Help needed with sourcing reliable recipes

Discussion in 'Geek Food' started by mevereyn, Apr 22, 2021.

  1. mevereyn

    mevereyn Member

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    So I’m trying to learn to make cakes and all that stuff. About time, really.

    Trouble is, some recipes are just flat out bullshit. They just don’t work as “advertised”, for whatever reason. Ghostwritten is apparently often likely. Deliberately misleading recipes might be a thing too? Like, family secrets and all that crap? People just not wanting others in on the good stuff..

    Anyway, are there any super-reliable sources for recipes, for cakes and suchlike? Also just in general, for future reference.

    I’ve had success with some other kinds of recipes, from around here for example. But honestly? Baking is weird, lol. Help!
     
  2. Lost Property

    Lost Property Member

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    It may not be the recipes that are the problem. Anything from ingredients being slightly different, to the implements used, to oven it's cooked in could make two seemingly identical cakes cook completely different. There might well be some family secrets out there but even following "Nana's recipe" can often yield different results to the way good ol Nan's cake turned out. Many chefs well tell you that you have to 'know your oven' that's because not all ovens are the same, just because the dial, or digital display says 180 degrees it may not actually be that, knowing your oven is understanding that when a recipe calls for 180, your oven needs 190 or maybe even 170, that sort of thing only comes with experience. It's also worth taking into account that when people are making these books and web sites from recipes they don't just make one version and it turns out perfectly for the photo opportunity.

    If you want a recipe source for cakes that has been used by generations of people in Australia get the Woman's Weekly Birthday cake book it's been around for 40 years and reissued something like 20 times. There is quite a bit of decorating in it but but they do show how to make the cakes as well, although still don't be surprised if not everything turns out exactly how the picture looks.
     
  3. power

    power Member

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    what's wrong with cook books? Or are you just getting them all off websites?
     
  4. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    The recipes are fine I'm sure, just the variables are not right, such as what you're using to measure your ingredients, or your oven times/heats. Just stick with some of the more well known sites, paying attention to the detail, and you should be fine. /shrug
     
  5. kombiman

    kombiman Dis-Member

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    Jamie Olivers recipes always work for me.
     
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  6. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    I've been to one of his restaurants, didn't care for the food much :p
     
  7. josh1990

    josh1990 Member

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    Uncle Roger just dropped his knee kombi, HAIYAA!

    On topic though, my mum had a cake recipe published in the Australian Women's Weekly cookbook back in the day - yes the ingredients were modified to hold back the 'secret'. It was the done thing.
     
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  8. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Do they still do this? I have a few WW cookbooks, not aware of this occurring in the book....
     
  9. lennie

    lennie Member

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    There are a lot of fake recipes out there. Why anyone would bother boggles the mind.

    There is an Aussie chick Ann Reardon on YouTube that tests and debunks many. Explains the cooking science behind stuff a bit too., and has a few technique videos.

    She also has a dessert cookbook.

    Might be worth checking her out.

    There are several other technique based cooking channels. Techniques is the place to start. I like helen rennie. She explains stuff well. Food wishes has techniques sprinkled into the recipes also.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021
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  10. josh1990

    josh1990 Member

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    NFI, but 110% the ingredients were changed and its not your oven :tongue:
     
  11. always.all.in

    always.all.in Member

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    Baking tends to suffer more from variation in the ingredients.

    The advice I got from a mad baking (baking mad? either or) friend was to stick to a single brand and type of the main ingredients, and be consistent with your temperatures.

    She uses White Wings for the flour, CSR for sugar, Allowie for her butter. Not so much that they're better per se, more that they're widely available and consistent in quality.

    Things like particle size for flour and sugar, water and salt content for butter can vary from brand to brand and that's enough to hinder consistency from batch to batch.
     
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  12. macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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    Chef John on youtube has loads of recipes and they're on a blog as well with the actual recipe stuff.
     
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  13. scrantic

    scrantic Member

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    I much prefer baking with recipes that are measured in grams rather than cups etc so I can ensure consistency. The variance in how flour, sugar & butter can be packed in to a cup can mess with recipes
     
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  14. power

    power Member

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    a lot of people also mess with their ovens too much during cooking making the temps not consistent as well as forgetting to sift flour, it's simple things that can bring a cake undone.
     
  15. scrantic

    scrantic Member

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    Yeah worth getting an oven thermometer so you actually know your true oven temp lots of thermostats are shot.

    Also make sure stuff like baking powder/soda in recipes is in date and stored properly it loses its oompfh otherwise.
     
  16. power

    power Member

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    good points, i know our oven reads low and being single element you have to be very pedantic about getting it right and not opening and closing the door too much as the recovery time isn't great.
     
  17. miicah

    miicah Member

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    I really think you just need more practice. Soon enough you'll be able to make a sponge with your eyes closed, with all measurements from memory. Baking is a science, if you can change one variable at a time you'll soon find out what's wrong with your equipment or your recipe.
     
  18. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    Growing up, as a hungry teenager, was lucky enough the next door neighbour was one of the cooks for Womans Weekly, there was always plenty of extras going around.

    She'd of course test how repeatable the reciepes were, so there were many attempts, refinements, some duds, and the finished perfect one would then be staged and photographed.
     
  19. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Why, why would you even watse your time. You don't even see the outcome anyways, so what's the satisfaction :confused:
     
  20. OP
    OP
    mevereyn

    mevereyn Member

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    Some food for thought, ahaha. Ha.

    Forgot all about Chef John! Have even done some other recipes of his. Good call. And I will check out the other recommendations, and keep the advice in mind. Thanks guys.
     
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