This post is coming from a strong place of anger and rage and hate towards the individual recipe blogging community.
Now, this hate isn’t random.
It is legit.
It comes from when people post their “own recipes” with perfect photos of what they made and how they made it. They go through this long process of making a recipe post and talk about how enlightening the whole process was. They try to sound super relatable and try to make each recipe sound so easy that anyone can do it.
Which is great.
I’m not bitching about that.
I’m bitching about those damn recipes that don’t work. So even if you follow it step-by-step, leveling the tops of your measuring cups, and using the bottom of the meniscus as the proper indicator for how much liquid you should add, the recipe is still wrong.
It’s NOT doable!
IT’S NOT A GOOD RECIPE!
Which is why I hate this.
ESPECIALLY when it comes to specialty cooking AND baking.
ESPECIALLY when I have to spend extra on special ingredients that I can’t find in any, down the street, neighborhood grocery store.
ESPECIALLY when I’m looking towards an experienced blogger who is an experienced cook/ baker to help me in my quest for dietary survival!
Like, I recently found out I was allergic to gluten and rice and soy and whatnot.
So I turned to the internet for some help, since I’ve been craving pasta for a long time now. I google how to make “gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free pasta,” and this recipe pops up. The author claims to have used Otto’s cassava flour (which is great, by the way) in their recipe, just replacing the usual, all purpose flour with the cassava. As I’m reading the post, I’m thinking, “Okay, this is great! I can make this.”
So, I start.
I measure out the 1 cup of flour, leveling off the top, and then some, because it’s better to have the dough be too goopy and then add more flour than the other way around. After I made a hole in the flour, I sprinkled in a little salt, olive oil, and 2 eggs + 1 yolk. Then, I grabbed my fork and started whisking. I whisked and I whisked until I couldn’t whisk no more! Here’s where the recipe and my attempt differ.
Instead of losing the fork and using my hands to gather the now dough and form it into a ball, I had to add the leftover egg white and 2 extra tablespoons of olive oil just to get the dough to form. Before all of that, I just had handfuls of cassava crumbs.
It was awful! I was confused! I re-read the stupid 4-ingredient recipe, wondering what I did wrong.
But before I started adding more oil and egg whites, I freaked out because this was only my second time making pasta and I figured if it didn’t initially come together into a dough, I just lost the whole batch. I didn’t want to over work anything. But since I had paid so much for this specific type of specialty flour, I wanted to salvage whatever crumbs I had on my counter top. (I was going to get my pasta dammit!!!) So, luckily, the extra egg white and olive oil finally brought to dough together enough for me to form some type of ball.
But if it didn’t, I would have left that blog post an angry, critical comment about the wrongs of deceiving those who are trying to find a little bit of normalcy in their alternative dietary lifestyle.
Seriously, I was so pissed!
Because I know this person didn’t make their pasta with cassava flour, let alone followed their own posted recipe.
How did I know?
Because they claimed that cooking/ baking with the cassava flour is simple. All you have to do is replace the usual wheat flour with the better, healthier cassava flour.
Anyone who has used this flour before knows it’s not EXACTLY 1-to-1. It’s a lot more dense and absorbs liquids like a sponge. The texture is also a tiny bit off, but not as noticeable compared to other single ingredient flours (like, it’s a lot better compared to coconut and soy flours). I easily found this out when I made my first batch of cassava mini-muffins. Using my original go-to recipe and swapping out the AP flour for the cassava, my muffin batter looked less like a batter and more like a slightly loose dough. The bake times were also different. While my usual gluten-full mini-muffins take about 15-20 minutes, my new cassava ones took over 30.
There is a structural difference and anyone who tells you otherwise is simply reading it straight from the bag and not speaking from experience.
Now, I’m lucky enough to be a baker in the first place and to have my own baking knowledge and experience to fall back on, but if I didn’t, I would have spent even more time and wasting resources trying to figure out what wrong with the recipes I was trying out. Like, I knew what the batter and the final product of my muffins were supposed to look/ taste like, but if I didn’t, I would have been stumped… ESPECIALLY if it wasn’t my own recipe!
Like, the reason why people with alternative dietary lifestyles turn towards blogs is because this shit isn’t mainstream. Nothing on television is geared towards us. It’s not readily accessible. So when we look at a blog, we are looking for the experience to help us in our own journey of navigating this dangerous world we live in.
This is why I get so mad when I try out someone else’s recipe and it fails miserably… because I automatically know that that recipe that they posted is not the same recipe they used in the pictures.
It’s not, and I’m mad because I trusted them enough to be a reliable source in something that them claim to have experience in, when they clearly don’t. Not only that, but they went through all that trouble of posting a lie instead of just not posting anything at all.
I don’t need that kind of falsehood in my life, especially when I’ve got everything else to worry about.
So, to all of those who are like, “I should start a blog… With recipes!” Make sure your recipes make sense and accurately document what you actually did. No edits, unless you’ve tried those edits for yourself and they actually work.
You’re not doing anyone a service for posting crap.