My approach towards work-from-home has undeniably altered since departing the tremendously toxic sector of consulting. While I still strive to unlock new levels of productivity and potential, it is easier to delineate between corporate duties and after-hours responsibilities. The coveted "work-life balance" is much easier to attain when one is able to log off on time.
Preppy Kitchen's Two-Bite Brownie recipe was an utter disaster. It depleted nearly a third of my cocoa powder inventory with a whopping 67 g inclusion. The formula was the first of any brownie batter undertaken by yours truly that did not involve melted chocolate couverture, instead deriving the entirety of its profile from mere cocoa powder.
Since being recommended to try the Taiwanese bubble tea spot last year, I had managed a visit with orderlyblue in the same trip. Our wait time had been nonexistent, and our drinks delicious without being excessively pricey.
The selection plucked by the sleepy polar bear had been sugary, stifling, and mediocre at best. However, my own picks of Pandan Kaya and Maja Blanca ranked significantly higher in my books.
The filled Maja Blanca brought about major reservations towards the inclusion of sweet corn kernels in dessert. Coated liberally with granulated sugar, the donut made for a beyond disastrous consumption process. The custard within was great, though not exactly compatible with random bits of corn. I couldn't shake its association to grilled corn on the cob, neither my tried-and-true yumcha item of zeen dui/jian dui instead. Frankly, the latter earned greater preference for its wonderfully aromatic sesame-sprinkled surface and sweet, voluminous interior.
While Yelp images of the newish spot had already infomred me, the coffee shop would tack on an additional thirty-five cent charge for takeout cups. The cashier confirmed this eco fee, though noted that ceramic cups for dine-in customers would be free of charge. Though, that tidbit would not be applicable to me.
The Small and Large cup sizes were confirmed to be 12 oz. and 16 oz. respectively, should I wish to bring along my own reusable mug in the future. Without one handy though, I pointed towards two baked goods instead: the Matcha Mochi Cake and Miso Sesame Rice Krispie. The duo was amongst the popular items on the Internet, thus my expectations were high.
The Miso Sesame Rice Krispie had piqued an interest in regards to the integration of the savoury aspect. However, it proved itself even more disappointing than its glutinous rice-based counterpart. At its core was a very faint dose of umami, but the miso component was otherwise indiscernible. Toasted sesame seeds added a nice crunch, but the square was, overall, quite mundane tasting, especially with an extensive array of Rice Krispie experiments in my creation catalog.
1) Matcha Pistachio White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Matcha white chocolate chip cookies was a formula I hadn't touched in years - not because I lost fondness for the combination, but rather since countless attempts still failed to yield the desired consistency and complexity.
All cookies emerge from essentially identical constituents, diverging merely in their proportions of sugar (brown sugar for chewiness and granulated for crunchiness) and state of fat (melted/liquid or softened/solid). Sunday had taken to creaming softened butter with a hand mixer; brown sugar and granulated sugar were added in a 2:1 ratio, which would likely make for a texture that was two parts chewy and one part crisp.
While the dough was initially quite soft to handle, about fifteen minutes in the fridge assisted in improving texture tremendously. The guacamole-looking batter - complete with partially-shelled pistachio bits giving the illusion of diced red onion - made for exactly sixteen tablespoon-sized rounds, all of which were baked on the same day of assembly, given that baking soda-containing formulas induce instantaneous reactions (learned the hard way with Brownie Cookies).
It demonstrated a whiff of absolute elegance: the grassiness of matcha blended with the nutty, caramel notes of post-Maillard reaction products. Each and every bite was amazing - heavenly even. Edged in a crunchy circumference was a chewy, delectable centre - everything that any cookie lover could ever want! Pistachios provided the soft crunch known to macadamia, but elevated with its unmistakably fragrant appeal. (Toasting of nuts is never optional, unless used as a topping wherein they would brown anyways.)
Though it wasn't Put A Cone On It's perfect recreation, it was no less enjoyable of a matcha cookie.
Spurred by a seemingly ceaseless dive into topics of passion, a coworker and I began to excited share recipes sparking affection. Amongst her roster was a Molasses Cake. It was moist, dark, and everything it claimed to be, even when cooking molasses was used in place of blackstrap molasses.
The original recipe had served it with a generous smother of cream cheese frosting, though I would swap it out for an orange extract- and vanilla bean-laced mousse instead. For starters, it was easier to construct; it also did not involve a special trip to the grocery store (which I wouldn't have bothered with anyway).
Personally, the act of simply "enjoying" is impossible. A process without tangible outcomes is absurd and nothing more than a poor use of productive hours. After one success is another hurdle. House on a Hill has never felt so real.