Should I Give Him The Recipe?

Decorating By kathik Updated 23 Oct 2007 , 1:21pm by mjw15618

kathik Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 3:42am
post #1 of 54

I made a cake for some friends and this guy (a friend of dh) was there. He really liked how smooth the french meringue buttercream was and asked if I could point him in the direction of a recipe for that type of frosting. I don't want to give him the easy version with the pastuerized egg whites, because he's the type who would spread around how easy it is to make this recipe (and the recipe) and who knows, maybe affect my business. I thought about giving him the traditional recipe using the boiling sugar method, but I'm undecided on what to do. Part of it is I really don't want him to say a recipe he used for ANYTHING came from me, because he's a terrible cook and could mess anything up, even spaghetti!

I had "conveniently" forgotten, but when we came home tonight from an overninght away I had a message from him. He called at 5:15 and "NEEDED" the recipe in the next 15 minutes!!!!

What would you do?
Kathi

53 replies
Metabea Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 3:42am
post #2 of 54

The only thing that came to my mind when I read this was. Remember the old commerical when someone asked how she did it? and the answer was "ancient chinese secret" don't be afraid to say this when people ask for your recipes... as they should know that in business there needs to be a few secrets or everyone would do it.

shanasweets Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 3:42am
post #3 of 54

I say give him the boil receipe. Make him work for it. If he wants an easier receipe he can do research for it.

all4cake Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 3:52am
post #4 of 54

Tell him there are oodles of recipes online and that for proprietary(?) reasons you are unable to divulge the very one you use. Some kinda sumpin' sumpin' like that.

DEBBIE157 Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 3:47am
post #5 of 54

hmmm some are still posting out of order...

But anyway.. I agree with "ancient chinese recipe". You don't have to give him a recipe. tell him to GOOGLE it.

cariage Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 4:00am
post #6 of 54

I say give him a totally different recipe. And when he says it doesn't taste like yours, tell him he must be doing something wrong. icon_smile.gif

malika Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 4:02am
post #7 of 54

Tell him you were trusted from a friend to not give the recipe to anyone and you're honoring your promise. You hope he understands and tell him to experiment with different recipes.

GI Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 4:02am
post #8 of 54

Wait for him to call you back with it. Then just put him off -- tell him you're in the middle of washing your hair, clothes, the kitchen floor, etc. icon_surprised.gif and then if he DOES call back again...have HIM write down the boiled recipe himself while you read it to him. Leave out your own secret ingredient. icon_surprised.gif

If he's that crappy of a cook, he'll give it up since it doesn't come out a can! icon_lol.gif

sweetreasures Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 4:13am
post #9 of 54

I would probably give him the original recipe with the option of pasterized egg whites.

I have a wonderful candy recipe and I give it out to friends that ask for it as well as give them tips on making it. Sometimes it doesn't turn out well for them. Not everyone can duplicate your recipe with the same results of what they tasted from you. It would never occur to me that it would be a negative reflection on me. They just can't cook as well!! Then DH 's friend would probably never try the recipe again, instead purchasing a cake from you because your's was the best! Word would spread about this wonderful icing............

arosstx Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 4:13am
post #10 of 54

Get caller ID..... icon_lol.gif

sportsmom005 Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 4:26am
post #11 of 54

This is always tough...I don't know what to tell you to do and I'm in the same boat you are. I just went through this tonight with the recipe for some cake balls I made for a party. Everyone loved them and wanted to know what went into them, which was fine because I kept it really general. But then someone specifically asked for the recipe. Now I don't bake for profit (but I'd like to one day icon_biggrin.gif ) but I do enjoy the reputation I've been building. It's childish, but this is my "thing" I don't want to share the spotlight icon_cry.gif
I told her I'd give it to her...I like her and she was sooo nice when she asked, but how do I get out of doing this in the future?

GI Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 4:38am
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmyoung5

This is always tough...I don't know what to tell you to do and I'm in the same boat you are. I just went through this tonight with the recipe for some cake balls I made for a party. Everyone loved them and wanted to know what went into them, which was fine because I kept it really general. But then someone specifically asked for the recipe. Now I don't bake for profit (but I'd like to one day icon_biggrin.gif ) but I do enjoy the reputation I've been building. It's childish, but this is my "thing" I don't want to share the spotlight icon_cry.gif
I told her I'd give it to her...I like her and she was sooo nice when she asked, but how do I get out of doing this in the future?




