My Favorite Writing

Elissa Bernstein is the author of my favorite blog, 17 and Baking. She is also featured on the Huffington Post’s website. Her blog is a recipe blog that includes quality photos and seriously enjoyable writing on the side. This excerpt is from Elissa’s most recent post (on August 11th, 2013) about marble cake and how cooking meth and baking a cake are surprisingly similar processes.

“Baking relies on precision. Four ounces of flour is always four ounces of flour. At the right temperature, butter and sugar become light and fluffy perfection in three minutes. I can make a sheet of cookies and recreate them a year later, at a friend’s house, on the other side of the country.

I love that different ratios of the same basic ingredients—butter, flour, sugar, eggs—result in a million different desserts. I think it’s incredible that a touch of salt makes chocolate sing, but a spoonful ruins ganache. Everything from the humidity of a kitchen to the size of the eggs to the style of whisk makes a difference. Who knew the art of pastry was such an exact science?

For some cooks, the exactitude of baking stifles their creativity. I like it. The chemistry excites me, challenges me. I think it’s sort of cool.”

There is a certain kind of flow in Elissa’s literary style. She narrates in the first-person, which enables her to throw in an opinion or two, which is acceptable on a platform such as an online blog. I could read her blog for hours. It is not the kind of work that tires, bores, or puts the reader to sleep. It is entertaining. It is relatable. Most importantly, it is coherent. As much as I love to read, I am distracted very easily. Somehow, the writing on this blog always manages to keep my attention. In this passage alone, it is clear that details are Elissa’s strong suit. She describes everything so vividly (i.e., “butter and sugar become light and fluffy perfection”) that the reader can picture it perfectly in his/her mind. Her tone is conversational and elicits emotions. She uses metaphors, similes, and personification consistently, i.e. “A touch of salt makes chocolate sing.”


WC: 209


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