Monday, May 19, 2014

How to Adapt a Recipe

I'm incapable of following a recipe the way it's written... at least when it comes to cooking, baking is a WHOLE other story (ie I'm terrified of messing baked goods up. Cooking I do by feel, Baking I do by checking the directions every 20 seconds). I'll see something that looks good and then instantly start adapting it to fit my needs and my tastes. That's one reason why I always feel awkward when people ask for my recipes... I don't have it written down. I have the original recipe and I can try to lead you down the path of changes that my mind made, but it's hard to do.

This last Saturday I had the chance to throw a party for a great cause (Outnumber Hunger) as sponsored by (love these parties). In the box of goods I was given there were a couple of different starter recipes included. I took them and ran my own way- and that way lead to real deliciousness. Recipe #1 was originally a Strawberry Yogurt Torte that I twisted and turned into a Blackberry Yogurt Cake. Recipe #2 was a Lemonade recipe (I found it online) that I morphed into a Triple Citrus Lemonade. I unfortunately didn't get a picture of the lemonade- mostly because it disappeared too quickly.

So, how did I morph these? I went off of what I already had on hand. For example, I had no strawberries, but I've slowly been stockpiling blackberries while they're on sale and sticking them in my freezer for months now. Plus, I knew it would add a nice sweet but slightly sharp note to the cake. I don't like frosting even the tiniest bit, but I had cream cheese and I can usually tolerate cream cheese frosting, so I searched for 'blackberry cream cheese frosting' and came up with this gem which I then adapted to my needs.

With the Lemonade, I cheated. I've had recipes like this before at the Gardener's Market in Logan, Utah (I miss that place), so I knew what flavors I wanted to aim for. I tried to balance the tart lemons, the little bit of sweet in the key limes, and the ultra sweet in my orange.I loved the idea of the simple syrup in the original recipe, so I instantly chose that one.

In conclusion, don't be afraid to make up crazy sounding things and then looking for them online. Chances are someone's had a similar idea you can adapt to your purposes. Also, go crazy. Sometimes the most insane sounding combinations can be the best. Lastly, you never know until you try! I've had my share of failures, and so will you. THAT'S OK. That's what the kitchen is made for- experimenting. Have fun and enjoy!

Blackberry Yogurt Cake with Blackberry Cream Cheese Frosting


1 box Betty Crocker Super Mist White Cake Mix
3/4 c Water
1/3 c vegetable oil
3 egg whites
1 6oz container of Blackberry Yogurt (try to get fat free)


1 stick butter (room temperature)
4 oz. cream cheese (softened)
3/4 C fresh blackberries (I used 1 1/4 pints)
2 C confectioners sugar (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 350. 
Beat ingredients together on low speed for 30 seconds and high for 2 minutes. Pour into pan.
Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes depending on pan size, remove when toothpick poked in comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan, and then let cool for another 2 hours.

Then, beat butter and cream cheese together until fluffy. Add blackberries (I smashed them a bit first). Beat until mixed and then slowly add sugar 1/2 cup at a time until incorporated fully. Taste and add more sugar as needed (some blackberries are more tart then others).

Frost cake and put in fridge for roughly 20 minute to set the frosting (you can skip this part, it just makes it less messy when serving and eating). Enjoy!

Not the prettiest picture, but BOY was it GOOD!

Triple Citrus Lemonade

1 3/4 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 c citrus juice
8 c water

Pour one cup water and sugar into a small sauce pan. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve. Take your simple syrup off of the heat and let mixture cool to room temperature. Cover and place in fridge until ready to use. 

Squeeze your citrus. I used one small bag of key limes (24 I believe), 8 lemons, and 1 navel orange. Strain out pulp and seeds (I used a cheese grater).

Mix juice, simple syrup, and remaining water in a large pitcher and chill into ready to serve,

1 comment:

  1. I do the same thing - can't think of the last time I followed a recipe word for word. It makes life interesting :)