I've given out just one of my frosting recipes, but covet my special ones... and haven't shared any "coffeemate" tips... Just tell your friend its a family recipe. YOUR family, which is true, because YOU can be a family of one!

crazycakes2007 Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 4:41am
post #13 of 54

I am very open about sharing recipes, because I think it's only very good, passionate bakers (like all of us on cc!) who are willing to take as much time as it takes to put together all the details that knock someone's socks off. BUT, sometimes I don't have time to write it out for someone, so I refer them to the internet or, not meaning to, put them off.

That said, I would still understand you saying, "oh, you don't have a candy thermometer? Well, you won't be able to make this then..." Cheryl

AnythingSugar Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 4:42am
post #14 of 54

I see no reason for not sharing recipes. No two people will ever make the same exact recipe exactly alike. There are just too many variables in a recipe for everybody to make it exactly the same. I have shared recipes my entire life and people still tell me that their cake, icing, etc. didn't taste like mine.

mezzaluna Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 4:57am
post #15 of 54

I only share a couple of recipes. SMBC and gumpaste, to be exact.

I own a bakery and thus bake for profit. My product is unique to my business.

Advice and tips I share all the time.

dragonflydreams Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 5:02am
post #16 of 54

sounds like your ancient Chinese secret would be safe with him . . . after all he can't even boil spaghetti . . . icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Maybe you could tell him you have used a couple of different recipes . . . then share what ever recipe you feel comfortable sharing . . . and graciously tell him "good luck . . . hope you like it". On the other hand if you really aren't comfortable sharing any recipe . . . make a joke of it . . .tell him if I told you, then I'd have to kill you . . . icon_rolleyes.gif

chezz Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 6:55am
post #17 of 54

I suppose it is a compliment that he wants your recipe, just be honest and say that you don't like giving out your recipes but possibly tell him where you originally got your idea from. Or alternatively, lie like hell and give him the wrong one. Depends on how badly your concience would bother you.

amysue99 Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 7:06am
post #18 of 54

It is tough to share our recipes - but where would we be if no one shared with us to begin with? I LOVE Toba Garrett's icing recipes. I'm so glad she shared them in her book. If she - an uber-professional can do the same then I certainly can. If you don't want to give him your exact recipe, then give him the name and tell him he'll find tons of versions on the internet.

Luxe42 Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 2:09pm
post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by arosstx

Get caller ID..... icon_lol.gif




icon_cry.gif ha ha ha ha icon_cry.gif

I think that in the cake world, there are three types of people. Those who like to share their recipes, those who don't like to share recipes, and those who like to eat recipes icon_wink.gif

If you don't want to give him your recipe, tell him the name of the buttercream. and then tell him Google was invented. Don't feel bad. It's just a personal choice.

1234me Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 3:05pm
post #20 of 54

when people ask for my buttercream recipe, I tell them I make it in such large quantities that I couldn't tell them how to make a small batch. That is a lie, but it seems to work.

Also, people always want to know about my cookies, how I do them, etc and I refer them to a website online that gives cookie tutorials, etc but is not the method I actually use. I hate when people put us in this situation.

kathik Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 4:51pm
post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by amysue99

It is tough to share our recipes - but where would we be if no one shared with us to begin with? I LOVE Toba Garrett's icing recipes. I'm so glad she shared them in her book. If she - an uber-professional can do the same then I certainly can. If you don't want to give him your exact recipe, then give him the name and tell him he'll find tons of versions on the internet.




It isn't that I am unwilling to share recipes at all. I share recipes here and I am grateful when others do as well. There are certain recipes I share personally as well, and some I do not. I am sure Toba Garrett and others do not share ALL their recipes or secrets.

In this case though, it is more that I do not wish to share with this particular person. For some reason he is very proud of his cooking, although I know for a fact that on a number of occassions people have actually gotten sick from his cooking. And he is very rude about trying to get me to share recipes although he knows this is my business, and he NEVER buys anything from me, although he eats my desserts at everyone else's house, and asks for seconds. I don't like his "style" of pushing me, I don't want his attempts to get anyone sick, and I don't want him to start spreading the recipe all over, which I could see him doing. I guess I just don't like him!

Do I sound like a whiny child, yet. icon_cry.gif I don't like him and I don't want to share my toys!!! icon_cry.gif

Kathi

bobwonderbuns Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 5:01pm
post #22 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathik

It isn't that I am unwilling to share recipes at all. I share recipes here and I am grateful when others do as well. There are certain recipes I share personally as well, and some I do not. I am sure Toba Garrett and others do not share ALL their recipes or secrets.

