My fondness of food and the making thereof is no secret, nor the fact that I got my start on dessert. The very first thing I ever made on my own was a Chocolate French Silk pie, and I followed that up with learning to make crepes. Both things wind up looking a lot harder and fancier than they really are.
While poking through cookbooks looking for fun things to make while we had guests over the weekend, I cracked open Sylvie’s copy of The Professional Pastry Chef for the first time. “Wow,” said I to anybody willing to listen, “If I went all the way through this I’d be awesome.” Suddenly, the roommates who make a point of ostentatiously ignoring me when I’m rambling about hare-brained projects got very interested. Something about wanting to eat the consequences of this project.
So I’ve looked at the book a bit more closely, thinking it might be a fun project for 2012. Having done that, there’s no way I’m making every recipe in there in a year. For one, I’m juggling several careers, have time consuming hobbies, and rather value my social life. Also, we’d never eat any of this fast enough if I did go through it in a year and wasting dessert is a deeply immoral act I cannot condone. But I think I shall, nonetheless, tackle this project. I have a plan.
There are 12 months in a year and 20 chapters in this book. That doesn’t work too nicely, but not every chapter should get a month; several of them have basic recipes for concoctions frequently used in other recipes. If I toss out the chapters in Mise in Place, basic doughs, Chocolate Decorations and Candies, Sugar work, Decorations, and Sauces and Fillings, we’re down to fourteen chapters. I’ll switch to pulling cookie recipes for Open Houses from this book and pull the cookies chapter out of the project, and toss out the Holiday Classics chapter because I hate Christmas. There, now we have twelve chapters for twelve months.
I’m not committing to making every recipe in the chapter. Instead, I’m going to give each month a designated chapter and create the vague sense of obligation to blog about a recipe a week. My vague sense of bloggerly obligation is probably reliable for at least one recipe a month, as I take my vague obligations very, very seriously. I’m sure my consistent binge-blogging makes that clear.
Without further ado, here is the tentative plan.
January – Chapter 3: Breads and Rolls
February – Chapter 4: Breakfast Breads and Pastries
March – Chapter 6: Tarts
April – Chapter 7: Sponge Cakes and Tea Cakes
May – Chapter 8: Decorated Cakes
June – Chapter 9: Individual Pastries
July – Chapter 13: Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts (because this is when it’s seasonal)
August – Chapter 11: Charlottes and Bavarois, Custards, Mousses and Souffles
September – Chapter 12: Meringues
October – Chapter 10: Desserts for Plated Presentation (Because this is when I throw my biggest party)
November – Chapter 14: Light Desserts (Not sure what they mean here – there’s a cheesecake recipe listed)
December – Chapter 15: Country Desserts
I have now created Food and Cooking categories, so if you’re only interested in those things they’ll be easy to find. I’m really not sure why I didn’t have those before.
The real question is, who’s willing to volunteer for the sacred task of helping me eat all of this?