Molecular gastronomy is certainly not known for its simplicity of preparation. But Britain’s Heston Blumenthal, through his BBC TV series In Search of Perfection and his cookbooks that accompany the program, is endeavoring to bring this deconstructed cooking style to the masses.
Is it feasible? Over at A Hamburger Today, Kenji Alt describes his efforts to produce “The Most Labor-Intensive Hamburger Ever” from a recipe in Blumenthal’s Further Adventures in Search of Perfection. Now Alt is no slouch in the kitchen, being a food writer for the famously testing-intensive Cook’s Illustrated, but it still took him 30 hours (not to mention 32 ingredients) to put the cheeseburger together. Aside from baking your own buns, of course, you also need to confect your own cheese slices with Comté cheese and emulsifiers melted and poured onto a Silpat; grind your own meat; and make your own tomato concentrate (in lieu of ketchup).
Alt’s entertaining writing and step-by-step photos keep you on the edge of your seat to the end, wondering whether the final product will be worth the 30 hours of work. Of course, you could always check out the original and do a side-by-side comparison.