In this case though, it is more that I do not wish to share with this particular person. For some reason he is very proud of his cooking, although I know for a fact that on a number of occassions people have actually gotten sick from his cooking. And he is very rude about trying to get me to share recipes although he knows this is my business, and he NEVER buys anything from me, although he eats my desserts at everyone else's house, and asks for seconds. I don't like his "style" of pushing me, I don't want his attempts to get anyone sick, and I don't want him to start spreading the recipe all over, which I could see him doing. I guess I just don't like him!

Do I sound like a whiny child, yet. icon_cry.gif I don't like him and I don't want to share my toys!!! icon_cry.gif

Kathi




Then don't share with him. I tell my students on the first day of class "do not ask me for my recipes, I will not give them to you. I will, however, give you a generic [buttercream] recipe which is the one I started with and it's up to you to make it your own." None of that is a lie and they end up with their own versions and I'm happy because what became known as "my" buttercream stays that way. icon_biggrin.gif On the other hand, you could just ignore him too and claim you are too busy and didn't get his message in time... icon_lol.gif Of course then there's always "check the internet, it's full of recipes... icon_rolleyes.gificon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 5:10pm
post #23 of 54

"When you can get Col. Sanders to give you his 11 herbs and spices recipe, then and only then will I share MY business secrets."

samcfi Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 5:07pm
post #24 of 54

Oh, I love indydebi's response!!!!

kwdonlon Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 7:26pm
post #25 of 54

Penny McConnell wrote in her book "Cookie Stories" that "it has never occurred to me to keep my recipes a secret." Thank goodness she's shared her cut-out recipe! I share all my recipes, most are ones that someone else has shared with me that I may have tweaked. I have a close friend that has a cinnamon biscotti recipe that I absolutely adore. She told me she copied it out of a magazine years ago, yet refuses to share it with me. She rarely makes it, she doesn't sell it. I think that's completely selfish.

On the other hand...if I wasn't fond of who was asking me for the recipe, I would only share the base recipe if they came back and asked a second time for it. I think giving out the wrong recipe is rude. In your case, Kathi, since it's a DH friend, I'd provide the super long version that you're think about doing. I don't think he'll ever get around to making it.

ge978 Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 7:53pm
post #26 of 54

How about telling him this:
"I've been making this so long that i don't even follow a recipe anymore..i usually eyeball it...you would be better doing a search on the internet for an exact recipe"
or you could say
"NO!!!!!!!!"
Either one icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 8:05pm
post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ge978

How about telling him this:
"I've been making this so long that i don't even follow a recipe anymore..i usually eyeball it...you would be better doing a search on the internet for an exact recipe"




oh that's a good one!! thumbs_up.gif

elvis Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 8:06pm
post #28 of 54

I think that when you have a business, it makes no sense to give out your recipes. I had a caterer once ask me how I make my cakes-- if they have the nerve to ask, you should have the nerve to say- sorry, can't share that!

Now on the other hand, I share recipes all the time that are non-cake related, b/c I don't sell anything but cakes...and that's not a big deal to me.

sportsmom005 Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 8:02pm
post #29 of 54

I think that's why I told her I'd give her the recipe...I wouldn't even have had the idea if I hadn't used recipes people on this site had been generous enough to post. Granted, I combined a few different ideas to get my final product, but I never would've known where to start if it weren't for CC.

Asking for your recipe is probably the highest compliment someone can give, but it doesn't make it any easier.

I'm just being bratty because I like the attention I get when people love what I make...I don't wanna share icon_cry.gif

Chrisy

kathik Posted 21 Oct 2007 , 11:35pm
post #30 of 54

First, I agree, I can't give out the wrong recipe or lie about it. I'm going to give him a standard french buttercream recipe and if he can do it great, if not, too bad. I'm not helping him. icon_mad.gif

I think part of my fear is that this will be a repeat of the last time I gave him a recipe (I'm really not stingy). He couldn't figure it out and he called me during a busy time and wanted me to walk him through it step by step. icon_eek.gif I gave him some instructions and went back to MY OWN work. He tells me the next day it came out awful and goes over every little thing he did so I could help him figure it out! I don't want to deal with this again! I am not his personal chef and I am not a consultant. I resent being treated as such, I resent by business being treated as something I should share/teach someone for free, because after all it's "just dessert". I don't expect him to sell my house without a comission (sp?), so why is my business something I should give away. A lot of it comes down to his attitude towards me and what I do.

Kathi

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