Thursday, April 23, 2009

And I thought I KNEW you!!

You know how devastating it is when you've established a relationship with someone, a person you thought you could trust COMPLETELY, and then there INCIDENT. I had that happen to me recently and I'm struggling to get over it. But since bloggers are supposed to put themselves out there, I'll look at this as cheap therapy. I'm a little uncomfortable talking about him....oh, did I mention it's a man?...but to save others from blindly falling for his charms, here it is......
The "he" in this story is none other than Mark Bittman, he of NYT and Minimalist fame. You know, Mr. "How to Cook Everything". I've had a string of successes following his advice, to the point where I read his baking instructions for this Lemon-Poppyseed pound cake, and even though I couldn't believe he'd bake a loaf cake that long, as in one hour and 15 minutes long, I suspended disbelief, because Mark wouldn't possibly let me down. Surely he made this several times in his own kitchen before committing it to print, right? Or at least one of his assistants who actually did the testing would have said "Excuse me, Mr. Minimalist, maybe we should cut back the oven time on this bad boy because this is one dry motherfucking pound cake." But apparently no one dared question his eminence, although when I put it in the oven I dialed back the timer by ten minutes. Even that didn't save the cake from being slightly dried out with a thicker than desired crusty edge (although truth be told the crusty edge was pretty damn tasty). So here is the corrected version, which I, wiser but with rose colored glasses in pieces on the kitchen floor, present for your enjoyment.....
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Lemon Poppyseed Pound Cake
adapted from "How to Cook Everything"

9 oz. all purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 sticks butter softened
1 cup sugar
5 eggs, separated
1-1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 cup poppyseeds

1-Preheat oven to 350*. Butter a 9"x5" loaf pan. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

2- In a mixing bowl cream butter with mixer. Add about half the sugar and combine well. Add rest of sugar and combine. Then beat in egg yolks one at a time. Add dry ingredients and mix in by hand. Add lemon juice and zest. Beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks and fold by hand into butter mixture with the poppyseeds, combining completely.

3-Spread batter into loaf pan. Insert onto middle rack in oven. Bake until toothpick stuck into middle comes out clean. Start checking at around 45 minutes. When done remove from oven and let cool for five minutes. Carefully invert onto plate, then gently turn over once more onto serving dish.
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one year ago today @ E.D.T.: things you need to know in Life is Meals!


Anonymous said...


Poncho Wearer said...

i loathe it when instructions are incorrect.

Kate said...

I've had some trouble with his cooking/baking times before, too, but usually in the opposite direction -- his time is too short. Fortunately, that's an easier problem to fix....

Kathleen Bauer said...

Mark, Mark, we thought we knew ye...I feel ya, baby, and I would be devastated as well. Congrats on the follow-through and letting us all know that...sob...El Bittman is not the Messiah sent to enlighten us all. (as well as what the correct timing is.)

bb said... thoughts exactly!

film...i know. it's like "did you even make this first?!"

kate...maybe he's trying to balance out the "short" thing. and you're right, I wish it was still THAT problem!'s hard when icons fail us. our friends j&k who were over were both quite shocked that MB got it wrong.

dds said...

I like hearing the pitfalls almost as much as the successes.

bb said...

dds.....I'm trying to keep those stories to a minimum, if ya know what I mean!!