All Recipes Are Written, Created, and Photographed by Ryan Doggart
WTF ? is what i would use to describe this blog. I will begin with a little philosophising, philosophy is the study of knowledge, usually of a particular branch or discipline. Our discipline is Baking and Pastry. One might call it existential Baking, WTF? does this mean. To explain I will first have to give a definition of existentialism; existentialism is a philosophy of which the primary focus is the existence of the individual in respect to experiences. Basically it holds the individual and his or her responsibilities above any metaphysical abstractions and as the sole provider of one’s reality. Kierkegaard, regarded as the father of existentialism, stated that the individual is solely responsible for giving one’s life meaning. And so just as ones experiences are central to their reality so to are my experiences central to the Existential philosophies that build the frame work of this blog. Basically there Is no theme or specific cuisine covered in this blog the only thing stringing together these random thoughts turned into recipes is experience through experimentation. I invite you to be part of my experiences and use them to inspire your own culinary experiences, to play, and to hold your own thoughts above others in respect to what you find scrumptious.
So food? What is food? Well it is the sustenance of life, we ingest food to nourish our bodies and carry out bodily functions. In the beginning life was rather simple it was about surviving and so the food we ingested was simple. As human beings evolved and began to create culture food was no longer needed solely for survival, we started creating new and interesting ways of preparing our food. We continue to create new and interesting ways of combing flavour, texture, colour, and design into something that is more than just palatable; but a piece of artwork. This is all good and well but at times we get caught up in the past pre conceived notions of specific cuisines; “this is French cuisine, that is Italian cuisine, this is how my grandmother makes it”. I say cast off the traditions, throw out your recipes, and tell off your grandmothers, VIVE LA REVOLUTION!!!.
Ok just kidding please don’t tell off your grandmothers and remember respect thy elders. What I am trying to say is that if you liberate yourself from ideas of what dessert, pastries, and baking should be, you allow yourself to work off of yours as well as others experiences. There by allowing yourself to play, experiment, create and yes to screw up. This does not mean you can go into a supermarket pick up some ingredients and throw them together in a cake pan and expect something delicious. No baking is just as much of a science as it is an art form and you have to know what you are doing before you begin creating recipes from scratch. I suggest that depending on your experience that you start by modifying and combining recipes; You like the cake from recipe A but you think it be improved upon by adding the ice cream from recipe B.
I have a few mental notes that I would like to share that help me to break down the traditional mind set and enjoy creating desserts that are truly unique but still tasty and recognizable as desserts; after all this is a dessert anthology not an avant garde recipe anthology. The First being if the ingredient or a certain component does not serve a purpose in the overall dessert they should not be present. Just as Darwinism takes out the weakest link in a food chain so to should an un necessary ingredient be taken from our food chain. Allow me to expand typically allot of desserts are garnished with mint, chocolate sauce, whip cream, or sometimes sugar garnishes. If these are not intended to be eaten or do not add any desired flavor I don’t see the point in them being their. Second do not over complicate, a dessert can be complex and still be simplistic, meaning that you need to allow the different components and ingredients to speak to one another each having a moment to say their part but if you over complicate things it is the flavour equivalent of verbal diarhea. Third do not limit yourself to these dessert descriptors: sweet and rich. True that dessert has and always will be a sweet indulgence but once you allow your mind to look past these adjectives you will find a whole new world of flavors, textures, and ingredients will make themselves known to you. It’s truly amazing how segregated our perceptions are from our senses. More times than not our dislike for a food or dessert has more to do with how we perceive it than how it tastes.
Dessert is typically the last thing that you taste with a meal and can make or rune your dining experience. Yes, It can leave a lasting impression on your dining experience but I believe it still does not get the attention that it desserves. With this blog I mean to take dessert into the limelight and show the many different forms in which it can take. Where in the dessert is not brought into existence by pre conceived notions of what a dessert should be but instead what it can be. I am simply saying that if you put aside some of the ideals about what a dessert should be it leaves you free to play and work off of yours’ as well as other’s experiences and ideas.
This is wtf a dessert anthology is and remember don’t stop thinking in the free world !