Friday, April 13, 2012

Alice In Videoland

Chatting with a serious documentary filmmaker decades before there was SO much food on TV, I expressed the opinion that the processes involved with chocolate and dessert making would look good on film.  She didn’t really get it! I explained how visual it all was: luxurious chocolate glaze flowing over a cake, up-close brush stokes marbleizing that glaze with milk chocolate so it looks like Italian or French art paper, deckle-edge ruffles of pure chocolate pealing off of a sheet pan, even the technique of beating and folding egg whites properly, lovingly, expertly, into a chocolaty batter. I thought it could be instructional and exquisitely beautiful. She looked dubious. I kid you not.

Decades later we have endless food TV—so what else is new?

Recently my publisher proposed that I teach video classes to support the launch of Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts (out next month, btw). We discussed the recipes during a very enthusiastic conference call with the lifestyle editor at, who would be our partner in this video adventure. In the back of my mind, I was vaguely disappointed. I was finally doing video, but with the wrong content! I love my new book, but Sang An’s photography is already amazing, and the whole point of Sinfully Easy is that no one needs video to succeed with the recipes!

Then a miracle happened. The Craftsy team “remembered” that their audience of passionate crafters and DIY-ers loves ambitious projects and are eager to learn technique. They want to learn skills, not just recipes. Sinfully Easy was too damn —easy (yay!)—and thus not ideal for video. Would I consider scrapping the original plan and coming up with a list of more challenging desserts?

It took me three minutes to get a new menu on paper.

The course launched last week and you can see a little preview of it here: