I don’t bake, I have never made a cake, muffins, bread, cupcakes or anything of the sort and I didn’t think I ever would. Baking holds no magic for me, at least not in the way other forms of cooking do. Cooking is an artistic process for me where I create a dish with constant attention from start to finish. The end result is a direct reflection of the time, effort and creativity I have put in to the dish. Baking involves the mixing of ingredients and then putting them in an oven to let them magically transform in to the end product with little or no intervention during the cooking process. I didn’t see the appeal of it until I found a recipe that I couldn’t resist making.
Popovers are an American variation of Yorkshire Pudding, believed to have originated in the mid to late 1800’s. The term Popover comes from the way the batter “pops” over the sides of the muffin tin while they are baking. The recipe I used is from BLT Steak, a steak house chain based around the vision of executive chef Laurent Touronde and his take on classic American dishes. I have eaten at BLT Burger in Las Vegas and it was fantastic. The recipe is available on Epicurious.com and is wonderfully simple yet scientifically complicated.
I’m not going to go into a step by step guide of how to make Popovers, I’ll leave it up to you to read the recipe but I will say that I am amazed that I was able to make this wonderful dish with my limited baking knowledge. There is some complicated science going on in this dish that involves preheated muffin tins, warm milk and no leavening agents. The dough rises through a chemical reaction between the warm milk, warm muffin tin and other ingredients. Needless to say they are delicious, with a crispy outer crust accented with Gruyère cheese and soft melt in your mouth insides. Add a little butter and let it melt into the soft dough and you are left with something more than the simple ingredients would ever lead you to believe were possible.
Look up the recipe and give it whirl. You never know, this baking thing might just catch on.