniek
Yeah, knowing how to do good sauce without understanding how and why it is good, on the other hand, makes you shut your eyes and not develop your cooking intuition.
Would prefer to make disgusting sauce 10 times first just to learn why the 11th is decent.
Please don't take this personally since it is really more of a general rant and a personal pet peeve: I find some 'modernist cuisine' interesting, but I also think there are way too many people out there who have no clue what they are doing (and please keep in mind, this comes from a non-professional). The analogy I have in mind is abstract painting. If you look at the masters of abstract painting, Picasso for example, they also were masters of natural painting. Picasso painted natural scenes as a teenager that 99.99999% of the world population could not do. His talent of abstract painting was deeply rooted in his skills, and he had a very good idea, what to let away in a picture - and why. IMHO, the same is true for a good cook: If you don't understand how to bake a good apple pie, your ,modernist' or 'molecular' version will also be lacking. So, my personal strategy if I were on the same quest as you, would be to cook/bake the classics backward and forward with an open mind and a curiosity for variations - and then venture from there. Maybe it's just bad TV exposure, bit I am sick of people who can't make an omelette but do 'modernist cuisine'....
Originally Posted by agp
+1 for "Dessert Fourplay", also "Secrets of Baking" by Sherry Yard and the "Ucchi" Cookbook.
David Lebovitz has a sweet blog as does Michael Laiskonis.
Hope this helps and Good Luck!
Laiskonis is a bad ass and a great story went from being a punk rock promoter to exec pastry chef at la Bernadin. But as a pastry chef I really wish people would understand the how's and why's of pastry. It is not just following recipes and being precise knowing ratios and understanding why baking powder and baking soda are used, knowing about yeast and how to stall, retard, knowing what taking something young is are all things you should know before fluid gels and spheres are part of your arsenal. This isn't a knock on you just a personal thing I see all the time of people wanting to do art like desserts but not being able to make a tart dough
I was thinking the same thing. I would master The Bakers Manual first, then try to be fancy.
Originally Posted by *******