Our hosts kick off this week’s episode with a new discovery: vanilla bean powder! Andrea used the powder in a new recipe for baked donuts from Baked by an Introvert. Stefin continues her struggle with temperature conversions in the UK and her convection oven. Her old standard recipe, Carolynn’s Chocolate-Chip Cookies, didn’t turn out too well this time. Was it the temperature? The cookie sheets? The flour? The convection oven?
Listeners, what do you think caused Stefin’s cookie texture issues?
Up next, our hosts review their Easy No Bake Indoor S’mores Bars from Serious Eats. Andrea loved this recipe for its ease of prep and no-mess. She really enjoyed the bittersweet chocolate in the recipe, while Stefin thinks she’ll stick with the regular Hershey’s milk chocolate bar for the classic flavor. Andrea did a brief investigative foray on bittersweet vs. semi-sweet vs. milk chocolate only to discover that the “legal definition” doesn’t quite match up to what we use in our kitchens. Here’s a guide with the legal definition (if you need it!).
Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies
Finally our hosts took a quick look at how Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies might affect your baking style. Many Preheated listeners took the quiz and we saw lots of Obligers, Questioners, and a few Upholders and Rebels! Here’s a quick download on the tendencies and how we think it affects your baking temperament:
- Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations (Stefin is an Upholder, 100%). We think Upholders follow the recipe and find it painful to deviate. Upholders are probably the bakers with the most consistent results, since they follow the rules. (or, as Listener Craig states, “I have a slavish devotion to a recipe.”) However, those same rule-following tendencies might occasionally stifle creativity in the kitchen.
- Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense. Questioners wonder why they have to add the salt now, and not later. Or why mix ingredients in two bowls, when one bowl makes more sense? We think all of the Cook’s Illustrated staff must be Questioners, and those would be good recipes for Questioners to follow, since they explain why things are done.
- Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they set for themselves (Andrea is an Obliger). We think the Obligers of the world show up with homemade goods when requested and promised, rather than taking the quick way out and grabbing something from the grocery.
- Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike. This challenging group does enjoy having an “identity” and we think they may enjoy baking in their identity wheelhouse – the ‘all natural’ baker, or the “over the top” cake decorator. Are Rebels also the folks who refuse to share a secret recipe?
Our hosts also discussed whether they were Finishers or Openers. Both Stefin and Andrea agree they are Finishers, and love squeezing that last bit of ketchup out of a bottle, or using all the fruit before any spoils.
Listeners, are you Finishers or Openers?
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