Well, here goes nothing.
I’m Clementine, and I’m a recipe addict. All the videos saved from my Facebook feed are recipes. My Pinterest boards are organised by meal, holiday, or our next camping adventure. When I’m eating breakfast, I’m thinking about what to eat for lunch. I’ll give you one guess as to what I’m thinking about while I’m enjoying my lunch. My bookshelf is 90% cookbooks, from Julia Child’s iconic series Mastering The Art of French Cooking to Coolio’s entertaining read Cooking with Coolio. Now while I collect recipes, I’m not actually great at trying them out. So perhaps instead of a recipe addict, I’m a recipe hoarder.
When I do get around to trying out a recipe, most of the time everything goes well, and I get to present a wonderful meal to my handsome man Dan. My husband is my top taste tester of anything I’m concocting in the kitchen, and I’m sure it’s the same for any reader here who has a partner. Dan is not afraid to give a few critiques here or there as he knows that pointers can turn a meal from good to outstanding.
But when I’m trying out a recipe for the first time and it does not goes as planned, I get pissed. I used to be disappointed in myself when a meal I tried to make failed, but then I started thinking – surely I’m not the only one that this has happened to? There has to be other people out there who follow a recipe to the letter (as I do), only to have the end product be an absolute flop.
Jordan Kenna / Via BuzzFeed
This happened to me a few weeks ago. I tried to make a Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake that I saw on one of those Tasty videos that was on my Facebook feed. Video made it seem easy enough, and the recipe was pretty simple. Operation Cheesecake started going pear shaped when after an hour the cheesecake still was a moussy unbaked blob. Half an hour later same thing. That cheesecake was in the oven for a full two hours before I felt relatively confident that it was fully baked. Fast forward to serving time, and I’m dropping the F bomb like a sailor as I see while cutting the first slice that the middle is still practically raw. Where did I go wrong?? I re-read the recipe and had followed it exactly, even the hubby read the recipe and recalled every step. In my mind there was no way I messed the cheesecake up. It had to be the recipe itself, not the baker.
That gave me an idea.
There’s book reviews, film reviews, and music reviews published every day. But what about an honest recipe review? Besides the odd “This was soooo yummy” comment on food blogs, I couldn’t find a publication that took a recipe and actually reviewed it, highlighting its strengths any possible flaws. This is exactly what I’m going to do in this blog. I’m going to go through my recipe collection, create the meal, and write and honest review.
If I’m going to seriously take this on I need to establish a few conditions to make this project an accurate and honest approach to each recipe.
- The recipe can be from any media – Print, video, website, etc.
- I must use the exact ingredients and measurements as listed in the recipe. If I can’t find a particular ingredient, I’ll have to find an alternative.
- The recipe will be tested twice to ensure nothing is missed. Hellllooooo leftovers!
- Critiques will be honest. I must highlight the good, the bad, and the inedible.
- If there are any noted flaws, I will recommend my own changes and test them out. This will come handy for recipes like the cursed Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake, where a difference in baking technique may create a more positive outcome.
I enjoy being in the kitchen creating something that takes all my senses to appreciate. With most recipes I get to indulge in this sensory experience, but when I find one that fails, I feel like I’ve been ripped off. I don’t want to eat bad tasting food, why would anyone? It’s only worth trying the recipe again and and being my readers’s guinea pig.
So…..let’s do this!