Let me preface this story with this warning.
I AM NOT A CHEF
Seriously. I have probably done more real cooking playing around with Chef Watson in the last month then I have done in years. I am good at following instructions, and searching for how to do things. So my food presentation skills suck. I know this (and more professional chefs told me to my face :). I also know without Chef Watson giving me the instructions I would be incapable of creating anything edible.
So, to help out a co-worker who was demo’ing Chef Watson for the Silicon Stroll Bootcamp, I did up a few more recipes.
For the presentation I made up the following.
- Korean BBQ Lemon Cupcakes (by popular demand).
- Irish Smoked Bacon Cookies.
- Avocado Meatloaf.
- Apple chilli cheddar cupcakes.
The first two I had done before. This time I am starting to understand how Chef Watson works. It’s not about following verbatim, but gives you a baseline of what works. You still need to play a little.
So for the cookies this time I used sea salt and roasted the bacon instead of frying. Huge difference this time! My previous attempt tasted like confusion. This time the cookie started off tasting like a raisin cookie, then midway changed to a savoury bacon flavour. Very cool.
For the cupcakes I tried to colour them (bad idea!). Otherwise they were more or less the same. This time I detailed my steps as I went. The reason for this was one of my co-workers attempted to make them and they didn’t turn out exactly the same.
Also I told Chef Watson this time that I didn’t want peanuts in the recipe and it created the Apple chilli cheddar cupcake recipe. These looked disgusting while making, but tasted really nice. Somewhat similar chilli kick as the other cupcakes, but otherwise a totally different taste.
The meatloaf was to try something not so crazy and somewhat easy to make. Main ingredients were Avocado, Truffle Oil, Anchovies, Peppercorn Mustard, Pork Sausage. Personally I hate anchovies and avocado, yet I could eat this fine. Very heavy though (one slice would probably put me to sleep).
So how did it go?
Out of everything the Korean BBQ Lemon cup cakes were the winner. Of the 60+ cupcakes I have given out, I have only had two complaints (eg. “This was possibly the worst thing I have ever tasted”). I’d argue those two people should have tasted the full cup cake instead of a pinch. I mentioned this before, that for some reason it doesn’t work unless you taste everything together.
I was a bit upset, but then it was being critiqued by a chef. Having said that however, all of those cup cakes were eaten. Even the ones that a pinch was taken from, someone else cut the pinched bits off and ate the rest to try.
Second most popular from my group was the cookies (1 of 2 boxes eaten), then the Apple cupcakes (about 2/3 eaten) followed by the meatloaf (just under half of it).
As asked by a number of people there I submit to you the recipe for Korean BBQ Lemon Cupcakes. I am not sure if the Beta is still open, but the application form for Bon Appétit is still there if you are interested.
… As for the bootcamp.
I didn’t get to any of it. :( I did get to chat with some of the attendees who gave some nice (and passionate) overviews of what they are building.