baker, baking

Make It Work

March 23, 2013

I hear baking is hard from folks all the time. Usually I pooh-pooh the sentiment and say it’s actually quite easy with practice. Although there are some things I just can’t get the hang of like French macaroons.
Other times the problem does not lie with the baker’s skill; the issue is the recipe.
I have bookmarks to so many cooking sites and written recipes that I have traded to other cooks like kids used to trade Pokémon cards. Some of them are phenomenal at the first attempt, others are “meh,” and there are some that are “now I know what nightmares taste like.”
The recipes that are worth saving, I work on what can be done to save it or make it better.
In this case…red velvet donuts.
One of my favorite bakeries sold red velvet donuts for a brief time. Apparently I was the only person eating them. Since I worked there, I ate them for free. Obviously they were not moneymakers so they were soon discontinued.
I have never forgotten my love of those red velvet donuts. Oddly there is a big red velvet trend when it comes to celebratory cakes and cupcakes, but marketing other items out of red velvet like brownies, cookies, et cetera, hasn’t caught on like the bacon trend. Dunkin’ Donuts sells them seasonally, but come on. …
So I decided to make my own donuts to feed my gluttony. The recipe I found online was okay, but I think donuts should taste like an indulgence and do more than satisfy a craving. Since it seemed to be a problem with the moistness, I added plain yogurt to kick up the fattiness.
A quarter of a cup did not do much at all and a full cup gave me a mess. A third of a cup did the trick. One little change to the recipe made all of the difference.
I think another thing with baking that frightens people (I’m looking at you, hot side!) that they think there are stringent rules to stick to. I don’t think Marie-Antonin Carême will rise from his grave to give you the side eye if you doctor a recipe to suit your tastes.
So you are okay.

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