Tuesday, 27 March 2012
I have reached the point, when following a baking recipe, I can actually stray from it to improve (well, try to improve) what's on paper.
I was making cinnamon cakes, and for the life of me I couldn't find a decent recipe. So I took a nearly adequate one and tweaked it to my liking. And for all the chefs in my life who think that straying from a recipe is as natural as turning on the cooker, baking is nearly more science than cookery. Stray from the recipe normally calls for disaster. And disaster normally isn't too tasty.
Here's a few rules in my Handbook-For-Everything-I-Bake:
One. If a recipe calls for oil instead of butter, I'm not interested (unless it's olive oil cake, because they are beyond heavenly). Butter is always better.
Two. If you are making a cake (say, a cinnamon cake) and the only flavour profile you can find sits delicately on top, it's useless.
Three. If a pie, muffin, cake or tart calls for any crumble topping, double the amount any recipe calls for. Hell, triple it.
Four. I'm Canadian. If I can add maple to something, I will.
So, after tweaking here and there, I started with a recipe for cinnamon coffee cake (that had no cinnamon in the cake itself, I just couldn't wrap my head around that one), I ended up with these bad boys.
Cinnamon and maple cakes with a cinnamon crumble layer and maple and cream cheese glaze (with extra crumble scattered on top, just for good measure).