Hey All - I've been testing out some lemon cake recipes, and wanted to put something up about a baking pet peeve. [Maybe this should be an entire series of things home bakers should do/know, but nobody ever seems to focus on. Thoughts?]
Today's peeve: the Zesting Method
The somewhat longer version of this story comes from somewhere far afield from baking. I'm a huge fan of the YouTube series How To Drink. If you are, like myself, a fan of the occasional cocktail, I can't recommend Greg's creative take on drinking highly enough. The vids he produces are famous (infamous) for close-up, slow-mo, nigh-on-pornographic shots of the addition of each new ingredient.
While watching the pulling of zest for garnish, the question occurred to me, if that much essence is sprayed from a wide peel, how much more from zesting? Shouldn't all those essential oils be in the dough or batter and NOT in the prep bowl or all over your kitchen? I don't think anyone wants their kitchen to smell orangey-fresh if the resulting bake is going to be one iota inferior.
My preferred Zesting Method: only at the last possible moment and directly into the mixing bowl. Especially in a recipe where only a single lemon, lime, orange, etc is being used, it only makes sense for every last bit to wind up in the recipe. It could be the difference between an OK loaf and one with mouth-watering zing.