Twenty-Third Thing: We got the chemistry right

I often wonder why, given how much I enjoy cooking, I found chemistry lessons such a bore. Isn’t following a recipe much like a chemical experiment? A combination of materials with different properties in different proportions = addition of heat = something different? Perhaps the fact that at the end of cooking you get to eat the results is always going to be more satisfying than proving or disproving some theoretical hypothesis.

I have been holding off doing a blue cooking task involving blue cheese – it seemed rather too obvious. Then, in a dream, I made blue cheese crumpets. I love crumpets, especially home-made. In fact, I daydream about running a crumpet cafe. Maybe one day. Anyway, upon waking, I set about looking online to see if I could find evidence of whether this would work, but I just found lots of descriptions of blue cheese ON crumpets, not blue cheese IN crumpets, so I decided I needed to experiment: I had my hypothesis: crumpets recipe + blue cheese = delicious.

As mentioned in a previous post, yeast scares me. Perhaps it’s the vegetarian in me that doesn’t like the thought that is alive. And blue cheese can be scary too – those blue veins of mould are also living. Indeed young folk these days are shying away from eating blue cheese. Wimps.

Anyway, I wondered whether mixing yeast (alive) and blue cheese (alive) could end up with the kind of reaction you get when you mix sodium and water (hey, perhaps I did learn something!) Or worse, perhaps the mould would stop the yeast from working.

So I played it as safe as I could, adding grated (from frozen: top tip for avoiding a sludgy mess!) stilton after all the frothing of the batter was completed, just before stove-top cooking commenced.

The result: success! Homemade blue cheese crumpets are delicious. In the final batch, I also added ground walnuts.  Wowsers, they were tasty.

Tools / special requirements: Cooking rings and I recommend greasing with butter not oil as they’re less likely to stick. Watch out when you remove them, they’re really hot.

Time taken: Two hours plus frothing time – you’ve got to cook them super slowly.

Things learned: The Nolans continued to be active until 2005 and were particularly big in Japan.

Satisfaction (1-10): 9.9.

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