Tag Archives: perfectionism

Baking Wishes and Baking Dreams

23 Aug

I’m at bit of a loss tonight. I don’t know what to write about, except to say that even with the carb-free lifestyle the roommate and I live most days of the week, those brownies are nearly gone. Man, did they ever turn out. Thanks to Penzeys for the great cocoa, and to Cook’s Illustrated and Shirley Corriher for being willing, like so few other resources, to make the science known to us here on the ground. And of course, thanks to me for putting it all together.

I will note, however, that as well as those brownies turned out, like the writing I do, the work’s never done. I’ll continue to think and retest until I’m completely satisfied with the recipe, which will be never.

For example, do I pursue an relatively airy brownie that would better feature the fruit flavor? Do I let that sugar sit and steep for even longer–say, 10 minutes or so?  Would that help?   Do I add chocolate chips?  Is it too chocolatey for most?  How do these resolve overnight?  What about the fruit bits I discussed in an earlier post?  Whipped cream? And if so, do I make a stiff batch of it, or keep it natural?  And so on.

The issues this presents, though, are those of time and purpose. The brownie recipe I’m discussing here is an exceedingly easy one, but there’s time for prep, 30 minutes in the oven and, in this case, a very long time to cool. And all to test what to me are very important changes, but in the big scheme of things really are not that big of a deal at all. It’s personally fulfilling for me to get things just right but I’m wondering if I should rethink the loose limits of my perfectionism.

Do you find yourself wrestling with when to stop?  How do you decide?  When are the changes worth it?  When have you finally done enough?