ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Adapting A Recipe: Culinary Improvisation For The Ambitious Home Cook!

Updated on August 5, 2012

Do you just love to cook and bake? Does it please you down to your toes to get every surface in your kitchen covered with bowls, implements and bags of flour and icing sugar? (Especially the bowls: preferably covered in delicious lickable, scrapable cake mix that mysteriously never quite makes it into the cake tin).

If you're an expert baker, then no doubt you're already vastly experienced in the arcane science and art of adapting recipes according to the ingredients you have available. (And also whatever whims may come upon you in the moment.) But for the rest of us more amateur, if enthusiastic, cooks, the adventure of tearing up a recipe print-out or closing up the grease-spotted cookbook, and straying off the beaten path of the instructions and ingredient list, is a gamble as fraught with risk and complication as it is exhilarating and joyous.

Buy Professional Cooking Products On Amazon

Sometimes, though, you just gotta do it. When the spirit moves you, then move! I took this approach recently with one of my favourite vegan chocolate cake recipes. I have utilized this excellent recipe both many a time and oft for the benefit of my vegan partner (and okay, okay, I have tasted the odd crumblet of it myself too from time to time.) But the last time I decided to make it, when I actually came to assemble the ingredients, I realized that I didn't actually have the cocoa powder that I needed in the house. And I really didn't want to have to go out shopping...

What's a girl cake-baker to do? Well, what I did was to have a little think, and a little shuffle around in my food cupboards. What that shuffle unearthed was eight turnips, a bottle of hot pepper sauce and a jar of cheap generic supermarket coffee granules. Hmm. What kind of cake could I possibly make out of that?

Wait! Here's a bag of walnuts too! I know: hot pepper sauce and walnut cake!

Just kidding, folks. Of course I actually decided to rustle up a fabulous turnip and... okay, coffee and walnut cake. It's a classic combination. And classic combos have endured through the ages for a reason. It's yummy and delicious.

How was the deed done? Well, I didn't do much tinkering about with the weights, measurements and proportions. In fact I did none. What I did was to add the exact same amount of coffee granules to the cake mixture as I would have done of cocoa. And that goes for the icing too. There was enough caffeine in that baby, once baked, to simulate the effect of a couple of triple espressos after a slice! Here, take a look.

I'm not saying I necessarily recommend this utterly cavalier approach to the skilled and respected baker's art. I understand that caffeine poisoning is more than technically possible. On the other hand, this was one delicious cake. Why not rip up your own cookbooks today?


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)