i was reading reviews on a few cake cookbooks that i have that in turn led me to checking out the many 'baking my way through XYZ Book' blogs. It is so crazy how many posts there are of 'failed recipes' where the bloggers are blaming the recipe when they also clearly outline how they deviated from the recipe...THUS causing the failure. "... I didn't have any lemon extract or orange extract, so i just used lemon juice and some zest from a lime. and i know it is a butter pound cake, but i didn't haven enough so i used non-dairy spread'. And the cake had a weird texture? Surprising !!! And then another blogger who complained about the frostings being thin and not enough but said that she didn't put in all the powder sugar because it seemed like too much, or that the meringue frosting really can't be called a frosting because it was just meringue--besides it totally didn't get stiff.
Yay for baking and recording your experiences, but come on people!! Baking is a science and you have to follow directions and meausements and understand how substitutions should be made. And while there have been some published books that are off, please don't blame the author before you have checked and double checked your own ingredients and technique.
One of the reasons i love the cake bake offs and recipe discussion here on CC. The information exchange on technique and trying to get to the bottom of issues is wonderful!
They do it on Food Network too. Look up Alton Brown trying to educate people on one of the European buttercreams (IMBC or SMBC, I forgot). They crucified him. It was the one time I commented on a recipe.
I probably know the ones you are talking about. It would seem that after awhile, experience would take over and they would get it. If someone is going to bake more advanced recipes, they need to know the method. Add science to that if they are going to substitute.
I only start with recipes from celebrated bakers, so it is no question here the fault lies if it fails. I get on the internet researching what I could have done wrong and I do it again until it's right.
But those blogs are still interesting. I subscribe to a few. It helps to know what they taste like, as some are still good, just not stable.
I see this constantly. I get dinner recipes from epicurious.com, and you'll see almost every recipe has that type of comment: I didn't have thus, and substituted so, and this recipe stinks!
It kills me!
I have to read the bad posts to determine if the recipe is really bad. The funny ones are where there will be 500 five star posts and then one with one star proclaiming that it is the worst recipe ever.
Or the ones that admonish the chef because they listed the ingredients in weights. These are the chefs that are not considered the entry level recipe chefs. But the novices believe that all recipes should be on their level.