The Process of Recipe Development and Peach Sour Cherry Muffin Recipe
Writing a recipe can be a really fun adventure and extremely rewarding. Keeping track of each step is important throughout the entire procedure. If things happen to not work as expected, this makes it easy to look back and pinpoint where to make adjustments. The Flavour Bible is my favourite book and makes this whole process easier.
1) Decide what you want to create and find a base recipe.
I decided on muffins and started flipping through The Art and Soul of Baking...another favourite. I trust this book and picked the "easy morning muffin" - a plain old basic muffin. There are 6 variations in the book.
2) Choose your main ingredients.
I happened to have peaches and sour cherries so I started with this. This is a fun time to say, "I wonder if __________ goes with __________?" and browse around. Neat things can come from this. Write down your main ingredients.
3) Brainstorm about flavour combinations.
Using your flavour bible, write pairings that go well with each main ingredient. Try to stick to ingredients you have/bolded suggestions (these are the considered better pairings) to keep the list more manageable. This is especially helpful if there are more than two main ingredients and also columns are useful in this case.
Peach Choices: Almond, apricot, blueberry, cinnamon, cloves, currants, lemon, ginger, hazelnuts, maple syrup
Sour Cherry Choices: Almond, coconut, cinnamon, cloves, lemon, peaches, pepper.
4) Look for common ingredients.
Do keep the other ingredients in mind for the next step. They can be a bridge flavour in some cases or just the small addition you may use to balance appropriately.
Common Ingredients: Almond, cinnamon, cloves.
This is another point where I'd skim each list of flavour pairings to see if I wanted any additions. I decided to keep it simple and stick with a few. This is also where I wrote, "almond butter crunch?", thinking about how to get some almond in there. Made some. Did not like.
5) Balance the flavour profiles.
Write out the 5 main flavours; sweet, salt, biter, sour and umami (disregarded in this recipe). I just came across the flavour star which categorized salt and umami together and "spice" as another. I don't personaly use this but it's an interesting reference from cooksmarts.com
The flavour bible notes the prominent flavour of each ingredient (some of these are actually quite surprising). Of your main choices, write them underneath each flavour profile. Keep in mind the strength of each ingredients flavour (this is also listed in the flavour bible).
For example, although both cloves and peaches are in this recipe, cloves can very easily overpower the peaches so measurements must accommodate for this. Usually 1 tsp of cinnamon/muffin batch (I checked a few recipes) and a bitta cloves. You can figure this out. :)
Sweet: almond, clove, peach
Sour: cherry, lemon
Salt: sea salt
If you're heavy on the salt, add a bitter flavour to counteract it. Heavy on sweet add sour and so on. You can still omit ingredients here if it wasn't a favourite to begin with or you can add others. Still brainstorming. Sometimes it can be as simple as adding a touch of maple syrup, more salt, or even a pinch of citric acid!
This recipe calls for three eggs which ain't gonna fly. Determine your options for substitutes here and the flavour profile of each. I had a small boo boo here because I planned to use ground flax seeds but was out. I crossed my fingers and used almond butter. This resulted in extra sweetness I didn't care for.
Buttermilk also needed to be changed. In the case of milk substitutions...soy transfers over well from 2% due to its water content.* Add lemon juice to curdle and as a sour taste.
*Calculating water content in food is really simple. From the nutritional label, add the grams of fat, carbs and protein. This will not add up to the total grams per portion. The remainder is water and the others negligible.
Depending on ingredients, this could be a good place to start. It will have to be done. Had I known I had no flax and (luckily) almond butter, I could have adjusted.😆 I had planned to add sliced almonds into the muffins but took it out when I ended up using almond butter. I wouldn't have minded a bitta crunch.
7) Eat and critique.
Reflect on your development, procedure and the final product. Consult your notes and don't forget to enjoy it. Although I don't always take my own advice, please go easy on yourself here. Note any changes you might want and make it again if you feel it's necessary.
8) Pick a name and finalize your recipe.
This is a fun part. Keep it simple or extravagant or whatever you please. Use your notes to write out the final recipe. Try it, make sure it works, and share it!
Peach and Sour Cherry Morning Muffins
Makes 12 muffins.
2 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 cup oil
2/3 cup soy milk
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup peach pieces
3/4 cup sour cherries
Mix dry. Make a well. Add wet. Mix a bit. Add cherries and peaches. Mix until just incorperated. Scoop into lined and greased muffin pan. Bake at 400 for 20 min. Cool in pan for 5 min and transfer to a cooling rack.
There are lots of ways to write a recipe but this way is my favourite. Have fun! Don't get discouraged and try try again!
Remember that sometimes things don't work out!