♥♥♥ I love, love, love America’s Test Kitchen. Its not glamorous. There aren’t any sparkling kitchen sets, intense competitions or celebrity judges, and no one will curse at you if you’re refrigerator isn’t clean. I doubt as many people have heard of Christopher Kimball as have Bobby Flay. Christopher Kimball and company are absolutely my favorite culinary resource. America’s Test Kitchen produces cooking shows, cookbooks and magazines; and whats so wonderful about these sources is the trial and error included in the recipes.
Especially if you’re even remotely like me (having enormous difficulty actually adhering to a recipe), these great folks can save you a lot of trouble. Part of their model is to choose items that are common and either commonly messed up, not as good as they could be or way to complicated for a normal person to have time for. Then, they experiment with different methods, ingredients and equipment. You get the results of each, what tasters liked best and what flopped. Take 5 minutes to read their kitchen diary entry before each recipe and save yourself a lot of trouble while learning methods and chemistry at the same time.
My latest adventure with America’s Test Kitchen comes from the back of their Best of 2016 magazine – the Bee Sting Cake. The only things I changed was to use a spring form pan, and I added an extra couple of tablespoons of honey which created a delicious caramel affect around the edges of the cake that reminded me of the delicious burnt edges of a baklava.
Usually I’m a purist about not using clever rearrangements of corn (this is another topic altogether). This time taking the time to read about the several attempts at variations of this cake stopped me from attempting the exclusion of corn starch. Consequently, the recipe contributed by Rebeccah Marsters (Cook’s Country) came out exactly as promised.
If you’re a home cook / foodie, and you haven’t explored America’s Test Kitchen yet, I highly recommend it.