Baking Experimentation: Why My Baked Goods Don’t Always Turn Out So Well

So, as some of you might already know, my baking experiments don’t always turn out the best.  I do all my own recipes, so my baked goods aren’t always picture perfect.  In fact, they almost never turn out like they’re supposed to, but to me, it doesn’t matter how my baking creations look; it matters to me how they taste.  Who cares if my cookies are too flat because I use melted butter, and combine the wet ingredients (not including sugar) with the dry ingredients?  Who cares if my brownies cracked in the middle one time because I didn’t know that I should’ve banged the pan on the table to let out the air bubbles before I partially baked them, swirled in the fudge, and finished baking them (even though I’m going to fix that next time)?  Baking is a science, yes, and I love science, but it’s also an art.  I may not be the best decorator or the best baker, but that doesn’t matter to me as much as being creative.  Yes, I completely understand that baking is a science, so you have to be exact, but science also entails experimentation, trial and error.  How do you think anyone came up with the first recipes?  The recipes that we use today are just delicious works of science.  Reactions between the chemicals inside ingredients are what cause your baked goods to result in being a certain way textually and in other ways as well.  Those reactions in my versions of certain baked goods aren’t the same as those in the typical versions of them, but even if I fail, I get back on my feet, and try again.  For example, since I’m not into sophisticated pastries such as cream puffs, eclairs, French macaroons, etc., I want to start using fondant because it makes your work look professional, but it’s easy to work with.  I know people say it tastes really bad, so my “experiment” is going to be to add flavor to it by working fresh fruit juice or puréed fresh fruit into it.  I also saw that on the most recent episode of Kids Baking Championship, which had the final four kid bakers creating molecular gastronomy (kidstronomy)-inspired desserts, one of the four techniques that the judges described to them was using tapioca maltodextrin to create flavored snow.  All you have to do is grind some of the powder up in a food processor with whatever flavoring you want to use (butter, peanut butter, chocolate hazelnut spread, etc.), and that flavoring becomes the flavor of your tapioca maltodextrin, which you just grinded into “snow”.  That seems like a really cool and easy technique, so I ordered some because I want to also start using it for my desserts, in addition to the fondant, for my experimentation.  I hope this all works out, but as I said before, desserts “working out” (as in, looking like it should) for me isn’t common, but as long as it tastes good like I said before, I’m all for it.  Then again, these aren’t really desserts; these two things that I’m currently writing about are really just decorations for desserts.  Working out how I want it to, that’s a better way to describe it, so in other words, not being perfect, that’s fine by me because nothing’s perfect, not even dessert.  Once again, just to reiterate to you for the millionth time (yes, I know, I know), for me to enjoy my desserts, they just have to taste good, and no matter how I make them, they always do.  So, be creative.  Baking is all about experimentation, so if you just want to make up your own recipes for a baked good or two, try it out, and report your results to me in the Comment section.  You never know what baking miracles (or possibly baking tragedies) you can end up with.  Do you agree with me, or do you disagree with me?  What are your thoughts on the subject?  Please feel free to express yourself, and discuss your feelings about the topic in the Comment section.


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