flour … and eggs, and milk and a couple other things

This week’s new recipe happened a little later than intended … MLK/inauguration/my birthday weekend was extremely busy. The plus side of the craziness is that because I have an amazing sister and an awesome best friend I now have 3 new cookbooks to play with. Three!! Now I can cook all the things! Starting with Brown Sugar Popovers ….

The book my sister gave me is called flour, and is from a Boston bakery of the same name. And it is slightly intimidating. The pastry chef who wrote it is very precise – down to weighing all the ingredients and states how important it is to follow things exactly. Which is not my strong suit, particularly in cooking.  So, like the parsnip tarts, I went with a twist on something I felt comfortable with. I’ve been making individual yorkshire puddings for months, ever since they were mentioned in an episode of Dr. Who and I felt an overwhelming urge to cook them.

brown sugar popovers 2

The popover part went fine, totally straightforward and basically a standard popover recipe with some cinnamon added to the batter. I ignored the timer instructions for cooking as per usual – I took them out when they smelled done. Piece of advice – every single oven is different, and cooking times always varies. Base cooking times on the recipe, but make the final decision on scent, coloration, and/or feel. Which takes practice.

I ran into trouble with the final touches though … After the popovers are done, you are supposed to brush with butter, and then roll in brown sugar all over. Well, I don’t have a pastry brush, and I think my brown sugar got old. It was all clumpy and dried out. I ended up pouring butter on the tops and sprinkling brown sugar over that. Which worked well enough, but wasn’t what I was going for. The wonderful thing about cooking though is that mistakes, or minor difficulties can have happy side effects. After sitting overnight, the butter-brown sugar on top continued to combine (partially due to sitting out in my overheated apartment) and turned into this wonderful, goopy, sort-of caramel sauce. It was good enough that I think I’m going to try and replicate it intentionally next time around. Gotta love happy, sugary accidents.

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