I decided to up the game this week for my learning project by continuing on with a skill I think that I struggle with in baking. I think if I isolate the problems that I have, I can improve in those areas and make baking easier for me. So, I think I’m going to take a few more baking projects in the theme of “adding some sort of filling to a basic food stuffs to make it more of an exciting foodstuffs” before I move onto the real learning, where I try some more advanced baking techniques, like separating eggs, and googling other complex baking strategies.
So this week I made brownies. And I decided the filling I was going to add was cheesecake. So I made cheesecake brownies. I looked through three blogs, and I decided on the blog I used for two reasons:
- I wanted to isolate the filling problem, so I wasn’t quite ready to also make brownies from scratch, so I used a recipe that called for brownie mix.
- The photos and comments on the blog were helpful in seeing what I needed it to look like, and also gave me the advice to add chocolate chips.
This is the mix I used, it, as well as the cream cheese I bought, was on sale in groups of two, so I doubled the recipe and saved me some money.
The first thing I decided to do was get kind of funky and add some chocolate chips. Because who doesn’t love chocolate chips?
The recipe said to stir without a mixer, so I was like “but what do I use? A spoon?” and then I decided to be daring and use a whisk because my mind was like “whisks do the mixing thing”. And let me tell you, that was my first mistake of the day. Word of advice to people attempting to use my wonderful blog to make brownies – if you use a whisk, it is too feeble to get through the thick dough so you’ll be scared it’s going to just break into a million tiny pieces in the batter and it’ll be a very stressful experience overall because you are too stubborn to change your mind so you just power through it. The whisk didn’t break. I suspect it was a close thing.
Then I had to take a break because my dog wanted to go outside and then she came in with her little nose covered in snow and it was just too cute. So I took a photo of it for everyone to share. She, unfortunately, spent most of the cooking sitting next to me all nicely, and was not even rewarded with some baking because chocolate is not good for dogs and I am a good dog owner.
The actual putting the two bowls of batter together was relatively simple. Except for the whisk part. But we won’t talk about that. The batter was delicious by the way, I give it a 10/10 in deliciousness.
My second big issue came when it was time to bake the batter. Here is a photo of it all in the pan. It looks super ugly, do not judge me.
Look at that goop-y mess. This is where I ran into difficulty. The recipe said I should put the brownies in for 35-40 minutes and so I did that. But they were not cooked. So I put them in again, five more minutes. They were not cooked.
It was a real struggle because I would worry that I was burning the brownies, so I’d pull them out, but they weren’t cooked so I’d put them back in. ‘Twas a vicious cycle. I think I cooked the brownies for about an hour before I was okay with the amount of cooked they were.
Look at those awful brownies. They look so gross, Sarah.
In the end, the brownies were a little overcooked along the edges, but it was perfect in the center, and they tasted great! I think I ate way too much. Coincidentally, the brownies were cooked right before Valentine’s Day, which is awesome. I used to make (aka, make my Mom make) brownies on Valentine’s Day and I would give them to my single friends. Singles Brownies on Valentine’s Day because we all deserve chocolate on Valentine’s Day, so let’s remove the negative stigma of being single (#singlelife) because sometimes people don’t want to be in a relationship but they also want brownies.
So I will probably give brownies to some people. Not necessarily single people. Seems like too much of an effort to go searching for single people. Also seems a little aggressive.
For the lesson plan part of the learning, I chose to look at Math 9.
I thought, because I struggle with figuring out how long something takes to cook, we could use graphing of linear relations to find out how long it would take to heat the entirety of the brownie.
Demonstrate understanding of linear relations including:
- interpolating and extrapolating
- solving situational questions
I think it could be pretty inquiry based, seeing as there is no real correct answer, as there are outside factors that affect it, and it won’t really be a completely straight line. But students could either make their own assumptions based on cook times in recipe books, do small scale tests and extrapolate the data, figure out what it means to be “fully cooked”. I think it could be fun, and maybe it would solve my problems with baking times.
I think it would also create some interesting discussions – what data in real life is actually linear? Do we ever have instances where we assume as such and are proved wrong? What do you think factors in to how fast the food cooks? Do you think all factors can be accounted for? What are some ways to account for outside factors? Can we eliminate some factors?
I always like questioning. I did a lot of questioning with my students because it was fun to hear what they had to say.
Do you also stress about baking times, because boy, let me tell you…
Have a great day, don’t feed your dogs chocolate, but pet them or something.