3 keys to successful recipe-testing

Meet Louisa, our Kitchen Apprentice. After a month in our kitchen, she’s ready to start sharing what she’s learned. First up – the essential elements of recipe testing.

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The Kitchen Apprentice

Hi! I’m Louisa, and I’m so excited to have joined the team here at Chatelaine as the new Kitchen Apprentice. I am the writer, recipe developer, photographer and food enthusiast behind livinglou.com. I’m passionate about leading a healthy lifestyle, and I spend my time creating simple and nutritious recipes to inspire others.

Joining the kitchen at Chatelaine has been a dream. The pantry alone makes me never want to head back to my little kitchen at home.

I was definitely nervous on my first day. The hardest part was learning my way around the test kitchen: I can’t even tell you how many times I asked where to find the sprinkles or the ground almonds.  I love that every day is different. Some days the kitchen is packed with people, the music is going and a photo shoot is happening, and some days just a couple of us quietly test recipes.

After my first month I’ve already learned some essentials to testing recipes:

Read through a recipe at least twice before making it.

This is something that everyone should practice at home. Reading over the entire recipe at least twice before you make it means you won’t miss a step or ingredient, and the cooking or baking process much smoother.

Don’t be intimidated by new techniques.

It’s easy to see a recipe and think, “There is no way I could do that!” but here in the test kitchen, if you’re scared of deep frying or you’ve never made a macaron before, guess what you’ll be doing tomorrow? If you’re nervous about something, just dive right in and try it. Odds are, if you follow the recipe, it will work out.

Keep track of everything.

I’m not kidding when I say everything. Recipe testing is like a science, it involves more timers, scales and measuring cups then you could imagine. I’ve learned that keeping track of all of these elements is crucial to a successful day of recipe testing.

You’ll find me blogging here every week, so be sure to check back for lots of tips and test kitchen secrets. Is there anything you’re dying to know? Let me know in the comments below.