Skip to main content

Recipe rant

This is not a macaron Donna

I did something yesterday that I'm not very proud of.

I ranted on Twitter and Facebook about a bad recipe experience and named and shamed the culprit.

This morning I felt a little ashamed for my lack of manners.  But then I got some feedback from friends and fans that they too had had a bad experience with the recipe and agreed it wasn't up to scratch.

If the situation were reversed, I'd be mortified.  But then again, I'm a little voice in the blogging net-osphere. The magazine/author I targeted is a household name with 10+ years standing.

I guess what really gets my goat is that the magazine blatantly promotes the fact that they test and retest the recipes to make sure that they're perfect.

I followed the recipe to the letter and even I could see that the wheels were coming off early in the piece.  But I was following their recipe and I persevered. In the end I ended up with flat, grainy meringues, not beautiful macarons.

I am a reasonably good baker and I can apply my understanding of baking principles to iron out obvious errors in a recipe.  But for most people picking up a magazine and being seduced by the beautiful photos, they follow the recipe verbatim - and on this basis, the recipe should deliver the promise of the photo.

I'm disappointed for me because I hate wasting ingredients on a bad recipe.

I'm disappointed for my girlfriends who will be eating grainy coffee meringues this afternoon instead of di-licious macarons.

And finally, I'm disappointed for everyone who tried the recipe and wondered what they did wrong.

It wasn't you.

Here end-iths the rant.


Don't even get me started on that particular person Di. I think they are completely overrated as a cook/baker. Maybe ok on the styling front and yes, I've bought the occasional magazine but, like you, would know if the recipe wasn't going to work but would continue because you'd think they knew what they were doing. (Here's me talking! Remember the Choc Peppermint Slice and I left out the butter? OH NO!) I love the CWA recipe books where they list the ingredients, say 'combine ingredients', basically bung it in the oven and take it out. They expect that anyone with their cookbook would know what they were doing.

You were right in way you said on FB and Twitter.

Anne xx
Thanks Anne. Perhaps we could sum it up simply as Style over Substance?
Oh what a shame! I experienced some issues with a Martha S recipe for macarons. It was so frustrating! :(
Di, the chia didn't add any real taste to the muffins. If anything, added a slight nutty taste. The chia seeds form a gel when water is added. I thought it was great. Bit of healthy goodness added to a basic recipe. Everyone loved them. (By the way, I'd love for my daughter to have the table if and when she moves out, which could be sooner rather than later if she keeps up the moody behaviour! LOL)

Anne xx
Laura said…
I've heard problem after problem with this persons recipes and packet mixes. So don't feel bad, you're just one tiny voice... it's the fact that it's echoed by hundreds of others that they should be worried about!
@Laura - Funny you should mention the packet mixes. My friend tried out the macaron mix and it was terrible. It really gets my goat!

Popular posts from this blog

My sister's wedding cake: Kransekake {Recipe}

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Drive to Byron Bay for my sister's wedding so we could transport the wedding cake I'd made her. A six day break where we spent four days in the car. Insane right?

Did I mention I made a wedding cake?

Not your quintessential tiered, fondant creation mind you.  In a nod to our Norwegian heritage, my sister asked me to make a traditional wedding cake called kransekake.

If you haven’t seen one before, kransekake isn’t actually a cake; it’s a tower of eighteen sweet almond macaroon rings – think baked marzipan – ‘glued’ together with royal icing. 

Instead of cutting the cake, the bride and groom lift the top ring.  The number of rings that stay attached to the top ring is supposed to signify how many children the happy couple will be blessed with. 
The rings are then broken up into pieces (starting from the bottom) and served with coffee. 

The dough is a cinch to make but its the baking that brings many a cook unstuck, or should I stay stuck.…

Norwegian Apple Cake {Recipe}

If you’ve been following my blog you’d know that earlier this week I celebrated Norway’s Constitution Day – hip hip hurrah! 

The Norwegian Kitchen is a collection of traditional and new recipes from each region of Norway, presented by the Association of Norwegian Chefs. 

Choosing just one cake recipe was hard but I decided to recreate a popular cake from my own childhood – apple cake.

When I made the cake I thought three apples was a bit excessive and only used two. Once baked I regretted my decision – whilst still di-licious, the extra apple in the centre of the cake as well as on top would have provided a greater apple flavour and a moister cake. Definitely use two green cooking apples – in Australia we would use Granny Smiths.

I made the cake the day of our afternoon tea so it was still slightly warm when served. The leftover cake was popped into an airtight container and consumed over a week. Kept in the fridge it stays quite fresh. To bring out the aromas, gently reheat a cake …

Spread the love - Lemon Butter {Recipe}

You could be forgiven for thinking that there is a strong lemon theme happening on the blog lately. And you'd be right. 

When you have unlimited access to a ridiculously abundant lemon tree - you don't cook with oranges.
Luckily we're all lemon fans here. 
Can I just say categorically that I love lemon butter. It's tart, it's sweet and it makes the most decadent white bread sandwich. 

It's perfect on scones and pikelets; is a divine filling for cakes and sandwiched biscuits; and unbeatable eaten straight from the spoon.
It's also pretty easy to make provided you're not in a hurry. If you rush it..... well, you're going to end up with lemony scrambled eggs.
Trust me. I've been there. 

I got asked what the difference was between lemon butter and lemon curd. I couldn't find an answer online but according to my CWA Judging notes, lemon curd/cheese is made with milk and cream whereas lemon butter is not.

A good lemon butter should:

have a fresh, delicate …