A weekend of cooking and baking for the parentals/in-laws

My planning for the mango tiramisu did not go exactly as expected when I realized I would need the equivalent of 2.5 pounds of ripe mango puree, and I had barely 1.5 pounds with my ripe ataulfo mangoes. So in the end, I went with my plan B recipe, which was to make Maialino’s orange olive oil cake. I made a couple changes, such as slightly reducing the sugar, olive oil (this cake requires high quality olive oil since it’s the main flavor, so I used a grassy Australian olive oil that was just pressed last year), and replacing the Grand Marnier with more orange juice. I also topped it with a mascarpone based frosting, which came out nice and light.

For breakfast this morning, I made blueberry buttermilk pancakes, whose batter I allowed to rest for just over an hour. I was recently listening to a cooking podcast where a baker was talking about tips to increase flavor in baked goods without much effort. And this was the number 1 tip she had for pancakes: simply let the batter rest on the counter for anywhere from 1-4 hours, and you’ll immediately taste the difference vs. using batter that was just mixed. This small change has resulted in far more flavor than in my previous pancakes. So now when we have pancakes, I usually pre measure all the dry ingredients the night before and add to a bowl, and the morning of, I add in all the wet ingredients and mix as soon as I wake up. Then, while getting everything else ready, an hour-plus will quickly pass, and the pancake batter will “age” enough to garner a more complex flavor. I only wish I knew this tip sooner! We enjoyed these pancakes with maple syrup, plus a kimchi-spinach egg scramble with avocado on the side.

The nice thing about having Chris’s parents here is that they always enjoy and appreciate the food I make, so I have more excuses to make more things I wouldn’t always make. It’s nice to be around people who actually appreciate what you spend time and effort in doing for them and show it.

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