I’m updating all my Q&A posts on Pastry Sampler – here is the lasted one, with recipes for many different types of buttercreams. In it, I also list my criteria for the different types (egg yolk based, Italian meringue based, etc.). Enjoy.
I’ll admit it: I’ve always loved algebra. Geometry? Eh, not so much. But with algebra, you can literally solve anything, especially when baking. For example, take this question from ck12.org: How can we make enough chocolate chip cookies for an exact amount of people with only one recipe? Easy, use algebra. Or, this question from a text book word problem from algebra.com: How many trays of each type of muffins should the baker make to maximize his profit? Use linear algebra. Or, how to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit or the other way around (aaamath.com)? Create an algebraic formula.
But when cake cutting is involved, it involves more than simply cutting a slice from a whole. Will each piece be equal, or at least, perceived as equitable between the guests eating it? Will everyone be happy? Will the remaining pieces dry out? I look into how mathematics come into play when cutting a perfect cake slice, and reference two journals, Nature from 1906, and Notices from 2006, that try to solve just those questions.
It would be a delicious question to solve.
Market black box: tomatoes.
What I did with them: made a tart.
If you have a tomato bounty from your garden or your local market, make a tomato tart. I used mozzarella, but other grated semi-soft cheeses would work equally as well: fontina, provolone, even Swiss cheese.
Here’s how I made mine.
- Pie crust, enough to line a 8" x 11" square tart mold
- About 6 medium tomatoes, sliced (I used half yellow and half red tomatoes)
- About 1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling, optional
- Line the tart mold with the pie crust, and press in the sides. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the bottom of the tart pan. Lay the sliced tomatoes evenly over the top. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the crust is browned, and the tomatoes are lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and let stand for about 30 minutes or more. Lightly brush a little olive oil over the top before serving.