Solution to The Emperor's New Kitchen
by Danny Bulmash
This puzzle presents a bunch of cooking videos, but not only is every mention of an ingredient bleeped out, but the ingredients themselves are not shown in the videos! Using visual and audio clues along with cooking knowledge, solvers can deduce what dish is being cooked.
The precise recipes are not canonical, and some substitutions could be made - for example, the video for chocolate chip cookies would also work as peanut butter chip cookies. However, each dish is missing a very important and unambiguous ingredient.
Reference recipes for each dish, each bleeped ingredient, and the missing ingredient are, in the order they appear in the puzzle:
|Dish||Ingredients (in video bleep order)||Missing ingredient||Comments|
|Marshmallows||Gelatin, sugar, light corn syrup, salt, vanilla, powdered sugar, cornstarch||Water||Molasses, which was a major part of the theme of Mystery Hunt 2019, appears in dark corn syrup but not light corn syrup. Also, granulated sugar can be blended to turn it into powdered sugar, and cornstarch can be used to make non-Newtonian fluid.|
|Bread||Sugar, salt, water, flour, oil||Yeast||The bowl is white - yeast would be very visible in this bowl, while it would be harder to see sugar and salt.|
|Chocolate chip cookies||Baking soda, salt, butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, eggs, chocolate chips||Flour||The quantities of dry ingredients are too small for them to be the flour.|
|French fries||Potatoes, water, oil||Salt||Double-frying should make this one pretty clear.|
|Pasta aglio e olio||Water, salt, pasta, garlic, Parmesan cheese, pepper, salt, parsley, red pepper flakes||Olive oil||Apparently the inclusion of cheese in this dish is controversial, but it was included to avoid being a red herring.|
|French onion soup||Butter, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, pepper, salt, wine, bay leaves, stock, bread, cheese||Onion||The onions can be disambiguated from garlic by the fact that onions are not usually "finely minced" in this dish.|
|Pesto||Basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt, pepper||Garlic||"Nice, crunchy" and the comment about substitutions should disambiguate pine nuts from garlic. While raw garlic is crunchy, it would be strange to describe it that way, and it seems far more likely that someone would try to substitute pine nuts than garlic.|
|Shakshouka||Onion, bell pepper, garlic, olive oil, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, eggs, pita||Tomato||Tomato is distinguished from onion and bell pepper in this dish by the timing - it wouldn't get cooked at the very start.|
|Caprese salad||Balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper||Mozzarella cheese||This salad can be distinguished from others by the balsamic reduction and freshly picked basil.|
|Cornbread||All-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, butter, brown sugar, honey, egg, buttermilk, vinegar, milk||Cornmeal||Baking powder is indeed made of baking soda, along with some cream of tartar and sometimes cornstarch. The honey and buttermilk should disambiguate this from other recipes.|
The missing ingredients can themselves be combined to make a dish. In fact, they appear in the order they might be used in a simple recipe for a PIZZA, the answer to this puzzle.