Chemistry and Sugar: The Secrets of a Pastry Wizard

Cooking is science, as Momofuku's David Chang says. But perhaps no branch more so than the arcane practices of pastry chefs—it's all chemistry and physics.


So it's pretty exciting that Michael Laiskonis, formerly of Le Bernardin and one of the best pastry chefs in the country—and whom you might've seen on Giz in the video above—just dropped three year's worth of work notes and recipes for free on his site.

A sample recipe for bacon ice cream requires:

200g double-smoked bacon
500g whole milk
30g nonfat dry milk
75g granulated sugar
30g glucose powder
20g trimoline
25g granulated sugar
3g ice cream stabilizer
100g pasteurized egg yolks
75g heavy cream

[Michael Laiskonis via Francis Lam]


Laiskonis is the man. He actually will reply to questions/comments on his blog. I've been following his blog for while now but he hasn't updated in years(?). If the recipes are anything like they were before (in PDF format), they are really insightful and helpful but often very vague. You often have to guess at the steps and I usually don't make the dishes because who wants to spend all that time gathering the materials just to mess up? The worst though is Will Goldfarb, another very creative pastry chef. He posts his recipes in an even more vague way - on Twitter, often using abbreviations and shorthand.