“Inventing” New Recipes

People ask me all the time how I come up with recipes. What makes a recipe “new” and worthy of publishing? Well, think about it…how many recipes can you find for chocolate chip cookies? THOUSANDS. But each one brings a nuance that makes it different from the rest – the proportion of brown sugar to white; the chilling time; the technique of forming the cookies; the size of the cookies; the type of chocolate used. The list goes on.

Every now and then, a “new” recipe or recipe concept pops up and cake balls, while they have been around now for a while, kind of fit that bill. They aren’t a cupcake or a brownie or a truffle but sort of a combo of all the above.

Regardless of the kind of recipe I am working on, I always begin with flavor in mind. So let’s say I want to make a lemon cake ball. I am going to think about how I can maximize the lemon flavor, which usually means that lemon appears in the recipe more than once. In my Zesty Lemon Cake Balls in my new book Cake Balls, I start with a yellow cake, which color-wise, evokes lemon. Extra lemon zest is added to that batter, which is then combined with Lemon Curd, which of course is one of the most lemony components out there! A dip in white chocolate made sense since it has a delicate flavor and then I crowned the top with candied lemon peel. That’s a lot of lemon packed into one tiny confection!

Of course that’s a cake ball with a single flavor profile…what if I want to combine chocolate and banana? Or carrot and cinnamon? I really take a very democratic approach to recipe development – there are so many palates out there! There is very little right and wrong. What do YOU like?

Get in the kitchen and play, play, play. My Cake Balls book is laid out so that you can mix and match and develop your own cake ball creations. Send me pics!