This post was done in partnership with Café Appliances, who sponsored this post by providing the compensation and appliances to make it happen! I'm incredibly lucky to be a member of the Café Collective, a group of nine women with impeccable style and expertise in home design, fashion, lifestyle, and food. Be sure to follow along the next few weeks to learn more — as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own, and thank you for supporting the sponsors that make Hummingbird High possible!
At the start of the year, I ran a reader survey asking folks about the kinds of content they wanted to see on Hummingbird High. While everybody wanted more recipes — both sweet AND savory, which is exciting! — the second most requested content category was Behind-the-Scenes content. Folks wanted to see more photos of how the recipes actually came together, as well as more information about what happens before and after the development of a recipe. And while I'm currently working on a post answering all your questions like "How do you develop your own recipes from scratch?" and "How did you learn how to style and photograph food?", I thought it would be fun to start with what happens AFTER a recipe is developed, baked, and photographed for Hummingbird High.
First of all, there's no standard amount of times I test recipes for Hummingbird High. On average, it took about 10 to 12 iterations per recipe until I was satisfied with the recipes for my upcoming cookbook, Weeknight Baking. For blog content, I'm a little bit more lax, but it can still vary and really add up. Because unlike with cooking (where you can get away with making a ton of changes to the recipe all at once), baking requires WAY more precision. Adding an entire egg or even a few half teaspoons of baking powder or baking soda can have dramatic effects on a baking recipe, so it's best to isolate all the changes one by one. That means that every time I bake something, I make just ONE change to the recipe to keep track of what happens! Sometimes my changes to the recipe are major, like adding more butter or eggs because I thought the initial recipe was too dry. Other times, the changes are much smaller, like increasing the original recipe's salt content by 1/2 teaspoon because I thought the previous version was too bland. But at the end of the day, all of this translates to a LOT of clean-up — for every recipe you see on my blog, there are probably several hours of washing dishes behind each one!
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