"The Mad Scientist" Cooking Personality: Campfire Cake
If you follow my blog you may remember one of the first in which I described the 7 cooking personalities:
Due to its popularity and many requests, I have decided to offer a series of blogs written for each personality! This week I’m going to cover the Mad Scientist.
How to Spot Them:
Their style is no-nonsense, practical and perhaps… a little on the nerdy side. They’re insanely intelligent. (Though how useful their knowledge of Star Wars or rare Japanese flowers may be is up for debate.) Their garage is filled with appliances and equipment they’ve taken apart in an attempt to fix or improve them. Their kitchen cupboards have cooking tools you’ve never even heard of – but you’ll see! Someday when you need to neatly stack your hard boiled eggs, you’ll be wishing you too had an egg cuber!! These people are insanely methodical, and have no problem spending hours on some kitchen experiment, but unlike the baker, they LOVE to experiment.
Their Cooking Method of Choice: Braising, smoking, the more complex, the better!
Their Strength: Methodology. Innovation.
Their Challenge: Cooking from the heart.
This cooking personality is so inventive I’m always anxious to learn from them! These folks can usually find a completely off-the-wall way of cooking food. My friend Marky just happens to be one of these mad scientist sorts. He’s great fun on camping trips because he can figure out a way to cook almost anything, anywhere.
Last July for example, we took our annual trip to Isle Royal, Michigan where we hiked and kayaked for 4 days with nothing but the supplies we had on our backs. Because refrigeration is not an option, the foods you bring are all rather dull. Basically anything you can reconstitute with water like pasta, rice, oatmeal, and powdered drinks.
HOWEVER, believe it or not, Matt announced one night after a long day of hiking, he was making cake. My reaction - "I’d love to see that!" and also "What I wouldn't for a piece of cake right now!" But seriously - cake in the woods with nothing but a tiny gas stove? Well I am here to tell you it was fabulous!
I couldn’t believe my eyes when he removed the lid there before me was this delicious puffy cake! We ate like KINGS that night.
The concept behind his method was to create and oven with the earth and surround it with even heat. The coals when buried retained a steady heat and cooked both from the top and bottom. The challenge is to get the coals hot enough so they will last a good 35 minutes.
I’m planning a back packing trip to Maine this summer and of course will be inviting Marky once again. What’s on the menu this time you ask?
I’m requesting bacon stuffed trout with lemon buerre blanc!