A few months ago, I watched Michael Pollan’s “Cooked” series on Netflix. One part connected with me. “Eat anything you want. You want apple pie? Eat apple pie. You want cookies with that apple pie? You want ice cream with that apple pie? I’ll allow you to eat all the cookies, all the ice cream, all the pie you can have tonight. I’m just gonna ask you to do one thing. Make all of them. Make the apple pie, make the ice cream, make the cookies, and you know what I know is gonna happen? You’re not having apple pie, ice cream, or cookies tonight.
“That little rule will keep you from eating a lot of junk. You’re gonna do what most people do which is go out and buy the best quality raw ingredients you can afford and cook it as simply as possible.”
So I adopted that rule. If I crave sweets – cookies, cake, etc. – I have to make it from scratch. It has stopped me from eating some sweets, but I’ll tell you what: I really crave sweets. I have baked – in the past three months – two batches of cookies, two chocolate cakes, and three pans of brownies/blondies. I also made my own hot chocolate mix. I have made all of these from scratch. I did not make an effort to choose recipes that are particularly healthy. But I followed your rule, Michael Pollan! I made it ALL from scratch!
This is Grandma Beatty’s Chocolate Cake from the Barefoot Contessa show. It is the best cake I have ever made and one of the first cakes I made too. I have made other cakes but they won’t do. It’s this one, all the way.
I would post a picture of this cake finished but I didn’t take a picture of it before we all ate it. I gave the rest of it to my sister, since I made it for her birthday party, and I regretted it the entire weekend afterward. While it was the right thing to do, my baby was sad and wanted more cake. Not bad enough for me to make it again though. Phew.
These are my process photos from the blondies I made yesterday. I needed a peanut butter and chocolate fix and found a recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s baking cookbook for peanut butter blondies. Before I knew it, I was eating crispy, gooey blondies blissfully with my husband.
There is no final product photo because I ate them.
As for my husband, he is deeply pleased with my new baking hobby. While he has always enjoyed sweets, I’m normally not much for them and given how unhealthy sugar is on any consistent occasion, we don’t usually buy sweets like pastries, donuts, cookies, or cakes. My husband hasn’t learned or attempted much baking yet so he is very pleased to smell delicious chocolate treats baking knowing that he will get to share in the bounty.