Thursday, March 14, 2013

How I Created the Gluten Free Chocolate Donut Recipe

Sometimes people ask me how I come up with my recipes. Well, like most cooks, I look to already existing recipes for inspiration and guidance. But I also depend on the Scientific Method.

It's a sound methodology for recipe development, and I used it to create the recipe for my gluten free chocolate donuts.

Ask a Question (Can donuts be low fat and gluten free?)

Do Background Research (Discover donut baking pans- Viola! Baked donuts cut the fat)

Construct a Hypothesis (The right gluten free flour blend with a method for baking donuts results in a gluten free, low fat donut)

Test the Hypothesis by Doing Experiments (Test various gluten free flour blends combined with other ingredients until one particular set of ingredients in specific amounts results in tasty donuts)

Analyze Data and Draw a Conclusion (Take the donuts to work and see if everyone else likes them as well. If so, the recipe works)

Communicate the Results (Make a YouTube video)

One of the most important steps in creating a new recipe is keeping track of the experiments and the results of those experiments. My notebooks are filled with recipes that didn't work, but I don't throw that data away. Parts of a failed recipe may have worked, and I can draw on those minor successes. For example, I may have a sauce recipe that didn't work for enchiladas, but hey, with a bit of tweaking, it will make a great chili sauce.
It took four 'experiments' to get just the right donut recipe. I kept track, and so didn't make the same mistake twice, and made notes on what worked and what didn't.
But it doesn't stop there. Oh no. Now that I have a basic chocolate donut recipe, I'll start playing around with it. Maybe I'll add some sour cream, or yogurt- just to see what happens.
Well, that's my 'secret' to creating new recipes. I follow a method and then cook, cook, cook. And even after I get it right, I cook some more.