Combine and enjoy!
Technically, I am not a millenial. But having jumped on the TikTok bandwagon at the beginning of this quarantine, and having refused to use the app before, I feel like one.
The first time I scrolled on my “for you” page, I saw a video from @heber_clawson. As the voiceover started, and the boy explained he was making a birthday cake for his friend’s mom, I had low expectations. I assumed he would simply make box-mix cake shabbily decorated with store-bought frosting.
Instead, the teenage boy created a masterpiece.
The cake could have been sitting in a professional bakery, and I would not have second-guessed it. The multi-tiered homemade chocolate cake was decorated with pink, white and blue vanilla buttercream. He added sprinkles as a final touch, spun the cake around and the video looped back to the beginning.
While my standard for TikTok videos is admittedly low, Heber consistently posts high-quality videos.
It’s hard to recommend recipes for a page that releases only decorating videos, but I would suggest going to his page and just scrolling through his videos. Some of my favorites include his geode cake, his Bob Ross-style painted cake and his cake with an elf on the shelf “dancing” on a candy cane.
Clawson also has an Instagram page, @cakesbyheber, where he frequently posts photos of his creations.
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Mythical Kitchen, Youtube
Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal have been playing the Youtube game since its early days. In their weekday morning show, Good Mythical Morning (GMM), the two best friends have tried a myriad of both delectable and near-inedible food creations.
GMM is itself a goldmine of food content, with various segments such as “Will It?” where the pair tries odd renditions of certain foods and “International Taste Tests” where they try foods from around the world. But in late 2019, Mythical Entertainment birthed a new channel, the Mythical Kitchen.
The mythical chefs have quite a … chaotic energy. The main chef, Josh Scherer, frequently omits the use of precise measurements and uses his hands in place of professional kitchen equipment.
Mythical Kitchen is another one of those cooking channels where recipes are difficult to recommend. There are recipes, but they are very weird and very complex. Some of the best videos from the channel include, “Mountain Dew Moon Pie Taste Test,” “Oreo Biscuits and Gravy Recipe,” and “3 Easy Instant Ramen Quarantine Hacks.”
Binging with Babish, Youtube
If you’ve ever wanted to make the blue meth from “Breaking Bad,” Binging with Babish is the channel for you.
Well, candy blue meth, that is.
Andrew Rea, who also goes by the alias Oliver Babish (a character from “The West Wing”), expertly combines the entertainment world and the cooking world. In addition to his “Basics with Babish” videos, the filmmaker recreates iconic foods from various movies, T.V. shows and videogames.
His recreations vary, with recipes ranging from “Avatar: The Last Airbender” egg tarts to “Seinfeld” calzones to “Pulp Fiction” milkshakes.
As I scrolled through the channel, I noticed there were some celebratory subscriber-milestone videos, and they all had a theme: they were all recipes from “Regular Show.”
Not only do I love “Regular Show,” but one of the recipes actually seemed possible to pull off in my state of quarantine. The ingredients for double-glazed apple fritters didn’t seem too complicated:
1 ¾ cup milk (heated to 110°F)
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp honey
3 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (room temperature), plus an additional ½ stick for cooking the apples
4 large Granny Smith apples
Juice of one lemon
½ cup brown sugar
¼ tsp cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
1 tsp cornstarch
1 ½ quarts vegetable oil
2 ½ cups powdered sugar (or more, if you want an extra thick glaze)
¼ cup milk
This recipe does have a lot of waiting time while the dough rises, but what else do you have to do? We’re all stuck inside, so you might as well make a delicious dessert.
First, combine the warm milk, yeast, sugar and honey in a stand mixer. Whisk and let sit for 10 minutes. Beat three eggs, slice butter into 1 by 1 inch squares and add those to the stand mixer, along with the flour. Using a dough hook, mix the ingredients for six minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl halfway through mixing. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then let the dough rise at room temperature for one hour.
While the dough rises, prepare the apple filling. Peel the apples, then chop them into bite-sized cubes. Toss the apples in a bowl with the lemon juice. In a large skillet, melt ½ stick of butter over medium heat. Once you see the fats separate from the butter (it will look like white foam separating from oil), add the apples and stir. Then add the brown sugar and stir again. Add the spices and stir once more. Simmer for four-five minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine warm water with cornstarch, then add the slurry to the apple mixture. Cook for an additional minute, then set aside to cool.
Flour your work surface GENEROUSLY. Seriously. Do it. If you don’t, then don’t say I didn’t try to warn you. Dump the dough onto the floured counter. Try to get the dough into a flattish rectangle. Pour the apples onto the flattened dough. Then, fold the dough on top of itself, like a pamphlet.
If you’re anything like me, this step will fail miserably. In that case, just add a truckload of flour, mix everything together, throw it all in the bowl, and hope for the best. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough sit for another hour.
OK, we’re almost there. Stay with me.
Pour more flour onto your work surface and dump the dough back out. Again, add a LOT of flour to the top of the dough, then roll it out to a 1-inch thickness (just kind of guess how thick one inch is). Using a biscuit cutter, or the rim of a glass, cut out circles. Keep rerolling and cutting until you run out of dough.
Heat the oil up to 375℉. Flatten the donuts a little bit before dropping them in the oil.
I’ll be honest, I hate working with hot oil. I mean, who enjoys the uneasy feeling of potentially getting grease burns? My advice: wear two pairs of gloves, a long-sleeve shirt and durable shoes — the complete package.
Cook each donut until both sides are golden brown, approximately 90 seconds on each side. Remove from oil and let dry on a wire rack with a baking sheet underneath.
After you finish frying all the donuts, combine the powdered sugar and milk to make the glaze. Dunk each fritter in the glaze, then let dry on the rack. Once the first coat has set, go back in and dunk each fritter again.
You did it! You made double-glazed apple fritters from “Regular Show.”
Mine turned out just OK. They would have been better without my user errors and tiny kitchen, but I’m happy to say I at least did something productive in my self-isolation.
Those were a lot of work, though, so I’ll probably just go back to being productive by watching hours upon hours of cooking videos.